Friday, October 12, 2018

Daring Destiny ~ Part 2

“Come on, Clover,” said Rainy, filling a pot with water to boil. “Talk to me, didn’t you have a math test today? How’d you do?”
Clover sighed again and walked over to her backpack. “You’re going to find out anyway, because you have to sign it.”
Rainy felt her headache go up a tick. Math wasn’t Clover’s best subject and the young girl had struggled keeping the grade above passing. Rainy told herself to keep an open mind. Clover’s teacher was willing to work with them and Clover might just have to do summer school to catch up.
Clover slide the paper in front of Rainy, as Rainy put the pot on the stove and turned up the heat to get the water to boil. She took the paper and tried not the cringe at the way below D marking.
“I don’t understand,” said Rainy, “I helped you study.”
“Apparently, you’re bad at math, too,” stated Clover with another eye roll.
“You know that’s not it, Clover,” snapped Rainy. Math had always been her best subject.  “Did you even try? I wasn’t expecting one hundred percent, but I didn’t expect you to fail either.”
“Of course I tried,” said Clover. “I just don’t get it.”
“You got it the other night.”
“No,” snapped Clover, “you got tired of trying to teach me, so you decided I understood when I didn’t. You only helped me one night for an hour. This is your fault.”
“Clover Summerfield, you alone are responsible for your own grades. If I’m not helping you, then you need to go to Mrs. Jennings and get some help. You know I have to work, if I don’t work then we don’t eat, and we definitely don’t get those Oreos. Not only do we not eat, we don’t get to stay in this apartment, or have electricity, or running water. I’m doing the best I can.”
“I wish Mom and Dad were here!” shouted Clover, before running to her room.
“Me too,” mumbled Rainy as she sighed the failed math test.
As the water boiled she poured the pasta into it and then went to work cutting up sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella for the salad. Part of the reason she got the job at the supermarket was because she received an employee discount. There was no way they could afford items like pesto, sundried tomatoes, and Oreos without the discount and the coupons. Most of their meals consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Rainy thought about when their world changed. Had it only been three years ago that their parents died in that car accident? Thankfully, Rainy had been twenty-five and social services saw no need to put Clover in a foster home.
“Oh Mom,” Rainy whispered, “what am I going to do?”
She didn’t expect her mother to answer, but talking to her made Rainy feel less alone. Her mother would know exactly what to do and how to make Clover feel like she could defeat the world if need be. That’s how she had always made Rainy feel.
Rainy finished the salad and then took a bowl of the pasta and three Oreos to her sister’s room. She knocked gently twice and then let herself in. Clover laid on the bed listening to music on a very old mp3 player. She pulled her earbuds out as Rainy entered.
“I’m sorry I got upset over your math grade,” said Rainy as she sat the bowl and cookies down on Clover’s desk. “I just want you to do well and when you don’t, well, I feel like I’ve failed you.”
Clover sighed. “You haven’t failed me. You just aren’t here.”

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