“Hmmm, what should I get?” Blavatsky looked through the different foods available at the grocery store. “We had spaghetti yesterday, so maybe hamburg steak tonight?” Helena had been going over every day since then. Her parents were almost never home, and although she did not resent them, Helena would get lonely. So she enjoyed going over to cook for that group of girls. Especially since she got to see Altera.
Blavatsky was humming as she prepared the meal in the kitchen. Walking about, she added ingredients here, stirred there. Helena was in a great mood. Altera was out picking the girls up from school. Blavatsky had found out that Altera did this everyday, walking the girls back from their little elementary school around the corner. The care that Altera showed towards the three was something Blavatsky had discovered during her time cooking.
This wasn’t the only thing she had discovered while she was here. Altera disliked vegetables the most out of all the girls, while the three younger ones had an extreme liking for sweets. The young girls were not related, but adopted. Jeanne often forgot to do her homework and had to be reminded. Altera’s parents had a nasty divorce when she was little and left her with her grandfather. Jack never washed her hands. You needed to watch her wash them or it wouldn’t happen.
The door clicked open and three tiny voices cried in unison, “We’re back!”
“Welcome home.” Blavatsky replied. “Go do your homework and get ready for dinner. Everything should be done in 30 minutes.”
Altera walked into the kitchen and watched Blavatsky as the girl continued to prepare the meal.
Helena startled. She hadn’t seen Altera come in.
“It’s nothing. I’m just doing what I want,” Helena replied after regaining her composure.
“No really. Thank you.”
Altera’s insistence caught Blavatsky off guard. She quickly turned back to the stove, trying to prevent the girl from seeing the blush on her face. “I said it’s nothing. Now go prepare for dinner.”
Altera left silently and Helena was left alone in the kitchen again.
Helena jumped again. She thought she was alone! Was everyone trying to kill her today? Nursery stared at Blavatsky from across the room. Helena felt that something bad was about to happen.
“Do you like Sis?”
Helena was pretty sure everyone was trying to kill her today. Her heart rate kept spiking. “W-w-what do you mean?”
“Do you like her, do you love her, do you want to fu-”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t say it, don’t say it. Yes, okay, I like her. Are you happy?” Blavatsky nearly launched herself across the room in her attempt to stop the girl from completing her sentence. Where did she even learn that word?
Nursery giggled. “Yay! Sis finally has someone!” The girl started to celebrate, but Helena was struck by what she had said.
“Nursery, what do you mean ‘Finally has someone?’”
The girl stopped her celebrations, and turned to Blavatsky with a curious look. “Didn’t you know?” Helena shook her head.
Nursery told her a lot. How Altera had discovered her father’s affair with another woman, how that had led to her parent’s eventual divorce. How her father had blamed her, how her mother had blamed her, how Altera had blamed herself. How Altera had always kept love at arms length.
Blavatsky sighed. Her heart ached for the girl. She wished that she could hug her and tell her that everything was going to be okay. But she couldn’t.
“What are you gonna do?” Nursery questioned, her eyes full of concern.
Helena couldn’t respond.
Even the next day, Helena couldn’t control her thoughts. What should she do? Forget her own love for a moment, how was she supposed to help Altera? That kind of emotional pain, of being blamed by her parents for something that wasn’t her fault, that kind of pain must be excruciating.
Helena looked at Altera. After all this time she had naturally located where Altera sat. The girl sat in the corner by the window, her beautiful hair always catching the light that came through the window. Helena always felt her breath catch whenever she looked at the girl.
Today however Helena felt her heart clench and her eyes begin to water.
“Wake up. Come on, it’s time to go.” Altera felt herself being shaken awake. Groggily looking up she saw Helena standing over her.
“School’s over. Come on, you need to go get the girls.”
Altera stood, nearly stumbling, and packed her bag. Blavatsky stood by the side.
“Remember to stop and get some cookies for dessert, and an umbrella. The one you currently have won’t work when the rain picks up.”
“Why do you take such good care of me?” Altera asked. Realizing what she had just said, she tried to backpedal. ”Ah! Sorry! I didn’t mean to be rude. Don’t answer that, it’s a silly ques-”
“I like you. That’s why.” Helena’s voice trembled.
Altera was stunned for a moment. Why? Why did this girl have to say the one thing she didn’t want to hear. Searching for a way out, Altera stuttered as she spoke. “W-what do you mean?”
Altera hoped that that would suffice to deter Helena. However, she had underestimated Blavatsky’s determination.
Helena stood on her tiptoes and kissed Altera.
“That’s what I mean.”
Helena left, and Altera found herself alone in the classroom.