THE GIRLS AT SAINT GRACE

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CHAPTER FOUR

She looked around as she passed by the different girls in the halls, all of them laughing and talking to each other, others walking alone hurriedly going to wherever they needed to be but out of all the girls she saw Birdie was nowhere to be seen. For someone who was every where you turned she was doing a good job not being around when people actually needed her.

"Have you seen Beatrice?" Addilyn asked a girl that was walking past her
"Birdie? No I haven't check her dorm maybe" the girl replied
She nodded and quickly ran up the stairs to find Birdie's dorm.
All the doors of the dorms were wide open and all looked the same which made it hard for Addilyn to locate Birdie's. She peeped in every dorm she went past, some of the dorms were empty while others had a few girls in them that she saw but was too afraid to ask them about Birdie's whereabouts.

After endless searching she got tired of looking and decided to walk outside and get to her music class which she prayed she wasn't late for. As she began to walk down the stairs someone forcefully bumped into her.
"Do you not have eyes" the person said and as soon as she said those words Addilyn saw herself meet with the eyes of Birdie.

Birdie immediately recognized her and made a face of disgust. The very same one she had made at Addilyn and her friends just a few days ago in the attic.
Birdie began to quickly walk away and as she did so Addilyn noticed that she was holding the papers and the letter in her arms and as soon as she saw she knew exactly where Birdie was taking them.

"Beatrice" Addilyn began
"Hand them over" she demanded
Birdie looked her up and down, rolled her eyes and scoffed she beg and to walk again but Addilyn held onto her wrist tightly. She looked at the letter and papers and then up at Birdie hinting for her to hand them over.

They stared at each other for a few seconds and then Birdie whispered "I won't give them to her"
She said pointing straight at the Prioress's office.
"If you and your friends meet me in the attic supper time"
"How do I know it's not a trap?" Addilyn whispered back. Slowly loosening the grip she had on her arm
"It's not" Birdie replied
And with that she pulled her hand away and walked up the stairs but this time a different direction from the Prioress's office.

*******
At seven o'clock the three girls stood in the attic waiting patiently for Birdie. When the clock struck eight and supper was finished, Birdie was still not there and at nine when the matrons locked up the dorms and the nuns went to sleep and the whole orphanage was dark, Birdie still wasn't there. It was hard for Addilyn to convince her friends and a lot of disappointment filled her up as she began to realize Birdie wasn't coming.

Now it was ten and raining heavily outside, water was coming from the ceiling, from the broken windows and the girls began to feel cold.
"She fooled us" Odelia said frustrated
Addilyn looked around as thunder roared from outside
"Let's leave" she yelled over the sound of the thunder

As they began to leave Birdie walked in still in her uniform and soaked from head to toe with a tiny scarf covering her shoulders
"Why-" Eliana began to ask
"No questions" Birdie interrupted
"Here" she said pulling out the letter and gesturing for Addilyn to take it

Addilyn quickly took the half soaked letter and began to wipe it hoping to dry it
"And the papers?" Odelia asked
"They're outside soaked in the rain"
"What were you even doing outside?"

Immediately after Odelia asked that question she heard a loud scream coming from outside
She ran up to the window not caring about the rain that was splashing in her face and listened for the screams. Eliana heard the screams too and ran to the window were Odelia was standing and the two girls stuck their heads out listening closely. Eliana stepped away from the letter and looked angrily at Birdie

"You put someone in there didn't you?" She asked.
Birdie looked away from her trying to avoid eye contact

Eliana quickly took off her shoes and began to ran out of the attic, Odelia did the same thing and as soon as Addilyn caught on to what they were doing so did she.

Once they left they began to slowly tip toe around the dark orphanage trying to go outside without making any noise but as they did so they kept bumping into each other which made it hard for them to be quiet

When they got outside the rain was heavier and the screams were hard to here, almost inaudible. The girls ran as quick as they could, their feet steeping in the slippery mud and their night gowns getting completely soaked. They ran across the big yard and went behind the large building and before they were even close to the back they saw the large eight foot tall tank sticking out.

As they got closer the screaming was louder and they could even hear banging. At a point the screams would stop for a few seconds and immediately get louder.

"She's drowning!" Eliana screamed
"How are we supposed to get up there?" Odelia screamed back
"Look for a ladder, there should be one around here."

The girls began to look around the tank for a ladder but it was so dark they could hardly see anything and as they kept looking the rain got heavier and slowly the began to fill up the tank and the more it did the more the girl banged and screamed.

"Addilyn come climb on top of my shoulders and see if you can reach her" Eliana screamed
Addilyn did as she was told but her arms were too short to reach the girl and when she tried to push herself towards her she would slip and almost fall in with her

"Eliana, let Odelia should try I can't reach her."
Addilyn climbed down and exchanged positions with Odelia. It was easier for Odelia to reach the screaming girl since she was taller but although she could reach her, the girl's arms were too short to grab on to Odelia's. And only their fingertips would touch

"Stretch your arms!" She yelled
"Tell her to jump!" Eliana yelled loudly at Odelia
"Eliana, it's water how on God's green earth do you think she will jump?" Odelia screamed

Odelia went back to trying to reach for the girl while Addilyn looked around in hopes of finding a ladder. But the more time they spent not being able to reach her the more the tank filled up with water

"What's your name?" Odelia asked the girl
"Saffron" she replied out of breath as her arms moved in the air still trying to reach Odelia's
"Saffron listen to me, if you don't stretch harder you're going to drown. The rain isn't showing any signs of stopping and it's raining really heavily, so more water is going in here" Odelia told her

The water was now close to Saffron's neck and she had began to swallow big ounces of it. Odelia yelled louder at her as she continued to extend her body in to the tank so that her arms could reach Saffron's faster and eventually they did.
She began to pull her out and once was she ready to get down Eliana's foot slipped in the mud and they all fell to the ground.

They hurriedly got up and began to ran back inside but as they were going Birdie surprisingly appeared and blocked their path.
"Saffron go back in there" she yelled at the skinny blonde haired girl that was now standing behind Addilyn
"Are you mental?" Eliana yelled
"I AM NOT TALKING TO YOU!" Birdie screamed furiously

As they stood looking at each other Birdie pulled out the letter she had just given to Addilyn a few minutes ago
"I must have forgotten it back there" Addilyn whispered to herself

"If she doesn't get back in there I'll tear this apart and call the matrons"
The letter was now a lot more wet than it was before and some of the ink was beginning to come off.
Addilyn knew that if Birdie tore it she wouldn't be able to fix it and then began to panic

"Beatrice-" She began to speak but was soon cut off by Eliana's loud laughter

"Go ahead. Tear it." Eliana said after she stopped laughing
"Even if you do nothing will change what we already know. We've memorized half of everything in it and I bet Addilyn could write it the same way on her own"
They were quiet, all their attention on Eliana. The rain was still heavy and the thunder louder.

"No matter what you do we can still leave but you can't. And that angers you doesn't it?"
"You'll forever stay in this disgusting place and probably grow old here"

"That's not going to happen" Birdie mumbled as tears filled her eyes and her voice began to break
"Nobody wanted you when you were younger and nobody wants you now and deep down you know it. It's the same for me and I know it" Eliana said as her voice got softer

"Odelia knows it and weeks before she received that letter so did Addilyn" She said as her own voice began to break
"How about instead of trying to ruin our lives here you help us"

Once Eliana was done talking Birdie was crying. The rain didn't make it visible but the way she was wiping her eyes and the redness in them said it all. She looked at all of them and threw the letter in the mud and before she turned away, stepped on it.

Addilyn began to chase after her, worried that she was going to call the matrons.
"That was unnecessary" Odelia said to Eliana as she began to slowly run behind Addilyn

They all ran inside the house and the girls stopped and stood by the fireplace. Birdie stood with them for a moment and then went up the stairs as Addilyn followed whispering slowly for her to stop

The girls heard footsteps coming down the stairs the same direction Birdie and Addilyn were going.
Addilyn stopped, walked down the stairs and hid quietly under the staircase gesturing for her friends to do the same

Odelia put out the candles around them to avoid them from being seen.
As they hid they shushed each other and heard Birdie talk to someone. It sounded like one of the sisters but the girls weren't sure who, all they could do was pray it wasn't the Prioress

"What was all the noise outside?" The sister asked Birdie
"I got a girl out of the tank ma'am" she replied
"Hmm were you told to do so?"
"Yes Sister, by the Prioress"
As they were speaking the girls hiding under the stair case were terrified. Odelia was holding tightly on to her rosary and Eliana had her eyes shut with her hand on her chest while Saffron was shivering and Addilyn was listening curiously

"Were you alone?" The unknown sister asked and Birdie went silent
Addilyn's heart began to thud against her rib cage as she closed her eyes praying to God that Birdie wouldn't say anything about them

"Yes" Birdie finally said
" I was alone"
The sister didn't say anything further and went back up the sisters.
The girls began to come out as they all let out sighs of relief they heard Birdie leave too but as she was she suddenly stopped and looked down at them and spoke in a low tone
"Just because I did not tell her does not mean I won't tell the Prioress"
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