THE GIRLS AT SAINT GRACE

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CHAPTER FIVE

The attic was cold, the floors were wet from all the water that came in and continued to come in from the broke windows and the cracked ceiling. Even then, it wasn't something the girls weren't used to. They lined up old potato sacks on the floor to keep them warm and dry as they slept. When they weren't warm enough, the girls slept closer to each other shivering all over their bodies like new born puppies.


And even though that was happening, they were really happy being inside again even though it was in the attic. The cold came in but it was better than being outside.


The girls hadn't spoken to each other since the events that had happened once Birdie went up to the stairs and left them pathetically standing in fear, none of them dared to saying to her and neither did she to them.


They laid on the sacks each of them forcing themselves to sleep but it never worked and so they stared at the ceiling, each of them with their own thoughts and opinions of what had happened earlier.


Odelis sat up and turned to Saffron. "Who are you?" she asked suddenly. "I don't mean to be rude but since we saved you I think we should know."
She looked at her strongly but it wasn't out of any anger but rather curiosity.

Addilyn and Eliana looked away from Odelia and straight at Saffron for they too wanted to know. Saffron hesitated and began to play with her fingers, her eyes on the ceiling and her heart thudding for the 100th time today. She quickly sat up, faced Odelia ,cleared her throat and spoke.


"I'm Saffron M. Walker," she started.

"Er...M for Melanie," she continued and Odelia raised an eyebrow.

"I was brought here about three weeks ago. I lived in a small house with my mother not too far from here, it was wonderful. We did everything together." She smiled as she said the last words.

"But my mother was a horrible drinker. A really really horrible drinker," her smile turned to a frown.
She drank for whatever reason and for whatever emotion she was feeling. It wasn't like we had any problems, we were very happy and so I never understood why she drank so much. From rum to gin to whiskey to beer to wine... She drank whatever we had and whatever she could find."

Addilyn, Eliana and Odelia listened with interest, whatever thoughts they had been thinking about were now gone and replaced with heavy interest in Saffron's story.

"One morning she went out and never came back. I waited and searched and asked around but she was still nowhere. I went out to look for her...but I went so far and lost direction of my house." Her voice began to crack and tears filled her eyes.

"I never found her...and I never found my way back home. I stayed on the streets for about two days, stealing money from the counters of pubs and getting bread from small bakeries that were throwing it out." By now Saffron had began to cry. She tried to wipe her tears away but they just kept coming.

"I'm trying not to cry," she laughed softly.
"A nun found me and promised me food and a bed, a warm shower. She even said she'd help me find mother. I was helpless and dirty and tired so I accepted."

Saffron got quiet and stared at the ceiling hopelessly.
"She never helped me," she whispered.
"It's been a week, I haven't eaten one good meal and look where I'm sleeping," she said pointing around the attic.

"And the worst part is when I asked her when she would help me find mum she put me in that tank for what she called disrespect. I'm tired of it all!" she sobbed.

It got quiet after she finished talking, Eliana got closer to her and held her as she cried while Addilyn and Odelia watched feeling sad for her. The girls felt the greatest pity for Saffron. They couldn't imagine how hard it must have been for her and all of them were suddenly grateful for their pasts. Sure they too had lost their mothers but not the way Saffron lost hers. Addilyn imagined how she would have survived if put in Saffron's position. She wouldn't have; she wouldn't even know what to do. Odelia thought about it too, a young girl losing her mother and left alone to search for her obviously she wouldn't have survived it would have been horrible.

Eliana was taken away from her mother and in a way she understood Saffron but in another way she did not. She never had to search for her mother, she hardly remembered what her mother looked like. It would have been the worst thing ever to be in Saffron's shoes. In their eyes, Saffron was really brave.

"Saffron?" Addilyn began.
"What if I told you their was a way you could leave?"

* * * * * * * *
The girls were up early that morning, they hadn't slept much but it wasn't the worst sleep they had had. The night was good, after Saffron talked they all did. It made their friendship stronger and now even Saffron was apart of them. Once Addilyn explained everything to her she immediately wanted to be a part of it all she was practically beaming with joy and determination. It was a good thing to see and Eliana and Odelia were happy with the decision made.

Addilyn got up and stuck her head out the window to soak in the warmth of the sun. The rain had stopped in the night and if left the grass, trees and the flowers wet making the outside smell of fresh mud, a smell Addilyn loved. She twinkled under the sun and the birds chipped everything was beautiful.

For a moment she forgot about everything, her troubles and the pressure got buried somewhere in her mind and everything that had happened the night before was nowhere in her memory. Just for a moment she forgot.

"Addilyn!" she heard Elian call completely snapping her back to reality. She looked around and frowned, the beautiful outside the window that helped her forget wasn't as beautiful anymore. Nevertheless, she was happy that beautiful things in the world, some just outside her window, could help her forget.

She ran out of the attic quickly to join her friends all four of them headed for their dorms hoping no one had noticed they were missing. As they approached the dorms a bunch of the girls looked at them but quickly dismissed their appearance and carried on with whatever they were doing. Sighs of relief escaped the girls' mouths and their heartbeats slowed.

Each girl carried on with their morning chores, Adilyn was the only one with no chores to do and no classes and since it was six o'clock in the morning. She decided to go down in the dining hall and wait for breakfast.

As she got closer the smell of gruel immediately hit her and she groaned,sat down and waited patiently for it to be served. Even though she didn't like gruel she hoped it wouldn't get done before she got some.

She looked around for any nuns or prefect or anyone who would make her do any chores and when she didn't spot any she got comfortable and sat down at the very top of the stairs leading to the dining hall and patiently waited for breakfast.

Not even five minutes later Adilyn felt someone touch her shoulder. Startled, she quickly got up and turned to see who it was. Birdie.

Adilyn held her breath at the sight of her and as always Birdie looked the same. Same frown, same red hair in a tight bun. Same Birdie.
Birdie moved closer to Adilyn who stepped back immediately.

"Why am I so scared?"Adilyn asked herself.
It's just Birdie
It's fine.

"I...I want to help you and your friends," Birdie said quietly.
The words that came out of her mouth shocked Adilyn so hard. Her eyes searched Birdie's and for the first time they looked sincere.

"You've been so horrible to us." Addilyn mumbled.
"So horrible... why... why would I ever let you help?"she asked.

Birdie looked everywhere but Addilyn's face. She had been horrible to them and she wouldn't blame any of them if they didn't let her join.

"I don't want to stay here for the rest of my life," she said.
"Eliana was right you know...deep down I do know I'll never get adopted or leave this place. I tried to avoid the thought as much as I could but I can't anymore." Tears filled her eyes as she spoke and she wiped them away fast before they could flow.

"I need to leave-," she said quietly but firmly.
"with all of you," she added.

"Beatrice..." Addilyn began.
"I could be a big help whatever you need I can get it to you, anything, anything at all," Birdie was now crying and the harder she tried to wipe away her tears the more they flowed. They flowed all the way to her chin and all around her cheeks and even in her mouth but she didn't care. She only cared about one thing now...leaving and convincing Addilyn.

"Adilyn, I'm not afraid to do anything," Birdie pleaded.
Never in her life did Addilyn think she would ever hear Birdie beg.
And to her.
It seemed like such a wild dream.

She looked into Birdie's eyes searching for some kind of deceit but found none. All she saw were pleading eyes filled with tears that were ready to flow.
Addilyn didn't want to say yes. She never would have yesterday or the day before or the week before. She never would have. But why did she want to let her help?

"I don't know how the others will take it but alright. You'll be a great help." she said smiling weakly at Birdie.
And Birdie hugged her.

"I hope I'm not making mistake," she told herself.
I'm not.
I'm not.
Am I?
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