The Five Providences (Installment 11)

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Chapter 3

            “Thank you for letting me stay with you.” I say as I quietly place my things on my new bed. The other girls stiffen as they wait to hear Til’s reaction. She smiles brightly and nods a sort of bow.

            “If Vel believes you are worth a risk then it must be so. She is the best of discerners.” I wince a little at the word “risk”. The last thing I want to do is get myself into more trouble.

            “I will stay out of your way as much as possible.” I stand uncomfortably. The other girls seemed to have relaxed now that Til is welcoming.

            “That is not the way it is here.” She smiles as she sits on her bed. “We all take care of each other here. Loyalty is our most honored rule. Unity is closely following. You will learn that soon.” She smiles warmly again. I tremble a little knowing that. Unity has never been apparent in my life. “Do you know what ‘Wolah’ means?”

            “No I do not.”

            “It is from the ancient language. ‘Wo’ means woman and ‘lah’ means flower. When translated it means ‘Woman of flowers’. That is what we do in this clan. We grow flowers. We make things flourish in dry places, much like beauty and elegance in uncertain situations.” She says continuously stroking her long black hair. I shift uneasily.

            “What a lovely tradition.” I manage to regain some kind of communication.

            “It is.” She smiles again. “Well, I’m Til. Daughter of Vel. I’m the head of the Wolah clan. This is Jenmah to my right.” She flicks her head to gesture the girl to her right. “And Leven.” She gestures to the girl on her left. I cringe knowing how Leven doesn’t like me since I’ve bloodied her sister. I look at her for a second and quickly look back to Til. Leven seems indifferent.

            “You are welcomed here. This is your home for your stay here. Make yourself comfortable. I know you will only be here for so long but what are your skills that I might acquaint you with a clan?” She smiles again. She seems to be an all around cheery person.

            “I’m not sure what I excel at.” The inside of my mouth tastes sour. I can’t do much can I? “I’m sneaky.” I start to force a laugh. I receive a sympathy chuckle.

            “Well for now we will just get you acquainted with everyone.” She walks to the front of the door. “Follow me.” She says quickly as she walks out the door and I scurry on my tip toes to catch her outside.


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