"I don't want to go there" said my sister as she munched a cupcake like a hungry wolf. “But think about the job, Sis” said I and hurried off to greet a customer whom I saw every day. “One chocolate cake with Vanilla, Dear” I smiled and packed her order. “Come back soon” I called out. Well, the old lady would sure drop by tomorrow.
Exhausted, I let out a breath and slumped in her chair beside Haleen, my sister.
“How was work today?” My sister looked up and grinned. “The usual” Haleen answered and I nodded. “Why does that old lady come here every day? She’s going to get diabetes, I swear” I chuckled. Haleen just knew how to make people laugh.
“As long as the bakery is running I don’t care” I said and as an afterthought I added, “Why don’t you want to go?” my sister’s face dropped and she assumed a serious expression. “Who’s gonna stay with you then?” I folded my arms and pouted, “Sis! I am fifteen, for God’s sake. I can take care of myself and I have Lucy too with me” Lucy was my best friend since two years.
Haleen sighed. “We already had this conversation, didn’t we? Semester starts next month. Even if I accept my enrolment, I doubt they’ll accept me.” I huffed in irritation. “Where’s the harm in signing up?! Think about it, Sis! You can have your own job with high salary! We can have our own home!”
My sister seemed to consider that. “But that’s only if I graduate” she told me. “Oh please Sis. People who can make me join a bakery when I don’t know a thing about baking can do anything. They said you are likely to have a Force in a year. So stop making excuses. You’re going. That’s final.” Haleen made a face but didn’t argue. “I am sure asking for trouble”
Force only came to gifted ones or the Chosen.
While some regarded it as an honour, my sister thought of it to be a bother. That was my sister. Just too damn lazy. “I heard they have a huge fireplace in their Commons” I said encouragingly. But Haleen paid me no heed.
Well, as it turned out they accepted her in their school and were ready to pay her fees too, for that matter. Whenever the school sent for an enrolment request, it usually meant that they would pay the fees, mostly because the child had a Force which would only help them in the future. Even my sister had, surprisingly. But her Force was left to be discovered.
Time flew by. Haleen was leaving the next day. It was already eight in the clock. I had specifically told her to come early but my sister, a music-addict for some reason was far too busy for that. I sighed. I could have given anything to go to school and there was my sister whom I would literally have to push.
“I am starving Haze!” Haleen bursted in the bakery and I breathed a sigh of relief. At least they would be able to pack Haleen’s stuff on time. “You are not getting anything until you pack” I said. “No fair! I’ll die Haze” Haleen groaned. “Well the sooner you do, the faster you’ll get your food. By the way, it’s stew for dinner today.” That had a dramatic effect on Haleen and I could see my mouth water.
“Fine! Fine! I am going! You better have my plate ready” I chuckled. “Of course” and Haleen ran upstairs. They lived in the attic above the bakery. It was small but that was all they had.
The next morning, my sister spared me the trouble of waking her up by dousing her with icy-cold water. She was already ready by six. The train was leaving by nine.
“Don’t roam around after seven,” my sister told me the zillionth time, “brush and bath on time, don’t let Madame Poppins be upset with you,” Madame Poppins, the owner of the bakery was a charming lady in her seventies and the bakery was her most treasured place, “don’t eat food unless you have made it or Madame has given you-”
“Sis! I. Am. Fifteen. I know how to care of myself. And besides, you have been telling me this the whole week!” Haleen smiled and kissed me on my forehead, “I know. It’s so difficult to believe that you are so big already” there were tears in her eyes. It was strange. My sister never cried. “I will send letters whenever I get time. Just...take care, alright?” Tears threatened to fall but I refused to cry. “Have fun, okay?”
“Yeah sure. I am gonna thoroughly enjoy being stuck in textbooks and being almost killed in lessons” and on that I couldn’t help but laugh.