Saturday Short: Close Enough, Part V

“You want to get rid of me?” Sami slammed the hallway door shaking its frame.

“I see you’ve been listening.” I began wiping down the counter of useless, wetted flour and moved to the much smaller space by the stove to resume kneading the dough.

“What? I….”

The silence would not last. But it was nice for the moment as Sami puzzled her way through which subject was of most importance to her. I knew what would win, in the end, but focused on kneading until she did, too.

Down and back, pushing and pulling the lump of dough as the surface tightened and began to hold, pulling away from the counter to cling to itself. It never failed to amaze me how simple flour and water could turn into something so much more than the sum of its parts.

“That’s not important!”

Ah, the silence was over. And no sign of Silas. Sometimes, not infrequently, I envied that cat.

“And what is? Clearly not your studies.” I placed the ball of dough in the bowl and covered it with a towel before I turned to Sami who had an expression on her face I did not expect.

“You want to get rid of me?” she repeated in a hush.

“You have made it clear you are not interested in what I have to teach you. You chafe against everything I have you do. Would you not be happier with another mentor?”

“I….” she trailed off as the first tears began rolling down her cheeks.

Tears, like rain, too often came without warning. Perhaps I was a fool.

“Sit down.” I motioned to seat that Vinia had vacated in a huff. Sami collapsed in it and stared at her hands. I poured her a fresh mug of tea and one for myself as I sat down beside her, already wishing it were time for bed.

“I don’t want to go. Please don’t make me.” She hadn’t touched her tea. She sniffled and wiped her face against her sleeve. I gave her my handkerchief, which she knotted in her hand.

“It appears you are stuck with me and I with you.”


“So declares the Sisterhood.” I sipped my tea and felt the burn against the roof of my mouth. “But tell me, why would you want to stay?”

“I have nowhere else to go. And…” She looked away, out the window at the rainclouds roiling by.


“And I’m afraid.”

“Ah. At last, we have something in common.”

And we finished our tea in silence as we waited for the sun.