Saturday Short: Close Enough

“It’s close enough,” Sami said. She crossed her arms in the all-too-familiar way, daring me to challenge her.

It wasn’t much of a dare.

“No, it is not.” I fought back the urge to sigh.

Why the Sisterhood had gifted me with such a stubborn apprentice, I would never understand. Was I not faithful? Had I not already taught over a dozen new Sisters? Had I not suffered enough?

Such questions were not mine to answer, even if they were mine to ask.

Sami huffed. It sounded like the tomcat who sulked around the back porch when he didn’t like the scraps I left outside before going to bed. I imagined her with whiskers and a tail, meowing instead of whining.

“What? Why are you smiling?”

“No reason.” I schooled my face again. “But it is not close enough. There is right and there is wrong. There is no grey area.”

“Yes, it is.”

I pointed at the rosebush in front of Sami. “Then make it grow.”

“Rosa woodea crecea brilla.” Her face turned as red as the rose’s petals, but nothing happened with the rose. She glared at it, as if that would make a difference.

“The rose is obviously defective.” She pushed herself back from the table.

“A rose cannot be defective. It is what it is. Your pronunciation is wrong. If it cannot hear its name, it will not follow your instructions.”

Another huff and glaring out the window.

“Rosa woodii crecia briya.” I enunciated each word more slowly and deliberately than was necessary, for her benefit. The rosebush could hear just fine.

The rosebuds opened into full bloom and new shoots appeared on the main stems. More buds appeared and opened, like all of summer season happening in an afternoon.

“Paren rosa.”

It shook once as if there was a strong gust of wind then was quiet. A quiet rosebush again.

I walked over the greenhouse door and turned back to Sami. “There is no close enough. There is only right or there is wrong.”

She glared at me again. “Fine.” The word was spat like a bitter seed to the ground.

“You need to attend to what I tell you. There are more serious matters than roses in your future.”

I shut the door before she could reply. There was only so much one could take in a day and Sami was walking closer to the edge of my temper than she knew. Close enough could get her killed.