Withered Weather
Author: Ella

Chapter 18
fighting hope

"i really don't know what more to do. we've tried everything. she wouldn't talk. and she wouldn't give in to anything," there was a tone of hopelessness in her voice.

the conversation took place in the dark guest room of the house. the draping curtains were a colour of depressing maroon and mystery black. the cushions where velvet and the carpets were also of a dark, dusty brown.

lavender scanned the room and lifted an eyebrow, "i see why sunshine might be the girl she is. have you ever noticed that she's been living in dark house? you kept her in all the time. and so naturally she would become of this house. this is who she is now. as dark as this house. the colours and everything. i believe sunshine is affected by her environment."

sunshine's mother looked up with thought. "but at the hospital, she didn't seem very different from at home. the same cold girl there was and all the more violent and detached."

lavender smiled, "but at my house, she was a cheerful little girl. she was nothing like you described her. my room was bright and my garden flourishing. and sunshine loved it. her smile was so bright. she was normal until we went to the beach."

"really? she was normal? and why the beach?" her mother's eyes lit up.

lavender's eyes rolled upwards as if remembering something. "she cried only when she saw the children on the beach. she didn't tell me why but she was screaming about the kids."

there was a long, silent paused and both were in deep thought.

"why don't sunshine come over to my place again. this time i will not bring her anywhere near the beach. and no where near children either. maybe she would be happier and maybe i could get her to talk and tell me," lavender smiled.

"but how long would she be away?"

lavender sat down on the red sofa and grinned, "the last time she spoke to me on the first day even. i doubt it will be too long. even so, by the time she gets back here, you might want to do something about the house and her room."

sunshine's mother looked away. the optimism in her heart faded a little. she was not sure if this would do sunshine the best, afraid that sunshine would get attached to that wonderful place and never wish to return. and sunshine would forbid her to change anything in her room. moreover, she knew in her heart that her daughter was a strong and wilful child. if she chose to stay with lavender, she would and she would never return. there was nothing she could possibly want here. except for the darkness of the house which she has already grown into. it has become a part of her. sunshine's mother thought that perhaps if she kept sunshine here, she would not detach from her darkness and she would choose to remain here. afterall, she knew sunshine loved the gloom. yet lavender's uplooking view of how sunshine was when she saw the countryside was demoralising. "she was happier than she was here. maybe she really would love it there and never come home. but i want her to get well. but i need her to come home still. anyway, sunshine said it was too late to make it up to her and she's adament on remaining the same. so why don't i just leave her to be and let her live as she already is. that way i won't lose her. but if i let her live this way, she won't be happy. would she blame me for not letting her go later? would she think i'm selfish for wanting her and keeping her even after all i have done to her?" the thoughts ran through her mind and the more she thought about it the more she was fearful of losing sunshine. yet she could not bear to be so selfish and let sunshine hate her even more.

lavender saw the confusion in her eyes and placed her hand on her sister's shoulder, "let her go, sister. it's her last chance."


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