Writing camp is busy. Tomorrow is the official first day of camp. Lots of words will start to get written then. Some are being written now, but they don't count for July's goals.
It's been HOT here the last few days. Yesterday was 105º. Ugh. We stayed inside.
This is the final part of this story. I hope you enjoy it. I don't have any other story to share next, so you might have to wait a bit. Thanks for reading!
It was Cherry’s voice.
“Yeah.” Heidi wasn’t sure if she had actually answered outloud until she heard what sounded like sighs of relief.
That was not one of the four girls. It had to be a man. Forcing her eyes open, Heidi fought against the whirling sensation and blinked until things came into focus. She was lying on the floor, and several people were standing around.
“How do you feel?” It was the young man’s voice, and she slowly moved her eyes to his face.
“I’m okay. I must have leaned down or tried to get back up too quickly.” She started to sit up, but the young man and Cherry both ordered her to stay still.
“Your face is still really pale, Heidi. Better do as Neil says. Oh, he’s my brother. He was studying at a table on the other side of the room.”
Heidi closed her eyes and drew a deep breath.
“Did you eat lunch?” Neil asked.
“Yeah. A little.”
“What did you eat?”
Heidi hesitated. She didn’t want to admit that she’d fallen asleep before she could get the check cashed and buy groceries, or the girls might feel bad. “I’m okay. Really. I just need a drink.”
Cherry got her water bottle and along with her brother helped her sit up slowly so she could drink.
“Sorry about the interruption. I really am okay.”
“Do you have any food allergies?” Neil asked.
Heidi shook her head and regretted it the next second as her head began to throb. “No, but I’m okay. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to tutoring.”
“Heidi–” Cherry began but stopped short.
“Why don’t we all go back to your place, you can rest and eat if you need to, and if we need help, we can ask,” Ems suggested.
Heidi wanted to refuse. But she did need to eat, and her head pounded. If she didn’t agree to it, then she’d have to give part of that check away.
The girls had their stuff gathered in record time, and Thia grabbed Heidi’s bag. “I’ll carry this.”
“Here. Eat this on the way.” Neil pushed a protein bar into Heidi’s hand. “See that she does, Sis,” he remarked in lower tones to Cherry. “And Dad doesn’t go to work until six.”
Heidi didn’t have the energy to give more than a passing thought of wonder as to why Neil was telling his sister when their dad went to work. Her hands shook as she tried to open the package of the protein bar, but Lyds noticed and did it for her.
Thia had gone to bring her car up front, and the girls all climbed in. Wearily Heidi leaned her head back and closed her eyes. She would take another bite in a minute and then tell the girls where she lived. Where she lived? She cringed. It was so small and bare and dreary. They wouldn’t want to go there!
“The sun is out,” she remarked. “We could finish at a park.”
“Nope.” Thia drove like she knew where she was going. “Listen, Heidi, it doesn’t matter to us where you live. We want to make sure you are all right since we feel kind of responsible for what happened today.”
“Oh, but you shouldn’t–”
“Eat,” Cherry reminded her gently.
Heidi took another bite.
Thia pulled into a parking space at the apartment building, and everyone climbed out. Heidi was still feeling shaky and was grateful for Cherry and Thia’s support.
They got her inside and helped her to her room to lie down. Then Ems came to the bedroom door.
“Heidi, did something happen to the check Thia gave you yesterday?”
“No. I was going to cash it. But I made the mistake of coming home first and I fell asleep.” She moved a hand to rub her aching head. “The check’s in the zipper pocket of my backpack.”
She heard murmured voices in the next room but lay still because any time she moved the room began moving too. The front door shut, and then someone came back to the bedside. Opening her eyes, she saw Cherry. “Where are the others? We need to study.”
“Do you have any plans for tomorrow?”
“Then we can all study then. You can tutor Thia, Ems, and Lyds, and I’ll tutor you. But tonight you aren’t doing any more studying. You’re going to rest, and when the girls get back from grocery shopping, you are going to eat a proper supper. After that, we’ll see if you are well enough to stay here alone or if we kidnap you and take you somewhere else for the night.” She smiled as she spoke.
“But–” Heidi wasn’t sure what to say. “You all don’t know me.”
“Not very well yet,” Cherry admitted. “But Mrs. Almstead does, and we are all sisters in Christ.”
Tears filled Heidi’s eyes. “Thank you.” It felt inadequate, but she couldn’t say more.
One week later.
Heidi smiled as she pulled out her journal before settling into bed for the night. She wrote the date and then wrote:
“The Lord is my Provider. I have tested it, tried it, and proved it true. He provided friends, food, and” –she smiled, thinking over Cherry’s remarks that Friday afternoon– “family. Sisters in Christ. And He provided a tutor when I needed one, and girls who need me to tutor them.”
Closing the journal, she turned out her little lamp and settled down on her pillow. “Mrs. Almstead was right. The Bible is true.”