Becoming Sophia (27)

I could have screamed in outrage, but all I did was cry. I scrubbed at Margarete’s hearth, angry at the world. It wasn’t fair! Why should I have to do this! My father would never allow this!…But my father was dead. I sobbed pathetically on the floor, wanting to curl up and die, but my heart kept on beating.

When I finished with Margarete’s fireplace, I set the grate back in its proper place, put new logs on it and put the screen back where it belonged. I surveyed my work and noted that no ash had made it onto the carpet…only my tears. I moved on to Cristyne’s room, hoping that she wouldn’t be there to see me crying. Thankfully, she wasn’t. I hoped that she had tripped going down the stairs and was now paralyzed from the neck down and couldn’t call for help.

I swept out Cristyne’s fireplace and my tears turned black with soot. I swiped angrily at them and snudged black tear marks all over my soot covered face; the water making the ash stick to me like a second skin. I cleaned and wept and hated my life.

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