The Orphan Girl, part four

When I reached my apartment building, dusk had fallen. The stairs creaked when I stepped on them. Oil lamps hung on the wall, the flickering light a familiar comfort. The scent of food being cooked drifted from the apartments in the building. My stomach growled, reminding me that it had been a long time since I ate lunch.

I pushed the door open and stepped into the apartment that I shared with my sister.

The spicy scent of beef and cumin that filled the air told me that my sister, Hiwot was home. And that I wouldn’t have to cook dinner. Praise the Gods for that. I hung up my cloak and walked over to the kitchen.

Hiwot was humming softly, and I knew that if we had been home, there would have been magic in the air. Not here. The only thing her song did was to make me long for my grandmother’s home.

Hiwot turned around and looked at me. “ Eshe! I was beginning to wonder if I would have to eat dinner on my own.”

“ Sorry I am late. There was an new patient that required a lot of attention.”

Hiwot just nodded and turned her attention back to the pot on the stove.

I sank down and rubbed my face tiredly. Maybe some food would help. I looked up when Hiwot put down a bowl filled with steaming stew and a pile of flatbread.

“Thank you.”

Hiwot shrugged. “It wouldn’t be the first time you have had a rough day.”

“True,” I agreed.

I wanted to tell her about the girl, but I decided to wait until we had eaten.