“Come along girls we need to get home and get dinner ready before your father gets home.”
Five year old Teesha grabbed her little sister’s hand and attempted to drag her away from the shop window she had plastered herself to. “Come on Shanti we’ve got to go.”
“But Teesha,” the two year old whined, “did you see that tool set in the shop window."
“Yes Shanti I saw it. Now will you come on?”
“But it was amazing. I just have it for my birthday.”
“Shanti it’s too late for that. Your birthday is tomorrow. All your presents are bought already.”
The little girls face dropped and she gave in to her sisters prodding.
“Well it looks like your brothers home.” Peka observed as they neared the house. They climbed the two steps to the house and pushed open the door. “Rowel, I’m home.” She yelled into the house. She heard voices in the kitchen and headed in that direction. She entered the kitchen to find her son and a young girl sitting at the kitchen table a bowl of flower-nuts between them. They both looked up as she entered. She smiled at the girl and turned to her son. “Who’s this?”
Linda was standing now and stuck her hand out in greeting. “I’m Linda it’s nice to meet you.” She said in English.
Peka frowned, “Rowel can I talk to you for a minute.”
“Sure.” He stood and followed her out into the hallway and stopped. They were still within hearing distance of Linda but he knew his mother didn’t care. “What is it?” He asked in Imaginese
“Who is that?” She asked nodding in the direction of the girl at the table as she grabbed another flower-nut out of the bowl, broke the shell and popped the flower into her mouth
“A friend I met at school today.” He said not looking at her directly.
“Rowel look at me,” he looked up at her, “Where exactly did you meet her.”
He looked down at the ground. “At the funeral procession.” Peka closed her eyes and tried to breath. When she recovered she opened her eyes and glared at her son. “You brought a human to Imaginess?” She asked as calmly as she could handle her voice trembling slightly.” He nodded. “Do you realize that if the Tuli found out about this they could have your father and I highly fined for harboring an illegal alien?”
“Yes mother I know, but she’d seen too much we had to do something.”
He hesitated then said “Alita, Adan, Sira and me.”
“Sira’s part of this? I thought she knew better than that.”
“Actually,” Rowel stumbled trying to cover for his sister, “Sira and Adan aren’t really responsible. They didn’t want to take her along but they didn’t think we had any other choice. But Sira made it very clear that this is my fault and she’s not helping.”
Peka sighed and crossed three sets of arms in front of her. “I can’t handle this right now Rowel. I’ll entertain her until your father gets home and then it’s up to him as to what happens from there. Understand?”