Martha returned home from school. Even though she had hold only four lessons, she felt infinitely tired. She scuffled to her sister’s room, where her lamp was placed while Martha visited her parents. Martha dropped her back into a corner, slipped out of her shoes and snapped. She turned to smoke and returned into her lamp. Martha couldn’t believe how exhausted she was. She felt as if she would fall asleep any moment now. Martha didn’t bother changing her business attire into her harem clothes. She simply sank down on the silk cushions just the way she was and fell fast asleep.
One and a half hour later, Martha left her lamp again. She felt refreshed and was back in her harem clothes again. She head for the living room, where she found her mother watching TV. “Hey mama, can I have a chat with you and papa?”
Carmen dos Santos gave her daughter a disapproving look. “Marcitta, dear, would you mind dressing a bit more … modest?”
Martha felt a quite annoyed. “Mama, I told you dozens of times that this is my traditional genie attire. Besides, I don’t wear it when I go out, only if I’m summoned by a master.”
“Change into something casual, please dear?” her mother asked. But her tone made clear that it was of an order than a request. “I don’t want my daughter to look like some harem… slave. Besides, as a teacher, you must always appear presentable.”
“Ok, Mama, I’ll change.” Martha snapped and her genie clothes changed into a top and Capri-pants.
“Thank you, Martha. What did you want to talk with us about?” her mother asked.
“It concerns Catharina. You better call papa here too.” Martha explained.
Carmen called for her husband, who arrived a few moments later. Both parents sat down on a sofa and waited for what their daughter would tell them.
“Today at school, Mrs. Ruiz, Catharina’s tutor, told me that Catharina’s grades are not good. They are very poor, to be more precise. She says that Catharina is a lazy bum and that Catharina will fail this semester, no matter how well she might do in the final exam.” Martha explained.
“Did she really call Catharina a ‘lazy bum’?” Domenico dos Santos asked.
Martha suddenly felt uncomfortable, she had used these words. She would have to be very careful which words she used, whenever she talked about school matters. “No, I was just paraphrasing. But Mrs. Ruiz said, that Catharina is not doing her homework and shows, in fact, a very lazy attitude.”
Carmen dos Santos was worried. „Is there no hope left that Catharina will pass the exam?”
Domenico dos Santos took a deep breath. “Whenever we asked Catharina about her school performances, she told us everything would be alright. Maybe we should have stern word with our daughter.”
Carmen nodded. “I think we should. Martha, would you be so kind and bring your sister here?“
Martha nodded and went to her sister’s room. When she entered the room, she found her sister rummaging through Martha’s back. With a triumphant smile, Catharina found what she was looking for.
“Cat, what are you doing with my stuff?” Martha asked.
Quickly, Catharina hid the papers behind her back. “Errr nothing, sis!” she replied.
Martha snatched the papers from her sisters hand’s. “That’s…. that’s the math test for next week!“ She felt her anger rise. Martha felt so betrayed, she could have slapped her sister in the face, but she managed to control herself. “Catharina dos Santos, you will come with me downstairs. Our parents and I will have stern word with you.” Martha blinked the math test into her lamp.
“About this?” Catharina asked, dread washing over her.
“Not only. We’ll also talk about your school marks. Now come.” Martha’s voice was so commanding, Catharina had no choice but to obey.
While Martha was walking down the stairs with her sister in tow, she heard the door bell ring. A few seconds later, someone opened the door and Martha heard her mother’s voice. “Leocádia, what brings you here?”
“I’m here to see Catharina.” the student’s voice replied.
“It’s a really bad moment, Leocádia. Catharina doesn’t have time right now.” Carmen replied.
“But we agreed to meet and learn for the math exam now.” Leocádia objected.
Carmen remained silent for a moment. “Alright, please wait in Catharina’s room.” She finally said.
On the way downstairs, Martha and Catharina passed Leocádia, who gave both dos Santos sisters a friendly smile. However, Martha and Catharina didn’t return the smile and left a puzzled Leocádia behind.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Special thanks to for doing the proofreading.
A lesson for life - Part 1
A lesson for life - Part 2
A lesson for life - Part 3
A lesson for life - Part 4
A lesson for life - Part 6