Harriett arose early the next morning to open the library. As she walked up the steps, she thought she heard someone sniffling. So, she walked around to see if anyone was there.
“What in the cow plants are you doing there?”
Juliana didn’t even move. She thought Harriett was friendly, but she wasn’t sure how happy she was about her being there.
“You poor thing. We’re gonna have to learn how to communicate, honey! I’m not a mind reader!”
Juliana sighed in frustration. That’s all she could muster to do because she was so tired and hungry. Everything within Harriett wanted to help Juliana. She just felt so sorry for her, and she knew somehow that Juliana wasn’t doing so well on her own.
“You poor dear. I know you’re probably hungry, so, I’ll tell you what. How about I take you home and whip you up something to eat, huh?”
Juliana heard the word “eat” and got a little hopeful.
She said, “Food?”
“Yes! Food! Awww, you are hungry. Come on. Let’s go. I’ll make you some food.”
They stood up, but before Harriett could usher her to the house, Juliana stopped her and tried to say something.
“You’re welcome, honey!”
The Humphries lived at Umbrage Manor, and it was literally next door to the library, so poor, famished, exhausted Juliana didn’t have to walk that far. When they got to the house, something happened inside of Juliana. Call it anxiety or just good old fashioned stranger danger, but she started to get a little bit nervous about going inside.
“What’s the matter, honey? You don’t have to be afraid. It’s all right,” she said sweetly.
Remembering that Juliana didn’t understand, Harriett extended her hand out to Juliana. It was a gesture that said I trust you, but you’re gonna have to trust me. Juliana hesitated for a moment, but then she took Harriett’s hand. Harriett smiled and took her to the kitchen.
“Now you just sit right there, and I’ll whip you up some of my award winning buttermilk pancakes!”
Juliana sat down at the kitchen table and looked around. The Humphries’ home was large, but it wasn’t the largest house in town, and it was modestly decorated. But Juliana thought it was a mansion as it was the biggest house she had ever seen in real life. That made her even more nervous. Hillary heard Harriett downstairs and came down to greet her.
“Hey, mama. I thought you went to the–hey, who’s that sad little thing,” she asked with compassion in her voice
“That’s Juliana! I found her at the library. Poor thing. I think she’s homeless. I’ve been seeing her all around town all week! She doesn’t even speak Simlish.”
“Bless her heart! I’m glad you brought her here. She looks like she definitely needs the help.”
Hillary went over to the table and sat in front of Juliana.
“She’s so cute, mama!”
“She’s not a puppy, Hillary.”
“How you doin,” Hillary said. “I’m Hillary!”
Juliana could tell that Hillary was a kind person, but she was just so miserable from her hunger and fatigue, she couldn’t even crack a smile. She had no idea how she was going to be able to communicate with them, but she was grateful for their hospitality. But she was so miserable. She couldn’t bear it any longer and she let out a loud groan.
“Mama? Are those pancakes gonna be ready soon? I think she’s dying.”
“Coming right up!”
“Here you go, sweetheart,” Harriett said placing a stack of pancakes in front of her
“Mama’s pancakes always make me feel better.”
They both watched Juliana take the plate. She felt like a fish in a bowl.
Back in Monte Vista, her mother made a type of flat cake like this, but she never had them slathered with butter and syrup. She cut a slice and put the fork in her mouth and chewed.
She loved it. They even got a smile out of her.
“See! I told you mama’s pancakes would make you feel good!”
Harriett grabbed a plate for herself and sat down with the girls.
“What are we gonna do with her, mama?”
“Well, she can stay here until she gets her life together. But…I’m gonna have to teach her some Simlish!”
“Can you do that?”
“Child, I can teach anything to anybody. I don’t need to know her language to teach her.”
When Juliana finished her breakfast, she sat there smiling although she was still dreadfully tired.
“Thank,” she said.
“Thank you,” Harriett said using her hands to point out the two syllables. “Say, thank you. Go on, now. Say, thank you.”
“Thank…you,” Juliana said.
“See! I can teach anything,” Harriett boasted. “Now let’s get her upstairs to bed. She looks like she’s been up all night.”
“Yes, honey! You want to sleep, right?”
“I sleep,” she said nodding her head.
“Ok. Come on,” Harriett said and motioned her to follow.
Harold had slipped into the kitchen undetected and got a plate of pancakes. He ate in the dining room and didn’t look happy about having a house guest.
“Who’s that, and why is she here,” Harold asked unpleasantly.
“That’s Juliana, and we are just doing our Christian duty.”
“Hmph. Your Christian duty. We don’t need nobody else in this house!”
“I don’t think I asked your permission, Harold. She will be here until she ain’t!”
Harold glared at all three of them as they passed by–especially Juliana. She didn’t like the way he looked and was afraid of him and quickly ran by.
She slowly mounted the stairs in awe of the beauty of the house. She couldn’t believe that she was actually in a house as beautiful as this–by invitation! She wished there was a way she could contact her mother and let her know that she was safe and being looked after. They were too poor for a telephone, and the school was too poor for computers, so she didn’t have an email address either. She would have to write a letter sometime and send it via snail mail. When Juliana reached the top of the stairs, she found Harriett and Hillary in a small bedroom that looked like it belonged to a little boy.
“Come on in! This here was my son’s room, but we never bothered updating it. Poor kid spent all of his teenage years and half his adult years in here! But, now that you’re here, we’ll have to do something with it so you’ll be comfortable. I know you have no clue what I’m saying, but I hope you feel welcome despite what my husband thinks.”
“Let me show you where the bathroom is,” Harriett said and motioned for her to follow.
They went just down the hall, and Harriett let Juliana go in and check it out.
“Bath-room,” Harriett said slowly. “Can you say it? Bath-room.”
“Close enough. Let’s get you to bed now.”
Harriett showed her back to the bedroom, and Juliana disappeared under the covers. As soon as her head hit the pillow, she was out like a broken lamp.
“Oh, sweet Lord,” Harriett said with a little exhaustion. “We sure have our work cut out for us! I’m going back to the library. You make sure Harold doesn’t get her….As a matter of fact, just bring her by the library when she gets up, ok?”
“Yes, mama. I’ll keep an eye on her.”
“Ok. What are you doing today? Playing with Jase?”
“We’re 22 years old, mama. We don’t play anymore. We hang out.”
“Call it what you want, but…you’re definitely playing with him. I’ll see ya later.”
Hillary wasn’t sure what it was about Juliana, but she liked her. She liked her a lot. It was like having a long lost sister come home. A very long lost sister.