This scene is using the first description from my last post. I'm still not sure where this plot bunny is going to lead me.
"April, how are you?" Maresa called as she opened the door of her Month Sister's pink house surrounded by blooming flowers.
She had long ago stopped knocking before entering; in fact, she couldn't remember a time when she did. She and April had this unspoken law that what they owned, they owned together. Sometimes, April would unexpectedly show up at her house with an overnight bag, but it felt normal. It was not rare for other members of their adopted Nature "Family" to see Maresa wearing a dress that belonged to April or vice versa. It helped that the two girls had similar styles, enjoyed the same things, and had personalities very close to her best friend's.
As Maresa entered, she expected to see April in her usual spot this time of morning. April would be fully dressed, but with her hair in an uncombed up-do, sitting at her pink table sipping a cup of honeysuckle tea, a book in her hand (most likely an Austen), and a bowl of half-finished cornmeal porridge sitting in front of her as the light streamed in from the kitchen window. There would already be a place set for Maresa, and as she walked in, April would glance up from her book and say, "Your chocolate muffin is in the glass container on the counter."
However, things were not as they were every day. Instead, the curtains were closed, leaving April's usual sunshiny kitchen in a state of gloom. No place was set for Maresa; neither was there a bowl and teacup for April. April herself was nowhere to be seen - but her bedroom door was closed.
Maresa tiptoed towards the bedroom door and gave it a slight push. But April was never in bed at 7 o'clock in the morning - she was an early riser! However, there she was, asleep in bed. One slender leg poked out from underneath a light purple blanket.
She looked so tired. There were dark circles under eyes, and she was sleeping so soundly that she was barely moving at all, except for her eyes moving underneath the lids as they do when someone was asleep in the middle of the night. How long must April have stayed up last night to be this tired?
Maresa's heart ached for her friend, and she very much did not want to wake her. But April was due at the Queen's Palace in an hour for her weekly analysis, and Maresa knew that she had a lot to get ready before then.
She touched April's cheek. No response. Then she shook her. Still no response. She shook harder and kept shaking until April's eyelids began to flutter.
"Mmmm...what?" she mumbled, reaching out a hand to pull her cover up higher. "It's not time to get up yet, M'resa."
"I'm sorry, but you have to get up, A," Maresa told her in a sorry tone. "You've slept in... and now you're running late."
April's eyes shot open. "What? No!" she moaned. "No, no, no, NO this cannot be happening!"
She kicked off the covers, and Maresa had to jump back to not be barrelled over. Once out of bed, April snatched off a lavender dress that was hanging over the back of a chair and dashed behind the curtain.
"Were you working late?" Maresa asked, her tone worried.
"I had to," April replied, her voice hurried.
A nightgown came hurtling over the top of her dressing station and Maresa caught it in mid-air.
"I realized that I forgot to grow some flowers earlier, and the deadline was in the early hours of morning."
Maresa's brow wrinkled. "Are you sure, A? You never forget jobs. I know you - you always check your lists four times to make sure you completed everything."
April came from behind the curtain. She looked worried, too.
"To tell the truth, 'resa... I already finished everything early today. I even had time to read a book after dinner. But then I got a call from Gary just before bed, and he told me that there was an item checked on the list, but hadn't been completed. I hurried over there...and what he said was true. But I know I planted and watered the flowers before lunch. I just don't understand what could have happened."
"Do you think..." Maresa couldn't even say the words, she found it so hard to believe that someone could have such horrible intentions in such a peaceful community as theirs.
"Yes." April nodded. "Yes, I suspect that someone destroyed my work."