By: Janice Nelson and Jean Boonstra
“Mom, the apple berry muffins are ready!” Gracie called across the Café kitchen to her mom.
“Oh, thanks. Can you take them out of oven for me?” Gracie’s mom asked.
“Sure,” Gracie answered and reached for the oven mitts.
Gracie carefully turned off the Café oven, slid on the oven mitts, and lifted the hot muffin tins out of the oven. She set them on a cooling rack. She’d done this job so many times that she hardly had to think about it anymore.
“Gracie,” her mom asked. “Are you alright? I appreciate the help in the kitchen, but you’re awfully quiet.”
“I am?” Gracie asked. “I’m just thinking about something, I guess.”
“Oh?” her mom asked. “You can talk to me about it if you want to.”
“Well,” she said tentatively. “Breonna’s been living with us for a few months now.” Gracie hesitated.
“Yes?” her mom encouraged.
“We hardly spend any time together,” Gracie said. She almost felt silly hearing the words out loud. Maybe her worries about her cousin were all in her imagination.
“I see,” her mom answered. “I was worried that you two might be spending too much time together.”
“No, I mean we see each other all the time,” Gracie explained. “It’s just that Breonna only wants to hang out with me when she needs help with her homework.”
Gracie’s mom wiped her hands on her apron. “I see,” she said gently. “Gracie, you should talk to Breonna about this.”
Gracie furrowed her brow. “I just feel like she’s using me to help her,” she admitted.
“It’s Ok to tell her that,” her mom said.
“Mom,” Gracie said quietly. “Breonna’s my cousin. What if I talk to her and she doesn’t like me anymore?”
Gracie’s mom started to answer but paused. They both heard footsteps coming down the stairs into the Café.
“Good morning Aunt Michelle,” Breonna said brightly.
“Good morning Breonna,” Gracie’s mom answered.
Breonna took a deep breath. “It smells so good in here,” she said with a big grin. “I will never get tired of living over the Café!”
“I made apple berry muffins. Would you like one?” Gracie’s mom offered.
“I’d love one,” Breonna answered dropping her backpack onto the Café counter. “Oh, hi Gracie.”
“Hi,” Gracie said quietly, reaching for her own backpack.
“I’ll walk with you to school,” Breonna said with a smile.
“I’m leaving right now,” Gracie said turning to go. “I’ll see you there.”
“Gracie,” Breonna called out. “Could you help me with my math homework after school?”
Gracie’s fears about Breonna just wanting to spend time with her for homework help seem to be coming true. Would you like to hear the rest of the story? Visit DiscoveryMountain.com and search for Homework Blues to listen and find out! We’ll see you there.