The 2nd part of the 13th chapter, which is a long one.
Her mother looked at her thoughtfully and asked “Don’t you like your studies?”
“Of course I love them.” answered Rhoda. “It’s just that I suddenly discovered that only I, from all of the sisters, study so many things and for so long every day.”
The look in her mother’s eyes became softer as she asked “Are there any other things that you noticed suddenly?”
Rhoda thought for a while.
“Yes!” she said. “Even though I am almost the youngest, I always sit near you. The rest of my sisters sit according to their age, and only I sit at your end of the table every time. Why am I not like my other sisters?”
Her mother hesitated for a minute and then said “Let’s go inside. I think the time has come to tell you a little bit about yourself. It has been for some time now that your father and I thought it might be right to tell you, but we didn’t want to put the cart before the horse. We thought you were too young yet, but if you noticed it – that means the right time had probably come.”
They went through the big window into the darkness of the room. For some time Rhoda found it hard to see anything because of the passage from the blazing sun outside to the mellow light inside. Her mother went to one of the double couches which were scattered around the room, sat on it and invited Rhoda to sit next to her. She stroked Rhoda’s hair and then pulled her towards her and gave her a big hug.
“You know, like all of your sisters, the song about the prophecy of the astrologers?”
“Of course.” Rhoda knew this song since she was born. They were singing it every day, when they were playing.
“And you must have wondered who will be the sister which will come back to us like the comet?” said her mother and stroked her cheeks.
“You told us, when we asked, that it is not yet our time to know, so it could be any one of us!” said Rhoda, without suspecting the direction in which the conversation was going.
“Well, it cannot be any one of you,” said her mother. “It could only be someone who will be different from the rest, because she will have to know many more things. We don’t know when exactly she will sail away from us. We also don’t know for how long she will be away from us, and in which kingdoms she will have to live until she comes back. You understand that a girl like that has to learn many more things in a much shorter time?”
Her mother smiled to her again and suddenly Rhoda grasped that it was her! She is the one who will sail on the water, and come back like the comet! She is the unique one! And this is why she is doing everything differently from everyone else!