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35 35 Praying at the Shrine

 "Thank you, Mother Edna. If I need a break I will let you know. Mother, I can tell that you are concerned please do not fret so much. I will not push myself too hard." Amelia looked over at Irene.

I know that Sweetheart. I am just overly concerned. I wish I was able to carry you up the stairs myself." Irene sighs but does not say anything else on that. "We will need to see what sake you will be able to drink for the ceremony. I know that it is going to be a little ways away but I think we should look into that."

"Oh, I did not think about that. I will have to check with Clarence as he is going to be her doctor from now on. I didn't think whether or not she could even drink it." Edna thought about it for a moment and the carriage stopped. The driver stopped and opened the door for the ladies.

"Saito-sama, do you need anything else from me?" The man was bowed to Edna after he helped everyone out of the carriage.

"Gabriel may not like this but do you think it would be possible for you to carry Amelia up the stairs?" Edna looked at the man and realized that it just might work.

"It would be improper for me to be in another's arms when they are not here. I will walk up. Please do not worry. I will be careful." Amelia slowly started to climb the stairs.

"I will stay here in case you need me." The carriage driver pulls the carriage to the resting area and walks back to the steps and watches the woman ascend the stairs.

Amelia took her time but about a quarter of the way up she sat on the side and rested a moment. "This is going to take me awhile. Why don't you both go up and I will meet you up there as soon as I get enough rest." Her breathing was heavy.

"We can't just leave you here all alone. I would not forgive myself if something happened to you." Edna stopped and examined Amelia.

"I will go get you some water to drink." Irene was about to rush up the stairs but slipped and started to fall.

A priest from the shine caught Irene and helped steady her. "Sorry about that. I did not want you to get hurt. Young lady you do not look well may I help you up the stairs?"

"Will the gods, not look down upon me for not making it there on my own two feet? I could not possibly impose myself on one of the priests that work at the shrine." Amelia bowed her head to the priest.

"Nonsense. You are my daughter's age. I would like to help those that are sincere so please allow me to help." The priest smiled and bowed to the group.

"Amelia, Hunny. It will be okay. The gods will not be mad at you. Come so that you may drink some water at the top." Irene smiled while encouraging her daughter.

"Alright, please help me, Fujiwari-sama." Amelia sighed and allowed him to carry her.

"Thank you for helping us. I am surprised that you know the priest's name, Amelia." Edna follows after them and smiles as Amelia makes it to the top. She watches as the priest puts her down.

"It's a simple explanation. Fujiwari-sama is the father of Sachi. One of the girls that came to see me this morning." Amelia smiled and stood on her feet.

"Amelia, I heard from Sachi that you were unwell and I offered to give your family a hand. Sachi stayed at Ami's place to make sure she didn't sneak out and break into the hospital. I am glad that the three of you girls are such close friends. Do take it easy and if you need help to go back down, I will help you because you know Sachi will lecture me if I do not." Hideo smiled and bowed to Amelia.

"I am forever grateful that Sachi takes time out of her busy day to help me with my notes. You guys will be busy coming up here soon with the Sakura Festival. I am sorry that I am dragging Sachi away from her duties." Amelia bows back.

"Nonsense, Sachi already knows all the dances so there is not a lot of prep work. The dance will be amazing this year. If you have someone special this year come and I will make sure you both have a special seat. Anyways I have lingered here too long. I have a ritual to do in a moment so come and watch if you feel up to it." Hideo bowed one last time and took off to the temple.

"I am surprised that he is so friendly. You are lucky to have gotten to know his daughter. It is not every day that he gives out an offer like that. You should've accepted his offer right away." Edna watched as Hideo went to the temple.

"The reason I did not accept is most people do not know that I am friends with his daughter. I do not get out of the house much because of my health and Sachi always came to see me. I do not need to see the ritual performed. I was told to not linger out for too long." Amelia walked up to the shrine and started praying.

Irene followed Amelia. "It has been a long time since the two became friends. It was here that I prayed for help for Amelia when she first fell ill. That is when I met Saito Sensei."

Edna looked at Irene and nodded her head. "I can understand why my father chose to help you out so much. I did not know that that father was paying for the medicine but mother must have known. She sometimes mentioned things that were confusing for a young adult."

Amelia tossed a coin into the pray donation box, pulled on the bell for it to ring and then clapped her hands twice. 'I know that I have not been able to make it here much. I will not beg to live forever but I will request that I be able to make it until I reach thirty years of age. I finally found someone dear to my heart.' Amelia prays this with all her might in her head.