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Chapter 3

Created Saturday 23 May 2009

Version 0.2


Ashley opened the house door after saying good bye to her mother. Spring outside was making the landscape beautiful, the flowers on the trees on every garden made a whirl of colours that Ashley appreciated. She liked spring. Not too hot like summer, and nature was showing how beautiful it could be. Few seconds admiring this usual vision made her wonder where Meryl could have gone. She'd said she would wait for her, but she couldn't find her.

Perhaps she was waiting a bit further, not to be spotter by her mother. This could be disastrous. The more she thought about it, the more she wondered how it could really work out on the long term. Meryl had no home except where Ashley lived, and she couldn't see her mother accepting Meryl unconditionally. Still, she sensed her friend needed all the support she could give her. But for now, she had to go to school. And no need to worry about things you can't change, so she dropped the thought.

Leaving the house's garden, she found Meryl standing close to the boxwood hedge that surrounded the garden. She was looking up the sky, lost in her thoughts. “Meryl” called out Ashley. With a start Meryl quickly spun around to face her friend, a flash of fear across her face, ready to defend herself thought Ashley. When she notices who she was facing, she quickly relaxed. “You startled me” she said, frustration showing in her voice.

“There's no need to be scared, nobody will hurt you around here. It's a safe neighbourhood,” answered Ashley back. Meryl turned a bit, not daring to look at Ashley to answer “I guess you're right ...” She let her words die in the silence of the morning. Ashley felt she needed to comfort her friend. She was the one in a new and strange environment. She had all the right to be scared of it. Had she been in the same situation, she would have probably been unable to handle it half as well.

Taking the lead, Ashley took her friend by the hand and started to move between the garden and houses bordering the road. “Cheer up, I'm sure you'll love your first day at school.” Meryl leaned closer to her friend and squeezed back her hand. They walked for a moment in silence, each looking at the display of the nature. Each house were surrounded by a garden, showing the personality of the people living here. This garden was very neat and well looked after, this other one looked wilder, grass as high as the knee, but you could see hints of care put in it. All different, but all the same as well.

“You know, I am really looking forward to school,” said Meryl, interrupting the pregnant silence they shared. “I hope I would meet interesting people.”

“Sure,” replied Ashley, “perhaps there is such a thing as an interesting person, but I haven't found one yet.”

“There must be, you just haven't searched yet, have you?”

“Perhaps not” admitted Ashley, seeming not to care about the subject, one way or another.

Soon they found their way to school. The gate that cut the high walls surrounding the whole school was huge and seemed ancient. Above the top of the wall you could see the trees of the park, and the school buildings. Those too looked ancient, the dark red tiles of the roofs contrasted with the blue sky. One of the building was distinctly a chapel, its shape was recognizable among all, and the stained glass windows seemed beautifully made.

“So, you like it?” asked Ashley interrupting Meryl's contemplation.

Looking back to her friend, Meryl couldn't stop a smile, “seems a beautiful place, I half expected some of these modern buildings without shape.”

“You'll see, there are also beautiful places to rest in the park.”

They entered the great door.

“I think I need to see the administration,” interrupted Ashley, “where is it?”

“Over there,” replied Ashley showing a small building nearby. “Classes start in 10 minutes, I hope we'll be together.”

“See you”

Meryl found her way toward the administration building. It was on the right of the entrance, and significantly smaller than the other buildings. She opened the door and entered. The area was inviting, seats were disposed in a waiting area, a plant decorated the area. In the right was a door labelled ‘Mrs Cole, Headmistress’. She waited a moment. ‘Will she believe me?’ she wondered. It has to work. Putting aside her nervousness, she knocked at the door.

“Come in,” came a voice from the inside. Meryl opened the door and entered the office. “Good morning, how can I help you?” asked the woman at the desk.

“Good morning,” replies Meryl, “I came to sign up”

“Very well,” said Mrs Cole, surprised by he request, “I suppose you know we don't generally enrol new students this time of the year.”

“I know madam, but I just came here and I think the paperwork is already done.”

“So, what is your name, young lady?”

*** rewrite this part ***

“Meryl <last name>

Mrs Cole stood up to look through the files on the shelves. She opened a big folder and started to look through it. Meryl was relieved, if she looked through the files, everything would go smoothly. The headmistress took a file and starting looking through it.

“I don't recall ever enrolling you, but if the files are here ... Are you of the same family of Ashley <last name>?”

“I'm her cousin”

“I believe she will help you around, you are in form 3c, the same as she. I would have liked to speak more thoroughly about the school, but we don't have much time. Your class starts in less than 5 minutes and I don't want to keep you too long. Don't forget, if you need anything, don't be shy and ask me, or one of the teachers. Do you need help to go to class?”

“I think I'll find my way, Ashley explained me everything.”

“She's a good girl, and I am glad she is helping you. Now, go before you are late.”

“Good bye Mrs Cole”

“Good bye”

Meryl quietly closed the door behind her. She looked a moment at the panel in the corridor to find the 3c form schedule. Soon she was on her way to her first class.

TODO: explain how Meryl knows where to go, probably have Ashley introduce her to her schedule beforehand. But it can be implicit, like “Ashley then took few minutes explaining how the school worked, where were the rooms, that kind of stuff”



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