Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chapter 2 - An American Flavour

The day went by just as I thought it would. Every year there are new students in every class. Most of the kids who are back year after year are day school kids. Kids who are actually FROM the town, Faribault, in Minnesota where the school is… those are the ones who are back year after year. Most of the boarding kids come for a couple of years at most, and then move on. I’m kind of the exception to that rule. Well me, and a couple of others. Our families have shipped us off for good. I’ve discovered that boarding school is something of, well, it’s like a punishment or a reward. Some kids get to come for a couple of years for a specific program if they are good. Where others are shipped off if they misbehave in day school. Boarding schools are like gas stations… they have pretty high turnover.
Not me though. I’m just here. I was too young to be really bad, and it definitely hasn’t been a reward for me. So the first day of school, no matter what grade you’re in, is usually a brand new experience for a number of people. It’s not a long day here.
You go to homeroom in the morning, they give you a list of things you need to pack for our week long outdoor retreat (great way to start the school year – no showers for a week), and you do a bunch of silly get to know your classmates activities.
I breezed through it the same way I had for the past few years. Saying as little as possible, winking and smiling at a couple of cute guys in my class, and getting out of there as fast as possible.
Nobody said anything to me. Middle school kids are too scared of upper classmen to say anything to us, and the upper and lower classmen who don’t know learn my story pretty quickly and stay as far away from me as possible.
It didn’t actually hurt my feelings if that’s what you’re thinking. I’m used to way things are, and I could care less. I find the hypocrisy of it all amusing to say the least. I headed to my room (a single, thanks to Grandmama) and double-checked to make sure I’d packed everything I was supposed to pack.
It wasn’t exactly exciting, but that’s how I spent most of the morning after I met him. At lunch, I went back to the kitchens, where Anna had a great chicken salad ready for me, before heading back up to my room to change into my completely inappropriate bathing suit.
See, one thing I may not have mentioned, is that Shattuck’s has a strict dress code. Particularly when we’re going to class. Formal school attire is required. In other words, we wear a uniform.
Not that I really mind the uniform that much. I always dress it up a little with some accessories and then changed my clothes the minute I’m done classes. The school HATES how I dress outside of school. Particularly during the summer, since I tend not to wear very much. Since it was a gorgeous day, I didn’t intend on wearing much. I pulled out my favourite teal blue shimmer-y bikini and pulled it on, adding a teal green sarong and a pair of matching flip-flops, I grabbed my IPod and my beach chair, and headed for a nice patch of sun.
People whispered behind their hands as I passed them, and I tossed my long mane of strawberry blonde hair over my shoulder in response. I wasn’t about to let anyone know that I hated the fact that they talked about me, but not too me.
I wouldn’t have minded all the gossip if a few of them would have actually talked to me… maybe then I wouldn’t have been so lonely. At least I would have had someone to talk to. I sighed. This was going to be the longest year of all because it was the last one. I knew that no matter what, Shattuck St. Mary’s would NOT be my home after June. I would be moving on… I just didn’t know what too.
Grandmama wanted me to go to Harvard or Yale and be a lawyer (the profession my Dad almost abandoned because I was on the way). Grandpapa wanted me to go to Georgetown and be a Doctor. Mom wanted me to go Brown and become an accountant or a stockbroker. I have no idea what Dad wanted me to do. Probably crawl under a rock and disappear.
The problem was, I had no idea WHAT I wanted to do. The only classes I really enjoyed were my history and language classes. I was taking both Spanish and French and I knew I’d adore the classes the same way I had the year before.
I set a nonchalant grin (my favourite kind) on my face and set myself up on the front lawn of Berker Hall where the sun was shinning brightly. I lay down on my beach chair and soaked up the rays. I was just about to plug my earphones into my ears when a familiar voice said in snooty tones. “Good God Kallista have you no shame?”
I glanced up at Katie Nash. She was a teammate on the soccer team and had been at Shattuck’s for a year now. She was a reward kid. I raised my sunglasses off my eyes. “Of course not darling.” I said in my best impression of my Grandmama’s rich New Yorker tone. “I left it all behind in The City this summer.”
“You look like a whore.” She snapped.
I looked her up and down. “And you my dear, look like you shop at Target or Wal-Mart.” I told her critically. I glanced up and down again. “JC Penny perhaps? I really can’t tell one from the other. Perhaps however, you are just advertising what you are.”
“I’d rather get my clothes from the Salvation Army then advertise what you do.” She said. “At least if am advertising anything with my clothes, they’re advertising that I’m a decent girl, unlike what your clothes advertise.”
“And what, pray tell, do my clothes advertise?” I asked, knowing full well what she was going to say about me.
“That you’re a whore.” Katie snapped angrily. “Which we both know that you are.” “Still upset that Danny chose me over you sweetheart?” I asked condescendingly. “We all know why he chose you.” She nearly yelled. “It’s because you’re a slut who’ll sleep with anything that walks and I’m not.”
“Or maybe it’s because you’re prude and not much of a catch darling.” I informed her. “A guy like Danny, going to go to school on the East Coast, he needed some East Coast class before hand, a lesson in the way WASPs do things.”
Katie snorted. “If you are classy, I would HATE to see what you think is trashy.”
“Two words. Paris. Hilton.” I replied slowly as if she were too stupid to understand me. “She is East Coast trailer trash, for all her money, and anyone who’s actually anyone in New York will tell you that.”
Katie rolled her eyes. “At least she’s a famous whore. All you are is just a regular run of the mill puck bunny.”
“Darling, I’ve been hitting the society page of the Times every summer I’ve spent in The City and the Hampton’s since I was 12.” I said in my best imitation of my Grandmama’s bored sounding voice… the one she uses when she’s the most irritated. “When was the last time you were mentioned on the society pages of, well any newspaper?” I paused. Katie is from some small town in Iowa or Idaho or Indiana or something like that. “For that matter is there even a newspaper where you’re from? Is that something only us city folk like?”
“I may not be mentioned in some newspaper every summer, but at least I’m a decent human being.” She snapped.
“And what makes you say that I’m not?” I asked. “The fact that a boy liked me better then he liked you?” I laughed. “Darling, if that’s how you decide whether or not someone is a good person, you are going to be meeting many, many bad people in your life.”
“You don’t care who you hurt on the road to getting what you want.” Katie informed me. “That’s what makes you a bad person.” She paused. “That and the fact that you dress like a complete and total skank.”
“And I’d rather dress the way I do darling, then be a virgin like you.” I glanced at her innocently. “What’s it like to be 17 and unable to find a boy willing to relieve you of that pesky little membrane of skin?” I asked.
“You are such a bitch Kallista.” Katie snapped.
“Tell me something I didn’t ready know.” I replied, placing my sunglasses back on my eyes. “Now do you mind? You’re blocking my sun.”
Just then, a group of hockey boys walked past and Sidney immediately caught my eye. I figured that by now, he’d heard all about me, so I didn’t look up and meet his gaze (though I did feel his eyes on me) or wave or anything like that. I kept my gaze firmly on Katie until he called. “Hey Kally.”
I waved. “Hey kid.” I replied as he approached. “How was your first morning at Shattuck’s?” I asked politely (I mean, Mom and Grandmama did teach me some manners before dumping me at this hellhole).
He shrugged, loosening his tie. “It was school.” He said.
I laughed. “You packed yet kid?”
“Not yet.” He replied, as his new friends starred hard at us. “Actually, we’re on our way to do that now.”
I wasn’t sure what was shocking them more. The fact that I was capable of actually being nice to someone or the fact that someone was actually talking to me. Hell, I wasn’t sure which was surprising ME more, and I was included in the conversation.
“Well get ready for a fun filled week of no showers and close contact with your fellow students.” I said with a slight shudder. “Oh and remember, deodorant is your friend kid. Like, some hockey players seem to think that because they are used to the way they smell, that the rest of us should be too.”
Sidney chuckled. “I’ll keep that in mind.” He said with an infectious grin. One of his friends, a guy named Matt Smaby, who’d been at Shattuck’s the year before, had recovered from his shock at seeing me being nice and talking to someone during the day and was pulling anxiously on Sidney’s sleeve.
“Sid come on.” He said, looking at me as if I were carrying the Black Plague or something. “There are a few more things you need to know about the way we do things here.” I laughed. “What Matty?” I asked mockingly. “You mean, you didn’t warn him already? I’m surprised at you. You need to be more on the ball about these kinds of things. Why the kid may catch something just TALKING to me, and we wouldn’t want our newest Tier I Bantam to be unable to play because he caught something from the school slut. ”
Sidney rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” He said with a shrug as he glanced at Matt. “But I do need to go pack. Catch you later Kally?” He asked, his eyes hopeful.
“Yeah sure, whatever.” I replied, hoping that no one was able to really see the hope in my eyes. “Bye kid.”
Katie, who hadn’t left (unfortunately for us all, but for me in particular) but had rather stood there, watching my exchange with Sidney and when Sidney and the other sophomore boys in walked out of earshot, she suddenly burst out laughing. “Oh I get it.” She said gleefully. “Well that’s a first.” I muttered under my breath.
“With Zach gone, you’ve lost your one sure thing.” She said laughing. “So you’re going fishing.” She paused. “Is a sophomore the best you can do?”
I rolled my eyes. “First.” I told her firmly and somewhat angrily in spite of myself. “You know nothing about Zachie and I, so in the words of my Grandpapa, do not write a check that your ass cannot cash. Secondly, not that it’s any of your business darling.” I said, my voice calm once again. “But Stoney insisted on introducing us this morning when I went to class early. If you had been the only upper classmen around, I’m sure that you would have got to meet him first. He asked me to show the kid to his homeroom while he talked to his parents. That’s it.”
“Then why was he talking to you now?” She asked snottily. “Did you already promise to sneak him into your tent this week?”
“I don’t sneak boys into my tent Katherine.” I told her firmly. “They sneak into mine on their own. I don’t have to encourage them. I suppose that you would probably have to try and talk one into it….” I paused. “How demeaning.”
Katie was now completely red in the face. She was totally pissed off at me, and had been the entire time we were talking. One of the things my Mom and Grandmama had taught me was that nothing irritated an opponent more then you staying calm, as they became angrier and angrier. “Unlike you Kallista I am NOT the kind of girl who would WANT a boy in my tent.” “So you’re a lesbian then?” I asked, raising my eyebrows. “How… LA.”
She glared at me, and I could tell that she wanted nothing more to hit me, but there was a zero tolerance policy for violence at Shattuck’s, and if she hit me…. Well it didn’t matter what I’d said to her to provoke her; she’d be kicked out of here so fast her head would spin. “I am NOT a dyke.” She said angrily through clenched teeth.
I shrugged nonchalantly. “Whatever floats your boat darling.” I said. “Really none of my business. Much like my sex life is none of yours.” I paused, letting that sink in, not that I thought it would. Katie is somewhat thick. “Or perhaps you’re jealous.”
“Of what?” She snorted.
“The fact that I met the kid before you did.” I told her. “Not that it really matters that much. He’s just a sophomore. But Stoney did say he was Bantam Tier I. Maybe you’re the one who wants to “go fishing” as you put it, for the year. It must be frustrating to be nearly a full year older then I am and still a virgin.”
“You’re a bitch Kallista.” Katie snapped red in the face.
“And we’ve already established that darling.” I replied calmly. “Now get out of my sun, or you’ll find out just how much of a bitch I can be.”

Chapter 1 - An American Flavour

It started off innocently enough. It was the first day of school, in September, and I’d been back at Shattuck’s for just over a week. I’d spent most of the summer there in fact, in music programs and soccer camps. Grandmama had insisted that I go spend two weeks in New York shopping with her, spending the weekends at her home in the Hamptons. I was wandering toward my homeroom when it happened.
One thing you probably need to know is that Shattuck’s is a fairly small school. There are only about 300 to 350 students, 6-12. Classes average only 10-15 students (another reason Grandmama chose this school). Everyone knows EVERYONE. You just can’t help it. And the guys totally outnumber the girls. There are more guys’ athletic teams and so that’s why they dominate.
The school tries really hard to promote the arts to get more girls at the school. Either way, it was a gorgeous September day, and I had big plans after school. It early in the day and it was already 80 degrees outside. So I was planning on hanging out outside and keeping my tan in tip top shape when everyone else packed for the silly retreat they made us go on every year, when Mr. Stoneman, the headman came up to me, leading a new student and his parents. “Here she is now.” He was saying. “One of our best students.”
I glanced behind me. I was totally early, on account of how I totally hate the group bathrooms and the fact that the girls always stare at me, but don’t really say anything, so I get up early and shower long before everyone else is up. But there was no one behind me. I starred at Mr. Stoneman.
“Kallista.” He said warmly.
I just looked at him oddly. “Yes sir?” I replied.
“I’d like you to meet the newest member of our Bantam Tier I Hockey Team, and his parents.” He said with a big smile plastered on his face.
“Okay.” I said with a shrug ensure of why he wanted me to meet the guy, then I turned and looked at him. “Sir.” I added as an after thought.
My sky blue eyes met chocolate brown ones and my heart stood still. I swear it literally stopped beating. They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. I could see him, and what was even more disturbing, I knew him. This was who I’d been looking for. This was the person I’d been searching for with every other guy I slept with. This was the person I wanted to be with. I knew him. I’d known him forever.
“Kallista did you hear me?” Mr. Stoneman asked severely, the tone I was used to hearing from him, rather then this sugary-sweet tone he was using in front of the parents.
“Umm no sir.” I mumbled, looking at my books, and away from those eyes and that soul that I’d known forever.
“This is Mr. & Mrs. Crosby and their son Sidney, who will be joining us here at Shattuck’s for the year.” Mr. Stoneman said, the sugary-sweet voice back again.
“Pleased to meet you.” I said, shaking his parent’s hands politely.
“I would like you to show Sidney to his homeroom today.” Mr. Stoneman said, his eyebrows raised as he looked at me, clearly saying that I had better be there to help him or Mr. Stoneman would want to know why.
“Yes sir.” I replied.
“Good.” He said, giving me the stern look one more time for emphasis. “Now, Mr. & Mrs. Crosby, come right this way, and we’ll discuss the tuition payment plan that our financial services have established for you.”
“Umm hi.” Sidney said quietly.
“Who’s your homeroom teacher?” I asked quickly, wanting to get this over with before anyone saw us together. If anyone saw us together, then they’d “warn” Sidney away from me. Since I didn’t want him to be warned off me, it was better if no one saw us together.
“We’ve got like a ¾ of an hour before school starts though.” Sidney said.
I shrugged. “Well I’m here early for a reason.” I replied.
But Sidney wouldn’t be denied. “So Kallista. That’s an interesting name.” He said. “So’s Sidney.” I said. “My Mom was probably stoned when she named me. She was in Law School when she got pregnant and she and my Dad smoked a lot of weed.”
Sidney shrugged. “It’s pretty.” He said, glancing at me, and blushing.
“Call me Kally.” I replied, my heart softening in spite of myself.
“So what grade are you in?” He asked, clearly not about to leave me alone.
“I’m a senior.” I replied. “Have you been to your dorm room yet?” I asked.
“Yeah, my parents and I dumped my shit off there yesterday.” He said.
I glanced at him. “Umm rule #1 kid.” I said. “We don’t use vulgar language in any of the school buildings.” I warned him. “None of the teachers look kindly upon it.”
“Sorry.” He shrugged, unapologetic, so I didn’t really get why he was saying sorry, I’ve since learned that Canadians often say “I’m sorry” even if they aren’t. “I’m a hockey player. Those are the kind of words I hear most often.”
“And you still will.” I informed him. “On the ice. In the dorms. Just not in the school buildings. Trust me. You don’t want to see how red in the face Mr. Stoneman goes when you cuss.” I paused and grinned having seen Mr. Stoneman get red in the face many, many times, but feeling far too relaxed with this guy. “Well maybe you do want to see it, I’d just prefer not to be around when you did, well whatever you did to make him go red in the face.”
“Why?” He asked.
“Because I’d end up with some of blame.” I told him honestly. “I am not one of Stoney’s favourite people. In fact, if it weren’t for the money my Grandparents donate every time I do something stupid, I would have found myself out on my ah- I mean rear a long time ago.” “But he called you one of Shattuck’s best students.” Sidney said, looking a little confused. I snorted. “I’ll let you discover my history through the gossip the way every other new student does thanks. Telling the story myself is far too much work.”
It was his turn to snort. “Gossip means nothing.” He informed me.
“Depends on the gossip kid.” I said. “But you’ll learn that soon enough.” I paused. “Have you eaten yet?” I asked.
“I ate with my parents earlier.” He said. “Have you eaten?”
“I don’t eat in the dinning hall.” I said with a shrug. “At least, not when I can avoid it.” “So how are you going to avoid it today?” He asked.
I grinned wickedly. “I have my ways.”
“I’m not sure that I want to know.” Sidney said, but his eyes were smiling.
“Come on.” I said, turning around and walking backwards down the empty hallway. “You know you wanna….”
I led us through St. Mary’s Hall, past the noisy dining room and into the kitchens. “Umm are we allowed back here?” He asked.
“Nope.” I replied.
“Miss Kally you are back!” A familiar voice called.
“Anna!” I said, hugging the plump woman, who I hadn’t seen, even though I’d been at Shattuck’s for about a week, since I’d spent most of my time eating off campus, and Anna had been on holidays. “Got anything to eat?”
“For you Miss Kally?” She said with a smile. “Always.” She paused. “Who is your friend?” She asked.
“Anna, this is Sidney Crosby, he’s new here, Stoney told me to show him around.” I explained. “Kid, this is Anna. She makes the best food you’ve ever tasted.”
Anna beamed as I praised her. “Come Miss Kally. I have your favourite all ready for you.” She said as she turned and I followed her back to a small table towards the back of the kitchen. Sidney just stood there until I turned and said. “You coming kid?”
He followed me. “How much trouble are we going to get into for this?” He whispered in my ear, his breath hot on my neck, causing me to shiver because he was so close to me. I forced myself to shrug nonchalantly.
“None.” I said. “Anna will never tell a soul. You don’t actually think I eat over at Berker Hall do you?” I asked.
Sidney shrugged in reply. “I just got here remember? I just don’t know the story yet.” “Well I don’t.” I said, shrugging again. “Anna makes sure I eat by feeding me here in the kitchens. No one says anything about it because Grandmama would fly in from New York like a bat out of hell. Then all her and Grandpapa’s fancy donations to the school would stop, so Anna doesn’t get in trouble, and I don’t have to go through the hell of eating at the dorms.”
“Is it really that bad?” Sidney asked as we sat at the table.
I shrugged yet again. “It is if you’re me.” I said. “You’re a Tier I Bantam at least, that’s what Stoney said right?”
“Yeah.” He said.
“Well you must be good if Stoney publicly said that you have a spot on that team, you’ll be just fine.” I told him. “You’ll be a hero around here in no time kid.”
“Here Miss Kally!” Anna said excitedly putting down a plate with a couple of blueberry muffin and some butter on the table. “You eat now. You are too skinny.”
I smiled. “Thanks Anna.” I said, ripping off a bit of muffin and lathering it with butter. I ate in silence for a few minutes as Sidney watched me. Anna came and went, bringing a couple of glasses of my favourite orange juice (Sunny D, Florida Style, sugar in a cup) and setting them down on the table. “You just gonna watch me eat or are you gonna have anything kid?”
“I told you I already ate.” Sidney said, still watching me eat.
I laughed and rolled my eyes. “And I haven’t been stuck at a school where the guys outnumber the girls 2-1 since I was 11. You’re, what, a fifteen-year-old boy?” He nodded. “And a hockey player. You’re always hungry. Beside, Anna makes some of the best muffins you’ll ever have. These are homemade kid, not from a box. If you don’t want the other one I’ll take it and eat it at lunch.”
Sidney finally picked up the muffin and buttered it liberally. “I turned 15 in August.” He said, taking a bite. “How old are you?”
“16.” I told him, finishing off what I was going to eat of muffin I was going to eat. “I’ll be 17 in December.”
“Wow this is good.” He said, taking another big bite.
“Told you so.” I said before glancing at my watch. “Now come on, we only have 20 minutes before school starts. Let’s get you to your homeroom.”
“I thought we had, like this, outdoor nature thing for a few days.” He said. “Why do we have to go to homeroom?”
“To get to know who you’ll be living with.” I explained, rolling my eyes. “And so that everyone knows what to pack.”
“I guess you’ve been here awhile huh?” Sidney said. “So this is all old news to you.” “Since the second half of the 6th grade.” I said, downing my orange juice. “I’m already packed. Now come on. Who is your homeroom teacher?”
“Mr. Collins.” He said checking the schedule.
“You’ll like him.” I said, nodding. “He’s one of the hockey coaches. I think he does the guys under 16.”
“Not me then.” Sidney said.
“Nope.” I paused as we wandered through the halls. “Have you met Mr. Parisé yet?” I asked.
Sidney nodded. “He and Zach talked me into coming here.”
“You know Zach?” I asked, eyes wide.
“Don’ tell me, let me guess.” Sidney said, rolling his eyes. “You think he’s soooo hot.” He drawled in a snotty voice.
I grinned. “I take it girls have said that around you before.”
He rolled his eyes again. “Yes.” He said. “And it’s annoying.”
“Well I know Zach.” I said. “I won’t tell you that ‘he’s soooo hot’ though, I’m sure enough girls will say it later. I mean, I’ve only been here for four and half years. He was here for two… it’s not a big school. You kind of get to know everyone.”
“Does that mean I’ll get to know you?” Sidney asked.
I shrugged. “If you want to I suppose.” I said, my heart singing as I tried to shrug nonchalantly. “But you’ll be pretty busy especially during the fall, and I play soccer, so I’m pretty busy.”
“Oh.” He replied.
“So here you are.” I said as we arrived at Mr. Collins’ class.
“Will I see you later?” He asked.
I shrugged. “You’ll see me.” I said. “It’s hard not to at this school. Whether or not you’ll want to talk to me after is another story entirely.”

Prologue - An American Flavour

Have you ever met someone and just immediately felt connected to them? Like you knew them before you even met them? I mean, like there were instantaneous sparks and you knew, just knew, without saying a word that they were the one for you?
It happened to me when I was a senior, or in Grade 12 as Canadians like to say. But before I tell you all about that, I suppose I should tell you about who I am, where I am come from, and what I was doing in Minnesota at a boarding school.
I like calls me Kally. My Mom was stoned when she named me, I swear, but it seems to have worked out in a weird kind of way. Kallista is Greek for most beautiful and Ashira is Hebrew for rich. Even people who don’t like admit that I am beautiful and I am most definitely rich, thanks in large part to my paternal Grandparents and a trust fund they’ve set up for me.
I grew up with my Mom, who put herself through University and was in Law School when I was born. She successfully finished her law degree and got a great job with a firm in Boston. So we moved from where we’d been living in Connecticut to Massachusetts.
Where was my Dad in all this? Well the truth is, we didn’t know. He’d bailed when Mom got pregnant and, since his family was wealthy, Mom couldn’t find him. I suppose she could have bothered looking up my Grandparents, but Mom believed that since my Dad had decided to bail on her… on us, that no one in his family deserved the opportunity to get to know me.
Life was great though… I mean I thought it was great, just Mom and me. She worked hard, but she loved me too, and I knew it. It wasn’t until Mom met Washington Will (as I took to calling him) that things really started changing.
First, Mom started spending less and less time at home with me. I spent more and more time with the housekeeper, until Verry finally quit, saying her job was to keep house and make meals, not watch me all the time.
See Mom had always been busy. Her career was number one in her life, but I ran a close second, and since that was all I’d ever known, it really didn’t bother me that much. Like most little kids, I liked things the way they were, and Washington Will was the first guy that Mom had dated seriously that I could remember. And I didn’t like him.
Will thought that Mom was wasting her talents in Boston… that she had the talent and the ability to run for office. Will worked for some Senator or Congressman or something in Washington and he thought that Mom could be a judge someday… or even more.
It fed Mom’s ego. She loved to listen to his plans for her future, and in short order, his plans became hers. Unfortunately, Washington Will’s plans didn’t include the angry 11 year old girl who hated him with a passion.
Then, Washington Will asked my Mom to marry him, and they got married in this huge, social wedding, and somehow during this my paternal Grandparents finally got wind that they had a grandchild. Apparently (and this doesn’t really surprise me considering how my Dad is) they didn’t even know that the reason their son had abandoned the United-States was because his girlfriend was pregnant. Personally, I always believe that Washington Will was behind contacting my grandparents, but I couldn’t say for sure.
I went and spent Christmas break with the Grandparents I didn’t even know I had, while Mom and Will went on a honeymoon to Ottawa, Canada for some political conference or something (wildly romantic I know). Actually, my Grandparents were okay. They were an old money New York City family and we spent Christmas in the City.
My Dad however, was still AWAL, and kind of always is. Grandmama and Grandpapa still see me on a regular basis, but I’ve yet to meet my Dad face to face. He’s always off somewhere doing something that doesn’t involve a child. Usually he’s Europe. He likes Monaco a lot I hear.
After Christmas break, I became a “problem” for Washington Will and my Mom to solve again. Will wanted Mom to move to Washington to further her career, but Mom knew that I wanted to stay where I was. I wanted to stay at the school I was at, with the friends I had in Boston, because I’d been so young when we moved from Connecticut that Boston was all I remembered.
That didn’t work for Will though, and the next thing you know, my Mom is looking into boarding schools. Initially, my paternal AND maternal Grandparents freaked out at the idea of me being sent away to school. Until Will graciously told my paternal Grandparents (who admittedly had the edge in the money department) that they could chose the school.
Now all of that sounded good in theory. I was even looking forward to it, since I thought that Grandmama would insist on a school somewhere on the East Coast, being a snooty WASP and all (that’s a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant for those of you who don’t know). But then my Grandmama learned that I hovered around genius and she wanted me to attend a school with an excellent arts program, and she thought that a religious school wouldn’t hurt me either, especially since Mom wasn’t really religious.
Personally, I wanted a school with a good sports program, and one that was preferably not too far away. In a sense, we compromised. Grandmama got a school with an excellent arts program (she didn’t want me to be bookish and unaccomplished), that was founded by an Episcopalian minister and I got a school with a great sports program.
The problem was, Shattuck St. Mary’s is in Minnesota. The other problem? Tuition for boarding is 30,000$ a year. More when Will told me he wanted me to spend my summers there as well. Will did not want to pay for it and he didn’t want Mom to pay for it either (probably because it would impact what they had to live on).
Of course, Dad’s parents stepped up and paid (considering that there were 11 years in which their son hadn’t paid any kind of child support it was probably the right thing to do). But that made me hate Washington Willy even more then I already did. I may have only been 11 years old, but if he wanted to get rid of me (and he clearly did) he could at least have paid for it himself.
Either way, when I met him, I’d been at Shattuck St. Mary’s (a boarding school in Minnesota for the rich and intelligent – no future Paris Hilton’s or Nicole Ritchie’s here) since the middle of the 6th Grade. I played on the soccer team, play the harp (Grandmama’s idea of course) and the piano, and had a GPA of 3.8.
In spite of all that though, I hadn’t really been happy at Shattuck’s. I’d spent most of my time there trying to get kicked out. I threw wild dorm parties… especially in the summer. I got drunk and high and stoned and disobeyed authority at every possible turn. But for some reason (probably Grandmama and Grandpapa’s generous “donations”), they never kicked me out.
I did a lot of other things to though. I had sex in the dorms with the hockey players, and earned a reputation as a puck, particularly since a guy on the Senior Varsity Team took my virginity in the dorms when I was in the 8th Grade (I was only just 13, it was New Year’s Eve).
This seems pretty wild to most people, but the fact of the matter was, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like myself and I didn’t like my life, money or no. I was hurting. As a result of all that, I’d been around the block a few times to say the least when Sidney showed up at Shattuck’s.
I knew it the second that I saw him, Sidney was him. He was that guy. He was the one my heart and soul connected with on sight. The guy I felt like I’d known my entire life without speaking to him once. He was, well, he was special and I knew it on sight.
There were a few problems with that though. See Sidney Crosby was a Canadian, he was a sophomore (in Grade 10), and he was a phenom. He was an incredible hockey player. He’d been sent here since he was just too good for the team and the league in which he was playing.And he was coming to a whole different world. Sidney (I quickly gathered) was from an upper middle class family in Nova Scotia, Canada. In the United-States, the East Coast is where all of the old money is from. In Canada, there is NO money on the East Coast. True, he was coming to the Mid-West, but the fact remained, he was coming to a school full of spoiled rich brats (myself included).
You knew immediately that he was a nice guy though. Talented and smart too, but he wasn’t like some of the other guys at Shattuck’s. He was actually a nice guy. And I knew it the minute I saw him, I knew that he was a nice guy and I knew that more then anything, I wanted to get to know him. I knew that I wanted to be with him… I wanted to be HIS.
To top it off, he wasn’t like the other hockey players… the guys who ignored me by day and tried to get in my pants by night. He was actually nice to me. He actually spoke to me during the day at school, instead of ignoring me the way most of the guys at school did.
See when you’re considered a slut, only other sluts will talk to you during the day. At least typically. Guys ignore you during the day and then at night, they come hang out and try to get in your pants when the "good” girls aren’t around.
It’s hypocritical and cruel, but that was my life at Shattuck’s. That was my world. That is, until I met him. Until my eyes met those of a boy named Sidney Crosby came to Shattuck St. Mary’s and my life changed forever.


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