A Learning Experience: Interlude Four

(occurs during Chapter One, Turn Six)

The headmistress' office is tastefully decorated, even if the furnishings are a bit worn. The carpet is a soft, neutral shade between tan and beige, with matching drapes on the room's large window. One side of the room is dominated by a large wooden desk that holds a computer, telephone, in-basket and other such paraphernalia. On the wall behind are several framed documents.

Sitting behind the desk is a dignified woman with perfectly-coiffed red hair and intelligent green eyes. She has an ageless quality about her, though her bearing suggests experience and the hints of crows-feet at the corners of her eyes indicate she is no longer young. She's wearing a dark blue linen suit and a blouse of a lighter blue; her legs and feet are hidden behind the desk.

To kithain eyes, Lady Janelle Summerstree's tresses -- the red-gold shade of a perfect sunset -- are bound neatly into a snood of dark blue silk threads ornamented with tiny sapphires. Her midnight-blue velvet cotehardie flows in graceful folds to her feet, emblazoned with the arms of House Eiluned. A simple pendant, a dark blue star sapphire set in silver, hangs at her throat. Her emerald-green eyes regard the young woman sitting across from her with genuine welcome.

"Well, Miss Katwaroo, everything seems to be in order here." She puts down the small pile of papers that has been in her hand and smiles. "Fortunately, as it's only the third day of school, you haven't missed much, so you needn't worry much about catching up.

"We have some time before school starts -- do you have any questions or concerns before you begin?"

Bela had looked around the room when she had entered, now her focus is on the headmistress. "Well first, I would like to apologize for missing the first few days. I have letter and gift from my aunt in India, and I have something in way of an apology gift." Bela pulls out of her backpack a cardboard tube, envelope, and box wrapped in cold paper. She set them all on the desk. "I missed school, because I cared more about an adventure then my responsibilities."

When opened, the box contains a wooden statue in an Indian style, but gilded as well. The tube contains an image of a golden dragon (eastern in look) flying off towards the setting sun, done in pastels. The envelope contains a letter:

Dear Lady Summerstree:

I must apologize for my niece's absence. She is young and as we see it that is when people should be allowed to make and learn from all of their mistakes. It is luxury of youth. I gave Shashi permission to go on an adventure with my son, if she was sure it would not interfere with her return home. I was fairly certain she would make the wrong choice, as she did, and miss her flight. I apologize that my lesson to her came at the expense of the ones you are responsible for teaching her.

I hope you accept this gift.
Begum Sahiba Kalynda

Lady Janelle accepts the proffered items with a gracious smile, placing them carefully on her desk. "My thanks to both you and your aunt, Miss Katwaroo." She rises gracefully from her chair and comes over to extend a slender, graceful hand to Bela. "Your paperwork is in order; if you will please come with me, we will see about getting you settled."

She stops in the outer office and gets the attention of the secretary, a slender woman with graying blonde hair and glasses. "Mrs. Smith, I am going to be out of my office until homeroom begins."

Bela picks up her backpack and starts to follow the head mistress, "I have an inhaler for my asthma, if I have an attack, my last school made me give it to the nurse." Her voice speaks of a reluctant willingness to do so yet again.

Lady Janelle looks a little startled at this. "It might be better if you kept the inhaler on your person, since the nurse is only at school part-time. If you have any oral medications for your asthma, though, those should be left with the office; you can come and take them when you need to; just have your aunt give us the prescription information."

Bela smiles as she returns the inhaler to her bag, "I think my mother has copies of all the prescriptions." Bela looks at everything and everyone as she leaves the office.

Time: 7:35 am, Friday, September 6, 2002

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This web page copyright 2002 by Midori Hirtzel-Church.
This page first posted -- January 6, 2003
First uploaded to mirror site -- January 10, 2003

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