Edgar's Unnatural Boarding School Chapter 1.2

November 29, 2009
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“Oh Mr. Cortell! You’re hilarious!” Mr. Cortell grinned as he received a playful shove from my mother, who was sitting beside him and listening to his hilarious jokes. I eyed him cautiously as I mixed my mashed potatoes with my fork and leaned my head on my other arm. Sighing, I took a bite of the more than mashed potatoes, and felt full already.
How could they do this? How could they laugh and giggle, like they weren’t going to send me away? And across the US, too! I didn’t want to live in California!
Mr. Cortell looked at me, and his grin widened, but I only huffed, and turned away from him. Who said I had to be polite to him? He was only a year older than me. Besides, even though he wore that grin on his face, he acted distant…like he really didn’t want to be here. I’m sure the only reason he acknowledged me was because I was his only form of entertainment.
My cheeks flushed in embarrassment as I remembered my screaming face. Why had he been such a jerk earlier? Couldn’t he have talked to me, like a normal person would have, instead of stalking me down a dark alley?
As if sensing my discomfort with him, Mr. Cortell spoke to me with an amused smile. “So, Miss Fatima, what do you like to do in your spare time?”
I glared at him, fixing my glasses, before shrugging, “Not much…”
“Really? You don’t have any special hobbies?” I eyed him with a raised eyebrow. Why did he use the word ‘special?’
“Oh Fatima!” My mother chimed in, “Tell him about that!” I glared at my mother for bringing it up before looking back down at my plate. Mr. Cortell raised an eyebrow.
“…I like to read tarot cards.” For the first time the whole night, Mr. Cortell seemed to hold a real interest in a conversation.
But why did it have to be with me?
“Really now?” He said with a smile as he leaned forward towards me. “That is an interesting hobby.”
“Yeah, well, my grandma just happened to be an old fashioned Gypsy that did fortune telling. She taught me how to do it.”
“Interesting…” He mumbled under his breath, though he made no sign of letting the topic go. “Would you mind telling my fortune? With the tarot cards, of course.” I glared at him in annoyance before looking away.
“I haven’t read anyone else’s fortune since my grandmother died. So no, I won’t.”
“Fatima,” I looked up to my dad, who was smoking his pipe and eyeing me with a tested expression from across the table, “stop being rude. I won’t have those kind of manners in my house.” He said sternly. I rolled my eyes and stood up as I slammed my hands on the table.
“Then I guess it doesn’t matter, since I’m going to boarding school anyway! I guess I’ll be able to act however I want there!” I threw my hands in the air with an exaggerated ‘yippee,’ and stormed out of the room. My father stood up and quickly marched after, enraged that I retaliated so. He grabbed my arm, spinning me around, and my mother quickly stood up, trying to stop our behavior.
“Listen here, young lady! It was either this, or we moved to California!” He spat. I swung my arm from his grip and growled.
“So what does my education have to do with us moving?!”
He grabbed my arms, and leaned in close. If there was one thing my father and I shared, it was an anger problem. “We can’t afford your private school right now, and we don’t want you to go to public schools! Mr. Cortell is offering you a full ride to a prestigious boarding school; we’re doing this for your own good!” He screamed.
“I don’t want to go to that school,” I argued, “I’d rather go to a public school; at least then I’d be able to stay near my friends!”
“You can easily make new friends at your new school!”
“No I can’t! I’m just a big fat loser! Haven’t you realized that by now?”
My father’s face was beet red by now, and his hands were leaving prints in my arms. He sucked in his breath, his face turning redder, before he spoke.
“Of course I have; I just figured you wouldn’t be a big fat baby, too!”
I fell into silence as he said this, and my mother stared at him with her hand over her mouth.
“H-honey…” My father seemed to snap out of his rage, and he quickly let go of me. He lifted up his hand and opened his mouth, trying to apologize, but when I turned away, he burrowed his eyebrows with stubbornness.
“…You’re going to Edgar’s Unique Boarding School. That’s final.” He said before walking down the hallway and into his study. My mother quickly ran after him, upset that he had made such a scene in front of a guest, and I stood there, looking down in silence. I had forgotten that Mr. Cortell was still there until I heard his seat slid back as he stood up. I wiped my eyes as he approached me.“Fatima, you’re not a loser.” He said this with a smile as he rested his hand on my shoulder, but I shrugged him off before turning to glare at him.
“And what do you know about me? You’re just some stranger that came prancing into my life, and tore it all apart!” I growled before turning to run upstairs. But Mr. Cortell grabbed my arm, turned me around and pulled me towards the front door. “H-hey! What are you doing? Let me go!” He smiled down at me as he opened the door, and pulled me outside, and into the autumn moon light.

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