Take Me Away

December 6, 1896
Anna Cushing

I needed a ride to clear my head. Poseidon is always willing and so we left when the sun was just coming up. The early flicker of morning light on the snow is a little like magic. Nothing really changes, but everything is different.

The week started bad. Mondays are always difficult to face, but this one was a waking nightmare. It started off at breakfast when I inadvertently sent Victoria tumbling halfway down the stairs. Miss Bowen saw the whole thing.

“Miss Cushing, what do you think you are doing?” She demanded from the top step.

I had ran to make sure my roommate was uninjured although admittedly I would not have minded much if she had sprained an ankle.

“It was an accident Miss.” I replied.

“Accident or not, you could have killed someone. Wait for me outside my room.” She said.


“Now, Miss Cushing.”

Reluctantly, I climbed back up the stairs and walked the few feet to her door. I felt ridiculous just standing there, especially knowing that Miss Bowen was not inside but a short distance away. I was relieved to not have to wait too long.

Inside her room, Miss Bowen made no waste of time in getting to the bottom of matters. If it had not been my bottom I would have appreciated her efficiency and lack of pointless scolding. Suffice to say, twelve licks of her desk ruler later and all was forgiven if not precisely forgotten. Sitting at breakfast was uncomfortable, but more because of Victoria’s snickering than Miss Bowen’s efforts.

Then there was Tuesday. I was met on the steps of Primrose Hall by none other than Jonathon Goulding. If there is a better looking man in all of Brown, I have yet to see him and the fact he was directly looking for me was quite flattering. That was until he started asking all about Sarah.

“Is Miss Waters well?” He began.

I nodded feeling numb.

“Has she spoke of me?”

I shook my head to the negative, unable to voice my answer with the nausea building in my stomach.

“I am concerned about her. I sent her a note the other day and she never replied.”

I nodded again not knowing what he expected me to say.

“Can you give her this note from me?”

He handed me a sealed envelope. I nodded taking it in my limp hands.

“Thank you, Miss.” He said.

And then he walked away. In what sick and twisted world does Sarah Waters get the attention of a man over me?

The week could have ended then and there for all I cared but God must have felt I needed a longer lesson in humility because Wednesday came upon me and offered no better. In the final hours before bed after dinner I was studying downstairs in my whites. As I left for bed the other girls began pointing and giggling. Would you believe I had some smudge black coal all over the back of my gown? Who leaves coal laying around in the study?

Thursday was peaceable, except Mr. Stark slapped his ruler on my hands a half dozen times for bending the corners on the pages of my book. It is my book, so why he should care about the condition of the pages is beyond me. Further, what possible improvement will there be in my turning of pages when my fingers are raw and sore? If teachers made sense they would not be teachers, father always says something like that and I am beginning to agree with him.

Friday came along none to soon. Unfortunately, the day boded no better for me. I angered Mr. Bard because I suggested it was our responsibility to protect the Cubans from the Spaniards. I spent the remainder of the class sitting on his stool in the corner wearing that ridiculous dunce cap and nursing a blistered backside. Thankfully there are no men in the class.

Immediately following Mr. Bard’s class, I found myself arguing with Dr. Phallic. Normally, I would have shut my mouth, but after the week I have had it was just too much to take. The idea the moon could have anything to do with the behavior of people, animals, and the tides of the oceans is simply outrageous. My rational disbelief of his scientific “facts” was met by ten bruising swats of his giant paddle. To make matters worse he delivered them in class and on my bare bottom in front of boys, girls, God and everyone not previously covered.

That is why this morning I just needed to get away from everyone. Somehow I have to alter this course of bad things happening. Riding on my sore backside feels about like getting walloped all over again but at least there is no one around to see me cry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very entertaining. Please keep on writing