Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Arrival

Quarter House Rules
- The arrival -
Part One

From the beginning of Quarter House every young woman's mode of transportation to the quiet college town of Heritage has been by train.  There was nothing fancy or ornate about the station either.  It was simply a place to embark or exit a train car.  That was no different for LeAnne who was accompanied by her mother and father and to her seemed boring to say the least.  She was unique like every individual but very similar to other young women her age.  She would be attending college to discover what she could do in life.  And she would be staying at Quarter House to become more than she dreamed she could be.

Up to that day her affluent parents indulged her like most who have a single child.  But those days would soon end and LeAnne would come to learn quickly that for every privilege there was a price.  For years she believed her education was in the private schools she had been attending through the years.  It wouldn't take long for her to discover those years were simply the A,B,C's of life and now she would be learning how those letters come together to form words she never knew existed.

The train pulled up slowly to the station and it was then LeAnne discovered she would be leaving the train by herself.  Her parents made the ride with her so they would have time to spend together before her new adventure in life would begin.  Armed with only her two pieces luggage she stood there holding them as the train began picking up speed to head to the next destination.

It was then she realized she didn't quit know where she was.  All this time they had been talking and laughing about old times while she hadn't really paid attention to where they were heading.  A deep sense of loneliness came upon her as though she was lost without a map in life or one to get her to Quarter House.  The first thing she thought of was to find her phone and call her parents but her phone was missing and, to her, so was her connection to the world.  As she walked inside the small station the floors creaked with every step.  It was then the station attendant noticed that someone had gotten off the train and gave a warm and welcome greeting.  After casual introductions were exchanged LeAnne explained she was needing directions to The Quarter House and wanted to know how far away it was from the station.  Just as she finished her questions the floor to the station creaked again and a man's voice filled the room to announce he would be taking her to Quarter House.

She had no sooner turned around and the driver was reaching out to take her luggage.  She looked behind her at the station attendant's expression to clarify whether he was indeed the driver for Quarter House and he gave a simple wave with his hand that he was.  The driver would have approached her sooner but the fact she was wearing blue jeans, a black sweater and hiking boots through him off from thinking she would be an occupant.  She appeared more like staff for the stable.
He opened the back door of the car and as LeAnne got in he put her luggage in the trunk.  Little did she know that his opening and closing her door would be one of the last things done for her by someone else.

It took little time before they were driving off the main road onto the private road leading to Quarter House.  In fact, it was a longer drive on the private road to the house than it was from the station to the private road.  Along the way she watched riders galloping their horses in the distance while other horses close to the road were grazing.  There were trees everywhere she looked.  In a few she spotted tree houses and hanging from other trees were swings with long ropes tied off on very high branches.  Reaching the end of the long road was a beautiful gazebo that the driver pointed out he helped build.

LeAnne began to realize that she didn't expect Quarter House to be located in such a place.  She had envisioned something totally different and now she couldn't imagine anything else.  Horses!  She loved to ride horses.  She had never been on a swing that was tied onto a tree branch either.

The car slowly pulled up to the front of the house and stopped.  The driver, walking past LeAnne's door, went to the trunk, pulled out her luggage and left it directly behind the car.  She thought nothing of it and opened the door herself and got out.  Without saying a word the driver tipped his hat as he walked by her to get in the car and then door around to the back of the house.  It had always been that way.  When young women first rode up in a horse and buggy the driver did the same back then.  The purpose was to observe their reaction and subsequent behavior.  Would they take it upon themselves to pick up their luggage and take it to the front porch of the house?  Or would they stand there expecting someone to come along and do it for them?  Most of the time, like LeAnne did, they would stand there and gaze at the house not realizing for a second what tales each room could tell.  LeAnne didn't know, as the others before her and those who would arrive after her, that up on the second floor, behind a window was the Administrator looking down at her.  His role in her life would be an experience she could have never have imagined, dreamed for and dreaded.

After a few minutes of taking it all in LeAnne was ready to walk to her luggage, pick them up and walk up the few steps to the entrance.  But before getting to the first step the door opened and Ms. Bell, the Quarter House Governess, stepped out into the entryway and asked, "You are LeAnne?"
"Hello, yes I'm LeAnne." She replied.
"Very good then.  I am Ms, Bell and I'm the Governess of Quarter House and,..."
"Pleased to me you." LeAnne said as she interrupted Ms. Bell.
"Did you just rudely interrupt me while I was talking?  No, I know you didn't.  Did you?"  She commented in a very stern tone of voice.
"I'm sorry I did.  I'm just a bit excited about all this.  And anxious too I suppose."  LeAnne explained.
As Ms. Bell stepped down the stares she said, "Well, there will NOT be anymore of that while you're hear.  Is that understood?"
Thinking her reply was fine LeAnne said, "Sure, no problem."

Ms. Bell wasn't sure if she was being sincere or obstinate then she gave LeAnne a look of contempt, shrugged her shoulders a bit and told her to bring her luggage into the house.  As LeAnne entered, and Ms. Bell closed the door, she got a since from the quiet inside that no one else was there.  "Where is everyone?" She asked.
"They're all out and about."  Explained Ms. Bell.  "Now you take your luggage upstairs to the third room on your left and then go down the hall to the room at the end.  Mr. Edwards, the Administrator, is there waiting for you.
"Oh, okay." LeAnne replied.  And as she headed up the stairs Ms. Bell turned to walk away and muttered quietly, "Oh, okay."

LeAnne found her room, placed her luggage on the bed and began to unpack everything.  It wasn't what she was told to do but at least she wasn't unpacking right then and there out of defiance.  It simply slipped her mind that she was to go, right away, to the room down the hall where Mr. Edwards was waiting.  Then it dawned on her, five or so minutes into unpacking, that he was waiting.  She stopped what she was doing, left the room and rushed down the wall.  In her enthusiasm to get there she didn't bother knocking on the door either.  She just opened it and walked right in to find Mr. Edwards at a table and reviewing her scholastic records.

She was not making a good first impression at all.  She closed the door behind her but she was immediately told to keep it open and to stand next to the table.  She could tell by the window that the room faced the front of the house and was distracted by the view of the front grounds.  

Mr. Edwards quickly gained her attention by simply speaking in his rich baritone voice that couldn't help but grab her attention.  LeAnne was somewhat used to the authority of teachers and principles through the years but looked at them as mere inconveniences rather than authority over her.  It was clear by Mr. Edward's tone that she shouldn't take what he had to say lightly.

No comments:

Post a Comment