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Paths - Chapter 18

Elliot and I weren't going to last forever. My education would though.
-Taylor-

The weekend was full of laughter and games, but quickly ended when Sunday rolled around. Mother and Jason said their goodbyes at the gate.

"He's a good guy," Mother told me while the guys went on about the football game they watched yesterday.

"Thank you," I look at Elliot, engaged in his own conversation.

"You keep up on the studying, alright?" Jason hugged me goodbye.

"I will." I promised saying my last goodbyes before boarding the plane. About an hour into the flight Elliot turned to me.

"You know, your family is great."

"I know." I laughed as if it were obvious.

"No, I really mean it. I always wished I grew up with a family that great," he went on to say.

"Can I ask you something?" I tilt my head to the side.

"Shoot."

"Do you believe in God?" My question took him off guard.

"Well, I'm not sure. My parents never took me to any churches or discussed it with me as a child. We stayed off the religion topics."

"Did you feel uncomfortable when we prayed and such?"

"No, not at all. Actually, it was actually comforting to think someone was looking after me," he smiled.

In London, the snow was falling already. I'd never seen snow before, so at first I was quite unsure of the white flakes falling from the sky. Once I felt the ice-cold flurry on my skin, I understood. I tried catching them on the tip of my tongue out of childish behavior. One thing I did forget was the press, waiting for me here in the UK, they snapped photos but I ignored them. Elliot actually joined me in my playful act. It was getting late when his car finally dropped me off at the Academy. Four days away from my schooling actually made me realize how much I missed it here. Girls greeted me as I walked down the hallway. Libby pounced on me, as soon as I opened the door.

"I missed you," she told me.

"I would think you'd be distracted with your new boyfriend," I nudged her, as I unpacked.

"Nah, well, just a tad." She confessed. Flipping on the TV, it was on the celebrity news channel.

"Welcome back," said the woman who sat next to me only a few months ago, asking me questions of my relationship with Elliot. "As we promised before the break, coverage of Britain's Power Couple's weekend getaway." Photos we took over the course of the weekend that Elliot had posted on Twitter and Facebook showed up on the screen, "The couple were seen playing dress up at a local thrift store, trying treats at the nearby bakery, and playing American football with Taylor Harris' brother, Jason."

"Wow, looks like you two had fun," Libby commented.

"But, paradise doesn't last forever. The two returned to the UK only a few hours ago and were seen catching London snowflakes on their tongues." She turned to her co-host. "Don't you think they make a great pair?"

"Yes, I do." said the co-host. "Hopefully no scandal will get in their way of happiness." The TV turned to a different news story.

"We did have lots of fun," I tell Libby.

"By the way, this was slipped under the door for you, this morning," She handed me an envelope with my name on it. Opening it up, I found a letter. "What is it?"

"Headmaster wants to have a visit with me tomorrow before my morning classes." I give Libby a puzzled look. She looks stunned.

"Headmaster Crawly doesn't meet with anyone in person. She never interacts with students."

"What does she want with me?" I let the question echo in my head all night.

When morning came, I dressed to impress, frightened to know what Headmaster Crawly would want with me. I prayed I had done nothing wrong, but when I found myself being escorted into a strictly sophisticated office, I couldn't help but think I had. I faced an older woman, in late 50's possibly early 60's, gray hair tied into a tight bun, glasses on the bridge of her nose. She wore a tweed black jacket, pencil skirt, and pearls. Crows feet aligned her black eyes.

"Miss Harris," she sets down her tea after taking a sip. "You must be curious onto why I have asked for your company this morning."

"Just a tad interested," I smile, trying to ease the tension.

"Do you know what your marks are?" She picks up a file. Just as I open my mouth she continues. "The best grade you are receiving is a B+ and your lowest is a C-. Now, as you are fully aware of, we are a school dedicated to giving our students the highest education in the country."

"Yes ma'am." I nod.

"75% of our students will go on to Oxford, 5% will go to Yale in America, possibly wanting to experience a new country, culture. 5% will attend other schools around the UK." She studies my file a little bit more.

"What about the last 5%?" I ask carefully.

"They don't go to college. Give up. Some go home to tend to mother and father's farm or small business. Some don't go on due to the fact they just can't afford it. Then there are some that don't get accepted by other colleges because they see that student's file. The student that attended our school and received low marks, even though we are fully in support of our students schooling." She takes off her glasses and looks at me. "Do you understand where you fall in all of this right now?"

"Yes ma'am, I do." I tell her out of shame. I was the last one. The student that doesn't get accepted into any good colleges due to low marks. However, Oxford had been my dream since I was a child.

"You have a boyfriend, I believe." She raises an eyebrow. I nod, "A famous one." I nod again. "You want to go to Oxford?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Then dump him." She says suddenly.

"But ma'am-"

"How long do you think you'll be together. Forever?" She teases. "Have a happily ever after with a big white wedding and then a dream home with a perfect family. It's not going to happen. That silly fairy tale?"

"Ma'am-"

"Miss Harris, we are a school of dedication, not distractions. If you have your eye on such prestigious school, you better get your act together. If you spent all the time and energy you do on your boyfriend and turn it to studies, Oxford wouldn't be a dream. It would be a reality." Her words made me fall silent. "Tell me, Miss Harris. How long was your scholarship for?"

"The first term." I reply.

"And how do you think you will receive the second term's scholarship? I'll tell you how you're not going to get it, but passing through with B's and C's." Headmaster's eyes turned trying. Edging me to argue with her theory. But, I didn't. "If you plan on staying at the Academy, you will end your relationship with the boy and concentrate on academics." She smiles before retreating to her desk. "Goodbye, Miss Harris." She dismisses me.

I stand, slightly numb from the conversation, and exit.

I hated to admit it, but her thought trail was true.

I needed to get serious.

Elliot and I weren't going to last forever.

My education would though.
By
Published: 7/9/2012
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