Meeting Lizbeth - Chapter Two Part I
Lizbeth Loved School
Lizbeth loved her morning showers. She had the best shower in town with jets all up and down the wall shooting water at her from all directions. It was like being in the rain every morning. She never had to worry about her hair because the ringlets formed no matter what she did. Her mother made her keep it short so it wouldn't get too wild and frizzy. That was okay by her, she didn't want to fuss with it anyway.
Nanny Maddy ushered her into the bedroom when she finished her shower. All her clothes were laid out on the bed as they always were. Then Maddy brushed her hair so it looked presentable. She liked to call her Maddy. Maddy made life so easy. Thank goodness for Maddy. She knew her mother wasn't up yet and she wouldn't see her until school was over. After Lizbeth had dressed, Maddy walked downstairs with her and sat at the table while they both ate breakfast. They chatted about nothing in particular, but it was nice to have Maddy there. She was always the one who made things all better. No matter where the pain was, she knew how to fix it. When Lizbeth had a nightmare, it was Maddy who came into her room to soothe her.
Lizbeth looked forward to going to school. All her friends were there, but best of all there was Suzie. Lizbeth and Suzie were inseparable at school and at home. When Maddy let Suzie come over to play or let Lizbeth go to Suzie's they had nothing but fun. Suzie had a brother Pete. He was a typical brother to both of them, but that's why she liked him. She didn't have a brother. Suzie was the best friend anyone could have. She knew everything and she had a mother who was always home and baked things and played with them. Sometimes she thought she liked Suzie's mother better than Suzie but she knew that wasn't true.
They shared secrets about the boys in their class and told each other everything. Suzie knew Lizbeth liked Maddy better than her mother. Lizbeth had never told anyone else that, not even Maddy. Suzie didn't have a dad so Lizberth shared hers. They would sit on Tom's lap, squeezing so they could both fit. Tom loved having the girls around and loved to read and sing to them. Louise was always busy or out shopping. Tom took them to the movies and then for ice cream after. Once Tom even took them to an amusement park with Maddy. He said they were too much of a handful for one man to handle so he had to bring the troops, they giggled.
Daddy came down for breakfast just before she left for school.
“Morning angel. Hope you slept well.”
“Of course Daddy, I always do.”
She gave him a big good morning kiss which was also a goodbye kiss and headed out the door. Maddy was right on her heels. She always accompanied Lizbeth to school. They rode in the car and Maddy walked her to the school door where Suzie was waiting.
Boarding School Question
When Maddy returned, Tom asked how she thought Lizbeth was doing.
“Why fine Tom. What's the problem?”
“Well, I've never had a ten-year-old daughter before and I know Louise isn't overly involved so I just wanted to check.”
“She's really a well adjusted little lady Tom. You can be proud of her.”
Maddy didn't want to add that she wanted to wring Louise's neck. What kind of mother spends more time shopping than she does with her own child? Each year Maddy hoped Louise would get better, but it never happened.
Tom went on to explain that Louise wanted to send Lizbeth to boarding school. Imagine sending Lizbeth away to spend most of her childhood with strangers! Maddy was stunned. Tom said he had put his foot down and told Louise there was no way. What he didn't tell Maddy was that Louise had attended boarding school and that's when her problems began. The Housemistress at Louise's boarding school knew little about what happened there. The girls had free reign.
They tormented Louise because her father was a politician, not a rich upper-class gentlemen like their fathers. “Lights out” meant time to torture the less fortunate students in your dormitory. Louise suffered from homesickness, no matter how bad a home is, when a child is sent away they miss it. The girls in her dorm picked up on that and used pictures of her mother and father to make fun of her. They distorted the pictures and called her parents names. She tried not to cry, but she was so scared and lonely. They loved it when she cried and pulled the sheets and blanket off her bed so she would be cold and even more vulnerable. She knew she had to remake her bed before the headmistress came to check. As she struggled to get the bedding back in place, the others girls snickered and laughed at her.
When it was time to shower Louise could never find her soap, they always hid it or broke it into little pieces and put it under her pillow. Oh, there was more but that was when Louise, poor little Louise, decided not to show emotion. If she didn't show emotion, they seemed to ease up on her. As she grew older and became an upperclassmen, she was in control. There was no more pushing Louise Porter around.
Yes, in a moment of weakness she had confessed this to Tom. He was heartbroken for her. He held her tight and told her as long as he was alive no one would ever hurt her again. Remembering all of this he wondered, how could she think of putting her own daughter through the same torture she had endured. Tom was afraid in his heart of hearts that was the problem, Louise didn't think of Lizbeth as her own daughter.
He realized Maddy was looking at him strangely.
“I'm sorry Maddy, my mind was wandering. I can assure you however Lizbeth will never attend boarding school.”
“I'm glad to hear that Tom. I once heard Louise had a bad experience there.”
“Yes, Maddy, she did.”
“Then why Tom, would she want to send Lizbeth?”
“Maddy, Louise is a puzzle. Every day I try to fit the pieces together so I can come up with answers.” "No one knows how much there is to Louise Porter Sanders."
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