Darling Daughters

Chapter Five

 

Reluctantly Summer got dressed knowing that she had to go into a school she had just started in order to leave. Elizabeth shared the daunted mood, the cloud of frustration hanging over them as they warmed up the left over takeaway for breakfast.

Waiting for Elizabeth, Summer was leaning against the door when the Grimeston High head teacher called her into the office. Summer would be required to spend the full day in school.  Summer shrugged and made her way to the first class handing her teacher the note the head had given her.

“Oh, so you are the new girl? Summer. Well apparently today is your last day. What happened? Couldn’t hack an American state school?”

Summer swallowed her initial response. Taking her seat, she took a deep breath. “Nothing like that, personally, I couldn’t care less and I think you couldn’t care less either. It was simply a miss-understanding during the move. Monday I start at a school where my uniform would make a Ribena berry wince.”

The class remained silent, the teacher a little surprised, instructed the class to read. Summer rolled her eyes and took out the prospectus guide for Darling Honor. Summer found restraint hard reading through paragraphs, her cynicism and sparkling silent sarcastic commentary running internally left the only signs of her unenthusiastic agitation written on her face.

The day dragged on. Finally, in her last class, she had found most of the teachers had insisted on her doing some work. Luckily the final teacher didn’t care less and she resumed the prospectus browsing. She reached a section she finally had some interest in, a segment of her family. The Darlings a list of their achievements relating to the school and their academic accomplishments. She began to appreciate just how inspiring the Darlings were, in that appreciation her own self-doubt ate at her.

When the bell rang Summer made her way to her locker emptying it of the little she had stored in it. Managing to turn a corner she bumped into someone and the contents of her arms slipped from her grasp. She ducked down to find that the person she had bumped into was helping her pick things up. “We haven’t scared you off already?” He smiled. Summer gently denied and reluctantly mentioned her transfer being to keep her family happy.

He didn’t stop smiling, “I’m Zach, does that mean you are leaving town?”

“Nope, I am staying put, I hope, just a lot of travelling. I am Summer by the way.” She returned his smile. Feeling a little giddy.

“I know. Do you want a hand with this?” It wasn’t as much of a question, he had already stood up and started walking. Summer caught up with him as they walked in the direction of the manner. She found herself offering him some fizzy but he gave her a strange look at her Englishisms. He declined saying that he had to get on to his shift at McGuires, not wanting to be late, he had to run. “He didn’t look to bad running away” she caught herself thinking.

Shaking her head Summer made her way to catch up with Elizabeth on her way to the Diner for her shift. Elizabeth had spent the day with Caroline learning the perfect cupcake recipe and her secret techniques for frosting. It would be safe to say Elizabeth had found her mentor, an idol to work with, someone able to magic up rows of dainty beautiful cupcakes that streamed from the counter to the displays. It was taking time but Elizabeth was learning the techniques to reproduce the cupcakes able to almost replicate Caroline’s work. Caroline really had taken Elizabeth under her wings.

At the end of her shift Elizabeth made her way to see Summer, the ever whizzing blur serving customers in the rush. Elizabeth picked a stool she found a stolen second with Summer as she and Simon served customer after customer in rapid succession. Summer had decided to work full shifts at the Diner until she had to go to Darling Honor.

A niggling feeling in Summer’s gut told her this time wouldn’t last long. Her free time would dissolve on Monday. Towards the end of her shift she recognised a face at the window, unable to stop. Elizabeth said good bye and made her way home.

Summer had been serving customers when Simon handed her coffee as she started to slow in the post rush lull. Simon offered to drop her off later, there had been someone lurking about a bit by the window. Summer merely shrugged drinking her coffee. The face at the window walked in and asked for coffee.

Simon locked onto him asking him why he stood outside if he wanted coffee. “Coffee is served inside not at a window, what do you think this is? A drive through?” Summer laughed and said she would take over. Simon looked confused as Summer began a little awkward small talk with Zach making him the coffee.

Zach still seemed a little shy and shocked by Simon’s earlier outburst. When Summer disappeared from view Simon took the opportunity to ask Zach what he was doing outside. “I er… I couldn’t make up my mind if I wanted caffeine.”

“That is what decaf is for. We are closing.” Simon retorted, still eyeing Zach with suspicion.

Simon kept his promise and took Summer to the manner, on the way he smirked, “you know I think he likes you.” Eyeing her sideways as she laughed.

“He can’t. The two of you seemed pretty close, maybe you are the object of his attention.”

“No, not a chance, not with the way he was looking at you, I wouldn’t stand a chance.” He winked.

Arriving home Summer walked through the door to be greeted by a letter in her face. Skimming over it the gist explained that unnatural hair colours were not permitted at Darling Honor and that the disobeying of the dress code would have severe punishment. Elizabeth told Summer she had booked her in to get her hair dyed back to brown. She would have to have her red and black toned back to brown.

Elizabeth was anxious not wanting to mess up when she knew the family would hear back. She urged Summer not to make an issue of this. Summer didn’t have the energy to argue even if she wanted to. She had to agree.

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