One day the flashy, flamboyant, bodacious Callie walked up to Martina, and with no hesitation said, “what’s your story?”
Martina sheepishly said, “I don’t have a story.” Callie quickly retorted, “you’re alive aren’t you?” Martina said, “Yes.” Callie said, “then you have a story.”
Martina, almost apologetically said, “it’s not a very interesting story.” Callie put her arm around the much shorter Martina and said, “well, that’s something we shall have to change, isn’t it? Meet me in the downstairs rotunda after school and we’ll have a chat.”
Before Martina could tell her that the chauffeur would be waiting, Callie was off like a streak of lightning.
After the bell rang for the dismissal of the day, Martina nervously made her way to the rotunda. When Callie came walking up, Martina said that her “ride” was waiting outside and she had to go. Callie said, “okay. I’ll come with you. I can come to your house with you, if you like.”
Martina asked if she didn’t need to go home. Callie said, “both my parents work and they won’t be home for hours, so they won’t mind.” She laughed as she said, “can’t mind about something you don’t know about, can you?”
Martina had never met anyone like Callie. She’d never really “met” anyone, other than the children of her parent’s friends, who were all cut from the same cloth. Little adults in children’s bodies, just waiting to emerge from their cocoons to become just like their boring parents, living their boring lives.
Martina had never had an “outsider” come to visit. She wasn’t sure what Morton, the chauffeur would say, but she knew her parents would be busy and wouldn’t notice. When Morton opened to door for Martina, Callie jumped in like she owned the car. Martina smiled as she followed.
Callie looked at her and said,”I’ve been watching you for a while, and that’s the first time I’ve ever seen you smile. You should do it more often.”
Morton turned onto what seemed like a mile long driveway. When Callie first gazed at the stately manor, she said, “great jumping Jehoshaphat! This is where you live?” Martina quietly said it was. Callie said, “cool. Let’s go inside.”
Morton drove them around to the back entrance and Martina took Callie to the drawing-room. Callie plopped down into a comfortable, down-filled chair just as Mr. Bradley, the butler, came in.
“Good afternoon Miss Martina. Could I get you and your visitor something to drink?” Before Martina could answer, Callie laughed as she said, “Yes, Jeeves. Could your bring us a beer?”
Mr. Bradley frowned as he said, “the name is Mr. Bradley. I am the butler and no, miss, I will not bring you a beer. Perhaps you would enjoy a glass of lemonade.” Martina looked at him and said, “this is my friend, Callie.”
Mr. Bradley grunted as he walked out of the room. As soon as he was out of earshot, Callie said, “now, am I going to have to call your mother and father, ‘my lord and my lady’? I mean, are they royalty or something?” Martina smiled and said, “no, they’re not royalty. They’re just rich.”
Like flipping a switch, Callie said, “okay. Do you have homework?” Taken a little aback, Martina said, “yes, but not much and it doesn’t matter if I do it or not.” Callie asked what she meant.
Martina said, “my parents have endowed the school, which of course, ensures that I will receive my diploma. A diploma that will have absolutely no value. A diploma that will never be framed or even looked at. A diploma that will be stored in the attic, along with all the other trophies, awards and accolades my parents have bought for me.”
Callie said, “you know, you have to think about college.” This free-spirited, fly by the seat of your pants, seemingly not a care in the world girl was now talking about college. “You do want to go to college, right?” Callie asked. Martina just looked at her like a deer caught in the headlights. Callie said, “you do, right? Say yes.” Martina continued to look at her with a blank expression and once again, Callie said, “say yes.”
Martina took a deep breath, smiled and said, “yes.”
To be continued______________