|With a twinkle in her flashing dark eyes
and a sparkling grin on her face Susan was there holding the big old heavy
door open at Home Five. Like all the students who came into the school
Sherry was just now arriving and she was filled with mixed emotions. She
was a little frightened, but not enough to hold her back for wanting to be
a part of the great place. The building would have been enough to
intimidate anyone with its heavy stone structure and there was certainly
room for that feeling of being threatened by the unknown. The students
helping with her trunk were putting their shoulders into the lifting of
it. She was now watching it disappear up the double staircase. The girls
had a look of bold frivolity as they carried it, something like what a
pirate might express. She didn't understand it at the time. Later it would
become clear, what these looks meant when the newcomer became accustomed
to the changing and exchanging of wardrobes.
The paper work had been finished and she
was now down to nothing left to do but to settle into the scheme of
things. If there was any sadness on her Mother's part, she as a true
alumnus of the school herself would never express this openly there before
her daughter, the matrons and the students. One last backward look at her
mother standing, smiling in the doorway and she was up the stairs with her
For a while she was busy putting her
clothes away and when finished with that, there was a quiet moment for
her. The girl was alone in her room. Sherry wondered who would be her room
mate. At the moment no one was there.
As if by timing Susan knocked a little tap
or two and opened her door. That same sparkle seemed to brighten up the
space with her entrance. There was a polish about the girl which seemed
extra ordinaire to this very green newcomer. Certainly Susan was in
control, not only of herself, but of any other circumstance coming her
"We are having a party of sorts in Mary's
room." "Want to come?" Susan was inviting her.
For whatever was expected of her, Sherry
did not know, but anything would be better than the quiet solitude of this
room with its sort of isolated feeling. "Sure." Sherry was agreeable. As
the girls walked down the shining floors of the hallway she was blissfully
ignorant as to how they got that way.
Sherry was greeted by the sight of the
girls in their pajamas. There was a party mode. Large boxes of popcorn
were filled. All about the room it was strewn like little white globs of
intrusive clutter on the shining bright-dark floors. The popcorn was
painfully out of place in this very neatly arranged room. It was obvious
the girls were not just eating it, but were using it rather like a pillow
The girls were showering each other with
popcorn, rubbing it into their opponent's hair, or dropping it down their
back. This was all something to think about for this newcomer. Her strict
conservative raising couldn't be concealed she was sure. She tried not to
wonder about how plentiful this food was. If in her mind she was seeing
her mother hoeing long rows of the grain, the picture did not come to her,
but, nevertheless; it was written into her conscience. In her girlish
beginning here she would find no fault with the fun loving ways of this
new girl she knew as, Susan. As time progressed she would observe many
times how these sweet ways were more than just a whimsical thing, but
rather the strength of a person who was truly a brilliant leader.
During the future times when different
triumphs and joys or sadness came to Sherry for some reason or other it
always seemed to be Susan who was there at any particular moment. She in
her lilting laughter and beaming countenance acted like a friendly spirit
sharing the trial or win. They were not close friends. Susan was a veteran
of the school and her time was to be spread about between the many
activities and her self-appointed responsibilities to one or another.
Truly Chilocco was the footstool for Susan. It was her Kingdom and she
ruled with the grace of a monarch, but with the dignity of goodness.
With the advent of the computer and the
renewed association of long lost friendships, the realization struck
Sherry these same emotions were tied up with all the students.
She read the notes and they were filled
with questions. "Do you know what happened to So and So?" Or maybe. "Have
you heard anything from him?" "I heard he died?" Still others might be
more definite as to their being leaders, "If you know or hear anything
from her, let me know?"