Six pairs of shorts later, my suitcase was almost packed. This poor Samsonite luggage had traveled more than many people had. We seemed to live out of suitcases, one piece of the many baggage boarding students seem to carry in their lives.
I sat down on my white Frette duvet cover and looked around my unusually tidy room. The school transport was leaving in thirty minutes, but I had packed and cleaned everything in advance. Other students were frantically packing up and getting excited for a long Spring Break.
I threw my window open, letting the frigid breeze sweep through my room one last time. In a couple of days, I would be lounging on a beach in Miami with Anne Carey.
I definitely needed some sun, and I wouldn’t mind hanging out with all those spring breakers. Nights in South Beach, days on Key Biscayne, weekend trips to the Keys…it was going to be a nice break from the winter wonderland that was the Academy. There was no way I was going to live at home by myself while my mother chased some old man around and did some half-ass charity work.
It had been a long two weeks, and as I sat waiting for transport, I thought about all that had happened…
I was late for my ride to my last snowboarding freestyle competition on a Wednesday when I thought of something brilliant. It was risky, but I bet it would shut up all those Parker boys…and Haymish Blake, too.
There was one faculty couple on campus that drove everyone crazy. The bats, as I called them, had been at the Academy for almost three decades. The Wetherby’s were administrative heads of their retrospective fields: Rob Wetherby was head of Academics, and Cheryl Wetherby was Dean of International students.
They both loved to catch students doing wrong, and personally, I was dead scared of Cher, as we referred to her with contempt. No one would dare mess with either of them, which gave me an idea.
Ms. Wetherby drove around campus on a small cream colored Vespa scooter which could be heard from all over. I would sometimes chuckle to myself as I heard the roar of her battery run engine, imagining her hunched over her handlebars and driving like a bat-outta-hell. She loved that little Vespa, and therefore students hated it out of spite.
That would be it: to mess with that little Vespa of hers. The ultimate dare. Something Haymish couldn’t back down from. Something that would definitely get him in trouble.
While he had certainly embarrassed us all, I was sure that Haymish wouldn’t pass a chance to make himself good in front of the school. It was so easy to convince Hannah Humphries that the Vespa was the perfect way to sabotage Haymish.
In order to keep our noses clean, we convinced Ian Davis, a sort-of friend of mine and certainly of Hannah’s, to leak the idea to the Parker boys. Since Ian lived in Parker, he could pass it along to all the boys until Haymish decided to show them up. He would think it was his idea in the first place, and that would make it so much easier to trick him.
About three days before the last day of Winter Trimester, I watched as Haymish and his cronies snuck into the Wetherby’s barn and move the Vespa into our auditorium. Instead of cutting the brakes, Haymish thought to hang the bike from the theater’s rafters: a little show of sorts for the student body the next morning. Little did he know that Hannah and I had everything on film, a little show of our own.
Perfectly on cue, I heard Ms. Wetherby’s awful scream when she saw her precious ride hanging 30 feet above the ground. Assembly was canceled and the students ordered back to dorms.
Hannah left a CD of Haymish’s late night escapades on the Headmaster’s doorstep earlier that morning, wrapped in a pink frilly bow – a nice Oliver dormitory touch.
I giggled as I thought about how boastful Haymish must have been to everyone, but the Headmaster would certainly wipe that little smirk right off his face.
What came next I had never expected. Nor Hannah. Nobody did.
But later that afternoon, Haymish Blake packed his bags and threw them into his stepmom’s Land Rover. His Parker friends waved as they drove down the main drag and into the sunset. He was expelled…
And suddenly, the slam of doors and the jostling noises of kids leaving the dorm made me snap to. It was time to go. I took one last look around my room, shut the window, grabbed my luggage and shut the door.
The next time I was back, I needed to be on my best behavior. This wasn’t a game anymore.