Broken Wings (Broken Wings 1) - Page 67

“I am sure you realize, Mrs. Sommers, that this is Teal’s fourth appearance before me generated by her misbehavior in three months.”

“Yes, of course. I’m very, very upset about it, Mr. Bloomberg.”

“We pride ourselves on how well run our classrooms are and how professional our staff is. To waste all that over this sort of thing is more than just a breach of our school rules; it’s a veritable sin.”

“Oh, I agree,” Mother said. He could have said, “Let’s hang her at dawn,” and she would have nodded. As long as it didn’t conflict with her hair appointment, of course.

“Alcoholic beverages, drugs of any kind, weapons of any sort, all those are grounds for expulsion after only one incident, Mrs. Sommers, much less three or four. I have,” he continued, reaching for a document on his desk, “asked Mrs. Tagler to retrieve your contract with us. Both you and Teal signed the document when she entered the school, you will recall. I have underlined the stipulation that if and when Teal should be asked to leave the school as a result of repeated misbehavior, you forfeit your tuition.”

He handed it to Mother, who pretended to read it with interest and then handed it back to him, nodding.

He then sighed deeply and looked at me.

“Is there any possibility you will change your behavior, Teal?” he asked.

Mother turned and glared through me.

I shrugged. He knitted his thick, dark brows together and leaned forward.

“That’s not quite the response I was looking for,” he said.

My mouth felt so dry. That was all I could think about, and I was on the verge of asking for a drink of water. He turned to Mother.

“If she is sent to this office again for any reason, no matter how small the violation, we will have to ask her to leave the school. For now, she is suspended for three days. I hope you and your husband will impress upon her how serious this has become, Mrs. Sommers. We’re not a public school. We don’t have the time or the inclination to reform disrespectful young people. Anyone who attends this school should know the value of the education he or she will receive.”

I wanted to put my fingers in my ears, but I didn’t dare. Most of the time, actually, I wanted to put my fingers in my ears. I guess drinking booze was just another way to do it, especially at this school for penguins and canaries, I thought.

“I understand,” Mother said. She glared at me. “We’ll have a good talk.”

He nodded, firming his lips and looking at me skeptically. Our eyes met, and he knew the clock was ticking on my expulsion. He could also see how little importance I was placing on it.

“Very well,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a tone that clearly indicated the meeting had ended.

Mother rose, and I followed her out. Mrs. Tagler looked up at us as we passed through the outer office. She and my mother exchanged looks of sympathy as if I was more like a disease than a child.

“Your father is going to go ballistic over this, Teal,” she said as we left the building and headed toward Mother’s big Mercedes.

I knew what was coming. Mother had a set lecture. I really believed she had written it all down and memorized it. It always began with how much my father had done for me. The lecture started as soon as we were in the car and she was driving out of the school parking lot. She should have recorded it and put it on a CD she could just play, I thought.

“Look at what you have, Teal. A beautiful home. Your own suite, your own telephone and a computer, clothes that rival any princess’s wardrobe, clothes you don’t wear, I might add. Any toy you wanted as you grew up, you got. You have servants waiting on you, a car and driver to take you wherever you want to go, and if you behaved, you would have your own car. Why, why are you like this? What do you want?” she asked, a little more hysteria in her voice than usual.

I looked out the window.

What did I want?

Should I tell her? Could I ever tell her? How do you tell your own mother that what you want the most is simply to be loved?



At wasn’t a surprise to me that I often imagined myself locked in some echo chamber. My big house was filled with words that bounced around me, repetitions of threats, lectures, and ever-changing rules. In other homes, I suspected the walls lovingly absorbed the words spoken between mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters, but not in mine. The warmth in our home came from central heating, not from smiles and kisses, hugs and loving caresses.

A few years ago, I sat and thumbed through the pile of family albums we had in the den. I was more fascinated with my brother when he was younger and his relationship to my mother and father than I was with anyone else. One of my therapists once accused me of being a little paranoid about it. He was referring to the way I described my mother smiling at Carson or holding Carson’s hand, or the way my father held him when he was a little boy, and the way they held me or looked at me when I was his age.

First, there were three times more pictures of Carson than there were of me. Mother’s explanation for that was my father became more successful during my early years and was far busier than he had been when Carson was growing up. Therefore, there wasn’t as much time to recreate. As he became more important in the business world, they moved up the social ladder, and Mother had the added burden of presenting him and herself to the substantial world, as she liked to call it. She became a social bird who primped her feathers and held court at dinners and balls, making sure her face was pasted on the society pages and in the slick community magazines. If I even approached what some might consider a complaint about how little we did together, I was told the sacrifices were all very important and good for the family, which of course included me, so I shouldn’t feel I was neglected.

I had three nannies in my first ten years, two of whom, according to my father, demanded battle fatigue insurance. I suppose the worst thing I did before I was nine was knock over the perfumed candle in Mother’s bedroom after she and my father had left for a dinner with the mayor. It was my misfortune or my intention, depending on who tells the story, that the candle remained burning. Its tiny flame managed to lick the sheer nightgown my mother had on a hanger by her closet door. That triggered a bigger fire, which spread into the walk-in closet.

Tags: V.C. Andrews Broken Wings Horror
Source: Copyright 2016 - 2023