Subject: Mary Catherine's First Impressions,
Part 2 of 2
From: _marycatherine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 20 Nov 1999 10:57:11 -0800
Mary Catherine did her best to avoid Victoria and the Dean for the next week. Neither one of them sought her out and she tried to block the whole incident in her room out of her mind. Somehow she managed to convince herself that the extent of her punishment had been the Saturday restriction. She knew deep down that the Dean hadn't purposely sent her to such a harsh punishment . . . generally freshmen got a good scare on their first meeting with their senior advisor. Even if they met the paddle, most likely it was one quick swat.
The following Friday Mary Catherine found herself in trouble with Sister Constance again. Honestly, she didn't understand what she'd done wrong. She'd given her history report to the class and Sister Constance said she'd gotten one of her facts wrong. When Mary Catherine asked to get the text she 'd used as a reference Sister Constance said she was tired of Mary Catherine 's impertinent behavior. She then told her that she'd have to stay after class and do lines instead of going to watch Saint Sebastian's football game against Aldridge Prep with the rest of the girls.
Mary Catherine was bent intently over the chalkboard as she wrote in a small, neat, careful script, "I will not be impertinent." There was a small streak of chalk dust across her left cheek and another on the sleeve of her sweater. The heat had been turned on for the first time this fall and the small room was becoming unbearably hot. Suddenly she heard someone clearing their throat behind her. She swung around and saw the Dean standing behind her holding a small step stool.
He put it down and helped her climb the steps so she could reach the top of the board. "Thank you An . . . uh Sir, um Dean." He looked at her amused and said that she didn't need to use both Sir and Dean, one would do just fine. Then he asked her if she even knew what impertinent meant . . . of course she had to open her big mouth and show off. Sometimes she just didn't know when to quit . . . she was sure he was going to reprimand her and Mary Catherine got strangely silent . . . but then surprisingly he asked her for the chalk. Her hand shaking she handed it to him and watched as he wrote "PRECOCIOUS" on the board in large block letters in front of her. He then handed her back the chalk gave her an appraising look, ruffled her hair and told her to look that one up. He then left her to the lines that Sister Constance had sentenced her to write.
The Dean didn't see her look of surprise or the smile Mary Catherine had as she erased the Dean's handiwork. "Precocious" she said to herself. She knew exactly what that meant-she'd looked it up a long time ago. Did the Dean realize he'd used that word one of the first times they'd met? Did he use it today because he nearly caught her calling him Andy? Did he remember her she wondered?
She didn't think so, after all she'd just been Patrick's little sister to Andy when she came to visit with her mom and dad on St. Sebastian's parent's weekend six years ago. She'd been barely seven and he and Patrick had been 17 and 18 respectively, seniors at Saint Sebastians at the time. She'd followed them down to the riding ring and when Patrick's back was turned she'd grabbed the reins and jumped on his horse, stirrups flying, hell bent for leather as Patrick used to say.
By the time Andy caught up with her and jerked her out of the saddle and onto the horse in front of him, Patrick had been so mad that she was lucky that he didn't decide to turn her over his knee and spank her silly. Actually, he had sat down on the wall jump in the center of the arena and pulled her across his lap to do just that. "I swear EM, this time you've gone too far! You could have killed yourself with that little stunt! I know you're a great rider, but you've gotta learn to think before you go off and do things. Jude's a stallion, not one of your ponies." She'd started laughing, she couldn't help herself, Patrick was SOOOOO funny when he got mad at her. "Oh no, you don't, not this time," he said as he put the flat of his hand against her back. Even then she couldn't stop laughing, Patrick could never stay mad long enough to go through with it she thought.
It was then that Andy had spoken up, "Awwww, come on Wit, she's just a precocious little imp, give her a break." Patrick sighed and put me on my feet. "Saved again, EM," he said as he watched me smile sunnily at Andy. "You know she'll get into something worse now, just to see what will happen, don't you Andy?" They both looked at Mary, and Andy tipped her chin up to look in Mary's eyes, "Is he telling the truth, EM?" he asked. She started to shake her head no, but saw the look in his eyes and dropped hers to the ground, "Yeah, probably," Mary Catherine said scuffing the toe of her shoe into the dirt.
They both started laughing at her answer, and Andy looked at Patrick and said "Obviously incorrigible." Patrick made Mary swear she wouldn't tell mom and dad what she'd done, and then he swung Mary on his shoulders and the three of them walked back to the stables, Andy leading the horses behind them. Daddy took a picture of the three of them in front of the stables that day, Mary Catherine on Patrick's shoulders, Andy spraying both of them with the hose. They'd had the best water fight that day. It was one of the last happy times she could remember. A few months later, Patrick was diagnosed with leukemia and died just before he would have graduated from St. Sebastian's. Her parents never talked about Patrick after he died, and they' d almost forgotten that Mary Catherine existed. Did Andy forget about her too, she wondered? She'd thought so, but this encounter made her wonder . . .