A Parent's Selfishness

Disclaimer: I don't own Josette, Sybil, or the Chalet School series. They are completely the property of Elinor M Brent-Dyer's estate. I'm only playing with them.

A/N: Written for the July06 Challenge at Middles' Common-Room. In the first person, no more than 500 words on the last day of School.

Even after Mummie wrote to me, explaining exactly their reasons for taking Sybil and myself to Australia, and therefore not letting me have a year at Millies, I still can't believe this is my last day at the Chalet School

It has been such a big part of my whole life – the daughter of Madame, who started the school; the niece of Joey Bettany, the first pupil and one of the best Head Girls we ever had – that there is no chance of ever forgetting about School, even during the holidays. And now it is over, and I don't know how I feel about it.

It didn't really matter to my future that I didn't go to St Mildred's – the university won't accept me until I'm eighteen anyway. But I would have studied things and done things that I haven't had a chance to before, and won't have time for when I go to university in a year. And now it's all spoiled because Mummie and Dad are going to Australia for Dad's work, and want us to go with them. David and Ailie are staying in England – well, Ailie's staying here in Switzerland with Auntie Joey – because their schooling is too important to break for six months.

Sybil must be heart-broken. She had been working towards going to the Royal School of Needlework for years, ever since Auntie Phoebe told her that her embroidery was exquisite for someone of her age, and told her about the School. Sybs isn't clever with her schoolwork – not like David or I – but she worked so hard to keep up her marks. And she also had extra terms at Millies, learning the history of embroidery in addition to her regular classes.

Sybs told me once that she wanted to do embroidery for the Church, altar cloths and the like, as a thank-you to God for saving my life after the accident. Fifteen years, and she still feels guilty about it. I've told her time and again that it's gone and forgotten, but she's still dwelling on it, and I don't think she's ever going to forgive herself. So I encourage her when she's feeling low over her marks, listen to her plans for the pieces of work she's designing in her head, and hope so much for her to make a happy life with it.

And she would have, I'm sure, if we didn't have to go to Australia.