Annabelle, Loving. A Sequel to LA.

Summary: After Simone is released, she tells Annabelle that they cannot be together. So the young girl chooses to attend college far away, in North Carolina. But she may find more than she asked for at Meredith College.

{Prologue: Acceptance}

"Meredith Girls' College?" Senator Tilden read from the letter in a stressed tone. "Annabelle, are you sure-?"

"Mom, I got in! Do you know how hard the application process is? And how awesome MC is?"

"But Anna, given your track record with girls' schools in the previous months, let me say bluntly, I don't believe this is-"

"No, Mom, let me say bluntly," Annabelle snatched back the acceptance letter. "Salem, Mary Baldwin, Bennett, and Meredith are the only colleges that accepted me. Meredith was my top choice. I thought you'd be happy for me!" The Senator cringed; Annabelle could see she'd won that point, at least. It was a start.

"But, Anna, why are you bent on going so far away? Does this have anything to do with what that heinous teacher did to-"

"I thought we agreed never to speak of Miss Bradley." Annabelle's usually passionate and lively voice went immediately flat and quiet. "Look, Mom, either you agree to let me go to Meredith, or I'll run away and you'll never see me again. Although I know that's a tempting idea, at least think of what that would do for your publicity." That last phrase was scathing, harsh.

"Annabelle!" Her mother scolded. "I hope you're not implying I would be glad to be rid of you." The Senator shook her head. "I just don't think an all-female college, way out in the middle of Nowheresville, Virginia, is-"

"Meredith's in North Carolina, Mom!"

"-the best place for you. I want you to go to a good college, of course, but I wish you'd apply to some co-ed university close to home." Annabelle didn't answer; she merely crossed her arms and set her jaw in a firm way that said, "I'm going; don't try to stop me." The Senator had seen this look before, and it always ended with her name in the Times. She sighed again.

"I suppose, if you're so hell-bent on attending that school, I'll allow it."

Annabelle's shouts of joy filled the house and startled the servants so that one poor maid dropped the vase she was dusting.