Eventually Jo did talk to Mrs. Garrett. She told her everything and Mrs. G. wasn't too surprised. Edna had been wondering about Blair for some time now. Her dating the young men from Bates Academy had ceased and she was spending so much time with Jo. They were inseparable for the past 2 months and although the arguments continued, Jo seemed a little too happy. Now she wished Jo the best of luck and then told the happy couple that she needed to speak to them in private.
Once the kitchen work was done, Natalie and Tootie went to the lounge to play Monopoly. Mrs. Garrett rounded up Jo and Blair, and she ended up sitting both girls down for a heart to heart in her bedroom.
Blair was very nervous, fiddling with her Eastland tie, while Jo was taking it all in, giving Mrs. G. her full attention.
"Girls, we need some rules now that your relationship has gone to another level." Edna started out by saying.
Blair smiled slightly, "That sounds so profound."
Mrs. Garrett nodded, "I believe Oprah will steal it from me in a few years."
"Who?" Jo asked.
"Never mind. Now rules...I take it you haven't told Natalie or Tootie about this." Mrs. G queried.
"Well, Natalie already knows, she figured it out around the same day we did. I doubt she has told Tootie though. We told her not to." Blair said rolling her eyes. This was becoming excruciating. Will they print an article about them in The Eastlander perhaps? Blair liked to brag but this was, well, a different situation. Something she wanted to keep private because it was important to her. Special, one might say.
"Alright, well, that's a good thing because the rules involve them too. Now Jo...Blair...if one of you were a young man, you would not be sharing a room with three girls. That is obvious. But since the situation is well, different, you both still need to look at it that way." Edna Garrett said quietly.
The girls nodded in agreement.
"Now, I'm very open minded but until you two have graduated and moved on, you will abide by my rules. This isn't The Blue Lagoon. I would like to think I instilled some good morals in both of you, so the rules shouldn't be too painful. First, you stick to your own beds, please. Remember you and your roommates are underage. Blair I know you are 18 now, and Jo will be 18 in a few months, but, the rule sticks. Second, let's try and keep the PDA to a minimum. Not everyone is as open minded as us." Mrs. Garrett concluded.
"PDA?" Blair asked with a funny look.
"Personal display of affection, it's a term I read about on the Eastland Assembly BBS." Edna replied with a smile. Those darn computers might actually become useful some day, she would bet on it.
"We can abide by those rules. Just two, huh?" Jo said with thumbs up.
"Well, those are my two. Your parents, Jo, would prefer you move to another dorm, and Blair, both of your parents are concerned about the social-economics of the situation. Consider yourselves lucky I am your guardian right now or things could be very different. If you are surprised that they know already, you can thank your own behavior. They and I noticed something was different months ago. You can't fool us old people." Edna replied with a slight nod of her head.
"Oh." Blair blanched a nice snowy white. She was going to be sick, she thought. She was holding out on telling her mother because A) Jo was Jo and B) Jo was Jo.
Jo frowned and wanted to punch a wall but she kept her arms down, "Yeah well parents are parents right?" She was surprised by her parent's attitude but then she realized, Mrs. G. was right. What if one of them was a boy. And she had to give her Ma and Pop alot of props for not coming to Eastland and embarrassing her in front of everyone. She could live with their outlook, since it was Blair Warner they were trying to protect her from. She chuckled a bit.
Edna nodded and sighed.
"My parents didn't mean that." Blair said quietly, to Jo.
Jo shrugged, "They think I am in it for the money. Sheesh."
Blair frowned and turned on Jo, "Your parents want you to move away from me. Where's the trust?"
Mrs. Garrett held up a hand, "Girls, please. That's just what they said at first. It was a shock. Now they are fine. Wait until graduation next week; you'll see how accepting they really are."
"Graduation. Right. I forgot." Jo said as she glanced over at Blair.
"What do you think we'll do after graduation? I mean, living wise?" Blair asked, innocent enough.
Jo shrugged, "Dorm life at Langley will be different. My scholarship papers say I can apply for a double room."
Blair blushed, "I've received my paperwork for a single room. It costs extra but I applied before we...you know."
"Its okay, Blair, we are not gonna live together. We are kinda young for that anyways. It'll be fine, right Mrs. G?" Jo asked.
Edna Garrett didn't know how to answer so she just steered the conversation back to graduation and the 'rules'. "Girls, just try hard to be good until you go to college. I'm still in charge of you and my record here at Eastland is less than stellar. And Jo, to answer your question, yes you are too young to live together while in college. It will affect your grades and many important social situations. Err on the side of caution and just remember to think of it as if one of you were the fella. Would you live with a boy that soon? Think about it."
Blair stood up, thinking the meeting was over but Jo still sat on her chair looking at Mrs. Garrett.
"Is there something else, Jo?" Edna asked.
"Ah...yeah...well, is it okay for Blair and me to...you know..." Jo said quietly until Blair interrupted her.
"...Jo! Can we leave here with some of our dignity and privacy intact? Is it possible for us to have some semblance of decency..." Blair stuttered out loudly then it was Jo who interrupted her.
"...GO OUT ON DATES, is what I was gonna say, you numbskull!" Jo yelled.
"Oh." Blair said sitting back down.
Edna shuddered and wondered how they could even consider being a romantic couple, let alone, friends. Suddenly she realized both girls were waiting for a response, and she tried to recall what the question was. Oh right...
"Of course you can date. How else will you get to know each other better?" Edna said, feeling stupid. Getting to know each other, right Edna, she thought trying to get the mental picture out of her head. Oh God, when will I be retiring?
"Do we still have a curfew?" Blair asked, hopeful.
"Of course you do, have you not been listening?" Edna responded, annoyed that Blair was being, well, herself.
"Thanks Mrs. G, let's go Blair!" Jo said getting up and pulling at Blair's arm.
"Goodnight, girls, sweet dreams." Edna said as she watched Jo pull a disgruntled Blair out of the room. God speed, Jo, she thought sadly, reaching for a jar of Aspirin and a glass of water.
Once in the hallway and the door closed, Jo let go of Blair and crossed her arms. She was pissed.
"What are you doin' given Mrs. G a hard time. We should consider ourselves lucky." Jo said extremely annoyed.
Blair paced, and whispered loudly to Jo, "This is humiliating, Jo! Our personal business is being splattered all over the place. Our parents are privy to our...business. How can you be so calm?"
Jo shrugged and smiled slightly, "Because I know that everyone is on our side, at least the people that count. Natalie jibes us constantly, but I know that if someone ever said something gross about me and you, Nat Green would deck them. Our parents are allowing us to stay together because they trust us. Mrs. G cares about us and wants us to be happy. You are looking at it the wrong way. We should be happy so many people know and care...and at the same time...don't care, you know what I mean?"
Blair looked at Jo thoughtfully, "I didn't think of it that way. I guess my pride was bruised, just a little. I'm used to doing as I please and no one questioning it."
"But they ain't questioning it, Blair, they are just trying to make sure we are okay. There's a difference." Jo replied, in a gentle voice. She was trying to put Blair's mind to rest.
Blair sighed and stopped pacing, "I used to love attention, but now I'd rather be living on an island."
"Yeah. With our luck, we'd be voted off the first day...you know, the tribe has spoken!" Jo said with a chuckle.
"What are you babbling about?" Blair asked, now even more confused.
"Um...nothing, just something I dreamed about a few nights ago. Look Blair, we're gonna be okay. You gotta have some rough patches before you get to the smooth pavement. We'll make it." Jo said with a smile.
Blair was uncertain, mostly because paved road analogies were silly. She was thinking it was more like the diamond in its purest form. That was more like it. The old 'Diamond in the rough' story was more her style. She kept it to herself though, since Jo looked so happy. "I get it, Jo. I guess I need to look at it all with different perspective."
"Yeah...that's the spirit. Now, I gotta study for that French exam or I am gonna get a F." Jo said, feeling that the drama was now over and she could get back to the real worries she had, like school and money.
Blair smiled, "Mon amour, je vais vous aider avec votre français. Je vais ensuite embrasser et vous embrasser!"*
Jo gave her a blank look, but said "Okay. Oui oui, mon amie Blair. How was that?"
Blair rolled her eyes and put her arm into Jo's and walked her to their shared room, "Oh Jo, you are too cute for words, even French ones."
"Merci, Blair, merci!" Jo said with smile. Jo thought she should know more French, having actually been to France. But she just wasn't into that foreign stuff like Blair. Come to think of it, Blair was kinda like foreign stuff. But stuff she wanted to get to know lots and lots better. Jo chuckled at her pun, ah she was funny sometimes.
They studied until bedtime, and while brushing their teeth in the shared bathroom, while everyone was looking elsewhere, Blair showed Jo a little 'baiser français'** of her own.
Definitions for the not so smart English people (Just Kidding):
*I will help you with your French and then we can make out.