A/N: This story takes place during the fourth season of Facts of Life. Natalie's P.O.V.
It was so cold when I got up this morning I could see my breath in our bedroom. I was going to have to talk to Mrs. Garrett about getting Mr. Parker to turn the heat up. It's almost Christmas in Peakskill for crying out loud. I took my uniform off the table that sat in the middle of our room and opened the door. I quietly walked towards the bathroom hoping to be the first one up so I could have a hot shower. No such luck. I went to open the door, but it was locked. The water wasn't on so I knocked on the door.
"It's taken!" I could hear Blair say from the other side.
"Come on Blair! I have to take a shower before the others get up!" I exclaimed.
"I know that Natalie. That's why I'm in here right now." Blair stated. "I had to get up at six-thirty to get in the shower when I did." I could hear movement from our room. I knew that either Tootie or Jo was awake, possibly both of them.
"Hurry up Blair!" I exclaimed and I tried to open the door again.
"Alright! Alright!" Blair hollered. I let go of the doorknob and she unlocked the door and walked out. She was wearing her pink bathrobe. Her flowing, perfect blonde hair was resting on her shoulders, just freshly blow dried. Even at seven o'clock in the morning Blair Warner could look perfect. Blair looked in the mirror before stepping into the hallway. She scoffed.
"I look horrible."
"You look fine now can I please shower?" I asked getting a little upset this time. Blair glared at me.
"Be my guest. She stepped out of my way and I walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower. As the steam off the water started to heat up the room it took the chill off of my cold nose.
When I got out of the shower I went downstairs for breakfast. Tootie and Blair were already there helping Mrs. Garrett serve. I walked back and put on an apron.
"What's for breakfast?" I asked Tootie cheerfully. She looked at me and smiled.
"Well Mrs. Garrett said that since today is the last day before Christmas Break that we are having oatmeal because it's easy to clean up." Tootie poured some oatmeal in a bowl and then handed it to somebody over the glass counter and then looked back at me. "Can you believe they are actually letting us out of class a day early so we can be with our families? I'm so excited! I can't wait to get home to Washington." I patted Tootie's back.
"I'm sure you'll have a great time." I smiled. Mrs. Garrett walked over with a huge metal pan.
"Natalie, can you help me with this? We have three more we have to bring out here for the Eastland troops." She said.
"Sure." I walked into the kitchen with Blair following me.
"I just had one of my brilliant ideas." Blair said. I sighed. This was never good. Nevertheless, I turned around and smiled at her.
"What would that be Blair?" I questioned.
"Mrs. Garrett said she wanted us to help her with this, but I just had my nails done the other day and I would hate to hurt them. So why don't you just carry both of our tins out to Mrs. Garrett?" Blair asked in her high pitched girly voice with a look of sincerity on her face. I didn't question whether or not she was being serious. I didn't have to.
"Blair, it's oatmeal. I can't carry two at a time. Something might happen." I said trying to show her she was being unreasonable.
"Well then, maybe you can just make two trips." She smiled.
"Girls! Where is that oatmeal?" Mrs. Garrett hollered from the dining hall. Quickly I grabbed one and rushed out to take it to her.
"Where's Jo?" I asked her when I finished putting it down. Just then she walked over carrying trash.
"Right here. I've been picking up other people's leftover trash for fifteen minutes." Jo said and threw a bunch of stuff in the trashcan.
"Well, isn't that what you usually collect? Other people's trash?" Blair asked her. Jo glared at her. And took a step forward. The only thing standing between them was a Plexiglas window… and Mrs. Garrett.
"Say that again and you'll be picking your teeth out of your ears." Jo leaned in and looked at Blair. Blair, who usually isn't intimidated by Jo, backed up a little.
"Girls! This isn't the way to act right before Christmas!" Mrs. Garrett exclaimed. Jo backed up.
"Yeah, I gotta go call my pop. See if I'm still going to see him in the Bronx. Last I heard it was snowing pretty bad out that way." Jo walked away towards the phone.
"Blair! I can't believe you'd say something like that to Jo." Tootie exclaimed. Blair flipped her hair and smiled. Mrs. Garrett nudged Tootie.
"Don't encourage her." Then she walked off. I walked over to the window and looked outside. The snow was coming down awfully hard. I don't really want to ride the city bus home in this, but I can't ask Mrs. Garrett to cancel her flight back to Wisconsin just because I'm scared to ride the bus. Just as I was looking out the window, I heard footsteps behind me.
"Hello Mr. Parker." I heard Mrs. Garrett say. I turned around and saw our headmaster standing there with a distressed look on his face.
"Hello Mrs. Garrett." He rubbed his hands together. "Do you know if any of the girls have left to go home yet?"
"A lot of them have left already Mr. Parker. I'm not sure how many people are actually still at Eastland except for my girls and the few that are eating breakfast in there." She motioned towards the rotating door.
"That's the problem." He mumbled under his breath. I rushed over to him.
"What aren't you telling us Mr. Parker? What's going on?" I asked. He was hesitant to tell me. To even look at me for that matter. "Mr. Parker, you have to tell me. I'm editor for the school newspaper. I'm a student here for Pete's sake!" I exclaimed. Finally he looked at me.
"None of you are going home." He said quietly .
"What?" Mrs. Garrett and I said at the same time.
"None of you are going home. I just got a call. Peakskill is under a state of emergency. We are not allowed to leave the school for anything until the storm clears up." He replied.
"But that could be days. Today is the nineteenth. I told all my family I'd be home." I said.
"I'm sorry Natalie, but that's the best I can do. Until the storm clears up none of us are going home." He looked towards the door. "Well, I hate to leave you with this news, but I have to go to the other dorms and see if there are any other girls still here at Eastland." He walked out of the doors. Then Jo came busting into the kitchen.
"Guess what? Pop said we're going to Florida! He's coming to pick me up!" She exclaimed.
"No he's not." I said quietly looking at the floor.
"What? What are you talking about? I just got off the phone with him." Jo said. She looked between me and Mrs. Garrett. "What's going on?" Blair and Tootie walked into the kitchen behind Jo.
"Jo, they have called a state of emergency here in Peakskill. We have to stay here until the weather gets good enough to travel. You may be spending Christmas with us." Mrs. Garrett said and we all looked around the room at each other.