Sunday, September 3, 2023

The new neighbors part 2

It was a busy week for the new neighbors.

I bought bicycles for both of us, and tested mine with visiting the village. I discovered the now closed old school. It looked picture perfect, with flowers decorating the large windows of the only two classrooms. I noticed the repainted bike-shed, the paved schoolyard opening onto a manicured lawn. I was surprised by such maintenance for a closed school.

Burning with curiosity, I went to park my bicycle under the bike-shed. I was surprised to find numerous bikes, and a very well maintained Morris Minor. It looked like the Quatre-Cheveaux of my grandfather. 

 I peered into one of the classrooms, and saw over half a dozen girls my age sitting two by two on old fashioned wooden seats attached to desks with inkwells. On the old blackboard, a literature class was mentioned with elegant chalk handwriting. I saw that the teacher's desk was set atop a platform, but there was no teacher. I just about jumped out of my knickers when a stern voice asked from behind me. "May I help you?" 

 A tall, ageless lady was looking down on me as if I was a schoolgirl. She looked like the epitome of the English school mistress according to my French imagination, and I did feel like a schoolgirl.

I stammered a pitiful. "G... g... good afternoon Ma'am."

"From your accent, I take it that you are French. What is your name?"

"Yes Ma'am, I am French, and my name is Martine."

"Would you like to improve your English?"

"Huh! Jeremy, who's my husband and English, often says that I could use a few lessons."

"I am Miss Murray and with help from to village's city hall, I have reopened the old school to help young ladies prepare various exams. We don't specifically offer English lessons, but you are welcome to attend our comprehensive classes offered four times a week. I do have to warn you that we believe in traditional discipline."

I tried to imagine the sting of a springy English school cane, and couldn't mouth more than another silly, "Huh!" with a deep blush.

A bell interrupted her, and the dismissed the pupils of Monday's class ran out of the old school house. Among them, I was quite surprised to find Helen. "Yoh! You're a teacher?"

"Oh no! I am one of the pupils."

"I do need to improve my English."

"It would be great! We would be school chums!"

"But... but... she has mentioned traditional discipline!"

"From what I saw yesterday, you have some experience."

I blushed crimson for that memory.

She gave me a challenging smile. "Come on, don't be a chicken!"

I knew that Jeremy would eventually find out about that school, and register me after a having tanned my bum for not having done so by myself.

Helen showed me the small office at the end of the corridor between the two classrooms. After having gently knocked on the door with the gold plate reading Headmistress, I was invited to enter.

"Please Ma'am, may I register."

"Of course, please have a seat, and tell me about your level of schooling."

"Well, I have the baccalaureate."

"With honors?"

"Hum... not exactly... I had to take the remedial oral exam."

"Were you punished for such a poor achievement?"

I felt a hot flush as I blushed.

"Huh... nope... my parents were relieved that I graduated."

"Let me guess, you weren't exactly a star pupil?"

I blushed the more, and only nodded.

"You were punished for your poor results?"

I imagined that my cheeks were crimson as I again nodded.

"Very well, while with us, I will make sure that you are severely punished for your poor grades."

I had questions as to how she will do that, but I kept them for myself and signed up. I rode back home with Helen and we giggled like the 6th formers from the nearby public school.

Jeremy, had returned from work, I gave him a kiss and announced. "Cheri, I have registered at the old village school. They have a comprehensive program of classes to help young ladies my age to prepare various exams. It's four times a week. Since I already have the baccalaureate, I will take the A levels."

"Excellent! I will be closely supervising your grades."

"Please don't be too severe!"

"It will be up to you. I remember your mother telling me that you wouldn't have had your baccalaureate without numerous fessées cul nu au martinet!"

"You're a beast!"

He laughed, we both laughed.

"Helen is also attending those classes."

"I am sure that Andrew is closely monitoring her."

Meanwhile, across the street, Helen fidgeted as she stood in front of the dining room table while Andrew carefully studied her weekly report card. "Not great, but good enough." The strap remained on the hook by the fridge, and she kept her knickers till being carried to bed.

Martine and Helen

To be continued...


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