Am I as selfish and snobbish as Lissie says?
Since she left, I can't stop thinking about what she said. At first, I thought she was just being spiteful - hitting out because I had called her out for her mistakes. I spent hours hating her and convincing myself that she was wrong. But then I read back over our messages. And she's right.
I've talked about James and Finch so much it hurts. There was a lot to say, and it's hardly surprising that I spoke to her when she has so much experience with boys. Who else would I have talked to? She was my best friend - the only person I knew to turn to that knew me completely. But I could have spoken about them less. Should have spoken about them less. Spoken about her.
Re-reading our messages, it's painful how much is centred around me. How unhappy I was to move. How I wanted to get into Oxford. How James had done me wrong. How I had boy problems, and Savannah problems, and American History problems. Me, me, me. My 'awful' situations were of my own making, not out of my control like hers. Had I actually asked, she might have told me what was going on at home. I can't believe I didn't pick upon how deeply unhappy she is. It's clear when I look back. When did I become so selfish?
Hillview Hall is a perfect example of my self-interest, as is Miss Constance's offer. Of course, going to Hillview would be great for me and my future, but I didn't consider how being at Hopton Hills benefited everyone else. Oscar and I being in public schools (excellent public schools at that) saves my parents a fortune each year - one that allows Mum time off work to focus on her painting. $30,000 a year on tuition is a lot of money, even if it isn't the almost $50,000 for the overseas student tuition back at MillFallows.
As for Miss C, I chose not to help her, even when she was so welcoming and I could have been useful, because it didn't fit my careful plans. I chalked it down to not having time, but taking a few hours every Saturday morning wouldn't have impacted my life at all. I couldn't see that volunteering at the studio would have made me feel connected to Hopton Hills so much quicker if I'd just let myself be part of it.
I was a snob. I thought I was above the town. That I was cleverer, brighter, destined for more than they could offer me. I didn't want to be part of the studio because I thought I was better. How wrong could I be? Being around someone as kind and generous as Miss C could only have ever made me a better and fuller person.
And then there is Finch.
I know that getting involved with him would hurt James. And I did it anyway because I wanted to. Because James had wounded my pride. I know it would hurt my parents to find me with him, and yet I still snuck him into our house, and into the Summer House with him.
Finch was one bad decision after another. But I was the one who kept making them. Who kept letting him in and then shutting him out. I expected so much from him but wouldn't open up long enough to tell him what I wanted. Was it really his fault for not living up to the impossible standards I set? To be the person I knew he was?
Martha May Heysham 2.0 - New Year goals for living a better life
1. Help Miss Constance teach at the dance studio
2. Give up my place at Hillview Hall
3. Accept Dean Stanger's offer to be part of the Honour Roll Programme and really make the most of being t HHHS
4. Ask people more about themselves
5. Let go of people who do not bring out the best in me
6. Work out what really makes me happy
7. Look at a range of Universities
YOU ARE READING
Under Tennessee SkiesTeen Fiction
When she moves from England to the small town of Hopton Hills, Tennessee, Martha Heysham finds both her dream of Oxford University and her heart at risk from her new neighbours, the Whittingham boys. **** Martha Heysham hates Tennessee. The sticky h...