Nell Departs by Terry

I was looking through some of my older stories and thought I would post one or two on here, if you follow Lime Green you may have seen them.


This is based on the term Nell went to open the finishing branch.

Categories: St Mildred's House Characters: Nell Wilson
School Period: Armishire
School Name: St Mildred's
Genre: None
Series: None
Chapters: 4 Completed: No Word count: 1980 Read: 3204 Published: 23 Mar 2018 Updated: 23 Mar 2018

1. Chapter 1 by Terry

2. Chapter 2 by Terry

3. Chapter 3 by Terry

4. Chapter 4 by Terry

Chapter 1 by Terry

Nell paused in packing her trunk and looked at Hilda “I don’t want to go.”

Hilda went to her and held her “I don’t want you to go either, but you must, you deserve to be head in your own right.”

“But leaving you.” Nell whispered into her partner’s shoulder.

Hilda’s arms tightened, she spoke huskily” I know, I know, you will be so far away.”

“I could tell Madge no.” Nell said not very hopefully.

“What reason could you give?” Hilda smiled slightly “She doesn’t know about us, she can’t, we both realise that. So you can’t say no darling, she trusts you to make good her new venture, and I know you will, I believe in you, only” her voice broke “only it’s so far away.”

“I’ll be in Switzerland, you on the island. “Nell whispered “when will I see you again?”

“Christmas. “Hilda said firmly “Nothing will stop me coming to you there, or do you want to come here at the cottage?”

“We’ll discuss it later, but we will see each other.”

“For certain.” Hilda continued to hold Nell to her savouring her closeness, her mind trying not to dwell on just how much she was going to miss her. They had been together for so long, as colleagues, as friends, as partners’.” She relied on Nell’s common sense, her straight forward ways, her humour, her love. How would she cope as Head after having Nell beside her, just how would she manage alone, her arms tightened around Nell at that word, alone. She smiled slightly at her doubts, how others would wonder at them, Miss Annersley doubting herself. They must never know of course but some would guess.

Nell straightened up, rubbing her eyes. “I suppose I should get on if I am to get this done.”

“You still have three days before you need to go. “Hilda reminded her gently.

“Yes, but I want it done, out of the way, I want to be able to concentrate on us. “Nell told her fiercely trying to hide her pain.

Hilda nodded her understanding “I want that to.”

Nell heard Hilda go to make the ever healing cup of tea and she paused, looking around. It wasn’t so much the cottage, the building, but what she and Hilda had made together, a home, a haven. Yes, they were together at school but they had to be careful, wary, never letting their guard down, always, externally at least, the heads. Here they were safe, could be themselves. How would she cope by herself? Apart from that dreadful year when Hilda was injured they had always been together in some way, her impatience tempered by Hilda’s calm. Would she cope on her own, it was what she had always wanted wasn’t it, to be the head in her own right. She wasn’t sure, her confidence letting her down for once, or was it just the ever closer parting causing her to doubt. She sighed, turning back to her packing, wanting it done, finished, then she could forget it and pretend for three days that nothing had changed.

Chapter 2 by Terry

Hilda looked up “Nell….” then she stopped herself, Nell wasn’t there, hadn’t been there all term yet in unguarded moments she still found herself talking to her. She put down her pen and sighed, never before had she felt the loneliness that she had felt these last six weeks. Nearly half term, normally the two of them would have been planning something, but not this half term. Joey had offered her a place, and it was kindly meant but she couldn’t face the noise or bustle of a large family. There wasn’t time to go to the cottage, besides she wasn’t sure she really wanted to, it would make the feelings worse. She would just stay here, go for walks, try to enjoy the peace of a nearly empty school.

Nell looked out at grey skies and sleet, thinking over her first few weeks in charge. She had made mistakes, there were times she had needed Hilda’s advice so badly, times she wished she could have passed the problem to Hilda. She admitted with a smile to herself that Hilda was the better head, she wasn’t jealous of that, it was a fact. And she missed her so, so badly. And that was a fact as well.

Hilda looked out at the grey sea, she had received a letter from Nell that morning, it had both cheered yet saddened her. She thought honestly over the last six weeks, realizing that she had coped with all the problems by herself. No one appeared surprised that she had, nor really commented that she must be missing Nell. She smiled ruefully, she must be hiding it well, this loneliness. Was she the better head, the thought popped into her head unexpectedly, she pondered it.Then honestly admitted that she probably was, in some ways anyway, Nell had her own capabilities, together they worked well, apart, well Hilda knew she could cope now. But she missed her so badly, six more weeks, it seemed a lifetime.

Nell walked through the light covering of snow, very early that year, hopefully not a sign of a bad winter. She thought of the previous weeks, yes she had made mistakes but at the same time she had begun to find herself, not as Hilda’s shadow but head in her own right. Did she enjoy it, she pondered, yes, in a way she did, it could be quite exciting to work things out. She knew Hilda had carried her at times but now it was up to her alone and she was determined to cope.But she missed her partner, still six more long weeks to go.

Chapter 3 by Terry

Nell checked her sitting room and bed room yet again, was everything ready, perfect for Hilda’s arrival tomorrow. Why were the hours passing so slowly, she checked her watch again, only minutes had passed. She looked at the times again, she knew it all by heart, when she needed to leave to be there in time, they had clubbed together so that Hilda could fly in thus saving precious days. She went to the window looking out at the night, the moonlight glinting off the snow, she had checked the roads, the weather many times, everything looked fine. To distract herself Nell reviewed the previous term, yes there had been problems that she had never encountered in the main Chalet School, but that was to be expected, these girls were older, from different backgrounds. Things like make up and boyfriends were bound to be issues, she’d hoped not in the first term, with a wry smile, but they had and she had coped. Nell had a certain sympathy with the girls, also had realized just how insular the chalet girls appeared to those from different schools, it had been an enlightening term in many ways. She was looking forward to discussing what she’d noticed with Hilda, getting her thoughts on the issues. She had also found herself, the doubts of the early weeks had gone, she knew she could cope on her own, lead on her own, there would always be new issues but she felt now up to the task. Nell checked her watch again, the hands moved so slowly, but with a little laugh she realized staring at them wouldn’t make them move faster.

Hilda repacked her bags, had she got everything, Nell’s Christmas present, yes everything was there, and anything forgotten could be bought. That didn’t stop her worrying and checking she thought, these hours were dragging. Jem had kindly driven her to a hotel near the airport so that the morning would be easy, it was exciting, a challenge still to fly and she was both eager yet a little nervous, but she would do more to see Nell again. Was it too early for bed, perhaps, lying awake wouldn’t help her, so she ordered a pot of tea and sat looking out at the night. It had been a strange term by herself yet she had coped, in reality she hadn’t doubted that she would, but it was nice to be proven right. She had missed Nell but had grown used to the fact that she was not there, stopped saying her name without thinking. Of course she still thought about her all the time, still wanted her advice, but she had come to terms with the absence and the fact that she was the sole head of the school. Madge had seemed very pleased with both ventures, it seemed that Nell had had some interesting issues to deal with and she looked forward to discussing them with her, she loved talking things through with Nell, they often disagreed but there was never rancour. Without thinking she checked her watch, then laughed, this was silly, the morning would come.

Nell checked the arrival boards again, no change, it was on time, she was early, too early but impatience hadn’t let her wait any longer. She couldn’t sit still, but walking didn’t help, she tried reading someone’s discarded newspaper but soon lost interest.

Hilda waited impatiently as the plane taxied to the gate, all these people to get off, customs to get through, it was taking too long, couldn’t they see she was in a hurry.

People starting coming out, Nell anxiously scanned the faces waiting for the one face, the one she knew so well, the one she loved. And then she saw her, and couldn’t breathe for a moment, seeing Hilda looking around, searching. Hilda was excited but slightly anxious, three months was a long time, would she still feel the same, silly, of course she would. And then Nell stepped into view, love in her eyes and all Hilda’s doubts vanished, she resisted the urge to run into Nell’s arms but the two held each other closely, whispering, then arm in arm, Nell carrying the suitcase they went out to the car park.

Chapter 4 by Terry

Hilda and Nell breakfasted together, it was their last day, tomorrow Hilda had to return to the UK.Plans had already been made for the Easter holidays, Nell was travelling to the UK, to squeeze nearly two weeks together.

Today though they were trying hard not to think of it, the time had flown, where had it gone mused Nell, looking at Hilda. Strangely they had found themselves shy Nell remembered, but three months apart had caused that, and the strangeness of the new school to Hilda, but it had soon passed and the old relationship resurfaced. But not quite the same Nell realised,Hilda had changed a little, she had admitted finding it hard at first to run the school alone but had grown into it.Nell understood that, she felt more confident a person in her own right, head in her own right. One more day, one more to enjoy the company of the woman she loved, it wasn't enough, it would never be enough.

Hilda was aware Nell was looking at her and smiled, how she had missed this woman, these two weeks had been such a joy yet far too quickly over. One more day before she must return, no, she wouldn't think it, wouldn't think how much she would hate leaving Nell. Nell had changed, for the better, she believed in herself, knew that she wasn't just tagging along after Hilda, and Hilda was pleased, she had always knew Nell could do it, believed in her. Hilda had always known she could run the school by herself but without Nell some of the fun had gone, it could be boring where before Nell would usually lighten the mood. One more day, that's all, just one.

Two separate people, independent, intelligent, able to cope alone but not wanting to be alone, together they were a team, a partnership and that would never change.

End Notes:

The end

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