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“I never wanted to be Head Girl you know” Len remarked to Ted as they worked together sorting books in the library.

“Why not? Here, catch, that goes in your pile”

Len deftly caught the flying book with a grin “Don’t rip the blessed things, I’ve no money to pay for them”

“We could just hide it in the box”Ted suggested “After all we won’t be here next term” She worked for a moment then went back to Len’s comment “So why didn’t you want to be Head Girl?”

Len considered for a moment “I don’t think I was the best choice “she said honestly “I sometimes wonder if I got the job because I am a Maynard”

Ted stopped what she was doing “How do you mean?”

Len perched on a table “Well there’s the business about me being the eldest, the responsible one, etc, that was forced upon me in a way. Being the eldest of 11 kids, even if only by half an hour, it was expected of me, and I went along with it”

“Why, if you didn’t like it” Ted continued sorting books.

Len swung her long legs as she tried to gather her thoughts” Easiness in a way. I got used to doing it, the kids behaved for me because I was the eldest. Maybe, in some ways, I liked it, you know, being the go to girl for everyone. But I got tired of it, got tired of not really being me” She idly sorted a pile of books. “But by then it was too late to change, it was how everyone saw me, steady, responsible, reliable, caring Len, almost the perfect person.”

Ted looked at her friend thoughtfully “When did the feelings change?”

“When Mary-Lou lectured us all, told me to leave the others to stand on their own feet. “

“You listened to her?”Ted laughed.

“No, of course not, did anyone really, but it annoyed me. Here was I doing what everyone expected of me, more or less what I had been brought up to do and she is telling me off. I can tell you it really riled me”

“Did you say anything to anyone?”

“Like who? The staff seemed to think Mary-Lou was special, so complaining about her would have done me no good. You were a very new friend at the time. Ros tried to understand, was a star at listening but never quite got it”

“I’ve always wondered why the staff thought M-L was so wonderful, strange that they never picked up what the school as a whole was thinking”

Len jumped off the table grinning” You are so right! Anyway by then it was too late for me to change publicly, I could hardly become a different person so I acted it a lot. I was upset when they made me a prefect, I just wanted so space after M-L had left, but didn’t get it. Then Senior Prefect, which was ok, Ros as Head Girl did all the work. When she had to leave early and I got the job…….can’t really describe how I felt. The only plus to that was “with a smile “you getting to be Senior Prefect”

Ted smiled also “The terrible twosome”

“Thanks for all your help and support, you carried me you know, I realise it, I wish others could have seen that”

Ted blushed slightly “I knew at times you struggled, it’s what friends do, help each other”

“Well you certainly did, and I’m grateful”

“So why do you think it was because you are a Maynard?”

“Family tradition, we’ve had Head Girls from all the other branches of the family, I was the eldest of our branch so I got it”

“No, Len, there’s more to it than that” Ted protested “You did a very good job, acting or not, you have been, in my opinion, one of the best”

“Not biased at all my friend “Len smiled.

Ted smiled back “Maybe a little, but you have done a good job. The younger ones liked you, they knew you would listen, they all respected your discipline, and you were always fair. Don’t belittle your efforts. You would help without interfering, I’ve seen it, I’ve heard what they have said”

It was Len’s turn to blush” Thanks Ted, that means a lot to me. It was a struggle at times, to keep up the act, to be the  me they expected. I’m glad it’s over “

“And at college?”

Len grinned widely” I’m going to be me, the really messy, untidy, imperfect me”

Ted laughed at her “I’m glad I’ll be there with you to see that”

“So am I, really glad”

They worked together for a while longer. “That’s it done, let’s go “Len said decidedly

Ted remembered a comment Len had made “If you didn’t think you were best for the job who would you have picked”

Len looked seriously at Ted, opened the door, switched off the light, and said “You.”

 

 

 




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