It was an average summer Saturday morning at the Finsters house. Kimi and Chuckie were watching cartoons, Kira was fixing pancakes for breakfast, and Chazz was mowing the back yard. Just then the phone rang. Kira answered it.
"Hello?" she said.
"Hello, Kerima!" said a voice at the other end, "This is Anita and Pierre. We want to talk to you and your husband about enrolling Kimberly in Mrs. Edwards Boarding School for Girls, and Charles, Jr. in Mr. Hannas Boarding School for Boys.
"We will not send our children to boarding school!" Kira protested, "They are doing fine in the school that they are going to!"
"We knew that you wouldnt agree. So we filed a court case, that, if won, will give us the right to enroll both Kimberly AND Charles, Jr. in six years of the boarding schools! If you do not arrive at the courthouse at 5:00 next Friday, we will automatically win the case!"
Kira had no choice. That Friday, she, Kimi, Chuckie and Chazz arrived at the courthouse. The jury took a long time to decide, but finally the judge announced their decision:
"The jury has decided that Anita and Pierre LeClerc are hereby authorized to enroll Kimberly Finster and Charles Finster, Jr. in one month of boarding school each, at the expense of the LeClercs. After the one month period, it'll be up to their parents to decide whether or not they'll stay in boarding school. Should they decide to let the kids stay, they can, but only at the expense of the LeClercs. Since Charles and Kira Finster are the parents of Chuckie and Kimi, they, and they alone, should decide which school is best. We are allowing only one month of boarding school for each child, so their parents could help decide the proper direction for the kids to go. Also, if either child wants to leave before their month is up, they are free to do so, without any interference."
"But you said six years! With no exceptions!" Pierre cried.
"I said the jury has decided!" the judge said, "One month it will be, subject to conditions!"
Pierre growled loudly in anger.
"What is boarding school anyway?" Kimi asked as they drove home.
"Well, boarding school is like private school, except you live their until the Summer Vacation. Usually only rich kids go to boarding schools.
"You mean we have to live at school!" Chuckie cried, "Oh, no!"
Before long, it was time for Kimi and Chuckie to go to boarding school. They had packed everything they could, including their Wawa and Superthing. Then their parents drove them to the airport, where a jet would take them to Boston, where their boarding schools are located. They had been dressed, by Anita and Pierre, in fine French clothing. Kimi wore a royal blue, silk dress. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and she had a large, purple, satin bow in her hair. She had gold, clip-on earrings and a pearl necklace. Chuckie wore a shiny black silk suit, with a red velvet French hat and a red satin tie. Both Kimi and Chuckie were completely embarrassed.
The plane took a long time.After arriving in Boston, they went their separate ways -- Chuckie said good bye to Kimi, and they both took their taxis to their schools.
Chuckie soon arrived at Mr. Hannas Boarding School for Boys. At the door, Mr. Hanna greeted him. Mr. Hanna had perfect, shiny, brown hair that was combed back perfectly. He was wearing a blue tuxedo with a blue velvet jacket, blue satin pants, and a navy blue silk tie. He had a monocle in his left eye. His right eye was closed.
"You have red hair. I do not like red hair," Mr. Hanna commented coldly, "What is your name?"
"Charles Crandall LeClerc, Jr.," Chuckie answered (Anita and Pierre had signed him up under LeClerc, so he and Kimi had to use that last name instead of Finster).
"Crandall is a funny middle name. I do not like funny names --- first, last, OR middle," said Mr. Hanna rudely. Chuckie gulped. Mr. Hanna was scary.
"You are on Floor 20, in Room 2020, in bed 20," Mr. Hanna told him.
"Where is that?" Chuckie asked.
"On the 20th floor, in 2020th room," Mr. Hanna said.
"But I dont know where that is," Chuckie told him nervously.
"Find it!" Mr. Hanna snapped.
"How will I find it?" Chuckie wanted to know.
"LOOK!!!!!!" Hanna raged, "And leave your bag here. The butler will take it up for you.
Chuckie looked around until found the elevator. Then he entered it. It had a pure white carpet, and there was a mirror on each wall. From the ceiling of the elevator, there hung a small chandelier.
"What floor?" asked a mechanical voice.
"20!" Chuckie said. Within seconds, the doors opened, and he was on the 20th floor. He exited the elevator. He was standing on a patch of red carpet. The walls were painted gold. The ground in front of him was a conveyer belt!
"Which room?" asked the mechanical voice.
"2020!" Chuckie ordered, stepping onto the conveyer belt. The belt took him to room 2020. The door opened and he stepped in. The carpet was golden and the walls were every shade of red, and embedded with rubies! There were twenty king-sized beds. Each was identical, with a red, silk comforter and pillowcases with gold trimming and gold, satin sheets with red trimming. Every bed also had a red canopy and a gold curtain that could be pulled around the bed. There were twenty other boys in the huge room, all about Chuckies age.
"Hello, newcomer!" said a boy with blonde hair in a golden, silk suit with a silver, satin tie and ruby red shoes, that had emeralds and diamonds on them, "I am George. I come from Britain. My father is the richest man in Britain. Allow me to introduce my comrades: This is René, from France " George introduced all of the other boys, then he asked,
"So what is your name and where might you be from?"
"I am Charles, and I am from California," Chuckie told them.
"Where is California?" asked Alberto, from Spain.
"In America," Chuckie answered.
"I have always wanted to live in America!" cried Harold, from Canada.
"I have one question," said Chuckie.
"What is that?" asked George.
"Why is it so cold in here?" Chuckie asked.
"Thats quite simple," George replied, "Because we are in such terribly hot suits, if it were any warmer, wed perspire so much, that the entire blasted building would flood!"
All of the boys laughed.
Suddenly, the main lights went off and little night-lights flickered on next to every bed.
"Its bed time," said George.
Chuckie and the rest of the boys climbed into their beds. Chuckie discovered that his suitcase was right next to his bed. He put it on his bed and closed the curtains. Then he opened the suitcase and rummaged around for Wawa, his Happy Hippo blankey, and his favorite bedtime story. He could not find them! Then he felt something he didnt remember putting there: A small slip of paper. He removed the paper from his suitcase. Squinted, but in the dark, he could not see what it said. So he crawled out of bed and crouched down next to the night-light closest his bed. The paper read:
I have taken the liberty of removing needless things, such as your bear, your small blanket, and your baby book from your suitcase. Do not worry, the will be returned to you when school is over.
Chuckie climbed back into his bed and wept silently.
Meanwhile, Kimi had just arrived at Mrs. Edwards Boarding House for Girls. Mrs. Edwards greeted her at the door. Edwards had short orangish-yellow hair, and wore a fancy pink silk dress with a lacy trim on the edges and a small pink bow in her hair.
"Hello, dear, what is your name?" Mrs. Edwards asked.
"Kimberly LeClerc," Kimi told her.
"Oh, Kimberly! You are on the 20th floor, in the 2020th room, on the 20th bunk! The elevator is right over there!" Kimi grabbed her bags and started towards the elevator.
"Wait Kimberly. Leave your bags right here. The butlers will take them to your room for you. And I promise they will not open your suitcase. If they do, they will be fired," Mrs. Edwards told her.
Kimi left her bags with Mrs. Edwards and boarded the elevator. Inside, there was a sparkling white carpet. Pink ribbons tied in bows bordered the top of the elevator. The inside of the doors was painted white, and the two walls on either side were painted pink. On the back wall was a mirror. Kimi punched in 20 on the number gird in the elevator. Then she sat down on a small stool in the corner, and looked at her reflection in the mirror. She frowned. She wasnt looking at Kimi Finster. She was looking a Kimberly LeClerc, the girlie-girl, super-rich, Barbie Doll version of Kimi Finster. She turned around and looked the other way. She didnt like being the girlie-girl, super rich, Barbie Doll, Kimberly LeClerc. She wanted to be Kimi Finster again. She missed her family and friends, and everything they did together. She knew that none of Mrs. Edwards girls would like to do the kinds of things she did. She knew that they would be like she looked.
The elevator stopped and the doors opened. Kimi stepped out. In the hallway, she was surprised to see a horse and carriage. A maid in a plain pink dress with a white apron and maids bonnet was sitting on the horse.
"Well, dont just stand there staring!" asked the maid, "Climb in!" Kimi stepped into the carriage.
"What room are you in?" the maid asked.
"2020," Kimi replied. The horse pulled the carriage to her room and the maid helped her out. Kimi opened the door and entered the room. The carpet in the room was white and the walls were painted all different shades of pink. There were ten double sized bunk beds in the room. The comforters and pillowcases were pink, and the sheets were white. A white curtain that pulled around the bottom bunk hung from the top bunk. The curtain for the top bunk hung from the ceiling. Kimi shared her bunk with a girl who had hair so blonde it almost looked white. She wore a golden dress embedded with rubies. Her shoes were made of sparkling, rare crystals. From her ears hung diamond earrings and around her neck was a necklace with emeralds and sapphires. On her head was a beautiful gold tiara.
"My name is Charisse," she said, "I live in Britain. My father is the richest man there. He bought me golden tiara to show everyone hear that I am queen. What is your name, and where do you come from?"
"I am Kimberly. My grandparents are French, my mother is Japanese, and my father is American. We live in California," Kimi said.
Charisse said, "Your dress is rather common, your ears are not pierced, your necklace is of mere pearl, and your shoes are nothing special. You are a commoner disguised as a rich girl."
Half of Kimi wanted to protest, but the other half knew that Charisse was right.
"I get the top bunk," Kimi told Charisse.
"Why would you want it? You will only muss your gown climbing the ladder."
Soon it was time for bed. Kimi reached into her suitcase and pulled out Superthing.
"I dont like it here," Kimi told Superthing.
The next morning, Kimi woke up and got dressed. She went to the dining room with the other girls and had breakfast.
"Nice dress peasant" laughed a girl. The other girls giggled.
Kimi frowned. She hated being insulted like that.
"Who's she anyway?" asked Pauline.
"She's a commoner disguised as a rich girl" said Charisse.
"You're half right and wrong" said Kimi. "I may be a commoner, but my french grandparents are the richest people in France. My Japanese grandparents aren't very rich, but I don't care."
"Some rich girl she is" said Theresa.
"Hey watch it!" said Kimi. "I happen to be the state wrestling champion of California!"
The other girls were shocked.
"You wrestle?" asked Judy.
"Why yes" said Kimi. "I'm also a master of ballet."
"So am I!" said Christine.
"Wanna bet?!" said Kimi.
"I don't dance in this dress" said Christine.
"I can dance in any dress I want to" said Kimi. "Because I'm not too concerned about my appearance than the rest of you!"
"What are you talking about?" asked Rina.
"You are all just like a bunch of apples that have been left in the sun too long" said Kimi. "You're spoiled and rotten!"
Meanwhile at Chuckie's boarding school, Chuckie got dressed and had breakfast with the other boys.
"I have a sister who is also at a boarding school here in Boston" said Chuckie as he ate his porridge.
"So do I" said George. "She wears a golden crown on her head."
"Can you guys keep a secret?" asked Chuckie.
"Certainly" said Wilbur.
"My real name is Chuckie. Charles is my formal name. And my last name is Finster. Kimi's french grandparents signed us up under their last names."
"Who's Kimi?" asked Harold.
"My step-sister" said Chuckie. "Her french grandparents are the richest people in France. Her japanese grandparents aren't very rich. But she doesn't care."
"I'd like to meet your sister" said George. "She sounds like a very interesting person."
Back at Kimi's boarding school, Mrs. Edwards, the teacher, was teaching the first class.
"We'll start with the history of Boston" she said. "Boston is a historical landmark. During the revolutionary war over two hundred years ago, the Colonists fought against the British for their independance. The Colonists never would have been alerted to the approach of the British if it were not for a famous American patriot, Paul Revere."
"Yeah I know about that" said Kimi. "I was taught that in my other school."
"Well then, perhaps you would care to take over the class" said Mrs. Edwards.
"Uh, no thanks" said Kimi.
Back at Chuckie's boarding school, Mr. Hanna was teaching the class about the revolutionary war.
"It all started with a famous event known as the Boston tea party" said Mr. Hanna. "It was a protest against unfair taxation by the king of England. Disguised as indians, the colonists dumped shipments of English tea into the Boston harbour."
"I know all about that" said Chuckie, "back in my old school."
"Would you care to take over the class?" asked Mr. Hanna.
"Not really" said Chuckie.
"I thought so" said Mr. Hanna. "I hate boys who interupt when I'm talking."
"But Mr. Hanna..."
"No buts Charles!"
The first day didn't go so well for Chuckie or Kimi. By the time it was almost time for bed, they were relieved.
At Mrs. Edwards school, Kimi and the other girls were getting ready for bed.
"Nice underwear peasant!" laughed Charisse.
The other girls laughed. Kimi's face went pink with embarassment. Then it went red with anger.
"Alright, that's it!" she said. "I'm gonna cream every last one of you!"
"I'd love to see you try" laughed Charisse.
Kimi tackled Charisse, knocking her crown off her head. As the other girls watched with shock, Kimi proceeded to perform some wrestling moves on Charisse until she finally pinned her.
"Don't mess with California's state champion!" said Kimi as she got up.
Charisse sat up. Next to her, were the remains of her crown.
"My crown!" she cried. "You destroyed it!"
She stood up in rage.
"If I was a real queen, I'd have your crown!"
"I don't have a crown" said Kimi.
"I'm talking about your head!" said Charisse. "Ever heard of the guillotine?!"
"Of course" said Kimi, "that's the name of one of my moves that I did on you."
Charisse grabbed Kimi by the neck and tackled her. But Kimi was faster and stronger and she countered with another one of her moves which she pinned Charisse with.
"Didn't I tell you to never mess with a champion?" said Kimi.
"Please, don't hurt me!" cried Charisse.
At Mr. Hanna's boarding school, Chuckie sneaked into Mr. Hanna's office and found his Wawa, his blanket, and his story book. He took them and then returned to his room. Tonight, he would sleep much better.
Back at Mrs. Edward's school, Kimi had a strange dream. She dreamed that she was walking along a road at night. Then suddenly, in the distance, gradually getting louder, she heard a voice.
"The British are coming! The British are coming!"
Kimi knew that it was Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride.
He soon passed her on his horse, continuing to shout, "the British are coming! The British are coming!"
The scene changed. Kimi found herself on a battlefield. The Colonists and British were at battle on Bunker Hill.
Several British soldiers came up behind Kimi. Just as they were about to grab her, Kimi gave each of them a taste of her fighting skills. The soldiers retreated.
The Colonists were so impressed, they put Kimi on their side. Kimi fought the British along with the Colonists. The British retreated from the Colonist's who cheered.
At Mr. Hanna's boarding school, Chuckie was having another dream. He was in a great hall with many other men.
"The unfair taxation on that tea by the king of England shall not be paid by any freedom loving colonist!" said a man at the podium at the front.
"Who knows how tea will mingle with salt water?!" he said.
Everyone cheered again.
The scene in Chuckie's dream changed. He was now standing on a ship at night in indian clothes. Other colonists disguised as indians broke open crates of English tea and tossed them into the harbour. Chuckie tossed another tea bag into the harbour.
With his blanket and Wawa, Chuckie slept much better.
The next morning, after breakfast, Chuckie went into Mr. Hanna's office to talk to him. Mr. Hanna didn't realise that Chuckie has taken Wawa and his blanket back.
"Charles Jr.? What can I do for you?", asked Mr. Hanna.
"Mr. Hanna," replied Chuckie," I have to talk to you for a minute."
"You may approach the bench," said Mr. Hanna.
Chuckie had a seat.
"First of all," Chuckie said, "Let me ask you something."
"What is it?", asked Mr. Hanna.
"Have you heard the phrase, 'You should not judge a book by its cover'?", demanded Chuckie.
Mr. Hanna chuckled.
"Yes I have," Mr. Hanna replied with a sly grin, "...and I don't care! It is the most ridiculous phrase I have ever heard!"
Chuckie complained, "Well! That is a phrase and a phrase is a phrase and what that means is that you cannot judge anybody by their appearence!"
"Charles Jr!", exclaimed Mr. Hanna, "This is my school! I can judge anyone by their appearence If I want!"
"Well look here, I have red hair and my middle name is Crandall whether you like it or not!", yelled Chuckie.
To Be Continued
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