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I do enjoy a good guessing game as much as the next well-informed person and yet, in the twenty plus years since leaving the confinement of ”The Attic” at York’s so-called Manner School my enmity is toward its depraved masters for how they treated me while I was their captive.
What other horrors did the elders have in the works ”to break me?” Was wrecking my mind through physical isolation not enough for their sadism? In the end, if they had succeeded in reducing me into a drooling fool, would they’ve called a carriage and turned me back over to my parents? Perhaps, with a note pinned on my shoulder, ”We’ve tried everything. Please accept your daughter back.” Signed: The Manner School.
But that would’ve been pointless, and perhaps the chief sadist amongst them knew it. My parents, who, in their most courteous and most polite way possible had likely revealed upon signing me up —and without any argument arising from me —that where my dear mother’s nerves were concerned, she could hardly take much more. I shouldered it because I loved my mother. I became the reason given why the sherry bottles in our house were always in need of refilling, why the heavy drapes closed during the day, why it was rare that anyone, other than our closest family, ever came to call.
That was my fault, too.
So the scheme, as transparent as it was to get me out of the house and away from my nerve-addled mother, was successful to the degree that I took up residence at the nearby Manner School, but soon found myself less of a student and more of a prisoner locked in an attic. I could have books to go with the lessons I attended during the day alongside the other students, and then it was back up the cobwebbed stairs to the attic for the night.
It wasn’t too long before I tested the limits and asked for a sack of pebbles for my homemade slingshot to better dispatch the scurrying mice. At least it would give me something to do during the long hours after I’d finished reading.
It was hell, and I hated it but managed to survive up there.