Burning Bridges, The Summer Obsession

Mission accomplished,
Do you feel regret breathing down your neck?
Broken friendships in progress,
Do you ever wonder why your soul is in debt?

Light a match,
But use it to find your way through the dark.

When the sun goes down emotions all come out,
And your sapphire eyes keep staring at the ground,
You're burning all your bridges down,
You're burning all your bridges down.

Camilla Danforth, flanked by her best friends Bridget Lennon, Isabelle Chapman, and Angelica Parker were ushered into Dean Emerson's office in the main administrative building one Saturday afternoon. They arrived to find their house leader, Mrs. Hayden, already seated on a black leather chair. Dean Emerson sat behind his desk.

"Ah. Miss Danforth. Miss Lennon, Chapman, and Miss Parker, please take a seat. Now that we are all here. As you know, Lancaster house is one of our privilege houses. Meaning that, each year, 10 girls move into the house by invitation only. At the end of their Prep year, 10 girls, chosen by the residence and Mrs. Hayden, are invited in. Lancaster has gained quite the reputation for having the most elite girls on campus. "

"Thank you, Dean Emerson," Mrs. Hayden smiled. "We try." She was dressed in expensive Marc Jacobs. Diamond earrings hung from her ears.

"But this year, Lancaster only sent out 9 invitations. Only nine new girls. One room is empty."

"We did not feel that any other girls showed enough of the qualities we stress, Mr. Emerson." Camilla spoke up. "We-"

"but Miss Danforth. That is not how this Privilege house works. You must recruit 10 girls every year. You only invited nine. Now we have a problem. So, I will be putting a new transfer student into Lancaster. "

"Mr. Emerson! Surely not! You cannot-Lancaster only takes the most prestigious, most elite girls. The best of the best. They are carefully screened each year before invited. Some girls would die for a room in Lancaster."

"I am sorry, Mrs. Hayden. But I have made my decision."

"Some students will be very mad, Mr. Emerson. Those who think that THEY deserve the place, not some…new girl. "

"We have very high standards, Mr. Emerson."Camilla added. "some random girl might feel…out of place at Lancaster House."

"Oh, that won't be a problem, I'm sure. Miss Covington here is a legacy. Her mother went to this school. She was in Lancaster, too. Class of 1987. Shaffer was the name."

"Not LILLIAN Shaffer, is it?"Mrs. Hayden asked.

"Why, yes." Emerson looked surprised. "Lillian Shaffer. She's now Mrs. Lillian Covington. Did you know her?"

"Oh, no. just of her. She was a Senior when I entered as a Prep. But she was gorgeous. All the boys wanted her and all the girls wanted to be her. Everyone knew her name. She had everything. She looks the brain, the money. I think she was a distant Kennedy or something."

"Well, Her daughter, Sienna Covington, will be here next Sunday. Entering as a lower-form. I'm sure you will be more than pleased with her entrance exam scores."

"But Dean Emerson. Surely, It is so unfair. Some of us worked so hard to get into Lancaster." Bridget said.

"She's not going to fit in at all. You don't-"

"We'll take her. That will fill our 10 new girls." Camilla cut Isabelle off. Automatically, Angelica, Bridget, and Isabelle, started to nod too. They listened to Camilla.

"Well, My girls have spoken. The room is Miss Covington's." Mrs. Hayden shrugged.

"I'm glad that settled now. Here is her file. I'm sure you guys are dying to get to know her. Have a nice day."

"Why are we letting Emerson do this, Camilla?" Angelica Parker whined as the four girls strolled out of the building. "It isn't fair!"

"We have to." Camilla picked up her pace, manila folder in hand. Her expensive Manolos clicked and clacked."You heard him. 10 girls."

"We should be able to pick our own. I thought Jessica was okay." Bridget argued.

"Not necessary If I remember right. I know Sienna Covington. Our fathers run in the same circle. I met her once at a new year's bash in Miami two years ago. If she's anything like I remember, she'll fit in just fine. Besides, did you see her entrance scores? At least she'll bring up our house average. A lot."

San Diego, California

"Hey honey. Ready to go?" I looked up from my breakfast of cookie crisp cereal straight out of the box and orange juice. Mom was dressed in Dolce and Gabanna, lips red with Clinique.

"Yeah, sure." I took another handful of crisps, then closed the box.

"Jackson said he'd be ready in 5." Jackson was our pilot. Yes. We have a family pilot.

I was being shipped off to boarding school on the east coast after "Everything". That was the code word. Mom and Dad never spoke of what happened. But I don't want to forget. I want to move on, but to never forget.

I had known Kai Richardson all my life. We had been best friends since age , what...4? We were always tight, even when in middle school, it wasn't cool for a guy to have a girl best friend or vise versa. We were insepertable in high school. I knew Kai always had my back. the it happened. Last spring. It. One night, we made out. It was random, and rather out of the blue. We were talking, and it just happened. The next day, we went to a party together and got into a fight. It was a stupid fight, really. About us. If there even was an us. I left early, getting a ride form a friend. Kai drove home, drunk. His car flipped across two lanes and crunched into a tree.

I blamed myself. If I had stayed, I would have never let Kai drive. And he would still be alive. I get I went off the deep end after that. I was put on antidepressants, and I withdrew from society. Mom and Dad were really worried from me. One day, over the summer, I figured it out. Kai wouldnt want me to be like this. After that, I was back. Not lik eI used to be. I was quieter, but I was back.

I guess Mom wanted me away from where it all happened. For me to have a new start. So, She contacted her old school and pulled some strings, getting me in two months into the school year. It was a posh school, no lie. The tuition would coast any regular family a fortune. It's barely a dip for us. My mother is a distant Kennedy. My father made his money in computer software and trade. Still, this school was full of rich kids.

"Sienna. Let's go"