"Come on, Prudence, we're going to be ever so late! The Masons' are going to be wondering where we are!"

"I'm coming, just wait 'till I get my sneakers o - "

"How many times do I have to tell you? You are not wearing your sneakers to the Meeting. And do remember to be polite, none of this "Wait up!" business!"

I hate the way my Mum speaks. So old and eccentric, all up tight and posh. She doesn't even have the decency to let me wear what I want. It's all frilly dresses with stiff starch collars and flounced skirts, and she knits half of my stuff for goodness sake! I'm fourteen now, and that kind of thing is at the top of the market for eight year olds.

I hate most of the things that have been going on lately, actually. Mum and Dad's revolting ... perfectness, the bullying, and, oh yes . . . Boarding School!

"Prudence!" Mum hissed. I slumped against the posh silk chair and sighed. Yet again, I had, "breathed too loudly and interrupted conversation"

How stupid of me.

The Mason's were just like my family. Their house was the same, everything neat and old fashioned, their clothes were the same, ancient posh frocks from the 30's, and dinky strap up's for the boys, and their voices were the same. The only difference is that their child, a sixteen year old posh knob ( unimaginably wearing a pink frilled dress and looking quite pleased with herself ) was just like her parents, obviously influenced by their idiocy. Her name was Grace. And the worst part about it was that the people at school fancied we were sisters. Grace and Prudence, the laughing stock of High School. Did our parents care? No. None of them seemed to notice the growing world around them, the snide remarks they get from the playground, the fact that technology exits.

But who am I to notice?

Little conversation flickered over the table that night.

"Prudence, that was an absolute disgrace!" cried my demented Father as soon as our front door was slammed shut. " The Mason's had invited us over to wish you good luck at your new boarding school, and I'm sure they are absolutely appalled at the way you have been behaving . . ."

I didn't even wait to hear the rest of the lecture. I stomped up the stairs, scuffing the tweed carpet with sneakers. I sloped into my room and shut the door on the terrible silence that had erupted downstairs.

But my room didn't comfort me like it should have done. It was bland and grey. I insisted I wasn't going to ruin my reputation completely by opting with Mum and Dad's decoration choice of buttercup yellow walls, dainty little pink cabinets and long rose curtains. I wanted to go with something much more modern, but when Mum and Dad refused (with the feeble excuse of " A bit too colourful" ) my choice, I was left with plain white walls, and silver furniture, This was as far as I could push my parents. I hoped the silver clashed with the white would look classy and modern, but it made the room look bleak and shabby.

I sighed, falling onto my large double bed which dominated most of the room.

And then, for the first time, I thought about Boarding School.

The news had only just been brought to me last week, by my cheerful parents. I suppose they were glad to see me go. I guessed that I was being sent away because I was too modern, too against their whole ambition for me, their whole way of life. Among, their rich, posh friends, I must be embarrassing them. They had been trying to sort me out since I first heard the word computer. I bet by the time I was fourteen and they still hadn't squashed it out of me, there was no other choice.

Even though they had given up trying to get me into their tweed ways, they still made sure I went to a posh school.

PEREGRIN ACADEMY roared the add.

The little corner of the news paper told us that it was a Private School, no entrance test, and it had a high rating of college succession, whatever that meant. At first I groaned that if they were going to send me away, I should at least get to pick which school, but I figured that so many parents like mine would pick up that add and think immediately "that's a great place to send my 'of the rails son/daughter!'"

Perhaps there would be other kids like me there, who had been kicked off their families premises for not being old fashioned enough, and even if the teacher's were snobbish, I could at least have some proper friends.

I was surprised with myself about how chilled I was ( another phrase that sends my parents of their heads ) because after reading endless stories about girls who didn't want to go to boarding school, and then enjoying it, I figured it couldn't be that bad.

After all, I mean, what did I have to loose?