Sushi and Schooling

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Rowen

Don't get me wrong, last night was insanely fun, but never in a million years did I expect to

see Magnolia again, and especially not here. My God, she was beautiful. Last night she had this reckless, messy look about her, which was, to put it simple, hot. But now she stood before the table and she looked perfect. No other words can describe the elegance of her features.

    Not going to lie, I sort of assumed she wasn't wealthy in the slightest. I mean, I found her dancing on a table in a bar. But, that just goes to show I should probably rethink some things in my life. She smiled at us meekly, probably realizing the awkwardness of this situation. Damn, what are the chances?

    We all sat down and the parents introduced us, "This is my son, Rowen Ashworth, and his friends Caspian Grant Martin, Laurent Moreau, and Matteo Fernadez." I wondered if we were going to address the fact that we have already met. I caught her eye and she barely shook her head, signifying to me that we must not be addressing the fact I saw her singing on a table last night.

    "This is my daughter, Magnolia Harris," Her father introduced her.

    We all shook hands with Magnolia, saying "how are you?"

"Well, and you?" she replied. Her accent was slightly more hidden as she spoke with a much more apparent eloquence. She seemed much more... Refined than last night.

I saw Caspian open his mouth, probably to say something but instead, I heard him yelp in surprise.

    "Caspian, are you alright?" She said, blinking her huge eyes innocently.

    "Yes, all is well, I just stubbed my toe," He replied, visibly wincing.

    My mother cleared her throat, "Rowen, Magnolia here is going to go to Westwood with you boys in the fall. I was hoping you could tell her how wonderful a school it is."

    I looked at my mother, hesitating but could tell what she wanted me to say. "It really is a wonderful school. It was a beautiful campus, unparalleled academics, and top-notch sports." I said, almost reciting those lines from my days of giving tours to hopeful parents at my school. They wanted someone who 'embodied' the school, and apparently I was it.

    "I am very pleased to be able to experience it for myself," I could tell she was saying this through almost gritted teeth.

    "I expect you boys to take good care of Magnolia, and show her the ropes at Westwood." My mother said, directed at all of us. The boys and I glanced towards each other. I honestly don't know what to think. If it was any other girl I would be upset I had to babysit them, but with Magnolia ... part of me was excited.

    "For opening week, you're to bring her to Westwood from London and help her in any way you can," My mother continued. Honestly, I felt pretty bad for the girl. My boys and I had a bit of a reputation, and her getting involved with us would be quite the adventure. She was something the liked of Westwood had never seen before.

    Drinks and the first course of edamame came out, and the parents started talking about foreign policy. I could tell Magnolia was eavesdropping on their conversation by the facial expressions she made as they spoke. It was actually quite cute and endearing when she made a sour face at some of the remarks made by the fathers.

    "Magnolia, do you have any idea what classes you're planning on taking at Westwood?" Laurent said abruptly.

    "Yes, I am planning on taking Genetics and Forensics for my science class, Art and Power for my English class, French 4 for language, Statistics for math, Foreign Policy for my social studies and Acoustic band for my arts." She said counting off her fingers and looking up, remembering. Those are all very tough classes... she'll be the only girl in some of those. I looked at the boys and they seemed to think the same thing. It's not that we expect girls to not be smart enough for those classes, but historically those were often classes full of upper 6th form male students.

    "We will have some classes together," Caspian said, winking at her. She pointedly ignored the wink and just nodded back.

    "Are there uniforms? Or a dress code?" I could hear the worry in her voice. Really? You're moving to a different country and you're going to the best school there, only to worry about the uniforms?

    "No, thank goodness," Laurent answered her. I saw her slump back in relief.

    Then they started bringing out ishiyaki, beef on a hot rock you burn yourself, and the boys and I dug in. I noticed Magnolia and her father just sipped their drinks and watched us.

    "Do you need help with yours?" Caspian said, leaning over towards her.

    "No thank you, I don't eat meat." She declared. Caspian leaned back in his chair and looked at her funny.

    "You live in Nashville, the hot chicken capital of the world, and you're vegetarian?" shock rang through his voice.

    "Well, I'm a pescatarian. I eat fish, I mean, I am named after New Orleans," she explained.

    "You're named after New Orleans?" Matteo spoke up, "How?"

    "Well my full name is Magnolia, but I go by Nola, ya know, N-O-L-A, New Orleans Louisiana." She seemed annoyed to have to explain it.

    "What's the relation to New Orleans?" I asked, now intrigued.

    "I was born there. My family is from there. My mom you see is 8th generation New Orleanian, and my dad is from Southern Alabama, but he grew up in the countryside of England." as she spoke she glanced towards her parents, who were busy speaking to my father about England.

    "Huh, you're more and more interesting the more we speak together," Caspian said, trying to annoy her by referencing last night. Not a moment after he said that I heard Caspian yelp again.

    She smiled that innocent smile again, "Caspian, you really must stop stubbing your toe, you wouldn't wanna lose it now would you?"

    As soon as she said that I realized exactly what she was doing. She had been kicking Caspian every time he seemed like he was going to bring up last night. Good God, I hope we can handle her.

    Caspian grumbled something incoherent, and then we began to eat the sushi they had just brought out. I watched in awe as Magnolia popped entire rolls of sushi into her mouth when her parents weren't looking. That girl can eat, which starkly contradicts the other girls at Westwood.

    To be honest, Magnolia was nothing like the girls at Westwood. Well, basically there were two types of girls at Westwood. The first, were prim and proper, preppy girls who could do no evil and were strictly there for the schooling. Then, there were the rich girls who didn't give a shit about schooling and lived for the parties and socials. Not that the 'smart' girls weren't rich or the 'rich' girls weren't smart, but honestly they were very content living in their little bubbles and feeding on the stereotype.

    Magnolia was... honestly, I am not sure how to describe her. But she doesn't seem to fit into either of those molds as well as lots of other girls did. She seems so... stubborn. Like no one could try and change her if they wanted. She seemed confident, happy and comfortable in both her silk dress with her designer bag and her dripped jean shorts, cowboy boots and leather jacket from the other night.

    The dinner ended faster than I expected, but I knew we were flying back to London in the morning. Before we left, we were told we would pick Magnolia up from the Lanesborough Hotel in London in three weeks, the Friday before the opening week at school. She was to stay with us at Matteo's house until she could move into her dorm that weekend.

    As we left she flashed a mischievous smile our way and said, "I'll see you boys in London."

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