The Academy 1L

[Slight change to end of 1K]

Butch asks me if I’d saw the new science fiction television show that started last month, and I’m about to tell him that I had seen it and thought it was pretty dumb so I wasn’t going to watch it no more, when a word surfaces from the pool of murmuring from where Annie’s stretching with the Academy fencers, echoes off the high walls and arched ceiling of the enormous field house, falls on my ears like an alert. The word is scholarship, and I recognize the voice right away, it’s Wanda’s, and I turn to see her sitting on the rubber floor, arms spread forward and out in the direction of her legs, her head tilted in the direction of Annie, listening to her intently.

Butch says “I thought — ”

“Hold on,” I say, holding up a hand towards him. I continue stretching, and if my ears were antennae they’d be directed straight at Wanda and Annie. I’m too far away from them and there’s too much other noise — people talking, thwocks from the tennis court, the clang of weights further off — for me to catch much of the conversation, but Wanda’s voice rises for emphasis on several occassions, and I can hear her clearly: graduating, available, two-year, scholarship (again, this time I see Annie shake her head), prep school, hardship.

All of a sudden I remember — the Academy has fencing scholarships. Four, if I remember. Wanda’s talking to Annie about the fencing scholarships. Two year . . . Annie’s a sophomore at Bark Bay. And her brother already goes to the Academy.

Holy crap — Annie’s being recruited.

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