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Story Notes:

My first attempt at posting something here and I'm more than a little nervous. Please be gentle with me! It's set in the same term as 'The Chalet School and Richenda' and is a completely original story containing nothing at all from that book outside of one new girl.

Samantha Holt was in her room, sitting at a table reading a letter from her best friend at St. Margaret's school when she was disturbed by her sister, Alison, entering the room.

"Sam", she said, "Mom wants you to come downstairs. She has some news for you."

Sam looked up. 'Some news', she thought, 'What on earth could that be?'

"Ok", she replied, "I'll be down in a minute."

Alison nodded and left the room.

Sam put down her letter resignedly, and slowly made her way out of her room and downstairs into the lounge where her mother was waiting for her.

"Sam", her mother began, "I have something important to tell you. Alison will be starting school this September."

Sam stared at her mother looking startled. Alison had been very frail all of her life and school had always been out of the question. Whilst she had been doing better during the Summer, the news that Alison was starting school came as a real surprise.

"Really?", Sam replied, "That's great! Where is she going? Will it be St. Margaret's with me?"

Her mother shook her head. "No, she's still not fit enough to go to an ordinary school so we're sending her to a school that has facilities for delicate children. Whilst it's not a special school and the majority of the girls there have no medical problems, it's attached to a Sanatorium in the Swiss Alps so it can provide all of the support that a girl like Alison would need."

Sam gasped at all of the information, but one thing out of all of it stood out to her. "It's where?"

"In the Swiss Alps", her mother replied, "which is another point in the school's favour as it's a very healthy environment."

Sam sat down completely stunned. Alison was going away to Switzerland? Alone? How could her parents do this?

Her mother looked at Sam's stunned response and continued, "I know that this has come as a shock to you and I'm sure you're surprised that we're sending her that far away. The truth is that she's really keen to go. You know how badly she's wanted to go to school. Now she's got her chance, she's willing to go anywhere."

"Still", Sam replied, "How do you feel about this? How do you feel about Alison going that far away from you, completely on her own?"

"Well, of course we couldn't send her on her own", her mother replied

"What do you mean?"

"We're sending you there too."

If possible, Sam looked even more stunned than before. "Wwwhat?", she stammered.

"You see", her mother continued, "We couldn't send Alison there alone and as there was no way that your father could leave his work at the present time, it seemed to be the only option."

Sam recovered herself slightly. "What about St. Margaret's?", she asked.

"Oh we've already written to them and told them that you were leaving."

Sam was horrified. How could this be happening? She'd left St. Margaret's. And without the chance to say goodbye to all of her friends. Especially Louise and Abby. She wondered if she'd ever see them again.

Sam's mother looked at her with understanding. "I know you're going to miss your friends at St. Margaret's and I'm sorry we've had to take you away from there at such short notice. But it just couldn't be helped."

Sam looked rebellious. "Yes, I'm sure that it couldn't be helped", she said sullenly, "After all, it was all for darling Alison and of course whatever Alison wants, she gets with no concern given towards my happiness at all."

Sam's mother looked troubled. "That's not true at all!", she responded, "How could you think that? Don't you know how much we love both of you? It was just that it was the only way that Alison would be able to go to school, something she's always wanted to do and never could. Are you really that selfish that you would begrudge her that?"

"You don't understand", Sam said desperately, "It's not that I begrudge her going to school, it's just that I've never been as happy at school as I've been at St. Margaret's and I've never had friends before like the one's I have there. I thought that we'd be friends forever and now we've been torn apart. And it's always been the same. It's always Alison this and Alison that. Every time it comes down to my happiness and Alison's happiness, Alison always wins out. And don't get me wrong, I do understand why it's like that, it's just that I've had enough of it. I'm fed up of always losing out whenever Alison's involved. I just wish that on just one solitary occasion that my happiness might actually come first, just once. But it's never been like that and I know that it never will be! I'll always be second best and I hate it so much!"

At that Sam stormed out of the room back up to her room before slamming the door behind her. She then threw herself onto her bed crying bitterly.

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