Short Story Preview: Lettuce and Lettice
Sally sampled her first lettuce at the age of five. Salad was one of the few things she would eat. That she grew up at all was a minor miracle as she ate so little. But she did and at the age of twelve was sent to an expensive boarding school on the English coast where on school outings, limp lettuce sandwiches were issued to each pupil. Most girls threw theirs away, but because Sally liked lettuce, she ate hers all up. Despite the large termly fees, meals were scant and almost Dickensian in quantity and quality. The tuck shop did for them, sustaining over the years, an unhealthy crop of pimples caused by an overdose of sugar.
In the upper third, Sally sat next to a girl called Lettice Grudge. She was heavy and wide and their thighs touched as they sat squashed together behind the double desk they shared. Elbows bumped, handwriting jogged and tempers flared, as they silently fought for territorial rights, grappling with pens and push. Lettice wore glasses and a brace and her breath smelt of onions. The two girls avoided each other at playtime. It was not done to be seen with Lettice Grudge. Her name alone invited derision but undaunted and resourceful by nature, she made friends with a girl from the form below.
Lettice shone at Religious Studies and Elocution. With her clear and expressive voice, she was often picked to read aloud in class, passages from Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and the Bible.
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