Pepper Darling entered our room without knocking.
Liz looked up from her Science book. “Raji, we may have to start locking our door.”
Pepper dropped a brown-paper bundle on my bed, then a similar one on Liz’s bed. “Lock it if you want, it won’t matter. I have a skeleton key.”
“Hey, our uniforms?” Liz asked.
“Yes,” Pepper said. “Try them on.”
We ripped the bundles open, and soon we were dressed in our new outfits. The blue blazers and ankle-length khaki skirts contrasted nicely and fit quite well. We also wore white blouses, with blue cross-over ties and high-top black shoes. Our kepi caps were blue, with tan trim.
“It is perfectly fit,” I said.
“I really like this jacket,” Liz said. “And the seamstress got the sleeves just right.”
I glanced at Pepper to see her smiling; this was something new. I looked at Liz and cut my eyes toward Pepper.
Liz glanced her way, then gave me a look, like, How about that?
“Yes,” Pepper said, “you two look pretty good.”
I put on my cap, came to attention, and popped my hand to my forehead in a salute. Liz returned my salute, and we both giggled.
“Well,” Pepper said as she gathered up the wrapping paper, “if you two think they fit all right, I’ll order two more sets for each of you.”
“Mine fits great,” Liz said.
“And mine fit fine also, Miss Pepper. Thank you for them so much.”
We wore our new uniforms when we went out at sunset to watch the flag ceremony. As we walked in step toward the center field–or the ‘Quad,’ as we called it–someone on the second floor of Hannibal House leaned out the window and gave us a long wolf whistle.
Liz grabbed my hand. “Don’t look,” she said. “We’ll just pretend we didn’t hear a thing.”
I glanced at her to see a grin on her face.
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Raji, Book Two:
August 1926. Raji is accepted into the prestigious Octavia Pompeii Academy. She and Elizabeth Keesler are the only girls in the student body of one hundred cadets. They must endure the derision and taunts from ninety-eight boys who would like nothing better than to see the girls drop out of school. In addition to the contempt of the male students and high academic standards set by the instructors, they must also conform to the strict disciplinary code enforced by the indomitable Elvira Gulch, Director of Development.