Once upon a time in a frozen remote part of Alaska (not so very frozen as the rest of Alaska) a short, dark-haired, shy, near-sighted, teen-aged girl dreamed of one day becoming a big kid that went away to school.
She was not beautiful, but she was not ugly. She was not rich, but she was not poor. She was not a 4.0 student, but she was not a flunky. She was one of many siblings who were in so many ways, just like herself - short, dark-haired, shy and needing glasses.
To protect her identity and those in the story all names have been changed. I've named her ...Abigail. Why Abigail? No special reason only that I think it's a pretty name and it begins with the first two letters of the alphabet.
The day finally arrived for Abigail to graduate from elementary school and visions of going away to high school now danced in her little head. Thinking of traveling away from home didn't bother her. It definitely didn't now because she wanted to be a big kid and that meant flying away from home in one of Kodiak Airways Goose or Widgeon amphibian planes.
After graduating, Abigail endured a winter-long (but blessed with salvation) wait before finally getting out of the nest and into a plane, winging her way to the school life she had anticipated for many years. She was happily on her way to the school of which she had spent countless hours reading about in old yearbooks. She knew the campus and she knew each student and staff member. On campus she recognized each face and realized she didn't need any introductions.
Still, her older sister who I will call ...Jane, why? Because Jane seems such a pretty name for a plainly good and kind sister, she introduced her "little sister" to them anyway.
Abigail's sister Jane was excited to see all her friends that fall. She brought her little sister from friend to friend always announcing, "Hi, this is my little sister ...Abigail." Shyly she moved to interrupt a group of guys, one of them was her classmate Leopold. "Come Sis, I'll introduce you to ... Mr. and Mrs. Charming's oldest son ...Leopold?" Why Leopold? The name means 'prince of mankind'. (Prince Charming, eh?)
Thus, Abigail began her life away from home, still always the "little sister". Abigail didn't really mind though. She liked following her "big sister" around on campus. She grew a sense of pride that she, Abigail, was related to Jane - every upper classman's friend!
It was not even a week of being away from home when Abigail felt a growing sickness in her tummy. She had never felt this way before. The newness of the place had grown routine and she sadly realized that it was a long time until spring. She was awful homesick.
Abigail settled into life away from home a little bit disillusioned with adulthood. After all, this was just more school and now instead of one teacher to make happy, she had many!
Day after day of schooling melted into weeks and months. Besides all the new girlfriends in her life now Abigail's friendships with guys grew and waned and grew and waned until Abigail found herself spending way too much time with ...Norman. Why Norman? Because of a cliche frequently used in high school back in the day.
Norman talked to Abigail like her opinion and life mattered to him. He spent every spare moment trying to prove it. Soon they were "going steady."
Meanwhile, Leopold had found himself spending much of his time with the attractive, talkative, and very popular ...Zelda from his class. Why Zelda? Because she was nothing like Abigail and Z is the furthest letter from A. Zelda had intimidated Abigail long before Abigail found herself in competition for this tall, dark and handsome Leopold. How did Abigail and the Zelda-struck Leopold end up together? Well, it was all ...because of Norman ...and Zelda.
When the holidays came around, Norman, Zelda, and a busload of lucky students left the boarding school to spend time with their families in another town, some even flew home. Those without family or money to travel away spent their holiday time on campus doing boring campus-y type things.
While away from the very strict boarding school, Norman and Zelda agreed to meet. According to small school gossip, they went on a date and their date included... KISSING! After returning to campus Norman pleaded his case with the disenchanted Abigail saying of his romantic indiscretion: "It (kiss) really didn't mean anything to me!" and "She doesn't even mean a thing to me!"
Leopold was also feeling the sting of a relationship gone awry and sweet, little, slighted Abigail fell right smack dab into the middle of a jealous game being played by the ever wonderful Leopold! As she sat listening while Norman continued to talk over his predicament, Leopold walked past the doorway and when Abigail looked up - the mighty handsome, upper-classman, Leopold ---WINKED!
Stunned silence before Abigail smiled and chuckled at what she had just seen. (Or did she really see what she thought she just saw?) As she wondered Leopold walked past again and winked again! This angered Norman, but it did make the break up much easier for Abigail.
Quick glances with lingering smiles filled the rest of Abigail's second semester and Abigail knew that there definitely was interest being returned from Leopold for the much younger (ah-hem) Abigail.
The last quarter came to a quick end and Abigail who had long ago lost all of her homesickness was now sad to be saying good-bye to her school friends. Suitcases were filled and everyone bussed to the airport to meet the flights that would take them home to their families and villages.
Leopold's family lived on campus so he showed up at the airport the same day Abigail was leaving to say his good-byes, especially to Zelda. Leopold had continued to hope for Zelda's companionship ever since the hush-hush meeting between she and Norman had successfully quelled both campus romances.
At the small airport Leopold saw Abigail walking down a corridor with a happy new potential suitor - Richard. Why Richard? It seems a very good and even kingly name to give to a poor guy that Abigail didn't treat very kindly that day. Richard was happily talking and carrying Abigail's luggage around when Leopold walked up and began to visit with her. Abigail was so enjoying this undivided attention from the handsome upper class men that she forgot about Richard.
Walking and talking as if they were totally alone they soon noticed a very huffy Richard walking off after disgustedly setting down Abigail's luggage behind them. Abigail is not normally this fickle-style person but that day her head was definitely in the clouds. Today, while reminiscing over the years she apologizes for her rude, selfish behavior. That day didn't end without Leopold asking if he could write to Abigail during the summer.
Summertime happened and sure enough the letters began to come. Abigail replied to every one. Abigail remembers that Leopold even shared his broken heart. And she even gave suggestions of how one spurned heart could possibly win back the heart of Zelda. As time went on, Leopold's and Abigail's friendship began to blossom into a full blown romance including secret hand-holding at the strict Christian boarding school! Two-and-a-half years after high school they were married.
Happily for both, Leopold had come to his senses and decided that he didn't want to revive his relationship with Zelda. Leopold has been heard saying things like "You're the best blessing in my life ---after Jesus Christ." "I would not trade you for a hundred (or was it a thousand) ... Zelda's." "I'm so glad we have each other." And when Abigail smiles sweetly and says, "I love you," he says "I love you more," she says, I love you more than that," and he says ..."I love you one more than anything you will ever say."
Abigail and Leopold continue working to live happily ever after...