Francesca Capaldi: Nellie's Diary Entry 1


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I’m writing to you from my room at Crown Lake Academy. Can you believe it? Me, just plain old Nellie Chambers, going to high school at a fancy boarding school. This place seems to have its own language, one I can barely understand. I mean, grubber? Upper East Side? Spirit squad? I’d literally never even heard those words before this week. Now, this is my new reality.

It’s all still pretty overwhelming, but I’ll try to give you as many updates as I can. My roommate is the worst. Her name is Tiffany, and let’s just say she’s one of those girls who thinks she can control everyone and everything around her. The scary part is that the other girls let her control them. People keep saying that it’s the students who decide who gets to stay at Crown Lake, though the headmistress and math teacher seem terrifying enough on their own. Tiffany is certainly one of those students, at least judging but what she did to her roommate...but more on that later.

After I went to my first party (a complete disaster, by the way), I met a boy. I know, you’re thinking: Crown Lake is supposed to be all girls. Well, meeting this boy was a mistake on his part, but a good mistake. His name is Ryan Baker, and he was actually fun to talk to. He felt like the first person to actually understand my past, and want to get to know me beyond giving me warnings about Tiffany and the rest of the girls. Well, he was fun, until Tiffany took hold of him. Just another thing she has to take away from me, just as I’m trying to get used to this place.

I can’t stop thinking about Mom. It’s so strange to be walking the halls she used to walk, seeing her name around the school, but knowing I can’t just call her and hear her voice. I wish I could ask her everything about Crown Lake: what was it like for her? Did she have friends like Tiffany or Chloe? How did she survive?

I may not be able to ask Mom, but I may have found one source of advice. It’s an old journal from Heather Masterson, otherwise known as Tiffany’s ex-roomie. In her writing, she says she’ll tell me everything I need to know, just as long as I follow her directions.

I’m not sure what to do, but I sure know this place is going to take me on an adventure like nothing else. Bed check now! Gotta go!

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