From the Desk of Avon Porter Academy
January 4, 1999
Dear Countess Irma & Joseph Graf Brillford,
We enjoy having your daughter, Tabitha Adelaide, in our school. She is an exemplary student who goes out of her way to help others and is a role model among her peers.
It’s unfortunate that you didn’t send for her during the Christmas break. Our Avon Porter staff can board the students only with advanced noticed. She stayed with our gym teacher Mrs. Pringle who stated that Tabitha Adelaide is under the impression she will never see you again. At only thirteen, I wonder where she’s getting these outrageous thoughts. Please call us at your earliest convenience so we may help set your only daughter’s mind at ease.
Emily Garrett, Headmistress
March, 5, 2000
Countess Irma & Joseph Graf Brillford,
Our infirmary has diagnosed Tabitha Adelaide with mononucleosis. Her recovery may take up to two months. We have tried to contact your Manhattan and Frankfurt residences and have been unsuccessful. You have not seen your daughter since you dropped her off last year. The doctor mentioned quality time with you may expedite her recovery. She is very sick. Please call us.
Emily Garrett, Headmistress
February 18, 2001
Irma & Joseph,
Our accounting office reported that you haven’t paid Tabitha Adelaide’s tuition for the last two years. We asked fellow Avon Porter parent, Birdie Easton, to check-in on your whereabouts. Mrs. Easton lives in your building and mentioned you have extended your African safari and are unavailable.
Mrs. Easton has offered to pay the outstanding balance under the condition that we do not discuss this with your daughter. I understand Tabitha Adelaide has filed for emancipation in the family courts. This letter will also serve as notice we will be a witness for the prosecution in this case, speaking on your daughter’s behalf. The Avon Porter staff is appalled at your behavior.
Emily Garrett, Headmistress
Three Men and a Virgin
Bermuda Triangle, August 2002
Up to this point, the only thing that had kept my mind off this horrific flight was staring at the cute little ears, broad shoulders, and wavy-haired heads of the three hottest men I’d ever worked with in my entire life.
That’s right. I, Taddy Brill, sat behind un, deux, trois of Europe’s finest. They were hunky, lean yet muscular, and just about the sexiest specimens of male, ever.
Good Lord. I wanted to rip my sundress off and scream, “Take me!”
But I didn’t.
Not once this week had the boys given me the time of day, let alone a flirtatious glance, leading me to believe that I didn’t have a chance.
If I thought about them too much I’d get depressed. Instead I closed my eyes and tried to figure out how we were going to get through this one-way flight to hell.
I hate airplanes, especially tiny ones that I can’t stand up in without hitting my head. You wouldn’t believe the problems that come with being six-feet tall. My friends call me a glamizon. Trust me, there’s nothing glamorous about freakishly towering over people.
Before anyone asks, no, I didn’t play women’s basketball at the Avon Porter Academy. And yes, my date to prom my senior year was much shorter than me. The poor bastard had such a Napoleon complex that I’d even worn flats.
It’s not like I can wear my Manolo stilettos when flying. Knowing this, I’d picked up these tacky-ass, bedazzled flip-flops from some overpriced gift shop on Collins Avenue before we left for Martinique. I had to watch every penny until I got paid by my agent. Buying these overpriced flip-flops had made me rather angry. Surely I didn’t sport footwear like this back home in New York City. Not unless I wanted to have the dirtiest feet on the planet, even if they did have a gazillion Swarovski crystals glued to the top of them. Recently I’d been riding the subway to get around town. No limos for moi. Not anymore.
I sat in 12B next to my gay best friend (GBF) Blake Morgan. His legs are longer than mine. We must look like two giraffes crowding under a tree.
Blake resembles a younger version of Jude Law meets Matt Damon. When we went to the premiere of The Talented Mr. Ripley a few years ago, I couldn’t decide who Blake looked more like.
Next to us in 12C was my best friend forever (BFF) Lex Easton. Famed daughter to rockers Eddie and Birdie Easton, she’d recently discovered her submissive side with a dominant she’d referred to fondly as Master Ford. Right now, Lex was zonked out on anti-anxiety medication. Let’s pray she doesn’t end up like her pill-popping mother. But I don’t think that’ll happen. She just hates the idea of being cramped on this flying tin can as much as I do. Her curvy caboose barely fits in the seat.
To top it all off like a vodka floater shot, my very best friend (VBF) Vive Farnworth sitting in 12D is buzzed. Ever since our recent incarceration over an accidental explosion at Lex’s penthouse, Vive’s been tossing ‘em back, more than usual.
We’d only been locked up for a day or so. Not six months, like the time before when we’d all been accused of murder and spent a semester in juvie. I’ll get into that, much later.
In addition to my flip-flops wanna know what else I hate? The Caribbean! For reasons I’ll elaborate on in just a second. However, I’ll give ‘ya a clue. It starts with the letter “c” and sounds like “trash.”
Now, if someone, anyone, maybe even you, had told me that by the time I turned eighteen my parents, Countess Irma and Joseph Graf Brillford, would’ve disowned me as their only daughter—leaving me unable to pay for the Ivy League education I’d busted my boarding school ass to get into—I’d roll my green eyes, chug a can of Redbull, and offer, “May you never drown in a vat of dog semen, thank you and buh-bye.” And by never, I mean forever and always.
Sure I’m pissy over my folk’s wrongdoings. One might say, since the age of thirteen, after my father’s DNA test didn’t match my own, I’d seen that shizzicane coming. So did my BFF.
Once Lex and I were shipped off to boarding school, we were out that door quicker than a yellow cab gunning it down Park Avenue. But being without any family never gets easy.
Who gets comfortable with having no parents?
The less than über wealthy call it being orphaned. My folks had used boarding school at Avon Porter as foster care when they gave me away. Whatever!
The school’s therapist had suggested, “Tabitha, forgive and forget. That’s what you need to do in order to move on with your life.”