Ms. Chambers removed a brown plastic checkbook from her blazer and handed it to me. “This is your sole source of funds at the Institute. Without it you will be unable to purchase the things you need and such inability will only lead to misery. Do not lose it. Do not lend it to anyone. Do not leave this room without it. Understood?”
“Yes, Miss.” I opened the book. It looked like a normal checkbook. The checks listed the Rosecliff Institute in place of a bank, but otherwise appeared typical. The ledger featured three entries; an initial deposit, a deduction for Tanzanite House Ring, and a deduction for Checks. The remaining funds available were a jaw dropping, $1369.50.
Ms. Chambers said, “Most everything done at the Institute is with the singular purpose of teaching personal responsibility. The Tanzanite Shop is located on the first floor adjacent to the common area and you will find it stocks everything you need. Additionally, there are approved luxury items available. Each week you will receive an allowance of $225. You can purchase whatever you like, but if your funds run out you will face the consequences of doing without. If you attempt to overspend your funds, you will also face consequences. Is that clear?”
It sounded simple enough. Resist temptation. Buy only what you need or expect a spanking. Undoubtedly, this was life at Rosecliff Institute. “Yes, Miss.”
“Good. You’ll find a list of suggested initial purchases in the book Dean Rosecliff gave you as well as pricing for meals. It would be wise to follow the guide and avoid additional expenditures until you’ve become more familiar with the day to day life here, but the choice is ultimately yours.”
“Yes, Miss.” I thumbed through the white book, finding the mentioned page with relative ease at the back.
“Do you have any questions?”
I shook my head. “No, Miss.”
She nodded in a manner that lacked any sense of approval. “Very well. I will escort you to the Tanzanite Shop and from there you’re on your own until dinner. Before that, I suggest you acquire a uniform and wear it in accordance with the directions in the book.”
We left the room. Ms. Chamber closed and locked the door. We proceeded downstairs. The shop was easily accessed, standing in a corner on the first floor with glass walls bordering the interior space. The aisles were filled with a hodgepodge of items reminiscent of a convenience store. I pulled the door open.
Ms. Chambers said, “When you hear the next bell, proceed to the cafeteria. If you need help finding it, there is a map in the front of the book or you can always ask a member of the staff for assistance. Your table assignment is T-310. Understood?”
She left. I entered the store. A young man sat on a stool behind the nearby counter. His boyish features and sloppily combed hair were suggestive of a teenager in high school or just out. He smiled in my direction while his eyes danced up and down my naked body. I closed my eyes feeling a flush of hot embarrassment tingling my flesh. Eyes open, I forced myself to walk forward. It seemed obvious I was far from the first naked girl he’d seen, but the fact offered little respite from the embarrassment.
He slipped off the stool and rounded the counter, stepping in front of me. “You must be the new girl.”
His eyes glanced toward the wall where a leather strap hung on a hook.
He smiled as sloppy as his hair. His gaze moved toward my hand and the white book. “Are you gonna be one of the smart ones or the foolish ones?”
My fingers tapped against the book. His reference could only be to the list inside. It wasn’t a hard choice. “I’ll try for smart, Sir.”
He nodded and turned toward the greater body of the store. His hand waved in the air urging me forward. “Come on then, let’s get you fitted for your uniforms.”