Amy’s note: Now we’re getting into the stuff I really didn’t want to cut. This scene is the set up for one of my favorites of the deleted scenes. I still enjoy this because she tries so hard to outsmart The Academie personnel that treat her so badly, but poor Allie, it’s just not her day.

When I called to make the appointment, the woman who scheduled it acted very put off by my request and told me quite curtly that I would have to bring two forms of identification—one a picture ID—and come early to fill out a stack of paperwork. Then—if everything checks out—I could have up to one hour with him. It seemed that they hoped to make this process as unpleasant as possible so that I would never attempt a return visit and perhaps I’d tell my friends and relatives so they won’t try it either.

So much for the idea of taking Matt out to lunch or home for Easter dinner. That seemed to be completely out of the question. Instead, my short meeting with him was to occur the Monday after Easter, which was technically the first day of my Spring Break, though I had arrived home the previous Friday evening since my parents were kind enough to drive down before the weekend so that I’d have more time off away from school.

That morning I packed up a bit of leftover ham and cheesy potatoes—hopefully they will have a microwave—and headed off toward The Academie. My appointment was set for 10 AM, so just to be sure that they didn’t try to use of any of my visit time getting me approved to see him, I arrived well over an hour early. As I approached the only entrance, I noticed that it was now equipped with a gate and guard shack. Apparently, when they say they don’t want visitors, they weren’t kidding. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought I was attempting to enter a military base.

The man at the guard post was dressed in the uniform of The Academie and greeted me with a less than friendly attitude.

“I’m here to visit my brother, Matthew Thompson,” I blurted out before he had a chance to inquire. With a harsh glare he examined me before referring to a clipboard.

“You’re early,” he replied gruffly.

“They said there was a lot of paperwork for me to fill out,” I retorted.

He gave me another rough look before demanding my ID. After appearing to determine that I must in fact be the brother of Matthew after all rather than a spy hoping to infiltrate their system, he handed back my license and social security card. I set these on the seat next to me and began to put the car in gear when he stopped me again.

“Not yet,” he demanded.  Apparently I was wrong: there were still some questions about my motive.  That’s when I saw that he now had a walkie talkie in his hands. “I have a young lady here by the name of A-lah-thee-aye Thompson.” I cringed as he butchered my name. Seriously, do you think that my parents would name me something as ugly as that?  And I’m sitting right here; he could have asked. “She is quite early for a ten o’clock appointment with a Mr. Matthew Thompson. What would you like me to do with her?”

“Ughhh,” I heard a woman groan. “Send her in, I guess. She’ll have to wait until it’s time. I swear, you’d think they had no brain.”

I know they both had to know I could hear them. And yet, he looked at me as he replied, “Tell me about it.”

He simply motioned to the gate as he gave me another rude look that contained a mixture of “dumb kid” and “enjoy your boredom.” I wanted to give him a nasty look in return, but I was too shocked by the rude display to get my face to respond in a way that seemed appropriate. Instead, as he raised the gate, I drove ahead. That’s when I realized that I had no idea where I was going. Now I felt like a real idiot, but how was I supposed to know? Instead of interrogating or degrading me, they should have been orienting me on how to navigate myself around this unknown territory.

Without guidance, I drove toward the lot where my dad parked the day of Matthew’s orientation. I found a parking spot with surprising ease given how long I remembered it taking me to find a spot on mornings when I was a student here. Of course, it made sense since students no longer had a use for a vehicle. Still, I couldn’t help but think the number of cars seemed surprisingly small for the amount of staff I imagined it’d take to properly care for and educate so many students.

(To be continued…)