My father came to a halt in front of Collegiate.

“Well,” he said in a soldierly manner, “this is it.”

I stared at the gloomy building and imagined those same

words used by fathers sending their sons off into battle.

It was my father’s idea that I attend Collegiate School.

He thought it would transform me into a useful member

of society, a lawyer, say, or maybe a number-crunching accountant.

“It’s time you sorted yourself out,” he said. “You’re sixteen.”

“You’re nearly a man. You need to start buckling down.”

I was barely managing to get by as a boy.


Paraphrases from the novel What I Was by Meg Rosoff.