An a quick note, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone that has liked, commented or read one of my stories. I’d also like to thank other users for also sharing their stories, many of which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Reading many of your fantastic stories has given me great encouragement, knowing that I’m not alone in this. Since I was very young I’ve had a tremendous amount of difficulty accepting this part of myself, and have tried to suppress it. By reading my stories, and by sharing your own it has given me something I never thought I’d have, the comfort to just be myself and just accept this part of me. I really enjoyed writing this story and I hope you get the same enjoyment out of reading it that I did writing it. Thank you, much love – Dizzy
MRS BUTTERWORTH ALWAYS GETS HER WAY: LUCY THE BRAT GETS A BOB
Lucy had just turned eighteen, she was enjoying the freedom that came with being that age. The problem with Lucy is that she didn’t seem to want any of the responsibilities that came with it too.
Lucy’s parents were divorced, she lived with her mum, Angie in Hull. After the divorce her dad moved back to Canada from England. He remarried and had more children, he didn’t at all seem interested in having a relationship with Lucy.
Her mum is what most people would call a doormat, she let Lucy walk all over her. She tried her best but it was hard being a single parent, and it was especially hard being a single parent to a child like Lucy.
Lucy didn’t have a job, she didn’t want a job and she barely had any GCSEs. To say Lucy had no prospects might be selling it short.
Lucy was far more interested in boys, booze and having a good time. She wasn’t the most responsible of girls either, her mother knew that Lucy was having sex and there was likely nothing she could do about it but she did her best to encourage her to be safe.
Her words fell on deaf ears, she knew it was only a matter of time before Lucy went and got herself pregnant.
It was about 5am on a Sunday morning, Angie’s phone rang, looking at the caller I.D it said it was an unknown number. Picking up the phone Angie enquired who was calling, it was bizarre for someone to call this time of the morning.
It turned out her worry about Lucy that had kept her up most of the night had been warranted. It was the police station, they needed her to come pick Lucy up. She had been picked up for being drunk and disorderly. It wasn’t the first time that Lucy had gotten picked up by the police, it felt more like a weekly occurrence at this point. Angie knew it was only a matter of time before they charged her with something.
Angie headed down to the police station to pick up her daughter. She was at her end with Lucy, her behaviour had been become too much.
Heading inside the police station Angie composed herself, trying to contain her anger “I’m here to pick up Lucy Jozwiak” she said to the officer that was working the front desk.
The officer stood up from her chair “one moment please” she said, before heading through a door. Angie waited around, she was expecting Lucy to walk through the door with the officer but instead another officer accompanied the woman who was attending the front desk.
“Ms Phillips?” he enquired, extending his hand. “So this is about your daughter, Miss Jozwiak” he continued looking down at his forms. Lucy had kept her fathers surname despite not having a relationship with him, it was always something that her mother found particularly hurtful given that she was the one who put in all the effort raising her.
Overwhelmed with worry Angie didn’t know what to do “is she in big trouble?” she asked. The officer felt sorry for Angie, he knew that she cared about her daughter and upon reading her file he could see that she was just a struggling single mother doing her best.
“Look, this is the fifth time we’ve picked up Miss Jozwiak in the last month. At this point we’re going to have to charge her with drunk and disorderly” the officer said in a stern but compassionate tone.
This is what Angie had been dreading, Lucy was barely employable as it was and there’s no way anyone would hire her with something on her record “is there anything we can do?” she asked the officer.
“We do have a government funded program for eighteen to twenty-one year olds. It’s based down in Southampton but given that she’s eighteen she would have to consent. It’s either that or I charge her” the officer replied.
Angie knew that getting Lucy to agree to the program would be almost impossible but she asked the officer if she could at least try to convince her daughter that the program was the right choice.
The officer was more than happy to allow Angie to try and convince Lucy that she should go down south to Southampton and join this program. It was truthfully what Lucy needed, she needed some structure in her life and she for sure needed to learn some life-skills.
Angie was told to wait in a room, and that they would go and fetch Lucy so that they could talk in private. The door opened, there was Lucy. She walked into the room with an attitude in her step, not a care in the world.
“Wipe that smirk off your face” said Angie. It angered Angie that Lucy didn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation, it was all one big joke to her. Lucy, still smirking said “Oh, shut the hell up” to her mother.
“You know they’re going to charge you?” said Angie. Lucy was still unbothered, in fact she let off a small chuckle. She had only been in the room a matter of seconds and Angie was already frustrated by Lucy’s attitude.
”They have this program, I would like you to consider it” Angie pleaded to Lucy, trying desperately to get through to her. Lucy almost immediately shot the idea down.
Angie, incredibly upset by her daughters carefree attitude said “It’s either this or you go live with your dad, I’m not having you live in my house with this same old tired attitude anymore”
This was probably the first time Angie had truly stood up to her daughter. The last time Angie tried to stand her ground, Lucy had gotten physical with her, pulling her hair and hitting her. The security of being inside of a police station, knowing that there’s no way Lucy would get violent here gave Angie the courage to stand firm.
“I’m not going to go live with Dad, all my friends are here, my whole life is here” replied Lucy, frustrated that her mother had finally stood her ground and given her an ultimatum.
Lucy finally agreed to the program, it would be twelve long weeks away from home but it was better than moving countries. The officer told Angie to expect a letter in the mail within the next few weeks detailing the arrangements for travel amongst other things about the program.
A couple weeks went by and the letter finally arrived through the post. It read:
Dear Miss Jozwiak,
We are writing to you to confirm the date of your arrival of 12th May 2024. The OLC bus will pick you up from the Humberside police station at 6am and will take you to our facilities located in Southampton. We look forward to your arrival and hope that you will learn and grow with us. The OLC program is one of a kind, giving you a structured environment to grow. Before you depart on the bus you will be expected to have already adhered to our dress standards. You may not wear any jewellery or makeup, your hair is expected to be no longer than a chin length cut with no unnatural colours and you will be expected to be dressed in the OLC academy uniform that should arrive within three working days of receiving this letter. Shoes are not provided by us so you are expected to be able to provide a suitable pair for yourself, they must be black, non branded and the heel must not exceed the length of 5.5cm.
If there are any issues in which you cannot attend or if the uniform provided doesn’t fit and you need a replacement please contact us by telephone on: <phone number>
Welcome to the OLC academy, we are awaiting your arrival. See you soon
Upon reading the letter Angie booked Lucy a hair appointment. She managed to get an appointment for the next day as the hairdressers had a cancellation. The date stated on the letter was only two weeks away and that wasn’t very far away at all. She kept the letter hidden from Lucy knowing that she would freak out.
It was the next day, Angie and Lucy were sat in Starbucks, it was part of their routine every time they went into town. Lucy was still not aware of the real reason why they were in town, her mum had just told her that she wanted to take her shopping. Angie knew that if she had told Lucy beforehand that they were there to pick up shoes for her uniform and that she had to have her hair cut short she wouldn’t have come.
“Lucy, I have something to tell you” said Angie.
“Yeah…” Lucy responded in a condescending tone.
“Your letter came yesterday, you leave on the 12th of May” Angie replied.
Lucy had seemed irritated by the news, it wasn’t helped by the large amount of caffeine that she had just consumed. Angie was terrified that Lucy was going to blow up on her, it would’ve been especially embarrassing out in public.
“We’ve got to get you some new shoes before you go. It’s part of the uniform so once we’ve finished here we’ve got to go to Clarks” said Angie.
“You lying cow, you said we were here to do some shopping” Lucy responded angrily.
“Don’t shout, people are looking. You’re embarrassing yourself. I didn’t lie, technically it’s still shopping” said Angie, looking around at the Starbucks to see if anyone was staring.
It wasn’t a straight up lie that Angie had told but it was a lie through omission. She had given Lucy the impression that they were there to spend some time together and have some retail therapy, not to get shoes for her uniform.
“What else have you lied about then?” asked Lucy in a pissy tone.
“I told you I haven’t lied” insisted Angie.
“The letter also said that you’ve got to get a haircut. I’ve got you an appointment at 4:30pm” she continued.
“That’s not fair, I feel like that’s some sort of violation of my human rights” said Lucy.
“It’s not Lucy, you either get the haircut or you go live with your Dad. I’ve told you that I’m not putting up with your behaviour anymore” replied Angie, trying her best to be stern.
Lucy wasn’t happy, she was used to getting away with everything. How dare her mum force her into a haircut she didn’t want she thought to herself.
“Finish up your drink and we’ll head down to Clarks” said Angie.
Now sat in the shoe store Lucy remained quiet, it was quite unlike her given she had a bit of a reputation for being a loud mouth.
The store worker approached Lucy and Angie and said “what can I do for you ladies today?”
“Well she’s going away, and we need some smart shoes for her” said Angie.
“Okay, well have you seen any that you like?” responded the Clarks employee.
“No, we haven’t looked yet but we know what we’re looking for. They’ve got to be plain black and the heel can only be a maximum of 5.5cm” said Angie.
“Well if you know her size I can grab some from the back for her to try on” replied the Clarks employee.
”She’s a size five, thank you” said Angie.
The helpful store attendant went into the back to pick out some shoes that fit the description that Angie had given. Lucy was still sat there with her arms crossed, silent and in a stroppy mood.
“There’s no point throwing a tantrum over it. You’ve gotten yourself into this situation and you’ve got no one else to blame but yourself” said Angie, frustrated with Lucy’s attitude.
The store attendant arrived back, with three shoe boxes stacked on top of one another.
“Can you take off your shoes please so we can try these on” asked the attendant.
Lucy untied the laces of her Nike’s, annoyed with entire situation. The store attendant grabbed the first pair out of the box. They were a bit more industrial than what they were expecting. They were a laced pair, closer to the shoes that Lucy had remembered the boys being required to wear in school rather than the feminine pointed shoes she was expecting.
“I don’t like those” said Lucy.
“That’s okay, I have two more pairs here” said the store attendant, removing the shoe from Lucy’s foot and placing it back in the box.
The store attendant placed the second shoe that she had picked out on Lucy’s foot. They were loafers with a metal clasp on the front.
“Those are really nice, they’ll look really smart with your uniform” Angie asserted, trying encourage Lucy.
These shoes weren’t Lucy’s style either, they were a little bit too mature for her. The attendant removed the shoe from her foot and grabbed the last one that she had picked out.
These shoes were more of Lucy’s style, simple in design. They were plain black slip ons, with a pointed toe and a heel of 5.5cm.
Angie was just happy that Lucy had chosen a pair and hadn’t kept her stubborn attitude that she had since she had broken the news to her.
With the shoes in hand they headed down the street towards the Salon when Angie’s phone rang. The call was from the hospital, her mother had fallen over and broken her hip. She didn’t know what to do, she needed to go see her mother in the hospital but she also had to take Lucy to get a haircut.
“I can go on my own, go see grandma” said Lucy.
“Are you sure?” Angie replied.
”Yes, now go. I’ll get the bus home” said Lucy.
Angie was surprised by Lucy’s maturity in the situation, but she had no choice but to trust her so she handed Lucy the money to pay for the haircut and said “Make sure it’s not any longer than to your chin, please”
It was a couple hours later and Lucy had arrived home from the hairdressers. Angie had already been home for awhile and was sat in the living room.
Lucy walked into the living room, Angie grabbed the remote to mute the TV and looked up at Lucy “what is this” she said angrily.
She knew she shouldn’t have trusted Lucy to go alone, she didn’t have the chin length bob cut that her mother had told her she had to have. Lucy had probably had at most an inch cut off, nothing more than a tidy up. It was styled beautifully, with the ends of her hair curled but it wasn’t the haircut that the letter had said Lucy was required to have.
“I’m going to have to take you myself to the hairdressers, I knew I shouldn’t have trusted you” said Angie, trying desperately not to lose her cool.
“You haven’t even asked how your grandma is doing” she continued.
Lucy just shrugged her shoulders, smirking. That really got under her mum’s skin, to be so self-centred and to have the audacity to smirk when talking about her grandma’s health really hurt Angie.
“Do you at least have any change from the hairdressers?” asked Angie, in a frustrated tone.
“I did, but I spent it on cigarettes” responded Lucy.
“Just go to your room, I don’t want to deal with you right now” said Angie, on the verge of losing her temper.
It was now a couple days later, Angie and Lucy hadn’t been on good terms since the hairdressers incident. It was made worse by the fact that Lucy was refusing to go back and get the hairstyle that she was supposed to get.
Lucy had locked herself away in her room, playing on her phone and smoking cigarettes. Angie walked in, fanning the smoke from Lucy’s cigarette with her hand, trying not to cough “Can you come downstairs please? There’s something I need to show you” she said to Lucy.
Lucy followed her downstairs to see that her uniform had arrived. “I need you to try it on to see if it fits” said Angie. It was packaged in a cardboard box with each individual items wrapped in it’s own plastic wrapping.
Angie opened the box and found a letter that sat on top of the items inside:
1x OLC zipped jacket
6x OLC white Oxford button-up shirts
2x OLC sweaters
6x green chequered pleated skirts
6x white high socks
“How cute is this uniform, Lucy?” said Angie enthusiastically.
Lucy didn’t like the idea of being made to wear a uniform, she felt like she was at school all over again “it’s ugly, I’m not wearing that” she said.
“Come on, try it on. It’ll look very smart on you, you’ll look like a presentable young lady” said Angie, trying to encourage Lucy.
Lucy just stood there with arms crossed, with a look of defiance. Angie was rummaging through the box, grabbing each item and stacking it neatly on the table.
“Look, Lucy. They even have the academy badge stitched on the front pocket” said Angie, holding up one of the Oxford white button-up shirts.
Angie pressed, trying to encourage Lucy to try on the uniform but it was to no avail. Lucy had made up her mind that she didn’t like it and she wasn’t going to wear it and that was that.
It was the day Lucy was set to leave, Angie had woken her at 4am with the bus set to depart from the station at 6am as stated on the letter. She had awoken her so early because she knew Lucy always had a problem getting out of bed, it was a nightmare when she was in school.
Angie had laid out the academy uniform neatly for Lucy the night before, ready for the morning.
Once Lucy finally got herself out of bed she dragged herself into the bathroom to get ready. She brushed her teeth and took a shower. Getting out of the shower Lucy saw the uniform and snarled her lip in disgust that they were trying to force her into wearing it.
In an act of defiance Lucy didn’t put on the uniform, in fact she put on a tube top, denim shorts that looked closer to being a belt rather than actual shorts and caked her face with makeup.
Walking out of her bedroom her mum seen her “Oh, Lucy! Why do have to be like this?” she asked in a frustrated tone. Angie didn’t know what to do, it was clear that Lucy had no intention of following the rules.
Lucy had refused the short haircut, she refused to wear the uniform and Angie was worried that she was going to be kicked out of the academy before she had even arrived. She just dreaded the thought of dropping her off at the station and being told that she couldn’t get on the bus.
Angie and Lucy were in the car on the way to the station where the bus would pick Lucy up “I can’t believe you’ve embarrassed yourself and you’ve embarrassed me like this” Angie said, trying to stop herself from crying.
“They’re going to refuse you entry now, you’re going to be charged and you’re going to struggle to find work. I can’t look after you forever, you need to grow up” Angie continued.
Lucy didn’t seem interested in what her mother had to say, she seemed more interested in looking around outside, lost in a world of her own, picking at the rubber seal on the car window.
“If they don’t let you on this bus I’m phoning your dad when I get home from work tonight and you can go live over there with him. I’ve warned you about this over and over again and still you don’t learn” cried Angie.
After a relatively short car journey they arrived at the pickup point, it was still a little dark outside, daylight had still not broke and the streetlights were on. The officer that had arranged for Lucy to join to program was stood outside the bus, ready to greet them.
Angie grabbed Lucy’s suitcase “what the hell have you got in here?” she said, struggling to carry it. The officer seeing Angie struggling, grabbed the suitcase to help load it into the undercarriage of the bus “there you go” he said.
Lucy didn’t care to help, she headed straight onto the bus and sat in the back. She was the first girl on the bus, and she would be the only one there for awhile. Hull was the first pickup point, there would be many stops along the way, picking up girls from all over the country on the journey down to Southampton.
Angie and the officer chatted outside “I couldn’t get her to comply with the uniform rules” she said worryingly.
“I wouldn’t worry if I were you, I’m sure they’ll sort her out once she gets there” he said trying to reassure her that everything would be okay.
“Do you go with them? asked Angie.
“No, I just thought I would come out to greet you, make sure that you made it here okay” he replied.
”Do you have the form that Miss Jozwiak was supposed to sign?” the officer asked.
Angie was frantically looking through her bag trying to find the form. “I have it here somewhere” she said.
Because of Lucy’s age, she herself had to agree to the program, signing a document and effectively surrendering her rights as a free citizen for an initial twelve weeks.
“Got it” said Angie enthusiastically, handing the documents to the officer.
The officer gave it a quick check over, making sure everything was signed “right, I’ll fax this over to the academy then” he said.
The bus departed, Angie waved at a sulking Lucy as she took off down to Southampton, hoping that she came back with a new attitude and enthusiasm for life.
The first stop was in Leeds, two girls got onto the bus. One was a smallish girl with a blonde bob, the other girl was much taller who also had a blonde bob, both girls were dressed in their uniforms. The girls upon seeing Lucy sat in the back with her earphones in, on her phone were curious why she hadn’t adhered to the mandated uniform guidelines.
They were forced into wearing these uniforms, cutting their hair and were banned from wearing makeup so they felt annoyed by what they felt was a double standard.
As more girls arrived on the bus, the energy on the bus seemed to gravitate towards Lucy. The girls seen Lucy as bit of a badass, well apart from the two girls that had gotten on in Leeds, they thought she was a bit of an attention seeker.
Lucy seemed to really hit it off with one girl that was picked up in Milton Keynes, her name was Izzy. She had not long turned eighteen too and came from a single parent household so they bonded over that.
Even stripped of her makeup and preferred clothing it was easy to tell that Izzy was typically quite gothic. Her ears lobes were hanging from where she had been forced to remove her stretchers and she had a neck tattoo of a skull that you could just about make out behind the collar of her shirt.
“Fighting the system, man, I love it” Izzy said, referring to Lucy’s non compliance with the uniform and hair rules.
“You should join me” said Lucy
“I would dude but I’m so fucked if I get kicked outta here” replied Izzy.
It took about another two and a half hours once Izzy got on in Milton Keynes for them to arrive at the academy in Southampton. The bus had set off from Hull just after 6am and arrived at the academy just after 12pm.
The bus pulling up, all the girls rushed to the window to have a look at where they would be staying. It wasn’t anything like what Lucy had imagined in her head, she imagined something closer to a prison, complete with a barbed wire fence. This place wasn’t that at all, it was a beautiful, it looked like the house from Downtown Abbey.
It had lusciously green grass that surrounded the building, and a pebble driveway that ran all the way from the black gate to the front door of the building.
There was a woman waiting outside the building, ready to welcome them to what would be their home for the next twelve weeks. She was an austere looking woman, probably in her mid fifties, standing there with her arms in front of her and hands overlapping. She was dressed in a long black dress that looked incredibly old fashioned, it fell to her ankles and had a white collar. Her hair was almost jet black, and it was tied up using barrette, with a black netting covering the bun.
“Quick ladies, off the bus. Line up, line up!” she shouted assertively.
She walked up the line of girls, looking each one of them in the eye. Stopping at Lucy, seeing that she had not shown up with the correct haircut and dressed in the school uniform “I’ll deal with you later” she said in a stern tone.
“Now ladies, welcome to the OLC Academy. My name is Mrs Butterworth, you may address me by that name or you may simply address me as ma’am. I am the head of this academy and I expect that you shall treat me with the authority and respect that I deserve.
You are here because you are delinquents, you have been given this chance to correct your behaviour and I’d advise you to take this opportunity with both hands. We have rules here and we expect you to adhere to them” she said, stood in front of the girls.
“First of all, hair. I expect you have read the letter that you were sent” she continued.
“Clearly not all of you did but I digress” she said, looking at Lucy.
“Your hair may not go past your chin, but you are free to style your hair into pigtails or a ponytail if you are able. If you are to wear your hair down, I expect it to be brushed and look presentable. We have a trained hairdresser on-site so if your hair grows past an acceptable length in the time you are with us you will be sent their way.
Next up, uniforms. You will be expected to wear your uniform at all times until you are dismissed for bedtime at 9pm. I expect you to wear your uniform in the manner that we find acceptable. Your shirt must be buttoned all the way up or you may leave the top button undone. I can see some of you girls have too many buttons undone on your shirts so I suggest you correct that now before we head inside. The buttons on each side of the collar of your shirt must remain done up so that the collar stands up and looks tidy.
Your skirt should fall just above the knee and your socks should be pulled up just below it. I do not want to see your legs, and I expect that I shall not see your legs. You will make sure that your shirt is tucked in neatly to your skirt at all times, it is an important part of looking presentable.
You will learn how to wash, dry and iron your own clothes whilst you are here. We expect no creases and that your clothes will look crisp. You will take the time to polish your shoes and make sure that they are without blemish. If you scruff your shoes beyond repair, you will be expected to arrange your own replacements.
You are not permitted to wear any sort of makeup whilst you are here, vanity is a distraction and will not be tolerated.
The boys section of the academy is in the building all the way down at the end of the estate, I trust that you ladies will not fraternise with them. You are not here to find a boyfriend, you are here to get your life in order. If you are caught talking to any of the boys there will be severe consequences.
You will learn to cook, clean and take care of a household here. You will take English, Maths and Science classes whilst you are here also, if you do not already have at least a C grade in your GCSEs in those subjects then you will be required to sit the exam at the end of your stay. Education is a tool that we must use to further ourselves and I trust that you ladies will take advantage of our world class teachers.
We want you ladies to get jobs or to go to college or university once you leave here and become productive members of society. Do not think of this as a punishment, think of it as an opportunity for growth.
Now, two last things before you head inside, your bags must be checked for contraband. I have two teachers here, Mrs Smith and Mrs Hewitt that will help me examine your bags so if you could please remove your bags from the bus and place them in front of you. You are also required to hand over your mobile phones, you won’t have time to play around with them and we have a shared phone that you may call your family from once a week”
The girls handed in their mobile phones, most of them kissing their phones goodbye before placing them in the plastic box that Mrs Butterworth was holding. Once the girls had handed in their phones, they walked over towards the bus and grabbed their bags, placing them in front of them as requested. Mrs Butterworth took an keen interest in Lucy’s luggage after seeing the non-compliance with the uniform.
“I do not see any academy clothing in here, this is completely unacceptable” said Mrs Butterworth, rummaging through Lucy’s luggage.
Lucy hadn’t packed any of the uniform that she was required to wear, the clothes she had brought were ones that she wore at home.
“Ahh-ha, I just knew you were a trouble maker, I could tell from the moment I laid my eyes on you” said Mrs Butterworth, pulling three cartons of cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey from Lucy’s luggage.
“Follow me inside, now” she said to Lucy in a very stern tone.
Lucy followed her inside the building, dragging her bags behind her. Mrs Butterworth was an intimidating woman, most of the girls fell right in line the moment they seen her standing there with her soulless expression and piercing eyebrows but not Lucy, at least not yet.
”Up the stairs you go” said Mrs Butterworth.
This was a large building, it had six floors all in all. Lucy’s mum had struggled carrying Lucy’s luggage from the car to the bus which wasn’t more than 20ft so for Lucy who was significantly smaller than her mother in stature to carry the luggage up the stairs would be quite the challenge.
“Where am I going?” asked Lucy, lifting her bag step by step.
“Top floor, I don’t want your misbehaviour infecting the other girls” replied Mrs Butterworth.
Lucy had barely made it half way up to the second floor, her arms hurt and she had already had enough “I want to go home” she said.
“You can’t go home. Did you even read the forms you signed? You’re here for twelve weeks, and it is up to my discretion if you should remain here longer up to a maximum of fifty-two weeks. If you even so much as step a foot outside of these premises without my permission you will be arrested” replied Mrs Butterworth.
Truthfully, Lucy hadn’t read the forms before she had signed them. Maybe if she had read them she might have chosen going to live with her dad in Canada instead. The next however long she would be forced to stay here was going to be hell, that’s all Lucy knew.
Lucy finally arrived at the top floor, with much encouragement from Mrs Butterworth. She was exhausted, her makeup had run from the sweat that was falling from her forehead, her arms ached and all she wanted to do was take a shower and go to sleep.
“I knew you could do it, if only you put that same effort into showing up here dressed appropriately” said Mrs Butterworth condescendingly.
Mrs Butterworth ushered Lucy into a small room that was on the lefthand side. The room was rather ugly, the walls were covered in a brown wallpaper that had a white pattern at the top just underneath the coving. The floor was made of wood, it looked rather tattered and old. The floor also made a rather loud creak that felt as if it were getting louder with every footstep, everyone was bound to hear if Lucy was sneaking around at night. Inside the room was a wooden bed and chest that looked rather old fashioned which sat at the foot of the bed.
“You may make yourself comfortable whilst I go make a call to your mother to arrange how we can get your uniform sent for you” said Mrs Butterworth.
Mrs Butterworth headed down to the bottom floor, where her office was located. Lucy’s mum was shocked upon receiving the phone call about Lucy’s antics. She blamed herself, she knew she shouldn’t have trusted Lucy to pack her own bags. Mrs Butterworth made Angie aware that Lucy would not be allowed to start the program until she had complied with uniform regulations. Not wanting her daughter to get kicked out, she left work early and drove to Southampton herself to drop off the uniform.
Angie arrived later that night to drop off Lucy’s uniform after a long and arduous drive. By the time Angie had arrived, Lucy had fallen asleep. Lucy had been exhausted from the long day, she was permitted to take a shower and crashed out shortly afterwards.
It was lucky for Lucy that she had already fallen asleep, Angie was furious with her. She walked through the entrance, red from anger and with the intention of unleashing her built up rage on Lucy.
“Hello, you must be Lucy’s mother” said Mrs Butterworth, extending her hand to welcome her.
“Hello, my name is Angie. And you are?” replied Angie.
“Mrs Butterworth. We appreciate so much that you drove all this way to deliver her uniform” said Mrs Butterworth.
“It’s the least I can do, this is all my fault” responded Angie, handing Lucy’s uniform in a neatly folded pile to Mrs Butterworth.
“I have Lucy’s luggage here that she brought with her, she’s not permitted to wear these clothes here so if you would like to take them home with you that would be fantastic” said Mrs Butterworth.
Angie didn’t stick around for long, with Lucy’s bags in hand she headed home. She had a long journey home, and she had work in the morning. By the time she got home it would almost be time to get up for work, she would probably only get an hour or two at most to sleep.
Lucy was awoken the next morning by a loud ringing that had gone off at precisely 6am. She had only been here one night and she had already had enough of this place. Mrs Butteworth’s voice played over a speaker out in the hallway “Rise and shine ladies, time to get up”
Lucy tried to go back to sleep, putting a pillow over the top of her head to try and quieten the sound of the bell reverberating. It was of no use, the bell was so loud that it was almost deafening.
Lucy sat up in bed, rubbing her eyes. She noticed the neatly folded uniform that was on top of the chest that sat at the foot of the bed. The shoes that she had bought with her mum from Clarks were on top of the nearly folded pile. Lucy had wondered how they had gotten there, she never brought them with her.
She looked into the corner of the room and noticed that her bags were gone. Mrs Butterworth must have something to do with this she thought. Lucy was furious, she rushed down the stairs, screaming at the top of her lungs.
“Whatever is it?” said Mrs Butterworth, emerging from her office
“You know what you did you cow. Now where are my clothes?” Lucy screamed.
“First off, calm your tone with me young lady. Second of all, your mother was kind enough to drop off your uniform last night and when she returned home she took your clothes with her. They are not permitted to be worn here, so it was best the were returned” Mrs Butterworth responded.
”So you made me carry those heavy bags all the way up the stairs for no reason?” Lucy asked, seething with anger.
“Yes! Now don’t you feel your learnt a valuable lesson?” asked Mrs Butterworth
”I’m not wearing that hideous uniform, you can’t force me” said Lucy defiantly.
“That is your choice. You can wear the pyjamas that you’re wearing now, and they will be the only clothes you will have. As you don’t wish to comply you won’t be joining the girls today for classes. We have a farm down the road, it produces all of the meat, eggs and milk for the academy. You can help out there today and every day until you change your attitude” replied Mrs Butterworth.
Mrs Butterworth escorted Lucy to the farm, making sure that she arrived. They were greeted at the gate by a guy who introduced himself as Paul. He was probably in his early to mid thirties, he had brown hair that was clearly receding and a clean shaven face. He was a husky fella, around 6ft tall with what can only be described as a dad bod.
“Hello, Mrs Butterworth, I see you’ve brought me one of the new arrivals to help out on the farm” he said, looking up and down at Lucy, dressed in her pyjamas.
Lucy looked around, she felt disgusted about where she had found herself. She had never been on a farm before, it was a world away from the comfortable lifestyle that she had back home.
It was a relatively small farm, given that it only produced goods for the academy. Just because it was small it didn’t mean that there wasn’t lots of work to be done.
“Shall we start with the pigs then?” said Paul, smirking at Mrs Butterworth. Lucy was a bit of a high maintenance girl, Paul had gathered as much the moment he laid eyes on her and he knew watching Lucy shovelling pig shit would be a barrel of laughs.
Mrs Butterworth left, leaving Lucy with Paul. She hadn’t gone beyond the gate, not wanting to get her immaculately maintained shoes and dress dirty.
With each step that Emily took, she sunk into a sludge of mud. Her lovely pink slippers were completely ruined.
“Here’s the pig barn” said Paul. He gave Lucy a quick demonstration on how to clean it properly, shovelling the pig shit into a wheelbarrow that she would take all the way around the back to empty.
Lucy, left to her own devices let off a huge sigh. Breathing in she caught the overwhelming stench of the pig shit in the back of her throat. She started gagging, if her friends back home could see her now they would surely be laughing.
Paul emerged an hour later, checking up on Lucy’s progress “How are you getting on?” he asked.
Lucy was leaning up against the shovel, smooshing her check up against her hand. It wasn’t that Lucy had finished, in fact she had barely done anything at all, she was just slacking.
“I’ve had enough, I want to go back” she whined. She looked completely defeated, she was cold, her feet were soaked through and she was covered in mud.
“You can’t go back, Mrs Butterworth said that I have you here all day, so you need to get back to work” he responded, clearly frustrated. Paul wasn’t used to dealing with high maintenance teenagers, he’d had students from the school help out on the farm before but none like Lucy.
“You need to crack on, they’ve still got to be fed and so have the chickens” said Paul.
Lucy was looking down at the floor, Paul grabbed some Wellingtons and gave them to Lucy, hoping that now she had proper footwear it might give her the boost she needed to finish the task.
She put them on, they were a couple sizes too big but at least she was out of the muddy, stinky and soaking wet slippers. Paul left Lucy to carry on with the work, it took her four hours in total.
Seeing that Lucy had taken way longer with the first task, Paul took it upon himself to prepare the food for the animals, all Lucy had to do was feed them.
Starting with the chickens, Lucy carried the heavy bucket of feed to the pen. It was a fairly easy task, and quite an enjoyable one. It felt rewarding watching the chickens pluck their heads, eating the feed that she had given them.
The pigs, were not so much a delight. Paul hadn’t given Lucy warning that you had to stand the other side of the fence, emptying the buckets into the trough.
Lucy carried the heavy buckets of sludge into the pen, closing the gate behind her. She was about to make a huge mistake, she just didn’t know it yet. Emptying the food into the troughs, Lucy could hear the rumbling footsteps of what must’ve been ten pigs emerging from the indoor section of their enclosure.
The pigs were especially hungry, they were three hours late being fed. Charging towards her, Lucy tried to move out of the way. In her attempt to escape the enclosure, the Wellington boot on her right foot got caught in the mud. Given how oversized they were, when she lifted her leg to take a step her foot slipped straight out of the boot, with the boot remaining stuck in the mud.
Lucy was stood there balancing on one leg, not wanting to put her bare foot down into the mud. As the pigs approached they knocked her, trying to get to the trough behind her and Lucy fell.
She was covered in mud, it had completely ruined her pyjamas. It was covering her arms and had even managed to get into her hair. To make matters worse, rain starting to downpour, soaking poor Lucy who was sitting down in the mud.
Paul noticing the rain, went to check on Lucy and to get her into the dry. Seeing Lucy sitting down in the mud, Paul said “You’re supposed to empty the food into the troughs from behind the fence” laughing hysterically at the image of the Lucy covered in mud.
“Go home and clean yourself off. I’ll give Mrs Butterworth a phone call and tell her I’ve dismissed you for the day” he continued.
Lucy walked back to the academy, barefooted, covered in mud and freezing cold. The pebbles of the driveway were digging into her feet, Lucy barely even noticed the pain. Lucy was preoccupied in her own thoughts, thinking how did she end up here.
Mrs Butterworth stood at the door, holding a towel. Lucy was shivering as Mrs Butterworth wrapped the towel around her “Wipe your feet on the rug please before you walk in, then head straight upstairs and take a shower” she said.
Lucy wiped her feet on the rug, and headed up the stairs for a shower, dragging her feet as she went. Lucy was drained of energy, and drained of her spirit.
Standing in the shower, the hot water running over Lucy felt almost therapeutic. Lucy had a lot of pent up emotional problems that she hadn’t dealt with, she blamed herself for her parents divorce. Truthfully it wasn’t her fault, her father had left before she was even born.
She just wanted to cry, she needed to let it go and to be able to feel her emotions that she had tried so desperately for eighteen years to hold in.
As much as she wanted to let go and just allow herself to cry, she didn’t want to. Lucy had a hard exterior, she used it as a shield. Even though she was alone in there, she feared someone walking in and seeing her in a vulnerable state.
The overwhelming nature of the situation was a lot for Lucy to handle, once she got out of the shower she went straight to her room.
Before giving Lucy’s luggage to her mother to take home, Mrs Butterworth had taken the liberty of going through her bag and grabbing some essentials such as underwear and her toothbrush and put them inside of the chest that sat at the foot of the bed.
Lucy dried off, and crawled into bed wearing nothing but the underwear that had been left behind. Mrs Butterworth had left food for Lucy by the door but there it remained, untouched.
The next morning that same alarm bell rang at precisely 6am like it had the day before. The sound of Mrs Butterworth’s voice bellowing down the hallway from the speakers.
Today the loud sound of the bell wasn’t enough to motivate Lucy to get out of bed, she felt emotionally drained and beaten down.
Mrs Butterworth stood in the doorway of Lucy’s room “Get up, Lucy. You are expected down at the farm” she said.
Lucy laid there ignoring Mrs Butterworth, tossing the cover over her head. Much to Lucy’s shock Mrs Butterworth flipped the mattress, tossing Lucy into the floor “What the fuck” screamed Lucy, furious what Mrs Butterworth had just done.
“Language, Lucy. It’s unlady like” said Mrs Butterworth.
Mrs Butterworth’s comment had only served to further anger Lucy. Unable to control her anger, Lucy pushed Mrs Butterworth, forcing her out of the room and slammed the door in her face.
Things had clearly boiled over, if Mrs Butterworth had forced her way inside of the room, Lucy surely would’ve attacked her. Knowing the danger of pressing Lucy, Mrs Butterworth left her to calm down.
Lucy jumped back into bed, grabbing the cover and tossing it over herself. She laid in bed for hours, thinking about everything that had transpired. She had no clothes, she couldn’t leave and she felt alone.
Getting out of bed, Lucy had given up. Mrs Butterworth had won. If she had wanted to, Mrs Butterworth could keep her here up to an entire year, was it really worth it anymore. There’s no way that Lucy could hold out and live like this for a whole year, not being able to wear anything but underwear and the filthy pyjamas that still remained on the bathroom floor. Having to work on the farm every day was unimaginable, one day was enough to scar Lucy for life.
Lucy grabbed the uniform and began to dress herself, buttoning up her shirt. She felt like she was in school or all over again but what other choice did she have.
Mrs Butterworth knocked on the door, she had come up to see if Lucy had calmed down. To her surprise when she opened the door, she seen Lucy standing there dressed in the uniform that she had been so against wearing.
“Don’t you just look fantastic” she said, looking at Lucy.
Lucy stood there silently, picking at her fingernails. Mrs Butterworth was delighted seeing that Lucy had seemed to take a huge step by wearing the uniform.
”We’ve just got to sort that hair out now and then we can start you in the program” she said, with a great enthusiasm.
Mrs Butterworth gathered all the girls from the program outside, they were all to watch Lucy’s haircut. This would be a message to them that she was the authority here, and that she always gets her way in the end.
After Mrs Butterworth had gathered all the girls outside she went and fetched Lucy from her room “The hairdresser is ready for you, Lucy. Follow me, dear” said Mrs Butterworth.
Lucy followed behind her, legs shaking as she walked down the stairs. Lucy had beautiful long brown hair that cascaded down her back, she had never even so much as cut her hair above mid boob level. The thought of having hair to her chin absolutely terrified her.
Upon realising that Mrs Butterworth had stopped in front of the entrance doors, Lucy was confused “I thought you said you had a hairdresser at the school” she said nervously.
“We do, he is waiting outside for you along with all of the girls” replied Mrs Butterworth.
It was bad enough being made to cut off her beautiful long hair, but having everyone watch just felt humiliating Lucy thought to herself.
Mrs Butterworth opened the door, holding it open for Lucy. Stepping out of the door, Lucy could see all the girls gathered in front of the chair, even Paul from the farm was there.
As she walked towards the chair she could hear the two girls from Leeds laughing to one another “Quieten down girls” Mrs Butterworth commanded.
Lucy sat down in the chair, ready to surrender her precious locks that she loved so much. She grabbed her hair, hanging it over one shoulder and kissing it goodbye “Can you put your hair up for me?” said the hairdresser, handing Lucy a hairband.
The hairdresser looked nothing like what Lucy had pictured in her head, in fact she was expecting it to be a woman. He had a gentle face, a little plump but gentle. Not the tallest in stature, only slightly taller than Lucy who was barely 5ft herself. It was hard to determine his age given his baby face, he could’ve been anywhere between thirty to forty-five. He had dark hair that he had slicked back, it curled under his ears slightly. He was clean shaven, dressed in a black t-shirt and blue jeans.
Lucy was lost in thought, looking up at the girls who were staring intently at her. She was wondering what was going through their minds, knowing that they waiting to make fun of her.
The hairdresser leant over a daydreaming Lucy’s shoulder and unbuttoned an additional two buttons on her shirt on top of the one that was already undone. The collar now loosened, the hairdresser folded it inwards and tucked it into Lucy’s shirt.
Lucy sat there quietly in the chair, she could hear the sound of the hairdresser behind her shaking off the cape that was about to be thrown over her. The nerves were overwhelming, Lucy couldn’t keep still, withdrawing her hands half way inside the sleeve of her shirt, leaving her fingers hanging over the edge. Lucy often did this at home with her favourite hoodie, she realised how much she missed home.
The hairdresser threw the cape over Lucy, it was a charcoal colour with white and light grey butterfly patterns. The snaps were fastened around Lucy’s neck, with the hairdresser holding his finger between the cape and Lucy’s neck making sure that it was a comfortable fit.
He grabbed a black, rubber cutting collar and placed it over Lucy’s shoulders. It wasn’t heavy by any means but it definitely had some weight to it. It gave Lucy the feeling of being trapped, like she couldn’t escape the haircut that was coming her way.
“Let’s get started” said the hairdresser, moving the hairband that Lucy had used to tie up her hair down her ponytail, stopping just above the shoulders.
“Would you like to the honours, Mrs Butterworth” asked the hairdresser, handing her the scissors.
Mrs Butterworth took tremendous pleasure being the one to cut Lucy’s ponytail. You could see the glee on her face, and it wasn’t often that you would see a smile on her face. Most of the time she had a soulless, vacant expression that sucked the energy out of the room.
She grabbed Lucy’s ponytail with her left hand and began to cut. Because Lucy’s hair was quite thick, it was hard to cut bunched together in a ponytail. Lucy could feel the scissors pulling at the back of her head as her ponytail was removed.
With Lucy’s head tilted forward ever so slightly, when the last cut was made, her hair that remained fell down in front of her shoulders. Lucy could see how short her hair was, she was trying her best not to freak out.
Mrs Butterworth with the ponytail in hand began teasing Lucy, it was almost like it was a trophy to her. She stood in front of Lucy wagging the freed ponytail in her face, as if to say look what I just did and there’s nothing you can do about it. She threw the ponytail on top of the cape, hitting Lucy’s lap. Picking up the ponytail, Lucy had tears running down her face, she grabbed the ponytail, clenching it tightly and putting her arm back under the cape.
Up until this point most of the girls had thought Lucy was a complete badass, that’s at least the impression they had gotten on the bus. Upon seeing tears run down Lucy’s face some of the girls began laughing, they didn’t think she was a badass anymore, they thought she was a huge crybaby.
The girls were making jokes amongst themselves, even Paul from the farm was bitting his lip trying to stop himself from laughing. It was humiliating for poor Lucy, as she sat there in the chair clenching her ponytail.
The hairdresser began to dampen Lucy’s hair, spraying it with a water bottle. Lucy could feel the water hit the back of her neck where her hair once covered. It was a strange feeling to Lucy, it was the first time she had ever felt that in her life.
Using a comb, the hairdresser began to section Lucy’s hair. The comb glided through Lucy’s dampened hair, not a single knot in sight. Although Lucy had quite a thick head of hair she always did a good job of maintaining it.
The hairdresser sectioned Lucy’s hair, parting it at the occipital bone, using a clip to pin up the rest of Lucy’s hair at the crown of her head.
Mrs Butterworth was leaning over “Is this short enough” asked the hairdresser, using his finger as a guide, pressing it up against Lucy’s nape.
“I would like her hair cut a little shorter” replied Mrs Butterworth.
The Hairdresser with a hand on each side of Lucy’s head, gently pushed her head down, forcing her to look down into her lap.
Lucy felt the cold scissors pressed up against the nape of her neck, she could hear the crunching sound of the scissors cutting through her hair.
Mrs Butterworth was watching intently “Oh that’s lovely and short” she said with glee, as the hairdresser cut through the first section of hair.
The girls looked on, watching as Lucy was forced into the same haircut that many of them had. Not all the girls had a bob, some had pixie cuts, but a chin length bob was sported by the overwhelming majority of the girls.
The hairdresser let down another section of hair, using the first section of hair that underlapped it as a guide. Lucy could already feel how much lighter her head felt, even though her hair was damp.
Maybe she would grow to like her bob she thought to herself, it certainly was going to be a big adjustment. What would her friends think when she got back home, having only ever seen her with the long hair that she had sported her entire life.
The hairdresser worked progressively up Lucy’s head, creating a baseline for the bob as the students looked on. It was shocking to Lucy how years of growth could be lost in minutes.
Moving around to Lucy’s left hand side the hairdresser used Lucy’s chin to determine how much needed to be cut off on the sides “You look so much better already” said Mrs Butterworth.
The hairdresser, pressing Lucy’s hair up against her jawline made the cut. The hair fell onto the cape the cape in front of Lucy, causing Lucy to internally freak out.
Moving around to Lucy’s right hand side the hairdresser repeated the same process, using her chin as a guide and pressing her hair up against her jawline.
The haircut was not too far from being complete. Extending Lucy’s hair and pinched between his fingers the hairdresser began to point cut, creating a graduation in the bob. He worked this process all around Lucy’s head, giving her layers and giving her bob more of a style.
The cut was now finished, the hairdresser now dried and styled Lucy’s bob using a roller brush and a cordless hairdryer. The hairdryer wasn’t as good as the one he was used to using but given Mrs Butterworth wanted this haircut to happen outside so Lucy’s schoolmates could watch he had no choice but to use the cordless one.
He made sure that the hair fell perfectly to Lucy’s chin as Mrs Butterworth had requested. As the hair fell from the brush Lucy could feel the hair tickle her neck.
Noticing how it look dried, the hairdresser grabbed his thinning shears to try and take some of the bulk out the ends of Lucy’s hair. It was a very thick head of hair that Lucy had, Mrs Butterworth could attest to that as she struggled earlier cutting through Lucy’s ponytail.
There was only one thing left to do, grabbing the electric trimmer he began to clean up Lucy’s neckline. The sound of the trimmer being switched on had frightened Lucy, she had never had one of these used on her before. It was to be common occurrence now, sporting her short haircut she would need her neckline trimmed every time she visited the hairdressers.
“We’re all done” said the hairdresser, removing the rubber cutting collar that had been placed over Lucy’s shoulders. Sat in the chair for so long she had gotten used to the weight of the cutting collar, so much she had forgotten about it but once it was removed it felt so freeing.
The hairdresser unsnapped the cape from around Lucy’s neck, using a towel to clean the stray hairs that had clung to the back of her neck. He grabbed the cape, neatly folding it so that the hairs that had sat in Lucy’s lap didn’t fall on the ground and put it into a bag. There was already so much hair on the floor, and given it was going to be a nightmare to clean up because it was on a pebble driveway he didn’t want to make an additional mess.
Lucy’s humiliating haircut was now finished, she looked just like all of the other girls in the class. That rebel girl with an attitude was no more, she was just one of the crowd now.
Mrs Butterworth was inspecting Lucy’s haircut, making sure that it matched her high standards “Untuck your collar from underneath your shirt and button yourself back up, Miss Jozwiak. I need to have a proper look at you” she said.
Lucy obeyed Mrs Butterworth, untucking her shirt collar that the hairdresser had tucked under and buttoning herself back up, leaving the top button undone.
“Doesn’t that just look marvellous. You look ever so smart in your uniform and without that mess on your head” she said.
“You look like a real woman now, we can all take you seriously” she continued.
The bob did suit Lucy, and she did look very presentable dressed in her uniform but Lucy couldn’t help but feel a little sad, still holding the ponytail in her hand.
“Hold it up” demanded Mrs Butterworth.
“I said hold the ponytail up, I would like to get a picture to send to your mother” she continued.
If Lucy hadn’t already faced enough humiliation, Mrs Butterworth now had a camera in her face, demanding that Lucy hold up the ponytail that she had cut off, dressed in the uniform that she had been so adamant she would never wear so she could take a picture.
“Your mother is going to love this” said Mrs Butterworth, taking a picture of Lucy with her freshly cut bob, holding up her ponytail.
Mrs Butterworth, looking down at the camera screen, scrolling through the camera roll “these pictures have turned out fantastic, I will have to print one off for myself and put it on my office wall” she said with glee.
“Now go line up with your classmates, Lucy” said Mrs Butterworth.
Lucy got up from the chair, still holding her ponytail, walked over towards her classmates and stood at the end of the line.
Was this the end for Lucy’s bad attitude or would she go back to her old bratty ways? All we do know is, that Mrs Butterworth always gets her way.