It’s a relief to find out that the girls at Malory Towers weren’t right about everything.
Gwen knows what they say about her. She can read between the lines of their pitying letters. She knows they all think that she deserves this, that it’s the universe paying her back for all her beastly ways at school.
They don’t know that it’s not so bad, really. They aren’t there as Father slowly learns to talk again, and they don’t get to eavesdrop as he tells her stories from when he was a boy -- a little boy who had almost nothing, who’d had to learn to make his way. They don’t meet the new friends that Gwen makes at her job -- the ones who don’t give a hoot for hockey or lacrosse, and don’t go on about the terrible cold swimming pool as though it’s the most marvellous thing on Earth. They aren’t there the day she’s able to take Mother and Miss Winter out for High Tea, for the first time in simply ages -- with the money she’s earned and saved all by herself.
She receives a letter from Darrell -- they’re less frequent now -- and when she looks at the date, Gwen realises with a shock that it’s been two years since she’s seen any of them (except in pictures, of course -- she’s got the photographs from Bill and Clarissa). Darrell tells her about the Old Girls’ Day at Malory Towers, at the end of term. You simply must come, Gwen. We’d all love to see how you’re getting on!
Gwen smiles and shakes her head. She might go, she thinks, let them hug her and exclaim over how nice it is to see her. Then again, she might not.
She’ll think about it over a nice slice of cake. That’s another thing the Malory Towers girls weren’t right about -- it’s not so bad to be a little bit plump.
None of it is bad at all.