They sat outside the Dean’s office, after making their way through a mine field of reporters. Jon has handled it like the pro he was, he kept the reporters away from Stephanie.
As they walked in, no one was smiling, and the folders in front of the Dean looked awfully thick to Stephanie. The other folder was Ryan’s, who thankfully was meeting separate from the Bongiovi’s. The Judge from the student court was also there.
“Miss Bongiovi, we here at Hamilton College and the Student court have looked over the incident and we have suggestions.” The Judge from the Student court opened the discussion. “We feel that since it’s your first offence, we recommend that you be suspension indefinably. We also expect you to complete a drug rehab. At the end of the rehab you can apply to come back to Hamilton.” The young man looked from Stephanie to Jon. “The Dean is in agreement, the suspension would be immediate.”
Stephanie couldn’t believe this, one screw up and she was suspended from college. Hell she had never been suspended from Polly Prep, not even in school suspension. They were making her go to drug rehab on top of the suspension. Granted she understood rehab, hadn’t uncle Mookie gone through rehab? She would get her dad to send her to Serenity like Uncle Mookie went to.
“How long will she need to be in rehab?” Lexie asked. Martine had given then the list of rehabs that were local, where she could take college courses while in treatment. They, she and Jon and maybe along with Dorothea, would have to be available for family counseling, while she was in rehab.
“Most of the programs are thirteen weeks, Miss Bongiovi can take classes online to keep earning college credits.” The Dean informed them. “Seaforth is our suggested rehab, they permit supervised internet access for verified students. Stephanie can take college online here at Hamilton.”
Seaforth, where had she heard that name before? A pamphlet was handed to her and her parents to look over. It was in the Hamptons. No that was too close to home! She wanted California or Utah, not Seaforth and the Hamptons. Thirteen weeks, that was almost three months! Stephanie looked over at her father and Lexie, she wanted to tell them where she wanted to go. But by the looks on their faces, she was going to Seaforth.
They were given two weeks, one for her to clean out her dorm room. One to report back to the court with their decision. As they waked out of the meeting, they saw Ryan and his lawyer were there in the waiting room. His parents were with him and gave Stephanie and her dad a dirty look. Martin told Jon that Ryan had made threats to take Stephanie down with him. But Martin had shut that down, he would get nothing from the Bongiovi family.
The road home was very quiet, no radio, no talking. Jon had allowed Lexie to do the driving, not wanting a stranger in the car in case they did have a discussion. Granted he trusted the drivers who did the driving when they had to use them, but you never knew who they talked to, their wife who told her friend who then would sell the juicy information to a rag magazine, like the Star and Enquirer.
Stephanie went right to her room, since as a part of her punishment from Lexie, she was home bound. She was allowed her computer and her phone, but Lexie was monitoring her calls and computer time.
She was getting messages from Ryan, even if it was through her friends she was allowed excess too. He had been expelled, which his parents still blamed on Stephanie. They were going to sue the Bongiovi’s, or so her message said. She would have to tell her dad, how did this all go so wrong?
Jon headed straight to his office, Lexie followed him in and shut the door. He put the envelope from the Dean on the desk and fired up his computer.
“It’s like they had this all planned before we got there.” Jon told Lexie as he waited for the computer to load.
“I was thinking the same thing, I think Martin had a lot to do with that. He was the one who handled all the Student Court and the meetings with the Dean.” Lexie went over and sat on his lap. Jon pulled up the site that Hamilton sent to them. Clicking on the Bongiovi, Stephanie Rose link was an eye opener. Missed Classes and failing grade in Design class. Out of fifteen classes she had only attended seven. Failure to turn in assignments. Barely passing with a low C in some classes.
“This is not the child that graduated top of her class in high school.” Jon placed his chin on her shoulder reading the screen. This was an eye opener to what had been going on for the past three months, since they dropped her off.
There was a tap on the door, it slowly opened and Stephanie walked in.
“I wanted to let you know that Ryan was expelled and his parents are suing us.” Stephanie held out her iPad to Lexie. “They have this idea that it was all my fault. Daddy you have to believe me it was the first time I ever did this drug. I promise.” Tear formed in her eyes. It was then the phone started to ring. Dorothea’s name come up on the caller ID. “I don’t want to talk to mommy, not after the mean things she said at the hospital.”
Jon took the phone.
“Dotty, we can’t talk right now, can this wait till tomorrow or next week?” Jon was so tired and talking to his ex was not on top of the list of things he wanted to do.
“She is my daughter and I want to know what happened today and why I was not there.” Dorothea asked. She had said she was going to look into getting the kids back, and she should have been there when they met at the college.
“Dotty, do you forget that you signed papers allowing Lexie to adopt the kid? You took money and signed away your rights as their mothers.” Jon repeated the same thing he told her when she called while he was in London.
“I have been checking with a lawyer about reinstating my parental rights to my children.” She told him. Graham had gone and applied for a loan to please Dorothea, so she could fight Jon to get the kids back.
“I don’t care if you get William F Buckley to rise from the dead to take the case. You took a large amount of money to sign your rights to your kids away. In fact it was more blackmail, and you know it.” Jon was getting mad, he was not firing on all his cylinders from lack of sleep. “Fine you get your lawyer and we’ll meet with a judge and if you lose, you will have no contact with these kids till they are over twenty two and they can decided if they want to see you. But right now I don’t need this shit, grow up Dorothea and let me deal with this family problem right now.”
You could hear her yelling at him when he disconnected the call.
There are days when I wish I had an old desk phone so I could slam the phone down on calls like this, Jon thought as he looked at Stephanie. They really didn’t need her throwing a monkey wrench into this right now.
“We’ll give Martin the heads up on the Smith family, and let him also know about Dorothea’s latest move.” Jon sighed and looked at his oldest, his baby girl and what was covered today. “Steph, we need to talk about this, but not today. Not after all that has happened, I love you, you know that.”
“I know Dad, I never meant to let you down.” Stephanie told her dad. Lexie got up and made a quiet exit out of the office. “If I could do it all over again, I would’ve never gone to that party.”
“Life doesn’t give us do overs, we learn from this and move on.” Jon got up and came around the desk and sat in the chair by hers. “There are a lot things I wish I could do over, but I learned from my mistakes and I think it made me a better person.”
“What do you want to do over Dad?” Stephanie asked her father.
“I wish I was there more for you and your brothers. I missed a lot of school plays and chorus concerts, I missed your brother’s sports games.” He ticked off items he wished he could do over. “I left a lot of how you grew up to your mom, I see where I should’ve stepped in and put my foot down, like the drugs and the drinking.”
“Dad, you had a job to do, so you weren’t there at times, but we knew you were doing it for us.” Stephanie told her dad. “We got the best schools, the best houses and we weren’t spoiled. You made us work for our allowance and taught us to value that money.” She thought about what it was like growing up Bongiovi.
“Yeah, I didn’t want you to grow up like I did. I wanted you to get an education that would take you far in this crazy world.” Jon sat back and watched his daughter. “Do you want to continue to do the class work while in rehab?”
“I kinda wanted to go where Uncle Mookie went to, but I was listening to the Dean, I need to finish my classes and keep my grades. So I guess I’ll go to Seaforth for thirteen weeks.” Stephanie said after realizing just how much of a hardship it would be on the family.
“We’ll go down and look the place over, if it’s not what we want, we’ll look into Serenity.” Jon reached across and took her hand. “Now let me call Martin and take a nap.” Jon yawned “I love you baby girl, always remember that.” He stood up and bent down and kissed her forehead.
“Dad can I ask you one thing?” Jon was just about out the door.