Flipping through the mail, Robyn sighed as she came across nothing addressed to her. Again.
She was going to graduate high school in a couple weeks, and was ready for it to be over. While she would miss her friends, and was nervous about moving somewhere new for months at a time, she was ready for that next step in her life.
Robyn had sent multiple letters and applications out to numerous colleges, so many she’d lost count after awhile. None were in-state, all had great education programs, and she’d even toured a couple with some of her friends when they had time between school and activities. She had a couple in particular she was eager to go to.
But now that it was some time since sending out applications, she’d yet to receive a single letter, acceptance or otherwise.
Had she managed to get each and every one of the addresses wrong, or mixed up? Had they messed up hers? Were their letters, or worse – hers, lost in the mail? Worst of all, was she such an uninteresting candidate that they didn’t even bother with a, “Sorry, you kind of aren’t what we’re looking for. Try a tech school, maybe? We see you did a lot of this ____ activity. Education might not be for you. Later!”
She dragged her feet back into the house, lifelessly dropping the newspaper and other miscellaneous mail onto the dining room table before going upstairs to her room.
Most of her friends had already been accepted (or rejected in some cases) by universities. One of them had even gotten into Robyn’s second choice of schools. While she was happy for her friends, Robyn couldn’t help feeling jealous and moody any time the subject was brought up. And being near-graduation, it was brought up a lot.
“Mail for mee~?” Audrey asked, her voice squeaking unpleasantly in Robyn’s ear.
She shook her head. “Uh, I forgot to look, actually. Sorry.”
“Aagh, now I have to go downstairs to looook,” she drawled, doing her own version of Robyn’s zombie-walk back to the main floor of the house. Robyn rolled her eyes at her younger sister’s antics as she practically threw herself on her bed, sighing loudly.
The next day yielded the same results, but at least it was a Friday. She planned to go out with her friends and talk about anything other than college. Unfortunately it turned into an “all-you-can-talk-about-college” buffet.
Tabitha, her friend that had snagged a place at Robyn’s second choice, was talking with Marin about what they wanted to teach. Tabitha was thinking art–she loved pottery, painting, crafts, etc. and was always making something. Marin wanted to teach languages, particularly Chinese. She was half on her father’s side and loved the culture so much she wanted to learn, and be able to teach, others about it.
The three of them fit together very well in the regard they all wanted to be teachers. They’d joked many times about getting jobs at the same school once they were done with college.
Jesse, Marcus and Derek were talking about their respective majors as well. Sports medicine for Marcus and the long haul for Jesse and Derek–they wanted to be doctors.
Robyn was happy, excited even, for her friends, but the idea she might not get to continue with her plans like they were was too much for her to deal with right now. She shoved her chair away from the table, grumbling some excuse about not feeling well and how she’d catch them all later, and practically ran from the restaurant they all sat in.
She drove home in a fit between anger and sadness, frustrated tears leaking from her eyes. Sean, her brother, had heard from schools so soon after sending out his applications. Her friends had all at least gotten some form of an answer. Where was hers? She was almost willing to receive a rejection letter at this point.
By the time she got home her phone was blowing up with text messages, most from Tabitha. Robyn bit her lip and ignored them, hurrying into the house. She’d left to go hang out with her friends immediately after school, so the mail was probably inside, but she didn’t have the heart to see nothing again.
Some time after hiding herself away in her room, Audrey poked her head in–without knocking, as always–and, with a flourish, whipped some papers in Robyn’s general direction. “Maaiill~” she chimed, and Robyn could hear her skipping away down the hall.
Then her little sister’s voice actually sank in. “Mail?” she asked herself aloud, flying off the bed to the floor to scrounge up the not one, or two, but three letters, all addressed to her.
Robyn about died from happiness to see who they were from. All of her top three choices were held in her hands. She thought she might be dreaming.
Starting with her first college choice, she ripped open the letter excitedly, only to immediately see the “We regret to inform you,” as if it were bold and meant to be the first thing she read. She visibly sagged.
Something about her being a great candidate, but they had already accepted a lot of students this year, and she was welcome to try again in the future, blah-blah-blah… Well, she had thought about at least getting rejected…
Not wanting to dash her hopes again, Robyn decided to look at her third choice. “We are pleased to inform you,” were the words she hunted down this time, and to her delight she found them. She’d been accepted! This was great! It wasn’t her top choice, but at least it was a school she’d researched and liked. Yes!
She stared for a long time at the letter from her second choice–Tabitha’s first choice, and the one she’d already been accepted to. It would be amazing if she could go to college with one of her best friends. Robyn grabbed the letter and held it next to her face, snapping a photo before sending it to her friend. “Wish me luck, Tabby-cat!” she typed.
Still nervous, Tabitha got a response in before Robyn could even open it. “OMG is that why you were so weird today? G’luck, birdy!” Tabitha sent a picture of herself holding her tabby cat Vlad (named for her favorite artist, Kush) and giving Robyn a thumbs-up. Robyn laughed at the cheesy expression she made.
Taking a deep breath, she ripped open the letter.
“Congratulations!” it enthused, this time actually in a very bold font.
She squealed so loud her sister squealed back from her room down the hall, just because, even if she didn’t know the reason.
In her excitement to share her news with her friend, Robyn yanked on her shoes and grabbed her keys again, hurrying out the door. She intentionally texted Tabitha an ambiguous “I’m coming over, need to talk,” and left her hanging on her, “So? SO? SOOOOOOOO?!” response texts.
She had the letters with her–she wanted to get excited in person.