Hello there, everyone! I'm here for our weekly writing Wednesday, and I'm actually ON TIME! Yay! I have a busy week ahead. My novel, Wingless is released on MONDAY and I'm so excited to share the book with you all. Also, my sister-in-law is getting married. Lots to do, little time. Let's get started!
Prompt Forty-Nine- Character Risks
This prompt is from my creative writing class. Write a scene in which everything your character treasures is put at risk and every choice they make will cost them their most cherished things. Mine has to be two to three pages, but yours can be as long or as short as you want!
Two large packets await me as I step into my kitchen. College letters came in. Waiting at home! My mother texted me as I sat in Pre-Calculus class. The anticipation ate at me throughout my last two periods, and as the last bell rang, I sprinted from my second floor locker to my beat up Honda Accord.
Each packet is thick, as if my future is spelled out on the inside pages. I turn the first manila envelope over in my hand, trying to read through the thick yellow paper like a fortune teller. I drop my backpack on the hard wood floor, and sit on the worn down stool that was under the kitchen counter.
The marble top is vacant, except for the two packets I lay out in front of me, one beside the other, glaring up from the table at me. How will I decide which to read first? How will I muster the courage to break the seal? How could I possibly read the jumbled letters on the page? I suddenly become paralyzed, my brain the only thing functioning anymore.
My entire life, a whole eighteen years, leads to this single moment. The honors classes I took. The practice I put into skating at the rink and playing every practice like it was an Olympic try-out. The hours I put into that damn violin. Not to mention the volunteering at the food pantry and my family’s church.
What was it all for?
This one moment?
What if I open the letters and each was a no? All the effort would be a waste. I didn’t get anything out of taking pre-calc. I’ll never use the stupid math again for the rest of my life. And the violin—such a useless skill. I can’t just whip out a violin in the middle of a party and sing like I’m on a damn fiddle. The skill is worthless to me now, unless of course, I get in to college. Then I can say I don’t regret the time.
I have to know.
I take the envelope closet to me and slide my finger across the seal. Quickly, I break it and slice my finger on the thick edge. Wincing, I stick my finger in my mouth and suck the blood off. But as I look down at the envelope, now tainting by my blood, I see that it’s half open and I can just see the papers inside of it.
I open it. Congratulations! On behalf of the faculty and staff of Dartmouth College, it is with great pleasure that I inform you of your admission to Dartmouth as a member of the Class of 2015. Dartmouth. I actually got in. The excitement from my newfound acceptance fuels me to rip open the second envelope and read the nearly identical letter, only the college name changed—Stanford University.
I actually did it. I made it into both of my top colleges—well, the only two colleges I applied it. Both are amazing schools. I’m honored, lucky to be invited to join the top round of students in my year. But with the elation of my dreams coming true, comes the tough reality of my situation.
I have to leave Mark. And either way, there’s going to be a distance between us. Mark was accepted to UConn and already signed his letter of intent. He’ll be on the football team, and while that’s great and all, he never once asked what I wanted. Despite him putting his needs above mine, I suddenly feel guilty for considering Stanford.
If our relationship is meant to be, living on difference coasts shouldn’t make a difference. Although being in New Hampshire would be a whole lot easier. I think it’s only a two hour drive from Dartmouth to UConn, maybe more. I could easily manage that. But having to take a plane would be a whole different—harder—scenario.
I got into Dartmouth and Stanford. I text Mark, wanting to see his response.
Congrats. Dartmouth is so close. I can’t wait to visit!
What if I want Stanford?
You don’t, Annie. Dartmouth is your school.
You’re right. I respond. Dartmouth it is.
I drop my cellphone on the bed beside me. The screen lights up, but I ignore it. Dartmouth—I test the name in my head. I’m going to be a Dartmouth girl. I guess that sounds good. I guess for a second I actually considered Stanford. I mean, how awesome would it be to live in California. But Mark is right.
To save our relationship, I need to go to Dartmouth.
My stomach rumbles—from anxiety or hunger, I’m not sure. I roll over and shove my head under my seemingly hot pillow. Tears threaten my vision as I slam my lids shut, not wanting to give in.
I can mold my dreams to work at Dartmouth. I can continue to play hockey there. It’s cold there, even though I prefer beaches to snow lifts I’ll make it work. I can do this, I tell myself. I can make it all work. Dartmouth it is.