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The Big Envelope

It’s the first day of our senior year, Isabelle and I’s tradition on the first day of school is to take our sophisticated picture by the front garage. I have on the traditional first day of school dress with a sweater that covers my shoulders. Isabelle showed up in sweats and a baggy t-shirt as if it’s what she wore to bed. Our moms gather around us, tears falling off their face, snapping thousands of pictures like we aren’t going to be home right after the day is over.

“Okay mom, that’s enough pictures,” said Isabelle.

“Honey I’m going to need these when you go off to college,” Mrs. Peters hollered back.

“I’m not going to college, you’re the one that made me apply,” Isabelle replied.

“Come one Isabelle we’re going to be late. We’ll talk about college later. Because yes, you are going with me,” I said. I couldn’t wait for the day to be over. The first day is just a bunch of lectures that remind you of all the rules you’ve learned over the past 13 years. Most teachers talked to us about college and how we need to start filling out applications. Little do they know I’m way ahead of that, I’ve already filled out five applications. I like to be ahead of the game. I don’t like to be stressed about things, especially things with certain deadlines. I’ve known my whole life that I was going to attend the University Burberry and study criminal justice. Isabelle, on the other hand, doesn’t care about anything.  

Things are starting to be different. This summer Isabelle and I didn’t hang out like we used to. We didn’t stay at each other’s house eating Oreos and gossiping all night long. We didn’t get random clothes to wear around town just to look stupid together. There were no 100 degree ice cream stops that would last forever. Things have just been different. We are growing apart.

Isabelle was waiting for me by the main entrance; she’s always the one waiting on me because she usually skips last period. I don’t know how she doesn’t flunk out of school. After walking 4 blocks I said goodbye to Isabelle and walked into my front door.  If there’s any mail for me it’s usually sitting on the left hand corner of the table. I want the big envelopes to come. I took a quick glance only to see rather small envelopes waiting. I tossed down my weighty book bag and began to open the letters. The first one reads on the outside Wimber College: Office of Admissions. This was my second choice of college, but I’m still bummed that this isn’t a big envelope. Ripping the envelope to shreds I finally pull the letter out that reads;

Dear Amy Spear,

Thank you for taking your first steps in applying to Wimber University. (blah) (blah)
We are sorry to say that we are going to need better SAT and/or ACT scores before we can review your application further. If you have any questions (blah) (blah).

Wait listed again. That’s just what I needed. I heard the garage door squeak which meant that mom was home. I quickly tossed the envelope into the trash and shove the letter into my back pocket. The last thing I need today is my mom constantly questioning me about colleges. The door opens and mom is holding 4 bags of groceries. “Here mom, let me help you with those,” I say.

“No I need you to turn on the oven. I have to start baking, Isabelle and her family are coming over for dinner,” mom replies.Mom always plans surprised like this. Sigh. As much as I love my best friend and her family sometimes I just like to be alone.

“Amy, dinner’s ready come join us,” mom yells from the kitchen. Just as I came down the stairs I caught a glimpse of the left hand corner of the table where a big envelope sits. Did I just not notice it sitting there when I checked earlier? “Amy, come sit down. Isabelle has some exciting news to tell you.” Isabelle’s mom pulls out the letter, inside the envelope, out comes a bear paw decals to put on your car from Wimber University. A keychain that says Wimber and of course the big postcard that says WE SAID YES. I can’t stand to look at the envelope any longer. I began to forcefully shove food down my throat hoping I can leave the table soon. Mrs. Peters is so happy for her daughter she can’t keep her mouth closed long enough to finish her dinner. Isabelle unfortunately sits across from me at the table staring down at her phone the whole time. When I start to dismiss myself from the table I see my phone flash a text from Isabelle. “Don’t listen to my mom she’s been going crazy that I got accepted, she doesn’t know that I’m not going there anyway. R u upset or something?” I just acted like I didn’t receive the message and continued to dismiss myself from the table. Dishes clank as everyone else finished their meal, conversations start to die down, yawns overcome the conversation at last. Finally I can go to bed.

“Amy you need to wake up! You’ve been sleeping all morning, you’re late for school. Now you’re never going to get into college,” mom hollered from the hallway. I take a glance at my phone where my alarm clock is going off silently. I fling off the covers only to notice I’m already ready for school. Check the mirror and my hair is already curled. Everything seems to be in slow motion. Gathering my school stuff from my floor I can barely see that there is a giant envelope on my book bag. The top of the envelope says University of Burberry Office of Admissions. I can’t believe I didn’t see this last night. I can hardly stay in slow motion any longer as I rip open the envelope. Out pops confetti. My mouth is cotton dry and my stomach is turning. Hands covered in confetti I reach in the envelop to find a decal that says “Don’t Be Sad”, I think nothing of it and pull out the postcard of acceptance WE SAID NO! Sorry we didn’t accept you, enjoy the cookies. With my eyes beginning to water I reach in, in search of the cookies and pull out an oatmeal raisin cookie with icing that reads “Sorry You Suck”. Tears start to flow down my cheek I crawl back into bed.

Beep, Beep, Beep… the sound of my alarm clock gets louder and more intense as time passes. I sit up drenched in tears and back sweat I can’t believe what happened.

“Amy you need to wake up, you’re going to be late for school” mom hollered from the hallway. No extra comments about college this morning thankfully. I fling off my covers relieved that I’m still in my pajamas. There’s no giant envelope on my book bag or confetti. Phew. It was just a dream.

Days start to pass with still no giant envelopes on the counter. I’ve received more than 3 letters that have declined my request of admission. It seems these days that I’m not going to go to college anywhere. I still meet Isabelle by the main entrance every day. She still always beats me there because she usually skips most of her classes. Today she is holding a McDonald’s cup in her hand. “How did you get the drink Isabelle?” I asked.

“I skipped class today and went out and got it, sorry I didn’t get ya anything Am,” Isabelle replied.

Disgusted by the fact that Isabelle never attends school, she has the worst grades out of anybody, and her mom probably filled out all of her college applications, I decided to tell her how I felt.

“You don’t care about anything do you? I bet you couldn’t go a whole day in school, get above a C in any of your classes, or be smart enough to fill out any applications by yourself.”

“Whoa Amy, why so much hatred?” Isabelle said. “Are you just mad that you didn’t get into any colleges yet?”

“Isabelle you don’t understand how hard I’ve worked not to get into any colleges” I said. “I have way better grades than you, and I’ve filled out all of my applications by myself with the truth. You skip school every day, and you don’t care about going to college.”

“Obviously you’re wrong because I’ve been accepted into more colleges than you have. Oh by the way I got into Burberry, I just didn’t want to hurt your feelings. It doesn’t matter now though,” Isabelle said.

I can feel my face turning red. My hands have a tightening grip. It’s taking all of my might to turn away and start to walk home. My thoughts are racing. I can’t believe she said that. I walk in the front door hoping that no one is home. Although my mom hasn’t been questioning me about colleges lately I still don’t want to talk right now. My nostrils flare as I smell the freshly baked cookies sitting on the counter. I grab a cookie and pour myself a glass of milk. As I sit down at the counter I notice a big envelope sitting on the left hand side. I get up from the counter. My palms are starting to sweat. I look at the envelope again. It’s dark blue with big white lettering. University of Burberry Admissions. I stare at the envelope for a long time. I pick it up, throw it in the trash and head to my bedroom. I couldn’t bare with the fact that I might not actually get into the college of my choice. After that nightmare I had last night, anything can happen with big envelopes.

I check the clock, and it’s been hours. I must have dozed off for a while.

“Amy, dinner is ready!” Mom hollers. I hear pots clinging down stairs, and dad must have the T.V. up really loud. I crawl out of my napping position on my bed and head down the stairs. I can’t tell what we are having for dinner because it smells like a bunch of different things. I turn the corner from coming down the stairs and am flabbergasted.

“CONGRATULATIONS AMY” my whole family shouts. I wasn’t sure what everyone was talking about since I was still groggy from my nap. I see my mom holding up the giant blue envelope from Burberry.

“I found this, I think it’s yours” mom says followed by a little wink.

“OPEN IT” I recognize that it’s Isabelle’s voice. I’m not mad that she’s here for some reason. I look around at the rest of my family waiting for me to open my envelope. I rip off the edges and pull out a post card. A key chain falls to the floor. I feel a smile so big on my face I can barely get the words out, WE SAID YES CONGRATULATIONS! My family all starts to clap and my mom grabs me in for a hug. I feel her tears falling on my shoulder. There’s a lump in my throat as I hold back the tears. I feel so loved.

“I didn’t mean what I said earlier, I’m so proud of you Amy,” Isabelle says as she gives me a hug. “We can finally go to college together.”