The envelope is too thin.

Fingers itch eagerly,

Prepare to tear through

The flimsy white paper

Separating me from the Decision.

I think, not truly believing it,

"This will be a rejection letter.

If I got in, it would be thicker."

My rational side comforts me,

Reassures me that a packet will come later.

How could it be a rejection?

Those were my best essays.

Those were my best test scores.

Those were my best grades.

My entire life has been dedicated to this single moment.

Years of friendless solitude,

Years of doing homework,

Years of studying for every test,

Years of fresh school supplies,

Years of being the smart sibling,

All leading up to this single moment.

Funny, isn't it?

I always felt prepared.

I always knew that this-

This work,

This brain,

This intelligence-

Is what made me special.

My words are weak,

My pictures are pathetic,

My athleticism is nonexistent.

I am the honor roll kid.

I am the genius IQ kid.

I am the one who can get A's without trying.

My destiny is all tied up

With my brain and this Decision.

How can I succeed elsewhere?

How can I be worth anything

At any other school?

I have convinced myself that I deserve this.

This-this school, this future, this life-

This is what I deserve.

Feeling sure of myself, I tear open the envelope.

"Dear _,

"We apologize but we do not have space for you

"At this time.

"If you really have an interest in this school,

"You can reapply

"At a later date."

The words do not register.

I am unconvinced.

How? How could they reject me?

My whole life has been

Leading up to this moment.

My whole life has been

Leading up to this

Single rejection.

I do not cry. My mother watches me.

It's their loss, I tell myself.

It's their loss.

Seventeen years of trying,

Seventeen years of being the smart kid

Down the drain

With one letter.

Goodbye future I thought I deserved.

I suppose I never really knew

What I deserved.