October 14, 2008
By Laura Eason, Benton, AR

Carrie knew the envelope would arrive this afternoon, but she was anxious to open it at four o’ clock, when the mail carrier would arrive. Thin beads of nervous sweat dripped past her shoulder length curly brown hair. Today she would, after months of requesting and submitting applications for a plethora of scholarships, receive the response from her dream school, Princeton University.

After almost thirteen years of schooling, she deserves a break in her life. She begins to think back to the beginning of her high school experience. One of the incidents included the accidental chemical spill that forced the evacuation of the two-story science building for two months during her junior year. Adam warned her explicitly not to confuse the ammonia beaker with the water beaker. She did not bother to count the numerous black and green bruises due to her not so graceful after school track practices. Carrie‘s tall and lanky six-foot frame had an exceptionally difficult time jumping the hurdles during practice. “Ah, fun times not! I definitely deserve a break.”

Carrie knew only one other person that Princeton accepted, her pen pal Amanda. Amanda is an extraordinary individual that lives two states over from Carrie. She strived since birth to accomplish everything she attempts. In the letters, she writes to Carrie, Amanda provides details about Princeton and its rich history. This is why Princeton is Carrie’s dream school. It has a large and beautiful campus with an enormous library that consists of volumes upon volumes of books. In addition, it has the most important quality she has always desired: privacy.

There will be six hundred acres worth of magnificent, wonderful privacy. The word alone she has not heard since either of her siblings was born. Amy, her sister, is eight years old and is a pre-teen, cheerleading, social butterfly, who is one of the most popular girls at her elementary school. Jesse, her brother, is a food spilling, hair pulling, and tantrum throwing, ill-tempered three year old. “My does time seem to fly”, Carrie pondered to herself. “I love my siblings. I really do and I will miss them, but after spending years with their bathroom hogging, sticky finger, and filthy room selves, I want to spend a few years alone and away from my annoying siblings. Even though I will miss four years of birthday parties I want one thing for my self that they can’t put their dirty little fingers on and ruin.”

Whether she would experience this privacy and the majesty of Princeton all came down to this one moment and one of two outcomes. “Option one: I will have been accepted and option two will cease to exist. Option two: I’m not accepted I’m stuck in this town of nowhereville population: twenty five.” She glances down at her watch. 3:59. Thump, thump is her heart beating and she can feel the blood rushing to her ears. Her heart beats faster and faster until the clock chimed four o’ clock.

She sprints to the front door, opens it wide, forgets to shut it, and hastily greets the mail carrier. Her bright green eyes spot the letter as the mail carrier puts it in the mailbox. Carrie excitedly opens the mailbox and then runs back to the house and tries to wait patiently for her parents to arrive. After what seemed like an eternity, only a mere thirty seconds, she decides to call her mom. She dials the number and impatiently waits for the other line to connect. Her mother answers and says sweetly “I promise to be home no later than 7:30 and about 8:00 for your father. Goodbye honey.”, but she could hear traces of anger in her mother’s voice no doubt from the week’s stress. “If only I possessed the power to speed up time so that my parents would be here now so that I could open this urgent letter. “ She sighed somberly. “Well I guess I’ll save this important news for another day.”

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