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The letter lay untouched on his desk, its creases marked by dust. Danny stood in his room, looked at the letter over and over again, picking it up, putting it back down. Over and over again he did this. His heart was racing, his head spinning with the possibilities.
Over the past year, Danny’s life has been so hectic. He’s a senior high school, the star quarter back. To the eyes, he was the typical jock, always partying, joking around with his friends. But little does anyone Danny was very serious about his education. He had straight A’s, honor roll, and scholarships to many schools. But Danny only had eyes for one school. Stanford University. The school where football didn’t matter, the place where he could get away, but most of all a place where he could make his father proud of him.
Two years ago, Danny’s father Thomas, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The disease was slowly taking over Thomas’s body. Danny was right by his father’s side going through it all with him. But it was taking a toll on him in the hardest possible ways. He could barely sleep, all day every day the thought of losing his father played in his mind. What was he supposed to do without his father? He taught him how to ride a bike, read a book, he got him dressed in his first tux for his first dance. Danny’s mother walked out on them after having an affair with the math teacher when he was only 5. For years his dad was all he had. And now he might not have him for much longer. Memories every day of his father flooded his mind, and soon it sent him on a downwards spiral. Danny eventually stopped going to school. It was too hard for him to concentrate or think. He didn’t want to talk to his old friends about it, every time he thought it about it he thought about breaking down. He cut them all off, and kept everything in. Soon he started hanging out with the wrong crowd.  His grades, attendance, and social life suffered severely.
Danny had come home one day to his father barely able to get out of bed. He knew it was only going to be a matter of time before he lost his dad. The one person who has always been there for him. He layed by his father side, holding his thinking this may be his last time. “I love you dad”, Danny said. Nothing came from Thomas, for a while it was overbearing silence. As Danny was getting ready to leave his father’s room, Thomas said, “Danny, you’ve made me proud to be your father. I’ve watched you grow into a handsome young man. I never thought I would be able to raise you without your mother, and yet here you are, so kind and as smart as can be”. Danny stood by the door watching his father not knowing what to say, holding back tears. “I know this hard. But don’t let this ruin your life. Finish school, go to college. Go to Stanford like your old man” he said through laughs. “I’ll always be with you I promise. Make me proud Danny. Get married, give me grandchildren one day. I promise I’ll be there for it all”. Danny didn’t know what to say, so he walked to his father and kissed him on his forehead, through tears and loud sobs he said “I will make you proud dad”.
Danny sat on his bed with his head in hands remembering that day like it was yesterday, when he heard a soft knock, and his bedroom door open. He felt hands on his knees, and for an instance he hoped it was his dad, but when he opened his eyes and looked down it was just his girlfriend Sarah.  When he saw her, he broke down in her arms. He was crying and couldn’t stop. As Sarah held Danny in her arms he said, “What if I can’t do it?”. When he looked up at her he was smiling at him. “Danny this one thing, isn’t the only thing that would make your dad proud. If he was here he would be proud that you’re graduating. He would be proud that you got your act together. He would be so proud of you for picking yourself up and getting through it”. Danny knew she was right, if his dad was here he would be proud of everything he accomplished this year. He picked himself up, walked over to his desk and stared at the letter sitting there marked, From Stanford University. He took a deep breath, picked up the letter and tore it open. Before he read it, he whispered “I am going to make you proud dad”. Danny flipped the letter, after scanning it for a few seconds, a huge smile came across his face.
“I got it! I got in. Im going to Stanford”, he said through sobs. Sarah congratulated him jumping in joy. He did it. He did it for his dad, and Danny knew his dad was hear right now smiling at him and patting him on his back. “I did it”, Danny said.






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