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Runner-Up

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Both of us were sent to the office at the same time to be informed whether or not we had made it into the program. The program was a once in a lifetime experience, and I had this gut feeling that I was going to be the one chosen, and the girl with me was going to come in second place or even maybe third. But of course, as the British lady at the front desk handed me the envelope that contained my fate, I realized that I wasn't chosen. The other girl was the one that was going to get the lifetime experience and I was the one that was chosen as the runner-up.
Runner-up is a horrible term. It's like sugarcoating the fact that you lost. Even though it was a great honor to even be nominated for the program, I still came in second, and I wasn't going to get to go.
As I walked back to class with her, I suddenly realized how it feels to come in second on American Idol. You have to stand there and smile and congratulate them and pretend that you are all happy so the rest of the world doesn't think you're an a**hole. But what you really want to do is wander off alone and cry in a bathroom stall. No matter how much you like the person and know how much they deserve it, it's impossible not to resent them for taking what you thought should be yours. It is infuriating to be so close to such an amazing thing, and then have it snatched from under you. And even more infuriating is when they stamp on the title 'second place' or 'runner up' to make you feel better. But honestly, it never will.
So as I cried that night, I blamed everyone and everything. I blamed her, myself, God, the people who chose her, my parents, my school. I could only find blame and hate because that's what you do when you come in second. The rain that was pounding against my window just drowned out the sounds of the sobs that poured out of me as I lied, solitarily, in my own bed.
Maybe she really will end up not being able to go. Maybe she'll get sick, or other plans will come up and I will get to participate in this program of a lifetime. But the truth is, she probably won't, and no one will remember me, because I am the girl who was the runner-up.





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