The cold winter air nips at me, sharp and pointed, like a million needles in my skin. The wind howls loudly, putting my head in a spin. My eyes are red and bloodshot, no doubt from all the pathetic crying I have done since the past few days. I carry an aura that matches the condition of my soul and my face. I force air in my lungs, reminding myself that this is just a phase. I got the so awaited email a few days back, saying, ‘We are sorry to inform you that you have not been accepted into Harvard.’ All the work down the drain, and now I wonder if the outcome was worth my time and happiness being bartered. All these years spent alone, I reduced myself to this one email, now all I have to myself is misery and pain. Some people might say that I am overreacting, they might argue that, this is just a rejection and the cut off is very less anyway, that there are other ivy leagues college to pursue, but all these justifications to my heart seem vain.  The keys rattle loudly as I pull them out of my purse, my hands shaking and quivering, my nose running like its representing America in the Olympic Games. I know I am going to have to shut down this pity-party or else whatever is left of my future will be in flames.  ‘Gather yourself together Stasie, this is all the time you get to cry and wallow for something that cannot be reversed’ I reprimand myself, smiling a little when my hands move towards the trash lying around the house.  Wincing and coughing a little when the smell of foul utensils, soiled linens and old food reaches my brain in depressing amounts.  “Come here Bruno, I’m so sorry bubs, I’m so sorry…” I coo, petting my golden retriever, a tear slipping down as I see his sunken eyes meet mine. He has been sitting here in this spot for days, not barking or moving, I haven’t even heard a single whine.  After I have a hearty little chat with Bruno and clean up myself as well as the house, I hear my phone ring, the screen displaying brightly letter reading ‘Momma’ with a few hearts.  “How are you doing now, sweetie?” mom asks, love and empathy hear tone imparts.  “Much better mom, what about you and daddy?” I answer honestly, realizing the now not so empty feeling in my body.  I can practically hear her smile, “You know we are very proud of you right? We couldn’t have asked for a more talented girl, who shines oh so bright! I know you are still bummed about not getting in but I hope you know we love you so much. Maybe this is not such a bad thing, you can use this time to go to that solo trip you wanted to so such.” Maybe I will.     Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!