Tawny Matthews stood before the mailbox in front of her house with bated breath.
The fifteen year-old blonde had been waiting patiently for weeks for a response, only to be disappointed every time the mailman paid a visit.
This time was different, however. As Tawny slowly pulled down the little door of the mailbox, her green eyes widened at the sight of a small, nondescript envelope laying sideways in its interior.
Tentatively, Tawny grabbed the envelope, as though she were afraid that if she made any sudden movements it would fly out of her grasp and vanish into the ether.
She looked at the return address: Ivoree Gates Institute.
This was what she had been waiting for.
She used her finger to slice open the top of the envelope and pulled out a single, folded sheet of paper.
She could feel the sweat from her palms dampen the letter.
Well, here goes nothing, Tawny said to herself.
Gingerly she unfolded the envelope, then involuntarily squinched her eyes shut out of fear. It took all of Tawny's willpower to force herself to reopen them.
We are writing to congratulate you on receiving a full academic scholarship---
"YES! YES!" Tawny jumped up in down in elation, no longer caring if she was crumpling the paper. She then ran back to her house and burst through the door. "Mom! Mom! Guess what? I'm in!"
"What's that, dear?" Tawny's single mother, a woman that looked almost like an older facsimile of her daughter with the same blonde hair and green eyes, emerged from the kitchen drying a plate with a towel draped over her shoulder. "What's going on?"
Tawny grabbed her mother, trying her hardest not to burst from excitement. "Mom," she said evenly, "I just got the letter today. I've been accepted! I'm going to Ivoree Gates boarding school!"
Unable to contain her excitement anymore, she jumped up and down and squealed.
"Oh honey - that's fantastic news! I'm so proud of you!" Mrs. Matthews set the plate on a nearby table and embraced her daughter.
They reveled in the moment for several seconds before Tawny pulled herself free. "There's so much I need to do. I've got to call Ally and tell her the news. I've got to pack. What do I bring? What do I wear? What's the dress code for a private school?"
"Tawny, breathe," her mother instructed. Tawny obeyed, taking in a deep breath and slowly exhaling. "We've got plenty of time. School doesn't start until September. You've just finished the tenth grade! Try to relax...maybe call your friend first."
Tawny nodded. "Right," she said, before bounding up the stairs two steps at a time.
Mrs. Matthews could hear her daughter scream with excitement all the way to her room; she smiled, grabbed the plate she was drying and returned to the kitchen.