Standing Room Only

A World of Short Stories

The Letter

“This came in the mail yesterday, do you know what it is?”  I delicately held the envelope out to my sister and hoped she knew what was going on. 

“Did you open it?”  Amanda said ripping it out of my hands and holding it behind her back.  I stared at her blankly.  Was it not obvious I had opened it? 

“My name was on the front.  Why would I not have opened it?”  If my attention was not piqued before, it definitely was now. 

“Never mind.”  Amanda said after staring at me for a few silent seconds.  She then turned on her heels and went directly to her room.  I tiptoed behind her and made sure I didn’t step on any of the creaky floorboards.  The only reason she ever shut her bedroom door was to make a phone call.  I pressed my ear to her door and listened.  I tried not to breathe so I could hear everything she had to say. 

“Julie.  It happened.  It worked.  This was all supposed to be a joke and now I really have to deal with it.”   Amanda was silent for a beat before she started pacing in her room. “How do I tell Megan? She will be furious. This is all your fault. Megan doesn’t even want to go to Princeton! I did! She’ll never forgive me.” 

All of my plans had worked. I did actually want to go to Princeton, but had never told Amanda my dreams. I had wanted to be a Princeton Tiger for as long as I could remember, but Amanda thought she was the only one in the family who had that dream and could have that dream. That’s how I had somehow managed to trick her into applying under my name. Then she would be able to rub it in my face that she had gotten in and I hadn’t. But I knew now her chances of leaving our small town for college in New Jersey would never happen. I wouldn’t let her ruin my future. 

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