Storyteller

Gina and university

Gina saw little crystalline snowflakes falling through her window and exclaimed, “Mom, it’s snowing!!!” “What do you want me to do?” replied her mother, tired from the tasks she had done and exhausted from the thought of the many more she had to do.

It was strange, this life. At one moment she was sitting in her comfortable house, her parents fawning over her and now she was working like a slave in her new house. Her husband had gone to work early, like always. They struggled to make the ends meet. In such a scenario, it broke her heart to see her daughter, so chirpy and cheerful despite of the odds. It made her gloomy to think how bad her Gina would feel when she realised that her lofty dreams may not be fulfilled at all, that she may be destined to a bleak future. How her daughter wanted to get into Oxford and study literature. It made her even sadder to think that she would never get a letter of acceptance from there. And even if she did, they couldn’t afford to send her. She wasn’t an ordinary child, this Gina but she wasn’t so extraordinary either that universities would be lining up to take her in. She had planned to not tell Gina of her acceptance if she were to be accepted as it would break her spirit to not be able to attend.

In her room, Gina sat near the window, her eyes transfixed upon the snow falling down the heavens. It wasn’t just snow that she saw; it was hope for a better tomorrow, a hope that everything will turn out right. She was suddenly startled by a crackling noise downstairs; something had fallen while her mom was cleaning her house. This brought her attention to her mother. She loved her dearly but could not understand why must she be so depressed all the time. It seemed odd to her that her mother behaved in such a manner. Gina couldn’t grasp the anguish her mother harboured for two reasons; one, that she had never seen the riches like her mother did as a child and two, as she was of a cheerful disposition and always hoped for the best. The fact that her parents couldn’t afford to send her to Oxford even if she was accepted was the only thing weighing on her mind. Yet she wasn’t depressed. Maybe it was because she knew that it was an unachievable task. After all, there were hundreds or even thousands fighting for that coveted full scholarship that included living expenses. She hadn’t told her parents that she was applying for it as she knew that her chances of getting it were nil; she was optimistic not delusional.

“Go out and check the mail Gina,” said her mom. Gina bolted up from where she was sitting and went outside, not caring for the snow that was falling. “Mother, here you go,” she handed over the bunch of envelopes that she found in the mail. “Another stack of overdue bills to hit myself with,” mumbled her mother as she put them down on the table. Gina sighed at her mother’s attitude and went to her room. Gina’s mother decided to check what bills had come. Though it was a task she hated doing, she had to do it. She was surprised to see an overseas mail. When she looked closely she saw that it was from Oxford. “They don’t send rejection letters, do they?” Gina’s mother thought to herself. Her worst fears stood confirmed when she saw that Gina had been accepted. However, instead of throwing out the acceptance letter, she put it in her cupboard.

A few days later, Gina’s father came home huffing and puffing. Gina and her mother were preparing dinner in the kitchen. As soon as he entered the living room, he shouted, “Gina! Come here. Bring your mother with ye.” “What is it? Let us prepare the dinner at least you nincompoop,” said Gina’s mother in a tone that didn’t please anyone. “Oxford University sent this letter in the mail and you didn’t see it,” he said. Gina’s eyes widened. “But the acceptance letter is inside my cupboard,” Gina’s mother said. Gina glared at her mother, not finding her words. “No, no. This isn’t an acceptance letter. This is a letter that says that she has been awarded some scholarship and it will cover everything from her travelling expense to her tuition,” he said. Gina jumped with joy. “But we hadn’t applied for it,” said Gina’s mother. The parents looked at Gina. “I did. But I didn’t tell you about it because I was sure I wouldn’t get it,” she said. Her father hugged her tight and said, “never believe there is anything unachievable honey. Not even if I say so, your mother says so or even the whole world says so. You can achieve whatever is practically possible. But only if you try, only if you try….”

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