Amanda – My Life Is Over!
I stare at the horrid thing as it just sits there, on the end of bed, taunting me. Hugging my knees tighter into my chest, I feel my tears running down my legs.
How could I have been so stupid?!
One wrong decision has cost me everything!
I shuffle along the bed a bit to get further away from it, and bump into the wall at the other end.
If only I could destroy it – that would only take a moment. Tear it to pieces with my bare hands. Nothing could be easier.
And that would change nothing.
I’m overwhelmed with another bout of sobbing and I let the tears run freely down my face and legs.
I’m such a failure. What am I going to do?
I could burn it. No one would ever know.
But it has to be signed by a parent and back at school tomorrow.
I know. Suze is an expert at forging parental signatures – she’d help me.
But then they will want to discuss it at Parent Teacher Interviews and I’ll be found out for sure.
I stare at it again. It’s still sitting there, mocking me.
My life is over! I’ll never get into university physics now. I’ll probably have to go to TAFE and do Fashion and Beauty with Mich, or Dance with Trace. That is if they want to hang round with dufus like me. Bec will be a high flying lawyer and I’ll be a nail technician!
I tried reasoning with Mr Jackson. Used every argument I could think of.
Even got flirty with him.
Wow. I’ve never seen a teacher close an office door so fast.
But I sort of thought that I would be on the other side. One moment I’m in his office, the next thing I’m in the corridor staring at his closed door.
Oh no! Even boys don’t like me any more!
I hear the front door open.
“Amanda. You home?” calls Mum.
Oh, great. Now everyone will know what a stupid dufus I am.
“Amanda. You there?” says Mum coming down the hall.
I hug myself tighter and bite my lip.
“There you are. I’ve been calling.” she says entering my room. “Are you alright? What’s wrong?”
I hold my arm outstretched and point at the horrid thing at the end of bed.
She looks puzzled, picks up the note and reads it, then looks at me and smiles.
“100%! Well done.”
Ugh!. Parents are so stupid!
“No! The other number!” I wail.
She looks puzzled again and hurriedly scans the note.
Grrrr! She must have been dux of her class at Stupid Parent School.
“I GOT ONE WRONG!” I yell before breaking into another round of sobbing.
She sits next to me and hugs me. I cry into her shoulder while she comforts me.
“There. There. It’ll be alright.”
“You don’t understand.” I say. “It’s all my fault. The girls were doing some silly Dolly quiz and I was goofing off with them instead of studying. Then in the test the question was to name three leptons and I said ‘electron, muon and gluon’ when obviously it should have been ‘electron, muon and tau’. How can I get into university physics if I don’t even know the Standard Model?” I wail.
Mum just looks at me open mouthed.
“I don’t know what any that means.” she says shaking her head. “But I do know that you are way too hard on yourself. You’re the top of all your classes; won numerous karate competitions; more friends than I thought was even possible. You have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of.”
I sniff a couple of times and wipe my eyes. I must look a complete mess.
Mum passes me the box of tissues, I take some and blow my nose.
“You do know that Mr Jackson gives you extra questions so that you don’t finish so far ahead of everyone else?” she says.
Did not know that. No wonder everyone looked at me strangely when I asked them about those.
“And I don’t know why you think you need tutoring, but your father and I agreed that if you thought you needed it, then of course you had to have it. Hannah told me she has to check some of your questions with her professor – and she’s doing third year university.”
I suppose I’m not a complete dufus then.
“If you had taken up that accelerated learning program that you were offered you would already be at university.” she says. “I know you wanted to stay with your friends and I respect that. But you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself”
I take some more tissues and dry my eyes. She smiles at me.
“I shouldn’t be telling you this but the Harvey’s are giving you a bonus at the end of the year.”
“Why? I haven’t done anything.”
“You really don’t give yourself credit, do you?” she says. “I know you probably think it’s not good enough, but thanks to your tutoring Bianca has gone from C- to B+, which is going to make all the difference for her University Entrance Score at the end of the year. The Harvey’s are thrilled. Try and act surprised when they tell you.”
I’m glad they’re happy – Bianca just needed some motivation.
“Melbourne rang again about the scholarship.”
“What did you say?”
“Just what you said. That you wouldn’t be deciding until you complete Year 12 next year.” she says. “They said they would hold it open for you.”
So that’s Melbourne, Sydney, Monash and RMIT. At least I don’t have to decide yet.
“You feeling better now?”
A bit. I give her a weak smile.
“You’re way ahead on all of your studies. Why don’t I get you out of school tomorrow and we can have a girls day? Go down to the salon in the morning and get ourselves waxed and polished, then go shopping.”
“Can we go to Chadstone?” I say eagerly.
“Sure. If you want to.”
“Great. There’s a dress I want to get in Missguided.” I say reaching for the iPad to show her.
All people, places and events depicted are real, just not in this universe.
© Paul Shipley