Don’t Kill the Messenger

As another grueling school day comes to a close, I take a deep breath of relief, knowing that this tiring routine will only last for a few more weeks before summer vacation comes to the rescue. Right when it feels as though one more science project will set you off on a murderous rampage, this merciful break affords you the time to rest, relax, and slowly come to grips with the fact that the whole cycle will begin yet again in a short matter of time. Such a devious trickster summer vacation can be! This time, however, I’m not sure how to think about it. Approaching the end of my senior year, should I simply expect things to be the same, that college is no better than the deadening repetition and busy work I faced all of these previous years? In this time of transition, it’s hard to be sure of anything really… In fact, I still wasn’t sure where I might even be attending college at this point…

Staring listlessly out the window, contemplating the intimidating “bigger picture” that some people refer to as the future, I noticed some unusual activity outside. Apparently the mail was being delivered, but it certainly was much earlier than normal! And who was the mail man there? I couldn’t get a good look at his face, but I was positive that he was no one I had ever seen before…

Sitting squarely on top of the mailbox itself, this new mail carrier had hoisted himself all the way up there just to open the stubborn receptacle. What determination! Observing from behind for fear of offending him with my curious gaze, I wondered how he got here in the first place. With no truck or associates in sight, he seemed perfectly confident and capable of accomplishing his job nonetheless. Judging by the fact that he could scale a vertical pole without a hassle, I suppose I shouldn’t have doubted his aptitude.

Eyes closed serenely, satisfied by a job well done, he didn’t seem like such a strange creature after all, albeit conspicuous. Gathering up my courage, I approached and introduced myself, knowing that it never hurts to make friends with those who could potentially read your private letters, or dispose of important packages should you upset them. Instantly jumping to attention at hearing me pronounce my name, he handed over an official-looking envelope bearing that very title. Seeing as I rarely get any mail in the first place, I was now even more confused than when I first spotted this guy meandering towards the property! Job accomplished, my new mail carrier hopped down from the box and continued on his way, leaving me to puzzle over my parcel.

Well, it only took a second before I figured out it was a letter from my first-choice college – Let’s just call it Farnard University. Excitedly slashing through the thin seal, I retrieved the single sheet of paper resting inside. Unfolding as fast as I could, I had to read it over and over until I finally was able to comprehend… That I had been rejected. FU had essentially told me, “F.U.”

Such disappointment and shame I felt, I could hardly summon the energy to drag myself back through the front door, and yet somehow I still could have easily chased after that mail man, formerly a potential ally, and throttle him on the spot. I know it wasn’t his fault in the least… But I was at such a loss at that moment, no action I took would have felt right. Yes, life happens, and clearly this wasn’t the place for me if they didn’t even want me there… But that doesn’t make this bitter pill any easier to swallow.