Only Him (A Virgin Romance)

By: Lila Younger


Audrey

“Seriously, are you really not going to do anything all night but stare at your phone Audrey? It’s not going to make it come any faster.”

My best friend Vera is lying on the foot of my bed, staring at me upside down. Her long blonde hair cascades, Rapunzel-like, down onto the floor.

“It might,” I say, nibbling on my lip. “Besides, they were supposed to announce it this weekend.”

I swivel in my desk chair, opening up the lid of my laptop to check on the computer, just in case there’s something wrong with my phone. It could happen.

“What school is this again?”

Of course she’s forgotten, again.

“University of Virginia,” I say absentmindedly.

There’s nothing at all, which is ridiculous. It’s Saturday, which means it’s the weekend, which means it should be out. What’s the point in saying weekend if they were going to wait until Sunday? I can feel my jaw set in anxiety.

“Look at you,” Vera says, sitting up. She combs through her hair with her hands. “You’re totally stressed.”

“Of course I’m stressed! This is the rest of my life we’re talking about!” I burst out.

She calmly divides her hair into three sections and begins to braid it.

“I thought you didn’t want to go to University of Virginia anyways,” she said. “I thought it was Columbia or bust?”

“Well, it’s a good school,” I say defensively. “And my counselor said I should have options.”

Nothing against the school, but Vera’s right. I do want to go to Columbia. That’s where my Dr. Stevenson, the one who helped me get better, studied. It’s been my goal ever since I was a kid to go there. I have to. But I didn’t want to end up with no university. That would be even worse than not going to Columbia, so I applied at five other places just in case.

“You’ll get into all of them, I’m sure,” Vera says in a bored voice. “We all know it. My parents know it, I’m pretty sure even the guy pumping gas down on Main knows it.”

It’s true. I’ve worked harder than anyone ever to try and get into the school of my dreams. They probably get millions of applications. I’m part of the choir and the president of the student council at school, valedictorian (of course) and I was the one who started up the Library’s summer reading program to make sure kids didn’t forget what they learned over break and prepare them for the next year of school. Oh, and I work at the town’s local train museum, which is really only like one room, but still. A museum.

It’s not that I did all this solely to make sure I got to Columbia. I’m kind of a huge nerd anyways, so I love all this stuff, but it didn’t hurt that it made my application look stronger. I’m almost positive that the reason I’m this way is because of what happened to me back when I was five, but I don’t regret or wish it any other way. I’m happy. Well, I will be once I know that I’ve got in somewhere.

Just then, my phone chimes with an email. I snatch up my phone, and even Vera pauses to see what it says. It’s them! My eyes scan furiously and thank god, it’s right there in the first line. It is my pleasure to offer you admission… I let out the breath I’ve been holding and fall back against my chair.

“Well???” Vera demands.

“I’m in!”

She shrieks, jumping off the bed and I do too. We run and hug each other, jumping up and down.

“I’m in! I’m in!”

A minute later, my parents are knocking on my door.

“Honey?”

“Come in!”

They open the door, tentative smiles on their faces.

“University of Virginia accepted me!”

“That’s great!” mom enthuses. She really wants me to go. Out of all the colleges I applied for, it’s the closest. Well, that’s not true. I almost applied for the University of Chicago, but I didn’t at the last minute because I didn’t want to live that close to home. I’m ready to stretch my wings. After years under my mom and dad’s worry (which I totally get, but still), I wanted someplace where I could be myself without the fear of them randomly checking in on me.

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