Today’s the day: I will find out if I get the Summerville Technical College scholarship. I got my acceptance letter a week ago. Still, without my scholarship, my parents will never be able to afford to send me. We live in downtown Detroit in subsidized housing; any extra money we get goes straight to bills. My mom is a maid at a local hotel, and my father’s a line worker at one of the auto manufacturers downtown. Having a college fund was never in the cards for me or my older brother, Jed.
“It’s here!” Jed bursts through our bedroom door, holding the letter from Summerville. I finished tying up my curly, fire-red hair and took the note from him. We raced into the kitchen to greet my parents. My dad was standing with his arms around my mom when we came in; it’s sweet seeing how in love they are after all of these years.
I shoved the letter into my parent’s hands, “You read it, I can’t do it! I’m too nervous!” My mom took it and smiled wide, “I have no doubt they’re going to give you the scholarship.” She ripped the letter open and took out the paper. My heart was beating hard, and Jed reached for my hand. I gladly took the support as my entire body shook in anticipation. My dad read the letter from over my mom’s shoulders.
“Do you want to know?” He asked, giving me no indication of what the letter said.
“YES!” Jed and I yelled in unison. My parents smiled wide, and I knew what they were going to say.
“Dear Eleanor Carter, we are pleased to announce we have selected you as our 2022 full-scholarship recipient,” I screamed and jumped with joy as they said it. I don’t even care what the rest of the letter has to say.
“I’m going to Summerville!” I finally managed to squeak out. My family wrapped their arms around me as I let a few tears of joy slip from my eyes. I have been working my entire life for this moment. This is the moment that changes everything for my family. I can get a real education and get an excellent job to pull my family out of debt and far away from here.
After a few more moments, we broke apart and stood in the kitchen, energy, and excitement pouring off all of us. I took the letter from my parents and read the entire thing. They’re paying for my room and board, all of my class credits. I’m going to get a food allowance, as well as free meals on campus. Each semester they’ll pay for my books and even give me a laptop and other school supplies. After I finished reading, I looked at them, “Now I just have to get enough money for a ticket. Getting to Sweden isn’t going to be cheap. I can save a few bucks flying from Windsor, but...” I shook my head, thinking about what I can sell for a ticket.
“Well, now seems like the best time to announce it,” Jed stated after clearing his throat. I peeled my eyes off the scholarship letter and looked at him.
“You’re looking at the new detective for the mystic police force in Höga Kusten, Sweden. I applied last month and was told a week ago. I start the same week your school starts. They’re paying for a private jet for me to get out there, and you are coming with me!”
“Jed, that’s amazing! Congratulations!” I jumped into his arms and gave him a huge hug. I looked at my parents; a bit confused, “Why aren’t you excited for him?” He set me down and explained, “I told them before, but I didn’t want to tell you until I knew you were going with me.”
I smiled at them; he knew I would just be more anxious about getting the scholarship if I knew he was leaving. He may be seven years older than me, but we’ve always been close. He’s been on the Detroit police force for a few years, and I’m so thankful he’s getting out. Sweden will be much calmer and safer for him. I stay awake every night, waiting for him to get home.
“You’re good at keeping secrets,” I side-eyed him, and he laughed, putting his arm on my shoulder.
“Well, how do you want to celebrate?” Jed asked me. Any average mystic would have droves of friends to go out and celebrate with, but not me. I used to have a ton of friends and a loving boyfriend. Well, not that loving. He cheated on me with more friends than I care to think about, and anyone he didn’t screw, knew he was screwing other girls and didn’t tell me. I only found out when I walked in on him with my best friend. That was about six months ago, and I haven’t talked to any of them since. I don’t plan on it either. They weren’t really my friends if they let that happen. Besides, none of them are smart enough to get into Summerville, so I won’t ever have to deal with them again.
“I don’t know. Mom, can you make my favorite dessert?” I loved my mom’s cookies, brownies, and pies. But, unfortunately, I’m not much of a cake eater, so she had to get creative with me growing up.
“Of course, sweetheart.” She gave me an understanding smile; no one will push me to go out with friends; they know what happened.
“Hold on, I got you something,” Jed said, dashing out of the room. He came back with a bottle of champagne and four glasses.
“Jed! We can’t get alcohol on food stamps; how could you afford this?” He shook his head and handed each of us a glass.
“My job gave me a signing bonus. I gave mom and dad some but wanted you to be able to celebrate.” He popped the bottle and poured each of us a glass.
“Congratulations to Elle!” My dad boomed, and we all tapped our glasses together before drinking. It was so sweet and bubbly as it ran down my throat.
“I got it from the mystic shop down the road; it was infused with special air magic that makes the bubbles last longer. I don’t know; I guess it tastes better? All I know is the shopkeeper insisted I get this one for you.” I smiled wide at him and my parents. I’m so thankful to have such a family who supports me.
We finished the bottle of champagne together and started talking about my list of things to pack. I only have a few weeks until I get there, and since they’re supplying most items, I really just have to worry about my clothes and bedding.
After we had our list and realized it was past 2 AM, we went to bed. I laid in my twin bed, looking at my brother in his, and thought about how this would be one of the last times we share a room. It had been tough sharing a room with him all my life, but in a month, I’ll have a new roommate and a plethora of new friends to choose from.
I can’t wait to start this new journey and become everything I know I can be with mystics like me. Mystics who care about school and have education on the top of their mind. One thing's for sure, I won’t get much sleep until I’m at school, learning what I love.