Book of Days: March 5, First Step

Miranda stood on the bridge that crossed the Oakchester River and watched the water flow beneath it. In her coat, tucked away from the wind and potential rain, the envelope with the application sat like a bomb against her chest. She’d filled it out over the course of months, a line here or there, until her courage gave out and she had to try again later. Her friends continued, the entire time, to ask if she’d sent it in yet, but her answer was always no. They’d taken to threatening to send one in for her, and when she realized the threats were serious rather than a joke, she’d screwed up her courage and finished the forms.

Now her application was complete, the envelope was sealed and stamped with proper postage. All she had to do was drop it in the box. That box, red and bright and waiting, was on the other side of the bridge. She could have gone to one nearer her house, for they were still plentiful in her little town, but she’d chosen the one by the bridge, because she knew she would second guess herself as soon as the box came into sight. If she’d picked any other, especially those near her home, she’d have turned back around again and that would have been the end of it.

By picking the one by the bridge, she could stop there, watch the water until she recollected herself. It was taking longer than she expected, given this last step was so small, but she had not yet gone home, which was a minor victory.

Once the application was in the mail, there would be no taking it back. Once it was in the mail, there was the possibility it would be accepted. Once it was in the mail, she would have to tell her parents she’d sent it in.

It wouldn’t be right, keeping it a secret until she received the response. She needed to hide it long enough they couldn’t talk her out of it, yes, but in the hope it would be accepted, she couldn’t keep it a secret longer than that. Her parents would need time to adapt to the possibility of her leaving, and even if it was rejected, well, then they would know she was looking to do so.

This wasn’t the future they’d planned out for her. Not that they thought of it that way. They’d planned their own future, creating the woodworking business, building it from the ground up, making sure it survived even in the trying times. She’d learned to whittle as soon as it was safe for her to hold a knife, and she loved it as much as her parents did, but she loved her studies more. She had a chance, or so the guidance councillor said, of making her own way in the world, building up her own practice, and she wanted to see if she could do it.

There was no guarantee she would be accepted. Competition was fierce, after all, but after this, her parents would know their plan to hand the business over to her was in jeopardy, no matter her skill with the wood. The legacy they’d thought to create was thrown off track at the very first change-over, and she didn’t know what they would do with that. It was why she’d taken so long with the application, why she hadn’t told them yet.

But she couldn’t give up her dream for theirs, not without at least trying for it. Taking one last, steadying breath, she straightened her back and finished crossing the bridge to the mailbox.


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by | Mar 5, 2021