I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Submissive to Fate

By Hrisa Goga  |   From : Albania  |   School : Bloomfield High School

      It was the end of the  summer and it had begun to rain.Previously I had ordered a jacket from Amazon to come to my home in Bloomfield. I was looking forward to getting it that day so I went to the mailbox, but I didn’t see any box with my name on it. Instead I saw some yellow envelopes that came from different senders, but the receiver was the same person.My sister, Melina.I took the envelopes and ran back home.

     I was so curious that I didn’t tell anyone that something had come for Melina, but instead I tore them open and began to read through the papers. Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kean University and Rowan University had accepted my sister to attend them.I was exultant and  triumphantly smiling.I shouted:”Melina, you’ve been accepted!You’re going to college!”My sister came to the living room, breathless like she had been running a marathon, took the papers and earnestly began to read through them.She couldn’t believe her eyes.Her biggest dream was coming true.Someone had compensated her for the sleepless nights trying to memorize thick books,writing 5 page essays and locking herself in the school’s biology lab trying to find the best way to perform the experiments.Now she even considered herself lucky and magnanimous to  have the luxury of choosing between three universities.

      She called out to our parents.Mum was in the kitchen cooking bakllava. Dad was in his bedroom trying to learn English, this  extremely hard language for him, through his phone. It didn’t take them a minute to gather in the living room and listen to Melina. She told them everything and even began describing the colleges.Rowan University, she said, had a big campus of more than 2,350 students and  Fairleigh Dickinson was well known for fine chemistry laboratories. My sister was surrounded by a blissful happiness and her mind was traveling to the colleges as she was speaking to us . On the edge of telling us very important information about the size of the classes my mother asked her,”What about the price?”Those four words were enough to ruin  the happy atmosphere that was created in that small living room.My sister’s face wasn’t lit up any more.Her eyes changed from bright with tears of joy to pensive, her brows desperately frowning.We had recently arrived in a country that was foreign to us, the USA, and my parents were not yet employed in their professions.To our calculations, the tuition fee turned out to be higher than what my parents would both earn in a year.

     My father, whose heart was aching, told my sister that we could sell the house that we had left in Albania, but we all knew that we could not find a buyer in such a short time.Melina  started to regret coming to the USA. Melina thought that America was a place that if you were willing to fight for something, you would gain what you wanted.She hoped that she would have the opportunity to get a better education than her peers in Albania, but being here she couldn’t go to school at all .My mom told  her that they could never find such a large amount of money, so the only way to enroll in a university was to skip one year of school, and work to save the money needed.When my sister first heard this statement, the color drained from her face and I could immediately say that she was broken apart.Knowing that that was the only choice to pursue an education, she opened the laptop and, submissive to her fate, began to  fill some job application forms.

     When she lifted her head from the laptop, she looked so much older.Her whole being was covered by a natural sadness.Her eyes were puffy with dark circles underneath them.When she talked, her voice didn’t express fragility or anger.It was only weariness.Weary of having to go through all this.At that moment, she was living her worst  nightmare.The nightmare that she knew that would appear in her life one time, but was never acknowledged.The truth is that we humans are good at lying to others, but masters at lying to ourselves.Melina knew that she would have to pay double the price because she was not a one year resident in New Jersey, but hope,this optimistic state of mind, never died in her, so she continued to not accept the truth that was crystal clear.  I really wanted to console her at that moment, to tell her that everything would be alright, but I didn’t say anything.I could not predict what was ahead of us.Consoling her would be the same as lying.

     The rain continued to fall harder, and I could hear the sound it made when it fell upon the windows.It was disturbing me,this constant patter.I could only hope that the rain would fall until the sun came again and scattered its light all over the horizon.My sister will do the same, struggle and walk through the obstacles, try to surpass them and then follow the path that will lead her to the gigantic gates of the university. 


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