At the end of the fifth week of compulsively checking my mailbox daily, sending up little prayers to the mail gods that something, something would be there, I turned my key in the lock yet again, almost on a whim. It had been nearly three months since I turned in my application, and not a word. I started to imagine wild possibilities -- maybe they never lost it, maybe they think since I turned it in late I actually meant to apply for next next year's program, maybe my letter got lost in the mail, the way emails disappear into an internet void - only this was a dead letter closet or worse, simply the wrong mailbox.
But yesterday, when I swung back the little gray door of my mailbox, there was a letter. A real, tangible, school-insignia letter, and the words of that short story ran through my mind the moment I saw it:
Too thin to be an acceptance letter. Rejection.It was indeed too thin, a single piece of paper folded business style inside the envelope. Even so, I held my breath a little as I opened it, then unfolded the paper. Maybe grad school doesn't send big giant acceptance packets; maybe I got in after all.