I was happily driving home listening to music. It’s my birthday tomorrow and it’s the same day as my high school graduation.
I’m so excited to tell everyone the good news! I parked at the garage and saw another car in the driveway.
I smiled. I recognize that car. Dad is home.
I opened the door and as I expected, everyone is here.
My eldest brother, Justin who is working as a Corporate Communications Manager in Florida and my sister, Joanna currently taking up her MBA in Stanford Graduate School of Business in California travelled for a long time to be here. Of course, I wouldn’t forget my younger sister Stella and our baby boy – who is nine years old btw – Alex. I hugged everyone before I gathered them to the living room.
“As you all know I will be graduating senior high tomorrow and I just want to thank all of you for being with me for my special day” and I flashed them my biggest smile, “but that’s not all”.
I grabbed a folder from my bag and walked towards my parents, “Mom, Dad thank you for never giving up on me. I love you!” My mom reached for the folder and opened it.
After realizing what it was she hugged me so tight it felt like oxygen stopped flowing through my body. I also felt the warm drops of tears in my shoulders, “I have never been so proud of you Zanna. Congratulations dear!”
“What is it?” Joanna asked.
I turned to her, “I’ll be graduating as a Valedictorian tomorrow”
Everyone clapped and came running towards me, congratulating me of my latest achievement but as soon as I opened my eyes dad was nowhere to be found, “where’s dad?” I asked. I scanned the room, kitchen and bedroom but he was not there.
“Try his study. He must be there” mom suggested. I hugged her once again and told her to wear her best dress tomorrow since they will be coming up the stage to hand me my medal.
I knocked at my dad’s door and went in. I saw him standing in front of the big, tall glass window while looking outside and it was already raining.
“Dad what are you doing here?”
He turned to me, “I’m so happy for you Zanna. It is my life dream to see all of you complete your studies and graduate in a good school but I never expected that you, your brother and sister will give us more than we ever hoped for”
I walked towards him and hugged him, “It’s our way of saying thank you to the best parents ever” My dad hugged me back and our conversation ended there. No words were coming out of our mouths, we were both feeling what the other person wanted to say.
After a while my dad pulled me at arm’s length, “I think you’re growing up too soon. You’re already graduating tomorrow but you’re going to leave us to go to college. Remember being away alone in a different country is going to be difficult. Don’t forget to write down important contact numbers like the police and the hospital. Always bring a map with you and make sure to have extra money stocked somewhere” I laughed and hugged him again.
Why can’t he just say he’ll miss me instead of telling me what he just said for five straight days?
“I’m going to miss you dad”
And here I am in my room, looking at the ceiling thinking of what can happen to me in England. I got accepted for the Foreign Exchange Student Program in Oxford. I’ll be studying Medicine for six years. I just thought since Justin and Joanna are both in the Business field, why not try something different from theirs?
Stella, who is in junior high, planning to take up Architecture and Alex wants to be a fireman but who cares he’s just a kid. Someday, he’ll realize what he really wants.
I was about to go to sleep when my phone rang. I looked at it and it was Hayley my best friend who is also coming with me to Oxford, “Hey Zanna guess what! My boyfriend called and he said he’ll pick us up when we land in Heathrow”
“That’s great! Uhm Hayley, what’s your boyfriend’s name again?”
She sighed, “Did you already forget? I thought you’re smart with that big brain of yours”
“Oh come on! You’ve been together for a month and haven’t seen each other for three years. We barely even talk about him. All I know is that he’s your childhood friend”
“Don’t tell him that. He’ll be very upset” she laughed, “His name is Harry. Harry Styles”