Logan must fight against all odds to achieve her dream.
|My hands are shaking as I bring the scissors to my face. I shudder as the cold blade grazes my neck.
“You can do this,” I tell myself. I squeeze my eyes shut and close the blades around a lock of my long, chestnut colored hair. I slowly open my eyes and watch the strands of hair cascade to the wood floor. I continue with my haircut until my hair is short enough to use a razor on. When I finish I stare at my reflection in the mirror. I’ve given myself a military style haircut. I look like a boy. A pretty boy, but obviously a boy. I study myself in the full length mirror. My plain white tee shirt is a size to big, hiding the fact that I’m wearing a tight leather vest that conceals my already tiny chest. I’m also wearing a pair of dark wash skinny jeans; tight on my legs but loose around my waist, showing my navy blue boxers. All in all my appearance is that of an eighteen year old boy. I smile relieved. I’d been skeptical about this whole thing at first. Could I really transform myself on the outside to resemble a boy in order to attend an all boy’s college and eventually fulfill my dream of becoming a Marine Sniper? Apparently yes. I rip my gaze from my reflection when a horn sounds outside my house. Quickly I grab my bags, hurry downstairs and out into the warm summer air. The sun is bright, almost blinding as I step out my front door. I wave to my best friend Alice who is standing beside her light blue Prius. Her hand flies to her face when she sees me.
“Oh Logan,” she gasps. I stand in front of her. She slowly reaches out, rubbing her hand over my almost non-existent hair.
“You look like a-” she pauses. I finish for her.
“Boy?” I ask. She nods frowning. I sigh.
“Alice, you know this is the only way I can be a sniper. They don’t let girls do it.” I explain for what seems like the millionth time. She nods, the frown leaving her face. She smiles a wide toothy grin, but the smile doesn’t make it to her dark blue eyes.
“Alright, ready to go?” she chirps happily. I nod and wait as she opens the trunk of her car. I throw my small duffle bag in then slide into the passenger seat. The rest of my luggage has already been sent to the Abram James Institute. I’d applied months ago, and had been accepted soon after. The rest of my summer I’d been preparing for this moment. I can’t wait to step foot on the polished marble steps of the Institute. My dream ever since I’d been able to speak has always been to become a sniper. My father had been one, as had my grandfather. I wanted to continue the legacy. I wasn’t attending the same school they had; but The Abram James Institute is the best in the country. I’m able to afford it only because when my father died his health insurance had left me with hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’d decided my father would be proud to have his money spent on my education.
My thoughts are interrupted by a loud sniffle next to me. I glance over just as a tear slips down Alice’s rosy cheek. A smile forms on my lips. I tug a piece of her long golden hair playfully.
“Don’t cry Alice,” I say softly.
“I don’t want you to die!” She suddenly sobs. I grab the wheel as we swerve into the lane beside us.
“Whoa!” I shout, “Pull over before you get us killed.” Alice pulls into an empty parking lot. We sit there silently, watching speeding cars flash by.
“Alice,” I begin, “I’m not going to die,” I soothe her. She shakes her head violently.
“How can you know that!” she screams. I stay silent, letting her vent.
“Your father died while deployed just like your grandfather!” she continues. I sigh, my heart aching.
“Hundreds of soldiers are dying every day Logan! What makes you any different than them? You’ll die and leave me all alone.” She falls quiet after finishing, dropping her head in her hands. I can feel salty tears welling up behind my eyes. I blink them back, willing them not to spill over.
“Alice, this is my dream,” I explain, “I want to make a difference in this world and serve my country.” I pause gauging her reaction. Her loud sobs have been reduced to silent weeping. I reach over and hold her hand.
“I have to do this,” I say, “I just have to.” Alice looks at me with her shiny tear-filled eyes.
“You’re right,” she sniffles, “I’m sorry. You’re like my sister you know.” I nod, giving her hand a squeeze then letting go.
“It’s okay Alice,” I comfort her, “I understand.” She restarts the car and peels out of the parking lot swiftly. We drive the rest of the way in silence.
Finally we arrive at the airport. Alice parks the car and we head inside. After receiving my ticket and locating the boarding gate for my flight I turn to Alice. The gate is packed with families all seeing off their relatives.
“Alice,” I begin but stop when she throws her arms around me.
“I’m going to miss you so much Logan!” she whispers, choking back tears. I hug her back tightly.
“I’ll miss you too,” I admit then pull away as a flight attendant announces a final boarding call for my flight.
“Buh-bye,” she waves wiping away a stray tear as I hand my ticket to a security guard. He waves me through, moving his attention to the next customer in line. I wave to my best friend one last time.
“Goodbye Alice,” I whisper as she turns to leave. I watch her disappear into the crowd of people, wondering if we’ll ever see each other again.
“Move along,” A man says gesturing for me to enter the plane. I nod and do as he says.