I’ve been shaking all day I swear. Seriously! I need to know what I got on that test! You know I studied for two weeks straight? Legit any free time I had I would open the textbook and just read it. And re-read it. And re-read it. It felt like my brain was melting. I would try to open my mouth to talk to someone and all that came out was “Cells are the basic unit of life” blah blah blah. (laughs) If I have to read one more sentence about fucking heterozygous genotypes, I’m gonna blow my brains out, seriously.
Wait, here he comes. Oh my godddd I’m so nervous. (in a joking manner)I’m gonna fail it. I just know it. If I fail, will you drop out with me? We can live a happy life under a good ‘ol bridge. Who needs education? (gets the test) Here we go. Two weeks of my life wasted on this. Lets---- (flips paper, suddenly a darker tone) Oh my god. Are you kidding me? This has to be a joke. There is no way. (to teacher) Are you sure this is mine? You’re positive? Shit. (to friends) I got an 82. No, that’s not good, shut up. It’s practically a C. You don’t get into Princeton with a C, do you? (beat, softer, slowly gets louder) I studied for two weeks straight and I got an 82. I memorized an entire chapter of the textbook. Eighty-fucking-two. You might as well just give me a live bomb, cause that’s what this is. (starts flipping through the test)
How did I get this wrong? And this? I know that! Fuck, I hate myself. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. (a realization) Crap, my parents! There gonna kill me. I can’t show them this, they’ll actually murder me in my sleep. Crap. Wait, maybe I can... (to teacher) Mr. Johnson, can I retake this? Like soon? Now, even? I can’t have this grade, I just… I can’t. What do you mean it’s too high? How is an 82 high? This is literally the lowest grade I’ve ever gotten on a test. Ever. (back to friends) What am I gonna do? I can’t have this grade and I know my parents can’t have it. I can already imagine the looks on their faces. It’s that look that makes me feel guilty, furious and miserable all at once. They’re gonna be so disappointed in me. I already know what they’ll say.
“We didn’t sacrifice our whole lives to come to a brand new country for you to get a b, Dahlia! We worked so hard for you and this is how you pay us back! I came from nothing and I still went to Harvard! You have everything and you still can’t do anything right!” Since 7th grade, all that I’ve heard from them is “college college college ivy league ivy league ivy league” I have no freedom anymore. Every hour of my day is accounted for. (beat) Do you know why I’ve never invited you over? It’s not because I’m secretly ashamed of my immigrant parents or my dishevelled home. It’s because I have literally zero free time anymore, my parent make sure of it. They think because they had a hard life that I should too. Do you know what I do every day? Do you? Every morning I have up at 5 to make sure I look perfect because they can’t raise a trashy daughter. I drive myself to school and go to three classes barely getting down all the information they’re shoving in my brain and writing notes I can barely read. I eat a 15 minute lunch cramming down the “Perfect Nutritional Meal”. Three more classes. On to Student Government where, again, I write down the ridiculous requests that the students make, knowing that nothing will ever get done to fix them, and then after all that,do I get a break? No. Of course not. Because then I have Cross Country where I run and run until my heart is in my throat and I feel like I’m literally dying. Because god forbid I have a little fat on my stomach. (fake excitedly) Gotta Build up that resume! On to my five hours of homework! Do the math problems, read the history textbook, make the science presentation, memorize Spanish vocab, write the English essay. Still. Not. done. Study for what feels like the thousands of upcoming tests and when it's finally midnight I fall into my bed and as I fall asleep I recite memorized math formulas while simultaneously trying to remember what I had for lunch this morning. I am so sick of it.
One day I’m gonna get out of here, I swear. I’m gonna go to some bullshit college in California as far away from family as I possibly can. Fuck Princeton. (laughs) They’ll be so mad at me! But what are they gonna do about it? And maybe I won’t even go to class. Just sit in my dorm all day basking in all of my free time. I won’t even do anything with it. Just sit there. One day. One day….
(back to teacher, calm) Thanks Mr. Johnson. Sorry I’m such a brat. (beat) You know? This test doesn’t matter. None of this does. (sighs) What class do we next?