I made my nan cry when I told her, and that made me smile.
I'm not sadistic, of course, but there's something about being able to make somebody so happy that they cry that makes me forget all the aforementioned "disappointment" about that A (my friends will beat me up for saying that, I know it) and feel happy for myself. When I made the phone round of calling everybody to tell them, I couldn't get the smile off my face. My family were - coincidentally - in the village down the hill from the school, so after telling them and hearing squealing on the other end of the phone, and then realising we were about 100 feet away from each other, I got to sit and be with my family on the happy day.
Last year, I felt bad. It wasn't because of my grades - they were great too - rather it was the fact that my friends didn't get what they hoped for, and being happy for myself was difficult when I was surrounded by those who were visibly upset or unnaturally quiet. This year was different. Maybe it was because I didn't notice what was going on around me, about how much of a fool I was acting running around in shock like a headless chicken, and maybe I didn't care, but the day was a very happy one in my eyes. Reflecting, I can tell by caught expressions and old conversations that some people were trying to hide disappointment, or were looking with sadness at other people's grades, but it doesn't ruin the memory. I worked my big butt off, and now this is the reward.
I can't say I can relax completely, of course, there are many books to read, accommodation to sort out, finance (ugh) and a lot of other things necessary in beginning a new life at the other end of the country. My family will have some changes to deal with, my niece is two tomorrow and I know that the next time I celebrate with her will be after being separated for three months. Her close bond with me will probably thin a little (but that's what an indulgent spree and ice cream is for), and my dad will have a lot of changes to deal with, not having to be a taxi all the time, and being alone in the house for a long time (even with the cats.) My nan still thinks I might suddenly change my mind and go to a university closer - though it's too late now! - and she doesn't even want me to talk about possibly studying in America for a year around her. I've been closely knit with my family for eighteen years, and now it's time to loosen the reins a little. It's a daunting, and sad prospect, but at the same time, an exciting one. I'm beginning to live my life. My dad did his job to raise me - alone - for all this time, and he did it well, is all I can say.
I didn't have important things - and important people - in my life, but that hasn't stopped me from doing what I want, and what I love, and I'm not stopping now for anything.