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I sat down with my physics book open in front of me and all the other books scattered around. I had read the chapter many times, but nothing got into my head. I sighed, closed the book and laid my head on it. I knew I would fail and again disappoint my parents.

I wished desperately to make them proud. I do not normally believe in this stuff, but sitting there quite sure about my failure, I wished that a fairy would wave her wand and won’t let me fail in the competition.

The next day when I went to school, I was still feeling quite low and that’s when I came to know that my dream had at last come true!

“Congratulations, dear,” my friend Mina exclaimed, as she came out of nowhere.

I starred at her unbelievingly.

“Congratulations for what? For failing?” I asked sarcastically.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t even see the newspaper this morning?”

“Come on Mina, you know I don’t read newspapers.”

But that was enough to remind me what she was talking about.

“So, it means...?” I asked excitedly.

“Yes, you won, but you are the runner-up!” she said smilingly.

I had taken part in an essay writing competition last month, mainly due to Mina nudging me to take part in it. She knew about my capability of writing well and she had always encouraged me to write. So when the inter-school essay competition was announced, she convinced me to take part in it.

I was not willing to take part as I felt quite sure that I would not win, but she believed in me even more than I believed in myself.

I gave her a big hug as I knew now that I had taken the first step to the long road of success.

The next day, I was called on stage in the school in front of everyone as my principal called my name out with pride and presented me with the award. I had waited all my life to be a reason of pride for my parents, teachers, friends and school, and now I had done it.

Published in Dawn, Young World, April 14th, 2018