Grade Expectations

by Yash Seyedbagheri

Once, a book opening held thrilling expectation.

Thwack. Welcome to knowledge.

But Dad insisted I focus on getting A-pluses. Tolstoy and dead Russians were fine on my own time. After acceptance to Harvard.

I labored over solving for X and limiting reagents, tried to master only necessary metaphors. The trains in Karenina, the waves in The Awakening.

I got A-minuses and Dad’s sighs.

I read until morning shadows washed tears.

I got As.

As were good, but not as good as an A-plus. Thwack. Disappointment, more sighs, and arched eyebrows.

I let grades slip, feeling a gentle release.

Failure welcomed me.

About the Author:

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story, “Soon,” was nominated for a Pushcart. Yash has also had work nominated for Best of the Net and The Best Small Fictions. An American and native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City Magazine,  Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others. 

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