Mom told me that she could not afford my tution at RMIT unless my sister gave up her dream of going to LHP.

I was terrified. Speechless. Numb. Empty-minded. Confused.

What now? I don’t want my sister to give up her dream, but I don’t want to give up mine as well. Not that my dream is going to RMIT, but to make acquaintance with well-off people, gaining more social influence and well, living a new life.

My sister has always wanted to go to Yale. She is very smart. She is good at Maths, Physics, Chemistry. She is tall with long dark hair. She has the most beautiful smile. Her smile lightens up everything. She is my hope. I want her to have what I couldn’t have.

I hate money. Money decides everything. Money decides which school you go to, which hospital you go to, what clothes you can wear, what books you can read, what cellphones you can use. That’s why I love money. It decides everything, therefore, the more money you have, the more control you have. Then I decide everything.

Now what? I don’t want to go to those so-typical universites which are strictly controlled by the goverment. I want to be free, to do things I like. I’ve been going to enough that types of schools in my life. My high school which is also my nightmare, teaches me nothing but how to be reserved. I am forever hiding in my shell. I am confused.

To be honest, although going to a high school for gifted, my maths is terrible. I am not able to pass the college entrance exam. That’s the main reason why I want to attend RMIT. The minor reason is I hate conventional schools. Most of my friends want to go to FTU. Mom said if only I were normal like other people, only if I wanted to take the BIG exam, so many “only ifs”.

I don’t want to be normal, mom. I want to be weird. I want to go to RMIT because no one in my school, no one I’ve known has ever been there. I want to be different. Just like when I decided to go to CLA while none of my secondary school’s classmates did. I want to be that unique girl.

I should try harder. To beat those students from such respectable high schools in HCMC. I should. To win the full ride. The grand scholarship. I should.