I satisfied flourish as I look back to

I sat doing math homework alone in the house. I had heard the shriek of my mother when my brother announced that there was mail with his name on it.Is {(2,5), (7,2), (5,7), (-2,4), (7,1)} a function? Explain why or why not.I scribble down my answer on slightly crumpled notebook paper. “No…it’s…not,” I whisper as I write each word down. “The…domain…repeats…itself…more…than…once. There.” I put the pencil down with a satisfied flourish as I look back to the computer’s screen for the next question.*If g(x)=x2-x, find the value of g(-7).”That stumps me. I think you have to plug -7 in, so I do that.(-7)2-(-7)-14+7-7I keep the answer that way and begin to scroll down the questions when the door bursts open and I jump. Pepper perks up his ears and lets out a half-hearted bark. Salt, meanwhile, bays excitedly and sprints to the front door. When he takes the turn out of the kitchen, his nails make him skid across the floor and he almost falls on the hardwood floor. I can hear the satisfying clicking sounds of his claws on wood. The door swings open and I hear a thump from something.Mom runs into the kitchen, her eyes wild with anxiousness. Her hair is flying around in every direction, and she’s pant-laughing in a weird breathy way. Her thick winter jacket is half hanging off of her.”Mom? Is there anything wrong?” I question her.”Hm? Oh, nothing. Absolutely nothing. Why did you think that?” She runs a hand through her blond air, ruffling it even more. For a lady who always keeps her hair in a neat french braid, Mom was looking like she stepped out of the shower after washing her hair without combing it. He tightens her grip on the envelope in her hand. It’s a wonder she’s still so anxious. My surly older brother must have gotten about 30 rejection letters or emails already from a bunch of colleges. Oh, Rhett.He stands next to her. I can see the tips of a beard and mustache start to peek out of Rhett’s skin around his mouth. He’s been asking Mom for a razor lately, but she hasn’t noticed his stubble yet and claims that “it’s not needed”. He’s grown a beard pretty late for a person in 12th grade.”What is it?” I ask him. I already know, but I try my best to make Rhett talk. His expression stays the same. It always does, for the most part. He replies in a flat voice. “Letter. From Sandler University.””Oh. Okay. So…is it a good college or a bad college?” I know this too. The 8th best National University in the USA according to Forbes…and it’s in New York. About a 6-hour flight from here, I think. Of course, I know all about every college, what with Mom and Rhett blabbering on about colleges constantly.”Good,” Rhett mutters.”Uh…that’s good that…um…you’re…challenging yourself,” I finish. “Uh…good work.””Thanks.”Something pokes me on my ankle. I expect it to be Pepper chewing on my ankle (he and Salt are still 2-month old puppies), but it’s a bit of shredded paper that brushes my leg. Mom is ripping apart the envelope of the letter. She keeps scissors on the counter in front of her. I just watch her. Salt takes a tentative sniff at one of the shreds on the ground, nibbles at it, and then decides that it’s not worthy of eating. Once she’s ripped everything leaving a messy circle, she gently takes the scissors and cuts a neat circle. She takes a pen and draws the symbol of Sandler on it. When she’s done, she pockets her creation tenderly and rushes to the basement. The letter is left on the counter, unread.I pick it up, looking at Rhett. He doesn’t react. “Go on,” he mutters, walking over to get a glass of flavored water from the fridge. I unfold it and start to read out loud.”Mr. Moretti,”Many congratulations on being admitted to Sandler!”I looked at my brother, but he busied himself taking a sip of water with his back to me.”We have handpicked you very carefully, taking your information into consideration. We are hoping that you will help the world around you, and of course, our college. This offer is based upon anything you have done in school, extracurricular, voluntary hours, etc.”To save your position in the high school graduate class of 2018, you will have to put in a deposit of $600.00 within 3 months of this letter’s date. On our college website, go to the sign in link, type in your student code (G-47838), and put in your information. There you will be led to links to pay the deposit, information about your placement, and more. Keep in mind, if the deposit is not put in by the deadline date mentioned above, your student code will be deleted and your place will be given to another potential student.”Our school has an acceptance rate of 7%, so congratulations of being in that minority. Please take the time to consider that this is quite an achievement. It is people like you that will take our world one step further.”With sincere appreciation,”Lauren Corona”Dean of Sandler”The air around us is frozen. I stand impassive, keeping the letter in my left hand. Rhett is holding his glass halfway to his mouth, not realizing that it’s empty. Mom stands outside of the basement door, mouth agape, clutching something. I didn’t even realize when she came. I feel like time has frozen everything except for me.”Well, congratulations on being…” I consult the paper, trying to make a joke. “…um, ‘in that minority’.” The air remains with as much tension as the last five seconds before a bomb is about to go off.Then the bomb goes off. Mom screams. “You made it Rhett, you did, YOU MADE IT!” She starts crying and hugging him, and lovingly pinning something onto his shirt. “You did it!” She wipes her tears, and they fall onto the floor, where Salt sniffs at them and licks them up.”Salt, Pepper, come here,” I order quietly under Mom’s shrieks. They jump onto my chest as I sit on the sofa. I cuddle with them as they whine, trying to lick my face. I can’t keep the grin off my face. I’m on a getaway straight to Los Angeles, California. About a 1 and a half-hour drive from here, where I’ll be with my best friend for a week. I haven’t seen her in a year, and texting can only get you so far.When Mom finally steps back to admire her son, I can see a badge on his shirt pocket. It’s the symbol of Sandler that Mom drew. She pasted a clear marble with one side flattened on top of the drawing and a pin on the other, and it makes a badge.”My boy is now going to college!” Mom gooed, her nose turning all red. “Isn’t it amazing, Francesca?”Yeah, Mom,” I said, grinning. “Hey, I’ll miss you all as you go to New York.””Ha,” she replies sarcastically, tossing a throw pillow at me. “You’re just going to have fun with your bestie.””Of course I am,” I confirm.Of course I am.