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Iron Will

Another Morning

“FUCK!” She hollered, becoming frustrated with herself over the fact that she had overslept… again. Professor Edwin was going to give her a long talking to after class, she just knew it.

Another lecture is the last thing I need…

She pulled up her skinny jeans hastily and as she zipped them up, she slipped on some black flats. Tossing her pajama top off her torso, she carelessly replaced it with a tank top and put on a light cardigan. She grabbed her belongings – apartment keys, backpack, and wallet, and sprinted outside and down the stairs, hoping she’d be able to make it to her journalism class on time.

The bus drove past her and she picked up the pace as she noticed it was the one she needed to take to get to campus. Thankfully, Ron, the driver, had been transporting the girl long enough to know that she was running late and stayed a few seconds longer for her to catch up.

Panting, she put in the fee and smiled. “Thank you, Ron.”

“Sure thing, Peyton,” He replied with a smile, closing the door and resuming the drive.

Peyton made her way to the back of the bus after noticing someone familiar. She sat down beside them and shook the person gently, causing them to come to a few seconds later.

“Oh, Peyton, it’s only you.”

Rolling her eyes, Peyton nodded. “Yes, Nadya, it’s only me.”

“You know I didn’t mean it like that,” Nadya chuckled.

“Yeah, I know.” Peyton shrugged, getting the hairband from her wrist and beginning to put her brown tresses up into a high ponytail as she voiced a question. “So what happened to make you fall asleep on the bus?”

“I finished writing Highfill’s essay and it took up most of my night.” Nadya groaned, leaning up against the side of the bus, her red locks falling across part of her face messily. She blew them away and rolled her forest green eyes when they fell back into place. “Good news though, Professor Dobson emailed last night and said that class was canceled.”

Peyton smiled and relaxed some at the news. At least she could go home right after Edwin’s class. “Thank God,” she muttered lowly.

“So what’s your excuse? You’re usually on the bus before this one.”

“Alarm clock didn’t go off.”

Nadya snickered. “How classic,” she commented.

“I guess.” Peyton sighed, noticing that the bus was starting to pull up to the curb. “Here’s our stop, and thanks for telling me about Dobson, I would’ve gone and stood there like an idiot.”

Shrugging, Nadya waved goodbye. “You’d do the same for me.”

The two went their separate ways and Peyton was once again off and running. A quick glance at the clock tower informed her that she had made it with, surprisingly, ten minutes to spare. Sighing, she decided to catch her breath by sitting upon one of the many benches in the school’s green courtyard. As time went by, she made sure to check the clock so she would get there on time.

“Hey, did you hear?” A random student said to another as they walked by. “The clock tower’s not working right and is running about ten minutes behind!”


Picking up her things, Peyton sprinted into the Administration building and up two flights of stairs, racing down the hall and into her class. Professor Edwin, who had been in the middle of a speech, stopped his lecture and all eyes landed upon the brunette. She could practically feel herself shrinking under the gazes of her peers.

“Good morning, Miss Salvatorrelli. How kind of you to finally join us,” Professor Edwin said through a sigh. “Please, take a seat.”

“Yes, sir,” Peyton sighed softly, trying to quietly catch her breath as she walked towards an empty chair, sitting beside random classmates that she had never bothered getting to know.

“Now then, as I was saying…”

Peyton lost interest in Edwin’s lecture almost instantaneously, the subject becoming insipid in mere seconds. She could only think back to what had just transpired and how she had just made an enormous fool out of herself in front of the entire seventy-five student class. She just couldn’t wait to get out of there…

That’s the last time I’m looking at that dumb ole clock tower… Peyton swore.

As Peyton packed up her notebook and pencils, Edwin finished clearing the old fashioned chalkboard and turned to his student. “Miss Salvatorrelli, a word if I may?”

She nodded her head and threw the bag over her shoulder, approaching her Professor’s desk casually. “I swear Professor Edwin, I’m going to buy a new alarm clock right after I leave.” She began.

Chuckling lightheartedly, Professor Edwin shook his head. “Oh no, Miss Salvatorrelli, that’s not what I wanted to discuss with you, though it is a rather comforting thought.” He replied. “No, I wanted to discuss your future.”

“My future?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “You see, as you may know, newspapers are slowly, but surely, decreasing with the internet, radio news stations and so forth and so on, however, I believe that out of all my students, you are one of the few that can make it.”

Hearing the compliment brought a grin to her face. “Well, thank you, Professor Edwin. I’m really glad to hear that you think that of me.”

He nodded his head, expecting as much. “Miss Salvatorrelli, what do you plan to do after you graduate?”

“Well, apply to every newspaper I can, sir.” She replied.

“And what if no one is hiring or rejects your application?”

“Well… suppose I’ll keep applying no matter what, even if it may be outside of California.”

“I’m sure you wouldn’t go so far as to leave the state you have friends and family in for a mere job as a journalist, Miss Salvatorrelli.” Edwin replied.

“No, sir, I would.” Peyton objected. “I’ve wanted to be a journalist for… as long as I can remember.” She admitted. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t miss everyone, but I’ll do everything and work my way up so I can to become a journalist for a prestigious newspaper.”

“I see,” Professor Edwin mumbled. “Then I know I’m making the right choice.”


“Oh, I’m sorry.” He shook his head, apologizing for not explaining sooner. “You wouldn’t be aware of this, Peyton, but The Los Angeles Times is having… a bit of a contest, or a competition if you will.

“Four other colleges and universities with journalism programs have been selected byThe Times to choose their best students and those student will be assigned to different, influential people to live with for two whole months. During that time, the student is supposed to interview and shadow them, seeing what they do, how they do it, etcetera, etcetera. After the two months are up, they’re to write an article, there’s no maximum or minimum length that must be met, and submit it to the newspaper. They’ll post the article they enjoy the most and that person will become the newest journalist for their paper. I’m nominating you to be one of the five students.”

Peyton was speechless. After Professor Edwin reminded her that newspapers were declining and practically saying that getting her dream job as a journalist would be nearly impossible, he was nominating her to be in the running for a position at one of the country’s best known papers! Finally, she found the words she wanted to say.

“Thank you so, so much, Professor Edwin! I’m absolutely thrilled!”

He nodded and chuckled. “Yes, congratulations, Miss Salvatorrelli, should I take your thanks as an acceptance to my nomination?”

“Yes, please do!”

“Splendid. I’ll let the rest of the department know and then we’ll alert The Times that we’ve selected our student.” He beamed. “Please write down your name and contact information.” Professor Edwin slid a blank sheet of paper across the desk along with a pen. “We’ll be giving this information to the paper. Since I am your teacher, I’ll be… your mentor of sorts. If you have any issues at all, give me a call.”

“Thank you again, Professor.” Peyton repeated as she wrote down her email, cell phone and even her address. “It means the world and more. By the way, do you have any idea who these ‘influential people’ are?” She inquired curiously.

“Afraid not, they’re keeping that information secret for now. Don’t worry though, no matter who it is, I’m sure you’ll be able to write a fantastic article about them.”

“Thank you,” She laughed. “Well, if you don’t mind, I’ve got to get going.” She sighed, the smile still lingering upon her full lips. “I’m going to go buy a new alarm clock.”

“If you don’t mind my saying, I suggest heading over to Target.” Professor Edwin smiled, running a hand through his graying hair. “My wife, Wilma, tells me there’s a special – two for one.”

Peyton nodded her head, giving a lighthearted laugh soon after. “I will, Professor. Have a good day.”

“You, too, Miss Salvatorrelli,” he replied. “Have a safe trip home.”

As Peyton walked the halls of the Administration building, the smile she wore didn’t falter one bit. She couldn’t believe it. After all the hard work over the past few years, things were going her way and she was on her way to, hopefully, landing a position as a journalist… and for The Los Angeles Times nonetheless!

And to think that today had started off as just another morning…!


Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying the story and I'm going to be publishing the next chapter soon. :)

Aishiteruyo. Aishiteruyo.
You should definitely continue this story. It's great.
Allyers Allyers
Thanks so much, and I'm very honored that you decided to comment upon my story! :)
I'm about halfway through typing chapter six, so hopefully it won't be much longer before the next chapter's out!
Aishiteruyo. Aishiteruyo.
This is good! I barely ever leave comments but I really liked this and I hope you update soon :)
Mibbacat333 Mibbacat333
I'm loving this! :D
Keep it up!
Lachen Immer Lachen Immer