The e-mail was relegated to my junk folder from some unknown user named "Fiction Editor." My heart started pounding, blood thudding in my skull. This was it, why I had been checking my inbox for every day for more than two months. I was suddenly scared to open the message, but I did anyway. The anticipation was too much to bear.
It said exactly what I both expected and feared it would: Your story has been rejected. It was, however, a personalized rejection not a form letter, which I appreciate.
I'm disappointed yes, but I'm not so naive as to think my first story submission ever would end in a purchase and publication. So, it's back to the drawing board. I'm going to go through the story to see whether any improvements can be made, then send it out again. I could put it away in a drawer for a year or two and then give it another go, but if I did that, this story would collect dust for all time. I think it can be good enough for publication, so I'm not going to give up on it just yet.