Boxes | Chapter 2: The Birthday Party

Written by: Kevin Gatti

The day had finally arrived. Carabelle was turning 18 and the time for her to make the big decision on what she wanted to be in life was quickly approaching.  Her mom had been planning for months even though she had no idea what Carabelle wanted to be. In fact, Carabelle still didn’t even know what she wanted to be. Her mom had their home filled will balloons and food for a big party with family and friends. She was anticipating Carabelle making some grand announcement of her career choice in front of everyone.

Carabelle’s dad was not so optimistic, and he let her mom know how he felt. “I’m not so sure things are going to play out like you think.” He said to Carabelle’s mom.

“Can you not ruin today before it even starts? She knows what she wants, and she will make an announcement. She has to.” Carabelle’s mom stated as she slammed trays down onto the kitchen counter.

Carabelle’s dad rolled his eyes as he left the kitchen. Meanwhile, her mom continued setting up as if her dad never made a comment. Carabelle’s mom needed to act this way. She needed everything on this day to go just right.

Carabelle’s mom turned to a mirror in the kitchen and said, “Joyce, I’m watching you. Make sure this party goes perfectly. Nothing can go wrong. It’s all on you if it does.” She then walked away from the mirror and proceeded to prepare.

As guest started arriving a couple hours later, Carabelle was expected to be standing by the door to greet everyone as they entered. This was the last thing Carabelle wanted to be doing, but to keep her mom happy she participated like the good daughter she was expected to be.

“Oh honey, I’m so excited. I can’t wait to hear what you have decided to do with your life.” The best friend of Carabelle’s mom, Pamela, said with a big smile as she entered.

Carabelle sighed as she gave her a hug. “Don’t hold your breath.”

Pamela heard very clearly what she said but felt a mix of both horror and confusion.  She just continued to smile, nodded back, and then proceeded to into the house past Carabelle.

Pamela had a daughter as well. Her name was Sasha, and she had just turned 18 as well a couple months earlier. She wore a nurse labeled box with a training sticker on it, which indicated that she was studying to be a nurse. While many families would have a 18th birthday party for friends and family to hear the announcement in advance, the decision wouldn’t be official until a designated day at school for deciding took place.  Sasha’s school already had their day for them to make their decision on a box. Carabelle’s day to decide at her school was coming up in a few weeks.

Sasha smiled at Carabelle as she entered the door. “Hi Carabelle. Long time, no see. How are you?”

“Sasha, I’m good. How are you?” Carabelle said back.

“I’m doing ok.” Sasha said with a slight smile as she continued to just stand in front of Carabelle glazing into her eyes.

“That nice.” Carabelle said simply hoping she would walk past and continue into the house.

“So, have you decided what you want to do?” Sasha asked.

“No.” Carabelle said bluntly without a care of what that meant to others, particularly her own mom.

Sasha suddenly looked concerned. “Come with me.” She said as she took Carabelle upstairs and into the bathroom.

“What are you doing? My mom is going to flip if she sees that I’m not greeting people.” Carabelle said as Sasha closed the bathroom door.

“She’s going to flip even more if she hears you still don’t know what you want to do.” Sasha stated back.

“I don’t care about that. Her head can pop off over that for all care.” Carabelle carelessly said back.

“What do you want, Carabelle?” Sasha asked firmly.

“I don’t know.” Carabelle replied.

“Boys?” Sasha questioned.

“Eww. No.” Carabelle said back as if she was disgusted.

“You like girls?” Sasha was curious.

“Maybe.” Carabelle responded as if she was open to the possibility.

Sasha hesitated for a couple seconds, and then spoke. “Can I tell you a secret? You can’t tell anyone though. I like girls too.”
“Cool.” Carabelle said as if she didn’t care, but she was also staring into Sasha’s eyes as if she was starting to like her in that way. Sasha was also staring right back. Within seconds the two leaned into each other and started to kiss.
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