Boxes | Chapter 5: Decision Day

Written by: Kevin Gatti

It was the day that everyone except for Carabelle was waiting for. It was the day for Carabelle to make her decision. She stood in front of the mirror in her bedroom straightening out her student labeled box just like she did any another day. For Carabelle, it was just another day. She didn’t care what others thought of her.

As she went downstairs her mom came running out of the kitchen with a brown paper bag with lunch. “I’m so excited. I made your favorite for lunch. Tuna and provolone cheese on rye bread.”

Carabelle gave a slight smile. “Thanks.”

Carabelle’s mom then leaned in close to her and whispered, “So are you going tell me what you decided in advance or are you going to make me wait?”
Carabelle continued to smile. “You’ll be just as surprised as everyone else.”

For most, that response would have been a red flag, but Carabelle’s mom wasn’t able to think of that so instead she gave a weird slightly giddy and slightly scared facial expression. She let out a strange noise and said, “Excellent! I can’t wait!”

Carabelle started heading to school. As she was walking, Sasha called her on her cell phone. “Hey girl! Are you ready for today?”
“Sure. I guess.” Carabelle calmly replied.

Sasha ignored what they had talked about before hoping that Carabelle did ultimately decide something. She asked, “So, what did you end up deciding on?”

Carabelle chucked, “I told you what I’m doing.”

Sasha got tensed. “Carabelle, you can’t be serious.”

Carabelle rolled her eyes. “Why not? I don’t care what anyone thinks. I want to do things my way. I not ready to decide. Why can’t I explore? Why can’t I do things on my own terms?”

Sasha snapped as she started to get agitated. “Carabelle, you can’t just do that. It’s not how it works. You have to choose something. If you don’t then they’ll put you in a yellow box, or worse, a red box. People will label you things like lazy or crazy.”

“I don’t care, Sasha. Let people say what they want.” Carabelle said back.

Sasha became snarky. “So, what are you going to? Live off of welfare. The tax dollars of other people’s hard work.”

“No! I don’t know what I want to do yet. Maybe start my own business.” Carabelle responded.

Sasha started to think that they could work with that. “Ok. In what? Pick a field. Get some experience. Then start your business.”

“I was thinking of doing more paintings and selling them. Maybe try other artistic stuff.” Carabelle stated.

Sasha paused on the phone. She felt like her head was going to explode.

Starting your own business was allowed, but typically you picked one of the approved fields, got experience, then started your own business. Anything art related was not considered an approved field. Art was considered a hobby you did on your free time.

“Hello? You there?” Carabelle said after Sasha went silent.

Sasha struggled to speak more. She was shocked by what she was hearing. “Um, yeah I’m here. Carabelle, are you pranking me right now? You can’t be serious.”

Carabelle got more firm in her stance. “Yes. Very serious. What’s the worst that can happen? They expel me from school? Give me a yellow box, maybe a red? And my mom craps her pants?”

Sasha sighed. “Carabelle, I don’t think you’re understanding how things work. When we talked about this before I thought you just needed more time to decide. This is serious. You MUST pick something today.

“I don’t have to do anything.” Carabelle said back confidently.

Sasha was becoming exhausted by the conversation. “Carabelle, this is how the world works. It is what it is.”

“What if I was looking to change the way the world works?” Carabelle asked.

“Oh my Carabelle, are you serious? You know what? I have to go. This is upsetting me. Please go and be normal today and choice something appropriate, like an banker or a teacher. I’ll talk to you later. Bye.” Sasha was stunned and done with the conversation. The call ended and Carabelle continued on her way to school.

At Carabelle’s school there was excitement running through the halls. All the seniors were lined up outside of the gymnasium. Each senior was entering one by one to tell administrators and officials what they had decided. After each senior’s decision they would make an announcement to the whole school and there would be loud cheers.

“Joselyn Rochester has decided to be a nurse!” The announcement said as a short brown hair girl exited the gymnasium as crying teachers embraced her with hugs. Applauses could be heard all up and down the hallway.

Finally, after some time of waiting, it was Carabelle’s turn to enter the gymnasium. A staff member at the school came up to Carabelle in the hallway with a big smile on her face. “I’m so excited for you, Carabelle. You can go in now.”

Carabelle said nothing back. She entered the gymnasium and walked to the center. In front of her was as a long table with five people sitting at it.
The man in center of the table gave Carabelle a smile and said, “Good afternoon Carabelle. What is your decision?”

“I haven’t decided.” Carabelle said without much care or concern.

“What was that?” The man in the center said.

“I said, I haven’t decided.” Carabelle reiterated.

The man in the center became concerned. “Well, that’s not an option. You have to make decision right now. That’s how it works.”

Carabelle continued to be defiant. “Well, I haven’t. So, there’s that.”

“Listen young lady, there are over five hundred approved box labels for you to choose from. You mean to tell me you can’t decide? What is wrong with you?” The man in the center said as he became annoyed.

“Well, if I have to choose then maybe I’ll choose Artist.” Carabelle replied.

The man in the center was becoming increasingly angry. “Artist? That’s not an approved box label. Art is what you do when you’re bored. Now you’re wasting everyone’s time. DECIDE NOW!”

“NO!” Carabelle yelled back.

The man in the center was shocked that Carabelle had yelled back. He stood up in his teacher labeled box. He turned to the school staffer by the door and yelled, “Get the superintendent!”

The school staffer quickly went out into the hallway where everyone already seemed alarmed and curious as to what was playing out in the gymnasium.

The man in the center of the table turned back towards Carabelle and said, “You’re getting the Yellow Box for this!”

Carabelle rolled her eyes and said sarcastically, “Whatever. I still haven’t decided if I like yellow or red.”

Everyone at the table gasped and a lady sitting at the table fell backwards in her chair as she fainted.
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