‘Describe an important decision you had to make and its outcome’ by Rafia Sajjad

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Zoned out, Tabitha stared at her aunt while she was yelling profanities at her. Once finished, Tabitha snapped back to reality as she realized her aunt was shaking her arm.

“But Aunt Mary it is my choice. I do not have to depend on anyone for anything. I am old enough.” Aunt Mary had been the cruelest person in Tabitha’s life since her parents had passed away. Aunt Mary shouted, ignoring her niece’s words of defense, “I. TOLD. YOU. THAT. YOU. WILL. STAY. IN. THIS. VERY. HOUSE. UNTIL. YOU. GET. MARRIED. That is it young lady! No ifs or buts.”

Teeth gritted, eyes bloodshot, face tense, Tabitha strode towards her room and sobbed. She felt as if her pitiless aunt dominated her life and would literally dictate her what to do.”

“I just want to be free,” she murmured, almost inaudible. Poor Tabitha could not even snooze after all the weeping. She could not stop thinking about this. Every day it was the same conversation about staying in a prison-like home with a sadistic human telling her what to do.

Until midnight, she considered the thought of staying home for the sake of her aunt or run to chase her wildest dreams. Finally, she realized why her strict relative wanted her to stay. It was obviously because she cared! Her aunt did not want her to be out there on her own all by herself because she was worried for her only niece.

Depression took over at this thought. She has to choose whether to fulfill her phantasms or sit at home and watch over her aunt. She deliberated about the same topic again and again until sleep took over and clouded her thoughts.

The next day, Aunt Mary sat on the sevenseater, leather covered sofa, daydreaming while sipping her morning decaffeinated coffee. As soon as she saw Tabitha, who had dark circles under her sunken eyes, looking like a pale ghost, Aunt Mary called her over, showing her sweet side.

“What?” Tabitha asked rudely. “Umm…look I am sorry for being a mean-green-bean…I want…you to live a better life but-” Before Aunt Mary could proceed, Tabitha interrupted, “Then why do you not let me make one choice of my own. I always agree with you, do everything you say.” Aunt Mary’s eyes widened and the only word that escaped her pursed lips were, “I…I am…” but her voice trailed off.

“Look, I thought about this, okay? I know you want me to stay because you are concerned,” Tabitha explained. “I want to go out there, explore the world, learn new things, and meet new people. This is my life! I want to be recognized, do something that would benefit people and I want to be a role-model for them. None of this would happen if I stayed at home and did absolutely nothing.” Her aunt remained silent the whole time, analyzing the desires of her trapped daughter-like niece. “You can come with me. I swear it will be fun.”

At that last sentence, Aunt Mary looked up, nodding, agreeing with her.

After a few months, Tabitha and her aunt had set off to live somewhere else. They, together, explored poorer cities and helped the people there as much as they could. Because of this, numerous people had begun to live a contended life with less hassles and anxieties.

Tabitha got and did what she wanted to and her aunt realized that freedom was important. She even perceived that she was wrong and Tabitha had always been right for her justice.

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