Aria. Allele. Aeon.
Three choices. Three different paths. They were staring at me on my display like they were just words and didn’t represent my entire future. I groaned in frustration and swept the words away, but they were just replaced by the three choices that they represented. Music. Science. History.
At this point in my life, the choice should have been simple, it was picking out my name that should have been the hardest part. Narrowing down a chosen name in each field had been easy for me, it was choosing what course the next four years of my life would take that was the hardest part. I knew what I wanted to do in the deepest part of my soul, but I also knew what Mama and Baba hoped I would choose.
I brought up my Choosing Ceremony names again and then heard the creak of my door behind me. Saba knew she had been caught before I even turned around to glare at her, because before I registered her twelve-year-old face peaking around the door, she was already offering excuses.
“I didn’t see anything, Tano. I just came to get you for dinner.” Her eyes told me a different story.They weren’t even looking at me and I could see the names on my display reflected in those deep brown eyes.
I growled as I lunged over my bed towards her. “You’re not supposed to see my choices until the Ceremony tomorrow, Saba.”
She squealed as she tried to slam my door in my face and ran down the hallway looking for Mama, Baba, or Sita to hide behind. I caught her arm before she reached the dining room and spun her around to look at me. She winced and I realized I was squeezing her arm too hard. I reflexively wanted to let her arm go, but then remembered what she had seen in my room and squeezed harder, eliciting a scared whimper from her and tears at the edges of her eyes.
“I’m warning you Saba, if you tell Sita anything about what you saw, I’ll ban you from coming to my Choosing Ceremony tomorrow.” She just shook her head and I released her arm.
Mama came around the corner at that moment and Saba brushed past her with force, causing Mama to lean against the wall momentarily. When I finally got out of the crouch I had been in to confront Saba, I was looking up into Mama’s unforgiving eyes.
“She was spying on me,” I said in response to the stern look on Mama’s face.
“She’s twelve, Tano, and very interested to learn her older sister’s plan when she leaves her behind tomorrow.”
Mama’s words made a lump form in my throat. Guilt. Of course Saba wanted to know my choice before tomorrow. When I had my Choosing Ceremony, it meant that it would be just her and Sita at home with Mama and Baba, and Sita didn’t exactly get along with Saba, or me for that matter. Since Nne had left two years ago on his Choosing Ceremony to become, Gari, and work for transportation, I was the only one who was there to break up the fights between Sita and Saba.
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