‘A New Beginning’ by Ilsa Tariq


“Are you nervous?” she looks in my eyes. I furrow my eyebrows and shake my head. What difference would it make if I were nervous? What’s done has been done.

I spot an enthusiastic Johanna in the distance; her face is lit with a radiant smile. “You guys have no freakin’ idea what just happened!” she squeals with excitement.

“Did you win the marathon again?” I ask her, concerned.

“No!” she screams loud enough for the librarian to give us her signature glare.

“You… um…” I trail off, not knowing what to guess.

“I got accepted into Stanford!” her voice echoes loud enough for the librarian to shoot us her ‘warning glare’.

“Wow. You came all the way here to share such crappy news with us? Don’t you see this face in front of me?” Chelsea points at me, “she’s already dreading her acceptance….”

“CHECK YOURS!” Johanna pulls me out of my seat while the librarian strides over to us and tells us to leave in a quiet, menacing voice.

Moments later, we stand under the hot, blazing sun outside the library building. Chelsea folds her arms, “Thanks a lot, Jo.”

After escaping overly-excited Johanna, wheedling me to check my acceptance online, I leave early without informing anyone and doze off to sleep. Stress and anxiety clouds my mind, preventing it to think beyond the horizon, reaching over to various other possibilities— the contrast of not getting accepted anywhere. I shut my eyes and try to think. I think of two outcomes. I visualize

a shade engulfing something bright and beautiful. Could this be a negative sign? Not sure. After all, I am taking a huge turn into

a fresh new chapter of my life. It better serve me well.

“For how long will you contemplate about usefulness?” my elder brother, William, stands on my bedside, arms folded. Oh, no.

It sure is time now. Escaping Johanna does not mean that I can escape him. He silently places the laptop on my lap, “C’mon now.”

I gulp and ignore chills running down my spine. I log in and type my password with quivering fingertips. The application starts to

load… I look away. I abhor exasperation. William has his eyes glued to the screen, “One percent remaining.”

My heart races. I steal a look at the screen. The application pops open. “No way…” William gasps and looks at me with dilated fawn


“W-what?” I stutter. I gather up the courage to look in the screen. Mom and Dad barge in my room unexpectedly with a questioning

look plastered on their faces. What perfect timing. Dad peeks in. Relied spreads all over my body. “Princeton…?” his eyes glimmer.

Its unbelievable. “My daughter has been accepted into Princeton!” Mum hugs me, tight.

“Session starts from the day after tomorrow. That is no time. Pack your bags, darling.” Dad lands a kiss on my forehead.

Two days pass by in a blur. I stand in front of a huge monument-like structure with Dad, Mom, William, Chelsea and Johanna

behind me. They all smile; some at the verge of breaking down. They all wave. A tear or two trickles down my cheek.

William shouts, “See you soon, sister!” This very moment is priceless. The moment when you depart from your blood and enter a phase

where you develop yourself for the cycle that will repeat many times in the future. Its a new beginning. This new beginning is priceless.

I take a deep breath and make my way to the main hall. My new beginning starts here, right now.


About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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