I stood at my bed, shoving my items into the tiny bag, laid out on the sheets. Calla stood at the doorway, tears silently falling down her face. She didn’t want me to know, but she was crying.
“Can’t you stay?” Her voice wavered with every word.
“You know they’ll take me away if I do,” I told her, closing the bag.
“Maybe Papi can convince them to let you stay here -”
“That won’t happen.”
I slung the bag over my shoulder, my phone in hand. The longer I lingered, the quicker they could come and take me away. I walked out of my room and to the front door, pausing to take a last look at my sister. She would be fine here, she knew how to fit in. She stood still, in her oversized nightgown, watching me leave without any protest. I quietly opened the door, trying to not wake our sleeping parents. My heart ached at the thought of them worrying about me, not knowing where I went, but I had to push that aside if I wanted to have a chance of surviving. Maybe, in a future world, I could live with the endless rules imposed.
Surrounding me as I made my way to the elevators was a heavy silence. The glass structure hummed softly. At the ground floor, the doors opened. I couldn’t keep stopping, light would come soon, and I would be a sitting duck. I walked across the streets quickly, head down, eyes on the ground, focused on my own feet, walking across the pavement. The few people who were out walked right past me, not caring who I was for once. For some reason, that was better than them knowing my family. I made my way across the city, it felt strange, traveling through alleyways. I had to leave the country if I wanted to be free.
The smell of the wharf got stronger as I got closer, the unfamiliar smell of fish and the sea. I remembered the stories we were told of a clear ocean, how people swam in it. Now it was closed to the public, fishermen barely making enough money to get by. After twists and turns, the city melted into something that was only described in our history books. Wooden docks stretched out into the water, the entire area abandoned. The cool wind breeze blew across me, a contrast to the all-too familiar heat. A movement in the shadows caught my eye, and my brain had the clever idea to check it out. I crept over to where the movement was, trying to get my eyes to fully adjust to the darkness. A body slammed into me, barrelling me to the ground. The strange person pinned me, talking quickly in a language I couldn’t understand.
“Matthew! ¡No puedes atacar a una persona!” I heard a girl’s voice scold someone.
“Calm down, Sofia. Sé lo que estoy haciendo,” a male’s voice sounded from on top of me.
The weight lifted off of me and I instantly scrambled to my feet. In the dimly lit area, I could make out the figures of two people. They led me to their shelter, telling me how they were escaping. Matthew was more reluctant to let me in, sitting quietly in the corner. I could barely see the sun coming up from over the horizon, my breath caught in my throat. The three of us snuck in to one of the ships, we hid in one of the luxurious rooms.It was days before we docked, the three of us slipping out at night. Frequent alerts popped up on my phone, but I didn’t have time to check them. We walked through the city, sticking to the much darker alleyways. This area wasn’t as built up as it was back home, the houses were less decorated, lacking the newer inventions. It wasn’t as bright as home, either, darkness crowded the streets. Glancing up towards the sky, I could see the moon shining brightly, dots surrounding it. I had never seen stars before. I only knew them from the stories we heard.
A woman approached us, inviting us into her home. We were foolish to follow, but at that time it seemed like the best option. Her home was basic with older technologies, but still shelter. We settled there, eating the food she cooked and slept in her beds. Nothing happened the next day. That’s why I didn’t expect the next events.
That night, we were ripped from our beds and forced out of the house by armored men. We returned home on a plane, our mouths gagged and our hands bound. We rode in the big, black, cars, to a white laboratory. When we got inside, that was the last time I saw Matthew or Sofia. I felt ashamed about leading them to this. The men led me to a room, the events fading after that.
He stood there, looking at the patient in front of him. The girl would be released back home soon. The man took off his coat, clutched it in his hands, and walked past the rows upon rows of patients in rooms. Their head hooked up with wires, sitting in chairs as they watched the screen placed in front of them. He didn’t care what happened to them, all he wanted was the money he gained from it. That’s how he could ignore everyone. Maybe he was brainwashed too.
Actually, the events were blurry from the start, my dreams being the only way I could remember it clearly. I could tell my mind wasn’t my own, now split into two. I still had my memories from before, but I couldn’t control my body. My family notices it too, but they say nothing. I wish I could tell them I’m still here, but that’d be a lie. Now all I do is watch the drug take over my life, controlling me and making me into someone I’m not. He was heartless. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t have a soul.
No one cared, though, they kept going about their days only concerned about being perfect. What they don’t realize is they aren’t perfect and won’t ever be perfect.