Saturday, February 19
With a last glance around my home, I walked to the front door. Two PCB agents in black uniforms were waiting to take me away. I realized that for the next five years, I was an exile. No movies, no friends, nothing. Suddenly, the pale blue of the carpet was all I could see. Mom's hands gently rolled me over. Smelling the faint vanilla scent of my mom, I thought, "Maybe, I won't have to go if I just stay like this.' In the next instant, four hands gripped my arms, pulling me vertical.
"Nothing you do will change the facts. Nada. You are thirteen today. You do have another option, though," said one of the agents, laughing.
"How?" questioned my mom. "I thought the law was passed right after The Uprising. All children must go to the state schools on their thirteenth birthday. No exceptions. No alternatives. They even take kids out of the hospital." I could see the glimmer of hope in her eyes.
"Well, she could choose to go to jail. Sure, it's for the rest of her life, not just five years. But, who cares? It's not the state school. She'll have a job. They always need test subjects and organ donors. If she doesn't show any signs of the disease after she goes to the adult section, she can even pay for her own stay. I hear that if you surrogate a child once a year, you even have some spending money. An eye is worth two years they say. Just can't beat the medical benefits in jail." The sneer consumed the whole face of the other guard.
"Let go of me. I'll walk on my own two feet," I said. I tried to give mom and dad a hug. Those damn agents got in the way.
"Nope. Can't trust you, now. Out the door."
They each took an arm and forced me to the door. Mom tried to follow me, but once they got me into the yard, four other agents blocked the way. Dad tried to quiet down mom's hysterics. Next thing I knew, I was chained into a seat on the bus. Most of the other kids had red faces and tear stained cheeks. You could even hear some of them still crying. Fire boiled in my blood. I tried to stand up, but the cold steel left no room. I could still hear mom's crying when we got to the end of the block. I closed my eyes, remembering our last vacation at the beach.
Soon, the bumps from potholes because waves under the boat. Dad stopped the boat, jumping overboard for a swim. Coming up for air, he said, "Wh...."
"I didn't hear you, Dad." He was probably twenty feet from the boat. So, I jumped in, the cool water washing over me. When I came up for air, dad was even farther away from me.
"Dad, you're to far away. Stay there. I'll swim to you. Can't hear you from here," I yelled. He was even farther away this time. Through the greenish water, I couldn't see him. I swam towards where he had been, hoping that he had stayed put. When I came up for air, I couldn't see him. I looked around, treading water and starting to shake. The clouds started to get darker and the waves were getting bigger. Soon, I was being tossed around so much I could barely keep my head above water.
Startled, I opened my eyes. Black. Shit, I was still on the bus, with one of those agents standing right in front of me. Out of the window, I could see a building surrounded by fences. Not just one, either. This must be the jail, I thought.
"I'll ask you one more time. What's your choice, chica?"