” Many would argue that emotions make us human; my argument simply is that emotions make us vulnerable and if being vulnerable is being human, then I’d rather be a robot.” – Allen Walker
“Hey Jess, how’s your new boyfriend?”
She fixed him with a sly gaze. It was typical of Steve to always tease, sometimes with words that made her wish she would cut his tongue out. Steve Richards was 20, a year younger than Jessica but they were almost inseparable.
He was always gay and Merry; a sharp contrast to Jessica as she always wore a frown and kept soul biting sarcasm at the tip of her tongue, waiting to unleash on any hapless person unlucky enough to get in her path. That’s why they were close; he complemented her.
“You two getting along alright?” He teased knowing they wouldn’t. “I read his profile. He’s as feisty as you are.”
“Oh he isn’t half as loaded as I am, he’d get to find out as time progresses.” She bluffed.
He hands her more laundry sheets.
She worked the sheets over with careless abandon while muttering under her breath.
“Shush jess… you know complaining isn’t allowed, I’m sure the soldiers are tired of picking you up for offences” he said, knowing fully well she wouldn’t heed.
“I want to become a dauntless…. Not a bloody laundry person” she snapped, still under her breath.
“There’s no freedom of speech here and they say we’re free to speak, if I’m heard, they’d take me to the infirmary and inject me with God knows what. That thing takes your humanity away, makes you a robot like everybody else” she complained.
“You’ve been skipping your meds again Jess” Steve said under his breath, almost in a whisper “you know how you get when you stop taking them”
“That explains how they control everyone” she snapped “I refuse to be controlled”.
Steve knew she was right, he sometimes skipped his daily medicines too; but he couldn’t affirm her claim because he knew it would be encouraging her and she might get over her head one day and rebel. In his one year of being awake, a man rebelled; he was Nigerian too, like Jessica and they took him to the correction center; the chamber of horrors as he called it.
They said it was decided he be transported to a different new world. Steve knew there was no different new world; everyone knew. They must’ve killed him.
“I can’t lose you Jessica “ he blurted “I don’t want the new world without you”.
“Don’t be a sweet little baby Stevie” she said half smiling in her typical sarcastic manner “Don’t you have any care job to do?”
“The others are at it, they’d cover for me. I don’t think they’d miss my insignificant effort for a couple of minutes” he said.
His watch beeped.
“Guess time’s up, they’re calling for me; guess they can’t live without me after all” he started towards the door “You better be alive when I find you again” he said feeling in his heart that she might get herself into too much trouble with the council head and they might have to move her to the ‘other new world’.
The usual Russian baritone male voice over speakers: Curt Morris!!…… Dauntless!!!
The convention center was filled with people again. It’s been 4 months and their lessons were over; as their test scores were used to determine their places in the new world.
“He doesn’t even deserve it as much as I do” Jessica said with anger splashed all over her face “I doubt he’d survive; I deserve to be dauntless more than he”. She whispered to Steve.
Steve wondered why she was so mad — he was happy for Curt. He had grown to accept his place in the new world, she should too.
Curt walked towards Jessica waving at her and smiling, oozing with joy. “I made dauntless Jess, I’d be wearing a green now” he laughs heartily “Can you believe it?”
“Well enjoy it while it lasts – I’d keep wearing my blue and doing laundry” She turned to leave
“Hey…… what’s your problem?, you always have something to be angry about.” Curt was tired of her continuous moods every time and complains about them being slaves “Maybe she’s sick” he thought.
He pulls her along as they take a walk away from the crowd of soldiers and people. The soldiers were less in the town on a day like this; which was totally logical because everyone was obligated to be at the convention center on this day.
Stevie told him she skips her meds. That’s why she acts like that, maybe she’s sick now.
“Jess, you should really start taking your medications”.
“Steve!!” She gasped
“Don’t worry, I won’t report you to the council head”.
“Is that so, Mr. Dauntless” she said, trying to annoy him. She knew he wouldn’t tell on her and she was being unreasonable, but she wanted him angry too “Isn’t it a crime against the oath you took in there to keep secrets from the council head?”
“I only just became dauntless, I wouldn’t win the award for most abiding dauntless tomorrow if I told on you today. One secret wouldn’t hurt”.
She was sure now. “You haven’t been taking your medications Curt” she said with her eyes fixed on his.
“Yes” she was quite smart “Stevie said it was fun to try, and so I did. I’ve skipped 3 days now”. He continued “I feel different, I’m remembering things… I’m feeling things”.
“I’ve been remembering things too” She said.
“We’re breaking the law Jess, we should really take our meds – Stevie too”. He turns to leave then adds “I’ll be leaving to camp tomorrow, I’d be gone for 6 months”.
“I’m not going to miss you – these 4 months of being in charge of you have really been exhausting” there was a silent pause then she added “I’d no longer see you everyday”
She turns to leave, then beckoned
“Come, I want to show you something”. They walked down the white marble street, to a corner close to the bakery; she wondered how the walls were still as white as she met it when she first woke from hibernation. Everyone was still around the convention center, people congratulating their family and friends on their placement into the society.
“Well don’t just stand there” she said “Come closer. Are you scared of me Mr. Dauntless?” she mocked. As he closes into the corner, she reaches out and kisses him on the lips; his heart raced, he……. Felt something…….. She let him go. “I love you Curt” she said and made to leave.
He clasps her arm, pushes her flowing black hair backwards and examines her…… She had the curves of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty…. Her eyes were bright but not like light, more like fire. Her chocolate complexion radiating the light of the new world; her lips were plush, inviting much; her face was fierce.
He reaches into her bosom and kisses her passionately………. They made love on the white marble street, the blood of her deflowering gracing the white marbles and turning them somewhat wine colored.