Prologue - Finn
I loved her so much. My heart jumped to my throat the first time i saw her. I knew she would be my best friend. My forever friend.
Our wedding day was beautiful; she was beautiful. White flowing gown, capped sleeves and just enough sparkle to make her light green eyes stand out. I knew when I saw her like that that I had made the right choice. I was going to spend the rest of my life-and beyond-with my best friend.
That was her name.
We had only been together eight months. Not even enough time to have a child, yet they did it anyway. We had always known that the letter was going to come; the letter wrapped in thick yellow parchment; a large ‘Do Not Bend’ sticker on the front. That was when we knew it was all over.
My life was over.
It was the year 4918, day 97 of 365. The sun was high in the sky, a little white dot above my head. It looked tired – like me. With my morning donut and newest flavor of water, I stepped out into the world with my dark green robe and small bunny slippers.
My neighbor, Jack, was outside with his poodle. A dark brown thing with almost no hair and thin, stick-like legs.
“Hey!” I called. “How’s it going?”
Jack looked down at the artificial green grass.
“Jack?” I wasn’t concerned, almost everyday people were being murdered. Family members were being murdered. It was awful, but with the new technology, it was what had to be done. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he’d lost a family member.
“You got a letter. With a red sticker on it.” His voice was low, gravely and forced. His old wrinkled face smudged into a frown.
I took a step back, wondering if this was some sort of joke. “Is it April Fools day today? I must’ve gone blank on the date. Nice joke, but I wouldn’t do that on other people, they might think you’re-“
“It’s not a joke,” he whispered. He looked into my face, crystal tears streaming down his cheeks.
“You were a good friend,” he stated. Then he dragged himself to his door, and stepped inside.
I was so stunned. My feet stuck to the floor like magnets, and I couldn’t bring myself to close my jaw. My hands shook violently as the letter in my hand was ripped to shreds. Face hot, jaw now clenched so tight I could hear my teeth cracking, I started toward the door and watched as Nora stepped outside. Tears were in her eyes as she watched the distinct green packaging of the well-known letter fall to the ground.
“No,” she whispered under her breath. Hand over her heart, she screamed like a child and ran to my feet, her cotton lavender robe flowing gently behind her.
But her words were anything but gentle.
If my wife was a cussing woman, she would’ve been saying some harsh things right then. But my wife does not cuss, so instead she called the government names that were so bad that they came close to cursing. We grabbed each other so tightly I could feel my breath start to shorten; but there, in the glaring sun of that morning, we cried like we had never cried before, and in that moment I was regretting all of the things I had said to her. I was hating myself for not showing how much I loved her, for not giving her more kisses when she needed them.
It was too late now, and I had bigger problems.
I had to prepare for death.