Erin sits up and rubs her eyes, awake for the first time all night. She wonders how her best friend must be getting on, during his first night.Hers was a nightmare. His spirit is strong, but so was hers.

She regrets that his spirit must be tested in such a way. But it is the way of life if you live in her world. Everyone must start somewhere.She knew she was different.She couldn’t stand the way of life.

Emotions. They drive you to do things you never thought you would.  They are your foundation when you have nothing else. When you have nothing your very infostructure is a memory of things you did have before.A life you lived before things changed forever.

I try not to think too much about the day I met my best friend.The fact that we still call it that is foolish.It's like we are fifth grade, talking about how we are besties. A best friend is a memory of something we did have so long ago. I was ridiculed for having a boy as a friend. Everyone was sure we were dating, or that we had a crush on each other. It made me angry.That was back when I got upset about such things.I try not to think about the day I met my best friend because it makes me feel.

When your foundation is so pitiful and so short lived you ignore how short lived it is.

Most prefer not to stare at the bullet coming toward them instead of trying to change their inevitable fate, much less watch the bullet.I don’t want to be what they want me to be.

It is something I know I will loose, but I do not stare. I sit up in my bed, but I am interrupted by a tapping at my window.

My father's face is impossible to read.

He gestures for me to come outside, and I do.

It is cold and the wind blows my short hair in front of my face.

did I ever tell you what I look like? It doesn’t matter much to me, but it customary.

Maybe you can imagine me better if you can see me in your mind.

Your mind must have already come up with some way to imagine me.

Try to change that to make it more accurate.

I have chin length black hair and blue eyes.They are gray blue.

I never put any cream or makeup on, so my face isn’t perfect, the way you might imagine.

However, I do not think I have an acne problem.

I usually wear a sports jacket(because of how comfortable they are) with a t-shirt on under it.

It doesn’t matter what I wear, as long as I can move in it.

My hair is cleanly cut. The perfect cut for my lifestyle is the one I have. It has little to do with beauty, something I have never wanted or thought of much.

I didn’t put a coat on before going outside, rather I grabbed my mother's black sweatshirt and pulled it over my pajamas before heading outside. It is slightly big for me, but it is all I need to move forward.That and a pair of slippers.

I find that my father's attitude matches his face tonight. Impossible to read.

We get into my mothers car. He doesn’t even ask where all the bullet holes came from.

I ask my father questions like a curious child as we drive down the road away from our house. I don’t even bother to have any dignity at 5:00 in the morning. Not when I got to sleep at one and my father knows it.

This city isn’t so bad as the rest of them, just like it used to be. We have a decent education. The children that live here live like they are children. They grow up as children should.

The one at the head doesn’t touch San Diego. My father told me about Lawerence Beaudoin when I was little. My brother would sit with me, and we would stare intently at our father as he would tell stories. Stories that would make us beg for him to continue. He had a knack for telling us about things so vivid you could think that he had been there himself.That he had lived before Beaudoin gained control of our state.Things were different then. All the states were part of one system, which was very accurately named the United States of America. It was built because the people were sick of being controlled by the government. They were being taxed in ways that they believed were unfair, and the people did not like being under a system in which they had no control of what happened to them, so they started a war. It was a rebellion against the British, the country across an ocean that ruled them.

It was the beginning of a government for the people. It started a Republic, weak at first, but then powerful. A world power.

It goes without saying that the American won their war, against all odds.

That was around 1783.

For  253  years they advanced. They fought off everyone that tried to get in there way. They defied so many things people said, they found cures for diseases, they entertained, they invented the car, the plane, made advanced ships, learned the way of the universe. There is always room for the curious who are willing to work to find there answers. There was literature and love, music. Unity. Education. Fairness. Everyone was equal. It was a glorious culture, based on freedom that not many had. It had the least amount of corruption (though it did have corruption. Every place has corruption.). The least amount of suffering (there was still suffering. Still diseases and starvation and poor people.) They stamped out those things to their minimum, but they still had problems. Problems the entire world shared, like Global Warming, and overpopulation. Problems most didn't stare at. Most don’t stare at their bullet. I don’t.

253 years brought something most don’t like to think about.

Floods. Hurricanes, Tornados, Fires. Droughts. Every single natural disaster you can possibly imagine. The winters were so cold and the summers were more hot than they had ever been before. The air was so polluted that there was no way to breathe unless you had masks on at all times. That was when the world got the message. No more fossil fuels. We didn’t much care about our power anymore.

We drove down the road, and my father hadn’t started the heat. I dug my hands into the pocket of my mom's pullover and shivered.

My father had been so wonderful at storytelling. What I tell you is like a history lesson. My father never had to tell us what happened. It was a fact that I grew up with.I don’t remember not knowing.  Most people don’t know.   

No, the stories my father told were after to U.S. government was gone. When Lawrence became the head of our state.  Head of our country for that matter, but he pretends it isn’t that way. He made sure the weak had power in other states, so he could control them.  We fought him. Fought him until most of us died. The group that exists today has no descendants of the fighters, much less the fighters themselves.

Except for our family.

My father is the leader of the resistance.  It didn’t amount to much for a while. It was just the way it is. People wonder what it was like. It was just something for me to be proud of my father for. He had been brave and fought for what he believed.

The car reached it’s destination shortly after I had this thought, and I was startled to look and up and see a green house. Max’s.

Max is my best friend. He is a very literate person. However, there is something about him we don’t know. At least something my father doesn’t know.

“ Dad? I have to tell you something,”

“ I already know Erin,”

“ You know what happened?”

“I know you have something to tell me.”

I don’t press him. I just pull the key out of my pocket to Max’s house.

“ Good thinking,” he says “ make it look normal.”

    I nod.

He looks back at the car and motions for me to hurry up. I shove the door open, trying not to make any noise. My father and I walk through the quiet rooms and up the stairs.

“ It’s the first door on the right,” I whisper.

My father opens that door and we go inside. Max is asleep, but wearing all of his cloths and not covered by blankets. This doesn’t surprise me, at least not as much as the other things I see.

    I see James Powell unconscious in a corner, and here is a gun next him on the floor.

Max was in danger? How could I have let him go home?

“ Go ahead and wake your friend up.”

I do. Max doesn’t say much. He sits on the edge of the bed and is silent.  The first person to talk is my father.

“Can you tell me what happened tonight?” Max doesn’t ask who my father is. He just looks at him and smiles. Then he starts to talk.

The End

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