It was just another day, but the unusual was about to happen. It was the day when everything in my life changed, not just for me though. Everyone’s lives changed after that day.
A thunderstorm hit us, the sky was gloomy. I never really payed attention to it as it was happening, but when I think of it now, it must have been a sign for what was to come, or perhaps the weather itself guided me throughout my actions. “Father, I’m joining the militia, I want to fight and save lives.” I was telling my father while he kept pressing the TV controller going through every channel and shaking his head slowly because of what I said, he then replies “That is nonsense, child. You are just 18, do you even know what you really want? Really want?” He frowned at me. Of course I wasn’t sure so I lowered my head a little and took a deep breathe. “Can’t you just let me try? I know it scares you, and mostly because I’m a girl who tends to fear cockroaches, you think I’m not capable, right?…I have chosen what to do. Sorry father, I have to meet my best friend and give her the good news…maybe she will be glad” I walked out the door and walked to my friend’s house, she lived 10 mins from where I lived just by foot.
I looked down in front of her house entrance and read the “welcome” may, I chuckled and tapped it with my foot, feeling how the raindrops had made it all squishy, and suddenly she opens the door “Oh Alice! It’s you!” She hugged me and smiled and then I tell her “Did you already know? Who told you?”, she was laughing and pulled me into the house “Well, your father texts my father all the time while watching the football games so he told my dad right away as you left your house! I’m excited that you chose to do such a brave thing for the country” I sat down and grabbed the tea cup she was handing me and I said “Well…the main reason I’m going to join is because of your brother, Alex. I still am in love with him. I thought it would be kind of romantic to be in battle with him! Haha” and as I said that, he walked in. “Hey, Ana! I am going to pick up some food. Want something?” I blushed and looked away pretending he wasn’t there as she shakes her head at him and says “I am fine for now.”
My day with my best friend had gone so well, I walked back home and found my father handing a toolbox to Ana’s father. “I’m home, going to sleep” I said and walked upstairs to my room. As soon as I got on the bed I started thinking of how wonderful boot camp was going to be. “It’s going to be in a week…” I said to myself and took a deep breathe, trying to not overthink and get nervous of my choice.
A week later I was leaving for boot camp, my siblings were waving at me telling me to collect the skulls of the enemies and bring them home, I laughed at their silliness, they thought boot camp was going to be like it was a “Call of Duty” game, that was what they thought whenever someone would mention the word “military”.
My first day in boot camp, I was sitting by Alex and we were talking about how half of the field was dried up and the grass was yellow or withered, and the other half was green like emerald and nourished. He said “It’s like a human’s brain, half of it is rotten and dead, the other half is so fresh and alive…oh, did I tell you about our parent’s project?” I dropped my rifle in shock and asked “…do you mean my dad is working again?!” Alex nodded at me and smiled as he got closer and asked in a cheered up tone “Are you surprised? You really thought all he texted with my father was about sport games on TV?! Haha” I looked around and started feeling like a dark and haunting hollowed shadow was about to drain my whole life out of my body, I freaked out and grabbed Alex by his arm as I talked to him in a rough tone “You need to tell me..everything about that fucking project. My dad is a mad man and I don’t like the shit he ever gets into” Alex has never seen me so serious and so mad before, he was shocked and nodded at me as he slowly walked away while I was looking into the nothing, spaced out and thinking of the many possibilities of what my father would be doing.
Boot camp was over, I graduated and was officially a military soldier. All successful and with a new life to start ahead. So I thought. The first thing to do once home was greet everyone with a warm hug and smile, glad of not spending winter in the fields anymore, eating MREs, barely sleep and workout too much, most of the day, it was fun but tiring…and I was glad to feel normal again as I put my casual clothes on.
“Hey dad! You never told me about what you were working with John! Will you tell me now? I’m happy you are doing more than watching those football games” my father simply gave me a cold glare as he shook his head and said “I am grateful you support me. But after your decision…” He cut off and sighed, I demanded an explanation “Father, please! I know it was against you but I did well and for us, all of us. You don’t have to be secretive to me because of doing something you didn’t want me to. I am trying to understand you more and you push me off!” He held me by my shoulders and said to me while looking into my eyes “This is not a war between us, Alice. This is about me protecting you. Please…stay the Hell away from it.” He grabbed his breakfast and sat on the couch, as usual. I was angry, so angry that a tear slipped down my cheek and I walked out, started running to Alex’s house to find out myself.
“Open the door!” I was screaming with anger as I kept knocking the door and nobody would open up. Slammed both my hands against the closed up doors and held my head down looking at the “welcome” mat, ironically knowing I wasn’t welcome because my father probably warned them as I remembered their ritualistic texting and I kicked off the mat to the side and grunted. “I hate everything. Can’t ever be in the clear spot of what is going around me and makes me feel so damned and lost” I turned around and looked at the street, the day was gloomy and humid and then I hear the lock click, turned back and saw Ana with a blank face. “Ana! I’m back home!” I hugged her as she stayed still, she was looking pale and weird. Like she wasn’t human, kind of scared me…actually, it really scared the hell out of me. “Father is in the garage.” She said and walked away in a very monotone way, not her cheerful and jolly self. But I walked to the garage, slowly walking near it and heard John talking on the phone, maybe with my dad…he was saying “You understand this project of ours is life changing, the mankind won’t be the same. Control has always been every man’s ambition-…yeah you are right to not tell her, she is in the military, they would kill us to get this schematic, or use it on all of us. But you and I can choose what to do with it man. We are both the rulers!” I was scared from what I heard but it got worse after that. He kept talking and said “We are the only who have been able to decode the perfect frequency sequence to control everyone’s brainwaves, no matter how different they are, we turn them to the same way, making them follow our orders. This is as close as to figure out how the origin of everything have begun. In the mind-” he stopped talking and yelled “Who’s that? Ana wasn’t commanded to eavesdrop!” I panicked and ran in there and told him “I understand what you and my father have done. It’s…actually genius and I’m proud of you both..” I was telling him while being very nervous as he walked near me angrily and holding an axe, all I was thinking was that he would just slice me into millions of pieces and I was never going to be found…my father cares too much for himself to try stop it from happening. I had to do whatever it took to stay alive. He yelled at me “You..WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO KNOOOOOOW!” He slammed the back of the axe against the wall as he walked towards me and I was telling him “Please don’t do this, I don’t want to die,..I…I am very good friends with my unit’s commander. Let me make them buy your service with this machine. You and the military can work together and control the world…even myself if you wish. Just don’t kill me…” I gulped as I thought of how scared I was to die, I could have been glad to not be part of the coming future and be with my mother in the “other side” if it even existed, but I wanted to live. John laughed and dropped his axe and said “Congratulations, you just sold the whole world for your miserable life. I’m proud. Your father predicted all of this, you were going to do it again. That’s how you let your mother die, wasn’t it?” I started crying as the world ended the way we all used to know it. Now we all serve, we serve because of the one who was afraid.