The Lucky Ones

They want me to document things from my perspective. Apparently it’s some new propaganda campaign they want to try out.

So fine, here are things from my perspective.

Every day I wake up to a cold room filled with harsh lights. Dad and the other scientist say that they kill anything that would harm us. I get some sort of warm breakfast, usually stuff that’s been rehydrated and warmed up. Not bad, not good. Then we go through the daily routine. They try to keep up with my education here. Mom says just because there are no schools, doesn’t mean I get an excuse to let my brain rot. Like I could stop that anyway…

Photo used with permission from Tony Isaac via Instagram

Photo used with permission courtesy of Tony Isaac via Instagram

Sometimes, if we’re real lucky, they let us go outside.  There’s just a few of us left here. “Uncle Rusty,” Haley, Mrs. B. Plus a few others who never leave their rooms. They’re the closest thing I have to family, besides my parents of course. There’s not a lot to do outside, we can’t leave the fenced area. So, mostly we just sit and visit because when we’re inside we’re too busy to get to see each other, the daily routine being what it is. It’s nice to feel the warmth of the sun, rather than the cold harsh light inside.

But we only go outside when there aren’t any threats from those who think we need to be wiped out, which I hear is getting worse everyday. I’m not sure that I blame them. Some days, I wouldn’t mind being wiped out. There are military here who protect the facility. Some of the original military, from the original government. Not many of them left. Most moved on to the factions, acting as mercenaries or joining the causes altogether.

But you already know that.

At the end of the day I get to go back to my room, assuming I got to leave it that day. There’s another rehydrated meal and then the lights go out for the night.

Dad says we’re lucky, sometimes I think I still believe that, but I’m not sure what’s kinder, believing that nothing’s wrong and life is just as grand as those old TV shows used to make it out to be, or acknowledging that the world has gone to hell in a handbasket and we all might as well just give up.

Photo used with permission from Tony Isaac via Instagram

Photo used with permission courtesy of Tony Isaac via Instagram

I remember when things fell apart. The panic and then the mad dash to the safe zones. The suicides, the homicides, whole families taken out in “mercy killings.” Things were bad in the highest populated areas. Resources didn’t last long. Militias started cropping up and from there city states and republics started establishing themselves. Smaller governments became larger governments and then they started disagreeing over boundaries and distribution of resources.

I was 11 when that all happened. Now I’m 15. 4 years since the big event. I’ve spent almost that whole time in here. Mom and Dad think that I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time, but I’ve had a lot of time to think about the things I saw before we got out. I understood a lot more than what they realized I did. I understand even more now. I hear people saying things like, “he’s only 15.” But you try being “only 15” when you’ve gone through the hell I’ve been through. Age is just a number, isn’t that what they used to say?

We’re lucky though, like my Dad is always saying, we stayed outside of the conflict. Mostly because my Dad is a scientist and he was able to move us to a research facility that still exists under what’s left of the old government. Our family stayed “intact,” if that’s what you want to call it. Any other day I would applaud Dad’s efforts to keep the family together, to continue his work. He wants to fix things. Nothing wrong with that, but I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s wasting his time.

Not exactly what they were looking for when they asked me to give my perspective. But here’s the truth…

For the last 4 years they have been able to slow the progression. That’s it. Don’t get me wrong, that’s amazing to say the least. I would have been dead, or worse, years ago. I’ve lasted this long because my parents were able to get me into this facility as soon as they found I was infected.  Of course, it helps when your Dad is the head scientist. Other’s weren’t that lucky.

But despite all this I’m still rotting. Every year, every day, I slip into the disease. We all progress at different rates. Me and Haley were younger when we contracted the infection, our systems have taken the drugs more easily than others. Mrs. B hasn’t had a coherent thought in a long time, but she’s still mostly placid. Last week Uncle Rusty had an episode, I haven’t seen him since.

Photo created by me, I gave myself permission to use it.

Photo created by me, I gave myself permission to use it.

My parents are of the mindset that they are providing a kindness to those who make it into the program. I wish the prolonged suffering would just end. My parent’s haven’t touched me in 4 years. If anyone comes into my room, they are in thick bio suits that protect them from whatever lives inside my body, eating away at my humanity. The rest of the time they stare at me through a thick layer of glass.

The only people I’ve had real contact with is Haley and the others like us, but they slip further away from me every day. We’re all starting to reach the turning point, it won’t be much longer now.

Dad still tells me every day that I’m lucky. We’re all lucky. We still have family, we still have each other. He says they are days away from a cure. He’s been saying that for so long now that I’ve stopped hoping. I look at him and Mom through the glass and I think, “Yeah, you have me, but I don’t have you.” It’s hard to feel like you’re a part of a family through a thick glass wall. But hey, I’m one of the lucky ones…


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