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I'd like to thank Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, Brian Selznick, Lois Lowry, and all the other fantastic young adult writers that have always inspired me.
My eyes slowly fall away from Finn Lavity’s, who has just opened the door for me. Forest green, and the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in my entire life…
“Evie, you’re here!” shouts Macy from her living-room couch. Startled, I hop out of my daydream. She has her arm around Paul Raymond, her recent beau. Music blares in what I think is supposed to be the background, but it overpowers all sound in Macy’s house. She gives Paul a quick peck on the cheek before she gets up to greet me.
Macy looks absolutely gorgeous. Her dark hair is pinned in a loose bun and her bangs are gelled into a small curl at her hairline. She wears an emerald tea-length dress and black Mary Janes that both compliment her smooth, olive skin and thin figure.
“So howya been, Ev?” she asks playfully. Paul sneaks up behind her and grabs
her small waist, making her shriek.
“I’ve been fine,” I answer modestly as I pat down my poofy, blue skirt.
“Just FINE? I saw you lockin’ eyes with Finn Lavity over at the door
and I swear you looked like you were about to faint- your pale little face was as red as a fire engine. Am I right Paul?” Paul nods in my direction, but doesn’t make eye contact with me, making it extremely awkward.
“Ummm…” I stutter, and I hold my hands together in front of me as my shy self shines through.
“Paul, why don’t you run along while Ev and I go for a little walk. I’ll meet you
back here in a little bit, kay, hun?” Macy and I quickly scamper away from the crowd and into her large courtyard.
“How’s the party so far?” Macy asks once we’ve made it outside,
“It’s… fine I guess. It’s my first one, I didn’t know what to expect.” Macy guides
me over to the concrete bench next to her water fountain and looks me directly in the eye.
“You’re crushing on Finn, aren’t you?”
“Umm, I guess so. There’s no way he’d ever talk to me. He’s already got girls who are all over him, he doesn’t need me.” Blushing, I turn away.
“Go talk to him. He NEEDS you, Evelyn.”
“Hmm, right after I become president. It’s not going to happen, Macy. Just accept it.”
Macy looks at me, stumped.
“Where are your parents, anyway?” I ask, changing the subject.
“Can I tell you a secret? They’re on a business trip in Chicago.” Macy almosts sounds proud of herself. My head fills with rage.
“Macy, we are in BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA, Macy! They aren’t even in this STATE!”
“I know, isn’t it great? I can do whatever I want, and they’re dumb enough that they don’t even notice that I did something like this when they get back!”
“Macy, you can’t have this kind of party. Not without your parents. Kids are probably drinking and smoking, and God knows what else!”
“Ev, settle down, loosen up for a night, have fun!”
“I can’t settle down, Macy, you know me.” My small hands are now balled into fists.
“Okay, then leave if you’re so uncomfortable!” Someone catches Macy’s eye from across the courtyard.
“Karen!! You made it!” Macy waves. She scurries over to the girl, who’s wearing in a yellow dress with red Mary Janes- the same as mine.
I wipe off a small tear from my cheek and and mess with my curled up-do. Stomach clenching, I look over and see that Finn has joined the circle, and is flirting with Macy. She smiles, laughs, and spins her hair with her fingers like a stereotypical fifteen-year-girl. Sadly, I’m not that, or Finn would be at my side at this moment.
Suddenly, Macy grabs Finn’s hand and runs him around the side of the house. Her other friends giggle and tease each other, pointing in the direction Macy and Finn headed. My stomach is so full of butterflies that it’s flying up into my throat. I stand up to confront Macy and Finn, but my timid, “good girl” self tells me I shouldn’t. Envy has taken over my brain, and I ball my hands into fists.
Macy knows I like Finn. She absolutely, positively knows that I have feelings for him.
Standing up, I stomp behind my bench and into the woods past Macy’s yard. I unbuckle my Mary Janes and slip them off my small feet. But I don’t cry. I, Evelyn Stanley, run. The dead Autumn leaves crunch crisply beneath my bare feet. The sharp branches snag my pale skin and tug and rip at my white dress. My curly, bronze hair flies wildly down my back and my feet burn from splinters and the rough ground. Tears do start to stream down my face and my mind starts to process what is truly going on. My best friend, Macy Landscott, just took advantage of me. Took Finn away from me at a PARTY. Everyone would be talking about this at school.
I keep running until I can’t see Macy’s courtyard or her cuddling up with Finn outside her house. Until the loud music and the off-key singing of the drunk teenagers cannot be heard.
Leaves crackle behind me and I know there is someone at my back. I quickly turn to see a young man’s figure. Tall, muscular, short hair, but I can’t make out a face.
“Who’s there?” he shouts. Loud, deep, and almost familiar.
“Why are you here?” I answer boldly, stomping my dainty foot.
A loud, nail-biting shriek escapes from the figure’s mouth and he collapses. Soon after, a fiery pain rips sharply through my lower back like a snake digging into its prey. I feel a steady stream of blood flow down my back and legs and I scream on top of my lungs. My knees lock and I fall to the ground, my entire body numb. It feels as if my spine has been violently ripped out of my body and thrown onto the ground, me coming right after it.
My eyes flutter closed as my body breaks down into a darkened world.
Is this death?
Am I dead?
I’m pretty sure I’m dead.
A loud BANG, almost like a giant metal gong startles me and I awaken from a long sleep. My back has been stitched up after my bloody wound and is still sore. The room I’m in is pitch black, but I can still sense people surrounding me. Heavy, quick breaths are abundant throughout the room, and my heartbeat quickens. Where in God’s name am I? I’d like to admit that I was feeling brave and rebellious in that moment, but I cannot tell a lie.
Besides my stitched up back, something else feels… different. Painful different. My face feels almost tightened and ripped up, as if a dog has gnawed on my face like a chew toy. Biting the inside of my cheek, I feel a rough surface that bothers my tongue.
I reach up to feel my pained face, but instead, I feel a hard, plastic-like surface. I shake my head and deny the fact that my face is now a hard, smooth surface.
What is on my face?
Have I been kidnapped?
Why and how did I get here?
I feel like I’m in some dumb horror movie where everyone is kidnapped and tortured until they die. Is that… what this is? My body shakes with fear as I slowly inch my hand up to touch my face again. It is hard and smooth once again. Stomach dropping, I see now that this is not just a dream. This is real. This is not an after-death experience.
My shaking hand runs up and down the side of my head. Thick thread lines the hard surface and suddenly I realize what this is.
There is literally a mask sewn onto my face. A MASK. I’m not sure if I should cry, scream, laugh, faint. With only small eye, nose and mouth holes, I am wearing a MASK. And why is it sewn on?! If I take it off, my face will be ripped off with it. This is sick. This is all just sick. This is cruel.
Once I also notice that my beautiful, long, curly hair has been shaved, I do truly shed a tear. What SICK minded person would do this to people?! Why ME? Has everyone else in this dark room noticed their masks? DOES anyone else have a mask?!
A loud, piercing scream of a young girl echoes throughout the humid, sticky space and many catch breaths are heard after. Not everyone was awake yet. Other people must’ve found their masks because yelps and shouts and roars and gasps cover the room with a blanket of pure horror and fear. I shiver.
My head hits the floor, hard, and my skull rattles. I don’t even notice because I’ve already entered the dark, gloomy world that I thought was death. I dream of my life in Bloomington...
I was just plain 15 year old Evelyn Stanley, the good girl who did everything perfectly and never got into trouble. My dad was a doctor at the nearest hospital and my mom stayed at home with me. We were a well-off family. We could go out to eat, I had very nice clothes, and I got to dance ballet once a week.
I went to school at Central High School in Bloomington, and I had met Macy at Hickory Grove Middle School, in 7th grade. Macy and I were inseparable. She lived three houses down from me, and we met up almost every day. Macy was so much fun then, she’d always be the outgoing one, which encouraged me to be braver. She’d always laugh, smile and was kind, especially to me.
Up until 9th grade- this year. This year her dad got a new job, a good one, that paid A LOT. It payed so much that they moved from the small house that had so many of our memories inside it to a giant one, a few blocks away. Yes, you may be thinking that I can still walk over there and meet with her. That is true, but something, well more like someone, was in the way. You see, in Central, all of the popular girls are filthy rich, and by coincidence, they all live on the same street, Camden Gardens. Macy’s street, how unfortunate. Suddenly all of the popular girls bombarded her, leaving me in the dust. The worst part was that she just let it happen, didn’t make an effort to include me.
So there I was. The unpopular good-girl without any friends. But it was when I was all alone that I noticed Finn Lavity. Well, I had NOTICED him before, but I started noticing him… differently. Now he was handsome, sweet, kind, funny, but I didn’t admit to anyone that I liked him before that night I told Macy. He was gorgeous. Dark hair, forest green eyes, pale skin, tall, fit figure. In my eyes he was perfect.
Another loud BANG wakes me up, but now the dull, yellow lights have flickered on. I still feel dazed and confused. Looking around, I see that everyone else who is around me has a sewn-on pearly white mask, too. Even though my mind has already processed this, my body shakes with fear. One person has ripped off their mask, and it it painful for me to look at. His face is covered in open wounds where the mask was a few minutes ago and his tan skin is ripped to pieces. His brown eyes remain open, but look pained and in shock. Others around him shiver and shake, looking around for any sort of help.
“ALL OF YOU!” shouts a fiery, roaring voice from above. Yelps of fear escape the mouths of those around me. Fixing my blurred vision upward, I see a muscular man with slicked black hair and pale skin standing on a metal platform about ten feet above us. He wears a white lab coat and black pants. His cheekbones are defined to the point where they look like little daggers wanting to pop up from underneath his skin. The thing that scares me the most, though, are his large, icy, pale blue eyes. They remind me of diamonds, but in an evil, cruel way. His slanted eyebrows and red, frowning lips tell me that we are going to be yelled at.
“STAND,” the man shouts, stomping his foot.
As we stand, I notice that I am wearing a white, skin tight jumpsuit and cloth shoes. I would never be able to be distinguished as a girl. I feel bare compared to my usual outfits, a dress or a skirt and Mary Janes or saddle shoes.
About one hundred bodies stand around me, scared as ever, awaiting the speech of this angered man. Everyone’s masked faces seem emotionless, the mask covers up any beautiful features like juicy lips or long eyelashes. We all look the same now, ugly, bald, and stripped of all feeling.
“YOU WILL CALL ME PROFESSOR. I AM NOT GOING TO SHARE MY NAME BECAUSE IF ANY OF YOU ESCAPE, THE POLICE WILL FIND ME. YOU WILL NOT SHARE YOUR NAMES EITHER, AND THAT IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH. ANOTHER THING YOU ARE FORBIDDEN TO DO IS REMOVE YOUR MASK. WHICH THIS YOUNG MAN HAS ALREADY DECIDED TO DO!” He points at the man who’s ripped his off, pulls a handgun out of his pocket, quickly aims, and shoots him directly in the forehead. He collapses onto the ground and everyone gasps and backs away quickly. A tall, built man backs into me and steps on my foot.
“Sorry,” he mutters under his breath.
This was the first of many deaths in the Plant.
Professor goes on to tell us that we will be working in this Plant we are in right now. We will be constructing a serum that will give certain humans a disease that peels away your skin until it’s gone, and you’re dead. He wanted to wipe out certain cities so he could build labs to do some sort of evil science crap. I honestly thought it would never work and that he’s just keeping us here because he’s a sick man wanting to do sick things to people. He splits us equally into working positions and shoves us away to start constructing this impossible serum.
I am sent to the Belt.
“This is where we will bottle the serum,” says a new man in a blue lab coat. We are standing in a musty, small room consisting of a black conveyer belt, a box of flasks, a box of syringes, and a horizontal tube above us.
“You all are the extras. We searched for workers for the Creation room and hand picked them. You are just a group of nobodies that were randomly chosen. The workers in the Creation room will be done working at 1am. The rest of you, 4am. You will be sent to the Sleeping Quarters then, and we start at 7am every morning. There is also the Steamer, where we cook the serum, and the Testing, where we test the serum.”
“You test it on PEOPLE?!” shouts a deep voice from the back of the Belt room.
“You shall not speak unless spoken to,” growls the man in the blue lab coat.
“But that’s just SICK!” shouts the voice again.
“You shut your mouth or I’ll shoot you young man.” He reaches in his pocket for his handgun.
“Then do it, I was going to kill myself anyway.”
The man in the lab coat looks stumped, “I’ll leave you to suffer now, but if you open your mouth again, I WILL shoot your face.”
The man goes on explaining how we bottle the fluid. The serum shoots out of the tube above our heads, and the liquid falls from tiny holes in the tube. We hold a small flask underneath, empty the flask into a syringe and send it to the Testing on a conveyer belt.
We are then put to work.
It takes a long time for the serum to come into through the tubes above us. I stand with my flask underneath the holes in the tubes, waiting to collect the serum.
“You’re a girl,” says a familiar deep voice next to me. It’s the shouting man from before. I look over to him.
“Why are you talking, you could get us killed?” I respond sharply, making sure my voice doesn’t creep over a whisper.
“Fiesty, are you?”
“I don’t think you realize what’s going on here. I have a mask sewn onto my face and am working for an illegal Plant that is making illegal serum. I have a giant line of stitches on my back from something that ripped into me and I can barely walk. I just witnessed an innocent person dying, and, oh yeah, I COULD GET SHOT AT ANY MINUTE.”
“You don’t think I’m scared as heck, too? You don’t have to get emotional, we all know how you feel right now.”
“EMOTION?! I don’t even have emotion anymore! This,” I say, pointing to the hard, plastic mask, “doesn’t GIVE me emotion. Yet another thing taken from me!”
“Jesus, woman, I just saw your nail polish and thought you were a girl.”
“My nail-” looking down, I realized that my chipped, red nail polish from Macy’s party still remains on my thin, delicate fingers. My hands have been shaking ever since I got here and I don’t think they’ll ever stop. He puts a large, strong hand over mine.
“Calm down sweetie. If you shut up, nobody is going to kill you.” he says sarcastically.
“Says you, you little-”
Gasps emerge around room and the boy next to me looks up. The orange liquid starts to stream slowly into the tubes. Picking up my flask, I once again put it a few inches beneath a hole. Suddenly, the liquid starts to stream very quickly like water in a hose. The change in speed surprises me and I lurch backward. The liquid spews from the hole I was under, and it pours onto my bare hand.
The pain is unbearable. My skin immediately reddens from the heat of it, but the scary part is the fact that my beautiful, pale skin is peeling right off my fingertips. My beautiful hands were the only body part I could see anymore. My hair was shaved, my face covered, my body hidden. Now even my hands were ugly.
I dare not scream in pain, for I know I will be shot if I do. But the boy next to me gasps, grabs my hand, and rubs it between his. I look up at the wooden ceiling, the pale lights flickering and making the trashed room look like a haunted house. My hand goes numb.
“Holy mother of God!” he whispers. “Are you...okay? No, I shouldn’t ask that because you’re going to yell at me.”
“I’m...I think-I think I need to…” I stutter for a minute, then pause. “I’m fine.” I whisper between clenched teeth.
The searing pain lessens and soon, it is 4am, time to rest. I am exhausted.
The man in the labcoat guides us to our sleeping quarters. The dark, cold room seems to howl and whisper like the deep woods.
Once everyone has filed in, the man slams the heavy, wooden doors and leaves us in the dark. Many people scurry around, shrieking and breathing heavily. I plop onto the ground as the chaos continues.
“EVERYONE SHUT UP!” a familiar voice bellows. It’s the boy that held my hand earlier in the belt. Everyone freezes, and the rooms becomes silent.
“We could be killed at any moment, so I suggest we all remain calm while we’re still alive. If that Professor guy comes in here and we’re all running around, I can promise you that there will be a gun fired. I know you want to be scared and timid about all of this, but we can’t do that. Being strong and hesitant is our only choice right now.”
A feeling comes over me, and suddenly, I do something I would never do back in Bloomington.
“I agree!” I shout. “We need to be strong. That’s the only way we’ll stay alive!”
Roars of excitement and pride erupt so loudly that I’m worried someone outside the thick, wooden doors will hear us. The lights then flicker on slowly, which starts another round of cheering. Someone had found a switch on the wall.
Looking over across the room, I can pick out the boy easily. His tall, muscular figure stands out, and I push my way through the crowd to see him. Somehow, he recognizes me right away.
“Thank you. I knew that was you back there,” his hand rests comfortably on my shoulder. This feels...right. I smile underneath my mask, hoping that somehow he’ll sense it. He must’ve, because he quickly pulls me into a firm hug. Butterflies rush through my body as I feel my body pressed up against his, firm and muscular. His abdomen hard as rock, yet warm and soft. Warm breath escapes onto my shoulder and a rush overcomes me.
“I’m scared.” the boy finally whispers. Just as I’m about to reply, the lights are shut out and everyone lays down to rest for a few hours.
I lay with my head on the boy’s chest and hear his steady breaths throughout the night.
Since the first day at the Plant, I have seen nineteen innocent people be shot and killed by Professor. Seven people have shared their names, none that I’ve recognized, though. They were all shot. Three people ripped off their masks. I recognized one as a young woman that lived in my neighborhood. She and the others were shot. That leaves the nine other innocent people that talked out of turn. They were all shot, and I saw every single one of them hit the ground with a loud, THUD.
People are still in shock, including me, and are near to starving. We are given two meals a day. In the morning, at 7am we eat one egg. In the evening, at 10pm, we eat broth. Surviving on that little food has made me moody, tired, and sore.
I feel my rough, thin hands as I walk down to the Belt. The boy walks beside me. We’ve become quite close. We’re the only people eachother talk to. My cloth shoes have many holes in them, and I have a few holes in the sleeves of my jumpsuit from sleeping on the hard, concrete floor of the Sleeping Quarters, although I’ve laid the same way with the boy every night since the first day. So many layers of skin on my hands have been burned off from the serum, and I worry that they’ll soon be down to nothing but bone.
“I wish we could share names. I know a lot about you, but I don’t know your name,” the boy finally says once we’ve made it to the Belt.
“I would’ve a while ago, but I’d be dead if I did.” I respond, getting out fifty syringes to start. Some of the other Masked, as I’ve liked to call them, have started getting out syringes as well.
“I feel like I’ve met you before,” he says, pointing his white masked face toward me. “We’ve been talking for about, what? three weeks, and I feel like I’ve known you forever.”
“I don’t think we’ve met. I would’ve remembered you.”
“Is that flirting I sense?”
“Nuh, uh. We’d be dead if they caught us flirting with each other.”
“It’s all about survival in your mind, isn’t it?”
“A bit, I guess. I don’t want to die.”
“You’re so uptight!”
“That’s what my friend told me.” I say, thinking of Macy, who’s probably wondering why I’m nowhere to be found.
“I don’t blame you, it’s hard NOT to be uptight around here.”
I pause for a few moments as I think about my life before the Plant. Finn, Macy, the party that night. If I hadn’t snuck out none of this-
“Are you okay?” The boy snaps me out of my daydream.
“No.” I say to him for the first time, “I’m not.”
For the first time in my life, I had truly connected with a BOY. Yes, a real live BOY. I was never going to get anywhere with Finn, (well now that I’m here I have no chance) but with this boy, I knew he was actually interested in me. The way he always talked to me, asked me questions, and even hugged and comforted me. He was daring, yes, and bold.
He could get us killed in an instant.
Thoughts ran through my head that week. I can’t see him and he can’t see me. Maybe that’s good, maybe that’s bad. If we die here, we would die without seeing each other. If we got out alive, we WOULD see each other. What if he was ugly? What if HE thought I was ugly? Heck, I’m bald, and I have a mask sewn onto my face. What could be worse than this?
And plus, I’ve SLEPT with him. Okay, well not exactly SLEPT SLEPT with him, but he’s offered to be my pillow every night. He’s so kind to me, it seems effortless.
Suddenly, in my terribly messed up, ruined, unreal life, I had a glimmer of hope that was found in a boy I’ve never seen and have only known for 45 days.
Later that day, in the Dining Hall, the boy dragged me off after he threatened a new man in a lab coat that he would do his business right on the floor. The clueless man excused both of us, obviously not knowing the amount of people that have already tried to escape.
Laughing, he pulled my hand over to the Sleeping Quarters.
What are we doing?
Are we going to SLEEP SLEEP?
I’m so nervous…
I’m with him. I feel confident and comfortable.
Once we entered the room, the boy quietly shut the large door.
“What are we doing?” I laugh as he grabs my swollen, beaten up hand and twirls me around.
“We are going to sit here and get away from it all. Just you and me.”
He stands across from me, and I can’t help but stare. I wonder how he’s stayed healthy looking. He’s ripped off the sleeves of his jumpsuit, unveiling huge biceps and tan skin. Gorgeous. Mine. Maybe?
“I hate life. I hate all of this. I just want to get away!” He shouts out of the blue.
“I WISH I COULD DIE INSTEAD OF BEING TREATED LIKE AN ANIMAL AND BEING FED LITTLE TO NOTHING EVERY DAY AND SEEING PEOPLE GET KILLED RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!” I shriek even louder. Suddenly, my happiness has withered away to nothing and my brain feels like muck. I do want to die. My skin is being burned off every day. I’m being fed almost nothing. No one is kind or even sympathetic, except for this boy. I soon start to shiver, breathe heavily, and that is followed by crying.
The boy and I both cry. We cry until everyone else files into the Sleeping Quarters and the lights are turned off. We hug and sob as the night dwindles on, me laying on his muscular chest, and him humming a sweet lullaby to me…
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said 'This is eternity,
And all I've promised you.'
Today for life on earth is past,
But here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day's the same way
There's no longing for the past.
But you have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things,
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you're free.
So won't you take my hand
And share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart.
Somehow, even after the lullaby sung in the broken, cracked, yet comforting voice of the boy, I woke up screaming. He woke up too, holding me close and whispering to me soft shhs in my ear and rocking me back and forth. How could he want such a disgusting thing like me?
Then came our 47th day at the Plant. Only thirty-two of the one hundred Masked that came to the Plant were alive, and I was thankful to be one of them. Professor was going nowhere with this system. We were dropping like flies and the Plant did not run smoothly. Yes, it sucked to be here, to be enslaved here, to feel worthless. But I was lucky to be alive.
Now 18 people shared their names, 31 spoke out of turn, only 1 ripped his mask off, and 17 were killed in the Testing room. The bodies of those people were dragged out into the hot summer sun and were visible from the only window in the Plant- the dining room (more like the dump with a few blocks of firewood for stools).
It was hard NOT to look, but also painful TO look. Some of the ones from long ago had no skin left and were always being eaten away at by bugs and rodents. Some of the newer ones laid there so fresh and new, they almost looked like they were sleeping. The scary ones to look at were the ones that died in the Testing. Hair, clothes, limbs, eyes, and teeth all still there, but skin and masks gone. It was almost like their skin was a full body suit and someone had just taken it off of them. It was horribly disturbing, looking at the corpses while eating, and many of the Masked turned their stools away as if not to look at the bodies. But I stared straight at them. The boy encouraged me not to, but nothing would alleviate the nightmares I’ve been having, so terrible I wake up in the middle of the night screeching and waking up others. So I decided to start looking at them. Nothing could harm me now. Enough has already. I am completely broken, except for one shard. And that piece is the boy.
I walk into the Belt, where a new dead body is being hauled out of the room. I don’t mind. I’m so incredibly broken that no thought disturbs me anymore.
“Hello again, Girl.” The Boy said blankly as I set up beside him. I took out 50 syringes of the box beneath us, and set them neatly on the table below the tube.
“Hello.” I reply and I notice his jet-black hair is starting to grow back again.
“I want to know your name so, so bad.” I frown as he complains.
“Can I ask you something?” he says, looking over at me. Even with his disgustingly white mask, I can tell his face looks concerned.
“Can you come with me?” He grabs my hand, whipping me through the dark, musty hall to the Sleeping Quarters, once again.
“Boy, I can’t do this. What if we get-” he cuts me off with a firm hand over my mouth and a jerk into a dark corner in the hall. A white lab coated man walks by slowly to the Belt. Once he passes, the Boy continues to drag me to the room.
“We’re missing our shifts! They’ll find out that we’re gone, and they’re going to find us!”
“They won’t.” He says slyly and opens the wooden door for me.
“Why are we here AGAIN?!” I shout, “You’re going to get us killed! You were the one on the first night that told everyone that we needed to be hesitant about the things we do!”
He stands there motionless.
“Will you do something with me?”
“What? If it involves anything kill-worthy, I’m not interested.”
“Girl. Please. Close your eyes for a minute. Don’t open them no matter what.”
“If you’re going to rape me, I’m done with you.”
“I’m not going to rape you,” he laughs, “now shh…”
Suddenly, an unimaginable pain of ripping overcomes me, and my hands are drawn to my face. My skin is demolished, ripped to pieces, and my bony hands are covered in thick, red, blood.
“BOY! I WILL KI-”
“AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!” a terribly loud and painful shout escapes the Boy’s mouth, and his mask falls to the floor, covered in blood. His back is turned to me.
“WHY DID YOU DO THIS?!” I shriek, my face on fire.
“They found out.”
“That we’ve been sneaking around.”
His breathing picks up pace, and body shaking, he turns around to face me.
“Please close your eyes, I don’t want you to see me like this!” I shout.
I close mine, too. I don’t want to see him like this either.
“I still don’t understand why you did this.”
“That man that we passed in the hall? He was on his way to shoot us. Both of us. They’ll find us soon enough, and they WILL kill us both. I just-I- I just wanted us to see each other before… you know.” His breathing starts becoming uneven, and I can tell he’s crying.
“I love you.” he finally says through tears. My stomach soars into my chest and a smile dares to creep up on my face. I am in love. I’ve never had a feeling like this before and I need to see him. I realize that I don’t care what he looks like.
“I love you, too.” Both sets of eyes pop open and we gaze at each other for the first time.
My heart races. Beautiful, forest green eyes, tan skin, black hair, cherry red lips. He smiles brightly and happily with pearly white teeth, the ones I’ve fallen in love with so many times before.
I recognize him, he recognizes me, but before I can say anything, he grabs my face and pulls it into his. Our lips meet, his soft and full, mine probably stiff and chapped. We sit there awkwardly for a few seconds, me having no experience at this, but he starts to move his lips and I follow his lead. We twist and turn our heads, making it more intense, and soon he surprises me with his tongue pressing at my lips, asking for an entrance. I grant it, and open my lips slightly. My hands, still down at my sides, slide up his muscular body and run slowly through his hair. My tongue then finds his, and we move quickly and in sync. Before I know it, we are both exhausted and breathing heavily. The pain on my face is almost completely gone.
We continue even when two men storm through the doorway and load their
handguns. I want to spend the last moments of my life with him, our lips locked. With two gunshots, I take my last breath, slowly. His lips detach from mine and a loud THUD is heard. Looking down, I see two bullet holes in Finn Lavity’s head and I collapse.