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Dancing in the Dark
It shouldn’t be like this. One country shouldn’t be plagued with poverty and disease while the next one over is overflowing in riches and success. One country shouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck while the one nextdoor is struggling to fit all their cars into one garage. It shouldn’t be like this, yet it is. Everyone turns a blind eye, ignoring the tragedies they see, but not me. I’m going to put an end to it.
I’m fortunate enough to have been born in Creinia where everyone is living this perfect life. A life full of support and love. A life full of happiness and peace. A life full of freedom and success. Ostana, only 10 miles away, is the complete opposite. Their country is riddled in a darkness that seems like it cannot be lifted under any circumstances. Decades of corrupt presidents and politicians obsessing over their prosperity and ignoring the voices of their country has left Ostana in an immense devastation. So much so, their neighboring country looks like a complete paradise if you compare them side by side. The worst part about it is that no one does anything about it. Not a single person. Absolutely nothing. But that’s where I come in.
“Sela, can you hear me?”
Sprawled across my bed, I had been in deep thought about what our next move would be until I heard Xavier’s voice flowing through my room from my computer. Upon hearing his voice, I turn my head to the side. Seeing my computer screen light up seven feet away, I jump off my bed and scramble over to my desk while quickly shoving my in-ear into my ear and leaned my arms on the desk.
“Is it ready yet?” Anticipating his response, I can feel the soft thrumming in my chest begin to pick up speed. It’s finally happening. This is real.
“Once I finish decoding the password for the backdoor, we’re in,” said Xavier, keyboards clacking in the background. “Should take just another minute. All you have do is wait for my signal. When I say go, make sure the SNS file is open and receiving.”
“Okay, will do. I’ll be right back.” I turn to my computer so I could have the file ready. You’re probably a little confused, so I’ll backtrack a bit. Xavier and I had been best friends all of our lives. Living next door to each other, our parents knew each other and we walked to school every morning together since kindergarten. Here we are, 11 years later, still as close as ever. Several weeks ago, Xavier and I were able to maneuver our way into the security system that blocked communication between Ostana and Creinia. Temporarily disabling it, we were able to assemble information that we had gathered from 50 years ago. Information about one single country. Absalom. Before, there was no Ostana or Creinia. It was just Absalom. A mix of both present day countries. People in Ostana and Creinia today see everything as black or white. It could only be one thing or the other. There were no shades of grey. But then, in Absalom, there was the Fall. Somewhere along the line, an incredibly influential politician had messed up bigged time. His mistakes had resulted in a divide of the citizens of Absalom that spawned unresting violence by the people. In the efforts to contain it, Ostana was born. Of course, no one knows this. Except for Xavier and me. All sources on Absalom had been destroyed, ruined, burnt, in an attempt to conceal a violent mistake so no future generation could repeat it. With good intentions, a country far worse was left in its wake. While everything physical was ruined, it seemed that someone had forgotten to get rid of the digital evidence. Within the disabled security system, all the newspaper clippings and pictures and first-hand accounts had digital copies. Despite the fact that no one wanted to remember Absalom as an entity, they would be forced to remember what life was like 50 years back. And no one could remember that. Not with the older generation dying and growing weak. None of them would talk of the fallen country so as to not worry themselves or others. But soon, everyone would. Ostana is an entire country so enveloped in its own violence and crime that it has no way to dig itself out. If everyone else was going to pretend nothing was wrong, at least Xavier and I were going to do something about it. Even if it cost our lives. Whatever the outcome, this was something worth dying for.
“Sela, are you there?” Reaching my hand up to turn up the volume, I tapped the in-ear.
“I’m here and the SNS file is open and ready.”
“I’m transferring all the documents right now. It should take less than a minute.”
This is really happening. Every second seemed to infinitely slow down as I could hear the blood flowing in my head and my body pulsing with the adrenaline of preparing for the unthinkable. Slowly getting up to keep my calm, I spoke softly into the in-ear.
“It’s done. We can finally do what should’ve been done ages ago.”
Not waiting for a response from Xavier, I ripped my in-ear out and let it bounce onto the desk. I ran out of my room, grabbing my jacket on the way out, ready to meet Xavier for what was next.
3 Months Later
This is how it should be. Everything had happened surprisingly fast once our plan had been set into motion. With the release of the file, everyone got to see how the world should really function. By hacking the computers and projectors in all of the cities, we were able to simultaneously broadcast the old pictures from Absalom. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of copies of the files rained down on cities from the rooftops we threw them off of. Some claimed it as propaganda, a publicity stunt by some reckless anonymous teens. Yet as it’s controversy rose, more and more people began to argue the validity of the files. Seemingly, our plan worked because we had been able to successfully unite the two nations. Before, there had been a sense of imbalance hanging in the air, the way water hangs in the air hours before it rains. They way there’s too much of one thing and then not enough of something else. The world had always felt like there was a missing piece to it, something that should’ve been there even though it evidently wasn’t. Now, it didn’t. Ostana and Creinia had been too light, too dark. They were two utterly different worlds, but all had been one and done. There was no consideration or variation. Three months later, Ostana and Creinia are no longer in the present. They were a thing of the past and in its wake, they left a united nation balanced between light and dark; Absalom, born again. It wasn’t perfect, and it never would be. But that’s exactly what we had wanted.