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Into The Future
It was Friday morning, and my alarm was going off. I really didn’t want to get out of bed, let alone go to class. The alarm was getting really annoying though. I hated the new download that all teenagers had to get last month. There had been a lot of kids skipping classes and going out to the Forest, and whenever a large number of kids get together, the Teachers know. When they know something is going on, they put a stop to it. Their solution was to make it mandatory for all students to download a new system into their feed when they got home on November 12th. This new system was an internal alarm that would get louder until the student got out of bed, and set their Tracker for the school. Once you set your tracker, you have no choice except to go where you set it for.
I opened my eyes slowly and transitioned from night vision to enhanced day vision, and shifted my eyes to the left to scroll to my alarm page. I wanted to hit snooze, but that automatically gives you a point for the day. Being late is punishable, in Woot. I flipped from my alarm page to my Tracker, and entered to code for EJCL, my own personal hell. After the “Calculating” drone made its noise, my alarm shut off. I am pretty sure that the best part of my morning was getting that stupid alarm to turn off…
I rolled out of bed and stood in front of my Wall. I placed my hand on the cold metal square in the center of the wall, and felt the tingle in my fingers as it processed my identity.
“Good morning, Joy. How can I be of assistance?”
I stifled a yawn and replied. “Good morning Alyosha. I need to get dressed for school. I think today I want to look nice. It’s a Friday afterall, and maybe I’ll see Bryce today…”
“Ok, young Miss. How about this?” Alyosha asked.
I felt my night clothes disappear, and the warmth of the System’s fresh clothes materialize on my body. I opened my eyes, and looked into the mirror that was now stationed on my Wall. I was wearing a hot pink, low cut t-shirt, and tight jeans that went to the floor. On my feet, Alyosha had made a pair of white flip flops with a heel. The heel paired with the long jeans made me look much taller.
“Hmmm…Can we do a light blue shirt instead, Aly?”
“Of course, Miss. Is this better?”
“Much. Thank you, Aly.”
I walked from the Wall into the bathroom and went to the mirror. I pushed the button on the side of the mirror, and my option screen slid into view. I selected hair first. I looked at my choices, and decided on straight hair, pulled up on top, with a slight poof. My great grandma, Calista, calls it a “Bump-it do.” I don’t really understand what that means, but she laughs every time she sees it. I figured that it was something simple, but cute, in case I saw Bryce. After I made my selection, the extendable arm of the Hair Dresser Bot came out of the side wall and quickly poofed my hair to perfection. Next, I wanted to do my make-up. I thought that bronze eye shadow, brown eyeliner, and three coats of mascara would do the trick. I entered my combination into the application box and pressed enter. The Appearance Bot appeared and got to work on my face. I think that the Appearance Bot is my favorite part of the mornings. Every day it cleans, scrubs, and then buffs my face to perfection. Great Grandma Calista says she wishes that there had been an Appearance Bot when she was alive, because there used to be things called “zits.” I’ve never seen one, and I don’t know what it is, but the name makes it seem really unpleasant.
After I was sure that I looked perfect for the day at school, I rode the track to the kitchen, where I made my choices for breakfast. I was feeling kind of sad because the last of the organic whole grain was used up last year. From what I understand, there had been problems with old style crops for a long time, on Earth, and the growing grain was in danger. Apparently, the quality of the soil was deteriorating from the over planting, and it got to the point where it couldn’t sustain the plants. After civilization had been moved to the other planets, like Mars and Mercury, all of Earth was turned into farm land. It had been about 250 years, when finally the Earth couldn’t produce anymore crops. It was a sad day for me when I couldn’t eat my favorite organic toast.
According to Grandma, there used to be a lot of shortages of things on Earth. She is the only person I can talk to who was around when people still lived on Earth. Even though I have never met her, because she no longer lives in the mortal world, I love hearing her stories. She calls me every couple days on the Spectra-Cell. I don’t know how it works, but only the wealthiest families can get one. They are a sort of communication portal to the Other World. I guess that means I come from a wealthy family…
Anyways, Grandma told me about how when she was 26, and lived on Earth, all of the fuel for their cars was used up. The “gas” as they called it, was completely used, and they couldn’t just make more. For about a year they tried to search for more fuel, as well as trying to create some gas substitute that would work in the existing vehicles, to no avail. About two years later, the government of the United States discovered that a country in the East, Saudi Arabia, had been hiding reserves of oil. The U.S tried to intervene and retrieve the oil, but as they were planning the intervention, the Saudi government burned all the oil. They had the mindset that if they couldn’t use their own resource, nobody could. That was the real end to the fossil fuel.
After recalling the story about fuel that Grandma Calista had told me, I wondered if somewhere there was a horde of organic grain that nobody wanted to share with me. I figured that there probably was…somewhere. My moment of speculation passed, and I looked in the fridge for something to eat. I gazed at the hundreds of buttons on each shelf and panel, the decided I wanted scrambled egg whites, a bowl of fruit, oatmeal (non organic…ugh), and a glass of juice. I pressed the buttons for each of my selections, and pressed “make”. I heard the “hummm” of the Creator generating my breakfast and tapped my foot impatiently. I was starving by the time the 15 seconds was up and my food was ready. The tray slid from the side of the fridge, and the food was arranged neatly. I asked the House Bot to carry my tray to the table so I wouldn’t spill. I sat down in our brand new crater chairs, which are super comfy, and ate my food.
Alyosha is accessible anywhere in the house, and since she is my Personal Bot she responds to my voice.
“Alyosha, will you please pack my bag for class today?”
“Yes, young Miss. I will pack it now,” Alyosha replied.
I grabbed my bag from my Wall as I was heading out the door. Finally, my day was beginning. As I stepped from the porch I signaled for my Bubble to pick me up. I waited until exactly the right moment to take the final step. If you don’t wait until your Bubble is close enough, it will take a while for it to catch you because of zero gravity. As soon as you are off the porch, the artificial gravity is gone, and you are left to the mercy of space.
My Bubble zoomed up and caught me before I floated away. As soon as the capsule door sealed, my Feed changed automatically to my Tracker page. I hated watching my little GPS dot all the way to school, so I flipped my page to Spacebook and read through the statuses of all my friends…nothing much of interest today. Wait! I lied. Today was Bryce’s birthday. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten. Today was the first day of December, and I had been looking forward to it so I would have a good excuse to strike up conversation with Bryce. I sent a quick message on my Feed, to Alyosha. I asked her to apparate the gift I had made for Bryce to my Bubble. Her reply was almost instant, and suddenly the wrapped box appeared in my lap. I thanked Aly, and smiled a little. Today was going to be a good day.
I got to EJCL High School 10 minutes before the alarm for class sounded. I knew that Bryce would be by his locker at that time, so I took the gift inside with me. I walked down the MST hallway, the hall for the smart kids, and went to my locker first. I placed my bag on the hook, and smiled when I saw that Aly had packed me a lunch. I took the sack out and put it on the top shelf of my locker. I loved when Aly made me a surprise lunch, because she always knew exactly what I was in the mood for. After getting my things situated, I made my way farther down the hall, towards Bryce’s locker. My breath caught when I first saw him by his locker. He was always stunningly handsome, but today, for some reason, he was almost glowing! His blue eyes seemed almost turquoise instead of the sky blue I remembered, and his hair, a little more golden than before. It hit me then, that it was his 17th birthday. 17 was the age when guys went through their final change. They started to take after their father a little more, and were almost always devilishly handsome afterwards.
After I drew in the breath that he stole, I regained my composure and walked towards him, with what I hoped seemed to be confidence. He looked up at me and smiled, a big, bright, smile. I felt my knees go weak, and my heart skip a beat. I hoped he couldn’t hear the pounding of my heart in my chest. As I drew closer, I noticed how good he smelled. It was almost intoxicating. I felt giddy, and maybe almost drunk from the scent. Only when I got within appropriate gift-giving distance, did my head clear and allow me the think.
“Happy Birthday Bryce. I made you a little present…” I said with a new found confidence.
“Hey Joy! Well thanks! You didn’t have to. I’m sure it’ll be amazing… Anything from y-y-you would be amazing,” he stuttered.
My heart soared and I beamed at him. Maybe today is my day! I thought that maybe he finally liked me as more than a friend.
“It’s no problem, really. I had been planning to give you something for a while, actually,” I added. Crap. I couldn’t believe I just let that slip. Reverse….reverse!
“Oh really?” Bryce smiled again. “I can’t wait to open it…. Hey Joy?”
“Yeah?” I asked.
“Umm…I was thinking…and I have been waiting for the right time to ask you this.”
My heart was ready to explode!
“Will you go to prom with me?”
“Yes, yes, yes! I would love to. Actually, I can’t wait,” I replied with gusto.
I knew that today was going to be a great day! I knew it when I woke up! I talked to Bryce, gave him his Birthday present, and he asked me to prom. What more could I want. Well…that’s a rhetorical question. I could want him to ask me to be his girlfriend, but that could wait. For now, I just had to wait for prom. Maybe he would ask me then. I had been dreaming of this since middle school. Today was perfect.