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They wanted her to make the Decision. The way they sat, legs crossed, narrowed eyes, watching her non-existent movement. Make The Decision, their prickly intertwined fingers said. You must decide, not later now. Now. Now. NOW. She hated this. All this. Them. The Decision. The entire blank, empty room. She hated every thought in her head, in their heads. All mixing up, twisting around closing against her. Walls and ceilings slowly beginning to collapse crushing her inside a little constricted hole.
“Well, Miss Evero?” the red lipstick of the Supervisor shined as she spoke, reflecting the light in the room. The red faced, neck-tied Assistant, tapped the tablet on the table in impatience.
“We need your answer Miss Evero.” She said, uncrossing and recrossing her perfectly enhanced legs, complimented by the red heels she wore. The Supervisor’s perfect face suddenly began to blur. Oh no. Falling over, I’m falling over. She thought as she tittered sideways out of the hard metal chair. Little black dots invaded her vision, as she toppled over onto the perfectly tiled floor. Through a small enlightened hole of non-blackened vision, she watched from under the table as the Supervisor stood up, shouting for a guard, the little hole closed and she was drowned in a black pool.
Miss Mhe Evero. She glared down at the introduction of the request form, in her braceletted hand hating the neatly printed Miss at the head of the letter. She was no Miss she was Mhe Evero. Not Miss Mhe Evero. All stuck up and stuffy like the rest of the handlers at Sector. She was not employed or married, or in pre-Sector, she was not any of those things therefore she was no Miss.
“What does say dear?” her Mother’s sudden entrance into the silent white room made her jump a little. Mhe place the paper on her bedded lap, and looked up at her mother, who sat down on the edge of the bed, peering over her side at the official letter from the Sector.
“They already made a renewal, and now they are requesting a follow-up appearance.” She could hear the disgust in her own voice as she spoke these words but her Mother heard no such thing, and instead excitedly clapped her hands together.
“This is so good! I’m so glad they requested a renewal. I was worried they wouldn’t.” her Mother quickly stood, black heels clicking against the tiled floor. She was glowing with the same excitement that first overcame her when Mhe’s Decision was near, and now. Now got to go through it all again.
Mhe picked at her fingers on top of the hospital blanket in frustration as
her mother began to talk of her next Decision date. She dug in her snake skin purse talking the entire time as she pulled her phone from the depths of her bag. What date? What time? What should we have you wear? How early do we need our paper work together? Is our Supervisor going to change? Her voiced glistened through the enormous room as she began addressing every detail of Mhe’s next appointment.
“Mom,” Mhe tried to get her attention. She had to tell her. Had to tell her own Mother. But she just kept talking scrolling through different dates on her phone.
“Mom!” Mhe felt her own voice get louder. Her Mother put the phone up to her ear, with an annoyed glance at Mhe.
“Not now dear Mommy is setting up a dress fitting for you. It’s not every day that we can re-plan the best day of your life!” She chirped, smiling as she walked out of the hospital bed room into the white hallway.
Mhe plunked back against the pillow, feeling utterly defeated.
She couldn’t. She couldn’t do it. She had tried, tried to tell the Supervisor but look where she was now. In a hospital, being treated for a nonexistent condition, because her entire community believed she had gotten nervous, not frustrated, gotten the sick, not indignant, gotten twitchy, not rebellious. And yet…..and yet here Mhe Evero sat, again questioning herself, her own methods of defense. She had tried over and over again to convince herself that she was just unsure of her Decision. That she knew what she wanted, subconsciously, but her subconscious wasn’t willing to tell her yet. Maybe all she needed was more time. And now Mhe had it.
In her heart of heart, Mhe knew that she would never be able to decide no matter how long she waited, and lied, telling her Mother she might choose this or that just made her feel worse. Maybe that’s why when she finally got her moment to Decide, she passed out.
Mhe rubbed the her temples, and smiled at a nurse who entered the room to give her some medication. The nurse returned the smile and handed her a few pills with a glass of water.
“You’re the blackout girl aren’t you?” The nurse asked timidly, taking the glass when Mhe had finished swallowing the pills.
“Yeah, that’s me, the one who passed out during the Decision.” Mhe crinkled her nose in annoyance as the nurse chuckled.
“Trust me sweetie, plenty of people have passed out or thrown up or had a panic attack making the Decision. It is the most important day of our lives, I would be surprised if no one ever freaked.” The Nurse laughed and smiled again as she turned to leave Mhe to her thoughts.
This is what they had all told her. She had no Choice it was this day that was the most important. The most important day of her life….. to everyone but her.
“Wait,” she surprised herself by calling the nurse back.
“Do you know….has anyone ever not decided. Someone who refused?” the nurse gave her an odd look, and uncomfortably scratched the back of her pinned hair.
“Well of course. Everyone knows there are those slightly mistakenly programmed individuals, who do not completely understand the Decision. But they are reprogrammed to understand, and then they can easily decide.” She paused for a second, looking down at Mhe, her eyes twitching back and forth in indecision, “sometimes, they can’t be helped though so the Sector has them Prorogated.” Mhe felt her heart swing into her stomach; the room was collapsing on top of her again. The white walls were closing in and she felt like she couldn’t breathe. The Nurse forced a grin at her and turned to leave.
“But don’t worry dear,” she said as got to the doorway, “as long as you know what you’re going to Decide you’ll be fine.” She walked out leaving Mhe to sit in shock. Prorogated. That is what would happen to her if she wouldn’t decide. No one, not her parents or instructors or mentors had ever addressed
the idea of not Deciding. Of what happens when someone refuses.
Prorogated. How could they have never addressed that part of the Decision. They had always talked of the good parts of the Decision. The money the notoriety, the acceptance. When they talked of it they always talked of the wonders and the happiness. She had always known there was something behind all the Shine. The working, abiding slaves who became willing to be born to work and die when no longer could they work, were the infected of an accepted meritocracy that plagued everyone who made the Decision. Those slaves, those zombies went along with every idea the Sector had ordained them to think and agree with and did it without question or twitch or twinkle of defiance. She couldn’t do it. She wouldn’t fall into that empty hole of conformity-nothing that the Sector pretended to fill with individuality-something. That’s why they had the Decision. Made the entire population feel like they were in control, when really all the strings were pulled by the Sector’s keyboards. They would bow down to the Sector, then convince themselves it was their choice to bow when really everything they did was already deemed acceptable by the Sector.
And now…..Now as Mhe leaned over the side of the bed and stared out the smudged glass of the hospital window at the mechanical everything below, she realized she would never be able to agree. To Decide. To bow down and in turn affirm that the Sector was justified in their control. Mhe shut her eyes to the glass and mess down below.
“No.” She whispered barely hearing her own voice among the shiny, grimy mechanics below her.
On October ninth Mhe Evero walked down the long hallway to the Decision room, wearing a perfectly fitted red dress, her mother following her talking the entire way and handing her different pieces of paper work to give to the Supervisor. As they got to the door her mother kissed her and handed her one last sheet of paper, wishing her luck as she opened the door to the Decision Room and closed it behind her.
Same room. Same white walls, no windows, one metal table with three metal chairs, two already filled with the same Supervisor and Assistant as the last time. Mhe took two steps toward the table, already covered in paper work. She laid her pages down but didn’t sit on the cold metal chair. The female Supervisor took the pages and flipped through them, coyly eyeing Mhe.
“Miss Evero, it’s good to see you again. It seems as if you have all your paper work in. If you will sit we can get started.” Mhe looked the supervisor right in the eye. Fearless. Undaunted. Rebellious.
“I’d rather stand.” Both crimpled their faces at her, incredulously of her behavior, but they didn’t request that she sit again.
“So Miss Evero...” the Supervisor said folding her hands together and leaning back. “What is your decision? Please state the name and code.” Mhe looked at her, looked at the Assistant.
“I feel sorry for you, sending people, whose lives have hardly begun, to work for a pointless cause, just giving themselves to the Sector without giving it a second thought. I could never live with such a burden on my back. I truly do feel sorry for you Supervisor.” The woman sat up slowly, a cold look in her dark eyes.
“Please state the name and code of your Decision Miss Evero.” Her voice had dropped a few decibels, and her muscles had tightened in shock.
“You do realize what you’re doing, don’t you? By not deciding we have the authority to turn you over to the Sector.” The Supervisor pursed her perfect res lips and dug her perfect red nails into the metal table.
“So I am going to ask you one more time. Please state the name and code of your Decision.”
“Get stuffed.” The Supervisor and the Assistant stood as if they were one collective mind
in two bodies.
“Mhe Evero,” The Supervisor mashed her teeth as she pulled a black device from under the table, “by order of the Sector and Act 103
you are under reprogramnation for crimes against the Sector and society.” Supervisor clicked the button and Mhe collapsed to the floor, powerful electric shocks echoing through her veins.
“Go ahead and reprogram me!” she screamed from under the table as the Supervisor’s feet moved toward her.
“Prorogate me! It won’t do any good!” She tasted blood on her lips.
‘No matter what you do to me, I will not change.” Even though she was passing, blackness again taking over her entire vision, this time for good, her voice was becoming louder.
“I will not and will never decide.”