All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
“It’s predetermined. Everything should be decided for them.” He spread his hands on the table in front of him. “When people are faced with choices, they choose wrong. Human interaction is necessary but if we control it, then we have the upper hand. People are rooted in fear so, we show them that we are protecting them with this pill.” The board looked at him with an equal amount of confusion and satisfaction. “Enimapod is our latest pill. It controls feelings, emotions, thoughts… it will make them numb to the outside world.”
“Are you suggesting we have predetermined lives and control the rest with pills?” A woman crossed her arms in disbelief.
“Exactly and if someone challenges it, we’ll change their dosage of Enimapod and maybe change what their future looks like. Perhaps make it a bit shorter.” The man released a grin. “Of course we don’t take it. We merely control it.” A man from across the room stood up.
“Redan has never looked better.” he raised his glass. “To the future.” And with that, they all raised their glasses and drank.
I opened the door to the house lit up like a Christmas tree. Music blared from the inside making me shake. The AFD (Advanced Future Determiners) said I was a ‘party girl’ so every Friday I went to the biggest party on the block. The party was never fun until I got there; I was told so. I could feel the house shake, causing a strange sensation to build up inside of me. Before I could analyze what it was, Harry came up to me. He was my future partner; it said so in my description. Harold Weinberg was an average male who ran every party in Redan. He had red hair and deep brown eyes. I saw his plastic smile plastered on his face.
“Hello, Brooke.” He said while avoiding my eyes.
“Hello, Harry.” I took a step closer to him as he took one back.
“Our instructions say you’re supposed to stay the night here.” I nodded.
“I noticed that. I wake up and leave without saying goodbye in the morning at 7:45 am.” Harry nodded. His smile was exactly the same as when he approached me. “I will meet you in your room at 2 am.” With that, he walked away and left me alone in the room of bodies who would never remember this party in the morning. I walked through the house that I knew well. To my right, in the kitchen by the drinks was Terry. Terry was described as my best friend who spent too much time making food and beverages. She had brown straight hair which was tied up in a ponytail at every party.
“Hello, Brooke.” She turned her focus from organizing the drinks to me. Her smile was smaller than Harry’s and her blueish eyes were bigger. “I was told to ask you about Harry.”
“Oh,” I said while helping her organize and hand out the food to the other party goers. “I have to sleep here tonight.”
“They must want you to progress with him.” I nodded.
“He is my partner. We have four children in the future.” Something bubbled up inside of me again. I pushed it down and shifted my focus back on Terry.
“Makes sense. AFD knows what they are doing.” I nodded again. My description said I should nod a lot.
The party came and went. I saw many people I recognized but I was only supposed to say hello to the select few. The house cleared out leaving only a few lingering bodies. They must have been instructed to stay here too, I thought. The clock read 1:59 am which meant it was time for me to go up into Harry’s room. I opened the door at 2 am and he was standing, waiting for me.
“Hello, Brooke,” Harry said while staring into my eyes. They looked blank to me and I’m not sure why. “I received the instructions for tonight.” He always was in charge of the instructions. “It says we are supposed to fall asleep in the bed with only undergarments. Next time we will progress further.” I closed the door and took off my top layer. He turned away and laid in bed. He was always on my left side as we slept. I climbed into the bed and laid under the sheets. Harry was far enough away from me that I felt as if I were alone. Sleep overcame me quickly and I imagined what my future would hold. It wasn’t hard to imagine… I already knew what would happen. But a small, very small, part of me was still curious. I wonder if curiosity is in my description.
Light poured through the blinds waking me up from my deep slumber. I rolled over to see that Harry was gone. I swore I was supposed to leave before him but it’s very possible they changed our instructions and I didn’t notice. Quickly, I glanced at the clock on the table next to me. The green light up blocky numbers read 8:23 am. I shot up and ran to the window. I was supposed to leave at 7:45.
“Oh no,” I muttered to myself. I threw on my clothes and ran out. I couldn’t believe I slept later than prescribed. I started a light jog to make it to my work. I worked at the Lab which was about a 9-minute walk from here. As I ran, I could feel the wind through my hair. It made me feel something but I can’t explain what that was. I tried to remember what happened last night but I couldn’t remember anything that would cause my instructions to change. My stomach felt as if it was turning inside out. It felt like nerves but I know that the Enimapod pill stopped those feelings. Suddenly, I realized it. I forgot to take my pill yesterday. I ran my hands through my hair; I’d never done that before. The walk symbol disappeared so I stopped running and took a deep breath. Cars whizzed past me and my head filled with pain. I could feel instructions flooding in by the second but I was too shocked to think about it. I couldn’t believe it; no one ever forgot to take their daily prescribed Enimapod.
When I was seven, my father told me about the last time someone didn’t take their Enimapod.
“There was a man, Erik. He grew up with me. He was always… strange. I figured that it was just how he was supposed to be. As he grew older, I knew something about him was not right.” He paused and took a deep breath. “Erik had something wrong with his DNA. His brain chemistry was off which allowed him to consciously stop taking his Enimapod. I am not sure why he did, but he stopped. His head seemed so full of confusing ideas; he would yell that there was a voice in his head telling him what to do. Yet, no matter what kind of pain he was in, he wouldn’t take his Enimapod. I worked with him at the Lab and, one day, officers came looking for him. AFD tried to take him to their research facility to help him but he wouldn’t go. Erik went mad because he didn’t take his Enimapod. He didn’t want help.” My father paused again.
“What, Father? What happened?” My seven-year-old mind was spinning.
“Erik took his own life.” My father deeply looked at me in my eyes. “Brooke, promise me you’ll never stop taking Enimapod?” I nodded, eagerly.
“I promise, Father.”
I was snapped back into reality when the walk symbol reappeared. I crossed the street anxiously. Did AFD already know? How could they not? Would they kill me or wait until I did it myself? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the party and sleepover messed up my schedule. I knew I had to go home and take my Enimapod but I also needed to get to the Lab. Finally, the instructions became clear. They popped up in my head telling me to go home and take two doses of Enimapod. The instructions came in so intensely; it gave me a head rush. Despite this warning, I continued towards the Lab. I could go a few hours without my Enimapod, I knew I could. There was nothing wrong with my DNA; I just merely forgot. Besides, if there was something wrong with me, I’d get help. I would just take my Enimapod with dinner tonight. No big deal.
I arrived at the Lab with one minute to spare. Everyone was at their stations and looked up at me. I smiled a thin smile as I felt heat move to my face. I moved to my desk and plopped down. I put my head in my hands in hopes to relieve the painful headache. After only one minute to myself, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Frightened, I abruptly turned around. It was my work colleague, Hudson.
“Hello, Brooke,” I said nothing. I felt speechless looking at him. Hudson was taller than me, by about 5 inches. He had black hair and beautiful green eyes. He helped test chemicals with me but that was pretty much the only time I ever saw him. I wasn’t supposed to associate with him outside of the workplace but, today for the first time, I didn’t understand that rule. Sirens filled my head but they were blocked out by his smile. His smile seemed more real than anyone and everyone I’ve ever talked to. “Brooke?” he broke my trance.
“Oh... uh… hey Hudson.” He tilted his head. That was not how you were supposed to greet someone.
“Are you alright?” Was I? My head yelled at me to go home and take my Enimapod but I pushed it down.
“Umm. Yeah. Mhm. I’m great.” The instructions which usually told me what to say in conversations felt blurry. I looked into his eyes. I could tell he was going to push and ask what was going on but then the look was washed away. A huge smile spread onto his face.
“I discovered something. You have to come look.” There were fewer directions at the Lab. The Lab was purely to benefit the AFD but I felt like I had more freedom here. That’s what it was earlier… the wind in my hair… I felt free. My head pounded; freedom was not supposed to be felt. I followed Hudson to the test station. He smiled a goofy smile at me that I noticed for the first time today. Hudson laughed a bit then showed me the five labeled chemicals. One was tinted pink, one blue, one green, one purple, and one orange. The colors felt brighter to me than usual. Next, he put an Enimapod on the tray which he pre-laid out for me. “The Enimapod has always fascinated me, as you may know. They say the pills help us find peace right? These little things help us follow directions?” Out of habit, I nodded, but I didn’t like that I did. “I’ve figured out why.” I gave him a puzzled look.
“Hudson, how?” His smile seemed unbreakable.
“Here. Let me put these on you.” Hudson grabbed a pair of protective glasses and placed them over my eyes. I felt his hands brush past my ears and I felt a sensation all across my body. His fingers left but the feeling stayed. He grabbed the pink tube first and poured it into the blue. He swished it around until it perfectly matched the purple tube. Next, he grabbed the orange and twirled it into the green. Half of the purple was poured into each solution. I watched as he carefully set them back down. His eyes caught mine and, again, he smiled. “Enimapod forces you to be happy. It attaches to these hormones called Dopamine and causes overstimulation.” He poured the blue pink purple solution onto the pill. The Enimapod produced a liquid which spread all around the lab dish. The dish began to overflow. “This pill changes someone’s feeling to only happiness. But it’s a false happiness, it’s a sense of compliance.” Despite the liquid still flowing, he poured the second solution onto of it. The liquid not only stopped but seemed to melt away. It seemed to evaporate until nothing was left in the dish, not even the pill remains.
“Hudson, that’s amazing.” My eyes widened. “And that solution is how it stops.” He tilted his head.
“Why would we want that? I was just deescalating the reaction.” I swallowed as my eyes widened.
“We wouldn’t.” I bit my lip. “If you share that you figured this out I bet you’ll be upgraded…” I trailed off then quietly added, “Why would you show me this?” He giggled then became very serious as if he had no directions to follow for this.
“I don’t know.” He looked flustered and fixed his hair. “Sorry I have to go take my Enimapod.” And with that, he was gone.
I walked home looking slightly more disheveled than usual. Because of the lack of Enimapod in my system, I noticed every little detail. The trees I passed were brighter green. People I passed on the street seemed to be in their own delusional world- maybe they were. I walked home with a quicker stride because I didn’t care that the pounding directions in my head told me to walk slower. Thoughts filled in my head like a bubble bath just waiting to overflow. I wanted to jump in but I knew that would cause a mess which I could never quite clean up. Opening the door, I tiptoed to my room in hopes to avoid both of my parents. I worked in the Lab the entire day and I was not ready for their interrogation session. Quietly, I scanned the instructions in my head to make sure I wouldn’t give myself away.
“Brooke,” My mother’s voice rang all throughout the house.
“Yes, mother?” I answered in the most careless voice I could muster. My stomach churned, was this a side effect of not taking the pill?
“Your father and I are waiting for you. It is time for dinner.” I glanced at the clock and realized I was late, once again. Careful not to trip, I ran down the stairs then, once in eye view, I walked to my chair. Dinner was quiet which felt unnatural and awkward for me. Yet, somehow I knew it has always been like this. Maybe one or two conversations occurred but the usual was no talking at dinner. My father was the only one allowed to start the conversations.
“Brooke, why were you late to dinner? I also heard you were running a bit late this morning.” My father questioned me. He looked me dead in the eyes with no flinching.
“I was told to by AFD. It said so in my directions.” He nodded carefully while taking a bite of his food.
“I’ve heard you have more instructions for tonight.” I gulped. Did they know already? “You are to spend another night with Harry.” I let go of the breath I was holding in. “It seems as if you may progress more tonight.” I nodded. I wasn’t sure what my father meant but I was more relieved than concerned. Then he spoke up again. “Remember to take your Enimapod before you leave.” And with that, we continued to eat in silence. Hudson was right; Enimapod was false happiness. It was as if the government was forcing Happy Pills down our throats. And I wasn't ready to be happy.
That night, I walked to Harry’s house. My directions told me to go to his bedroom right away and he’d be waiting for me. It said that he would take it from there. My stomach turned on itself and I realized I was nervous. I didn’t take my Enimapod that night- I couldn’t. Despite the flashing instructions in my head, I still flushed two (one from last night, one from tonight) down the toilet. Being free of this pill made me feel like I’d woken up from a long trance and I wasn’t ready to give that feeling up yet. Slowly, I walked up the stairs and opened Harry’s bedroom door. He was sitting on his bed staring at the door. He must have been going over the directions in his head. Abruptly, Harry looked up at me with no expression.
“Hello, Harry,” My directions told me to say it this way so I did. I could feel that the Enimapod effects weren’t quite gone yet.
“AFD wants us to progress today. I am supposed to be in charge tonight. I just went over my directions again and I will follow them exactly.” Shocker, I thought to myself. I nodded and he came towards me. I felt his breath inches from mine and all of a sudden, I was unsure. I took one step back but then he pushed me onto his bed.
“Harry, what are you doing?”
“I am following directions, Brooke. I suggest you do too.” He responded coldly. Harry began taking my shirt off.
“No, Harry. I don’t want to do this.” I squirmed on the bed, shifting to the end away from him. He gave me a dirty look and continued. Harry forced me down and ripped my shirt. “Harry, please,” I begged. He didn’t listen. He took off my pants quickly along with everything else. I stayed frozen in fear. I didn’t want this; I didn’t deserve this; This is what AFD wanted. Harry began to kiss me, hard, pushing me deeper into the bed. He then decided it was time to take his clothes off.
“Take them off.” He commanded me. I nodded. I was overcome by fear and the normal feeling of compliance. Harry allowed me to stand up next to him in order to complete his task. I started on his shirt then continued down. This was not how it was supposed to happen. I was supposed to feel something good; I was supposed to be with someone I loved. I looked up at him through my eyelashes and smiled. We laid back down as he continued to touch and kiss me. Every time he touched me, my skin crawled. I could tell he was prepared to do more and I only had one shot. In one motion, I grabbed the lamp from his nightstand and hit his head with it. Stunned, he fell to one side. Blood started to pour from his forehead as he looked at me angrily. I grabbed the nearest blanket and wrapped it around me. He didn’t do anything to stop me from running out; it wasn’t addressed in his directions.
Feeling the cool pavement on my bare feet, I ran. The blanket was barely covering me but it was enough. It was dark out and I only traveled roads that I knew AFD wouldn’t be patrolling. My hair tangled and I didn’t mind. Pausing at my street corner, I knew going home wasn’t a good idea. My father was already suspicious. Instead, I turned and headed to the Lab. Assuming no one would be there; I used my code and opened the locked building. Taking the stairs two at a time, I headed to the research station. I threw open the research room door and instinctively took a step back. Due to the squeak of the door, Hudson turned around and stared at my messy hair and blanket attire. His eyes widened. Behind him, I noticed he was doing the experiment that he showed me again but he hadn’t quite stopped it. Hudson looked at me with a sense of wonder and fear.
“Brooke…” He started. Hudson stayed still as I walked towards the station. Instead of one solution, there were two. I grabbed one and looked at him through my eyelashes. “Brooke, what are you doing?” I could tell his head was screaming at him to back up from me and call AFD. Yet, for some reason, he stayed. In fact, Hudson took a step closer to me. His voice was softer. “Brooke, we can’t.” I handed him the solution and he nodded. He looked tired.
“Please take it. Please, Hudson.” He took a deep breath and looked into my eyes. His green eyes sparkled. Something was hiding behind the Enimapod and I wanted to know what it was. If doing this killed me, so be it. Hudson was my best chance to change this nightmare and, quite honestly, I wanted him to be with me. Without saying any words, he handed me the other solution. I nodded.
“Bottoms up.” And with that, Hudson and I downed the entire solution. I saw his eyes flutter.
“Hudson?” His knees went weak and I gently helped him lay down. I started to panic. Perhaps his body couldn’t handle it and I just killed him. “Hudson, please. Hudson, if you can hear me…” Then, I started to feel the effects. I laid down next to him and closed my eyes. My entire body twitched and my head pounded. But then, it stopped.
“Brooke?” My blue eyes opened slowly and I looked around the room. “What’s going on?” I covered my mouth to stop the sob from coming out. Were we free?
“Oh my gosh...you’re okay.” Then, before I could think about it, I leaned over and hugged him. He didn’t know what to do. “Sorry,” I said as I let go of him.
“Don’t be.” Hudson let out a small smile. He placed his hands on my waist and pulled me back in. “I liked it.” He whispered in my ear. We stayed there in silence for a while, just breathing in the potential of each other. This feeling was new to me; I assumed it was new for him also. AFD told us it was bad to feel like this. Enimapod forced us to not feel it. I knew Hudson for years but I never realized this was how I felt. Hudson was my home. We broke our hug and he gave me another little smile. “You broke me out of it, didn’t you?” I nodded and cracked a smile.
“It was our DNA.” He raised his eyebrow. “I could tell you were like me. I’ve heard of someone that the Enimapod didn’t fully effect.” I shrugged. “I guess that’s us.” He smiled eagerly.
“I’ve been trying to for years now. I finally was able to create that liquid but I could never get myself to actually take it. Then you came along and...” He paused then gave me a second look. “May I ask why you are only wearing a blanket?” I laughed.
“That jerk,” Hudson said while standing up.
“Hudson, no. We have more to worry about than Harry on happy pills.” I stood up, carefully holding the blanket around me.
“Happy pills?” He raised his eyebrows.
“That’s what I call the Enimapod… I don’t know. It seems to fit better.”
“Yeah..." Hudson laughed. “I guess it does.” I smiled back at him and bit my lip.
“So,” I paused, glancing around the room. “Where do we go from here?” Hudson looked down then back up to my eyes.
“First,” he sighed. “We need to get you dressed.” then a pause.“I’m too distracted.” Color rose to my face as Hudson handed me the extra pants that I kept in my work locker and a spare sweatshirt that he always kept with him. Together, we looked out the window. We talked and talked as if we had been best friends for years. In a way, we had been but I never knew how funny he was.
I never noticed that his eyes sparkled when he talked or the way he smiled whenever I looked at him. It was a small thing but it made me want him more. My feelings seemed to hit me like a wave. It was as if I was trapped in the ocean and I was drowning in him. Despite the danger of losing oxygen, I wanted more. Hudson broke me out of my thoughts.
“Brooke, someone’s coming.” Quickly, we scrambled to the research area. Voices echoed throughout the Lab. They came closer and closer making my heart beat faster and faster. Hudson and I looked at each other as if it was the last time we would be.
“What are you two doing here?” An AFD official appeared wearing all black. He folded his arms and watched us carefully. My eyes widened but I knew exactly what to do.
“Our directions told us to come here.” Hudson nodded slowly. The AFD official still looked skeptical.
“What are your names?”
“Hmm...” He checked his watch and seemed to radio in. “I found them.” We looked at each other. Hudson’s eyes said it all; they were telling me to run. But I knew I couldn’t. I had to stay with him- if they found us already, they could find us again. The official covered his mouth and sprayed gas all around us. My head felt light and the room spun. Hudson slowly lowered himself to the floor but I stayed tall. I started to sway as Hudson grabbed my hand helped me next to him. His eyes still looked beautiful in my muddled mind.
I woke up and took a sharp inhale of breath. My entire body shook as they threw another bucket of freezing water on me. I began to cough until I finally looked up to see a man. He was on the shorter side and wore a gray suit. His eyes were colder than the water.
“You can stop… she’s awake.” The man nodded to the official who found us. Us, that’s right. I looked around anxiously; I could feel the man’s grin. “He’s not in here.” I shifted my focus to him. “Hudson Wilson. He’s somewhere else.” I opened my mouth but the man cut me off. “His fate is determined on your corporation.” I pressed my tongue to the roof of my mouth to stop myself from saying something that could cause harm to Hudson.
“You’re the creator of Enimapod, aren’t you? You decided that all of our futures should be chosen for us.” I shook my head in disbelief. The man chuckled.
“Contrary to your ideas, Miss. Brooke, that wasn’t me.” I watched him carefully, attempting to remember every single little thing that I could possibly use against him.
“Then who?” He laughed a sinister laugh.
“Last time I checked, I’m in charge of asking the questions.” He walked closer to me. “How’d you do it?” I raised my eyebrows. “How did you consciously stop taking Enimapod? Our programs make it nearly impossible to break out of the trance.” I rolled my eyes. “Every time you refuse me, Hudson will get punished.” My eyes widened. “Let me ask you again, Miss. Brooke, how did you stop taking Enimapod?” I took a deep breath.
“I forgot to take my dosage because I was at a party. My instructions told me to go to the party and sleepover with Harry… so I did. The feeling of being free was too good for me to give up. So, I started flushing my pills down the toilet instead of taking them.” The man took notes as he nodded. “I don’t know what allowed me to refuse it but I believe something is different in my DNA.”
“And how did you get Hudson to stop taking them?” He tilted his head.
“I don’t know.” He raised his watch to his mouth. “I said, I don’t know! We both worked at the Lab and one day he created this solution to stop the Enimapod. When I saw him later, I just hoped we would both take the cure.” I tucked a loose piece of hair behind my ear. “Something must be different about his DNA too.”
“And why did you want him to take it?”
“Because I was lonely and I wanted him.” I said quietly.
“You fell in love with him, didn’t you?” I nodded. “Well,” he chuckled. “That will be all for today.”
The man walked me down a hallway. It was an unsettling white with little windows; it seemed to reinforce the fact that they could control you when you thought they couldn’t. Although I felt defeated, my curiosity couldn’t help but push me to take in every detail. The man walked slowly and deliberately which made the journey feel even longer. Because of the man’s gait, I could tell he was older than I first assumed. He seemed weighted down by something but I couldn’t place my finger on what it was. We passed by other officials who stared at me as if I was someone they knew; maybe I was.
The hallways seemed long and my legs were getting tired. I stopped noticing the details because they didn’t seem to matter to me anymore. Something in me told me to look up; it was a pressure-filled voice but unlike the one from Enimapod. I obeyed and glanced up seeing only white walls. Looking around, I was overwhelmed with a sense of loneliness but then that’s when I saw him. Hudson’s gorgeous green eyes met mine. An older man walked behind him telling him where to go; I bet he was the one who was in charge of Hudson. Hudson’s eyes told me all; we only had one chance. Without thinking, I elbowed the man behind me in the stomach. He bent over and struggled to regain his breath. My hands were tied together so I pushed him down with both of them. I ran over to Hudson who did the same to his guard. I held my hands out as Hudson broke them apart.
“Dang,” I muttered to myself.
“Don’t mention it.” He held out his hands and I managed to untie them.
“That’s more my speed.” He chuckled. The two men laid on the ground looking tired and very defeated. “What did you do to them?” I asked Hudson, noticing that the men weren’t getting up. He shrugged.
“I came up with a little something before they took us.” He paused. “They won’t be waking up for a day or two.”
“Hudson!” I said while laughing. He took my hand and we ran through the hall. We passed through dozens of officials who were too stunned to stop us. Finally, we turned into a room and Hudson quickly locked the door behind us. I turned on the lights and the control center came to life. A singular lab station which helped turn solutions into pills was on the right while the screens of various footage was placed on our left. A figure had its back to us, staring deep into the screens. He turned around slowly and my jaw dropped.
“Hello, Brooke.” My father’s voice rang throughout the room. Hudson turned to me in awe. I tilted my head towards the lab table and he nodded.
“Father, what are you doing here?”
“I’m in charge here, Brooke. I created Enimapod.”
“You have to stop it.”
“I can’t, Brooke. This is the only way to make everyone happy.”
“Happy? It’s a false sense of happiness! People are going through the motions instead of living!” He stared at me blankly.
“I gave you the perfect life, Brooke. I gave you what every single girl wanted before you. I made you the party girl. I set you up with the party boy. I made you popular, Brooke. I gave you everything you could have ever wanted.”
“He touched me, Father.” He stood up.
“Harry, the guy you made my partner, ripped off my clothes after I told him no.”
“I tried to be peaceful but he kept going. I told him no and he didn’t stop. He just kept touching me.” He said nothing. Hudson came over to my side and squeezed my hand.
“Then who is this?” He asked quietly.
“Hudson Wilson.” I smiled at Hudson then turned back to my father. “He is who I want to be with.”
“I can make that happen, Brooke. I’ll just change the instructions and your future…” I could see his wheels spinning.
“No.” Hudson turned to me in shock.
“Brooke,” Hudson said while attempting to make me face him. I stayed with my eyes glued to my father’s.
“What about Terry? What about everyone out there?” He looked beaten down.
“What do you want me to do?” My father looked sad and I felt a tang of guilt.
“I want you to reverse the pills. Hudson figured out how.” Hudson held up a container of newly made pills.
“If you distribute these, it’ll stop the effects of Enimapod. Everyone will begin to think and feel for themselves.” Hudson stepped forward and handed the pills to my father.
“And then you can get rid of the decided futures,” I added. My father looked tired.
“Okay.” Hudson and I looked at each other in shock. “Okay. I will. But I need you by my side, Brooke.” I nodded with a huge smile on my face. “And Mr. Wilson?” He looked at my father eagerly. “Thanks for taking care of my daughter.”
“It was my pleasure.”
It’s funny how things change. My father ended AFD with a little help from Hudson and me. For a while, the sun shone brighter and everyone was visibly happier. I wasn’t naive; I knew Redan had a long ways to go but it would be worth it. Or so I thought.
A month later, something was different. Hudson and I were headed to the Lab when a little girl caught my eye. She was alone, waiting by the door. I tugged on Hudson’s hand and nodded to the girl. He shrugged and we walked over to her. Her head tilted and she let a small smile slip.
“It’s not over.” The girl whispered. I looked at Hudson.
“What sweetie?” Hudson bent over and leaned closer to her.
“You think it’s over.” She tilted her head again as her face filled with innocence. “You two thought that you stopped the Enimapod, stopped the control.” Abruptly, she turned to me. “We’re watching you, Brooke. We won’t stop until you come with us.” Hudson squeezed my hand and made me face him.
“What do we do?” His gorgeous green eyes bore into mine.
“Hudson, I don’t know.” I let go of a deep breath. “I have no idea.”