I'm not saying that I hated my life, I'm also not saying that I like it, but it could be worse. So I may not have had the best childhood, I may not have had much luck, but I do have my friend. And the Rules. We all know the Rules. We live by them. We grew up with them and they haven't changed. You must do as the government says, that's rule one. You step out of line, you get taken to the cells. Simple right? So I stick to the rules. I don't speak out of turn, I don't do anything bad, I go to bed on time. I stay good. What made that change? Trying to impress a guy. He was my friend. Okay he was my best friend and I liked him. I wanted to shout out, for him to notice me. Why not just shout out? Why not just talk? Because I cant. No, I'm not mute I'm just afraid to. I'm afraid that if I speak I will get hit, again. I'm afraid that I will say the wrong thing to the wrong person and I will end up in the cells. Okay, I'm scared. But on this one occasion I thought 'why not just do something I haven't done. Why not just go on that roof top and sing?'. And I did. And I paid for it.
Lets start from the beginning.
The siren rang all over the city signalling that the lunch period was over. The people in the school cafeteria stood and filed into the single lines.
"Come on princess or we will be late." Leo said as we got up from the table to head for our line. I just looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Yeah yeah I know. Now come on." we stood in line and made our way to the classrooms.
On our way we passed a guard who took a boy from his line and made him kneel. I looked at the scene for a few more seconds before looking back in front of me. I felt Leo lean closer to whisper to me.
"I wish more people stood up to them. Maybe we could get some of our freedom back. Get out of these stupid clothes." I looked down at our uniform. I wore the grey dress every girl wore whilst the boys wore trousers and a shirt. I half looked at him with a 'you're crazy' look. That was the end of our conversation as we fell back in line.
But I couldn't let the thought go. 'I wish more people stood up to them'. How? No one will stand up to them. They are too scared. I'm to scared. So why am I still thinking about it? I cant do anything. I cant even speak without fearing anything. But, if I don't do it, who will? Someone has to say go before the race begins right? Or no one knows when to go. But what could I do? There's nothing I can do … apart from that. Yes! I could use that, after the night siren goes off. Yes! Finally I could speak out. I could finally, maybe, get him to notice me. I looked towards the front of the class were Leo sat. I smiled to myself and concentrated on my work again.
"So, princess." Leo said after we exited the school gates. "You looked spaced out earlier, you okay?" I just nodded and looked at the ground. "Okay, so you and your mother still coming over tonight for dinner?" I nodded again and looked at him. I made a gesture of my hands that led my fingers to splay outwards.
"Ah, a surprise. I see. I look forward to it." we walked the rest of the way home in silence and when we passed his house I waved good bye and continued down the street. All houses looked the same, inside and out. So the street looked pretty boring apart from the odd flower or to that was allowed outside peoples homes if they so wished.
I opened the door to my house and knocked on the wall once to tell my mother I was back.
"Hey, I'm just finishing up. Come help me." I went into the kitchen to see a big mess. Bowls and cooking tools were scattered around the room with various substances on them. I crossed my arms as I stood in the door way. She turned around to see me but she just rolled her eyes.
"You can help by putting the good looking ones into that basket." she gestured her head towards a rectangle basket that surprisingly didn't have mess on it. "Then we can eat the ugly ones." I smiled and went over to take the cool tray of my mother and place the muffins in the basket. I took out the two biggest ones for us to eat. I handed her the smaller of the two.
"Thanks" she said as she unwrapped it. I made my way into the main room and sat down on the sofa that was centred in the middle of the room and ate my muffin in silence (no pun intended).
"You should get dress before we go." I looked over my shoulder as she walked in. all my clothes looked the same practically. The same dull grey. "Yeah I got it. But I know you want to look cute." she wiggled her eyebrows as she leaned on the back of the sofa. I giggled slightly at the faces she was making. I got up and handed her my empty muffin wrapper and head upstairs. I heard her mumble about her cleaning up more but I just smiled.
I finally decided on wearing some former fitting trousers with a tank top and cardigan. Mother wore a dress and sleeveless vest. We made our way down the street before the dinner siren went off.
Leo opened the door and I thrust the basket of muffins into him.
"Wow, thanks." I smiled and curtsied dramatically. Leo started laughing but looked behind me. I turned around and saw mum wiggling her eyebrows again. I pushed her slightly and went into the house.
"Mum! Princess brought over muffins." Leo's mother cam out from the open kitchen wiping her hands on a tea cloth.
"Emily, you shouldn't have." His mother came over to greet mine before they went back into the kitchen.
"We still have some time before foods ready, want to go on the roof?" I smiled and nodded. I followed him up the stairs. He opened the hatch that led out to the roof and helped me out. Once outside I looked up at the sky. It was starting to get rather dark early as well as the chilly air. I wrapped my arms around my self to keep warm. Then I looked around again.
"I planted Moon shade a little while ago. Now that they are fully grown and its dark, I wanted to show you them." I walked over to the silver flowers that were slowly opening. I looked at them with curiosity. I had always heard of the flowers but had never seen them before especially at night. 5 big petals lay facing the sky while the stamen stood upwards.
"Do you know the story behind Moon shade?" I shook my head still watching the flowers open gently in the star light. "Well, there was once a man. I know generic love story but anyway. He loved this girl, she was the most beautiful person in his world and would do anything for her and she loved looking at the night sky, especially at night when the moon was at its fullest. But she eventually started to get sick. It got worse over time and eventually she couldn't get out of bed. The man felt helpless as he had to watch his love slowly become sadder.
But he had an idea. One that he would surely know to get her to smile again. So he spent most of his time on this idea. She eventually started to think that he didn't love her any more. When she had very little days left, his idea was finished. He grew the Moon shade. A flower that looked so delicate when closed and even more beautiful under the moon light because that was how he pictured her. He tried to show them to her but she refused to speak to her. Upset, he left the flowers by the window so she could see their beauty. When the moon came up in the sky, the flowers bloomed and as she looked at them she understood that he really did love her after all. The next morning he went to check up on her only to find she wasn't in her bed any more. Scared he ran frantically around the house searching.
He found her outside. She planted the flowers where she would have normally stood stargazing. He went over to her, only to find that she lay among the flowers as if she was sleep. He wept tears of sadness and joy. Sad because he didn't get to say a final I love you and joy because he knew that she finally understood her feelings."
His hand touched my cheek lightly. I jumped slightly from his touch before realizing I was crying. He pushed a stray strand of my hair behind my ear. Our breath mingled as he leaned closer. My gaze flicked down to his lips before locking with his eyes, my mouth open slightly like I was going to say something. Then the Siren went off. I closed my mouth as I moved away from his touch. I nodded towards where the hatch lay open and walked towards it.
Dinner was normal, mother kept looking at me and wiggling her eyebrows which made me laugh and Leo raise his eyebrow.
That night I lay awake staring at my ceiling a long time after the night siren went off. I was thinking about earlier, the way he looked at me, it didn't mean he liked me did it? It could be just my imagination. Should I really go through with the idea I had? Oh I just don't know any more. I want him to notice me.
I looked at the guitar that sat in the corner of my empty room. Mother had got it me a few years ago on the black market. I learnt it pretty quickly because apart from homework and cooking there wasn't really much to do.
The more I looked at that corner the more my mind was made up. I am going to do it.