Jordan's daily routine:

6:30~Wake up

6:40~get dressed in bathroom

7:00~Eat mush from platter on

the table near the bed

7:30~Papa comes and

walks me to the Sandy Room.

7:35~we arrive at Sandy room

7:35-11:45~Play, but no speaking

save questions

1:45~Mama and Papa bring me and

the boy to wooden table

11:50~Eat with 25 other matching

Sets Girls and Boys, with their

Mamas and Papas

12:50~Sit in circle with matching pairs with

Mamas and Papas surrounding

12:50-3:50~Sound out and say words the

Mamas write on the dark wall, and draw the

swing set with paper and pencils the Papas give us

This was mine on Day 182 of 0023 year

4:00~Papa always says: "Jordan, Time for Esrever Room. No questions."

4:00-7:30~Locks me in Esrever room with my evening meal.

7:31~Door opens and I walk into my newly cleaned and polished room

7:34~Take a shower

7:50~Get into nightclothes

Then I sing in bed until the lights power down and the whurrig stops, and the room goes dark. No one comes to tuck me in. No one is there if I get a scary dream.

No one comes if I cry because of that dream.

I just sing until I fall asleep again.

As I finished writing, I realized that this was the first time we had done something other than draw the swingset in art time. I dared a quick glance at the girl from the B corridor. Her hair was textured, and her skin was dark brown. She was writing her daily routine with a monotone expression.

I kept her in the corner of my eye as I raised my pencil to show that I was done.

My Papa came over. He is not my real Papa, only the one who takes care of me and the other boy in the C corridor.

You see, we all come in matching sets. One girl and one boy preside in your corridor. There are 26 corridors. The B corridor girl has a match. He looks exactly like her, but with very short hair, and he is younger. I have a match. He is slightly taller, he has short auburn hair, light skin, and eyes the shape of almonds. I look like him, but my hair trails halfway down my back, stopping at my waist.

When Papa took the paper from me, he read it, then his brows knit together. He looked at me with a concerned look, then smiled. He leaned down and patted me on the shoulder, making me smile.

"Good work, Jordan. You're not afraid to be honest."

I beamed. He's proud of me!

He walked away, and I glanced back at the B corridor girl. For years I had wanted to talk to her, but the only time I got out more than "Hi." was when I was 5 years of age. I walked up to her and asked "Do you want to play with-?" That was when Papa grabbed my arm and yanked me into my room, where he locked me in the five-by-five metal room with one whole wall as a mirror. The Esrever room.

He locked me in there for two days, giving me cups of water instead of meals.

Let's just say I never spoke to her again.

Her Mama was coming over to her. The B corridor Mama and Papa actually look similar to the B corridor girl and boy. Her Mama had dark skin, and puffy, textured hair. She took her paper and said "Well done, Sada! Beautiful penmanship!"

Sada. More like beautiful name.

I was snapped out of my thoughts when Papa clapped me on the shoulder. I grabbed his hand, and we walked to the C corridor with Mama and the boy.

Mama was smiling at him.

"You did well, Jason." She whispered quietly, barely loud enough to hear. But my ears had been straining to hear a sentence like this for years. I internally did a happy dance for listening so good.



All too soon did the metallic clang of the lock reverberate through the Esrever room. I held my tray close, and crept over to the corner. I didn't feel like eating. I didn't feel like doing anything.

I pushed the plate as far away as possible, and curled up in the corner.

I drifted into a hazey state, and heard a click far off in the distance. Faint indistinct yelling and talking. Then the floor fell away from me, and I felt a comforting softness caress my body.

Sleep reached out to me, and I was too weak to push it away.

Darkness clouded my mind.