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Social Science Experiment

By: Serenity Baker

Page 1, A girl faces the realities of her life, spurred on by an electronic stranger. She decides to plant herself in an entirely new setting. She moves to her local low-income area to try to figure out who she is and what she stands for.

 

Her eyes twitched. They always twitched when she was nervous. It wasn't something that she could control -- it was an automatic involuntary muscle reflex of a small muscle in her eye.

 

She took a deep breath, allowing the air to fill her lungs, and heaved her chest, as if purging herself of the imaginary contamination. For it was a contamination -- the anxious energy whizzing around her brain, pumping through her heart, and settling in the pit of her stomach like plaque on yellow teeth. 

 

Why was she doing this? She couldn't find a sensible answer. She was wasting her time (time better spent watching mind-numbing television) following the words of a stranger she had never met. A stranger who had commented on her blog. A stranger who had written a scathing comment on her blog.

 

Hadn't he read the title of her blog? The words "hate-fest" in glowing magenta letters covered in animated sparkles were her logo for her reason. She had promised nothing but rants, complaints, and bitterness -- so why had she received this comment? 

 

The words had cut through her ice cube frozen box brain. Her psychologist would have told her that the words had pulled her most volatile memories from her repressed subconscious and planted them dab-smack in her face. And she didn't like it. She couldn't live like this. She wouldn't live like this.

 

The subway screeched to a halt, oddly reminiscent of Hans Zimmer's Inception soundtrack. She got out and walked on the street.

 

She tried to keep the look of disgust off her face, with little avail. Vandalism covered the dilapidated buildings like a pall wrapped over a casket. Garbage littered the streets, dust flew in the air, and half naked children wearing baggy under clothing played with the broken tire in a corner. She couldn't believe that people lived here. She couldn't believe she would be living here.

 

She pulled out her cell phone, tapped the GPS function, and followed the instructions to her apartment complex. Inside, she found herself the center of peripheral attention, the only one with squeaky clean tennis shoes, a well-fitted sweater, and pure blue jeans.

 

She waited patiently in the elevator for her floor. The elevator was painfully slow and, when it stopped, it would thud up and down, sometimes causing its passengers to jump around. The woman and her child that was sharing the elevator with her stood in the opposite end. The child was staring at her, his eyes wide with curiosity.

 

"Mommy, why is there a new person in our building?"

 

The mother tensed and told her son to shush.

 

"Because I hate my life."

 

The mother whipped around and glared at her, her accusatory look questioning what she could possibly have trouble with in her life.  The child nodded sagely, "So lady not happy?"

 

"Nope."

 

"Me too. Nelson was not happy when mommy took me out of my old school and put me in new school. But now Nelson is happy again because Nelson has new friend called Mikey. Mikey likes to play basketball. Mikey is going to be a big and famous player."

 

"Is he?"

 

"Yes. You should meet him. He makes Nelson happy".

 

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