I woke up 2 hours before they were supposed to pick me up. My family came and gave me hugs and kisses and encouragement and stuff. But they put on that mask of a smile over the fear in their hearts. They loved me with all their heart, I knew. And I loved them. I knew they wouldn't make Char do this either if need be. But you can't sustain a family in love.
Only my 5 year old little brother, Char, was the one to tell me Happy Birthday is his sweet little un-matured voice. Oh little brother…. You don't know yet. There's nothing happy about this birthday.
Not at this age.
Not for us.
My older sister, Sarah, tried me to give me advice. She was 15. She went through it just last year. She was the last one I ought to take advice from. She was a coward. "Talk with as many others on the way, keep on dodging…" and so on she said. She barely made it out. She's one of the reasons we're still here. That and lack of money. I looked down at my watch. I didn't even see what the time was.
Sarah pulled me in for a tight hug. "Jupela, you've always been stronger than me." She cried, "Go roll some heads and get us out of here."
I patted her back and slowly moved away from her embrace.
"Thanks. Let's just hope I'm not in the bottom 5."
Sarah looked at me with a ghastly expression, as if those words should never ever be put in side one sentence. She dramatically walked away from me.
I sighed and looked at my watch.
Whoa, only twenty minutes left.
I went to the kitchen and got a double heaping of sugar-coated algae cereal. We didn't eat cake for birthdays anymore. We didn't even celebrate birthdays much (except for Char's) anymore. We don't have those privelages. Not on Earth.
Deforestation finally caught up with us. Without out any sufficient source of oxygen, Earth is slowly being abandoned. And ever since the inhabitation of the Inner Planets, Earth is getting more like a Venus. There are even rumours that the atmosphere is becoming more sulfuric. That means in a few years Earth won't be able to support life anymore. I looked at the Algae-O's I just poured for myself. I couldn't bear to eat. My stomach was already filled with butterflies. I looked at the watch again.
I almost choked in exasperation. I downed the cereal in 2.5 seconds and got up to start pacing. There was literally nothing to do. I only had to wait until they got me. But I was nowhere near ready. My consolation was Lexi, my only and best friend. It was hard to make friends when the Earth was dying and you're still in it.
I smiled a little thinking of her; she was one of those people who'd be in the Top Three. She turned 14 last month and was utterly crazy. She near psychopathic… but she was nice. She'd be my salvation. Nothing could beat me and her.
I instinctively looked at the watch. Three minutes left. I wanna see Mom & Dad. It would make me feel a lot better when I go do this but like Sarah said, "We can't have you mentally unprepared with you having somber thoughts about us. The longer you don't see us, the more time you have to focus on your goal."
I thought it had the exact opposite effect. If I did get in the Bottom 5-
No, I can't think about it. You won't think about it. Mentally focusing. You will win this. I'll get in the Top 10 at least. I looked at the watch one more time.
I closed my eyes and listened to the watch's comforting ticking sound.
Immediately, the front door slammed open. We didn't leave it locked, we knew who was coming. I opened my eyes to see the 2 guys and 1 woman in the living room before me.
They all dressed the same. Blue jeans and t-shirt, but for some reason they added a black tie as if it would make the outfit resemble fanciness.
I gave them a dead stare. They returned it.
"Are you Jupela?" the woman asked.
I gave them one nod.
The two men hauled me off my feet to restrain me.
"No need to man-handle me." I mumbled
They tightened their grip.
I sighed. Time to participate in what every 14 year old dreads.
A Pillow Fight.
A/N: To all my PKY2 fans/readers/people, the next chapter is going to be out in like 2 days or less. :)!