Bella

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Bella has a turbulent relationship with her mother that cause her to run far away. Having taken all she knows for granted, how will Bella fair in her new surroundings?

Bella

 

Turning the bracelet over and over in her hands, Bella, sitting on the corner of the bed, took two large deep breaths. She was risking a lot just holding the smart bracelet. She took another deep breath and opened her mouth to issue the command. Before any sound came out, she heard a noise and instinctively she threw the bracelet to the back of the drawer and covered it with her underwear. It was silent now. Had she heard the scraping of shoes on the floor or was it a door being opened? It didn’t matter now. The sound had vanished and when she turned around there was no one there.

 

Bella stood, straightened her clothes, then went to join the others in the leisure room. Liam came up to embrace her, almost as soon as she had entered the room, and planted a quick kiss on her cheek. She knew it was just for show. The affection didn’t seem to come so quickly once they were in their room, alone. The two of them joined the others on the battered old fabric sofa. It must be a hundred years old, Bella thought, as she squirmed and moved about, trying to get comfy. The others sat back, looking relaxed and at ease. Bella couldn’t stop thinking about what kind of germs could be on the sofa.

 

It had been almost one year since Bella and Liam had arrived at the organisation’s headquarters and she was feeling increasingly claustrophobic. Although they had joined their local branch of the organisation separately, it was together that they had moved all these miles to settle at the headquarters. Bella had joined the organisation just to spite her mother who she seemed to be at constant logger heads with over one thing or another. Usually over what she was wearing or who she was choosing to befriend. Bella, who had always had a rebellious streak thought that attending one of the organisation’s meetings would anger her mother. She was correct and the angrier her mother became, the more meetings Bella attended.

 

Liam, on the other hand, attended the meetings for the cause. He was from a poorer area of town to Bella and the growing divide between rich and poor angered him. He was very angry at the government and Bella often heard him declaring statements such as, “Destroy the director,” and “Anarchy rules.” The Director was the leader of the country and Bella had thought he was quite a nice man. She must have been bad at reading people because everyone here hated him. She had thought Liam was passionate about the cause and she knew her mother would despise him.  So, when Liam had invited her to a protest Bella didn’t think twice about joining. The thrill of attending something she could get in trouble for excited her and she enjoyed the fact that she was one of the only members who came from the richer side of town. Everyone wanted to talk to her and ask her questions about all sorts of mundane everyday things. She adored the attention. Liam, it became apparent, wanted her attention the most, and she was quite happy to let him have it. Thinking back, Bella wasn’t sure she really knew what the organisation stood for in those days. She attended the meetings purely to annoy her mother and relieve the boredom of her normal life. In the early days, Bella merely followed Liam’s lead by joining him on protests or accompanying him to meetings.

 

The change was gradual. At first Bella had turned up to the meetings, hung around for a bit, then once she was bored returned home. The rules were so insignificant in the beginning that she barely noticed them. Rose, one of the ladies that had been a member of the group for a very long time happened to mention to Bella that the group preferred it if you didn’t use social media too much. Bella didn’t take much notice. Then Liam had discussed with her the ins and outs of owning an android. He mainly mentioned the negative points. It resulted in Bella and her mother having an explosive argument when Bella wanted to disconnect the household’s robot. By the time Bella and Liam had become a couple, Bella had stopped using any social media and was not in contact with anyone other than the organisation’s members. She had even quit her studies as Liam said the government were using the online teaching platforms as a way to brainwash students. Bella didn’t think she could be easily influenced by the government, but Liam was adamant, and she wasn’t that interested in studying to go against him.

 

Today, as Bella sat on the sofa in the leisure room, the noise from the chatter and from the scraping of chairs as people sat down or rose to leave, was making her head throb. Finding it increasingly hard to listen to anyone, Bella make an excuse to leave and went in search of somewhere quieter.

 

Finally stumbling across a small room at the end of a corridor, it seemed the perfect place to escape. There was a large armchair in the corner and all the walls were covered head to toe in jammed packed bookshelves. Bella quietly closed the door behind her, hoping no one had noticed her enter the room. She wanted to be alone. To have complete peace and quiet. Sitting down, she risked the germs on the chair. It was comfy, really comfy. She felt like she might melt right into it. Bella took off her sweater so she could fold it into a makeshift pillow and rested her head against it. She felt tired. The headquarters was not a place anyone could easily find sleep. Even on a night-time when Bella and Liam were alone in their room, Bella could hear footsteps and muffled voices as people passed along the corridors at all hours. Liam, of course, seemed to have no problem sleeping and could go from wide awake to practically unconscious in what seemed like an instant. As she rested her mind drifted back to the Smart Bracelet. If she could find a way to sneak out of the headquarters building without being noticed then maybe out in the surrounding grounds, the bracelet would find a neighbouring internet connection. That’s if there was any connection close enough as the headquarters was situated so remotely, she could walk for a whole day and not find another building. Bella desperately wanted to contact her mother. She didn’t care if her mother shouted or screamed at her. A tear rolled down her cheek and Bella wiped the wet that had landed on the back of her hand. She wondered if her mother would charge across the country to bring her back home. Or perhaps she had demolished those bridges and her mother would simply have nothing more to do with her.

 

Hearing thundering footsteps, Bella sat up, alert on the edge of the chair. The door to the small room swung open and there stood Liam, red faced with anger, two halves of a broken bracelet in his hand. 


Submitted: July 21, 2021

© Copyright 2021 C L Pankhurst. All rights reserved.

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