I used to wonder why we had to take a white pill every morning. The government forces us to have them. To make sure we are taking the pills, they made it illegal to skip your daily doses. They will charge you $500 for one day, and my mother always thought that was too extreme. I miss my mother. They say she died in a car crash, but I’m not sure if I believe that story. I’m suspicious about it because of how my mother acted before she passed. She used to say she could hear voices and see people, and when my father and I would look, we would see nothing.
My father asked his coworkers if they have experienced anything like this, and they suggested to report her to the City Hall just fora checkup. My mother went, and on the way home she got in a crash. They say her car fell off an edge and was never seen again, but there aren’t any cliffs on the way to the City Hall! They must have been lying, but why would they lie about this? I mount my bike, which was previously laying against the porch, and I start to ride away to school. I am one of the kids who don’t mind school that much, but only because school distracted me from getting to depressed about my mother’s death.
I realize now that I’m getting lost in thoughts as I now suddenly slam the breaks. I slap my forehead. I forgot my morning pill! I turned around to see that I am at least half a mile away from home. I would never be able to make it to school on time if I turn around now! Hopefully no one will notice that I skipped them. I continue to bike down the street. “Hey Maria! ” my friend Camille yells as I turn to see her coming my way. “Hi Camille,” I respond. “Have you seen Ryleigh anywhere? Normally I met her at the stop sign near my house, but she wasn’t there! ” She exclaims.
Maybe she’s sick,” I state the obvious. “Ryleigh is never sick! That girl has an immune system of steel! ” “She could be on vacation, Camille. ” “Okay, maybe you’re right. I’m getting ahead of myself. ” “You always do,” I mutter under my breath. We both finally arrive at the big brown building that I call my high school. Once we tie our bikes to the bike stand, I head straight to my locker, as the first bell rang. As I close my locker, I look to my left and realized something. The guy whose locker was right next to mine had been gone for weeks. I think his name was Mike or something along those lines.
He was on the football team, and it seems like everyone is going missing that day. I sit down in my chair for first hour science class. As the teacher reads of the attendance list, I notice in that moment how many people have left the school. At least everyone assumed they changed schools. I remember how we started the year off with approximately thirty-five kids in the class, and now we only have twenty-six. I whisper to the guy sitting next to me, “Doesn’t it seem that we always have a lot of people missing? ” “Well, yeah. They’re always gone. It’s kind of suspicious actually, saying when they vanished,” he mumbles back.
What do you mean? ” “You don’t know? ” He raises an eyebrow, then continues to speak quietly, “Remember Angelica? The head cheerleading who was dating the quarterback? One day she was walking around claiming that her name wasn’t Angelica, and she was actually a twelve year old girl named Cindy. After that, they say she changed schools, but she wasn’t the only one. There was this boy named Peter. He was a shy kid. He barely talked or had any friends, and he sat in the back corner,” he points to a desk far behind us. “One day he was curled up in a little ball, breathing heavily in the corner.
I’m not sure what was happening, but he seemed to have pure fear for the world. He later got called down to the office, and I’ve never seen Peter again. ” “Excuse me,” the teacher suddenly proclaims, “I appear to be interrupting something? ” I slide my chair back to the side of my table, as she stares blankly at us. She resumes the class, but I can’t stop thinking about Angelica and Peter. Maybe their disappearances are related to Mike, Ryleigh, or even my mother! Something is seriously wrong, but I need to figure out what. “Maria! ” the teacher screamed at me as she slapped her hand against the hard wooden desk.
I feel the real world slowly jolt back to me. I was zoning out in class again. “Do I need to repeat myself?! ” She said in a stern voice. I look around frantically, as I try to figure out what she may have asked me. At that exact moment, the bell rang, and I bolted to the hallway. “Did I tell you that you could leave? ” She screamed after me. A normal person would have just said that they’re sorry for not paying attention and that they don’t know, but I am not a normal person.
“Maria. ” I hear a familiar voice say. I turn around to see the boy again. “Follow me. He grabs my wrist and leads me into a janitor’s closet. “Why did you run out. ” “I don’t know, I felt overly nervous, yet angry. I know I’m just overreacting, but-” “No, you’re not overreacting. I know this might sound weird, but I have been watching you. ” He said calmly. “Wha-? ” “Do you have constantly changing emotions? Like, your one minute sad, and one minute you feel like you’re on top of the world? ” “Yeah, sometimes, I guess. ” I say awkwardly. How does he understand me? He opens his mouth to speak again, but is interrupted by the loud PA speaker’s voice. “Please excuse the announcement.
An emergency assembly is going to begin within fifteen minutes. Can every teacher please lead their next class to the gymnasium please. Thank you. ” After the speaker has quieted, the boy said a word that I personally would not like to repeat. “What, it’s just an assembly? ” I ask him. “No,” he starts, “they’re having an assembly because of you. Listen, it’s clear already that you’re not normal, and they want to stop you from doing anything that they see as dangerous. ” “I don’t do anything dangerous! I don’t plan to do anything dangerous! ”
“They don’t care,” he shushes me, “you are different, and that scares them. “Why an assembly though? ” I respond in question. “You’ve been to one of these before. They tell the whole school about how they should report strange behaviors, and all of a sudden your friends are telling the principal about all the little things you do. The little quirks you have that you didn’t even notice will be tied against you. ” “How do you know? ” “Because,” he paused and sighed, “I was the friend, and I regret being responsible for the death of them. I just didn’t know what was happening, but after they disappeared I knew that something was up.
Through all the searching I did, I discovered that the government has a dark secret. They are hiding the truth. Maria,” he took a deep breath, then continued to speak lightly, “they killed your mother. ” I felt rage build inside me. It couldn’t be true, could it? I knew something was off, but far inside me I didn’t believe it to be reasonable. Then, another loud speaker’s voice echoed down the hall from the PA. “Maria De La Rosa and James Schuyler, please report to the main office. Thank you. ” The boy, who I realized his name is James, said another unrepeatable word.
Why are they afraid of differences? ” I whisper to James. “You have something that they thought they got rid of many years ago,” he turned to face me as he spoke, “the pill in the morning is supposed to get rid of it. The thing that they realized after releasing the pill is that it doesn’t work on everyone. I’m not sure if it’s in our DNA, or just our bodies wouldn’t give in to it, but it doesn’t work on us. Many years ago, scientists designed the pill to erase what they called mental disorders. Most people saw these disorders as threatening and unsafe, so they required the pill to be consumed.
One day, they found out that it wasn’t working fully on some people. To insure the safety of others, they decided that the only way to keep the world “normal” was to kill these people. ” My brain rushed as it tried to process all the information it has just been given. There is a long silence before I finally speak once more. “We have to escape then. We have to run out of town where no one can find us. We can change our names. We’re too suspicious to stay here! ” “Calm down. They wouldn’t get rid of us right away. They question you first. No matter where we go they will find us. We have to go to the office.
Just remember, whatever they say to you, act normal. ” I nod as he opens the door and leads the way to the main office. The walk felt like the longest stroll I have ever taken, but we have finally approached the office. As we walk in, a women in a gray jumper with a long purple shawl walks up to us. “You two are,” she hesitates as she reads off a piece of paper, “James and Maria, correct? ” James nods and crosses his arms. “We’ll start off with the lady. ” She smiles fakely as she opens a door to a small room. I walk inside and sit in the brown chair.
“So, Maria, how long have you known James. “Uh, we sit next to each other in science. ” “Okay, and what emotions are you feeling at this movement in time? ” A question like that is easy to tell what she’s trying to get out of me. “Confused and bored,” I answer. That seems like a normal teenage thing to say, right? “Why are you confused? ” “Because I literally just got called down to the office for no reason. ” “The reason you are here is because of you running out of class, and not to mention the fact that you weren’t able to be found during the assembly,” she looks at me with a blank stare. “And that leads me to my next question.
Where were you? ” “I was… ” I scan through all of the reasonable excuses but non of them were average, except for one, “Fine, you caught me. I was skipping class. By the time the assembly had started, I making my way to the back doors. I heard my name on the announcement, and knew that my parents would scream at me if they got a call from school. ” “Okay, now what I am going to do is just hook you up to the machine that will measure your brain activity. After it’s connected, I am just going to ask you a few more questions. ” she explained as she placed something that looked like a helmet on my head.
She walked over to a computer, and she typed something on her keyboard. She then sat down in a swivel chair near the computer, and she then began to speak again. “Were you scared when the teacher called you out. ” She probably has some program on her computer that will tell if I’m lying or not, so I decide to bend the truth. “Yes, I don’t want to be made fun of. ” “However, children get yelled at for not paying attention in class all the time. Why did you feel so threatened? ” Honestly, I don’t even know the answer to this question. “I don’t know,” I tell the truth.
She nods as she reaches into the desk and pulls out a jar of small pills. They are similar to the ones I forgot to take this morning, except they are a light blue color. “One more question,” she states as she takes of the cap, pouring one pill out. “Why do you plan to take over our society? ” “What? ” I ask. What is she talking about? I have no plans to do anything, other than leave town. “I was just informed that you and him were talking about a plan to ‘escape. ’ We all know that the only way to escape is to destroy today’s society. You and your kind are so selfish. You’re willing to sacrifice our happiness for your own! She exclaimed at me. “I don’t want to ruin anything! ” I cry back at her.
Then, silences lingers for a few seconds. “Here,” she says quieter as she passes me the pill. “You’re never going to get away with whatever you’re planning. ” I don’t reach out my hand for the pill, so she forces it into my hand. “You might as well give up now before anything worse happens. ” All of a sudden, everything seems to go in slow motion. A thousand thoughts flood through my head. I don’t know what to do. I realize that James probably is right, and that no matter where we go they will find us. I take a deep breath, and swallow the pill.