My Death for My Choice
Death is an inevitability; all those with life will eventually succumb to it. It awaits with certainty at the end of the road, and not a single mortal soul could escape its welcoming arms in the end. Yet during the middle of the path, perhaps even from the beginning, when one is stumbling through both pain and joy of life, that death remains a choice, the one choice that will always remain.
In life I would constantly ask myself, what is the one thing that makes me, me?
Is it my race?
No, for I am one amongst millions.
Perhaps my age?
No, for I am considered part of a generation?
Would it be my likes? My dislikes? My dreams for the future?
No, not even then. For as long as there are billions of people out there in the world, there must be hundreds of thousands that share the same likes, the dislikes, even the dreams for the future.
No, the one thing that I can claim solely to myself is my life, and the choices I made within. It is impossible, even for twins, to experience the same life, to make the same choices, and for all that people can claim similarities, true understanding is beyond our reach. One can sympathize, perhaps even empathize, but never truly understand.
It is that one single truth that guides me in life. Perhaps my life, my mark on this Earth would be more insignificant than the path of an ant or the slow crawl of a snail, yet it will always be mine, and mine only.
So if there ever comes a time where I am presented choices, choices made by and for others, neither of which I would ever in life choose willingly? Then I shall fight back with all my being, and in the end, should that not prove to be enough, then with my own hands shall I end my life.
For it is not life itself that makes it worth living, but the freedom to make choices within it. There is no such thing as having no options, and death shall take me, free me, before I find myself choosing the depraved choice of another.
Not Worth It
Sacrifice, the researchers had said. For the greater good of humanity.
Robotic, observing, uncaring. They were blunt, I’ll give them that. They told me that the chances of surviving are slim to none, and that pain could possibly follow.
I knew what I was getting into. I had nothing to lose. No family, no money, nothing important. The other 11 volunteers probably felt the same.
Volunteering for a project with little to no scientific support was stupid, but damn was the money good.
…Although now that I think of it, the scientists probably didn’t expect anyone to survive. 10,000 each for any survivors with 12 volunteers, they’d be broke. Maybe they were even hoping that we would die so they wouldn’t have to pay up.
Waking up was nothing dramatic, though seeing no familiar faces was a bit of a pain to deal with. Other than that, my treatment was systematic, and I was scheduled for a full release into the ‘wilderness’ that is society within a year, after I caught up to standards on the state of it.
Honestly, I would say that it was a bit anticlimactic, but I do know that knowing something, and seeing something with your own eyes makes a world of a difference.
So within a month into my treatment, I had asked to be given a week to see the world outside, and permission was granted, with the condition that there would always be at least 5 people monitoring me, although I most likely wouldn’t know where or who they were.
Walking down the streets of New York flooded with people, I couldn’t help but think that my spot in the experiment should have been taken by someone else.
I didn’t know how to react.
An experiment into stretching the lifespan through cryostasis should have used people with things to lose. If this system is to be implemented in real life anyways.
A normal person would probably be anxious, crying, or have locked themselves in their own room upon waking up. Everything was different, and everything would have become a reminder of what they lost. Or perhaps they would have reveled in the convenience that the technology of the future provides, who knows.
Me? I didn’t care. I didn’t care that I was technically decades older than the grey-haired man sitting over there at the bus station. I didn’t care that not a single thing surrounding me matched my memories.
I didn’t care that I had lost what little I had left, the small cafe around the corner that I particularly liked, or that barber shop down the street which always smelled like mint shaving cream that I was fond of. I didn’t care that I would never see it again, nor did I care that the people that would hand me an extra scone at the cafe are most likely dead.
I didn’t care. But realizing that, realizing that I had not considered what was left for me worth it, realizing that I didn’t care, wasn’t worth the 67 years that I had given up.
And no amount of neon lights and concrete buildings and futuristic thingamajigs will ever change that fact for me.
You see that photo frame back there, leaning on the wall?
The one that's gathering dust?
The photo inside has already yellowed, be it from the years gone by or just plain carelessness. The photo frame was supposed to protect it. Protect the memories from being forgotten.
But it couldn't. And neither could I.
Now in this time and place, all I have left are impressions, what could have been, the what ifs.
But still, it is better than nothing.
As while the frame could not protect the picture, it protected the all the things I had left.
It’s Human Nature
Okay. Okay, I got this. 20 cans of Red Bull, 10 cans of Monster, a bunch of supplements that I’m not quite sure has any effect whatsoever, and a livestream chat that I have to respond to, or else. Great.
Deep breath in, and begin.
“Ladies and gentlemen, and any other gender whose political correct term I do not know so I will not say in this stream for fear of being bashed, I would like to begin my 36 hours of Presidency with these words, which I hope you will engrave into your heart: I did not ask for this. I do not know whose idea it was to have a random nobody be President for 36 hours, nor do I know who said it was a great idea to have said President become sleep deprived. Perhaps it was a ploy to gain the population’s sympathy for the government, perhaps this farce was created with the thought that it can’t get any worse than this.
I hate to break it to everyone, but it can. And it may. So I sincerely hope that, if any of you viewers have an ounce of love left for this country, please, please, think before you comment.
Now, before we start, there are a few things I want to make sure you viewers understand about the authority of the President.
First off, policies. There is a concept known as the balance of power, which means that, contrary to popular belief, whatever the President says DOES NOT become the law.
Any changes to policies I make as President must go through a number of people whose hobbies I sincerely believe to be wasting everyone’s time through endless, fruitless debates.
However, as this is a livestream, everyone of you will be able to participate in the creation of the changes I will propose through a poll. Those for, press yes, those against press no. Simple, right?
Taking into account the fact that I cannot sleep for 36 hours, it’s without a doubt that my thinking processes will decline. As such, the poll sysytem is a backup plan in which you viewers can help make a change and put your desired effects forward. Therefore, any decisions that will be made regarding America’s current policies will be entirely on you viewers.
Now, let’s begin shall we?”
36 hours later, I sat satisfied on my living room couch. Like I said on the Presidential live stream, I do not know whose idea it was to have a random ordinary person be President. Perhaps the situation has gone so downhill that the government was desperate enough to have one of the nation’s citizens, a person they are supposed to protect, beome a scapegoat for the declining state of America.
But, I thought, as I scrolled down on the trending news on Twitter, the joke’s on them. I did say that all my decisions as President will be on the viewers didn’t I? It’s the entire reason I acted delirious on screen, so that I wouldn’t be blamed entirely for anything I did during that time.
On the recent Presidential livestream, viewers who have voted against women’s abortion rights have been identified by an unknown hacker, and their houses vandalized. Several of the car malfunctions that have lead to the driver’s deaths may be tied to their choices in the poll. The once peaceful protests for climate change have now become violent, as the protesters can be seen causing property damage to those voters they have identified.
Yeah, the joke’s on them.
That was a lie. I don’t really look like a Lena, but I wasn’t about to give this guy my real name. Even if he was only hours away from being arrested.
I’m not stupid, nor am I ignorant, although there are many points in my life wherein I would have preferred to be in blissful ignorance. At this moment, however, all the what ifs are insignificant; they won’t be of any use to me. Its times like these that I wish I had put my phone in my pocket, instead of on the bed. It’s comparatively old fashioned, an iPhone 10, and nobody would bat an eyelash at it. Yet all I have on me are dainty fabrics, a sweater and jersey shorts, something that I cant’t expect fingerprints to be found on, and a ball-point pen in my pocket. It’s probably still better than nothing. Worst case scenario, that pen could be used as a weapon. I think.
“So, is this your first time on a first class seat?” He stared explicitly at my clothing and scoffed.
“Nope. Third time. Mileage plans are quite cost-effective.”
No need to lie here. I stared out the window in hope that the conversation would end, and it did. The silence was even worse, and my nerves were frayed to its limits.
How much more time must I wait until we land? Hours? Minutes? Seconds would be preferable but my luck isn’t that reliable.
…42 minutes? What? 42? That long? I have to sit and suffer in silence with a man convicted of sexual assaul…
No, no calm down. I may be stuck on an airborne closed space with a man who should have long since left this earth, but as stuck as I may be, he too is the same. I can’t escape; well, I could try but that would be all too suspicious. I wouldn’t have believed that a day would come when I preferred the cramped seating of the economy class, where someone, other than this guy, would be next to me, but today’s that day. Sweat is rolling down my arms in droves, and the state of my hands are even worse; the plastic pages of the magazine touting fake stories in hopes of profit are becoming see-through by the minute. He can sense my fear; I know that he can.
23 minutes. 23 more minutes till I’m either free or dead. 23…22…
At this point I’m not sure if that’s short or long. Perhaps the silence had driven me insane, but the fact that He will find himself behind bars is set in stone, and so too is his fated end. I live in a time far passed that period, yet I find myself here. Those theories of time paradoxes and whatnot gives me enough hope that I’ll make it out of here alive.
Thoughts of well-sought retribution filtered through my head; the nausea and oppressed rage upon hearing of this man’s crimes cried for punishment, yet what was I to do? Young I may be, but there was no way that I, whose daily exercise consisted of consisted of walking to the nearest Starbucks, could outmatch him in physical strength. Intellectually? Because of course, a commoner can stand up to a business tycoon with plenty of connections; it's not like I would get erased both socially and physically the instant I tried, no not at all. If being convicted as a sex offender couldn’t stop this man from getting an extensive work release even while imprisoned, then I don’t know what would.
10 minutes…10 minutes left.
The plane had long since began its descent, and its extremely likely that once I set a foot off of this aircraft, I would be right back in my air-conditioned room. Curiosity had, in the end, gotten the best of me; what could be more thrilling than asking a man, a man who would be buried deep underground back in my time, a question that only I would learn the answer to?
So I asked.
“Do you actually have an escape plan, or do you honestly believe that your connections would protect you? Because as far as I know, people love their reputations, and so far you’ve been doing nothing but dirtying that, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they cut ties with you.”
Perhaps that may have been a bit too blunt. But as they say, time is money, and I’ve been wasting it shivering in fear. Might as well make the best of it.
“No, not connections, not at all. You’re getting it all wrong, honey. Money is what got me the connections, and those I can get back easily. You see all those people back in the economy class? Pasting on smiles on their faces and laughing, as if what they have is enough for them.
Those that don’t have money are cowards, the lot of them. Too afraid and too subservient to what society tells them, and hanging on for dear life on something that wouldn’t last.
You see my business? My business that society says is ‘evil’? It’s what got me the most money, and that says it all.
As long as the people, the rich and the famous, want something that’s forbidden, I’ll always have a way out.”
Well, I’ll say, tell that to your rotting corpse just a month from now. Cause I’m pretty sure, as long as that death wasn’t faked, that you didn’t find your way out.
Thoughts of the impending arrest blew through my mind as I walked down the aisle.
With relief at the landing plane, and satisfaction at having a question answered, I stepped off the plane.
The last thing I saw was the gray carpet floor, then black.