I come from the Cave

Two populations, two races, two worlds. One lives in the bright sun, one lives in the darkness below.
In the Cave life goes on as usual. Men work in the mines, women work as teachers, architects or nurses, while some have the privilege of working in the above world as tutors.
Andrea was born different. Not because of her looks, but because of her tattoo, and her number. Without her knowledge, everyone's eyes are on her, everyone is watching. And as she begins her own tutoring job in the above world, she realizes her mission is far bigger than teaching chemistry to a rich boy from a rich family.

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1. Prologue

The light penetrated the room, scanned the cramped little space, searched and searched until it hit the bed. The two outlines under the covers stirred and turned towards the light. The woman covered her face with one, to block the bright light from hurting her eyes. Her other hand shot to protect her enlarged belly, wrapping her arm around it, shielding it from the intrusive light.

Her husband moved closer to her, and encircled her with his own arms, before looking at the Guardian and nodding.

“We are still here. You can stop trying to run us blind now, thank you.” He told the Guardian, who in turn nodded and shone the light around the room one more time. One the check was complete, he left.

“I am never going to get used to this, never Max.” she told her husband, before patting her stomach and pulling herself up, so that her back was uncomfortably resting against the hard rocky wall behind their bed.

Max looked at her, and smiled.

“You just need to worry about keeping our child safe. Let the Guardians scrutinize us. She is our hope, she is our future. You just worry about keeping her safe Viola, and I will worry about the rest.”

Viola looked around the cramped little room that was their home, their haven, their safety. The furniture was crammed in the small room, with barely enough space to get to the bathroom door. Their dresser stood against one wall, tilted on one side because one of its feet had been lost during the Transition. The small coffee table, with two chairs tucked deep under it was surrounded by chaos. It was a tradition there, to keep rooms messy and cramped. It made the jobs of the Guardians that much harder, and it was a silent rebellion against their supposedly perfect life style.

“Max, are we sure we want to bring a child into this?” she said, gesturing to their whole universe. He took her chin in his hand and kissed her forehead softly.

“She is going to save us, Viola. And we will love her, deeply. There is no better time than now.” He whispered to her, before helping her lay down again.

The Guardian sighed, and leaned against the wall next to the door to their cell. He closed his eyes and his blue tongue flashed to lick his lips. They were pregnant. Another white child was soon going to come into their world. He pressed his palm against his forehead, wiped away the sweat from his eyebrows. Time to report back to the surface.

I hope for their own sake that it is not a girl, he though.

 

My parents wept when I was born. They cried hot tears in front of their block’s Guardian and in front of the gynecologist, who smiled gently at them and brought me to the side room for the marking procedure. My parents cried because I was born a girl, and their wishes had been executed. They had given birth to a beautiful baby girl. The gynecologist brought me back to their arms, a pulsing blue number tattooed on my shoulder, and they stared at me for days. The friends came to visit them, and brought other friends along. Sheer happiness was not something one saw very commonly in the Cave, and once there was some floating around somewhere, people ran towards it like bees fly towards nectar. They stole some for themselves, and the rest of their day would be slightly better than usual, because they had seen joy. And there was nothing like the joy of parents watching their newly born baby girl.

I was born in the Cave. I am from the Cave. I am a Cave Girl.

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