Different

Different is dangerous. Same is safe.

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1. The Assembly

I jumped out of bed on that morning frowning broadly. Today was the Assembly. The day that everyone that came of age would be given their spouses, their housing units, and other such things. But it would be two more months until I was eighteen. Not that I was different. No, different was dangerous, and same was safe. Yes, that was it.

Stepping out of bed, I put on my most beautiful ruffly black dress. Today was the Assembly, and I had to look the best.

I grabbed my card and walked up to the door to meet Mother.

"Hold out your hand," said Mother, holding out the injector. I held out my hand, and she stabbed me right in the wrist. 

"Mother, why do I have to be injected every day?" I asked her.

"To protect us. To keep our minds at ease, and to just relax," said Mother.

"And what does it protect us from?"
"Difference," Mother responded.

I guess that that made sense. Different is dangerous, and same is safe. That was what I had been told all of my life.

But was it right?

I guess it is, I felt a jolt and thought suddenly. Of course it was. Of course! What was I thinking? If everyone says that it's right, then, well, it must be right!

"What cha thinking about, Eve?" asked Mother.

"Oh, just that...different is dangerous, and same is safe. That's all," I said.

Mother nodded. "That's right." At that, we walked out of the door.

"ALL RESIDENTS, PLEASE REPORT TO THE AUDITORIUM," said the voice on the various intercoms placed around the town.

Mother and I ran all the way down the street to the large bowl of a building. 

Right when we stepped in the double doors and found our seats, there was the ringing sound that could mean only one thing- the Assembly was starting.

Sure enough, the Organizer of Events stepped onto the stage with a long list of names. She smiled her pretty little flirty smile at the crowd of people that were sat in a circle behind her, then turned around to the crowd and smiled. I knew what was coming next- her same-ol'-same-ol' speech.

The Organizer opened her mouth and spoke carefully. She said,"Welcome, all, to the Assembly of Ages, or, as you all call it, the Assembly! I am Maria, the town's Organizer of Events. I'm glad that you all decided to come!"

As if we had a choice, I thought.

"Please look over to the side of the stage. You'll see the Comers of Ages," said Maria. There was a small creak as everyone turned their heads.

"We will start with the Spouse Pairings, then move onto the Child Amounts, then onto the Dwelling Distribution, then and lastly, the Job Assignments." Maria paused. "Now, for those that are new, let me explain these to you."

The only people that are knew, I thought, are too young to even think!

"The Spouse Pairings are where we match two similar Comers of Ages together. They will then have however many children they are assigned during the Child Amounts. The Child Amounts are, as I have already explained, however many children the couple is supposed to give birth to. After they fulfill this amount, then they must have the male spouse put in the Due chamber, where he will peacefully be delivered to another town. Then, we will have the Dwelling Distribution, where the couple will be given a new place to live in. Lastly, there will be the Job Assignments. This is where each person is assigned a task, which they must complete until they are Due."

Maria smiled. "So, without further word, let us continue." She then started reading off the names of the couples, then she read the Child Amounts, then the Dwelling Distributions, and then, lastly, the Job Assignments. This was so monotonous.

​But suddenly, it occurred to me that just next month, I'd be up there. And, with that thought, I smiled, got up with the rest of the people that had already started leaving, and ran off behind them.

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