Omega (First Three Chapters)

Last September, everyone in my high school took a standardized test. But we hadn’t taken the OAAs since 8th grade. This one was different. A woman in a suit walked around the room observing us the whole time, presumably to check if we were cheating. When I got to PE class, I was forced to run around the gym until I passed out. More people in suits held stopwatches and tablets, recording our times. We had several other physical tests, and then went about our day. We weren’t told ahead of time about any of this, and we never got any sort of explanation. Even the teachers seemed confused. On the first day of summer vacation, I got my answer.

Cover by @Infinite_Exho

This is the first three chapters of a story I've been working on. I won't update it on Movellas past these chapters, but if it ever gets published or something (yeah, right) then I'll put a link to the full version. It's dystopian, by the way, but Movellas hasn't made that a category yet.

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1. Chapter One

Last September, everyone in my high school took a standardized test. But we hadn’t taken the OAAs since 8th grade. This one was different. A woman in a suit walked around the room observing us the whole time, presumably to check if we were cheating. When I got to PE class, I was forced to run around the gym until I passed out. More people in suits held stopwatches and tablets, recording our times. We had several other physical tests, and then went about our day. We weren’t told ahead of time about any of this, and we never got any sort of explanation. Even the teachers seemed confused. On the first day of summer vacation, I got my answer.

***

I tossed a stack of university pamphlets into the trash. I wouldn’t be needing those anymore.

I debated for a minute whether or not my suitcases were too juvenile. One was an old simple gray case from my dad, but one was hot pink with 70s-esque flowers all over it. I decided I really didn’t care and finished throwing last minute items into my carry-on.

The only thing besides furniture and some childhood relics was my NYU sweatshirt, laying on my bed and taunting me. I balled it up and threw it into my closet, slamming the door. I didn’t need that to remind me of what could’ve been. “Early” and “admission” had been my two favorite words for the past year, but now they were at the bottom of my list. I knew this was a great opportunity and all, and I would be doing the world a great service, but that didn’t mean I was happy about not going to college.

“They’re here.” Jaxon stood in the doorway with his arms crossed. As far as he knew, this was some sort of college shuttle. 5-year-old’s don’t know those don’t exist, right?

“Thanks, buddy.” I went to ruffle his hair but he ducked out of the way. No one can hold a grudge like my little brother.

“Jax,” I crouched down to look him in the eye, “I’m sorry I’m leaving, but I don’t really have a choice. I have to grow up and get a job just like mom and dad.”

“You can be my babysitter! That’s a job.” He huffed.

“But you’ll grow up too.” I smiled.

“No, I won’t!” He looked horrified.

“Okay.” I stood up just as dad came in to help with my bags.

Dad gave me a forced smile as he hoisted the falling-apart suitcases out of my room. I got everything else and followed him downstairs.

“I still don’t get why you haven’t bought some newer suitcases.” I watched Dad huff and puff down the stairs.

“You know why I think these are just fine.” He gave me a pointed look. I did. All new suitcases were lighter, and more durable, and had great so-called “security”, because trust in literally any human being besides yourself was currently unheard of, but they were all also equipped with trackers.

“Say goodbye to Jaxon before you come down, and tell him to stay in his room.”

“Okay.” Jaxon’s door was open a sliver and I could hear him crying inside. My heart broke in half.

“Jaxon?” I pushed it open more and saw a child-sized lump under his space-themed quilt.

He stilled.

“Hm, I wonder where Jaxon is? I can’t find him.” I walked over to the bed and sat on the lump. Well, not fully. I didn’t want to kill the kid.

I got a giggle.

“This bed isn’t as comfortable as I remember.” I wiggled around and he laughed harder.

“I could’ve sworn he was in here.”

“I’m right here, Neema!” He popped out from under the covers, his face flushed.

“What?” I shouted and jumped up. He burst into another laughing fit and nearly rolled off the bed. Right as he recovered, I attacked him with tickles and pulled him into a bear hug.

“I’ll miss you.” I whispered into his hair.

“I’ll miss you too.” His wet cheeks soaked through my thin shirt.

“Can you keep an eye on my old toys?” I asked, “I know not all of them can put themselves away like yours, but they’re still fun to play with.”

He nodded, rubbing his face against me.

“I love you Jax.”

“I love you too.”

After one last squeeze like my life depended on it, I left my brother’s room. The red light blinking on the camera in the corner caught my eye as I left. It was set up to detect, “unfamiliar movement.” Whatever that is. I didn’t have one when I was little, but now they practically force you to put them in your house, or at least in the rooms of young children. They say it’s never actually filming unless it detects the movement of a new person in the house, but I doubted that. Luckily, Dad had only caved into getting one for Jaxon’s room. Otherwise, I would have to change in my closet.

Sarah was trying her best not to cry, and dad hugged me for two minutes straight. The chauffeur was getting impatient, so I said my last goodbyes and closed the car door before I grabbed them both and never let go.

The car had a partition, so I closed it and tried to keep my tears as quiet as possible. I knew I was being ridiculous. I knew I would be going to college in a few months anyways. But this was different. It felt more...final, somehow. I didn’t know if I’d be allowed to visit, or how much taller Jaxon would be when I next saw him. I shoved in earbuds and played the most calming music I could find. I couldn’t walk in there with tear tracks on my face.

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