GENRE: YA dystopian
No one’s here to wish me goodbye. The train platform overflows with soldiers and their loved ones, it’s hard to watch strangers kiss, hug and cry through smiles. I’m fatherless, he didn't come. Clothed in mandatory black, the crowd thickens as the countdown to the Departure Ceremony begins. Ten minutes to go, ten minutes before we depart. I should get ready and be nervous, but instead, I swallow the hurt and vanish from these witnesses to his rejection. Why did he leave me alone, today of all days?
I enter the deserted girls’ barracks, the media screen at the ceiling corner a shallow buzz showing live images of our training camp. I seek the back of the aseptic room and sit on the bunk-bed that was mine until this morning. The rolled up mattress and blanket full of holes are ready to welcome the next girl who’ll cry into her pillow, blaming the harsh orders and hard training—like I did, every night. But truth be told, my tears spilled for the fear of where I’d be going, doubt that I’d ever be competent enough, the dread of my first kill and dying alone. And for Dad that I missed so, wishing he’d understand, that he’d come to see me off, today.
I wrote him letters, during the four hour train ride bringing me here, and then everyday at down time. They remain in my cargo pocket, I’ll never mail them, don’t want him to read something embarrassingly resembling journal entries.