Chapter Three - The Assignments

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Alright! Here is the big reveals! I can't wait to get into the plot. Thank you for reading and if you like this please vote and follow me! 

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I am disappointed to see that I will find out my life partner towards the end of the day. But what is a few more hours of anxiety? We drift through the crowds and join the back of the growing line in front of the door that reads: "Health Department." After waiting seemingly forever, my family is ushered in.

 We are each escorted through separate doorways by different doctors. I sit on the cold, plastic bench for my evaluation. The doctor comes over and shakes my hand sparing me a knowing look and a warm smile. I look at her name tag which reads: Dr.Simmons. I sit patiently as she takes my vital signs. It takes longer to go through my check-up do to my fidgeting. When my evaluation is done, I am released into the meeting hall where I join my family. Seeing as we are all healthy, we are ready to continue on.

 We work our way through the collage of people. I see Leah heading to the Employment Department through the organized chaos and send her a smile before a woman walks in between us and she disappears into the crowd.

"Carmen, honey? Do you want a drink of water?" My mother questions.

"No, I'm fine," I reply. Again we wait in an infinite line, though this time to enter the Department of Education and visit my brother. My younger siblings were getting impatient. Nevaeh would let out a shrieking sob while Addeline would free a long whine. My mother rushed to quiet them, noticing the demeaning looks from people around us. While there are many other qualified people to run the education meeting we always are scheduled with Ryker.

Finally, the door ahead opened and Ryker peeked his head out and called our family name. I rush to hug him, as there are few times we are able to see him any more. The rest of my family followed until we pulled each other into a family hug. "Well, let's get down to business," my brother says. He ushers us into his office and pulls the family education files up on the large holoscreen. "Carmen finished with perfect school marks, so nothing to say there." He pauses then continues scrolling, "Terrence you have pulled up your marks since last year, good to see. Maisie is following in Carmen's footfalls. Addy seems to be falling behind in her historical studies. Maybe apply yourself more? Scott has good notices from his teachers, but Sean seems to be flagrant with his education." Ryker finishes.

My father glances at Sean who is slumped in his seat. He mumbles something incoherently then says, "I just don't understand the way Mrs.Penny teaches."

Ryker sighs, "Well I can switch you to Mr. Sonne's class if your marks will benefit." Sean just nods in response. "Next year Nevaeh's Pre-Academic Test will need to be taken so she can be accepted into the First Level Classes." He flashes her a smile and she buries her head into my mother's shoulder. Being born the same year as Ryker moved out never gave them time to get to know each other. "Well, I am glad I got to see you all," Ryker says. We all smile and agree and leave after another round of hugs.

We exit the door on route to get my career assignment and we are pleasantly surprised to see that no long line awaits us. After five minutes we are invited in and take seats by the desk. The man behind the desk looks up with an expression of sheer boredom until his eyes land on my anxious figure. His mood change seemed very extreme. "Hello!" He nearly shouts, spit spraying through the air. My family gives him a hesitant greeting. He wastes not a second before he begins to sputter out words. "Both Daniel and Maria Louis have perfect reports on their employment managing our food packaging factory. So skipping on the the interesting part, Carmen has received a career assignment," his bug eyes look at me. I let out a large breath I had been holding. As unreasonable as it was I never let the idea of being an incompetent out of my mind. He begins again, "Miss Carmen Marie Louis will be Brooks Commonwealth's next Genealogy Director." He smiles triumphant that he delivered the news to me.

The room is still. Having my brother becoming a Director was a huge deal for our family. But having two Directors from one family has never been heard of. "Congratulations honey!" My mother exclaims as she smooths down my hair. My father pulls me into a bear hug and tells me good job. As excited as I am about receiving such an honorable position in the community my heart drops at leaving my loved ones behind as I meet my future. I don't want them to become my past.

Our moment fades as the man interrupts, "When following normal protocol the new adult would be sent home to gather belongings and depart for their new home the following day, however, since Carmen will now be living in the Counsel Division, our Directors have found it unnecessary for her to go home only to return tomorrow. Arrangements have been made for her to stay with Director Ryker and his housemate for the time being."

"His housemate?" My mother questions.

The man is quick to reply, "Directors do not live alone as a safety precaution. Since neither of the Directors had a mate they share a home. As far as I know the other Director has recently been matched with a life partner and will soon move out. So when the family schedule is complete Carmen will meet Ryker back in the Gathering Room and the rest of you will go home on your scheduled flight. An agent will be over tonight to bring Carmen's belongings to her new residence." My father offers a nod of understanding and we head to the Genealogy Department.

My palms are sweating and my knees wobble beneath me. I hope desperately I have a Life Partner and that we can have a relationship like my parents. But if I don't I could get to know someone and self-suggest at age eighteen. My request could get approved and then that person would become my life partner. Finding the right line, we wait in anxious anticipation to find out if I was matched.

After an endless wait, the door swings open and we are accepted into the office-- which will soon be mine. "Sit," the current Genealogy Director commands. We all pile in and she begins, "the family relationship seems to overall be healthy. Though the younger children seem to carry on many arguments." She shoots a killer look in the direction of Addeline and the twins. She continues on asking questions regarding my parents marriage and relationship. Drowning out the conversation I look up at the sound of my name. "Carmen will be recieving her Life Partner Assignment..." She is interrupted by a knock at the door, "come in," she speaks loudly.

The door is opened and a man steps in. None other than Liam Parker. "You wanted to see me ma'am?" He says.

"Yes, take a seat and I will get those papers to you in a moment." He complies and settles in a chair next to mine.

"As I was saying Carmen is receiving a Life Partner. But before I release the name I am required to run through the guidelines of the Life Partner Bill. Forced marriage is not an ideal. Therefore, if the partnership decides the matching is undesired, they can file for a withdrawal of Life Partner status. But rarely has it ever happened. Marriage or Withdrawal can only take place after a week's time period and three Life Partner Courses. If life partners are not married within two years, the partnership is withdrawn and they may be rematched. Any romantic dealings with another person during the partnership is prohibited. A reminder to the younger children to practice abstinence until their partnership. These rules are to ensure healthy population growth and an emotionally stable community." She finishes with a breath. My heart is beating rapidly, clawing to escape from inside. 

"So as an official partnership Carmen Marie Louis will be a Life Partner to Liam Nathaniel Parker." I turn my head to look at him in shock. Blush crept up my cheeks as our eyes met. He had deep blue diamond eyes and judging by the look in them he already knew. The moment is interrupted by the woman, "A house is currently being built for the two of you and will be ready in approximately five days. For the time being, you will both stay in residence with Director Ryker."

Liam stands up and grabs the papers, thanks the woman, smiles at me and heads back to work. Sensing the meeting's finality, my family and I head to the Population Department to finish our schedule. Today I have learned of my future and tomorrow I will have to live it.

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That's Chapter 3!!! I am excited that next chapter we can really get into the plot and start the relationship between Carmen and Liam! Thank you for reading and don't forget to vote and follow me.

Lot of Love, Kenzie ❤️ Kate

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