May 17th, 2066

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This girl--Jess--is also traveling north. We met when she put a knife to my throat and demanded information. Instead of robbing me--which would have been fair, given that I essentially stole everything in my backpack--she just asked if I would share food. This was after she realized that I'm an imperfect, too, at which point she removed the knife from my throat.

Jess promptly told me that she's bisexual. At first, I thought that was an odd way to introduce yourself, but then I realized that she was telling me so that I'd know why she's being hunted. Per the Perfect America Bill, her sexuality is a sign of mental illness, and thus... she's imperfect.

That makes even less sense than my own imperfection. Not only is the reasoning behind it completely unfounded, but her "illness" doesn't prohibit her from functioning as a member of society. Unlike my actual illness.

In a few years, I'll just be a useless heap of flesh and bone. I watched it happen to my aunt. I watched her transition from slightly forgetful and sore to incoherent, drooling, and tormented. That was when we granted her last comprehensible request: "Kill me."

Jess won't end up like that--at least, who she's attracted to won't cause her to end up that way. But the law is the law, and we're both running from it. Once Jess put her knife away and we finished eating, she suggested we walk together. I was worried about slowing her down, but she said she wouldn't mind so long as I would talk to her.

We walked together all day. I'll admit, as cross as she can be, it's nice to have someone to talk to. I don't remember the last person I talked to.

Oh, my mom. It was my mom.

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