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"Happy Birthday to you~" Rachel sang. I smiled.

It's the year 2169 and today is my 25th birthday. In this world, people are genetically engineered to stop aging at 25. Everyone then develops a countdown on their forearm set for a year.

Once that countdown hits zero, it's game over.

"Happy Birthday, my dear boy, happy birthday to you~" Rachel sang, setting down the birthday cake that she had in her hand on a table beside me.

I blew out the candles and Rachel clapped and cheered.

Rachel is my mother, and a very loving, kindhearted woman she is. It's just her and I, ever since my father, James had left us. A few years ago, we found out that he died or as we like to call it ran out of time.

Did I cry when my father died? No. He was never there for me nor my mother and I've never considered him a figure of any kind.

"Happy Birthday, Alexander." Rachel said.

"Thanks, Mom." I said.

"If I had more time left, I would've brought you a gift." Rachel said.

"No, your life is way more important than some birthday gift. You need all the time you have left." I said.

I looked down at her forearm and sighed. Rachel only had three months left to live and it's going down pretty quickly.

"I know, but I still wanted to get you something. Anyway, when's the next time you're getting paid?" Rachel asked.

I'm a factory worker at an nearby factory. Besides that, I have one real job and that's to make enough time, so I can give it to my mother and keep her alive.

Maybe, I could make enough to get my mother and I out of this hell hole as well.

"I should be getting paid today according to my boss." I replied.

"That's good. Let me see your forearm." Rachel said. I rolled up my sleeve and extended my arm my mother to see.

"Remember what I told you?" She asked.

"I have to make every second and every moment count." I replied.

"That's right." Rachel said.

"Honestly, you worry about me too much. You need to worry more about yourself, Mom." I told her.

"Don't worry about me, I'll survive." Rachel said, covering her forearm with her hand and giving me a small reassuring smile.

"Hopefully." I said, sighing.

"Alright, this cake isn't going to eat itself. You better hurry up and get a slice before I eat the whole thing." Rachel said. I chuckled and cut myself a piece of birthday cake.

As I ate my piece of cake, I got a flashback from when I was a child.

"Momma, what's behind that border that we're supposed to never cross?"

She would never answer my question and instead say,

"Now now, this is your home Alexander. This will forever be your home, so don't you think about leaving."

I still don't know what's behind that border until this day, but I'm eventually gonna find out soon.

"Hurry up and finish eating your cake. I don't want you to be late for work." Rachel said.

"Yes, ma'am." I said, finishing the last little bit of my cake.

"Be careful, Alexander. Make sure you go straight to work." Rachel said.

"Don't worry, Mom. I'll be fine, I promise. I love you." I said.

"I love you too, Alexander." Rachel said, smiling.

I grabbed my coat and headed out the door to the factory.


"Mr. Laurens, your father is waiting for you downstairs." One of my father's maids told me.

"I'll come downstairs when I feel like it." I said, yawning.

"I'm afraid that's not an option, sir." She said.

"Oh no, it's an option. Amendment rights still exist, yknow? I have the freedom to decide whether I want to leave my room or not and I say no." I said.

"But, sir-" She started to say.

"John Henry Laurens, get your ass downstairs right now!" My father called.

"See you downstairs, sir." The maid said, leaving the room.

Ah. Henry Laurens. He's one asshole of a father I can have.

My mother, Eleanor Laurens is dead now. She was kidnapped and murdered by time thieves who crossed the border from dystopia to here.

And get this, my father didn't even care to find out who killed her. Ever since then, I haven't cared two flying fucks about anything or anyone, especially not my father.

I groaned and got out of bed. I took of my pjs and changed into something more formal. Once I looked decent or whatever, I walked out of my room and headed downstairs.

I rolled up my sleeve and looked at my countdown.

Ten. Fucking. Decades. Left.

I thought being able to live forever was awesome at first, but then I had a moment of realization.

What am I going to do with all this time?

There are dystopians behind that border who are struggling because they have such little time to live and we utopians can't even lend them a fucking year.

You may think living in utopia is all fine and dandy. But no, it really isn't.

For many people like my father they call it heaven itself, but for me it's more like hell.

I just want a normal life, is that too much to ask for?

When I got downstairs, my father, siblings, and some more of my father's maids, or rather slaves were already down there.

My father glared angrily at me, but I honestly didn't care about him being angry or not.

"What do you want?" I huffed.

"You betta watch your time while talking to me, boy." Henry spat. I rolled my eyes and sat down.

"Anyway, I'm having a party and the whole town is going to be there, so I expect you to be on your best behavior. Jacky, I want you to find a beautiful, wealthy young woman at this party and when you do, you'll be arranged to marry her." Henry told me.

He's gotta be joking, right? I swear my father could be a comedian or something.

"Whatever you say, Henry." I said.

"I mean it and if you don't find a potential wife, I'll find one for you." He said.

You've got to be kidding me...

I started to laugh hysterically.

"Oh my god, you're a fucking idiot." I said, walking back up to my room while laughing my ass off.

I'm not going to just marry some random woman. My father must be out of his goddamn mind.

But, I'm not letting this shit happen because one, I'm gay and two, I don't believe in marriage for many reasons.


Life is great, isn't it?


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