Chapter 1

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Choices. Why does a 16 year old have to make so many important choices?

Hello, my name is Rain, but not for very long. I hate the name Rain, when I turn 18 I will change it to Rose. I have always loved the name Rose, it is very old-fashioned. My mothers name is Renee, and my father is Rodger. When I was little I was upset that everyone's names start with 'r' so I was reminded of rule #6834520: EVERY PERSON WITHIN A FAMILY MUST BE NAMED WITH THE FIRST LETTER OF THEIR LAST NAME AS THE FIRST LETTER OF THEIR FIRST NAME. I never liked this rule, my last name is Ralfend. Therefore my name is Rain Ralfend. My younger brother is Radek Ralfend, he is 10. My mother had to change her name before she got married to dad, she was once Aadila. Mom always tells me that my name will soon seem right for me, I don't think so.

In one month and exactly 8 days I will have my sixteenth birthday celebration. This is the most important event of my life for many reasons. When I turn 16 I will be allowed to have relationships, I will become independent of my family-while still living with them-and I will be able to work. These are trivial advantages compared to the major reason a 16th birthday is so important. One month before a child turns 16 they must make the 'choice' to have their gifts nullified-this is done with a serum injected once a month for 16 months to nullify the gifts permanently. Also I get to decide whether or not to get my wings removed.

Increased strength, agility, mind-power, clarity and endurance are the evolutionary gifts the human race developed. These and wings. Every one has them, but when The Greater came to power it found that greater peace can be achieved if we all went back to the 'normal' of a time known as 2000. The Greater had already developed the means to remove wings and nullify our gifts, it sounds bad, but it isn't, it is just the normal thing to do now. Technically it is a choice to get your wings and gifts removed, but everyone chooses to get it done, it doesn't feel like a choice. The serum doesn't work properly before the age of 16, and if the wings are attempted to be removed before 16 then they will grow back painfully and deformed. The Greater decided to have all this done to everyone when it came to power.

My wings are beautiful, I love them. Dark auburn with black tips and white speckles on the shoulder feathers. They are about 15 1/2 feet across. I adore how my wings contrast my creamy white skin and my thick curly long red hair-falling down to my waist. My eyes are a brilliant green, but when I am feeling negative they change to a stormy light grey with yellow specks.

I know that my parents want me to get the surgery and injections done, and my little brother looks up to me. He thinks it is a better choice. But, I honestly love my wings enough that I don't want to part with them just yet.  

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