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A Not So Happily Ever After

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David leaned against the ledge of the small balcony, watching the sun set over the so-called skyscrapers. The sliding glass door opened with a creak as Rosalind came out to the balcony.

Many months had passed since escaping Waknuk, and all seemed fine, at least to David.

‘David…’ She thought to him, her tone indistinguishable amongst the mishmash of feelings.

“Rosalind, must we speak about this again? We’ve finally escaped to this amazing place.” He said, his voice straining.

“But, David…” She begged, her voice weighed with stress.

“Can you hear it, Rosalind? The ever living thoughts? The city is alive with our feelings, even without a single one of us having to open our mouths.” He motioned down to the bustling streets, the ever-flickering lights inside the buildings, the calm park in the distance. Rosalind could, in fact, hear it all very well. She heard the hushed thoughts of the couple upstairs putting their children to sleep, the panicked secretary in the lobby, the bubbly emotions of the party-goers across the hall.

She also heard the stinging thoughts against the old lady across the street, the one who could not ‘think together’ as one would say. She is one of the many who are not ‘think-together’ people.

“Rosalind,” David groaned, feeling her behind-thinks.

“David! You heard what Petra was saying! You know how they are treated, how she treats them! Maybe you don’t see it, but I do. It’s not right, not right at all.” She exclaimed, leaning her head against the railing.

“We’re happy here, Rosalind. We have what we’ve always wanted, in a place so much better than Waknuk. I’ve found a job as a fisherman, and I’m sure to be promoted quite soon. Petra has a fine education, and everything you and I could have wished for in our childhood. We have new friends who are just like us. You can finally pursue a career as a lawyer, even if I’m not quite sure what that entitles.” He said, laughing softly.

Rosalind turned her head towards him, sighing softly. She didn’t want to be so ungrateful and pessimistic, but this place really seemed to give her no other choice.

“Love, I know you’re overwhelmingly grateful to this place, but you can’t just look over the problems. You and I both know that you should have been promoted weeks ago, your coworkers even say so! You know how they treat this sort of thing. They don’t respect us. You keep having to prove that you’re not some savage mutt, and it took you weeks to find even the most low-paying job! It took us so long to even make friends, everyone was too afraid or disgusted by us, thinking we were savages. Do you know how long I had to put up with Mavis and John showing me how to eat and how to talk to others? Two weeks! Two weeks before they realized that I was just as civilized as them, if only from a more rural area. No university would accept me because I didn’t have a diploma, which I couldn’t even try to get because no high school would let me take any exams or even study! We had to call the Mary, the woman who only saved us because of Petra, to convince them to let me study!” She ranted, barely keeping herself from raising her voice.

“I wasn’t raised under a rock, Rose! Of course there were going to be problems, there always are. Nothing is perfect, not even this place. We dealt with the problems as well as we could, and that’s all that matters. We are better than the people back in Waknuk, and we will strive to be fair and live the life we were denied.” He told her.

Rose was on the verge of tears by then. “You just don’t understand, do you? Have you heard Petra when she comes home from school? I remember very distinctly when she had complained for all of last week, about a girl who just wouldn’t leave her alone. Do you remember? The girl had just transferred in from the school over. ‘She tried to talk to me today! You know, she’s not a ‘think-together’ person. I can’t be her friend if I can’t talk to her! She wouldn’t leave me alone, and she even asked to play with me during recess! I had to stand up and actually tell her that I didn’t want to be her friend, with my words! I went to play with Wendy after that, so it was okay.’ She had said. By the end of the week the girl had already transferred to another school. What is happening to our poor Petra?” She was sobbing into her arm, completely unaware of David nearing her, contemplating whether to comfort her.
Rosalind had started to open up more, now that they had moved to the ‘think-together’ city. She became more loose, she started to smile more and wave at strangers. It broke David to see her so torn apart, after all they’d gone through.

“She’s still young, she doesn’t understand. She can’t help but feel contempt for the same type of people that had caused her pain.” He tried to soothe her, dragging his hand through her hair.

“It’s just that, David. It’s happening to us too. Do you remember a few weeks ago, we were talking about the new batch of crewmembers? You were complaining about how they weren’t ‘think-together’ people and how they couldn’t be truly part of the crew, that they shouldn’t have joined in the first place? Or even a few days ago, I was complaining to my friends at the university about how there was a new girl sitting next to me, one who couldn’t think-together, and that she kept asking for help from me aloud?” She explained through sobs and sniffles. “What’s happened to us, David? Are we really becoming as bad as them?” She pulled him closer, wrapping her arms around him.

“I don’t know. I guess now that we know what we’re doing, we can at least hope to correct ourselves. We aren’t them, Rose, and I dearly hope you never see yourself that way.” He whispered into her ear, petting her back soothingly, looking out at the last sliver of the sun as it sunk into the horizon.