Dec 19, 2020

Fiction Adventure Science Fiction


Somewhere behind a screen, someone is deciding what choices I make every day. Simple things, like what type of bread Iโ€™ll buy from the market, or what clothes I wear. Itโ€™s supposed to keep us in line, my mother tells me. I guess it does.ย 

But there will always be rebels. There will always be crime. The government canโ€™t do anything to stop that. Iโ€™ve heard stories about a rebel family who raised their children outside the border, without all the laws and restrictions closing in on them. These children were free of the algorithm. The police then found them, of course, and killed them.ย 

This is merely fiction, I am sensible enough to understand that. But the thought of running away crosses my mind every so often. More often these days. Iโ€™m not sure how Iโ€™m able to think about such things. Why would our government want me thinking about rebellion? Thatโ€™s the last thing they want.ย 

My theory is that theyโ€™re trying to keep our society normal, so I suppose there will be people with thoughts of rebellion, suicide, and theft because thatโ€™s how the world would work without all this technology.

But even this theory doesnโ€™t put my mind to rest. The worst part of it all is that I canโ€™t talk to anyone. I donโ€™t know anyone whoโ€™s going through the same thing as me. If I tried discussing it with normal people, like my sister perhaps, they would never understand. The algorithm wouldnโ€™t let them.ย 

I am all alone in this strange world.ย 

I do record all of these symptoms in my notebook however, I believe that you should always have your feelings and thoughts in writing. What if I were to get amnesia, like the poor girl down the street? She was taken to the capital of our state and held there for research or something.ย 

I didnโ€™t know her well, but she didnโ€™t seem like the type to write in a diary. Now, when she returns home, she will have no memory of this place. And she will have no written record either.

Itโ€™s quite unfortunate what has happened to her. The fact that I feel compassion and empathy for her surprises me. I shouldnโ€™t care. But again, I will simply go with my theory and leave it at that. I canโ€™t do much until I have more details.

My sister Alora comes into my room just as I finish my writing for the day.

โ€œMom made dumplings today,โ€ she smiles and beckons for me to follow.ย 

The aroma of homemade dumplings fills the air and makes my mouth water. My mom has set out four plates for me, my sister, my father, and herself. There is a large bowl in the center piled with steaming dumplings. Except my father isnโ€™t here. He died fighting in the army a year ago. We still keep a plate for him at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is how we remember him.

I donโ€™t realize how quickly I finish my dumplings, Iโ€™m too lost in my own thoughts.

โ€œSomeoneโ€™s hungry,โ€ my mother notes jokingly. I give her a polite smile and make my way to my room.ย 

I flop onto my bed and pull out my ThoughtScreen from my bedside drawer. Iโ€™m currently reading a book for school. Itโ€™s about what this place was before it was our country. Some pathetic empire called the USA. Iโ€™m surprised that I actually find it interesting. These days, nothing school-related interests me at all. I hear a knock on my bedroom door. Itโ€™s Alora again.

โ€œHi,โ€ she sits next to me on the bed. I put down my ThoughtScreen and raise my eyebrows. Alora doesnโ€™t talk to me unless she must. I suppose thatโ€™s the way of the algorithm.ย 

โ€œYes?โ€ I ask. Maybe Iโ€™m being too abrupt and rude. After all, she hasnโ€™t done anything to provoke me in any way. I ought to be nicer.

โ€œI just wanted to check-in. Youโ€™re always in your room. You never play with me anymore. Letโ€™s play Candyland!โ€ she suggests. I sigh and shake my head.

โ€œNo thanks, thatโ€™s okay,โ€ย 

Suddenly, I begin to feel a slight headache. I tell Alora Iโ€™d like to be alone for a while. But the peace doesnโ€™t last for long. My mother comes in next, her brows furrowed.

โ€œAlora told me you have a headache. Do you want to talk to me?โ€ย 

โ€œYes, actually. Iโ€™ve been feeling...weird. Like the algorithm works differently for me, I donโ€™t know.โ€

โ€œAhh,โ€ my mother chuckles. โ€œAll teens feel like that. When you are approaching adolescence, the chip in your brain sometimes messes with the hormones and brain development. It all gets fixed when youโ€™re an adult, but it can cause some problems as a teen. Donโ€™t worry, it happened to me too, youโ€™ll be fine. But itโ€™s better than just that. When youโ€™re an adult, the algorithm sort of loosens up. You can make more decisions and the government only steps in if they really have to. They expect that if they teach us one thing from birth, weโ€™ll grow to follow that as adults. It does work. Crime rates have been lower ever since they started this,โ€ she tells me. I take a minute to digest this information.

โ€œSo the algorithm wonโ€™t control my life when Iโ€™m older?โ€ I ask.

โ€œYes, essentially. The government is usually focused on children and teens. They wonโ€™t bother you unless they feel that you are doing something wrong. You have nothing to worry about as long as you always do whatโ€™s in the best interest of the people, the government, and yourself. Now you go to bed, Vienna, youโ€™ve got school tomorrow,โ€ I smile at her and nod.

โ€œThanks, Mom, good night,โ€ I say. I turn off my light and get under the covers. I am asleep within minutes.

***

Our morning routine is quite simple. We have it written on a hanging whiteboard in the hallway upstairs. Me and Alora wake up at seven-thirty each morning and brush our teeth. Then we take a quick bath and change and then go down for breakfast, which usually consists of cereal and toast, maybe potatoes. Finally, we pack our bags and go to school. Like I said, very simple.ย 

But nowhere on that little whiteboard does it say, โ€œGovernment comes to investigate the house, but really theyโ€™re investigating Vienna.โ€ Yes. That is what happened the next morning. I slept in that day, as our school had a late start every Monday. When I walk into the kitchen, Alora sits at the table wide-eyed, and my mom has that just-go-along-with-it-and-act-normal, -Iโ€™m freaked-out-too look on her face.

โ€œHello. Are you Vienna Jackson?โ€ the first official asks coldly. I nod slowly and look down. His eyes are piercing my soul, I canโ€™t look at him.ย 

โ€œDo you mind coming with us, Vienna?โ€ the second man asks. I donโ€™t understand questions like these. I donโ€™t really have a choice. Iโ€™d love to say, โ€œYes, I do mind, thank you very much,โ€ but I know my only option is, โ€œI donโ€™t mind, sure.โ€ย 

I follow the two men outside where they turn to face me.

โ€œListen, Miss Jackson. Weโ€™ve found a small glitch in our algorithm. Nothing major, but weโ€™d like to investigate it. Just close your eyes for a minute.โ€ย 

I obey and I feel a needle poke my skin. When I open my eyes again, I am standing in front of a young girl and a middle-aged woman. There are two official-looking men behind me. I am in a house I donโ€™t recognize. The official is talking to the woman, telling her something about amnesia, and how Iโ€™m being taken somewhere. The woman calls a name.ย 

โ€œVienna! Vienna, please tell me it isnโ€™t true! You know who I am, Iโ€™m your mother!โ€ she sobs. I frown. I think Iโ€™d recognize my own mother if I saw her. Plus, I think Iโ€™d know my own name too. I donโ€™t know who Vienna is, this woman is clearly going mad.ย 

Before I can register whatโ€™s happening, Iโ€™m being pushed out the door with this woman yelling behind me. Iโ€™m ushered into a sleek black limousine.

I guess I drift off at some point, but when I wake up, weโ€™re still in the car. And more importantly, I remember everything. The officials, the injection, the officials saying I have amnesia, not recognizing my own mother. I whisper my name out loud. Vienna. It brings tears to my eyes. Where am I going? Why?ย 

***

A few hours later, we arrive at the capital building. It is already nightfall by then. I donโ€™t get a chance to say anything before Iโ€™m escorted to my room. Looks like Iโ€™ll be staying for a while.ย 

The room is luxurious, with golden crown molding and a giant king-size bed. The place should feel comforting, but it doesnโ€™t. I just want to go home.

The curious person that I am, I decide to explore. I tiptoe through the hallways quietly, running a hand along the right wall. I hear shuffling somewhere near me. My heart leaps up. If someone sees me here, Iโ€™ll be done for.ย 

โ€œHello?โ€ a voice whispers. Itโ€™s a girl. Maybe about my age, judging by her voice.ย 

The girl steps into the light. I recognize her immediately. Itโ€™s that girl who had amnesia. She got taken...here.

โ€œYouโ€™re that girl from down the street, arenโ€™t you?โ€ She asks. I raise an eyebrow and nod.

โ€œHow would you know? You have amnesia.โ€

โ€œOh, still havenโ€™t put the pieces together?โ€ she chuckles. โ€œSee, that shot they gave you made you lose your memory for a couple of hours. They told your mom you had amnesia and took you here.โ€ I gasp.

โ€œBut why?โ€

โ€œBecause weโ€™re special, both of us. Their silly algorithm? It doesnโ€™t affect us. Weโ€™re dangerous, and they donโ€™t want people like us around here.โ€

โ€œWhat are they going to do with us?โ€ I panic.ย 

โ€œKill us, I guess. Or use us as a weapon. Theyโ€™ll kill one of us at least. They only need one to experiment on,โ€

โ€œTheyโ€™re going to kill me, they already have you,โ€ I whisper. She grabs my wrist.

โ€œNo. No, they wonโ€™t. Because now that youโ€™re here, we can escape. Iโ€™ve been wanting to for the three months Iโ€™ve been here. I just needed someone to help me. No oneโ€™s going to die. Iโ€™m Jade by the way,โ€ She says, extending her hand. I shake it gently.

โ€œVienna,โ€

โ€œNice name,โ€

โ€œYou too,โ€ I smile at her.ย 

I have hope. I am special. The government is scared of me. I have power. I think about all this as I fall asleep. Is Jade my friend? Can I trust her? It doesnโ€™t look like I have another option right now. Besides, the worst-case scenario is she bails on me. So what? Iโ€™m already here, they canโ€™t hurt me anymore.ย 

***

I wait for months, at least I think so. I have no clue what date it is. Iโ€™ve been asking Jade every day when weโ€™re going to leave, but all she does is tell me to wait. Iโ€™m done waiting. My family needs me. But I wonโ€™t be waiting much longer.

I hear a knock on my door late in the night. It can only be Jade. I open the door and let her in. She rarely comes to my room, so it must be serious.ย 

She sits on my bed and turns to face me.ย 

โ€œVienna, itโ€™s time,โ€ I smile slowly.

โ€œOkay. What do we do?โ€

โ€œQuickly, open that window, and do it quietly,โ€ she orders, ripping the sheets off my bed. I do as she says and look down at the courtyard swarming with security.

โ€œJade, how are we going to do this? There are a million-โ€

โ€œI know, youโ€™ll see, just be quiet, those guys have crazy hearing.โ€ Jade ties the bedsheets together in a makeshift rope. We are four stories high. I donโ€™t know what Jade is planning to do.ย 

โ€œOkay, this will sound crazy, but you need to listen,โ€ Jade says. โ€œClimb out the window and hold one end of this sheet. Keep scaling the wall. There will be footholds. Weโ€™ll go to the back, where the dumpsters are. Security never patrols that area,โ€ I hesitate but nod. This is our chance. Iโ€™m not going to mess it up. I slowly climb out and keep going right, keeping count of the windows I cross. I donโ€™t look down. Jade is right behind me.

We move quickly, it only takes ten minutes to get to the dumpsters. Needless to say, it stinks there, but that is not my concern. We climb down quickly and start running. This is the dangerous part.ย 

In the corner of my eye, I see a man in a grey suit. I should keep going, but I glance back, and what I see nearly gives me a heart attack. Itโ€™s our very own President Grayson. He knows. I turn to warn Jade, but two men are already sneaking up behind her. I hear a gunshot, and everything blacks out.

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126 comments

Title suggestions and feedback welcome! I know it's sort of rushed at the end, but I hope you like the cliffhanger!

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Mariya Syed
22:22 Jan 11, 2021

What a wonderful story! I really enjoyed and can't wait for moooore :)

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Thank you very mucchchchchchch!

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Cream Art
22:30 Jan 04, 2021

Gaaah, yet another wonderful creation! You're literally becoming one of my most favorite authors

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thank you very very very much!!!

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First: Love your profile pic, LOVE Harry [Potter. Second: you're an amazing writer, please write a sequel. Third: Yay! Sci-fi!

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Thank you soooooooooo much!!! first: YAAAASSS potterheads for lifeeeee second: thankyouthankyouthankyou, absolutely will! third: yay! i love sci fi tooooo! hey btw, i saw your bio, dont put your age if your under 18 or reedsy wont approve your stories

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Hey Suhani!! I have always wanted to check out your page, like always! But procrastination got the best of me, sadly. But I am here noww and I was not disappointed! First I would like to say, I love your name, its just sooo prettyyy! And seems so calm! Second! THIS STORY WAS SO INTERESTING! Omg, its crazy how your imagination is, I would have never been able to think of this and put it under 3000 words. But this was so interesting!! I loved it, it caught my eye and I couldn't stop reading till I got to the end. It was really really good! L...

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OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! You have noooo idea how happy you just made me, I literally cannot stop smiling!!! for the 5 things you mentioned ๐Ÿ™ƒ: 1. Thank you so muchhhh, it means a lot! 2. Again thank youuuu!! I'm so glad you liked it, comments like yours always get me so excited. 3. I think I'll have to write a part 2 now for sure after reading this comment :) 4. Yes, I love it, I think I'll change it to algorithm with the lowercase a, thanks for the suggestion! 5. Aww yay! THANK YOU AGAIN, THIS MEANS THE WHOLE WORLD TO ME!

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I am happy it made you happpyy! 1) Of course!! 2) Aww thank YOU! For writing something so amazing! 3) YAYYYY๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ 4) Yess! I'm happy it helped! 5) Of couuurrseee! I would love if you checked out some of mine too! Have a great day Suhani!

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You're literally the kindest person I've ever met on reedsy!!! And yes yes yes I will check out your stories!!!! I wanted to last night when I saw your comment but it was pretty late and I was about to go to bed. Btw, I love your name too, and I'm not just saying that cuz you did :) You too!! Actually, it's night for me, so I'll have a great evening I guess?? Anyway, thanks one more time!

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Aww thank youuu! Thats so nice of you to say๐Ÿ’–! YAY! And thank you, I'm happy you love my name! And I think we might live in the same time zone cause it was pretty late when I wrote that too, or was...it? Nevermind I can't remember๐Ÿ˜… Of course!

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Wait, I'm in the PST time zone...you? What if we live in the same area? That's like impossible but it would be soooo cool lol

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Crystal Playz
22:01 Feb 04, 2021

I saw how many karma points you have wow that is amazing!!!! Congrats hope you can get moooore.

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B. W.
22:27 Jan 11, 2021

Heya

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Hey, it's been a while, how are you?

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B. W.
23:47 Jan 11, 2021

Ive been fine, what about you?

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Okay, just a little stressed with school and all

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B. W.
01:48 Jan 12, 2021

What do ya think of the prompts?

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Eh, they're okay, I haven't had much time to write lately...I guess I'll see if next week's prompts are better. what do you think?

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Maya Emerson
02:32 Jan 09, 2021

I submitted the spirit animal story and you're in it. It's called "Endings and New Beginnings" :D

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Oh my god, thank you so so much! I'll go check it out right now!

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Maya Emerson
15:29 Jan 09, 2021

Thanks! :)

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loved the sci-fi story the twist at the end was great.

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Akshaya Sutrave
09:02 Jan 02, 2021

Hi Suhani! I love this story (I'm a huge fan of Sci-Fi)! The cliffhanger was fantastic, and I enjoyed reading the entire story as a whole! Are you going to write a second part for this? If you do, I will definitely read it! :D I love Harry Potter too (saw your profile pic!!) I hope you had a great new year and let's hope 2021 will be better! (P.S Is it true that Reedsy doesn't approve stories if we're under 18 and specify it in our bio? Two of my stories weren't approved in November and December though they followed the prompt)

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Thank you! I will do my best to write a part 2! Yesss, Potterheads unite!!! You too! Yes, it's true, so you shouldn't talk about your age unless you're over 18 :) I think they do it because they want to make sure everyone has a PayPal so they can get the 50 dollars if they win a contest. I'm not sure though.

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Akshaya Sutrave
06:00 Jan 09, 2021

Sure!! :) Yess they do! Thank you for letting me know that! I used to think it didn't matter because there were so many authors under 18, and now I'll definitely be more careful! :)

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Yeah, that's what I thought too, but then even Aerin's stories stopped getting approved, and she's a really popular author, so yeah! Glad I could help :)

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Akshaya Sutrave
10:25 Jan 09, 2021

:) Are you getting downvoted a lot?

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Surprisingly, no! You?

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17:32 Dec 24, 2020

*angry at the downvoters*

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Sameeeee!!!! upvote for upvote spree?

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19:49 Dec 24, 2020

Okieeeee

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21:38 Dec 24, 2020

*gasp* i'll get u mor soon!

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Oooooooh SUCH a good sci-fi! That was an awesome twist. I love this world you created! And lol, the line โ€˜ Some pathetic empire called the USA. โ€™ pretty much sums us up this year, haha. And hmmmmm, โ€˜Aloraโ€™, where have I heard that name before? ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ Awesome storyyyyy Suhani!

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lol, thank youuuzzz! Yes, 2020 was a NIGHTMARE!! Oh yeah, I remember reading one of your stories with the name Alora! Thank you again!!

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19:26 Dec 22, 2020

Iโ€™ll give you something to do; TALK TO ME IM BORED ๐Ÿ˜

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AHHHH OK THANK YOUUUUU!!!! lol u actually read my bio i happy now

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20:02 Dec 22, 2020

Lol me to. HEY NEW FRIEN

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OMG YOU UPVOTED ME THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCHHHH!!!!! random question: what books do u like?

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20:09 Dec 22, 2020

Hehe u have 500 pointssss

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First of all, TYSMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, i got u to 2920! second, I have read all of those books except interference, whats it about?

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20:07 Dec 22, 2020

HEY NO PROBLEMMMM harry potter, divergent, percy jackson, and hunger games, Interference.

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Maya Emerson
01:42 Jan 05, 2021

I might do a story with friends on Reedsy, and I would like to put you in it, so what would you want your character's personality/ physical description/ special skills/ spirit animal (if I do animals) to be? :)

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wow, that's so sweet! okay, so for personality: - funny - creative - idealistic physical description: - brown medium length curly hair -brown eyes - average height special skills: - piano - writing animal: -goose -duck (yeah ik it's weird lol)

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Maya Emerson
01:59 Jan 05, 2021

Thanks so much!!! That really helps! :DDD

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Ofc! And thank YOU for including me in this, it sounds fun!

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Maya Emerson
02:55 Jan 05, 2021

My pleasure!!!

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Coco Longstaff
23:01 Jan 02, 2021

Omg wow a little scary but so cool. Is there a part 2? I hate it that people experiment on people and animals, and when I read about it in your book, I was like oh wow. Not meaning anything bad, I just love your story and Iโ€™ll probably reread it!

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Aww, thanks! No there isn't a part 2 yet, but I'll try to do one! Yes, I agree, that was kinda my inspiration. Thanks again!

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Coco Longstaff
00:29 Jan 03, 2021

Yay! Thank youu

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My goal: Getting u to 1000 points. Hewoooo!! I don't think we've met yet, but I love upvoting people and also you're celeste's friend so :3

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OH. MY. GOD. You are soooo nice, thank you sooo much! I wasn't in a great mood just now, but you made me sooooooooooooo much happier!!! I will go upvote you now!

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07:07 Dec 29, 2020

: D YAY! Friendsss meeeeeet!

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You're so welcome!! Ahh yay :)) Thanks so much!!! REEEEEEE

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EEEE NOW IM EXCITED

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