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Coming of Age Fiction Teens & Young Adult

The sharp metal bedframe bites into my back, the old thin mattress doesn't help one bit. I turn on my side trying to get more comfortable. My parents say this is the safest place for us, and I guess I wouldn't know. I was born in here and I will die in here. I have always been good, followed the rules, but I feel a call. I want more than living in a dusty old bunker my whole life. There is a blackout now, they happen three times a day. I trace shapes on the concrete wall with my fingers. I here the zap of the power being brought back and sit up. The lights flicker back on, I blink away the dark spots in my vision. The bright fluorescent bulbs buzz, making my ears ring. Slipping my hand under my mattress, I feel around until I find it. My one contraband. I pull out the ragged book, and let my finger drag over the cold pages. I don't know who the people in the books are, strange names with pictures. Telling stories about whos married to who and who cheated on who, the only source of news I have ever gotten. I have three books in total, my favorite being the one that talks about the Megan girl marrying a prince, her dress is exquisite. My mom would have a heart attack if she saw my collection, but that's what's makes them even more fun to read. I hear the clacking of my mom's shoes on the ground and quickly shove my book back under the bed.

"Jean dear, its dinner time. We have canned peas! Your favorite. "

Blah, canned peas are not my favorite, canned peaches are. We ran out years ago, but to taste just one. mmmmh, I can still taste it. A bland dinner for a bland family. Sitting at the table, I notice my dad isn't there. Mom has strict all persons must be at the dinner table for meals rule.

"Where's Dad?"

My mom looks around before whispering, "He had to go outside, he will be back soon.

Outside, my heart raced. The trap door was closed, I didn't hear the alarm, My mom always told me a alarm would go off if I opened it. We eat our dinner in silence and then my mom retires to her room.

Its well into night time, but I can't sleep. I keep thinking about outside. My father did return, but I heard him and mom speaking in hushed whispers all day. They won't tell me anything. That's when I decide to look at the outside for myself.

My hand shakes as a turn the wheel to the outside, it finally pops. I push open the door with a squeak and grimace. I wait for the alarm, but one doesn't ring. Looking behind me I make sure my parents aren't there. I pull myself up and close the door. My breath is stolen away. The outside is beautiful, there are little lights in the sky, blinking on and off. There is a cold wind blowing on my skin, singing a song. Run, a voice tells me. Run before they come after you. So I do, I run without direction. Running was never allowed in the bunker, it feels so freeing. I run and run until I bump into something. Not something, someone, a boy. I have never seen a boy, I thought everyone who lived outside died.

"Watch it lady."

I shake my head, I am so overwhelmed, why would my parents tell me everyone died?

"Hello, lady?"

"Your a boy, a human boy." I touch his face, its soft like mine.

"Yeah, what are you? an alien?" He laughs backing away.

Tilting my head, "Alien?"

"Yeah...Where'd you come from anyway?"

"From underground."

"Shit.. your one of those people! You need to hide, do you know what people do to people like you?"

He pulls my hand, trying to pull me.

"Stop! Stop, I didn't even know there were other people than me and parents until like a minute ago and know you want me to follow you?"

He looks into my eyes and takes a deep breath, "I understand why your scared, but I promise I will not hurt you. If you want to go back to living in a dark old bunker be my guest. I know I could never live there, it suffocating. Let me help you live."

He was right, I wouldn't be able to go back. Not after meeting a real person. I couldn't, I 've been alone my whole life and there is someone who is willing to keep me safe. I nod and let him pull me along. We run and run until we come to a little tent.

"This is my home." I nod and look around.

"Are these trees?" He looks at me with his mouth open.

"Yeah, these are trees. And that up there, those are stars. And this is a pretty flower for a pretty lady." I blushed taking the flower he picked from the ground.

He explained everything around us and not in way that made me feel stupid.

We stayed up all night, asking questions and answering them. I could listen to him talk forever.

I woke up thinking it was all a dream, but there it was, there he was. "Daniel?" I heard crashing and then he unzipped the tent.

"Your awake, great! I want to take you some place."

I pulled me from the tent.

"Here, it has water, food and some emergency stuff."

I placed the bag on my back, mirroring what he did. Daniel knew everything about the outside. There was a sickness that swept across the world, the rich ran to bunkers and the poor stayed on the outside. Not much is left on the outside, but its better than being stuck inside all day, he said.

"The rich won't come out because when they left everyone behind the poor vowed that they would make the rich suffer like they did." Daniel explained.

Daniel talked about his family as we walked. They were all dead and he was alone, well until he met me. He didn't hate me, he wanted to show me what the real world could be, he was sad for me. All the while I couldn't believe my parents kept this from me. If my mom could see me know, I was with a stranger and in the outside! As time went on, there was a roaring sound that increased.

"What's that sound?" I ask

Smiling, he grabs my wrist and pulls me up to where he is standing. My breath catches, it's water, lots of water, pouring from the rock we stand on. Daniel takes off his shirt and puts it in his bag.

"What are you doing!" I turn away and cover me eyes.

"Swimming. You'll love it!"

He backs up and jumps off the rocks. He disappears and panic sets in, but then his head pops up.

"Come on!" He yells

Don't be afraid. I take my dress off and shove it in my bag, then I launch myself off the rock. It feels like I am flying, flying and then falling. I scream as I fall and hit the water with a smack. My breath is knocked out of me and I struggle to the top. Strong arms lift me up to the surface.

"Shit, Jean. I am sorry, are you okay."

"I loved it!" I laugh.

Smiling he splashes water on me.

We lay on the grassy bank letting the sun dry us off. I start to blush when I think of Daniel laying next to me, drying off. My dress was soaked even though it was bag. My undergarments stick to me as the dry off. Slowly, I fell Daniels hand creep towards my own. Our finger interlock, we stare at each. He moves closer so we are both laying on our sides next to each other.

"Can I kiss you?"

My heart beats loud, I never thought I would ever get this experience in my whole life. I lean forward until our noses and touching and close my eyes. I feel him slowly lean forward and then our lips touch. My heart pounds, the adrenaline rush is bigger than when I jumped in the water.

We make it back to the tent sometime late that night. It took us longer to get back because we stopped to sneak little kisses, every now and then.

"I am going to go grab some fire wood, stay here."

I nod. Before he he goes he places a kiss on my forehead and leaves.

I lean against a tree and think of how different my life was just two days ago. I here rustling in the woods, "Daniel?"

Out comes two figures. "Jean?" My heart stops, "Mom?" They rush forward, "My baby, your safe." My mom sobs, grabbing me and pulling me to her. "Come Jean, we have to go before they come back."

I pull away, "What, mom, no."

Her eyes scan mine, confusion fills them.

"Where's your dress." My dad finally speaks.

"It got dirty, I borrowed a shirt."

My mother puts a hand to her mouth, "Why is your hair wet?"

I wrap my arms around myself, "I went swimming. "

Again my mother tries to pull me with her, "Stop, I won't go."

"Hey, I found some peaches in the storage area! I thought we could..." Daniel's voice trails off as he looks around.

"Who are you and what are doing with my daughter?' My dad asks in a furious tone.

I back away from my parents and into Daniel's safe embrace.

My parents faces turned furious. "Jean, come here."

I didn't move one inch. My hand found Daniel's, and my father's found his gun. He raised in slowly and the safety came off with a click.

"Jean come here."

March 09, 2021 21:24

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1 comment

Siobhan Mulalley
21:26 Mar 17, 2021

This was a nice story. I’d love to know what happens next. There were a few spelling errors and typos, that sometimes made me stumble over the sentence. I know I am just as bad for missing these things, and sometimes it takes someone else reading it to spot them. Overall a great job


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