It’s been 15 years since that day and I don’t remember much about it as I was only 3 at the time. But 15 years ago on a nice breezy day in the mid of March the world came crumbing down. The sky had turned purple, a very pretty purple, a purple that our eyes could not have imagined. The sky was purple as far as I could see. Mom and dad held my hands so I wouldn’t run away. The purple sky wasn’t the only thing that happened that day, out of the blue it snowed. It was the first time it had ever snowed where I lived and it was beautiful. I looked at it with amazement but for some reason (I found out later) dad had swapped me up into his arms and with mom right beside him started to run. We took shelter in an abundant building and after 20 days they came for me. THEY, I mention are the quarantine officers.
They wore puffy white hazmat suits, mom and dad had been ill since the snow but I felt fine and so they pushed me towards the hazmat men. The men took a drop of blood from me then mom and then dad. My blood remained red while theirs turned purple. That pretty purple again. They took me even though I cried and cried that I wanted my mom and dad. A month after I was shipped off to a boarding school by the government and since then I haven’t seen my parents.
15 years later I’m 18 as all of my class mates and I’m finally starting my high school. No more boarding schools and no more strict rules. As every 18 year old I get my own small studio apartment from the government where I can live without any restrictions. The pandemic now referred to as purple snow, its affects even though under control can manifest in the affected. But I’ve always taken my vaccines at the beginning of the year and another is coming up in a few days.
School started as usual, we enter school ground then assembly then 1st class then the next and next. Day after day it’s the same, everyone around me is always cheerful and happy but for some reason it looks fake to me so I don’t make any friends. That was before she came. Unlike my gloomy personality she was a bright star.
“Hi, I’m Rae. It’s nice to meet you” Rae came up to followed by half the class.
“Hi” I said without looking at her. I returned back to my books hoping she would leave me alone and she did probably thinking I’m the biggest jerk she ever met in this class.
It wasn’t over then. The next say she came over again. “Hi” she said with the brightest smile I’ve ever seen. “Hi” I said in return.
“I know this is weird but would you mind accompanying me to the nurses office for the vaccine tomorrow” I could see her worried expression but I had no intention to make friends.
“You can go with one of your friends. I’m busy”
“Ohh. Thanks anyway” and then she left.
I had my vaccine scheduled the next day as well so after school I made my way to the nurse’s office. Rae was standing outside and every few seconds she would reach for the door but wouldn’t go inside. I on the other hand walked up to the door opened it and went inside. I left the door ajar for her to come. And as if she read my mind she followed me in.
“Miss Halladay I’m here for my vaccination” I announced and she came running. Even though she was quite old she was quick on her feet.
“Sorry for the delay. You must be Nathaniel and Rae” she said pointing at us.
“Yes” Rae answered hastily.
“Ok then Nathaniel you take that seat and Rae you take that seat” we did as she asked and then continued “So I will provide you with a syringe and then each of you will inject the vaccine through your figure tip. I’m sure you’ve done this plenty of times so I’ll let you go it yourself while I go see Danny over there. The poor boy came in with a fractured arm” she gave us our syringes and headed over to Danny.
I was about to take the vaccine when Rae whispered “Hey”. “Hey” I whispered back.
“Give me your syringe” she whisper commanded.
She tip toed over to my seat and grabbed the syringe from my hand. Then she tip toed over to the nearest plant and injected the vaccine into the plant. “Are you mad? Why did you do that? That’s the only thing keeping us safe” I whispered yelled at her.
“I know” she tip toed over to me and stabbed my figure tip with a safety pin then proceed to her seat and stabbing herself. Miss Halladay came back in time to see Rae putting the syringes in the bin.
“All done are we?” she asked.
“Yes” Rae said with her cheery voice. She grabbed me and pulled me out of the office and then out of the school.
“What the hell was that? Why did you throw away our vaccine?”
“You will understand by tomorrow” she said and ran off.
The next whole day I waited for the quarantine officers to come for me but they didn’t. Everything went as normal but something was off I could feel it. So I asked Rae to meet me after school. We met near the bridge that went directly into the quarantine zone.
“Do you feel different?” she started.
“No. but I need to know why you did that.”
“Simple isn’t it” her smile turned mischievous.
“Silly, look at the sky. Is it blue or purple?”
I looked again and the sky switched between blue and purple. And then it turned purple and didn’t switch back.
“Why is the sky purple? The pandemic ended. Tell me what’s doing on!!!” I took heavy breaths to keep myself calm.
“It’s a bit hard to explain since you have been blind believer in what’s been happening but I want you to understand everything I’m about to tell you with and take it in slowly”
“For starters the sky was never blue, it has always been purple. And our blood should be purple as well that’s what our biology should be. So 15 years ago when the snow came, that’s when it started, the snow made the adults ill and we kids turned out to be immune to it.”
“Wait what’s with the snow?”
“It’s the natural phenomena that occurred only once since this world was created. The snow was actually the virus that turned our blood red. The government, when they sent out quarantine officers they were instructed to check the blood and the ones with abnormality were taken away. I was taken the same day as you and I only remember you because I stopped taking the vaccine long ago.”
“SO what does the vaccine really do?”
“In short it brainwashes us makes us see what the government wanted us to remember as normal so we wouldn’t cause any disturbance”
“But why are you telling me this”
“I have my reasons. And out of everyone in that school you were the only one who could see the fakeness in all this even if you blindly believe the government. And I don’t blame you for it. And your next question will be how do I know all this?”
“Well I’m not just a cheerful innocent face girl. I snooped around in government documents while in boarding school and when they took us to trips to research centers. Those scientist thought I was just a bright little kid how wanted to know science things but got the info I wanted over the years and now I’m certain we are the affected one.”
I looked at her in disbelief, this was turning my world upside down. How could we be the affected ones? This made no sense. After explaining everything we went our separate ways. For the next few days I pretended to act normal but seeing the purple sky made me wonder if Rae was right.
My whole world came crashing down on me again when after few months Rae came to ask me something. We meet near the bridge again. “I’m leaving this place” she said looking up at the wall separating us and the quarantine zone.
“You can’t there is no way out”
“Here” she handed me a small phone charm “I have a way and in a few days I’ll leave. If you want to come with me put that charm on your phone tomorrow. Otherwise I’ll leave without you.” She looked worried and sad but leaving met worse than staying.
I kept my gaze on the charm in my hand, contemplating what to do. And then I did it.
TO BE CONTINUED!!