Leaving a district was not a task to be taken lightly. It was a very rare situation a person even left their block. No one knew much about the other districts, except members of the Meeting, who weren’t exactly accessable. The towering walls shielded all of our view of the neighboring districts, save the peaks of the titanic buidlings of D4, the very center of Eden. As far as the assorted functions of the Districts, the Institution taught nothing of them. We did not communicate, function with, or encounter eachother. Ever.
I only knew this much: the City of Eden was a square, 7x by 7x. We were located at column 5, row 3; the southeastern corner. If I was going to leave, my best bet would be to head through F3 and G3 and past the Parameter. As far as I knew, there was nothing past the Parameter. It might be an endless sea, maybe just nothingness; a vaccuum of darkness, frozen and empty. Perhaps a sheer drop into the great unknown. Now, that Great Unknown was my sole purpose, my hope. It was the only hope I had; a world beyond Eden.
So I needed a plan. The walls were at least a hundred times my height, massive and undying; the symbol of Eden. The Impermeable Fortress, the Haven of Life, the last livable place on Earth. As far as I knew. How would I get past those walls?
I was bleeding terrifically. I didn’t think one was supposed to be able to walk after they were shot. I thought they just died. Yet I felt surprisingly well, and I seemed to be coping miraculously with my numerous injuries, somehow. There was a lot about me that I learned from that one bullet that took my mother.
Her diary! Maybe it had the information I needed! I ducked into a nearby alley, looking back and forth for any of the Guard. I slipped it out of my cloak, and for the first time noticed the shielded case around it, tightly locked. My mother had whispered to me this had the only thing I needed in it with her final breaths. And I couldn’t even open it. I began to become furious, but it rapidly receded to nothing, replaced by horror.
She was dead. My mother was dead. And I had incinerated her remains, without even saying goodbye. I had walked this far, with nothing on my mind further than escape. I felt no mourning for my mother, I had not even considered it. Even now, the thought barely ached in my heart. What was wrong with me? Had I always been so heartless? Was it trauma? Shock? How had I never known myself this well? I’m in shock, I’m just numb from trauma, I told myself, wishing I could believe it. It was as if I was staring into a mirror, and a monster was staring back. I could see now. I was the monster in the mirror.
I felt sickeningly empty; hollow and dead. a vast chasm had been lying dormant within me, now the light of truth shown across it. There was no sight of the bottom. But my own self discovery would have to wait.
A squad of Guards stepped into the alley where I was huddled, cold and gray.
I flicked my wrist.