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Compliance

Embrace The Change

By Brenda MosierPublished 3 years ago 8 min read
Compliance
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Graduated High School today! I am ready to “Embrace the Change!”

Haha! My mom always said stuff like “Embrace the change Livi,” when things at home or school or in society changed. Who knew I was actually listening?

*

First day home from school and The Grand Judgeship just announced Retirement is to begin at age 35 due to recent outbreak of Early Dementia. Maybe they are the ones with dementia! I would never say such out loud, but The Grand Judges are in their late 50’s-who says they’re still immune?

Of course, they are in office by Grand Design, with superior genetics, thus they are immune to dementia. So, we can’t question their decisions, and because all five of the Judges called into The Grand Judgeship have to agree on everything unanimously, we have to trust its for the best when they do.

Why do I always backtrack and add in something to prove my Complete Compliance? Always trying to prove I’m Completely Compliant even in private writing. I’d never be so Non-Compliant to say such thoughts aloud to begin with, but even in my private thoughts, I restate things to be Completely Compliant.

Still, in case there is ever anyone interested in my diary, it’s likely good practice. Not likely anyone will be interested in someone as Completely Compliant as I am, but still good practice.

Mom turned 35 earlier this year. It doesn’t seem so old to me today as it did yesterday.

*

I thought I’d have 5 more years with Mom before Retirement. Now it’s like 5 weeks. Daily, there are more people in the street resisting retirement. Mom seems perfectly fine. “Embrace the Change” she told me cheerfully as she wrapped a long silver chain around my wrist three times. A little silver heart shaped locket dangled from it. “Congratulations on your Graduation!” She exclaimed.

Still, there was sadness in her eyes. Was that for me, or for herself?

*

Chaos is ensuing in the streets and a sundown-to-sunrise curfew has been implemented. Travel is limited to work, or for emergencies. It seems there is an EOD-or Epidemic of Dementia-proving the Judgeship had every right to institute the new retirement age after all. People in their mid-to-late thirties are acting insane.

Having a solo apartment of my own now, makes it impossible to see my mom before she leaves without breaking protocol, which of course we wont.

*

Mom was evaluated for Retirement today. She scored 89.5. Retirement 2, or “R2.” I have no words.

Im shocked. I’m sad. I’m mad. I’m embarrassed. Ok, so I have a few words.

I don’t feel the system has made a mistake, but I know appeals can sometimes be honored under Special Reconsiderations. I think my mom might be eligible for Reconsideration.

In case someone is reading this, I think she should be reconsidered for Retirement 1.

This is one of those times instead of being worried about my thoughts being known, I wish The Safety and Surveillance Bureau was actually interested in them.

*

Mom is acting like it’s fine, and everything is as expected. I don’t get that! How is it she doesn’t even want to seek reconsideration?

My mom is awesome and the most CC-or Completely Compliant-person I know. She wouldn’t even let me do things that might be construed as less than Completely Compliant. EVER. She raised me to be PCC-Perfectly Completely Compliant!

I might need to consider her attitude as a sign of possible dementia.

I guess they were right. People may be going crazy at 35.

Embrace the Change, Mom. Enjoy your senility.

*

So, after raising me to be PCC at all times and in all ways and living her life as perfectly as everyone else, or more perfectly, I learn the truth about my mom.

Apparently, not only was my father NC, or Non-Compliant, because of Early Dementia, but apparently my mother became temporarily NC too when she made the choice to breed with him. I thought he was diagnosed AFTER I was born, and she had no idea.

Not so.

This is why she gets Retirement 2. She lost 10 full points from her overall score because of that. No one from R2 or R3-where he was Retired Early- is ever heard from again.

I said, “I hope he was worth it!”

She said, “You make it, ‘worth it.’ ”

I didn’t care for the sentiment.

*

Utter mayhem in the streets today. Non-Compliants running wild, attempting to avoid retirement. Obviously showing signs of full blown dementia. Their very behavior proves the new Retirement Laws are just in time to keep society safe.

Change is good.

Especially if it keeps the Non-Compliants in check.

Embrace the Change, people!

*

Today is Mom’s retirement day. New protocols in place, I can’t go with her. We said our goodbyes in video chat. I’m fine. I’m Embracing the Change like always. I’m the Champion of Embracing the Change.

******

Grand Guard came to my solo (standard apartment for one) and it was love at first sight. The Uniform, all it represented…and one of the guys wearing it. Which guy? The taller, thinner one.

They were both handsome. But the one with the brown eyes and that smirk… like he knew something I didn’t or that he knew something I did. Like he knew me…and we had a secret. Ha! I wish we had a secret.

Just kidding.

Secrets are Non-Compliant.

His partner did the talking. But he said more with his smirk, that slight jut of his chin, tilt of his head, the raised eyebrows. Every time I glanced at him, his body language and expressions said something to me. I could barely think to answer the other guy. No, my mom hadn’t said or done anything odd. No, she hadn’t left me anything. Yes, they were welcome to look in every corner of my standard furnished solo.

Silent Guard was smiling now, looking around and glancing back at me. I could feel myself blush and looked away. I swear I couldn’t hear it, but I saw him laugh a little when I looked back. Then he pressed his lips together as if suppressing the urge to say something or smile, and then he just did it…smiled at me anyway.

My already racing heart literally skipped a beat and something dropped-maybe my heart itself- down deep to my core and beat there, fluttering and skipping a beat and thumping and pumping in my core. I could barely breathe.

I refused to look at him. I sat down, and stood again to face the talkative guard who was saying everything looked in order and perfectly compliant and reminding me to “Stay CC” adding that included not trying to visit my mom in R2. I knew this, and assured him I had no intention to file a request for visitation. He nodded his approval and turned to leave.

That’s when Sergeant Silent Smiles spoke.

“You know, Miss Perfectly CC,” he mocked, "you should apply for the Grand Guard.” He said nodding, brows raised like “dare ya.”

“Great idea actually.” His partner said, and held out his HandCom after hitting a few things on the screen.

I was shocked! I was unprepared. Without thinking, I placed my thumb on his screen when he extended it -and it turned GREEN!

Guess where I’m going-Initiatory screening for the Grand Guard!!

******

I AM IN THE GRAND GUARD. Just like that? Yep, well after a lot of screening, tests, and weeks of training. I can’t even go into it. I haven’t had my laptop for months. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Apparently, I do have good genes, and a high compliance score overall! So, they over looked my parents. I was born for this. I love it. LCO! Laws, Compliance and Order! I am in the Grand Guard!

*

I just got promoted-again. I now have a solo in the dorms. I found the old necklace my mom had wrapped around my wrist, and I wrapped it three times the way she did, making it into a bracelet again. I miss her.

*

Alarms going off again. Its been a crazy few months-has it been a year? Im exhausted.

They’re talking about a scourge. It’s unofficial, but they suspect there’s a virus going around causing early dementia. Nando and I have become the Guards of the Guard regarding this.

Oh yeah, Nando. He still doesn’t say too much, but man when he looks at me or smiles, he says it all. I’m sure I answer him in blushes and eye rolls. I’m eligible for a license to breed now, but I don’t know. Nando and I are just buddies, partners, but he’s the only guy I’d think about breeding with.

******

Tonight Nando came to my room. I didn’t invite him, but I opened the door and he just slipped right in.

I asked him what he was doing. Was he crazy? Sick? Exposed? And he just looked at me kind of sideways and smiled that sideways smile as he closed my door.

“Nando, you’ve got 5 seconds to tell me what’s going on” I warned, “before I sound an alarm on your ass if I have to.”

“Really?” He teased, in an almost loud voice I’d never heard him use. “We have at least 10 minutes max before they realize isolated surveillance is down and they bring it back up.” He said smirking.

I looked up at all of the indicator lights on all devices-they were dark.

“Whats going on?” I wondered. Who we were up against, how many, and what the plan was, or should I be making the plan?

“Your mom” He answered.

“Not funny.” I don't go in for Old World humor. It isn’t CC.

He shook his head. “Do you really not know?” He asked.

“Know what?” I asked.

He took my hand and held it up. He opened the heart shaped locket, just an empty locket, and then he pushed the ring that held it to the chain around my wrist and a hologram message from my mother played.

“If all goes as planned my love, you’ve picked up on the sub audible messages I played for you as a child. Teaching you Complete Compliance is the most important facade in the world, because you must be within the system, to change the system.

I can’t change it myself, but I knew I could have a child that could change the world and so I did, that child is you. We are fighting with the Retirement Revolution. We always have. People in R2 and R3 are being euthanized if not escaping-but you can bet your father and I are helping them escape and when the right guy comes to you, I know you’ll be ready to Embrace the Change!"

Nando smiled. He closed the locket and held my hand in his “My parents message simply said, ‘Nando, find the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She is the one for you. Lead her and she will guide you.’ I knew they didn’t mean some silly emotional girl…so when I met you, and saw your locket-your heart on your sleeve? I knew it was you. We are the new revolution.”

He looked at me sideways, then continued “So all this time, you really didn’t know? You just followed me, joined the Guard, put in for my unit…and you didn’t even know?” He looked up at the ceiling and just softly laughed.

I nodded, "yes," still proccessing it all.

Then he looked at me and kissed me, softly.

He pulled away and smiled as he reached the door and paused.

“I really love that you didn’t even know.” He said shaking his head, and with a wink he slipped out of my room.

I thought about it all night.

Then, I thought, Embrace the Change!

******

Young Adult

About the Creator

Brenda Mosier

Struggling writer. Please send help.

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