Did you Work for It
Drive, or a Gift
Anna stared at herself in the mirror. She was wearing pants and a shirt which covered her whole body. She knew the viewers would be watching her. Usually, she had a cloth over the mirror. All they would see is blackness. But today she had a date. She wanted to make sure she looked alright. Her bracelet and necklace matched her turquoise shirt. She looked very conservative. She would pass the viewers' test, but what about her date's?
He was artsy and fun, but she didn't look fun. Her smile was fun. Fun would be blue shimmering eyeshadow but that was not her. She figured that she looked alright. She returned the cover to the mirror.
Now the nervous part- the wait. He would be on time. She had dressed too quickly. She walked over to the drink machine. She pressed a button and squirted into a glass a shot of vodka and a shot of kahlua. She then poured in a drop of half and half and filled the rest with milk. She sipped on her drink. She went out on her porch and looked down at the alley. He would enter through that door. She had given him the code. All her friends had the code, if the buzzer rang, she knew to ignore it.
She knew not to drink the White Russian too quickly. It was the taste she craved not the buzz. Today she would not grow numb or laugh at nothing. She would be in tune with her date. She would be her usual adorable self, or so she told herself.
He arrived half an hour early, he knew her. she would be waiting.
"You are early" Anna chirped giving him a kiss on the cheek. " Thank God"
He smiled and took her hand. "I was pretty sure you'd be ready,"
"Yes I feel like you know me pretty well" She felt a little shy. Not conservative at all.
"Would you care to go for a walk? We could walk to the restaurant."
Anna said yes. She was a little distracted, so busy gazing at this cute young man. His hair was almost as long as hers. His wasn't quite long enough to put in a ponytail.
Her mother would have thought that they would have made pretty babies. Anna didn't really want to have babies. She would like to try to make babies, after having an incision of course. Incisions were the best form of birth control.
Anna took his arm "Yes, let's go for a walk. She pressed the code and locked the door,
He might have sold a painting. Some government guy had asked him the price, He had wandered into Andy's studio with his younger girlfriend. She had liked the painting. Andy was supposed to call him tomorrow. It was the young lady.s birthday. Andy was hoping his painting would be her birthday gift. It wasn't a definite sale but it was definitly a psychological upper.
The restaurant was one of her favorites. They had never been there together. The hostess seemed to know him. Anna watched their interaction. Andy introduced the two women. Anna smiled and said hello to Chrissie. Chrisse was so bubbly. Anna felt happy as they approached their table.
It was a low table surrounded by pillows. The table was set and the food was already waiting for them. She smiled, he had preordered. They both slipped onto their pillows.
In the center of the table were 5 types of sushi and a plate of escargot. Her eyes popped with delight, Had she mentioned that these were some of her favorite dishes. It wasn't her birthday. She felt like she was floating on her pillow. She was light headed. She was having trouble following his conversation.
Andy pulled the curtain around them. They were sitting in complete privacy. Her body tingled. She wasn't nervous , just overly happy. Andy seemed so cool. She noticed that his shirt was partly open. Her concentration shifted again. He noticed her flightiness and asked what she was thinking about. "Oh," she blushed " I was just noticing the hair on your chest. I have never dated a man with hair on his chest."
He smiled- he was happy that she considered this a date. Most women only liked him as a friend or brother, They were quiet as they ate the first course. Anna was watching him and he didn't feel nervous. He felt happy in her gaze.
He pressed a button and Chrissie came in with a cart. The empty dishes were removed from the table, and moments later the second course was brought in. A large bowl of Greek Salad and a plate of pita bread. Another one of her favorites.
"Oh my God, I love this" She squealed. He sighed "Oh good. I don't usually decide every aspect, I just wanted to surprize you. I am glad you are happy," He was blushing.
He couldn't have been more accurate, she was very happy. Both of them were full after her favorite meal. The forth course had been dessert. Real bakery made desserts. He signed the screen and the money was taken from his account. He took her hand as they left the restaurant. It had grown dark. She looked at the sky.
Every night the same stars, but they still seemed to amaze her. "What do you think of the stars?"She asked."They're like diamonds" he responded.
Every section of the city had its own cluster of stars. Every evening at seven they appeared like a painting. But nobody could paint on the sky.
He hugged her and asked, "Would you like to go see a movie? They are having a band tonight. It is pretty close and we should catch the beginning".
The movie was free. The band was playing when they entered the large room, She wanted to dance, but it was a upper league event. The music was meant to be background. The music spoke ofYh love-not bodily love,but the joining of souls.
All of a sudden a glow filled the room. It was coming from the screen, The movie was about to start. Annie was thrilled. The start of the movie was views of the stars. They were not the stars in her area. They looked like shiny orbs- colored gems.
The screen all of a sudden showed fields of grass. Much bigger fields than she had ever seen. Next the screen showed gigantic mountains. Large boulders covered with snow. They didn't have snow on this planet,
Anna wondered if the government was planning a trip to the frontiers outside of their region. She wanted to go see the huge fields of grass. She somewhat forgot her date. She watched the screen hoping to find a trip date. Instead they showed dead bodies littering the field. The fields were charred scorched by fire. Then the moral, teaching about the bomb. It had destroyed the fields she longed to see. The film had ended. Andy seemed bored, but Anna wanted to photograph nature. She was an average 2040 girl, but he seemed to expect more from life. When they reached her door he gave her a hug and a kiss, and told her he would call her.
She made a White Russian and went up to her roof. She always wondered why the stars were exactly the same every night, but she was always scared to voice her questions. The trees every year every leaf turned exactly the sane color, and the trees all grew to the same height.
Why had they shown them a film where the mountains looked unique. She sat on the roof sipping on her drink. Her curiosity about her surroundings had grown.
Andy called the next day. He invited her to go for a drive. She asked if she could bring her camera. She was looking for something unique. Not the cookie-cutter landscape.
Anna had never been where they were going. They were going to see mountains- about an hour away from her apartment. He entered the location into his car. About an hour later the scenery began to change. Trees lined the road and in the background were gray-blue mountains. They were not as high as the ones in the film, but they were not all identical. She sighed in contentment. Up ahead was a waterfall and a river. They jumped out of the car and took photos. She took several of him in front of the waterfall. He wanted a photo of them together. He had a gadget that made it possible. Anna laughed and danced as the camera took her picture. He transferred copies into her camera as well.
Her favorite one was The Kiss. At least thats what she called it. When she got home she printed it and hung it on the wall. In her mind he was not her boyfriend it was just a good picture. She printed two of the other pictures they had taken and hung them on her wall. She wondered if she would see him again. A day's joy does not promise a forever bond. She looked at her three versions of the kiss photo. Was it the photo, the man, or the kiss?
'It had been days. The kiss photos had lost their magic. She was thinking of taking them down. And then a message from him appeared, He wanted to see her in two days. She did not feel the same excitement she usually felt with him, but she messaged him and said yes to the date.
He showed up on time. Anna was ready as well, but she was confused. She wondered if she should have hidden the pictures. He apologized, he had to work. Work, what a strange concept. She hadn't worked in years. She was a supporter of the government. She had worked for ten years. Now the rest of her life the government supported her. That was just the way it was done.
He explained that the model had been available for three days. He offered to show her the work. She finally smiled. "I would love that."
Wow- she loved his paintings. "Andy these are great" She had expected nudes, but his models had been wearing various costumes. He hadn't finished any of the five paintings. He also showed her the photos of the model he had taken. She found herself wanting to try modeling but all she did was say Wow.
"Did the other painting sell?" she asked. Yes, he picked it up yesterday. Anna felt confused, It wasn't that she needed the money, but the creativity of it drew her to it. He was silent watching her reaction. He thought she liked his paintings but he wasn't sure.
Then she all of a sudden broke the silence. Do you want to go for coffee? I saw a coffee shop around the corner,"
When they entered the coffee shop, Andy was greeted by name by the barista, He ordered their drinks and they went and sat in the corner booth,
He was excited to share with her about his paintings. He showed her the page where his artwork was displayed, there were twenty artists in his group. He showed her their work as well. They were all painters. He gave her his card so she could look it up on her screen,
In a weak voice she ventured" I could model for you- clothed of course. I wouldn't know what to charge though.? He smiled "We could do it this weekend. I'll need to get your id number to deposit the money in your account."
Anna felt really happy for the first time in a long time. He walked her home. Said he'd pick her up at 9:30 am on Saturday, She tried to work on her poetry but no words came. She wasn't in love, she wasn't enthralled with nature. In fact, all she could think about was earning more money. She had enough money to live on but free money did not motivate her to jump into life . Money that you earned. Things that you produced were already better than the monthly income she collected from the government,
Andy showed up exactly at 9:30. Anna was excited. She wanted to appear calm. He took her excitement as nervousness."Don't worry, it will be easy" She smiled. There was no way he could know what this opportunity meant to her,
He had laid out two outfits. She slipped on a tennis outfit. She had never seen a tennis match. it had been banned. Millionaires were not allowed. Income was regulated by the government. She had seen a tennis racket in the museum that had been owned by Sarina Williams, Andy had her pull her hair back into a pony tail. He then did her makeup. She grabbed the tennis racket he had provided. He had a machine that tossed tennis balls at her. She was going to have to hit the balls with the racket,
The ball was harder to hit than she had envisioned. But his camera followed her every move. When the racket met the ball he snapped the picture immediately. This was not a bad experience. This took skill. This made her happy. She found herself questioning the rules again, All of a sudden he suggested a break. They reviewed the photos. Only about a third of them appeared artistically correct. He picked out which ones he would design his painting from. He wanted two more pictures with her in the tennis outfit drinking a bottle of diet coke. He took more than two pictures, but she was enjoying this. She loved the soda.
When he was satisfied he ran into the other room and came back with two Italian sub sandwiches, "Earth 1990's he said Earth during most of it's history classified everybody , Italian French, Indian.
All people here in 2040 are equal. What part of the planet you are from does not determine your worth. Families did not pass down money. There is income equity.
The next photo shoot was her wearing black leather pants. He showed her a clip from a film. Andy wanted her to imitate Sandy's attitude, Anna had to fight through all her inner inhibitions. But this was more fun than tennis.
She suddenly stopped short. "What about the viewers" "I overrode it." He said. "They are seeing me reading and listening to their educational tapes, they can't see the tennis racket, the diet coke, the sub ."
Andy was becoming sexier by the moment. Anna was actually feeling alive.
Not the usual walking through life, that she was used to. They reviewed the photos. She could see Sandy's attitude in them. She had enjoyed feeling like Sandy.
He walked her home. He gave her all the sodas, which he carried up to her apartment, Minutes after arriving home her payment appeared in her account. He had paid her 68 dollars for four hours. Plus he had given her the leather pants, soda, and a different attitude.
She looked around her apartment. She felt like she was living in a tomb. Maybe she should shock the viewers. He needed a shirt to wear with the leather pants. She looked through the government catalog, on the screen. She ordered a suede shirt. It arrived through the slot in her apartment in about twenty minutes. She tried on her new outfit,
She then went through the domestic catalog. Her apartment was designed to please the viewers. She wanted to live in an exciting environment. She ordered an imitation leather chair. It was to large to come through her apartment slot so she went to the port out in the hall. It was the first time she had used it. Her kiss photo was looking sexier by the hour.
About the Creator
Antoinette L Brey
I am an elder in a time of freedom. I am now retired. All i want to do is have fun. Without a daily routine, my imagination is one of my only salvations. I am not planning on writing a book, it is just for my own pleasure
You have potential. Keep practicing and don’t give up!
This was an interesting story and concept!
Great Job ❤️💯👍😉
Nice story, liked the interplay between them
Entertaining to read