anima gemella - soulmate

Be bonded or be shunned.


Productivity was at an all-time high. Crime rates had dropped, though not significantly. People were convinced they had everything they needed with their partners.

I had spent my entire life trying to find a way around this...slavery.

Be bonded or be shunned.

How could these systems force us into something as imprisoning as this. Some people wouldn't call it slavery though. That was the issue.

Most of the people who had been mated had convinced themselves that they were happy. They thought they were perfectly compatible with the partners that were deemed their "soulmates". As I searched for any type of solution, the most I had come up with was about the way things were before they implemented this lifestyle, when productivity and standard of living had reached an all-time low.

Initially, this plan was a failure. People who were already married with families of their own rioted. Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers. Most of their attempts were futile.

When violence had become a means to an end, the official government stepped in. I wasn't sure what happened, but things ended peacefully somehow. Apparently, the officials didn't want there to be any fighting.

The people agreed.

It could be that they were brainwashed into believing this lifestyle was exactly what they wanted. The people who had originally opposed were suppressed, and thus, everyone, well almost everyone, participated in the new way of life.

My father actually rioted when he was a teenager, but when he met his own soulmate - the one this society deemed his soulmate-he stopped.

He fell in love with my mother. The two of them built a life together. They were married and had two children, Alice and me. However, my mother died while giving birth to me.

And since my father had lost his "soulmate," he chose to lose himself.

He and the rest of his family resented me for taking away his life partner. It was my fault he was so miserable. It was my fault he took to drinking.

My father and his family never hurt me physically, but they never loved me either. He certainly loved his gin though. Alice, who was five years older than me, knew what love was. She had my mother for the first five years of her life. She never resented me. Instead, she raised me and so did my uncle, Charlie.

I had to wonder which was worse, though. Having someone love you so much only to have it ripped away or not being able to experience that love at all.

From what Alice and Charlie told me, my mother was wonderful. If I had been responsible for my father's death instead of my mother's, I wonder if she would have responded differently.

When we lived in a world where the mistreatment of children was justified because one of their parents lost a soulmate, then there was a major flaw in the system.

I knew I wasn't the only one. I had to stop this.

Unfortunately, we were granted little access to this information before our twentieth birthdays. When we turned twenty, we had to go to the capital, have our blood drawn, and be matched up with our soulmates. We had until the age of twenty-five to find our mates and marry, otherwise we would have to go before the courts where they would decide our fates.

Would we be shunned or would we be forced into a bond?

I had seen what happened to those who were shunned. Alice and I kept bags of food in our cars for when we saw them.

Be bonded or be shunned.

I was twenty-four. For four years, I wanted nothing to do with my soulmate. For four years, I did as much research as I could with what little resources I had.

My family had no money. My father spent it all on his self-medicating ways.

For four years, I came up blank. For four years, I had to watch my sister Alice invest her life into this slavery. She and her soulmate were the happiest they could be.

"When you meet your soulmate, you will understand," she told me when we were getting ready for her wedding. She looked beautiful with her short dark hair curled and pinned to perfection. Her makeup made her green eyes pop. I had always wished for my mother's green eyes. Instead, my father's cold dark eyes stared back at me when I looked in the mirror.

"I don't want to understand," I responded. "I don't want to end up like Mom and Dad."

"You won't," she reassured me. "They were the exception. People don't treat their children that way."

"Lucky us," I snapped. "We were a part of the exception."

That was when I was nineteen. My views hadn't changed. However, my twenty-fifth birthday was approaching, and so was my soulmate's. And I had recently discovered, thanks to Alice's soulmate Jasper, a hacker, that my soulmate was filthy rich.

His name was Edward Cullen. I had two months to find him, get him on my side, and use his resources to pinpoint the flaw in the system that would take everything down.

For any confusion, anima gemella means soulmate in Italian.

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