Lily, who had just celebrated her (individual) thirteenth birthday, dropped her bike on the ground next to a boy sitting quietly against a tree. "Hello, Marcus!" she called cheerfully.
"Oh, hi Lily. I-I um…wrote you a-a poem," he stuttered nervously. He held out a quivering sheet of loose-leaf paper to her. Lily grasped it and stared at the cramped hand-writing scrawled across the page.
Her eyes are blue like the deepest sea,
Her hair as fine as gold.
I wish as I sit against this tree
That we'll be together 'til we're old.
When Lily was done reading, she looked up. "Marc, I-um…don't know what to say…"
"Say yes, then," pleaded Marcus, his eyes shining. Lily smiled, then grasped Marcus's hand and trotted off into the sunset, her bicycle forgotten.
Jonas was standing next to Gabriel and staring out at the horizon on a brisk April morning. It had been four years that he'd lived in a world with a sun, but he never tired of the beauty. Every morning Gabe woke Jonas and said, "Jo, the sun's about to come up!" Jonas would hurry outside and they would stare in wonder as the orange globe was painted into the sky.
It was that moment that he remembered Lily. He didn't know why he had thought of her, but he did. She would be thirteen now, and she would have an assignment. Perhaps storyteller. Right now she was getting dressed, slipping into a tunic the exact shade of everything else in the community, not deciding to wear something else, because she could not make choices. She might even be wishing Father luck today while he murdered a newchild. Or maybe she wasn't. Maybe she was deciding to wear a blue top as opposed to a red one. Maybe she was wishing Father luck at the hospital, where mothers had their own children. She would go out and ride her bike, enjoying the sunny day and the green grass…But Jonas had no way of knowing how things were at home. It was worlds away. He could never go back. The sun was high in the sky, now, and Jonas followed Gabe back into the house.