We are ruled by numbers here. Well, a certain number. The face rank. Every time someone looks at me, I know they wonder immediately, Name, Face Rank, Age, Clique? I am number one hundred fifty-two as of this morning.
However, when I woke up in my bed at 10am, I did not immediately flip on my Interface Ring and rummage through the updates on my wallscreen. Instead I stared at the glossy white ceiling of my Pretty apartment, with the Pretty walls and Pretty furniture. Everything was Pretty, Perfect, and Pukemaking. And I didn't really care for any of it.
There was a knock on my door, well, rather, a loud SLAM and then a bang followed by muffled curses as someone struggled through the wooden door. Edie had finally arrived. She toppled into the room, a mess of violet hair and big green eyes. Her outfit was loud, too loud for the morning and yet she was very much awake.
"That damn door, Jeffy, why do you insist on being all Rusty? I wish you had a slider like the rest of us!" I heard this little rant nearly every morning that she picked the lock to my apartment and burst inside. I told her each time she could just use the key that I had given her, but that was far too easy for someone like Edie. She liked challenges, and she'd make ones for herself when none existed.
I forced out a loud sigh, as if I was upset with her. "You know, I gave you a key for a reason." Her cacklelaugh split through my quiet room and I cringed internally; it seemed that she was going to be just as loud as her shining green dress that was a little too short. It matched her eyes perfectly, of course. Every week, her eyes changed to match her outfits. She had a high enough face rank and credits to spend them on whatever her Pretty little heart desired.
Of course, I've got enough credits to spend on whatever I want to look like, too, but it's not like I'll ever change anything about me. I'll still always be me. Boring, plain, natural Pretty Jeffy. And holy hoverboard, do people love it.
Edie made a point of sitting down on my bed and taking up all the possible space that her tiny Pretty body could handle so that she could squeeze me off of it. When I finally gave up resisting and landed on the floor with a thump, she let out a squeal of triumph and ordered me to get dressed. "Wear something exciting! We've got a morning party to head to, Jeffy-Effy. None of your boring nature-muck colors today." So demanding.
I stumbled into my closet and stared at clothes around me. I could feel myself growing bored with the day already, and it had barely even started. I should have been all Bubbly and happy-making, but instead I wanted to grab the nearest shiny scarf and strangle Edie and then myself with it. Ew. Not a thought to share with other Pretties, to be sure.
I finally settled on a short sky blue dress, one not nearly as insane as Edie's, but it was passable to her. She rolled off my bed and rummaged around my room, accessorizing me and fixing my hair like she always did. I was her Pretty little Barbie, like what Rusty kids used to play with. I smiled to myself with that thought. Pretties were like Barbies, but real and maybe a bit more terrifying. "What are you smiling about, Jeffy-Effy? Thinking about all the Pretty boys who are going to ogle at you and ask your name today? I know I am!" She giggled and flipped on my wallscreen with my Interface Ring, flipping through all of my messages that had accumulated overnight. "Oh, there's that Terence boy from last night."
"Who?" I asked stupidly. I don't really remember people. There are too many, too many to know and keep happy and memorize. They change their faces so much. But me, I stay the same old natural. "Don't be stupid, Jeffy. That boy with the delicious gold hair. He smelled like chocolate and... other things." She giggled evily, like she couldn't share what else he smelled like with me. I struggled to remember. Golden hair. Golden hair... "Wait. Was he the one wearing like a crazy Rusty black jacket? Looking all Oldie?"
"Yea! Yea, him! Ugh, he was so Pretty, Jeffy. I think he liked us both. Maybe we can take him for a spin." She winked and flipped on some weird hyper-pop song, the kind of music she loved to annoy me with.
"Ew, Edie, you know I don't do that. Spend time with him in the Pleasure Gardens if you want, I'm not going to." She pouted at that. "Fine, grumpy-gadget. But I'm friending his Pretty butt. We're gonna get you a boy sometime. You can't be single and stubborn through all your Pretty years." I laughed at that. I'd like to see her try and force an empty-headed Pretty boy on me. Most of them were like that Narcissus guy, back from the really old Rusty days of like Cleopatra. Apparently, he liked his own natural Pretty face so much that he fell in love with himself and it got him killed. Can't say I'd never seen a Pretty boy walk into something because he was too busy admiring himself in a wall-mirror.