The animation keeps going as if it’s really trying for me—not that it can. I drop my P-Comm to my leg just as dark words appear on screen. My heart picks up speed, and a tingly tension takes over.
“Well?” Cam asks.
For some reason, I don’t want her to know. I want to find out by myself if I’m going to get a real life, or if I’m destined to wear hand-me-downs from twenty years ago until I’m ninety. I want to prepare, to plan, to cry if we don’t get to go together, or if I’m not like her.
I’m not, of course—in any way like her. Who am I kidding?
After what seems like hours, but is only seconds, I say, “Nothing.”
“Damn.” She throws her arms up in the air. “Figures. And it’s almost five. So, you know, I gotta go. Mom’s sure I’m going to be chosen to pop out babies, like she is, so she wants to make sure I know how to cook before the fake chefs get ahold of me to ‘teach’ me.” Cam gives me a dramatic eye roll and places a hand to her forehead. “Like, oh, my Oz, Eri, you know? We have people to cook for us for a reason. Duh! If I learn to cook, what job am I going to give someone like your mom, you know? And why would I get picked to be fat and ugly when I look like this?” She bats at her blonde curls.
Wanting to change the subject—to anything but the woes of Cam’s perfect life—I walk to her, give her a hug and a quick pat on the back. “I’ll … call you when I get it, ‘kay?”
“You better. We only have two days to shop for the perfect outfit. Why couldn’t your birthday be October twenty-ninth instead of December?” She snatches up her coat—preparation for the winter blast that will tear into uncovered skin. “And … you’re not a fluke. You will get in the white house, and when January first comes, we’ll be official!” She boogies her way out, hips wiggling. For someone who’s not happy about the prospect of becoming a baby factory, she’s awfully chipper.
I know it’s because she’s waiting to hear my fate. To prove I’m not a fluke. To validate my relevance as her friend—the one girl Cam can give backhanded compliments, and, for that matter, insults all day long, and still walk back in with a smile as if nothing happened.
Cam walks through the hallway and says goodbye to my mom who’s probably still working at her makeshift office in our miniature kitchen—trying, I assume, to avoid the whole days’ events. As much as Cam wants me to not be a fluke, my mom wants me to be one. If I’m like her, nothing will change. Like Cam, I’ll be the same old Erianna, just one day older and as useless as all the other flukes in the world.
The front door opens and closes, and I move to the window. Once Cam disappears from view, and only then, I turn over my P-Comm and touch the one message that sits inside.
The one that says: “Invitation for Erianna Price Keating.”
This is a Tour Wide Giveaway
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Fellow Author Reviews!
“This one, by far, is Emi’s best. Of anything she’s written.”
— Julie Reece, author, Crux
“I really hope [this] stirs up controversy and changes some youngsters thinking. God knows we could use that today in this society!”
— Terri Rochenski, author, Eye of the Soul
“… this was a total pleasure to read.”
— Kelly Said, author, Tidal Whispers & Make Believe
“… [this] will inspire an extreme diversity of opinion. It kept me involved and interested throughout, and I love novels that make me question my current understanding/viewpoint on life.”
— Amaleen Ison, author, Remember Me