Looking in my mirror I play with my hair, I am trying to see the best way to style it to hide all the bruises. Bruises upon bruises, my face resembling a rainbow with all shades of skin from the varying degrees of healing. I would put make up on to hide them, but I don’t have any. Its too expensive for me to buy, and my parents would never be so kind to do anything like that for me; not when they could spend it on their precious drugs. To make it worse, I am the only 8 year old in my year to not wear make up, I mean its 2166, everyone wears make up for gods sakes. I decide on draping my hair as far across my face as I possible can, only my right eye was visible. Both my parents are sleeping so I have to be fairly quiet, I woke them up once and I paid the price. I sneak out and make my way to school, I have to walk because I can’t afford the bus and lunch on the same day, its one or the other. On my long walk I think of the new excuse I am going to tell my teacher this time, how the new bruises came about. I have previously used pretty much every excuse I could think of, falling off my bike, down the stairs, the dog even got a mention once; but this time I am struggling. If I am honest though, I know they don’t believe me, but they also know what happens to me if they try to do something. Plus they haven’t got time to do these things anyway, everyone in the past thought by now robots would be doing everything. If you have told someone in the year 2000 that all the worthwhile technology has moved off planet earth and that in 2166 there would be no robots, massive overpopulation, overcrowding and a dying world, they wouldn’t have believed you. Everyone of any merit has left this globe, anyone with any wealth took it elsewhere, to planets anew. They knew that Earth was dying, that there was no point in trying to save it anymore, we raped and pillaged it to destruction. What’s left on here is scum, the criminals, drug lords and the people who were too poor to buy our way off planet. My family are in all three categories, I dream one day of being able to get off this shithole, but the older I get the more unattainable my dreams sound.
I reach the school gates, take a deep breath and walk through the towering metal doors, making sure not to snag my coat on the protruding barbed wire. I walk past the school low life’s, smoking something as they always are; being the low life of this school is quite a feat given the clientele here. I am not afraid of them though, I am not really afraid of anyone anymore, I mean no one is worse than my own family. I take my seat in my first class, maths. I hate this lesson, not because I don’t like maths, I love it actually; its just trying to hear the teacher over 50 delinquents in a tiny classroom is nigh on impossible. I try my best though. The teacher looks at me and does an awkward smile, a smile which says ‘I am so sorry I can’t help you’. Then she starts, being ignored by everyone but me, just like normal.