A Difficult Decision


The following short story written by my father is my only
legacy from him.
The year is 2058. The place is a small town in Kansas
called Independence. The town is surrounded by a twenty
foot tall, high voltage, gray fence, which only electrifies
people on the outside. There is only one gate through which
one could enter the city. Connected to the entrance is an
infirmary for people entering the town. One was only
accepted into Independence if their blood was clean of HIV
for a six month period of testing. The person also had to
be eighteen years old. This little, self dependent city is
one of many like it. They were built twenty-five years ago
to protect the innocent from AIDS (which ninety-nine
percent of all people had). At one time the healthy people
had all of Kansas and Mississippi to themselves, but since
the melting of the north pole and the flooding of the
coastline, they were forced into smaller portions of living

Although it was only a village, it was inhabited by 100,000
people. They had their own schools, places of religion,
radio stations, etc. but conditions were not all that good.
Ever since the mass immigration into the city in the mid
forties, the quality of living in the town had gone down.
Tall tripartment buildings (buildings that went up and then
off to the sides, like a T: ) suddenly dominated the
skyline instead of the quaint old apartments. The people of
the town could not take any more of this depredation of
life. So, they passed laws that would halt immigration into
the town, and would limit the number of children each
family could have. The laws helped, but people on the
outside surrounded the city fence, trying to get in. 

All of this was until eleven years ago, when slowly, one by
one, everyone eventually stopped waiting and left. For the
next week the people of the town partied for not having to
deal with the people waiting outside any longer. They got
so happy that they idiotically revoked the laws limiting
the number of children to a family. 

In the next decade there was an explosion of births. This
totally plundered a once luxurious lifestyle. But, what
were they to do? They couldn't dare exit the city. Little
did they know that in 2047 a well-known scientist, to the
outside world, found the cure to AIDS. The cure somehow
mutated the genes in the body to recognize AIDS. However,
the cure had fantastic side effects. It made people: immune
to all diseases, taller and a little uglier.
When the disease was cured, people, for a short period of
time, debated whether or not the "healthy" should be
allowed back into the real world. After all, they had
turned their backs on the rest of the world many years ago.
After little debate the world unanimously decided not to
allow these people to return. A tourist company decided to
have tours around the city to show the world the pitiful
Back in the city, now in the year 2058, people started
recognizing strange things outside the fence. They noticed
people resembling giants and ogres staring into the city
and laughing. They also noticed that it occurred at the
same time every day. The people of the town found this
quite funny, thinking that this is what has become of the
Aids victims. In fact, this was the lone bright part of the
day for these people. After all their city had become an
overpopulated slum. So, twice a day, every day people would
crowd inside the gates and watch this hilarious scene
outside their city.
This created a mirror image. People inside the city
laughing at the outside, and people outside the city
laughing at the inside. The spectacle continued for a few
years. Unfortunately, the people that were outside the city
(who were immune to all diseases) passed on a disease to
the people inside the city (who weren't immune to the
disease). In effect, the people on the outside became
carriers of the disease (like ticks). Eventually, everyone
inside the city died from the epidemic.
This short story, written by my "father" a long time ago,
is all I have left of him. The reason for this is that
twenty years ago my "father" left my Mom and me. Since then
I have had no contact with him. All that I know of him, was
told to me by my Mom. If it were any other person other
than the woman who is my Mom, I might question some of the
things she told me about my "father" and wonder if they
were contrived out of hatred. However, my Mom is the most
brutally honest and blunt person I know and does not lie.
In short, my "father" left my mother and me when I was no
older than the age of three. He left us to "find" himself,
and ended up losing us. Since that time he has neither
tried to get in touch with us or paid us any money for
child support. My mother and I were left for a horribly
indigent life. But, we had each other, which is more than
he could possibly have ever had.
Time has healed all wounds and I have accepted my single
parent background. Suddenly last week, I was jolted out of
my state of calmness when I received the following letter
from my "father" in the mail. I have no idea how he found
Dear Carlos,
You are and always have been my one and only son. I hope
your life has been filled with nothing but joy and
happiness since I left. Unfortunately, mine has been a
living Hell. When I left, I moved to San Francisco to
become an artist. Nobody was interested in my work but
nevertheless, I continued my life long dream of trying to
become an artist, and made my money by conducting a
humiliating clown act for money on the streets of
Fisherman's Wharf. Things went from bad to worse and five
years ago, my mother and only sibling were both killed in a
car accident. For a short period of time I was pondering
the idea of committing suicide, but I have since gotten
over my depression.
What I'm about to tell you is the main reason why I am
writing this letter. My doctors have diagnosed me with
leukemia, and have since told me that I can only survive
with a bone marrow transplant. However, they also told me,
in no uncertain terms, that most probably the only bone
marrow that will "match" with my body, would be that of a
family member. Since you are my only living family member,
I have written this letter to you. So, if you can find it
in your heart to forgive me, or simply have the type of
heart that yearns to save a living soul please write back
to me. If you don't, I hope you can live with your decision.
Your father, George
So, I was left with a monumental decision. Do I save the
person who walked out of my life. Or, can I possibly not
help the man who is my God given father? This is not the
type of decision I could make on my own. I needed some
advice. Unfortunately, my mother is presently senile so she
couldn't help me. After many sleepless nights, I decided to
go to my father for advice. I did this by going to the only
shred of knowledge I have of my "father"-the short story. 

After re-reading his story several times, the answer was
clear. I was going to turn my back on the person who turned
his back on me. This decision was a difficult one to make
and I don't know whether it is morally correct but I feel
that I acted out of love for my mother.

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