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
, 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 to themselves, but since the melting of the north pole and the flooding of the coastline, they were forced into smaller portions of living space. 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 "healthy". 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 me. 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. Love, 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.