As the ship charged through the sea away, from the farm toward the unknown, I lay in bed in anticipation. I was alone and completely naked, blissing out at the tingling in my toes. I could feel the space where the air caressed my skin and tickled the hairs on my arm. I could feel the light layer of sweat evaporate as my breathing slowed. The taste of his skin danced on my tongue, salty, savoury, satisfying. The smell of sex hung in the air, it was a warm blanket that wrapped around me. My nipples pointed to the ceiling as they tingled from the memory of Max’s lips. A knock on the door broke the spell and I panicked, grabbing the sheet and pulling it to my chest.
I exhaled heavily as he opened the door. He slipped inside and locked it behind him. “You look like a Goddess in that sheet. You’re so beautiful.” I gave him a kiss before leaning back on the bed.
“What’s that?” I motioned to the bag in his hand.
“I got us some supplies. Still have two hours to go, figured you might be hungry.”
I grabbed the bag excitedly. I looked in and had no idea what any of the items were. There were shiny parcels in all sorts of colours and shapes with flashy writing and pictures on the side. I open the first package.
“Hey, what is this?” I sniffed it. There was something familiar about the smell. It was rich, savoury and a little salty. Max rolled toward me and froze.
“Max?” My heart raced because I knew exactly what this was. Meat. Human meat. “Meat? You eat meat?” I clutched the sheets close to my body. “How could you?”
“Cece, I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”
“Obviously, otherwise why the hell would try and feed me my friends, my own mother?” I felt sick. I threw the package at him and rolled toward the wall.
“It’s different, it’s not like the farm. It’s just grown in labs, it’s not real.”
He reached out and stroked my hair, but I moved away from him. Every touch of his made me sick to my stomach.
“Leave me alone.”
“Just leave me alone.” He lay there, motionless, but I could feel his breath on my back. In and out. At first it was fast but it slowed into a gentle rhythm and then I was asleep and he was shaking me awake.
“Better get dressed.” He said. I pulled on my uniform and tidied my hair. “You feeling better?”
I nodded noncommittally in response.
“Okay just follow my lead, the hard parts done.” He opened the door and walked out. On the deck the guards huddled as the wind whipped the rain into our faces. I pulled my cap over my eyes for cover and kept space between Max and me. That was when I saw my new world. Even though it was dark you could see everything. It looked as though it were on fire with multi-coloured flames licking the sides of buildings that touched the sky. It was alive.
That was the first time I had seen the neon signs that now plague my sleepless nights. Nights I spend wondering if my friends are still alive. It’s silly. I know they will be, they were yet to be fertilised for the first time and then they w have years of breeding and it’s barely been a month. I wonder if they’re pregnant yet. It’s so sad that they must bear children for the rest of their lives without ever feeling what I feel with Max. With him it’s so natural, like all of my instincts take over and I know exactly what to do. I know more now, I learned every night when Max would come home to me after working at the farm. What I have with Max is a home. Homes are usually places where people feel they’re most comfortable, but I think Max is my home. I would follow him anywhere.
It’s hard to talk about my new world without comparing it to my old one. Life here is full of colour, supercharged and multidimensional. The people are the best part. Everyone is so individual. I watch from the windows in Max’s apartment as people walk by. Rainbow hair, metallic clothes and personalities that shine in the sun. So different from the white walls, white clothes and distant guards I was used to.
On that first night Max and I drove through the city. Once off the dock the wind and rain failed to follow us. As we drove Max pointed things out to me that I had never heard of before or had only read about in books. Max slowed down as we pulled down a crowded street and I wound down the window. People were there being actual people. I saw lovers on a bench kissing sloppily as they swayed in their seat. I saw a lady who was older than I ever imagined a person could be. People left the farm before they turned forty, usually around thirty-five. People at stalls were arguing and waving things in the air. There was a smell in the air that made me salivate, I licked my lips and looked at Max. I could see he was watching me out of the corner of his eye.
When we made it to Max’s apartment I was so excited I barely noticed what it looked like. He shut the door behind him I threw myself at him. He was my remedy for everything, he let me forget what had happened and what was to come and instead I lived in this moment with him. I pulled at his buttons frantically, I needed him right then. The buttons popped off my shirt as he pulled it open, we didn’t care. I slid his belt open and unbuttoned his trousers. He barely got the button of my trousers undone before he yanked them down over my hips. Completely naked I wrapped my arms around him as tight as I could before he picked me up and threw me on the bed. Pushing my legs apart he pressed his body heavily against mine. Skin on skin, flesh on flesh, I latched my legs around his waist. We fastened our eyes on one another and held them there right until the end without making a sound. The anxiety I had been feeling all day and the excitement of my new surroundings boiled up inside of me.
When my body exploded I could taste all of the colours and could see stars with my eyes closed. That night I slept with a smile, forgetting the argument we had had on the ship.