The Smiling Girl in the Toll Booth 2
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It was early Monday morning, and Ashleywas sitting in her air conditioned volkswagen, gently sipping on a Starbuks coffee. She was patiently waiting. The Government Clinic hadn't opened up, yet. In the early spring morning sunlight, Ashley could
make out several groups of people already standing outside: waiting for the same thing, that she was. Some were
well-dressed, and some weren't; some were young or even younger than she (though the age permitable was at least 14), while at the same time, at least two or three of the group were well past fifity and sixty.
Ashley opened up her
iphone, for the sixth
time, and gazed at the time
lit up by her
cell: 6:22 a.m.
There was still time.
Ashley begun to gently sob, again.
She pressed a handkerchief against her dainty little nose
blew softly into the silky fabric. Protectively, she place one small hand over her pregnant belly which lay under the soft blue maternity sweater. It was a lovely robins-egg blue, and soft tightly woven navy wool, maternity skirt, that dipped gracefully past her beige nylon knees, toward the low-heeled navy silk
pumps that Ashley had resorted to wearing during her pregnancy.
Why did she have to
be all alone, just now?
Ashley pouted; in all
her 21 years, she had
never felt so totally
Naturally, her husband, Jack, was off to work, right now: he was a surgeon, and usually left for work at 3 or 4 every weekday morning. They did have a daily maid come in.....but, that wouldn't be till ten, and anyway Ashley would never think of asking Creselda; it wasn't like they were FRIENDS, or anything. Ashley knew that Creselda was tattooed: no one was allowed to hire a maid, or nanny, or house-companion.....who wasn't. Ashley might have asked her parents to accompany her though her mother was in the same predicament that she was: married to GC (Goverment Conformer), who did all the grocery shopping, banking, driving, and the other necesities of daily ife. Elesa, Ashley's spoiled and lovely mother, like her daughter, was putting off the inevitable: mostly because, on her part, she detested the thought of any tattoo marring her lovely, Southern born-and-bred skin. Elesa simply felt that as long as her 2nd, and adoring, rather slavish husband, was happy to carry out all the dull routines of their happily married life, why should she even give it a THOUGHT?
Ashley paused a moment in her tearful sobbing to
give a little chuckling laugh. Mommy was
such a character: always was.
Ashley's lovely face, however turned a tight grim countenance: this was real life she was giggling about, and one which she truly did not want to be a part of; in the past several months, stories had come out in the news about couples who had tied the knot of matrimony simply as a way of dealing with the New World Order. If a NC (Non Conformist) had money, he or she would simply google the websites for a poor, though loyal GC (government conformist). It was a marriage of logic, no-nonsense, and convenience; each member of the marriage needed, and complimented one another, quite admirably. Trivial qualities, like mutual attraction, shared background, interests, histories, sexual-appetites, and hobbies......were no longer most important. It was not unusual to see many may-december marriages: the young and beautiful NC on the arm of a well- heeled GC; the older, matronly, wealty NC on the arm of a young, hard-working GC; ironically, divorces among these new species of socio-economic group, were basically non-existant. Even hetero and homosexual singles were now bonding, matrimonially, to escape the government's oppressive coding system. To put it in unromantic terms, a single, somewhat-attractive man or lady, out there, who sported the New World Order Sign on his or her forehead, or wrist, was considered a 'good catch'.
her! He had MARRIED her.....for
better, or for worse!
They were DIFFERENT from this whole New World-
LOVED each other!
And.....she was going
to bear his CHILD!
Surely, he would never...........!
But, Ashley had heard those stories, also: where a husband (or wife) had grown tired of 'carrying' the other code-less mate....and had simply divorced them: something made very expedient with all the new World Order government laws: the government looked 'down' on NC/GC marriages; even greater tax advantages were given to GC/GC couples.
It would be very easy for her handsome Jack to find another wife:
one who happily accepted all the coo-toos of being a
surgeon's wife, as well as having a tiny little tattoo on her
pretty, little forehead.
And, Jack wanted to travel. He had made it known to Ashley
when they were dating, that as soon as he was making enough money as a surgeon, and their children 'could walk', he planned to take wonderful cruises to here, there, and everywhere.
Which wouldn't be possible, if his wife didn't have her scanner-code in place: in traveling to other countries, it was just like a passport. It WAS the passport: THE PASSPORT......to a comfortable, and free-of-fear lifestyle.
Ashley, weary-eyed with the early morning awakening, and fighting off the travails of continued morning sickness, slowly sipped what was left of her Starbucks light-medium-decaf- with-milk. Sighing heavily, she gracefully set the large Starbucks cup into her car holder, and then sighed again. Goodness: she felt as though she were going up the stairs of an executioner. It was just a little THING.......she had to get over with: like having one of those prenatal bloodtests.. or bravely going through the absolute horrors of childbirth.........in order to fulfill everyone's expections of her.
Ashley laughed to herself, in the low car mirror. Outside,
the bright lights of the Government Agency Clinic had just come on; inside, lab-coated technicians moved to and fro: turning on lights, and machines, carrying small cups of coffee, and turning on their computers to see the various schedules of the day. Well!
Time to get it over
with. Time to get on
Time to become....one of the
those who didn't have
to be scared everytime they saw
a Tollway Booth along
the insterstate, those who
felt confident about entering a bank....or
pharmacy.....or doctor's office......or
Turning off the ignition, and going through her purse to make sure she had all the needed ID papers and whatnot, she paused a moment to think of last Sunday: when she and Jack had gone to their neighborhood NGW* church. Just like everyone, they went regularly: it was expected. Of course tithes were expected; the only thing was that in order to complete the small 'gift' form, the churchgoer had to first have their forehead or wrist scanned by one of the church 'greeters' at the front door. When a couple approached the door, naturally, only the husband or wife (or significant other) had to be scanned. Without going through the scanner, one would be unable to donate any amount of money to the church, and after a very short length of time would be asked to leave....and not come back. Considering Jack's position in the community, Ashley would be very stupid indeed, not to comply with these simple government rules.....Stupid, indeed.
Stepping out of her light-blue Volkswagon, Ashley paused for a second in the brightening dawn light, to smooth down her soft, silky blond curls. The little charm bracelet, which Jack had given to her for her twenty-first birthday, made pretty little tinkling sounds in the half- empty parking lot. Smoothing down her pretty yellow, violet-and-daisies-maternity sweater over her soft gray maternity slacks, Ashley closed and locked her car door, gracefully slung her leather purse shoulder strap over her slim right shoulder, and proceeded to walk across the parking lot to the brand new, well-kept, government office building which housed the CODING/I.D. clinic.
and they have
day or night,
of the beast,
and its image,
of its name.
*New Global World
GC - Government Conformist
NC - Non Conformist
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