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A New Reality

By Alex Kim

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Disappear. 2202. Tareh. 

The reality of life for us has changed. The government has put in place a new agenda.

“Welcome to Today’s Newscast.

 

Recent research indicates that our current rate of resource consumption has drastically reduced the time before Hour 0. The vertebrae animal populations have halved in the period where the human population has doubled.

 

1 out of 7 people no longer have sufficient food and 1 out of 3 don’t have access to clean water. In order to combat this crisis, we will be inputting a plan to avert Hour 0. The plan is to…”

Towards Hour 0..

March 06

 

The world is changing dramatically more than it has during my first sixteen years of life. Two years ago, an issue was “diagnosed” for Tareh.

 

Why the government took so long to react and respond to the problem will forever be a mystery. But the change and response the government is taking right now is something new. For the last two years, there hasn’t been a solution. Now, there is a belated and desperate attempt for one. 

Each and every day is special. 86, 400 seconds. 1, 440 minutes. 24 hours. A chance to live life. A chance to figure out what we are. A chance to know yourself. Before it’s too late. There are so many of those who don’t get to fully experience those days.

 

We have been living in constant fear, worry, and uneasiness. And those feelings will never cease as we head towards Hour 0.

March 31

 

It feels like any normal day for me, except the fact that we are now a day closer to Hour 0 when everything ceases to exist. For someone else, today isn’t a normal day. We never know when we may vanish off the surface of the Tareh.

 

The population has reached its limit. Now, it’s a matter of life or death - the death of a name, the death of a life, and the death of an existence.

School doesn’t feel like what it used to be. There was a time when we were carefree and willing to learn. Nowadays, I start to question, what really is the meaning of life?

 

What is the purpose of life if we are going to disappear at any given moment anyway? They say you only live once. Why bother with school then when there are so many other journeys and adventures to be discovered on your own?

 

The day flew by and the dismissal bell rang. 

April 01

 

I wandered out on an adventure on my own. There was so much about nature that I had never known about. The light warm breeze swept across my face. I had undone my tightly tied bun down and I finally smelt the smell of freedom.

 

For once, it felt as though appreciating nature had let me escape the inescapable reality I and the rest of the world was in. The sun was up, the sky was clear, and the leaves were back on the trees, greener than ever.

 

It didn’t seem as if Tareh was in the middle of an existential crisis. And it certainly didn’t feel as if one of us could suddenly “disappear” because there are just too many of us around. In a lighthearted state of mind, I walked home still admiring the beauty that surrounded me that I just never had time to observe before. 

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April 10

 

It’s been a few days since I wrote my last entry but I’ve been loving what I’ve been discovering. There is just too much fun that I could have in my potential last day of my life. I’ve been living everyday like it’s my last because, well, it could be.

 

Today, I met some of my friends. We hung around the mall and we did what teenagers would do. My friends loved to pull off dares so we dared each other to talk to strangers, sing out loud in the middle of the street, and dance with a random stranger.

 

It was a lot of fun and definitely a day that I wouldn’t have regretted, especially if it was the day before I would disappear off Tareh. Like it did with Heather, my best friend.

 

She was with our usual group of friends eating until each part of her body began to fade. It was as if a drop of water had hit a piece of paper. All of us were in shock and we ended up dragging ourselves home, still in disbelief of what happened.

 

I’m scared that I will be next. And I wonder now if it would be worse to “disappear” or for Tareh to end at Hour 0. 

April 30

It’s been a whole 20 days since I’ve last journaled!

 

Today, I drove my first car! I passed my permit test so I took my new car out and took it out for a drive. The weather was so nice again so I rolled down my windows and enjoyed the thrill of my drive.

 

After that, I went karaoking with my friends. We sang a lot of the popular songs and one of the girls from a different room came to join us. We had so much fun together and I hope we can all meet sometime again before anyone disappears.

 

At night, I couldn’t sleep and at around 2 AM, I gave up trying. I opened the large window in my room and I went outside to the little balcony. The moon was so beautiful and I was able to see one star. I’m so glad that I was able to see at least one!

 

It’s really rare to be able to see a star nowadays. I just stayed outside and enjoyed the breeze for a bit before I came to journal this. That’s it for today’s journal! 

May 05

It’s only a few weeks before Hour 0. Today’s Newscast gave us warnings and it seems that more and more people are disappearing to push back Hour 0.

 

It started raining after I listened to it, but I decided to go outside anyway. I was in shorts and a cute T-shirt. It was so nice to be in the rain without any jacket or umbrella. Though my hair was drenched and messy to clean up the water I brought into the house, I had fun.

 

It was a new feeling that I loved and I want to do it one more time before anything happens. See you soon, hopefully! 

July 17

 

Hour 0 is now a few months away. It seems that the government is working to make sure they can delay Hour 0 for as long as they can.

 

Today, I was able to get back into reading. Before, reading was something that school had forced upon me. But the book I picked up today sucked me right in.

 

I really enjoyed the book and now I think I actually like reading. It wasn’t for any assignment, or group project, or any individual project. I picked it up on my own for entertainment.

 

I read under a huge tree in a nearby grassland. The grass was so green and freshly cut. I saw little daisies swaying back and forth in the warm breeze.

 

After I finished my book, I walked to the nearest library to pick up the sequel. I can’t wait to start reading it tomorrow. 

August 09

 

Hour 0 is in a few days. The government lifted some of the constraints because we had a few months to spare but that backfired. We accelerated the time to Hour 0 faster than anyone anticipated. I’m sitting at a beach currently watching the sunset.

 

The streaks of pink and orange are so pretty that I can’t even put it into words. As I was looking into the distance where the waves were casually lapping over itself, the seagulls cried. The casual rhythm of splashes filled my ears until I heard a baby cry.

 

A family had come to the beach for the baby to play. All of a sudden, the baby disappeared in front of my eyes. The government had clicked the button for the baby. I definitely think it’s scarier to “disappear” than…

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