What They Do To Reds

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Chapter 9

6 months later

Jamia's 18th birthday was only a day away. Livi had already turned 20 about two months ago and Jamia had a sneaking suspicion that Livi was planning on throwing a big party for her.

Jamia had taken over as president after the former president had done 'all he could' to release the Reds who were in prison without reason, and had tried to remove the Gray 'guards' from the neighborhoods that were predominantly populated by Reds.

After he had done 'all he could' he turned the presidency over to Jamia, who was both a minor and a Red. Two categories that were relatively looked down upon.

But soon she would at least get a little respect for being, by law, a legal adult. A law which Livi had refused to let her change, no matter what Jamia said.

Livi had basically become what Julian would've been. Jamia's advisor and right-hand person. Although Jamia was also going out with Livi and had been for the past 3 months.

Someone named Stephanie, who said she had been Julian's nurse in the prison, came to Jamia. She told Jamia how sorry she was and how nice and kind Julian had been, despite the fact that he had every right to be bitter and horrible. She told Jamia that she thought that Julian didn't deserve what happened, and she would do whatever she could to help make the world better for kids like him. So Jamia hired her and Stephanie often made trips to schools in the 'Red neighborhoods' to help the school nurses and the teachers as well.

And Julian was buried in the same cemetery that held the bodies of Grays who had died since the old president had taken power. Jamia honestly hated going to visit the cemetery. She was not sentimental. And yet, Livi made her go at least once every two weeks. Livi's main argument was, 'It would make him happy that you're remembering him.' Although Jamia suspected that what would actually make him happy was that Jamia was working to fix the country and was slowly making progress. The number of violent acts carried out against Reds was slowly but surely decreasing. Even if they were far from gone and would probably never be gone.

But there were more and more people who were realizing that Reds were the same as everyone else. They just had different colored hair and eyes. And once those people were the majority, Jamia would consider the country well on its way to become what she had dreamed about turning it into.

A happy place for Grays, Blues, Greens, Yellows, Browns, Pinks, and Reds.

A place where everyone was treated the same, and everyone had the same opportunities to be happy.

Jamia often thought of her becoming president as a way of payment. The loss of her family was an exchange for being able to fix the country, while Livi's interpretation was more like, 'you drew attention to yourself, which got your family killed.'

Livi's sister was in the same prison where she had tortured Julian, same cell even. As was the old president. He had accepted his arrest after turning the presidency over to Jamia and had willingly gone with the guards, of which Jake was a member.

Livi had told Jamia about what happened to her parents. Lucy had gone to the police and told them about their harboring of Reds. Lex was Livi's older brother by two years and he had been caught and gunned down by the Grays after his family while Livi had been running away. After that story was told, Livi began insisting that Jamia call her 'Liv' rather than 'Livi.' At first Jamia had trouble adhering to that, but after a while she got used to it. Livi had also forced Jamia to read The Elementals. A book that she was now extremely fond of and frequently reread.

There had been some problems when Jamia had first stepped up. Most were still worried about having a Red run the country, worried it would become a living hell where murderers and thieves ran around terrorizing people. But most of them had calmed down after the first month went by with a decreased crime rate.

And Jamia was happy.

Just as Jamia had suspected, when she returned to what had been called 'the president's suite' from a trip to the cemetery with Livi, there were balloons and Stephanie was holding a cake. Two candles were sticking out of the top. One was a number 1 and the other was a number 8.

"Happy birthday Jamia!" Livi declared, wrapping her arms around Jamia.

"You didn't have to." Jamia replied.

"Yes I did." She replied.

"Thanks." Jamia couldn't remember the last time she'd had birthday cake, much less what it tasted like.

"Well? Let's have some!" Livi said, walking over to Stephanie, who had already produced a cake-cutter and was cutting a slice.

One was given to Jamia, who insisted they eat at the table rather than on the floor of the living-room.

As they ate, Livi seemed to be fidgeting uncomfortably, almost nervously.

Why would Livi be nervous? Livi was never nervous.

"Um... I got you something..." Livi said, taking out a small red velvet box.

Jamia knew what it was almost immediately, even though she had grown up in a place where they were extremely rare.

Livi opened the box to reveal a beautiful ring with a ruby as the centerpiece.

"Um... this is kinda hard to ask..." Livi rubbed the back of her head, which is when Jamia realized what Livi was going to ask her.

"You don't have to." Jamia replied.

Livi gave her a look of elation and surprise.

"My answer is yes."

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