You’re rich. Or you’re poor. There is no between in the country Yoongi lived in.
Korea’s economical problems had dropped tremondously over the years. A war that made more than half the country digging for food, scavenging for shelter, and trying to overall, survive.
Yoongi’s town of Daegu was more of a village now with their messy man-made wooden houses, empty fields of grass that held more weeds than plants, and the residents that resembled a stick. They had to live like animals in order to survive.
Everyone looked easy to break with their flat rib showing bodies. If they ask Yoongi, he thinks they are living more in the past than what everyone assumed their future was going to be like. Time just seemed to be going backwards than forwards according to the few history books Yoongi had come across on over the years.
Because of the country’s poor state, this is how Yoongi found himself in this usual position.
“Can you please give me something? Anything so my family can at least have something in their stomach?” Yoongi tried to use the most pitiest voice he could muster. Yoongi didn’t care about pride anymore at the moment, they were starving.
Yoongi had his black hood over his blonde hair and tried to hide his face as much as possible. He tried to make himself small by shrinking back and tucking his hands into his pocket.
The old woman at the front looked up from her chair. Her face formed into a scowl the second she recognized who it was by just staring into Yoongi’s eyes.
“Boy! Didn’t I kick you out last time???” The woman stood up from her chair. The object scraped against the floor. “And for what? You have the nerve to return to ask for food? For your family on top of that? I can’t believe it!” The woman gave a scandalized look. Yoongi shrunk into his dirty hoodie even more as he continued to get yelled at.
“It’s because of people like you that I’m like this! When I was younger, I used to have everything! I used to have food and a good place to stay. But you people! Your mother giving birth to five children is the reason why we are like this!” The woman began to scream at the teenager.
Just one mention of his mother made Yoongi’s pity look disappear in less than a second. A glare was slowly replacing it.
The old woman did nothing but continue. “And you want food, huh? Why don’t you just go sell yourself for The Selection, huh?! Might as well do something for us in forgiveness for being born. Stupid, ugly boy.” The woman scoffed. She looked away, seeming as if she was witnessing a dead animal blocking her way.
I already did, Yoongi thought to himself. There was no way he was going to tell the woman that though. He never goes off easy.
“Who am I kidding? It’s not like anyone would ever want a scum boy like you. Your mother probably did something and got her kids as punishment.” The woman snickered.
That’s it, Yoongi angrily thought.
He spat at her. Her right eye to be exact. Yoongi smirked at the scream of horror she let out.
“News flash woman, you’re old now and I don’t fucking care if you had a princess life before war. You can complain all you fucking want but you’re probably going to die faster than my family is. You have more wrinkles than anyone I’ve ever seen in my life.” Yoongi made sure to be loud and clear. The woman’s shocked expression was priceless.
“I’ll make sure to not visit your shit forgotten grave.” He last said before leaning over the counter that separated the two and grabbed as much fruit that he could hold.
“Hey! Get back here! Thief! Police! Police!” He last heard the woman yell before disappearing off into the fields.
He didn’t stop running. He breathed heavily and only let the wind carry him away. After seeing his familiar home, Yoongi finally came to a halt from his running. He quickly fumbled with the door knob and closed the front door of his house behind him once he was inside.
Yoongi smiled after having such a great adrenaline and rested his body against the door with a heavy breathe. His satisfaction was unfortunately short lived because as soon as he opened his eyes, he was met with a look. His mother stood in front of him with arms crossed.
“What?” He simply asked before heading to their small kitchen. He was met with three annoying voices of his younger sisters and cries from his baby brother.
“Here.” He threw a piece of fruit to each sister and handed the rest to his mother.
“This better not be stolen.” The oldest from the girls said before biting an apple.
“Well- ” Yoongi stopped when his mother glared at him. He was scolded enough times for stealing already.
“Why are you still here? Aren’t you supposed to be getting ready for Selection day?” The second eldest girl asked as she peeled an orange. Yoongi shrugged.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m late or not. I won’t be picked either way. I always try to scare them off.” Yoongi shrugged before sitting down.
Ah, this is where ‘Selection Day’ finally gets explained.
As Yoongi previously said, there lived the poor, and then there lived the rich. The rich that only lived in the city of Seoul with fancy houses and restaurants. They had food that, would originally take a month for Yoongi to gather, be ate all in a single meal.
And (which the woman previously commented about rudely) the entire reason the country now lived as it was, was not only because of economical problems, but because of overpopulation.
There seemed to be more children growing then adults dying over the years that it simply left people with fewer resources. Because of that, they had recently passed a law and it was now illegal for children to be born. Yoongi’s younger siblings were actually one of the last few kids to be born. The people hated them especially for ‘being a reason why we live like this’ so they usually hid out. Yoongi (being the only teenager and male in the family) made it his job to support them. It was definitely not easy.
So to get back to the main topic, what exactly is Selection Day? Well, let’s just say, the rich are just not satisfied with how good their lives are already. Since having kids is now illegal, they have made an alternative for themselves. If you are chosen during Selection day, you get to go live with the family you were chosen from, and be their baby. Simple as that. It was a weird form of adoption that made Yoongi sick. Although it wasn’t as bad as being a slave, he didn’t know if he loved to give up his freedom so easily.
The only reason he (and a lot of other teenagers as well) sign up for Selection Day was because they pay you for volunteering. Yoongi signed up because there were more chances in finding a one hundred dollar bill on the ground than being chosen. He was desperate for money as well.
There were also many teenagers who actually hoped to be chosen on Selection Day. The advertisements make it seem as if it’s a trip to heaven. Maybe it was. Yoongi didn’t know what they had down at the city.
“You should try to actually be chosen by someone during the Selection.” Yoongi’s sister spoke again.
“Yeah! Then you’ll get lots of toys! And, And food! And- ” The youngest girl perked up from her chair.
“Yeah, but then I’ll have strangers treating me like you.” Yoongi pointed out to his five year old sister. The girl stuck her tongue out at him and he mockingly did it back.
“No, actually. You can be treated like him. Which is sometimes more likely.” His ten year old sister interrupted and pointed her head towards their sleeping baby brother in their mother’s arms. They realized that’s why the room had turned quiet. The baby had finally stopped crying.
Yoongi grimanced. “Are you supposed to be convincing me to be chosen for The Selection?” He scowled back.
“Maybe it won’t be such a bad idea. I’ll actually be happy if you got selected. You won’t have to live like this anymore...” His mother finally spoke in a quiet voice. Yoongi was surprised to say the least. He had never really heard his mother’s thought over Selection Day before.
Yoongi stayed silent for a second before opening his mouth. “Yeah, but without me you guys will starve out here. I don’t even care anyways.” He shrugged. “Can we just drop it already? I have to get ready for the stupid Selection day that I’m not even going to get picked for.” Yoongi last said before walking away.
His stomach growled. He hadn’t ate anything. He had made sure to give all of it to his family.
He only mentally shrugged it away and ignored the feeling. He was used to it by now either way.