Written By Phillip Morris
When they turned the chip off, her time and body were again her own. There were no locks on her room, no one tried to stop her from leaving the building. But after a few trips into the world, she learned she no longer had a place there.
When they turn off the chip, they take back the wigs and shiny form-fitting clothes. The alluring appeal is an illusion by design, flipped off and on as easily as the lights. They let her roam free because they know she’s smart enough to know that without them, she’s nothing.
Dark hollow eyes. Muscles too atrophied for any real work. Only tufts of once enviable hair clinging in the space between metal plugs.
When the chip was off, she spent a lot of time alone. She thought about her father often, whether she was in her room, or getting wasted at the girls’ bar. He didn’t stay out of her mind for long. She’d ended up exactly as he said she would.
Once she almost called. Connected to the network, got the other end ringing, then hung up before connecting. What was more unbearable than confessing to a parent that they were right?
She knew exactly what he would say and she wouldn’t say much at all. What is there to say when you know that they know everything?
It wasn’t pride that kept her from asking for help. As she caught glimpses of herself in the mirror, she saw nothing to take pride in. She told herself it wasn’t pride that put her on this slow path to an early death.
She wished they would leave the chip on.