please read The Slippery Slope (part 1) before proceeding
Her name was Isabella, but everyone that knew her just called her Izzie. She had a girlfriend up until late last year, it didn’t end well. Izzie had other things to worry about now and had put her love life on the back-burner. She was graduating from high school in three days, the class of 2078. Being a teenager in the 70s had brought her many memories, she would hold them close as she walked the stage to collect her diploma. Growing up as an IP in America Izzie’s life was just beginning and she had vowed to make her life something special, to be somebody.
Her graduation gift from her parents was more than Izzie could have ever expected. She sat on her bed and sobbed. What a bittersweet gift to give your child, the gift of living a life of freedom. A gift her parents understood would mean saying goodbye to their daughter forever. Izzie’s parents, Rico and Babs, had been wading through a myriad of paperwork for six months to enable their IP daughter safe passage to live in New California. They had been saving money for the associated fees and bribes for Izzie’s passage since she turned 13 and was processed as an IP. They knew they did not want their daughter living in America as an Inferior Person for the rest of her life. It was a tremendous sacrifice on their part. Could a heart be full and broken at the same time?
Izzie had read about New California in school, a country established in 2035 after a great cultural war in the former United States of America. Former U.S. states California, Oregon, and Washington had seceded from the Union and had melded into a new country, a safe haven for all people deemed as Inferior People or IPs by the Americans. Most IPs born in America all had dreams of one day living in either New California or the other country of freedom on America’s eastern border, New Liberia. Some though, could not gather the money together to do it, or bare to part with friends and relatives. It was a trade-off at the highest level of human existence. The American government really didn’t care if the IP numbers went down, it made for a more homogenic society. They did though make the process very costly and time-consuming. Approximately 75 percent of IPs left America at some point in their lives. The remaining IPs that chose to stay accepted their fate and made the best of a life as a second-class citizen.
New Liberia, was named by its people and came from their belief that they were seeking a new kind of liberty, bearing no false prophets or leaders. The land mass that was now the new country extended from the tip of Maine, down to the northern border of North Carolina. New Liberia’s western border stopped at Lake Michigan. The line between New Liberia and America extended down from the lake to the northern border of Tennessee.
America now had its western border at Nevada and consisted of the remaining mid-west states and the deep south of the old republic, save for Texas. Texas had seceded and was now its own country. The rules and leadership of America had become too liberal for the Lone Star state. Taking a cue from its own history and realizing that they had the resources to truly stand-alone, the country of Texas was established in 2032. Texas was a “white only” country. The President of Texas was Prescott Herbert Bush III.
Izzie lived with her parents in Phoenix, Arizona. She chose New California over New Liberia for one reason, the Pacific Ocean. Izzie longed to live with a view of the ocean…and to be a first-class citizen. Both New California and New Liberia only opened up it’s borders to people that had been classified as an Inferior Person by the American Citizen Council. Allowing family members that standing alone, did not classify as an IP would result in an overwhelming population problem and shortages of food products. For four years Izzie’s parents had endured IP status too, but once Izzie was removed from the census as their child, they could re-claim their first-class citizenship once again. The fact that they had a gay child would be removed from their history, it would be as if she had never existed.
Izzie’s parents had set her down at the kitchen table yesterday and her mother nervously slid an information cell across the table towards her. They told her of a dream they had long ago of having a successful child…..a happy, free child. Rico told his daughter that her dreams and her life waited for her elsewhere, he started to weep. Izzie scanned the information cell which consisted of her exit papers from America and all the codes necessary to enter into her IP-pod to ensure herself a safe journey. The cell also contained all the American credits that her parents had managed to save, 100,000. Izzie could convert the credits to New California credits as soon as she crossed the border, the number would balloon to 250,000.
Izzie and her parents stood and embraced. She never wanted to let them go, but knew that she had to do it. Izzie felt she was destined to somehow make a difference and she could not do it in America.
Izzie stood there at the IP school auditorium, waiting for her name to be called. She had given all of her possessions to friends except for essentials that now filled her back-pack that was waiting hidden in the bushes at the front entrance to the school. She felt as if she may vomit. The speaker called out “Isabella Ann Parker” and her legs relunctantly started to carry her towards him in the starched blue robe with a pink triangle sewn on the left shoulder. She reached out and took the information cell containing her entire academic record and diploma from the IP Principal. Izzie turned to her left and glanced one last time at her beloved parents, the pain she felt was almost unbearable.
She retrieved her back-pack and tossed her robe into the nearest trash can. Soon, very soon she would rip all the pink triangles from her clothing. Izzie loaded her graduation cell into her IP-pod and walked toward the setting sun, not once turning around to look back at the school where she had spent the last 12 years. Vowing to make her parents proud, Izzie forged on…hoping to one day see their faces again.