Expiration Date

By Shanice Lawton

Part One of the story, Expiration Date.

I’m supposed to find out when I die. There’s nothing I can do about it, and honestly, it’s depressing. A few decades ago, humans found out what we now call our expiration date.

For years humans have been obsessed with death and the dread of not knowing when their last day on earth would be. Then, one day, a brilliant doctor named Dr. Karla Stein figured out a way to predict the expiration of each human.

She predicted that a person’s death could be established on the day they were born. So now, in the first hour of a person’s life, they are not only checked for the usual medical things but are also tested to find their expiration date.

Dr. Stein felt this knowledge would help people make better decisions in life. The discovery may have helped some people, but it didn’t help others. Instead, it caused the world to be more chaotic.

Free Will and knowing one’s expiration date is a bad mixture.

Our country had gotten so crazy that the government had to step in and take over. As a result, we now have stricter laws than we did before. For example, the government has forced people to wear their expiration date on their forearms. At a certain age, our expiration date is tattooed on us.

A group called the rogues opposed the government and opposed Dr. Stien saying that her research was inhumane. This group of people believed that not knowing your expiration date is what made life worth living. They said it’s what gave life meaning. The rogues believed people were more likely to work harder to find value in life because you didn’t know when your time would come.

When the government made it a requirement to give expiration dates after birth, the rogues protested. They were captured and kicked out. They now live outside of the city.

I’ve only grown up with my grandparents, as my parents were part of the rogues. The government took me away from my mom once I was born and gave me to my grandparents. Because some legal battle went on before I was born, my grandparents won.

Today, I turned 15, and I’m supposed to get the tattoo of my expiration date. I know what my grandparents taught me, but the thought of finding out that date freaks me out.

There is another option, but that requires leaving the city and never returning. A group of teens have been planning to run away to avoid the expiration date for a while. The group agrees with the rogues.

I love my grandparents, and they have always been good to me. I have always followed their rules, but I want the opportunity to meet my parents if they’re still alive.

That is why I’m lying here awake at 2:00 am deciding if, in 30 minutes, I will meet up with the group of teens or if I will roll over and go back to sleep and, in the morning, get the stamp of my expiration.

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