One day in October, the Stephen family sat around the table in the dining room to celebrate the sixth birthday of the second child of the family. It should have been a special day but the specialty would be elevated to another undesirable level.
The scent of happiness diffused around the room. They were innocent to the unwelcome incident that would happen soon.
All Stephen members shared the same curly blonde hair and light green eyes, the blonde color that was shiny golden yellow and the green color that was beautiful like the jade gemstone.
The birthday girl smiled broadly. Her name was Margaret. This is the best day ever, she thought. The girl might not remember that she embraced this type of joy every year.
Children always love party, cakes, and presents, Margaret was no different. The Stephens knew how to satisfy their children well. Mr. Stephen and Mrs. Stephen bought her the new released doll house that every girl in the school might not have yet and Margaret would be the first one who owned it.
The little girl imagined how her friends surrounding her just to take a look at the new toy, still forgot that it was impossible to bring the dollhouse to the school. The most significant fact was the school would not allow her doing it.
But the girl was so proud to be the first who owned the toy and forgot this fact. Molly the big sister brought her Princess necklace which was very lovely on her princess's costumes that her parents had bought for her last week.
The only one who did not have to give her anything was Little Mary, her one-year-younger sister.
“Good evening, welcome to Cecilia’s Talk. During this dinner, I’m sure you cannot even just sit still because our guest today is Dr. Claster Deans, the Associate Professor of the law school of Hemsworth who heated up the current political situation. Hello, Dr. Deans.”
“Hi, lovely Cecilia.”
“Let’s talk about your article on the 122nd issue of Hemsworth Journals, on page 22-25, you declared your opposition against the Surveillance and Control of the Risks to Humankind Act 2966. Many people admired your work very much and how brave you are to speak it out, me too. (“Thank you!” Dr. Deans said with pride.) ...
...Dear my audiences, this article becomes the talk of the town as it has been published. Dr. Deans, you’re saying that this law is against our liberation and human rights…”
“Dad, turn the TV off. We’re going to sing the song for little Meg,” the teenage girl, aged sixteen, requested (with the reproachful look).
Instead of following her order, the dad just turned the volume down. He loved to watch the show and often claimed that Cecilia, the TV host, once had been his classmate. “She’s really smart!” he would say. Molly, the first daughter, loved to jab her parents by making the joke that Cecilia was his first crush and her mother would be upset every time she talked about it.
“…well, we must consider the word to call these people carefully. ‘The Risk’, why do we call them the Risk? They are the same as us but gained or already have some special skill that the science today still looks for the answer. Yeah, that’s the reason why the laws have been enforced, the unexplainable situation. The question is what makes them special?
I won’t talk about any religious belief or any side effect from chemical effects that may cause the mutation or even about the change in the DNA. It’s too imaginative but possible as well. It’s how we value them that I am interested in. We have not found the answer yet but it’s not the reason we dehumanize them.
The fact is there are many people who are talented or own special skill in something and it is not bizarre or scary. Why do we regard them as the threat to mankind? Why are we treating them like a fearful disease when they’re not?
It’s like you are very skillful in painting or singing, or think about some odd ability we always see in TV shows or the circus. Perhaps, this is how we evolve, as human. According to the history, human keeps evolving physically and mentally. Or it’s just a very unique gift.”
“…Happy Birthdaaay-tooooo-youu,” they nearly ended the song together, except the father who still glanced at the TV screen with eager interest so he hummed the song like an old vacuum cleaner.
“So you think that they are not sick people. There are the same as us? They deserve the human right as same as normal people.” “Of course, they are the same and own the right to….”
Suddenly, the screen on the television announced the unlawful broadcasting message. At this time, Mr. Stephen had turned his attention to the family so he could not notice that his favorite program was shut down.
“Make a wish Meg and be careful of your wish. If you wish to have no school tomorrow, this wish will not be granted for sure. God loves good children and good children love school,” said Molly making everyone laugh.
What kind of the wish was she thinking of? To be like this forever, with daddy, mommy, Molly, and Mary, yes, I wish everything will be as good as today. The girl made the wish. Unfortunately, Margaret’s wish could not be true, never. The black shadow had stood at the front door. The end of her happiness came too soon.
The bell rang. Mrs. Stephen frowned wondering who visited during this time.
“Oh, they cease the broadcast already.” Mr. Stephen cried alone. “No surprise. Darling, you have to find your new favorite channel. Say goodbye to your Cecilia. She’s doom.” His wife told him merrily without a single regret but satisfaction and she walked to the front door.
When the door was opened, she saw two police in navy blue uniform. In her amazement and perplexity, her mouth opened wide. “Ma’am, may we see Molly Stephen?” the first cop asked.
“I’m sorry? Which crime has she done?” Mrs. Stephen did not reply but made the new question with one of her fine brows rising a little. Her mind had the image of her daughter hiding alcohols or drugs under the girl’s bed. But Molly is a good girl. She won’t fail me. Those jade greens gleamed sharply to the unexpected guests but it did not scare the two officers at all.
“We come to take Ms. Molly Stephen to the police station for further investigation. This is the warrant under the law that we all know which law is and we don’t have to explain it. Please let us in, Ma’am,” he said in the monotone but a little bit haste too.
Mrs. Stephen had her jaw dropped but before they could come inside, she stretched her shoulder to block them. “I’m sorry but Molly has no sign to become the Risk. She was hospitalized to the hospital when she was eight because of pneumonia. Please check her medical history before accusing my dear daughter.”
Daring to defend for the girl, Ms. Stephen was the kind of those women in the front line at the manifestation. Her words were sharp and precise.
“What happens?” Mr. Stephen showed his face to the uninvited guests as he walked to check why she spent so much time.
“They come to get our girl. They claim about the stupid Risks law.” Her voice was full of anger. The two police still kept their calmness well as if it was the common thing they encountered every time they did this duty. “Please let Ms. Stephen comes with us.”
The husband and the wife looked at each other. They knew well they could not avoid the arrest due to the strict law enforcement. As Mr. Stephen was a more compromising person than the wife and because these two policemen, no matter what their rank was, came from the authority, he softly negotiated,
“Please, we’re celebrating our daughter’s birthday. Tomorrow, I’ll take her to the station for sure. Please let us have some time to discuss it. I know we can deal with it. Our family had never been a rebel.”
The police paused for a moment. The Stephens smiled to each other thinking they would accept the request. “Ten minutes, that’s all we can do,” the cop said and backed to the car, leaving the two parents gasped. (To be continued)