Chapter 19 – Elliot

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Caleb’s Journal Entry #15:

Well, he did it. Elliot finally had his test last week. Marie and I watched him go and made sure to tell him good luck. Which of course, is the TOTALLY lamest thing that we could do apparently. He made sure to tell us that before he left. Now, since I didn’t grow up in The Waste, I have no idea what this test is actually like. We had standardized tests and stuff when I was in school, but if you failed those, you still graduated school. I understand that this is not the case in the DC. In the DC, if you don’t pass you have to continue your education until you CAN pass.

Surprisingly, Elliot did a lot of studying for this test. I can understand that. Marie told me that people who don’t pass their tests on the first round get stuck with the unpleasant and unpopular manual labor jobs. Elliot is the type of kid who would rather die than be caught working one of those jobs. I’m not surprised that he put a lot of effort into studying so he didn’t get stuck with one of those.

Well, all that studying payed off! He passed his test. He may have just barely squeaked by, but hey, a pass is a pass! I’m so proud of him and his big accomplishment! Of course, this just makes me feel really old… I have a child who’s about to enter the work force. No word yet on where he’ll be placed though. Reuben has been mum on the word on that – or at least to me he hasn’t said anything. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Reuben around the bunker at all for the past week. Ever since Elliot took his test. Does this mean that he’s got all the information he needs to for Elliot’s work placement? No idea. I wonder how long after his 21st birthday he has to wait before he finds that out? I got mine 2 days into The Waste. Marie says it’s different for everyone. She got hers within days of her birthday (that’s also when she found out she was selected for the breeding program), but her brothers took a while. One of them didn’t get theirs until over a month after his birthday.

I hope it doesn’t take that long. Goodness knows what would happen to Elliot with all that free time…

Unfortunately, even though I haven’t seen Reuben around, I’ve definitely seen Elliot talking with our “mail lady” which is, of course, the disguise of the mob. I’m almost positive that he’s going to join up with them. And, at this point, there’s really nothing that I can do to stop him. But it’s his life, there’s really nothing I can say that’ll change him at this point. All I can do is express my and Marie’s disappointment at his choices. And all we can do is hope that he heeds our advice… But I don’t really see that working out for us…

I feel like a horrible parent. I feel like I went wrong somewhere.

One of the good things that came from this past week is that Elliot got a delivery. When kids inside The Waste turn 21, they are given their first journal! So Elliot finally got his and we was really excited to get to writing!

Not gonna lie, I might sneak a peek every now and then to make sure he’s not getting into too much trouble. Huh. Maybe that makes me a bad parent… Anyway. It’s been quite the eventful week! I hope next week isn’t quite as eventful!


Elliot’s Journal Entry #1

I finally did it! I’m finally out of that wretched Development Center. I’ve known for a while what I’ve wanted to do. Ever since the first time that I was aware of our Friends. But I knew that in order to join them, I had to get out of the DC. So I made sure that I got good grades and I definitely had to be able to pass that damn test.

BUT that is finally over and I can follow my true calling. I’ve been in contact with our Friends for a while now, and I’ve been waiting for the day I could join them. The week before my test, I received a note and a small communication device in the mail. It contained a code for me to send to them after my 21st birthday. Which, of course, I did the minute my birthday ended. I had to go to the fishing spot behind our bunker so that my parents couldn’t see me with the Comm Device. You know we’re not supposed to have those, but our Friends have their ways.

And then about a week after my test, my handler came by to see me. She gave me all the details on how to handle my government issued work mandate. So I’ll let you know how that goes after I complete that little mission! Other than that, I start out small, just the typical money pick ups, before I get into the more difficult missions.

I can’t wait

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