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Hardly three miles away, there was yet another “person” carrying on about his business as if nothing had happened mere weeks before. As far as he was concerned, it was just a blip in his everyday life, and the everyday life of his father and sister. Like every morning before, he was jogging in the central park, ignoring the other people around him as he had before. His music was blasting in his ears, a heavy metal pop band called Emotional Shock. Though he remembered being obsessed with the band, in the current moment, he couldn’t exactly understand why. It just felt like something he had to do.
Sweaty, panting, and reaching the end of his desired distance, he came to a halt just outside the park gate. No one minded him, no one bothered a glance. Unless he took the time to actually tell them anything, none of them truly noticed the difference. If anything, given the time he was away, if they even noticed that, one could have easily assumed he had fallen ill or left the state for a while. Nothing was out of the ordinary, or so they assumed.
By him was a working water fountain, one he had drank from many times before, as he remembered. And like those many times before, he went to it and took a long sip. Truly, nothing was different from before, and he had the memories to back him up. This is what he did every morning and what he would do every morning to follow. The weekends would be spent at home doing practically nothing, ranging from playing the latest video game, watching an old movie, or reading a tattered book from his father’s collection.
The problem, however, with doing the same thing over and over again was the inability to notice if anything ever changed. However, having been a successful product of the Revival Plan, it started seeing more “protests” for said Revival Plan. Many of which made him uncomfortable and none actually restoring his confidence in the idea. In short, a good plan that was poorly executed.
Every time he ran in the morning, as of late, he saw more and more signs demanding the end of the Revival Plan. More and more demonstrators in the streets wanting the recreation of the dead to come to an end. More and more people who despise the fact that a perfect recreation of a lost loved one depended on how much money one had. Signs all over walls and buildings brightly announced, “End the Plan!” or “Revive Society’s Morals” or “The dead should stay dead!”, his personal favorite.
Seeing as how he was alive because of the Revival Plan, he didn’t really know how to feel about it, but he saw both sides of the debate. The current president definitely went out of her way to make sure everyone knew how much she hated the Plan. Hell, it was her entire platform when she was sworn in!
Suddenly, too lost in thought and external distractions, he felt something by his feet, something wet and aggressively going up and down his leg. Glancing down, he saw a puppy, a Golden Doodle, with a pink vest and an unclaimed leash. Chuckling, he knelt down to pet it, letting it lick up his hand as well. It was so cute! He smiled happily while it pranced around him.
“Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry!” someone shouted from a close distance. Looking up, the young man saw a boy no older than eighteen run toward him. He was flustered, but relieved upon seeing his dog in good hands. He picked it up and passed it back to him as he got closer. “Thank you.”
“Of course,” he answered. “It’s cute.”
“Not too used to walks yet,” he giggled, averting his eyes quickly. The young man took notice of his blushing cheeks and chuckled. “I, uh, I see you run here often.”
“Stalking me?” he joked.
“Oh, no, nothing like that. I just, um, I’m new to walking her around, but I see you every morning and, uh…I’m sorry, this is so awkward. I’m not trying to be weird.”
“You’re doing great.” A moment passed before the young man tried to calm the other’s nerves, the dog just panting in his arms. “So, what’s your name? I think I’ve earned the right to know after being both stalked and savagely attacked by this vicious creature.”
He chuckled nervously before answering. “I’m Nathan.”
“Nice to meet you, Nathan. I’m Liam Osmond.” Liam extended his hand to Nathan, only for the puppy to lick him first. “Friendly, aren’t we?”
“I’m sorry,” Nathan exclaimed again. “She’s a good girl, really.”
“I believe you.”
“Yea…um, so, Liam, if it’s not too bold of me, can I, like…text you some time?”
“If you feel so obligated.”
Nathan’s face lit up when he heard this. “Alright! Um, here.” Nathan fumbled in his pocket for a few seconds before handing Liam a phone, unlocked. Liam immediately went to type his number only to have his own phone go off in his pocket. Liam finished up his task quickly and handed the phone back. He reached into his pocket for his own phone and saw that his father was calling.
“I got to go, Nathan.”