“Get that thing away from me,” I said, swatting at the sedative in my dad’s hand. He tried to jab me with the needle, but I had learned how to dodge and swerve him over the years. “It’s not happening.”
“The wedding is tomorrow,” he said, resting his tools on the kitchen counter. “Don’t you want to enjoy it?”
Through the doorway, I could see a chair with ankle and wrist straps sitting in the living room. My father played with emotions for a living, so he didn’t have to drag me to a Swiping Station for the procedure. He could bring the station to me.
“I can’t believe they let you take one of those home,” I said, mentally berating myself for not noticing it earlier. How blind could I be?
“You can imagine what kind of strings I had to pull. Don’t let it go to waste, Cami.”
“Sorry, pop,” I said, even though he should’ve been the one apologizing.
My parents “knew” they were doing the right thing by marrying me off to the perfect on-paper man, but they also knew I hated the idea of arranged marriages, and that should’ve been enough for them. But no, they decided to abuse the parental rights the government granted them instead.
A few decades back, treating children like property made a comeback. There were people who fought the change, but most citizens were brainwashed into believing the reversion was for the better, that it wouldn’t be like it was in the history books. Why not? Because this time around, we had the damn Swiping Stations to help us out.
“I don’t want my memory wiped,” I said, rising from their table. “If you’re going to force me into an unhappy marriage, I want to remember the days before I was miserable.”
My father puffed out his cheeks, then let out all the air like a noisy balloon. “The procedure would make you happy. It would put fictional memories in your head. Pleasant ones. Of Owen.”
Owen. Just the name of my future husband disgusted me, so how could I stand his voice, his face, his lips?