Patrick woke up and changed into his ugly blue clothes and walked into the kitchen where Lucia and Sylvia were already busy at work.
Patrick stood in the corner of the kitchen awkwardly until Lucia noticed him out of the corner of her eye.
"Ofwentz, you are still supposed to be upstairs. Lucia will take breakfast to you shortly.” Sylvia scolded him lightly.
Patrick turned and walked back up the stairs quickly. As he walked up he noticed pictures of the family on the wall. Pictures of Ashlee and Pete with newborn Bronx, Bronx by himself, and pictures of Ashlee and Pete’s wedding day were hung up on the wall. Patrick took time to look at every single picture carefully before continuing on his way to his room.
As he descended upon the hallway he heard funny noises coming from Bronx’s room. He walked by slowly and peeked in. Bronx was throwing rubber blocks at Pete’s face and Pete would pretend to cry when they hit him which made Bronx laugh. Pete looked happier than ever.
Patrick tried to walk by without being noticed but Pete caught him anyway.
“Hey ‘Trick c’mere,” Pete said but Patrick kept walking anyway.
“She’s not home,” Pete said louder and Patrick stopped under his doorway and turned to walk back to Bronx’s room.
“Where is she?” Patrick asked before entering,
“Ashlee is at a wives thing, I’m not actually sure where she is. She could be next door for all I know. But I do know that she’s getting piss drunk right now.” Pete replied.
“At ten in the morning?” Patrick asked surprised.
“Ashlee’s not happy, she hasn’t been happy in a long time. She goes to ‘talk it out’ with the other wives. Mostly they all just rant I suppose.” Pete said in a dark tone.
“Rant about what?”
“You, their husbands, everything,” Pete said vehemently.
“Oh,” Patrick whispered.
“I wouldn’t take anything Ashlee or the other wives too personally though. They’re all bitter. It’s not like I wanted everything to go this way. It happened, and it was all out of my control.” Pete started to explain but then cut himself off abruptly, “Want to play with Bronx?”
Patrick looked at him oddly before nodding and sitting on the rug next to Pete.
“Where are Lucia and Sylvia?” Patrick asked remembering them downstairs.
“Downstairs, but they don’t come up here unless they’re needed,” Pete said.
“But what if they need me?” Patrick asked.
“They won’t, or they shouldn’t. What time do you have to go out?” Pete asked.
“12:30. But I have to be back in my room to eat. Lucia should be up here soon with my food,” Patrick pulled Bronx into his lap and began to play with him, making Bronx cover his eyes and then pulling his arms away while Pete made faces.
A few minutes had passed when they heard footsteps coming up the stairs.
Patrick put Bronx back on the floor and all but ran to his room.
A few seconds after Patrick himself had entered the door, Lucia entered with a tray of food.
“Good morning again, Ofwentz,” Lucia greeted him.
“Good morning,” Patrick replied and took his seat.
“Eat up and don’t forget to take these,” Lucia took four pills out of her pocket. They were all vitamins.
“I won’t.” Patrick reassured her.
“Good, be down by 12:20 so Sylvia can tell you what she needs and bring your tray down please.”
“Okay,” Patrick uncovered the plates of food and ate quietly.
At exactly 12:20 on the dot Patrick showed up downstairs tray in hand and ready to get out of the house for once, even if it was to buy food for the family.
Sylvia handed him a list and grunted something he didn’t understand.
“What?” Patrick asked.
“I said be back by two in the afternoon,” she rolled her eyes and handed him money for the food.
Patrick nodded and walked out of the house. As he walked down the brick pavement Pete’s driver, who was washing the car, looked at him oddly, which made Patrick feel uncomfortable.
Patrick walked down to the corner where he was either to meet his walking partner or wait for him.
Patrick looked out from under the brim of his hat and saw that another man, in the exact same clothing, was walking towards him.
“Are you Ofwentz?” The man asked.
Patrick nodded, “Ofross?”
“Yes, good morning. May you be blessed,” Brendon greeted, adding at the end what they were taught at the training center.
“You as well, my brother,” Patrick replied automatically.
“Should we go?” Brendon asked.
“Yes,” Patrick sighed and began walking alongside Brendon towards the city.
They walked in absolute silence, though they were allowed conversation, until they reached the entrance to the city where two guardians were allowing people into the city.
“Show me your wristbands,” the guardian told Brendon and Patrick harshly when they had reached the entrance.
Both of them slid the sleeves of their shirts up their wrists and held out their arms for the guardian to see.
The guardian took each of their arms, one at a time, and inspected them.
“Go in,” the guardian told them and stepped aside to let them pass through the little gate.
Brendon and Patrick walked down a few blocks until they reached a big opening that led to some small shops where they were to buy the food.
They went into the different shops to buy everything that the maidens had asked them to pick up. When Brendon and Patrick walked out of the last shop they noticed that the other carriers around them were frozen solid in their places. Out of a car came out a very pregnant carrier, escorted by a guardian and together they walked into the shop that Patrick and Brendon had walked out of. Everyone turned and blatantly stared after them. Both Brendon and Patrick felt something go through them that they hadn’t felt before. They felt the sting of envy.
After a few seconds everybody on the street came out of the trance they’d been in and continued on.
“I can’t believe that he’s still carrying on like that,” Brendon made a show of how pregnant the man was by locking his fingers together and holding his arms out in front of him.
“I know Ofross, but they’re just humoring him,” Patrick replied, “right now everybody is probably spoiling him. Giving him extra things, I don’t know.” Patrick shrugged and asked Brendon what time he was supposed to be back at the family’s home.
“Two,” Brendon replied.
Patrick looked up at the sky, “It’s about one thirty. Do you want to find a long way home?”
“Yes,” Brendon answered without hesitation.
They walked out of the city and onto streets they remembered from the time before.
Everything was completely different; there were empty and dark places that used to be stores, salons, and daycares, among other things. Brendon shivered when they walked down one particular street and it was completely shut down.
“It’s like a ghost town,” Brendon whispered.
“I know,” Patrick said through gritted teeth, “I hate it.” He thought, for a moment, that he’d said too much. He thought that Brendon might go home and tell his maidens that someone was against everything.
But he only thought that for a moment, because when he looked at Ofross, he just smiled back, sadly, and said, “I hate it too. All of it.”
Patrick let out a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding in. They continued walking down streets, taking turns here and there.
“Ofwentz -,” Brendon began but cut himself off, thinking for a moment, “Ofwentz? Ofwentz are you Mr. Wentz’s carrier?”
“Oh,” Brendon replied quietly. Brendon didn’t know how respond anymore. He hated Mr. Wentz so much. Because of him, Brendon’s life was completely ruined. But Brendon sympathized for Patrick because he was stuck with that fucker for a year.
They walked all the way down back to their street and parted at the same spot where they met.
“See you tomorrow, Ofross. May the blessing be bestowed upon you,” Patrick said.
“Unto you as well,” Brendon replied.
They turned and walked back to their respective houses.
Brendon felt a smile creep up on his face because he found someone who hated this entire way of life too.