One Way Ticket

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The journey has been longer and harder than I could have imagined.

It feels like I haven’t slept for days even though I’ve done little else. I had assumed getting here would be the hard part – if I survived that, a new life was guaranteed.

There are hundreds of us, all confined to white plastic tents erected an anonymous warehouse. Nine square metres of boredom. We’ve come from everywhere. We all talk about what we’ve left behind, but the spirits of those places, the essences of our lives no longer exist.

My neighbour was originally from Qatar. She’s a lawyer and speaks five languages. Even she has trouble being understood – what chance do I have?

I had been… am a software engineer. I have a first class honours degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world and I’ve always been ready to prove I belong on the bleeding edge of technology. No one here has bothered to try and find out what I can do. I can tell, from the way they examine their indecipherable screens, they’ve decided I’m just another burden.

And it had not been cheap: More than my life savings and an unscrupulous contract with hustlers who knew they were selling snake oil and didn’t care. But I’d been desperate and it had seemed to be my only hope.

Now it feels selfish and pointless. My parents had encouraged me to do it. My mother had offered to sell the family home. My father had let her.

I wish I’d let the cancer consume me. I would have died of course, but the cryogenics and future science have given me years to live – trapped as a chronological refugee who will never live the life I should have.

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