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FICTION / Young for Life / Nat Dee

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To All High School Seniors:

In the coming months, you must make a decision that will impact the rest of your lives.   As per Amendment A, section 3 of Option 88, all high school seniors or unschooled persons between 18 and 19 years of age must submit a Personal Statement accepting or declining Option 88, commonly known as Young For Life.  This statement can be as many or as few words as the author desires, but must reflect the author’s views alone.  Final drafts will be submitted to the Review Committee and used to carry out your wishes.  Please remember to plan all Option 88 festivities for after graduation.   

Best for the Rest, 

Administration 

January 15, 2055


Davis Octavious 

Decision: Accept 

I’ve been looking forward to Option 88 since the beginning of Senior Year.  First, me and all my buddies are gonna land a helicopter on a massive cruise ship in the Caribbean.  All our friends will be there and we’re going to have all the most awesomest munchies in the galaxy.  I’m talking shrimps, beignets, those little holographic candies from Japan- it’s ALL gonna be there.  We are going to get drunk- I mean really, REALLY drunk.  We’re going to use the old fashioned stuff, too, the kind that actually gives you a hangover.  And we’re gonna hug everyone, and then everyone who’s not coming with us will get flown away on a different helicopter.  Then we’re going to see all the things:  the Northern Lights, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower,  Hawaii- all from this cool helicopter, right?  We’re dropping Mauritzio off in Hawaii.  Anyways, after we see all the things, we’re gonna land on Chet’s front yard,  put on our crazy coolest outfits, take a bunch of pictures, and post them to social meeds with our warmest well wishes to everybody.  And then we’re gonna hit Potion 19.  All together.  Like brothers.  Yea.  

Best to the Rest, 

Davis 


Celiax Prism

Decision: Accept

I’m stoked to accept Option 88.  Back in the day, people had to hustle and slave day and night for the stuff they wanted.  Now, you can have it all- just like that!  The luxe life, hot bods, a sexy partner, a hit single everyone hears- and all you gotta do is accept Option 88!  Everyone knows fame fades anyway- remember all those celebs that committed suicide back in the day?  Now, I get to be rich, fabulous, powerful, HOT- and I don’t even have to do anything!  I don’t have to worry about anything: no trolls, nobody trying to bring me down, no rejection, no getting old - just the good stuff.  I already have my single and they’re gonna play it on National Radio 10 times a day.  Then I’m gonna have my album release party where I’m gonna perform it for the entire school, and they’re all going to jump and sing and cheer.  I’ll be wearing this really expensive Prada & Gabbana outfit I saw on the runways this year and I’ll be riding an elephant.  I’m going to have this awesome finale where I come out of the stage floor and rise to the sky, and right when I get to the top- BAM- Potion 19.  There’s gonna be a bunch of fireworks and I’m gonna go out surrounded by love from all my friends.

Best to the Rest of these suckers,

Celiax


Penelope Zigrang, 18

Decision: Decline

Let’s be honest:  those of us writing to say we will decline Option 88 have more important personal statements to worry about.  The personal statements we submit to colleges and universities have far more influence over the rest of our lives.  But, since Miss Lester says the personal statement counts for 45% of our grade, I’ll humor you.

Although I choose to decline the Option 88, commonly known as Young For Life, I ultimately support the program.   The United States passed Option 88 in 2036.  After 2036, crime, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and addiction declined dramatically.  Today, less than 0.17 percent report addiction.  95 percent of U.S. citizens report job satisfaction, and our unemployment rate hasn’t been a positive number in a decade.  Today, the United States has the most ethnically diverse and peaceful population in the entire world.   Everyone alive has something to live for.   Our low crime rate comes second only to United Scandinavia, which piloted Option 88- esque policies in the 2020’s.

The culture which fostered Option 88 continues to transform our society.  Pop songs and celebrity culture played a huge role in popularizing Option 88.  Transgender rights, abortion rights, and the removal of age restrictions on alcohol and tattoos played promoted “my body, my choice”.  Now, our society no longer sees death as the ultimate tragedy.  We see wasted life as the ultimate tragedy.  

Administration and Review Committee, I do not intend to waste my life.  My science project on abiotic oxygen production took third place at the International Science Fair in Oslo this year.  I already have acceptances to Berkeley, Georgia Tech, and Purdue- all the nations’ top institutions.  I decline Option 88 because I intend to drive society’s progress, much like the policymakers who incepted Option 88.  With people like me, Planet Earth will thrive for generations to come.

Best for the Rest,

Penelope Zigrang


Jennifer Beezus

Decision: Defer

Hi, committee.  I’m Jennifer Beezus and I elect to defer Option 88 for one year while I travel around the world with my boyfriend.  He’s accepting Option 88 and using the money to take me with him on his travels.  I’m interested to see how people in other societies deal with problems like overpopulation, unemployment, depression, and limited resources.  I wish to re- evaluate my decision to defer at the end of next year.  I know we can defer indefinitely.  We’ll see how I feel next year. 

Best to the Rest,

Jennifer


Kimora Jillespie

Decision: Accept

I was really on the fence about Option 88 earlier this year.  But then, I fell in love with Miles Alesso.  We’re the same year, which is really lucky, because I know things can get complicated if you fall in love with someone older, or younger.  I guess if I fell in love with someone older, or younger, I would probably decline Option 88, but whatever.  Miles is the love of my life.  All my life I wanted to fall in love.  My parents weren’t in love- they pretty much fought all the time and they got divorced when I was 12.  I once asked Dad if he ever loved Mom, and do you know what he said?  He said, “I don’t think I know what love is.”  Can you imagine that?  But I know what love is.  Love is the way I feel when Miles smiles at me from across the room.  Love is when we spend all of Emotional Intelligence class kissing, because after we both decided to accept Option 88, we kind of figured school was pointless.  Love is when he picks my little sister up from Synchronized Movement class and takes her out for icemilk frosties with glitter sprinkles and totally pays for everything.  All my life I wanted to fall in love, and this year I did!  Miles and I are going to stay in love forever and ever.  No one can corrupt, pollute or take away our love.  I got everything I wanted out of life, and now, I get to take it all with me.

Love to the Rest,

Kimora


Miles Alesso

Decision: Decline

Okay, I really don’t want this statement getting back to Kimora.  She thinks we’re accepting Option 88 together, but… we’re not, ok?   I love Kimora.  I really do.  But I don't want to be with Kimora the rest of my life.   I already applied to a couple of schools.  I want to study psychology.   My parents say they’ll pay for it.  When Kimora and I take Potion 19 together, I’m taking a fake.  I know this kid who knows where to get some.  He pretended to accept Option 88 and now he’s living off the grid and he doesn’t have to put up with any of the bullshit.  I can’t tell you where, though.  I probably said too much already.  Whoops.

But hell no, I’m not accepting Option 88.  NEVER let Kimora see this.  Although I guess in a couple of months, it won’t matter anyway.

Best to the Rest,

Miles


Mauritzio Cools

Decision: Accept

Davis Octavious and the rest of the crew are throwing me into Mt. Kilauea right before the next eruption.  People say it’s gonna hurt.  I don’t care.  My body, my choice.  I’m kind of into it.  My sister believes in reincarnation.  Maybe I’ll come back as a dinosaur.  

Best to the Rest, 

Mauritzio


Marcel Chapenguin

Decision: Decline

Hey, committee.  I’m gonna decline Option 88.  I don’t have a really strong reason, or anything… I just kind of want to see what’s out there.  It seems tempting, the whole “get everything you’ve ever wanted and go out with a bang” thing.  The real world seems hard; a lot of people say I’m gonna hate it.  But every time I think about flying around the world on a private jet, or becoming instantly famous from one dumb piece of art, I feel empty.  There’s got to be more to life than getting everything you want, right?  I don’t know what, but I hope to find out.  My parents keep quoting the statistic that says 79% of people who don’t accept Option 88 after graduation and don’t go to college end up choosing Option 88 later in life, but I don’t really want to go to college either.  We’ll see what I find out in the “real world”.  Anyways.  It’s a no from me.

Best for the Rest,

Marcel Chapenguin


Damen Azzers

Decision: Accept

I’m accepting Option 88.  I struggle with depression and I think it only gets worse after high school.  Everyone who declines gets just becomes another stupid cog in the same stupid machine.  You have to work, which sounds like even less fun than school.  You have to vote and pass stupid laws that don’t make anything better, they just change the shade of shitty.  Everyone says society got so much better after Option 88, but we’re still the same people.  We’re still greedy.  We still hurt each other.  Only now, we have an easy out.  Potion 19 works instantly.   

I know a lot of the kids in my class are sticking around because they want to “save the world” or whatever.  There’s a really easy way to save the world:  all the humans could go away.  So that’s what I’m doing.   

I only have one request:  publish my journals.  Maybe they can help someone.  I’m not saying that I want to become posthumously famous, like Anonymous 75.  But you never know. 

Best to the Rest (I guess), 

Damen


Jeremiah Excalibur 

Decision: Decline

I choose to decline option 88.  Although I am religious, my decision does not stem from religious reasons.  My friends believe what we hear in church, that God condemns anyone who uses Potion 19, but I’m not so sure.  If everything happens for a reason, isn’t there a reason Potion 19 exists in the first place?  It certainly seems like it cleared up a lot of problems.  We don’t have to worry about resources or inequality now.  The Church says Option 88 only passed because people started worshipping science, man and Earth instead of worshipping God.  But what if they are all the same thing?  Or at least, what if they’re all connected?   I plan to study these questions further at the Institute for Spiritual Thought in the Fall.  And I don’t think the kids who pick Option 88 go straight to Hell.  They probably don’t believe in Hell, anyway.  

Best for the Rest, 

Jeremiah 


Mary St. Mary

Decision: Decline

I’m declining Option 88 because of religious reasons.  I know I don’t have to say more than that, but I think it’s important that the administration and review committee know that what they’re doing is wrong.  Every life is sacred and people’s lives should end when God decides, not when they decide.  I have to set an example for my brothers and sisters by showing them that this is NOT God’s plan.  Our society has become so corrupted and so obsessed with science and statistics that we’ve lost sight of the important things in life.  Not to mention that anyone who accepts Option 88 goes straight to Hell.  Option 88 is suicide.  It doesn’t matter how you dress it up.  

Best to ALL, 

Mary St. Mary


OPTION 88

PASSED: November 4, 2036 

88% voted YES, 22% voted NO

High school seniors or persons between 18 and 19 who accept Option 88 have a limitless budget to plan whatever they desire to celebrate their lives.  Access to Option 88 shall not vary based on economic status, class, race, gender or family background.  All high school seniors and persons between 18 and 19 who accept Option 88 shall celebrate their lives according to their wishes, so long as their wishes do not violate existing laws or endanger the lives of other participants.  Following the completion of these events, high schools seniors and persons aged between 18 and 19 will cease to exist in the physical and legal sense.  But, their spirits and legacies remain, pure and celebrated, forevermore.  

A high school senior or person aged between 18 and 19 will have the freedom to decline Option 88 at any time.  If the student or high school senior opts to decline Option 88 at any point during their scheduled Option 88 festivities, the individual and/ or their family will be held financially responsible for the entire cost of the festivities.  If unable to pay, the individual may pay the cost of the event back using an installment plan with 15% interest.  The money raised from the interest will be used towards honoring other individuals’ Option 88 wishes.

Amendment A (Passed November 5, 2046)

Section 1

Persons who have graduated high school and/ or are over the age of 19 and are thereby not entitled to Option 88 funds may apply for the use of government funds to offset the cost of their end of life festivities.  The United States Federal Government will supply one dose of Potion 19 free of charge to anyone over the age of 19 wishing to accept Option 88.  Persons wishing to chose Option 88 past the age of 19 should contact the administrator of their local high school.

Section 2

A student or individual between 18 and 19 may choose to defer Option 88 for a period of their own choosing.  After a deferral period of over 365 days, the government will not supply the individual with Option 88 funds. 

Section 3

Persons wishing to accept, decline or defer Option 88 must submit a personal statement to the administration of their local high school institution no later than May 5 of their senior year OR the day before their 18th birthday.  Persons who do not submit a personal statement are assumed to decline Option 88.


Nat Dee is a Los Angeles native who has also lived in Oklahoma, Australia and Brazil. They hope one day human beings will love nature and each other more than they love money.