Marie Belle Hinson was sitting alone in the boy’s toilets.
She had had enough.
Of being bullied and pushed around.
It made her want to cry or slit her wrists, but she did not cry anymore, not since her mother had disappeared during the Rapture.
Ten years ago, the Rapture had taken place. The Biblical Prophecy was fulfilled, and believers who had truly given their life to Christ were all lifted into the air and taken to Heaven to be with Lord Himself, Jesus Christ.
Including Marie and Miranda’s mother, Seraphany Hinson, the first wife of Jeremy Hinson, their father. The love of his life.
He had lost her that night.
They had had a fight. One of the loudest, fieriest, and most passionate arguments they had ever had in their entire relationship.
They had smashed plates, living in the heat of the moment. Seraphany would not give in to Jeremy. She had blatantly refused to give up her faith, Christianity, and get the Mark like everyone else. But Jeremy had tried to persuade her otherwise.
Marie and Miranda were only six years old.
“What about the girls?” screamed Seraphany.
“What about them?” said Jeremy.
“It’s started,” Seraphany said, looking at her husband, also the love of her life, in complete shock.
“Seraphany! I meant when they’re old enough. They’ll get the Mark too. I’m talking about me and you right now.”
“There’s no other way. Everyone’s doing it. This is the only way. That’s what you keep telling me!” she screamed again, smashing a half-filled glass on the floor.
“This is the only way! What else do you suggest, then?” he shouted at her.
“I’d rather steal food than get that thing. It’s demonic. It changes people. Their DNA. It even turns your blood black …” she said, starting to calm down, only to be riled up again.
“Seraphany …” said Jeremy, banging his head against the cupboard.
Seraphany hated it when her husband looked distressed. She then walked over to him, stroking his back softly.
“Baby, please, let’s just listen to Jesus. We’ll steal food for a little bit,” said Seraphany.
Suddenly, he turned around.
“Seraphany. No. You don’t how to,” he said to her.
He started to scratch his left wrist.
“We’ve already had to tattoo the girls with their Birth Name. That’s enough …”
A seven-digit number tattooed on the inside of the left palm on every human being. Each number is individual for each human being—even twins, for example.
Seraphany noticed Jeremy incessantly scratching at his left wrist.
“Jeremy? What is it?” she asked him, then gasped as soon as he lifted his ratted sleeve to her face.
“I got it already,” said Jeremy. Seraphany stumbled backwards, stepping on glass.
“Seraphany! There’s glass!” he said, but he was too late, as usual.
The glass pierced her left foot.
She screamed and then started crying, not because of the pain but because of Jeremy’s betrayal.
“Baby!” he screamed, making his way to her.
“Don’t touch me! Ever again,” she yelled at him.
“Seraphany. I did it for us and our family. So we could eat. Live,” he tried to explain.
Seraphany looked away from her husband, loose with numbness and the sharp sting of betrayal.
She then walked out of the kitchen to tend to her children, Marie and Miranda, and put them to bed. They were playing in the garden.
Later that night, Jeremy tried to make amends with his wife. He wanted to touch her, but he was so fearful she would say she was leaving him, so he left her alone, lying there full of doubt and worry on her side of the bed, to think and reflect. He hoped she would forgive him in time, even though deep down he believed he had done the right thing and was not really truly regretful of his behavior, even though he had lied to Seraphany and had got the Mark, a microchip implanted deep inside the bone of his left wrist, without telling or even discussing it with her first.
Keeping secrets was something that they never did. They had based their marriage on love and trust, vowing to protect each other no matter what.
They didn’t even say goodbye or goodnight to each other.
“I’ll always be there for you Jeremy. Always. I love you too much. But I can’t do this.”
The Lord felt for her. He knew her heart was beyond broken.
“At least I don’t think I can … I’ll think about it,” she said to Jeremy. Jeremy heard her but didn’t turn around. They both just fell asleep.
The Lord knew it was time. Aba had told him before. But he couldn’t leave his daughter. He would then try one last time.
That night, a deep slumber came over some of the earth. People slept in, whilst others, on the other side of the world, were wide awake, at work, buying groceries, watching TV.
Then it started to happen.
Seraphany had woken up suddenly and run out of the bedroom. Jeremy woke up too. He called out after his wife, “Seraphany!” He wondered why she was running down the stairs so fast.
He got up and ran after her. She was halfway to the door; he was halfway to her, then…