I hadn’t been born when they first found out. My mother had told me that for the first time humanity had united. Things had moved fast then. Within a year, everyone had been implanted with the chips. New babies were implanted with them as soon as they were born. I was one of them. The Old Ones calls us Afeliz. We, the Afeliz don’t know any different. It had now been almost fifty years since the scientists had figured out that there was a limited amount of emotions in the world and that we were fast depleting all of them. Chips were implanted, emotions rationed, the nameAfeliz given to us. The name is going to die out soon enough, when the last of the Old Ones die. And they’re dying now. Like my mother did four years ago.
Her time had come and we had found her in her bed. Her friends had come to her funeral. They had cried and been sad. I hadn’t. I couldn’t afford it. But that wasn’t all of it. Even if I could have afforded to buy half an hour of sadness, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t have much experience with sadness. My mother had only ever bought us happiness, and thrill and joy. It was as teenagers, with my friends, away from the adults’ eyes, when I had illegally done some sadness and anger. That had been a bad trip. That’s why I avoided them. That’s why I avoided feeling altogether, even recreationally.
But now, my wife is pregnant, expecting to deliver in about a week. And I want to feel, when she enters the world, and I want my wife to feel, and I want my new born daughter to feel. But, I can’t afford it. Not for all of us. I can work all day, six days a week and maybe afford a little happiness. It won’t be enough but it’d be something. Or I could go years without anything and have a chance at the full feeling – for when my daughter could remember the feeling. I made the decision. I and my wife would have to forego our chance at happiness now, for our daughter’s happiness.
A/N: To read another story based in the same universe, read The World Had Become A Funny Place