Ranked: Chapter 1
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Politics and Activism

Ranked: Chapter 1

Chapter 1

10
Ranked: Chapter 1
Created by Ricardo Castillo

Arriving home felt amazing. Nobody could watch you. Nobody could judge you. Nobody could rank you. Peace. That is how it felt. My smile faded off every time I stepped into my room, and I thought “Nobody is watching me now.” I felt safe. My sister was not like me. Giselle keeps her room messy, and it resembles herself in public. Seriously, if you were to step into her room, you would believe boxes of pizza could be hiding below the dirty pile of clothes. My room is clean. Organized, rather. There is not an imperfection. It resembles myself. It resembles my rank.

I looked at my fibble, and it displayed 16.3. It went up from 16.1. I’ve been progressing slowly. Maybe, just maybe, one day I will hit 21.0. And if I do, I will not have to worry about this stupid rank ever again, or anything in general.

The incandescent light in my room barely illuminates my desk. I must finish my new design for Flence. Giselle is being slightly loud today, however. She always blasts to hard rock. It’s obnoxious. Annoying. I look around my room to locate my headphones, and I put them on. Suddenly, everything is silence. Peace again. Press the play button on my phone, and shuffle through my playlist. Old school jazz begins to play. My favorite.

It isn’t that late. The moon is up in the sky, and it’s bright. I can see it through my blinds. In a way, it sucks to be a high. All the lows are outside in the streets, partying, getting drunk and humiliating themselves, lowering their ranks even more until they reach death. I cannot do that. That would kill my rank; probably go down 3 whole points in one night, or worse. No, I cannot think about that. I have stuff to do. I have a design to work on. I need to make an impression during this internship with Flence so they can hire me once I graduate. Otherwise, I do not see where else I could find a job as a designer now a days. This must be my best design. My finest piece of work. I still have plenty of hours to finish it. Maybe if I get a job with Flence, they can recommend me to work for Hiizln. My dream. Working for the creators of the world.

I hear footsteps.

“Adan, I’m going out. Don’t lock the door,” said Giselle. I looked at her clothes, which barely covered any part of her belly. Correction; her pierced belly.

“And where are you going?” I said.

“To Night’s Owl, dummy. It’s ladies’ night. Drinks are half-off for us.” I do not want to picture my little sister dancing off drunk at a night club, at all. But I know this is her. She’s a low. I never understood why she liked it. She won’t get anywhere with that.

“You know, going out does not help your rank.” I looked at her, and she frowned.

“Oh, here we go. The whole rank dilemma. How many times have I told you I do not care about my rank? I will not let a number determine whether I can have fun or not.”

“You need that number to get somewhere in life.”

“Well what if I do not really plan on getting anywhere? I’m just going with the flow. Whatever happens, happens. Besides, it’s never going to get too low.”

“You’re at 8.7 already.”

“So what? It really cannot go any lower from partying. Just mind your own stuff. And maybe, go out and have some fun every once in a while. You do not have to be so boring all the time. Just, go with the flow.” For some reason, she did not sound rude.

There was a silence. I sighed. “Don’t get home too late.”

She smiled. “Love you brother.”

“Love you too, sis.”

The door was shut. Few seconds later, I saw her walking on the sidewalk through the window. She’s a pretty lady. Maybe she will meet a high and marry him. Earn his rank and have a good life. Maybe she will get away with it. Hopefully.

But meanwhile, I have work to do. I don’t have time for parties and other activities that might transform me into a low. I need to earn a job with Flence. Get recommendations, and hop on to Hiizln. Sounds like a plan.

And tomorrow, I must attend Daniel’s wedding. I just got his invitation yesterday. Feels great to be remembered by my friends in college. Especially when they are highs. If I talk to people, my rank might even go up by 1 point in just one day.

Few more tweaks to my design, and I’ll go to sleep. I need to rest well. Tomorrow’s a big day. A chance to increase my rank. A changer to get higher.

Maybe, just maybe, one day I will be a 21.0.

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