Pill Better

The purple neon light on the sign in front of my window was shining through the slender gap between the curtains. I was already awake at 6 am, so I didn’t mind. I like to stay in bed for a couple of minutes before I start the day. Me, the bed, and my haunting thoughts. Today marked a year since my dad died. I try to forget his death and pretend it never happened, honestly. When you do not know the cause of someone’s death, it messes you up inside. The reality was so surreal, it seemed fake.

Somebody banged on my door. I jumped a little, then sat up to check. Probably my neighbor, Mr. Norman. Always looking for his cat; hasn’t seen her in months; probably died. I do not have the heart to tell him this could be an option.

I walked next to the mirror and glanced at my reflection. Messy hair, barefoot, white shorts and blue stained t-shirt, with a retro phone from 100 years ago, a Nokia 3010. I was always fascinated by these antique and primitive technology pieces. I remember going to the museum with my dad; his favorite part was this dark room with old cameras. You could use a simulator to try them and take photos with a megapixel. I heard another knock on the door and was startled back to reality.

I opened the door, but Mr. Norman was not in sight. Looking around, I noticed a small package on my doorstep. I collected it and went back inside. It was really tiny; it could sit on my palm. It was wrapped with brown paper.

I opened it. Inside was a metallic black box. I had seen something like this once, at Phill’s lab. He works for Pill Better; so do I. He is the brain behind the pills. I don’t know much about science, but from what I understand, scientists analyze the chemicals that the brain releases, copy them with some lab magic, and put them into a pill. It kind of works like the glycemia measure. A machine pokes your finger, and you put a drop of blood on the paper, then insert it into another machine. The machine spits out a report, and you find out what chemicals your brain makes during certain activities. For example, when you are eating your favorite ice cream, this act creates chemicals in your brain. Now, you can create a pill once you know what those chemicals are. If you take the pill, you feel exactly the same way you did when you ate that ice cream.

Unfortunately, some people had the idea of selling their own feelings for those who can’t afford some experiences. Some use them to create these pills, and the poor buy them, so they can feel the joy of getting a puppy, or bathing in the ocean for a couple hours. They are a drug, a drug of joy. Like everything, this has a dark side too. They created some for prisons, torture devices, sadness, suffering, and who knows what.

Anyways, I work there in the delivery section. My pay is lower than Phill’s. My dad used to work there too. I’m not sure what he was doing though.

I pressed my index finger on the box, and it scanned my print with a green light. Then, it clicked. Now I could open it. There were four capsules inside, each half white and half colored: red, yellow, purple, and dark blue. On the inside of the cover of the box was inserted a digital message moving from right to left in white.

“Damien Creek 643 Experimental Belongings,” it read.

Something clicked.

That’s what Dad was doing at Pill Better! I knew he started working there more than a year ago, before any pills were released to the public. He was experimenting with those. Maybe this box contained the answers to my questions. Did I want to know?

I was perfectly aware of what these pills could do. If they were his, that means I had a box filled with my dead dad’s feelings. I do not know if I am ready for this. Was he taking this rubbish? Is this what killed him? No, he wouldn’t do that. People do bad things, but not him, not my dad. The answer is in the box… I am not ready.

I closed the box, wrapped it back up, and tossed it into the garbage. I did not need such information. He’s gone, this will only upset me. I cannot bring him back. Who is this helping? My mind was on fire, with one doubt after the other.

I got ready and left for work. I cruised the city on my electric motorbike, going to headquarters to get that day’s delivery of pills. How could I distract myself from pills with pills?! What an exhausting day.

I went home after my shift, cooked some dinner, showered, and tried to sleep. I couldn’t close my eyes. My bed was really uncomfortable all of a sudden.

After two hours, I gave up. I went to the kitchen to get that stupid box out of the trash, but it was gone. The system of my building works like this: At midnight, everyone’s trash gets sucked out, so your bin is never full. Great system… except if you throw something away you need! It was 1 am. I put on my shoes, ran to the elevator, and pressed the lower first button. I was going trash-fishing.

Luckily every floor gets divided into a different container, and mine was floor 189. I found the container and jumped in it without thinking. I searched probably for hours, but I found it. My clothes were smelly and dirty, and I needed another shower.

Back in the apartment, I put the box on the kitchen table, then cleaned myself up. I returned to the kitchen. I sat in front of the box and stared at it for a while. Am I going to do this for real?

I had to. I needed to know how he felt…

  • Isyis Nieves
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply