William had never really been given any opinions in the way his life was going to go. He’d been born into this family. And this family had an awful lot of secrets. He had his first ten years to be a child. He lived with a couple he referred to as his “aunt” and “uncle,” although they were really just a couple on his family’s payroll. He went to elementary school, and lived his life like normal. This was part of his training in a way, though. It was part of what would help him remember what the average person lived like. It would help him play his part well in years to come.
After his tenth birthday, he returned to his family’s care full time, and went through the changes. With the change, sleep and food became barely necessary. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for ten straight years—William trained, studied, and worked for anything and everything that his family needed. He didn’t miss a “normal life” in those years. For one, he’d never really expected to have a normal life past aged ten. For two, it was in his blood to live like this. He enjoyed the work he did, and had a great sense of pride in all he achieved in that time. And lastly, he knew very well that the world would fall apart without all the work that he and his family did behind the scenes. Without them, no one would have a normal life. So, why should William spend any of his time wishing for a normal life?
Of course, after ten years of solid work, just after his twentieth birthday, William earned his leave.
Not that he would stop working, oh no. William wouldn’t stop working, never retire or anything. Not until the day he died. His leave from ages twenty to thirty, was thirty hours a week to do whatever he wanted to do with it. He could go out. He could make friends. He could make music or go dancing or catch up on a life time worth of movies. Or he could turn off the lights, lay in the dark, and think about absolutely nothing for a little while.
For his first couple years of leave, William had no idea what to do with his free time. He tried going out and he tried to be social, but it all just seemed so petty to him. He only had thirty hours a week to spend, so why bother? But he still went out. He still tired. He still found little ways to relax. And he often got back to work before his thirty hours for the week were up.
That is, of course, until he met Grace. Everything changed when William met Grace. And he couldn’t tell if it was for better or for worse. But everything was absolutely different.