Chosen 2/5

Reading duration: average

If I keep eating all the things that these humans give me I will end up gaining too much weight. And I wonder why they persist in giving me the bones of chickens when I can barely break them with my teeth.
They are really spoiling me. I should hunt the food by myself, but now it is served to me in a bowl on a regular basis without having to do anything to earn it.
Being domesticated is not at all as bad as I thought, I eat for free, sleep in the heat and do more or less what I want from morning until evening.
The leaders were right, if I had been a dog it would have been much worse because dogs are not only domesticated but also “trained”. As a cat I am much freer instead: no collar, no muzzle, no rules to respect …
I point my ears up; Axel is calling me.
Judging by the tone, I’d say he’s in the mood to bother me. I raise my head up and look at him: he is sitting on the sofa and is staring at me with a face that is a little too cunning for my tastes. That is the look he has when he is bored and does not know what to do … even if now he’s not really bored, he’s just trying to distract himself from his thoughts.
<<Look what I have here …>> he shakes what looks like a pen in his hand … but I know very well what it is.
I move my head to the side and with a bored meow I make him understand that I will no longer fall into that stupid cat-trick. I’m not a common cat after all.
<<Toffo …>> he continues <<I know you want it. Toffo?>> turns on the pen and in the wall that I am looking at a small red dot appears <<Look there! Toffo? Did you see it?>>
I turn back to Axel, who is now chuckling. Does he really think I’m going to chase that little light? He can fool me once, not twice.
Well actually he already fooled me twice if we want to count-
<<Toffo! Look! What is that, Toffo? Toffo!>> he continues while making the red dot arrive on the floor right in front of me <<Watch out Toffo! He can bite. He’s bad!>>
How annoying … the problem is that it is really difficult to prevent my body from jumping on that bright dot. My legs are literally shaking for the desire to bite that annoying light.
<<Ax, stop annoying the cat! >> I hear from his mom; she’s in the next room.
<<I’m not doing anything!>> is his answer, while the red dot continues to dance before my eyes.
I know I could get up and leave … I could close my eyes and not see him anymore … I could pretend to see nothing … I know, however … the point is that … I really want … to bite that … red little dot …
The light disappears at the exact moment Ax’s phone vibrates. Someone is calling him and he answers immediately, leaving the pen behind.
<<Hey>> I hear him say <<yes, are you here? I’m coming. >> he immediately gets up from the sofa <<Mom! Sofi’s here, I’m opening the door.>> he says advancing towards the entrance of the house.
<<Okay! >> is the mother’s answer.
“Sofi” is the term he uses when he speaks of Sofia, one of his cousins.
In the last few days I have followed my little owner around the town, studying and analyzing each of the guys with whom he regularly goes out. Respecting the rules that have been imposed on me, I made a ranking based on the usefulness of each of them, and although Sofia is not at the top she is one of the people Axel sees most often.
The front door is opened and Ax’s cousin enters. They greet each other, so I decide to go and say hello as well.
<<Hi Toffo.>> Sofia tells me as I go to sniff her shoes as if I were a common dog; she bends over me and caresses my head in response <<You’re so cute.>> she tells, then she gets back up and follows his cousin towards his room <<Look how he follows us. It looks like a little dog. I thought cats did what they want.>>
<<He does what he wants, but he is always behind me. That thing loves me.>>
<<By the way, did you find his owner in the end?>>
<<No. He’s not of anyone in the neighborhood.>>
<<And is it always behind you?>>
<<Maybe he follows you because you feed him.>>
<<I don’t think so … is my mom who fills him with food, not me.>>
They enter the room and before they can close the door I sneak inside.
<<See?>> Axel says pointing to me <<He follows me everywhere.>>
<<Even in the bathroom?>> Sofia ask chuckling.
<<Yes but when he tries I kick him out.>>
<<No! Poor thing. Poor Toffo.>> Sofi looks at me <<The owner hates you. What a bad person he is.>>
<<It appeared on my bed out of nowhere. I can’t trust him. And do you see what type of eyes he has?>>
<<They are beautiful!>> comments Sofia while she sits on the chair in front of the bedroom desk.
<<They are weird.>> Axel replies instead <<I have never seen a cat with such yellow eyes before. Sometimes they light up.>>
A half laugh bursts out of her <<Of course they light up, it’s a cat!>>
<<What does it mean?>>
<<Cats see in the dark, right? To do this they light up their eyes.>> she jokes.
<<Shut up.>>
<<But it’s true! And anyway … Why are you complaining? His eyes are just matching your hair color.>> the cousin jokes <<Maybe that’s why he follows you everywhere.>>
<<Yeah, right.>>
<<Maybe he thinks you have another yellow cat on your head.>> continues Sofia.
<<It could be. He’s stupid after all. Look what he does.>> Ax pulls out the pen with the red laser and points it on the floor in front of me; immediately my eyes are fixed on the dot <<See?>>
<<No! Come on! Poor thing. >> says Sofi, clearly amused <<If you make the dot on the wall, what does he do? Jump on the wall?>>
<<Sometimes he does that. Do you want to see it?>>
Before he can do anything the door of the room opens and the mother enters inside.
<<Hi Sofia.>> she greets.
<<Hi aunt. How’s it going?>>
<<I would say quite well. And you … >> she approaches with great strides towards Axel only to snatch the malevolent pen from his hand <<will give me this.>>
<<Mom!>> he protests.
<<Shut up!>> she speak while pointing in his face the red laser <<I just found that the sofa is all scratched!>>
<<What do I have to do with that? It was the cat!>>
<<Yes, because of you!>>
<<That’s not true!>>
<<Shut up! And say thanks to your cousin for being here, because otherwise I would have made you sew the sofa by hand right now.>> she ends the discussion by putting the pen in her pocket, then turns to Sofia and takes a less hostile tone <<And you? Did you had a snack? Do you want something to eat?>>
<<No thanks.>> she replies with a slight smile <<Already eaten.>>
<<Good.>> the mother gives a last warning look to the son, then leaves the room closing the door behind her.
<<She stole my pen.>> Axel says after a few seconds of silence.
<<That’s not bad.>> Sofia chuckles <<Now you can’t use it to annoy the cat.>>
<<Yes, but if she doesn’t give it back to me I won’t go to school anymore. Without a pen I can’t write after all.>>
<<Exactly! That’s the spirit.>> laughs the cousin, but then she immediately becomes serious while the flash of a memory illuminates her face <<Talking about schools … you know why I’m here, right?>>
Axel nods <<Yes. The invitation from the DSC.>>
<<So what? >> continues Sofia <<What do we do? We accept? Shall we go?>>
Ax also becomes more serious, revealing the nervousness and the emotions he was trying to hide all day <<I don’t know …>> he runs his hands over his face <<I mean … why did they send it to us? I wasn’t expecting that at all. I don’t … I don’t fucking know, I don’t know what to do.>>
<<Did you say it to your mother?>>
<<No … she would go crazy and she would order me to go there immediately.>>
<<I did it. >> Sofia says << And … yes, she went crazy and she told me to go there immediately.>>
<<But we have to take that shitty exam first. The DSC accepts only the best. And I suck at school.>>
<<One step at a time.>> she tells him <<I did some research, and I found that up to now the DSC have officially invited very few people. And all those invited have always passed the entrance exam. Always.>>
Axel runs his hands over his face <<And what kind of people were those invited? >>
<<Well … I don’t know.>>
<<I bet they were all rich people, influencers or shit like that.>>
<<No, no … listen to me. It’s very simple. On the internet they say that when the DSC sends out invitations, it sends them to people who would pass the exam 100%.>>
Axel becomes more attentive <<What that mean?>>
<<You know that when people sign up they are given a success rate, right? The percentage is never below 25% or above 75%. But some people have a 100% chance of passing the exam, but they are very rare. It is to them that the invitation is sent.>>
<<And you think that the two of us have a 100% chance of passing?>>
<<Yes!>> she nods with a broad confident smile <<Otherwise they wouldn’t have invited us.>>
<<Sofi, it is the most difficult exam in the world, probably.>>
<<I know! But we>>
<<I also discovered some things.>> Axel interrupts her <<I saw the interviews of those who took the exam. They say they can’t talk about it, that they don’t remember what it is about, that they came out of there exhausted and very tired without knowing why …>>
<<It doesn’t matter! We will come out of there victorious!>> Sofia continues with a smile.
<<Axel, trust me. I would never have joined the DSC under normal conditions either. We were talking about it the other year, remember? That place is for special people. Those who know how to do everything and who have everything. Not for us. I would never have signed up, I’m not stupid.>>
<<So why do you want to do it now?>>
<<Because we have already been registered. We also know the day we have to do it. Even our schools know it!>>
Axel sighs <<Yes, I know … today all the professors wished me good luck.>>
Sofia remains silent for a moment.
His cousin doesn’t seem very sure about going there. I don’t know why, and neither does her.
What do I know, however, is that the DSC invitation was probably addressed to me. And since I circle around him, and she spends most of her time with him, it came to them by reflex.
Axel glances at the computer he has on his desk, the same one he used to research about the DTC.
He found very encouraging things about that company. But also disturbing ones.
He sighs again.
<<Okay.>> he says at the end << Let’s try. Do you at least know what we have to prepare for?>>
<<Nobody knows, I think.>>