June 5, 2067
I woke to the sound of our cabin door's soft, pneumatic closing. I opened my eyes just in time to see my wife come into our spacious living quarters. We had five rooms which was nearly unheard of. Besides the large double-sized bedroom, we had a living room, an observation room and another room, that currently was being used only for storage. That didn't include of course, the large bathroom, and the kitchenette.
Most families on the ship were squeezed into one or 2 small rooms, regardless of the number of people in the family. Square footage was a premium commodity, when all of humanity was crowded into one of the three or four surviving ships that had escaped Earth's destruction. Six had initially launched, two were destroyed before leaving the planet's atmosphere. Another one of the ships had simply disappeared as we travelled together, before splitting up to go our separate ways. The goal being, that whichever ship found a hospitable planet, would contact the other two.
Each ship was roughly the size of a city block square, I couldn't tell what was going on aboard the other ships, but on ours, the population was dwindling faster than our resources.
We had breeding animals for occasional fresh meat, and hydroponic gardens for all the fresh fruits and vegetables we needed. There were also synthetic foods, of numerous types, that could be mixed and thickened and texturized, to simulate almost anything.
Food was not a problem, but depression, over-crowding, and a truly alarming rate of suicide, might doom us long before we either found a new home, or perished in space.
During the first few months it was determined that the disruption of the circadian rhythm, might be contributing to the mental problems and suicides. To solve this problem the ship now simulated periods of day and night. Initially the suicide rates did drop, but in recent months, the numbers of suicides, and outright lawlessness, had increased.
To some degree the fascination with death, destruction and refusal to obey rules had been spurred on by a new breed of would be saviors, who told all who would listen that we were doomed. One of the worst of these bastards, was Brandon Patton, who had personally influenced nearly half of the most recent suicides.
Brandon claimed that we had become a new type of society, so the rules and laws of the old one somehow, no longer seemed to apply. Many of the young, and a few of the not so young people on the ship, believed this crap, including my wife Kelly who was currently both embracing Brandon's creed, and fucking Brandon.
I watched Kelly watching me, as she walked into the bedroom, fresh from another night with Brandon.
"You should have your suits made with zippers," I said to her, "That way, you could get into, and out of them faster."
"Let me handle the fashion advice," she snapped, starting another morning argument.
"Kelly, why can't we just get a divorce, and just go our separate ways," I asked her for probably the 20th time.
"Brandon's just a fling, it'll end," she said trying to hug me.
"Kelly, it's been over a month," I told her as I moved just out of her reach.
"You know I love you Tommy," she said as if that was supposed to mean something.
"Then why do you spend all of your fucking time, fucking Brandon?" I snapped.
Kelly flinched at the anger in my tone.
"Because, I'm bored with us right now," she said.
"For right now, I don't want to be loved and cuddled and made love to," she said.
"I want to be chained and humiliated and fucked," she snapped.
"You aren't capable of doing that, because you love me," she said quietly, "I'm precious to you."
"So I had to find someone who can give me what I need," she added.
At that moment, she really did not understand how close I was, to giving her what she needed, and more.
"It probably didn't help, that we were happy, before he started filling your head up with all of his crap," I snapped, "Let's just get the divorce."
"A divorce is not in either of our best interests," she added.
"All a divorce would mean is that we would no longer be married," she added.
"That would be bad for you, because you wouldn't be able to have sex with me anymore," she said.
"And we wouldn't be able to spend all our time together," she said.
"And you love being with me," she said, assured of both my love and her beauty.
"Then in a few weeks when I'm tired of Brandon, and you realize how much you miss me, we'd just have to get married all over again," she said smiling.
"We belong together Tommy, for all time," she said, "There'll never really be anyone else for either of us."
"So you need to be mature and indulge me, just this once," she said, "Because getting a divorce would not be a good thing for you,"
"I might just decide to make you suffer for a while, before I took you back," she said, " I might even fuck a few more guys, out of spite."
"When you consider how much you love me, and how jealous you get, a divorce would not be a good thing for you, my love." she said.
"It would be pretty shitty for you too," I snapped.
"Going back to your old status," I continued, and I realized that I had finally figured it out.
"There was no more personal wealth aboard the ship. Status was everything in the onboard hierarchy. Status, determined when you ate, and how much. Status determined where you lived, and the size of your living quarters. Status determined whether or not you had to work, and the kind of work you did.
If I threw her out, or divorced her, my beautiful wife would have to go back to working. She'd also return to living in the cramped quarters she had shared with five others, when I met her.
She probably loved having Brandon smacking her around and using her, but she loved living with me just as much. I turned away from her, and started to dress.
"What are you doing," she asked, "I need you right now."
As I watched, she began taking off her clothes. The sight of her perfect body never failed to excite me.
"Brandon, just hit me and spit on me, and made me suck him off, last night," she said.
"I could use some of that love and affection of yours right now," she whined.
"I have something to do this morning," I said.
"You're saying that you don't want to have sex with me?" she asked. Her face took on a very serious look, because this was new territory.
"That's exactly what I'm saying, save it up for Brandon," I snapped.
I opened the closet that was built into the wall, and grabbed some clothes. I took them into the bathroom with me. This was another of our luxuries, the private bathroom in our cabin. Fewer than 10% of the quarters on the ship had private bathrooms. Our bathroom had an actual fluid tub and shower. It was a synthetic fluid true enough, but no one, had actual water tubs anymore. Water was too valuable to waste for cleaning or bathing. But the fluid tub was still a very rare luxury. Most used infrared or ultrasonic showers, and few if any, had tubs of any sort.
"Tommy, there are lots of marriages, like ours and even worse," she told me as she walked in on my shower.
"Except for the problem we're having right now, we're very happy," she said. "And I keep telling you this will be over soon, and I'll be faithful again," she added.
"Do you think that temporarily, until the thing with Brandon runs its course, we might consider an open marriage?" she asked. "I know you were angry with me, after the Miranda thing, but I did it for you," she said. "I was sure you'd like her, and then my being with Brandon, wouldn't matter so much," she said, "Maybe I just picked the wrong woman."
"I know lots of other women though, who would leap at the chance to be with you," she said. "I picked Miranda, because she's my friend, and wouldn't try to steal you from me, " she said, "But also because she's nowhere near, as pretty as I am," she added. "I'm not going to let some other woman, end up being married to you," she spat.
"Kelly, we finally agree on something," I said.
"The only problem we have, is in the terminology," I continued.
"You want to call it an open marriage, I want to call it a divorce," I said.
"No!" she said, "No divorce."
"Kelly," I said as I dressed, "I'm tired of you and Brandon."
"Open marriages are good for our society," she said, "It gives us the chance to spread our genetic material around." "There are so few babies being born now, that we have to be willing to do whatever it takes; Just to make sure that our species continues."
"Think of what it would mean if we had a baby," she said.
"It would mean, that you and Brandon, might be able to live together, in a slightly bigger dorm, with slightly fewer people." I said.
"I would never, try to raise a child with Brandon," she said seriously.
"He's just not daddy material," she said trying to kiss me.
She looked at me in shock, as I pushed her away.
"Kelly," I told her, "I've never been very good at dancing, so let's stop dancing around."
"I want you to think very seriously, about what you want, because very soon, one way or another, our lives are about to change," I said.
She put out her hand to touch me, and I moved.
"Why are you being such an asshole?" she snapped. "I told you I don't love Brandon, I love you," she said. "But life on this fucking ship, is like one long slow march to the grave," She cried. "It's just the same God Damned thing, over and over and over again," she said. "There's no change, no variety, no fun, no uncertainty," she snapped.
.... There is more of this story ...