My door refused to open to matter how many times I swiped. Then I had the sinking feeling that I might have broken curfew again, since was expected to be indoors by 8:00 PM. I was pretty sure I got home on time. But then again, maybe it was 8:01.  It didn’t matter if you were one minute or one hour late. If you got in after curfew, rest assured you weren’t going to be let back out the next day—no matter what business you had. The State always had control over the exits and entrances. You could delude yourself into thinking you alone had the keys to your home, but once you broke the rules, you find out soon enough that Big Brother always had an extra set. Sometimes you wouldn’t be allowed in at all. They locked curfew breakers out as often as they locked them in. I noticed a letter at the foot of the door. When I opened it, it read, “Citizen 1042897, you have been found guilty of violating curfew as per section 428 of the Civilian Code. You are therefore sentenced to three months of house arrest.”

That meant the doors wouldn’t unlock for the next three months. That meant no visits, no summer barbecues and no vacation. So, I did the only thing I knew whenever this happened. I walked over to the bookshelf and pulled out one of my favorite reads: How to Escape House Arrest. Nothing in the book I read last time actually worked, but then again, I haven’t read everything.