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1984: The Ending that Should’ve Been

By Daisy Sanchez

The sun had awakened from its midnight slumber, and dawned on Oceania. Winston slivered open his eyelids, and allowed the sun’s rays to enter them. It was a peaceful morning; a woman was singing in the echoes against the flats along the gravel road, a whispering breeze tapped against the window of the bedroom, and the air seemed to smell of tulips and freshly shoveled soil. Winston heaved his body off of the bed, and sat on the side of the bulky mattress. Strangely, his body didn’t creak or ache as it usually did in the morning. His eyes rolled over in their sockets to look at Julia beside him. She was laid out upon white, linen sheets that were outspread on the bed, with her arms snuggled under the pillow that cushioned her head. Winston stayed in his upright position on the bed next to the resting lady, and he expressed a face full of wonderment. The words from Goldstein’s book were still squirming around in his head. It’s as if everything Winston had believed had finally been solidified. The question was no longer what if?, The question was, "What now? Winston’s pondering gaze was abruptly disturbed as Julia stretched out her arms, and released a thundering groan. She rubbed her tired face, and her umber eyes met with his. Neither of them made a sound, or uttered a word. The walls didn’t settle, and the windows didn’t creek, and Winston and Julia were absolutely silent. They were thinking about the book, and the things in which they knew they had to do in order for generations to come to be freer than they themselves had ever been. In the eyes of the Party, their brains were now infected, but in a way, Winston and Julia’s brains were cured, and they needed to give the cure to all of Oceania. They needed to give it to all of the world. Winston finally let out a sigh as he rubbed his temples roughly. Julia glanced down at Winston’s trembling hand, and she placed her grasp over it, and the two trembled together. She looked back at Winston’s fear-filled eyes, and nodded. Winston nodded back, and the couple rose from the bed, and began their journey to take down big brother.

Winston staggered to his closet, with all of his movements filled with hesitation. He lifted each of his legs into his gray jumpsuit with sloth-like speed, and Julia glided the outfit’s zipper up his back. When he was done, Winston walked back into the bedroom as if he was going to a funeral. Julia was much more expressionless. She stepped into her bleak, gray jumpsuit, and zipped it from the top of her waist, to the bottom of her neck. Julia sighed, and she left the bedroom, and the two headed out of the front door. Winston and Julia stood on the damp sidewalk, and they’re heads leaned back so that their eyes could soak in the monstrous tower in front of them. They were at the Ministry of Truth. Winston’s eyes blinked rapidly, as if attempting to wake up from a nightmare, but each blink only made this day more real. Julia was beside him, but she didn’t blink profusely like Winston. She didn’t seem to breathe either, she was simply mundane. Winston dragged his feet to the glass door, and he held it open for Julia. The soiled cabbage smell of the sterile building slapped against Julia’s nasal cavity, and her chest collapsed as she shoved the smell out of her lungs. Winston let the door shut behind him, and he scanned the room like he was on a mission. People flowed in and out of the building, and they all traveled like wolves in a pack. Not a single person acknowledged the gargantua Big Brother poster that was appointed on the wall beside their robotic strides. From across the lobby, Winston’s eyes glided across the poster, and the dread from his chest lifted ever so slightly. He knew that if he didn’t survive from the act Julia and himself were about to commit, that at least Big Brother would die with them. Winston and Julia began slowly striding through the building's lobby while making minimal eye contact with anyone, especially not with the guard. The guard

was a burly man wearing bulky, black padding and a cushioned vest, and had a patch sewn onto the top, left hand corner of his uniform that read Big Brother is Watching. He was in a strong stance next to the lobby’s entrance. Julia tapped Winston’s hip as a sign for him to look up at her, and when he did, he saw her tilt her head in the direction of the elevator ever so slightly. Winston nodded to her, and the two unanimously, and subtly strolled to the elevator's metal doors. Winston kept his gaze down at the linoleum floor, and occasionally glanced to his right at Julia’s petite feet moving swiftly alongside his, until a set of black combat boots entered Winston’s vision. Their stride came to a halt, and Winston’s eyes climbed up the humongous figure in front of him. A thundering voice boomed from the man’s mouth,“Identification, please.” “I-,” Winston stammered in the guard’s presence as he was caught dead in his tracks.

Winston and Julia’s eyes nervously exchanged glances, and the burly man repeated with urgency, “Identification, please!”

Winston’s hands fumbled in his jumpsuit pockets, and he eventually grasped his work ID, and handed it to the man. The guard roughly yanked the card out of Winston’s grasp, and analyzed it closely. While the guard was occupied, Winston’s eyes slid to the left, seeking Julia’s guidance. Her shoulders bounced rapidly, and Winston could tell that she was beginning to panic. Julia drew in a large breath, and Winston followed the non-vocal directions she began to give him; she glanced at the elevator doors, then back at Winston, then at the elevator doors again. When she turned back to him this time, with her arm still at her side, she pointed at him, and then pointed at the ground. Then, she pointed at herself, and then at the elevator. Julia nodded to ensure Winston’s understanding, and after several shallow breaths, while soaking in Julia’s mocha eyes one final time, Winston nodded.

“Well, welcome back, Winston. Are you scheduled for a shift today?” the guard said while handing back Winston’s work ID. Winston grasped it from the man with his trembling hand, and slid it back into his jumpsuit pocket. “Um, I-'' Winston stammered as he began to answer the guard’s question, but as the guard looked to the left of Winston, he had barely noticed that Winston was there with a woman. He looked at Julia up and down, and he raised his left eyebrow. “Identification, ma’am?” He said to her with his muscley arm outstretched in front of her. She looked at the man’s hand, then glanced at Winston, and when their eyes met, Julia nodded, and Winston nodded back. Within what felt like half a second, Winston had sprung into action, and tackled the guard. The guard collapsed to the ground with a loud bang, and Winston wrestled him down with all of his might. As the men struggled on the ground, Julia sprinted to the elevator. Cries of shock and disbelief began pouring from the mouths of the people in the lobby as Winston threw punch after punch at the burly man’s face. Another guard emerged from a black door at the far end of the lobby, and rumbles of what sounded like footsteps of an army echoed from the hallway behind the door. As Winston was wrestling with two guards, Julia got to the elevator, and frantically jabbed at the scarlet button labeled ‘twelve’ next to the elevator. When the metal doors opened, Julia jumped in, and slammed her back against the back of the elevator. As she stood inside the safety of the elevator, a wave of relief showered over her, and she closed her eyes. She basked in the relief, and she slowly opened her eyes. The relief was diminished from Julia’s chest almost immediately as she watched Winston being pinned to the ground. His arms were being crushed onto the floor by a guard twice his size, and Julia watched as an identical guard stood above Winston, and began pounding his face with his Hulk-like fists.

Julia’s jaw dropped as her umber eyes filled with murky water. A different part of her shattered with every punch Winston took, and before she could cry out his name, the elevator doors closed. Julia was running as fast as her legs could carry. The elevator had let her off on the highest floor of the Ministry of Truth. She sprinted past hundreds of gray doors, hundreds of windows displaying dreadful views of London, and hundreds and hundreds of telescreens. She was heading to the room of many cubicles, from there, she would need to locate the filing cabinets of documents that were ready to be re-written. She needed to release the documents to the world, but first, she needed to get there. A siren began to blare through the building, accompanied by a techno-like ruby colored light. Julia ran faster, and faster, and she eventually arrived at a door with a metal label that read ‘Doublethink Department.” Julia took a long, deep breath, and threw her shoulder into the door. The door didn’t budge, but after throwing herself into it over and over, Julia’s thrusts broke the door off of its hinges. She stepped over the broken wooden door, and walked towards isles of dreary cubicles. A row of beige filing cabinets were lined up against a grey-blue wall next to a window the size of a king sized bed. Julia jogged to the files, and pulled open the drawers one by one, and scrounged through each and every file. She threw papers and packets onto the ground, and manilla folders marked with black ink were thrown next to them. After each of the drawers was completely cleaned out onto the floor, Julia was ready for the final step of Winston’s plan, but before she could compile the papers that were on the floor, someone gasping for air behind her slowly said, “We are the dead.” Julia’s body sprung back as she turned around to see which guard was there to put her out of her misery, but it wasn’t a guard. It was Winston. His face was full of contusions and scratches, and his nose displayed

fragments of exposed bone speckled with blood. Julia’s eyes filled with tears once again, but this time, they were tears of relief and joy. “We are the dead,” she repeated as she jumped into the battered man’s arms. Winston squirmed in pain with every squeeze she gave him, and the two released from the hug, and looked into each other’s eyes, and without talking, Winston knelt to the ground and gathered the documents into his mangled arms. He glanced at the miscellaneous dates that would've been re-written by a worker the following day. They were dates like Mexican Independence Day, September 16th, 1810, and The Civil Rights Movement from 1950-1960. Julia carried a swivel chair out of the sea of beige cubicles, and hauled it close to the ginormous window. With one large swing of her arms, Julia heaved the chair through the window’s thick glass, and she watched it fall to the concrete below them. Then, she shoveled and scraped the rest of the papers off of the ground, and Wisnton and her slowly stepped up to the window. They looked at their city, and the drab buildings that surrounded them. They looked at the world that they were now ready to change, even if it meant never being able to see it once it changed. They were ready to say goodbye to the Fiction Department, to the Party, and to Big Brother as a whole. They looked at each other, and once again, they nodded in unison. Winston clasped his hands around the stack of papers in his arms, held it over the edge of the window, and let them go. Julia did the same with her stack, then the next stack, and the next, and the next. Crowds of people below watched as documents fell like snow from the sky. Some people managed to catch some papers, and read about the peculiar events that were listed on the pages. Some people even took some home for their families to read. Some people read ones that they found on the sidewalk, or in nearby bushes or trees. When the papers had all been released, Winston and Julia stood in front of the window, and savored the view.

Then, Winston began to chant, “We are the dead.”

Julia replied, “We are the dead.” Winston continued, “We are the dead.” Julia began, “We are the-” What sounded like a grenade was actually a gunshot that was fired beside Winston. His entire body trembled with shock, and his face filled with disbelief as he stared down at what remained of Julia. Winston turned around rapidly and faced a sea of armed guards before him. The same guard that wrestled with Winston in the lobby was aiming a rifle in front of Winston’s face. Winston looked down at Julia again, but he couldn’t see her eyes anymore. She was just a pool of red. Winston did not look back up at the guards, instead, he slowly turned his body towards the window once again, and continued his chant. “Down with Big Brother.” Winston croaked as his throat filled with tears. “Down with Big Brother, down with Big Brother, down with Big -” A bullet from the guard’s rifle was slung into Winston’s back, and he collapsed face down to the ground next to Julia. Winston and Julia would never know of the world they saved from Big Brother. They would never know a living room without a telescreen. They would never know of freedom of one’s thought. They would never get to see the world without Big Brother. They would never know the words that were etched onto their graves by the Proles themselves, “Down with Big Brother.



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