A couple of months ago, I read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. Leonard had written several letters to himself from himself, except that he was sending it from the future. It was part of one of his school assignments, but somehow, it had this huge impact on me. That Leonard still cared. He was trying to make his life better by writing all these positive letters from the future.
I don’t know if it worked.
But I wanted to do something like that today. I’m going to write a letter from my future self, where the world may have completely changed. It’s not going to be as depressing and heartbreaking as Leonard’s, but this is just going to be a way for me to create an entirely new world of my own — no rules at all.
To Meg, who doesn’t know the extent of what she’s wishing for,
I know what runs through your mind every time you sit down to write Sci-Fi Saturday posts. Why wasn’t I born in the future? How will the future be like? Will I still be around when everything changes? Change, after all, is imminent. And I have good news for you: yes, you will still be around when human technology begins to advance so rapidly that hardly anyone is able to catch up. But no. This world is not what you have been anticipating.
The human population has been increasing. And the earth isn’t big enough to hold everyone. We have close to fifteen billion people today, and while more than a million souls are lost daily, twice the number replace them in terms of childbirth. The world has become too small. That’s why, in 2041, the first space shuttle containing a hundred and fifty people was launched. Its destination? Mars. Drones have managed to build habitable enclosures for us, where the environment is as close to Earth’s as it can possibly be. The government is still allowing people to migrate to Mars for free, but I fear that it won’t be long before Earth’s superpowers begin to run out of money, and Earth itself out of natural resources.
Where am I right now? Your future husband — who is a charming man, I must let you know — managed to score seats on the next space shuttle to Mars. It leaves in two days. We have our house cleared out and all our things packed onto a separate cargo shuttle that’ll travel behind the passenger one. Many homeless people have heard that we were leaving. and now they crowd in our lawns, peering into our windows, pointing at our packed-up boxes. They are excited for us to leave. The moment we’re gone, the house will be full — at least twelve families will be able to cram themselves into the four rooms that once belonged to us and the kids.
Yes! You have kids. You used to think you disliked them, but ever since Gansey (you totally named your kid Gansey!) came around, you’ve fallen in love with them. They’re all on Mars now, hopefully waiting excitedly for our arrival. I’ve also included a drawing — we don’t print pictures anymore. Anyway, normal paper is much more durable. I’m sending this letter via time mail. It’s more expensive, because not many people use it, but it’s a small price to pay.
(By the way, your husband’s name is Alex.)
Anyway, that’s all I can say for now without ruining the whole time-continuum thingy. There’s not much to look forward to in the future other than higher-tech electronics and the move to Mars. What, did you expect humanity to accomplish warp drive in just thirty years? But the Hyperloop does exist, and it’s infinitely helpful, not to mention cheap. It’s replaced our railway systems, and is currently being built between Domes 1 and 2 on Mars.
I look forward to the time you meet Alex. In college. Right now we’re too busy being grumpy forty-something’s, deciding what to bring and what to give away.
Love, the future Meg (December 4, 2045)
P.S. We’re hoping to be settled down in our new home just before Christmas; I’ve heard that the people there have been able to create some truly crazy stuff out of the resources they’ve harvested from Mars!
Over to you!
Here’s my challenge to you: write your own letter from the future! It doesn’t necessarily need to be about human advancements in technology, or about how much the world has changed. What you want to write about is completely up to you. Good luck!