Yeah: This actually happened. It makes one wonder just how much power we really have, and how seriously we take something like this.

I tell you, for getting nothing accomplished, those elected idiots sure can waste a lot of time. And that is not a partisan crack: they're all dumb. Seriously, if they'd just let me make all the decisions, everything would go a lot more smoothly. seriously, people think...why would a person know how to run a nation? I think I do a fair enough job running myself, if only they'd let me!

Then again, I know several entities who wouldn't be too thrilled reading the last paragraph. Especially after what they pulled last week.

I woke up tired the morning after an overly long session, sitting through the same speeches and crap I'd head used so often in the last twenty years, if I bothered to listen, I could recite them by heart. But I digress. I pulled the door open and shuffled out, knocking over a nice sized pile of paper left outside my door. I picked a few of the stapled packets up and scanned the front of each. At first I thought it was a joke. As I went on down the pile, I felt my brow knit tighter and a pit form in my gut. I threw down the four I was holding and looked at the entire stack at my feet.

Well, I had some phone calls to make.

Within fourteen hours I had all of them accounted for in the kitchen (actually had to remove the table to make them all fit. I put the large stack on the counter and said to the one hundred eyes looking at me expectantly, "Well."

"Well, what?" asked a faceless male voice (you'd think I'd know their accents by now).

"I woke up to these," I slammed my hand on the stack, "lovely pieces of literature this morning. I know only three of you were left here, and I'm putting this on either Jersey or Maryland." Brother and sister looked at each other; perhaps it was both. "Is there a reason I have fifty secession petitions under my palm right now?"

"I think it's fairly obvious that it means we want to secede," Virginia said simply. A few eyes narrowed.

"What do you mean, you want to secede?" My heart rate went up exponentially. An old nightmare was coming back. Perhaps it never left.

"Shouldn't you know by now?" South Carolina asked from the middle rows. As fast as it sped up, my heart dropped.

"You can't be serious."

"You of all people should understand this," Texas said, removing his chewing from his mouth. Kansas stepped forward.

"It's a proposal. We want you to know this is on our minds."

I looked at the stack. Then back at them.

"Wait. You're all seceding? All of you?" Once more back and forth. "If you all secede, what are you seceding FROM?" That part confused me.

Fifty fingers pointed right at me. Lovely.

"I thought at least half of you would know better." My eyes searched for South Carolina again.

"We do," said Florida. "That's why we're trying petitions and letters instead of declarations. Of course, if need be, we'll let it come to that."

"YOU'LL DO NO SUCH THING!" I bellowed at the boy. I didn't hear that. I never heard that. If it came to that, I would abandon them to their fighting and... who am I kidding? I couldn't let them do that. No matter what they did, I couldn't abandon the family. Until the day I hear it...

I'm not your child or your kid brother anymore!

I never regretted those words. I still don't. Why am I so afraid of them now?

I wouldn't abandon them last time. But I also had the majority on my side back them. Now I'd have none of them.

And assuming they won, would I change, or just disappear? I didn't like that thought, nor did it belong in this discussion. This wasn't about me, this was about them.

Deciding to change the subject, I came across another strange thing. "This isn't about the elections, is it? Like...last time?" I heard a few yes' among a murmur of consent. Now, true confusion was starting to set in.

"It says clearly in that document you made all of us sign," Georgia said, "that we have the right to overthrow and replace a central government we don't like."

"But..." I tried to find the best way to put it, which wound up being the bluntest. "Most of you voted for the guy!"

I got no response for several painful seconds. Then:

"Well, like we said, it was just a proposal," came a voice of an older boy from the back. "We'll let you know when things change for the more serious." At that, the mass started moving toward the door.

I wanted to stop them. But was I really a match for all fifty? So far I'd kept them pretty content, but assuming they turned on me, I doubt I'd get through it. I even stupidly put in a place for them to attack and win. So, instead of stopping them from leaving, forcing them to continue with the discussions, I let them file out until just the three were left, Jersey, Maryland and Delaware.

"Who printed these?"

"Do you really think one of us could've done it by himself?" Delaware asked.


"We know you. If it's not right in front of your face, you won't look at it. If we emailed them all, they'd have gotten pitched, unread," Maryland explained. "We're not sure if your attention span is just that short, of if you would really try your hardest to ignore what we wanted." New Jersey rolled his eyes to her left; he was clearly taking his third option: both.

"You can't leave." I hoped the more I said it, the more true it would have to be. Maryland stood and moved toward the door.

"You realize the more declarations you make without our input, the more likely we are to leave." She left; her brothers gave me one last look and followed.

"They can't." I looked at the stack of papers and swatted them all to the floor. "They wanted this! They can't just run away from a problem they caused!" I yelled to myself. "I can understand the red ones, but not all of them! I don't understand! Some of them must be happy with this!"

I somehow doubted I heard the last of this. It seemed to have slowed down in the week after (once reality set in). I still don't understand: perhaps it was more symbolic than a threat. Every once in a while, they decide I need to be "put in my place". Or they decided they had better things to do then this.

I went to my back room and searched through some old documents. Not the big historical ones you always hear about, but the ones I kept hidden from history's prying eyes. I found the old letter: the first note I received from the first state to leave. It was faded, but I could make it out.

I will not put up with the economies of my northern brothers and sisters dictating what's best for me. Perhaps they can "move ahead" but the truth is we aren't ready down here to follow them. We help them enough with their materials to run the machines and produce the goods. Where would their economies be without us?

We are different. What's the point of being united states if half the opinions are discarded? Perhaps our differences are too great to overcome in said matter, but I will not allow them to sway your opinion away from me and my brothers like me. I take the best option to be that I should leave. Those who agree should follow, and those who do not shan't speak to me again, for my mind is resolved.

The nightmares returned. I wondered if I was the only one having them.