“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” is a work of philosophical fiction.
Omelas, a shimmering city of unbelievable happiness and delight. In Omelas, the summer solstice is celebrated with a glorious festival. Everything about Omelas is so abundantly pleasing that the narrator decides the reader is not yet truly convinced of its existence and so elaborates upon one final element of the city: its one atrocity. The city’s constant state of serenity and splendor requires that a single unfortunate child be kept in perpetual filth, darkness, and misery. However, a few citizens, young and old, silently walk away from the city, and no one knows where they go. The story ends with “The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas."
There are no words in that fleeting moment between hope and the knowledge. There is no way to express how a heart can burst and break at the same time, how the sun can cut through the darkness but will cast shadows everywhere.
Dear Merlin, I am telling you now, because I’m afraid that it might be too late one day if I don’t: This was the most fun I’ve ever had. You’re next to me in my life. You’re the best person in the world, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Please remember me, even when I’m not there anymore one day to pick on you, and laugh at you, and call you names. You said I made you feel special. Well, you are special. And I would spend centuries with you if I could. I fear that the universe would rip in half if we went further apart than this, but I don’t think we have a choice. It’s not fair, but none of it ever was. Whatever the future holds, though, I don’t want you to change. I want you to always be you. Let’s make it the best life we can. Love, Arthur.