Chapter: One Way Street (continued)

Dee was trying to be a good friend to Laura, but she was still thinking about her phone call with Dana from earlier. Her mind was in several places at once. She had just put in a full night’s work and was off to the lab to work on her PhD research. Yeah, she wanted to be that kind of doctor. She found she didn’t have the patience for hospital politics or hierarchy. Not to say research didn’t have it’s own brand of that, but she found herself in a specific kind of lab. Parasitology was her passion, ever since she saw Sigourney Weaver in Alien, she was fixated.

The so called mandolin parasite was her main topic. It was a little known species that appeared to be “highly intelligent”. It took Dee a while to wrap her brain around how a parasite could be considered “Intelligent” . . .but then she thought of people. As a species, people are considered intelligent, but individually, that can vary greatly. To other lifeforms, we may not appear to be intelligent. Dee was determined to prove this creature to be worthy of the same label.

Dee later went home to see her partner Ken. He had arrived home earlier from work and was making dinner.

“Mmm . . .smells great” Dee noted with a relieved smile. She felt comforted by Ken’s relaxed nature after her stressful day. They often took turns making dinner depending on their schedules.

“What’s going on?” Ken replied, possibly referring to her early start to see Laura.

“Not much new. Laura tends to fall too hard.”

“Maybe she expects too much from people”

“No, that’s definitely not it.” Dee got defensive of her friend, knowing she actually expected things to go wrong all the time, because they often did for her. It would have been nice if something changed.

“Well, this is almost ready.”

“What are you listening to?”

“It’s just a podcast about some of the restrictions going on”

That’s all Dee needed to hear to start releasing all her thoughts on the topic. Ken was used to this and welcomed the conversation. He liked talking passionately about politics as well as fun silly banter. As long as there was a balance.

“You know what? If it wasn’t women’s bodies dying because people cared more about fetuses, they would change their minds.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, let’s say the fetus was in trouble of being a stillbirth. What if the only medicine was to kill the father and use his stem cells as the cure. So to save the fetus, doctors had to “let the father die” . . .the same they do to women. I bet they would find that to be murder, which it is. So why are doctors allowed to murder women to save a fetus?!” Dee was visibly upset. Her mother had died in childbirth with her brother when she was 10 for the same reason. Her mom didn’t even want another kid, but there was no choice. “Barbaric assholes”. Dee finished.

“Come here”. Ken held Dee close and gave her a long hug. “They are assholes. But you’re going to change the world with your research. I’m trying to do the same through journalism.” Ken was determined to hold onto his career though people seemed not to care about the news anymore. He used to consider Dee’s career was the future and his was a dying breed. Now he thought, science may also be on the way out. People don’t seem to care about that either.

“Maybe we should start a podcast”. Ken said quietly. Dee laughed.

“I may already be starting one with Laura. She joked that we should act like Stepford Wives who want husbands and have to speak a certain way and only have one emotion.”

“What emotion is that?” Ken smiled, excited to hear the answer.

Dee did her best fake woman impression (because no real woman sounds like this on purpose, though men think they do) . . . .

“Hiiie. I don’t have any real thoughts or anger about that. My only opinion is that you’re hilarioussssss”

This made Ken laugh out loud. “What would you call it?”

“Pod People” Dee winked.

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