Yenn ultimately decided to accept the job at Future Sims Labs. Although the reasoning behind the offer remained unclear, it was too tempting to reject a job that would offer her so much mental stimulation every day.
She looked around the vastness surrounding her. It was the first time she had left Newcrest that she remembered, and yet from the only picture she had of her parents, she knew she had been born in the desert, probably not unlike this one. In a sense, it felt like coming home.
“Um, I’m Yennefer Bloomer, here for orientation,” she introduced herself nervously.
“I know who you are,” the receptionist said coldly. “You and your sister are the ones who get preferential treatment from the big boss, aren’t you?
Well don’t be fooled, Angel Peril doesn’t like anyone but herself, so she must have something she’ll want from you in return.”
All of Yenn’s new colleagues seemed similarly stand-offish, and Chell was caught up in her top secret cow plant mutation research so Yenn didn’t even see her around.
Still, it didn’t matter much to her if the people around din’t want to talk to her, in fact, she welcomed the fact that her only conversations were the ones she held with the Invention Constructor.
And even those discussions could put her on edge sometimes!
Still, when Ethan called towards the end of her work day, she felt happier to hear the sound of his voice than she’d like to admit.
He asked if she was still up for that cup of coffee, and she nervously agreed. Her heart was pounding as she approached the library café.
Ethan: “So, how is being a scientist treating you?”
Yenn: “It’s pretty amazing, actually! Just think, whatever I imagine in my mind, I have the tools to bring to life!”
Ethan: “I would be interested to see a real life demonstration of the things inside your mind! Your brain is a mystery to me!”
Yenn: “My brain is no mystery! It just works slightly quicker in certain aspects, and not at all in others! Most people work that way.
You might be a smooth talker, but I bet I’d destroy you when it comes to anything logical, artistic or athletic!”
Ethan: “Please don’t destroy me at anything athletic, I don’t know if my ego could take that! I am trying to make a living as an athlete, after all!
But we could definitely have a paint off, or play a round of chess if you feel like something more conventional!”
“Meck Chate!” Yenn gloated.
“Aww man,” Ethan laughed, “My pride has been shattered forever!”
“Told you I was going to win,” Yenn beamed.
“Yenn, I know you like honesty, so I’m going to lay the cards on the table,” Ethan said as their date came to a close. “I like you a lot, and I think this could really be something.”
“I… I feel the same way.” Yenn’s head was spinning. There were so many conflicting thoughts floating around in it. But one thought, seemed to prevail above all…
She really wanted to kiss him.
So this is what the expression butterflies in your stomach is all about, Yenn thought. Electricity. Feelings. Connection.
And then you get married. Have kids. Get old, fat and grey. Get sick of each other. Have regrets. And before you know it, your life’s over.
“Ethan…” Yenn cleared her throat. “I think I’m not cut out for this. I am attracted to you, but you and I just aren’t compatible. All those things you want… I can’t ever picture myself doing. I never want to get married, or have kids, or…”
Ethan just stood there, looking amused.
“It’s ok, Yenn.” He took her hand gently. “I know we’re different. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We can take things slow, see where it all goes. I don’t want to rush into anything, and I definitely don’t want you to die of a heart attack. Slow down. We have all the time in the world.”
Yenn wanted to listen to him, but her whole body felt frozen. She already saw herself in a coffin, with a eulogy that read a loving wife… and nothing else.
“I’m sorry Ethan, I just can’t do this.”
Suddenly she felt her legs again. Blood finally seemed to be pumping into them and she could move. She could run. Far from here.
“Yenn, wait! Yenn!”
(Author’s note: I’m not making this up… Ethan really did call Yenn and asked her out when she was at work, and towards the end of their date, they autonomously confessed attraction to one another. She got the whim to kiss him, and as soon as I obliged, she proceeded to fret over commitment. Oh Yenn…)
Greetings from Al Simhara!
My hair might be going gray, but my bones feel young! We rented out scooters and drove around the pyramids, it was fabulous! I think even your dad enjoyed it.
Although he seems to be the most taken by the old town and its secrets. He insisted on trying to charm a snake out of a basket, who knew he was such a daredevil! I dragged him away, and luckily he settled for buying a hideous vase from the market instead. I have a suspicion that thing might break during our next flight…
Congratulations on your new job Yenn! I hope Chell showed you the ropes, now that she’s a big shot Technological Innovator. I can’t believe Booker already has that post of a Team Mascot lined up for him as soon as he ages up; you have to thank your friend Ethan for putting a good word for him with his coach.
We’re so proud of you all!
Mom and Dad