|Born: November 6, 2073
Author: Titus Villanueva PM
Set in a future where fragments of your child's life could be predicted before they were born, it tells the story of a young poor couple about to have their first child.Rated: Fiction T - English - Parody/Sci-Fi - Words: 2,509 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 02-07-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3099007
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Born: November 6, 2073
By Titus Villanueva
Arthur ran across the hall the building he was working in; the shovel still in his hand. His footsteps began to sound faster and faster as they got closer to the foreman. There was a look of utter joy on his face as he uttered the words:
"My wife's water broke! I need to get to the hospital…"
The foreman simply nodded and Arthur was off once again. He didn't care that he wouldn't get his pay for collecting scrap for the day. The only thing on his mind was Sofia and the baby. He hailed a cab and told the driver to drive as fast as he could to the district's public hospital.
"Is someone dying?" tactlessly asked the driver.
"No! The opposite and I'm not missing it for the world!" answered Arthur between quick breaths.
"Congratulations! Tell him or her I said happy birthday!"
"Christ! I don't even know what day it is. I've forgotten my own child's birthday!"
"It happens, buddy. Right now it's 6:00 pm on November 15, 2073. Tell the kid I said happy birth
"Will do... What the hell?"
To Arthur's horror, before him was a long sea of traffic with only half a mile to go from the hospital. His instincts took over as he paid the driver and ran out and past the traffic like he was running from the devil himself.
The hospital doors opened as he walked in haggard and sweating. He was at reception before they could even react.
"I'm looking for my wife, Sofia Morgan… I'm.."
The lady at the reception counter just looked into her computer as if she was used to this sort of thing and said before he could finish:
"She's at the maternity ward room 066."
"Thank you." said Arthur milliseconds before he was off again.
He reached the room only to be stopped by one of the nurses.
"I'm sorry, nobody else is allowed in here."
"But I'm the father!"
"Even so, we don't want to complicate the procedure. There is a waiting room right down the hall."
It took Arthur awhile to realize there was nothing to do. He just sat there at the waiting room thinking about Sofia and how they met. They were childhood friends who grew up together. They grew up in a very poor community wishing for the stars as they grew, but no matter what happened, they never seemed to achieve what they wanted. Their only wish that came true was their marriage.
They tried studying, but public school education wasn't what it once was. After being rejected from every scholarship he applied for, he had no choice but to get a job. That didn't stop Arthur from writing, and Sofia from drawing. The two of them were brilliant as artists. They could draw their friends into worlds beyond their own imaginations. Despite all that, it really didn't get them anywhere.
There was another man in the waiting room Arthur didn't notice at first until he called out:
"Hey, buddy. You look like you're going to be a father too. How are you holding up?"
"I'm already a father. This is my third child." said Arthur straight-faced.
"Well, it's my first. I'm nervous as hell… You know, before fathers were allowed inside the delivery room. That was before medical procedures got more and more complicated. I'm scared, mate."
"It's the same no matter which time it is… The scariest thing is…"
"Wondering if you'll be able to support the child?"
"Yeah… It's been tough."
"I'm worried about that myself. What work are you in?"
"I don't have a permanent job. I write I guess…"
"You mean for the newspaper?"
"No… uhm… fiction." said Arthur almost embarrassed.
"Cheer up, mate. A lot of good fiction writers I hear make it."
"Not today, they don't. People just won't pay for your work. The only people who come to see it are your friends and relatives. Nobody really publishes them."
"You could try."
"I have… You need a real publisher. Did you know that before, you could walk into a publishing house and they'd take you seriously? It's not like that anymore."
"Yeah I've heard. Back then, everyone almost went to the same schools, ate in the same restaurants and even followed the same law."
"That gap just keeps getting bigger and bigger doesn't it?"
"Aye… I heard thousands of years ago all humans rich and poor lived in caves. They all had the same troubles and same lives. Eventually somewhere along the road the rich lived in mansions and the poor in hovels. The gap just got bigger and bigger to the point that most rich men have never seen a poor man in their lives."
"Hey! It's not all that hopeless. I hear some people not very well off get educated well. It's the only way to make it in society. No high paying jobs take you unless you've gone through the whole education process, but some people do it. They get lucky eventually."
"Some people… I just hope the same for my kids. My wife and I could never get through school. It just didn't work for us."
Arthur remembered the day he married Sofia. They promised each other to bring their children up so that they could have brighter futures. They were starved as children and only wanted theirs not to go through the same thing. It was the worst part of his life… Even now he was suffering.
"I hope they grow up educated." said Arthur.
"Well, are they right brained or left brained?"
Before Arthur was born, the idea of left and right brained people had been somewhat of a psychological superstition that children were either left brained and dominant to logical thinking or right brained in which they were more creative. They eventually proved that the entire concept was indeed reliable, but back then, only a personality test could prove a child's inclination to logic or creativity.
"They're left brained. I have high hopes for them."
"Have they taken any tests? Maybe they're inclined towards other things."
"They both came out left brain dominant in the cranial scan, My eldest, Tony is really into math. He just loves it. They just got him a scholarship for a science education, and after that it's smooth sailing for him since most of the kids there get into university. We won't have to support him anymore eventually. Cindy, my youngest is only 5 years old, but she's very smart."
"Well, I'm happy for you mate. I hope I can say the same for my kid."
The nurse came out and called the other man and Arthur was alone again. He wanted his children to become educated. Maybe one of them would even make medical or law school and make it big somewhere. Education was everything for his children. He wouldn't have it any other way. He never even knew what it was like to have money or what a rich person even looked like, but he knew it was better than where he was now in that shanty house of scrap metal.
He found himself pacing the hall. He could no longer sit. His wife had been in there for hours and he had no idea what was going on. Childbirth was supposed to be painful and yet he heard no cries in that narrow hallway.
"It must be that new procedure" thought he.
A doctor caught his eye in the hall.
"Your wife will see you now."
Arthur rushed right into the room to find his wife smiling right at him. The last time he saw that expression on her face was when they were married. They were both very tired, but the energy emanating from them was more than it ever had. Sofia was particularly beautiful, her messy black hair running down her shoulders, her pale smooth skin flushed in delight and her deep blue eyes thanking him for what he had given her on their second honeymoon.
There slept their daughter on her arms. She had her mother's eyes, but her father's nose. She was like them in every way. To them, she was the most beautiful baby girl they had ever laid eyes on. He saw in that face someone he'd love for the rest of her life and something he would give his own life to protect. Their son would love her as well as would the rest of the family.
"I love you, Arthur."
He didn't even answer her. He just wrapped his arms around her and she felt every bit of his happiness. Never had she felt so loved by in a long time.
The doctor took the baby away to be checked for any complications leaving the couple alone.
"Well, you know the rule." said Arthur "If it's a girl, you get to name her."
"Maria… That name's been on my mind all day."
"That's perfect… She'll be perfect"
They stayed there in each other's arms for a span of time that seemed like seconds, but in reality was much longer. They fell asleep for a while until Sofia was fully rested until they were woken by the door.
The doctor walked right through with a grim look on his face.
"Mr. and Mrs. Morgan?" he called.
They stood up noticing the expression on the doctor's face.
"Is there a problem, doctor?" asked Sofia.
"Come with me please"
The doctor could hardly smile. The expression on his face was a sad frown trying not to show itself; trying to be professional. He couldn't hold it in. He didn't know how to break it to them. He took them into his office and handed them a brown folder with the baby's documents inside.
"Your daughter is perfectly healthy… It's just…"
The doctor explained everything. Right then and there, Sofia's smile began to evolve into the embodiment of devastation. Her eyes began to swell as tears leaked relentlessly. She was hysterical screaming inaudibly. Only the phrases "No" and "Run the test again" stuck out in her speech. The rest were wails and cries. Her husband was just as devastated, trying his best to keep her calm, but inside himself, he wanted to cry as well, but he had to be strong for his wife. He had to be there for her. Questions began to formulate in his head. How could this happen to her? How could Maria ever deserve to be born the way she was? How could God let this happen to their family?
On the document that stated Maria's test results after her cranial scan. She had just been run through the machine that tested her DNA and brain patters to define how she would grow up given her genetic makeup.
Name: Maria Felicia Morgan
Blood type: O
Gender: Heterosexual Female
Hair color: Black
Personality Type: Choleric
The last line of the test was what troubled them. Two boxes were next to the category. One box would have been marked to indicate their son, Tony's status, but for Maria, the second box was marked.
Intellectual inclination: Right brain dominant
Sofia began to speak; tears still flowing from her eyes.
"It can be changed can't it? She doesn't have to live this way…"
"It is not unheard of, but this is how her brain will function. Your daughter is right brain dominant. You just have to accep…"
"How can I accept this? How can I accept that my daughter will never learn the skills she needs to make it through education!?"
"That's not how it works. It's not completely hopeless. Your child can still learn and make it through school. It's not a necessity to be left brain dominant."
"And if she does make it, what then!? She'll never make it anywhere. She'll pass but she'll never stick out enough to get that she needs. She'll… she'll…"
"There have been cases of right brain dominant children getting academic scholarships and succeeding. Thousands of great people in history have been right brain dominant."
"Don't give me that… Do you know how people will look at us? We have a right brained child."
To have a right brain dominant child was something of a sad thing in their poor community. People who were inclined to the arts hardly made it despite the beauty of their thoughts. A family that had to raise one was looked on with pity.
"Do you know what happens to artists nowadays?" asked Sofia "There's an entire community of them near hours. They starve and live off scraps they can get. Many of them freeze to death in the winter. The only good their works have done them is fuel for their camp fires."
"She doesn't have to live that way." said the doctor in vain.
"Then she'll just live with us, but what good is that if she has no future? What have we ever done to deserve this? She hasn't done a thing wrong and she's already condemned to a life of poverty."
The rest of the conversation was Sofia cursing the world for their trouble. Maria would most likely become involved in music or art. Most people of her kind would never make it if they did. To them, the future was simply bleak.
The Morgans eventually were handed their daughter wrapped in sheets. Their bundle of joy had become something different. No words were spoken in the cab during the drive home. Each of them knew exactly what the other was thinking. The silence was broken by Sofia.
"Do you think we should bring her to…"
"I was thinking of that…"
"It's for the best. It's what's best for her… and for us."
The cab changed course. There could only be one solution for little Maria's fate. Her parents couldn't have her grow up to become poor and underachieved. They knew that there was an avenue for children like Maria to fulfil her purpose.
The car stopped by a one story building. The sign on top read: The Jonathan Swift Institute of Child Processing. The couple walked in with their baby holding each other's hands. They kept telling each other that it had to be done.
They arrived home after. It was a one story shanty house made of scrap metal with one room that served every purpose. Their mattresses are lined up for bed on the floor. Tony was studying his lessons and Cindy was just waiting for them at the door. The two of them greeted their children and explained to them that their little sister wouldn't be coming home today. They went about their daily business as a family while Sofia prepared their meal for the day.
Never in their lives had they experienced such a hearty family meal. By the end of it, there were still left overs for the next day, and the meat was the best they've had. After all, it was the only way baby Maria could feed her family.