Waiting Room

Random Words: honest, Venus, achievement, daughter, thread, extent, automatic, officer, urine, unfortunate.

The officer took my urine sample, handling it with the faint disgust usually associated with such a distasteful task.  I had been careful not to  get any drips on the outside.  Technically the cup was clean, but there’s no getting around the innate revulsion reserved for such things as body excretions.  I looked around the room while I waited.  The empty chairs echoed the endless waiting of countless other unfortunate hopefuls before me.  I don’t know how I knew, but I just knew.  It was going to be me.  I would be picked.  My daughter was at home waiting for me to let her know the second I found out. Would she be happy for me?  This was a huge achievement for me, for us.  It was just me and her now.  And if, I mean when I get notified that I’m the one, it means she will be left all alone.  She’s almost 17, almost an adult.  Will she be ok without me?  Have I done enough to raise her well?  Does she have the tools and skills to survive without me?  To flourish even?  Am I deserting her?  Am I failing her by leaving her?  My misgivings are temporarily shoved to the background as I hear the door open.  The officer returns and motions for me to follow him.  There is no indication in his body language at all as to the outcome of my final test.  I put my automatic smile on and follow him into the hallway. A few short steps later, he leads me into a small room with no windows.  The fluorescent light is blinking erratically.  I look up and he shrugs apologetically.  There’s just a small conference table, two chairs, and the concrete walls.  I sit down to wait again.  The door closes with a click and time starts to pass slowly.  This room doesn’t seem celebratory in any way.  There’s no wood paneling, no beautifully polished furniture.  It’s definitely not fit for a ceremony.  Could I have been wrong?  Was I not selected?  Is this the “Sorry, but you’re not the one” room?  I start to feel anxious energy seep into my being.  My foot starts tapping the leg of the chair.  I stand up to pace and relieve some of the tension I can feel increasing with every moment.  My daughter will be so disappointed.  At least I won’t have to leave her.  The thread of my thoughts turns blacker and blacker as I give in to resignation.  I hear a sharp quick rap at the door as it swings open to reveal a new person, someone I had only ever seen on the telescreens.  She was so much more petite in person but nonetheless bristling with power.  To be honest, I was in a state of disbelief that she was right here in front of me. The extent of my shock was stretched even further when she smiled and said, “Welcome to Project Venus!”

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