“How did I let that happen?”, Anton pondered, as he sheepishly sat down in his studio chair, a magnificent ancient relic manufactured in an epoch filled with the most macabre executions and the discriminatory persecution of those whom society would ultimately come to venerate: scientists. The piece had been in his family’s possession for over 400 years, having been passed down to each of his ancestors since the first generation of the wealthy Heumann family. “Throughout this unparalleled journey , throughout this unique road of discovery and on the path to the perhaps most pivotal breakthrough in the scientific history of mankind, I have always proceeded with the utmost caution. Until now, of course. Fuck.”
The air was heavy with the scent of dis comfiture; a palpable aura of tension emanated from the very pores of Anton’s body, one accompanied by a long, overwrought silence that induced terrifying goosebumps in every cell of his 77-year-old anatomy. A flytrap in the corner of his office occasional ly entranced his unfocused gaze, as his dark blue eyes would unconsciously register a swooping fly landing on the glue -ish substance, only to find its grueling demise. At this very moment, a young lady in her mid twenties burst open the oak door, sporting a determined and uncompromising look of utmost reproach. Even though that demeanor was very familiar to Anton, he had never seen Eve’s young frame display that characteristic frown on her otherwise soothing, yet unwrinkled face. The resemblance to her mother had never been this obvious.
“Dad. What…the…fuck…was that?” — she exclaimed with a triumvirate mix of surprise, astonishment and disgust. “Do you have any idea how fucking furious mom would have been if she were still here? If she had found out what you were really up to? Fuckness, if she had..you know… seen it?”.
Einstein once said that everything was relative — especially the concept of time. To someone who had always worshiped one of the brightest minds in
human history, it was ironic how one of his idol’s most prolific phrasings would eventually come to aptly describe the awkwardness of those few seconds that seemed to stretch a momentary blink of the eye into a never ending event.
When their eyes finally met, Anton quickly became conscious of the judgment stamped on her widened pupils…