Her trembling hands gave her away. As she ties my arm with the tourniquet, I saw her eyes were sufficiently damp, assumedly regarding my future (or lack thereof). My hand reaches out to her out of instinct, but out of instinct, she takes a step back. The thin second skin of her blue latex gloves allowed her some comfort to touch my flesh, but, just like the AIDS scare you read about in all those history books, we weren’t sure how people got infected.
Some people refer to potential as a hope for future, some hope for a guidance counselor berating a heavily-eyelinered teen about wasting it. The Potential was not something you get yelled at for not having.
She steps forward again and takes her capped syringe from her pocket. A quick smile and soggy glance into her eyes told me that she was about to stick the needle in. I look away as I hear the small pop of the cap.
A painful pinching sensation runs up and down my right arm. It feels like a short eternity before the pain stops.
“Done,” she says in a voice that sounds like she has a bad head cold. “It’ll take four hours to react to the air, but that’s just a small price to pay for knowing for sure.”
The truly convenient thing about The Potential–oxidizes and turns a different color. All the old diseases required you to spin the blood in a centrifuge and add fancy chemicals, maybe take a DNA sample. I wish, though, there was something we could do for four hours as we watch, almost as if its a timelapse movie, for it to turn mold colored.
“And now, we wait.” She doesn’t meet my eyes as I can tell she already expects the worst.
“And now…we wait,” I repeat.