An older couple entered the lobby. I sat back in my seat from behind the counter, watching them walk forward with the kind of “We’re too old to give a shit about anything” air. A teenage boy shuffled in behind them, making no effort to hide his awe of the facility. His wandering gaze eventually spotted me and he beamed. One side of my lips quirked in response before my eyes returned to my book. Firm footsteps reached my ears and I glanced back up to see Dr. Levi catch up to the couple with an outstretched hand.
“Hello,” Dr. Levi said, and introduced himself. “This must be young Edward. How are you today, young man?”
“Fine.” Edward’s tone was light, confident, but curt. His hands were stuffed in his pockets and his torso was angled back toward the exit.
“Good to hear.” The doctor smiled at the teenager before returning his attention to the older couple. “Thank you for coming here today. I’m sure you’re curious as to why we are interested in your grandson.”
“You said it had to do with his music,” the grandfather said. “Is it all the rock and rap crap that he listens to nowadays? See, Edith, I told you that stuff would rot his brain.”
“It’s a freedom of expression, Hank,” the grandma retorted. Her raspy voice cracked when she had tried to speak louder. “As long as he’s not smoking, drinking, or going out and selling his body–”
“Nana!” Edward, with his face burning, reached over and settled a hand on his grandmother’s shoulder. To me, it looked as if he wanted to reach further and cover up her mouth.
Dr. Levi cleared his throat. “Well, that’s not exactly why we contacted you… Have you folks ever heard of mutants?”
“What, is that a new drug?” Hank asked.
“No, not at all,” the doctor said. “See, when a species evolves–”
“Evolution is blasphemy,” Edith interrupted, her lips pursing, and I thought she would spit on Dr. Levi’s shoes for even uttering the word. Edward’s head dropped into his hands as she ranted. “If you were a God-fearing Christian, you would know that. When was the last time you stepped foot in a church?”
Dr. Levi took a step back and realized that the other doctors had disappeared, none willing to help him with the crotchety old couple.
“Last Sunday,” I said. Hank jumped at the sound of my voice and I waved when he looked my way. I continued on. “God created us, yes, but he had to give us the ability to adapt to this growing world, right? I mean, He promised He wouldn’t destroy this world again, so we need some help to keep up with the changes.”
“Girlie, you’re saying that evolution is an act of God?” Edith asked.
I shrugged. “It must be,” I said. “I’m proof of that. And so is your grandson.”