“I don’t think this is a very good idea,” Melanie warned standing as wide as possible to block the hallway.
“Get out of the way,” Dr Edwards ordered and tried to push around his assistant but she kept fighting and backtracking to keep him from getting around.
“Just because you can do this now doesn’t mean its right. Can’t you wait until we make more progress? Don’t you think he would want us to be able to do more for him than this.”
“This isn’t a once off thing Melanie. We’ll be able to bring him back again and again as we get better at this. But right now I want to see him and you’re not going to stop me.” Dr Edwards finally pushed forcefully enough that he held Melanie aside and slipped past her.
She relented as he walked away but called after him, “How are you going to explain to him that he’s going to have to go away again so soon.”
Dr Edwards froze and his head dropped leaving the scientists in complete silence. Finally he turned his head and looked through his glasses with his eyes on the verge of tears. “I can’t tell him that and I won’t. I just need to spend as much time with him as I can.”
“Alright you won’t tell him,” Melanie said and slowly approached Dr Edwards as she continued. “But don’t expect me to take on the burden of rebuilding you back to stability after you sit there and watch him go through everything again. You remember how much it destroyed you last time don’t you? How much of a wreck you were and how much time we lost?”
“Damn you Melanie,” Dr Edwards barked suddenly causing Melanie to jump backwards as his head shot up and he poked an accusatory outstretched finger at her chest. The tears he had been holding back suddenly broke free and streaked down his cheeks. His anger subsided, his arm fell to his side, and his back, head and shoulders hunched over. “You don’t have to remind me. You know that everything I’ve done, everything I’m trying to do is for him. What if I wait until I’ve made more progress and it all turns out to be too late? What if its already too late? We aren’t going to get any answers until I can see him.”
Melanie stepped forward and laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “It’s not ever going to be too late and you know that. All of the progress we have made with all of the other subjects has been flawless. There has been no degradation over time. I’m not being heartless here I want to see him as much as you do. I want to do it when the time is right though. I don’t want to lose him again. I implore you Greg, listen to me.”
Dr Edwards lifted his head and through a teary facade smiled at Melanie. He unclenched his fist and Melanie took the glass slide with a drop of blood away from him. “You always were the smarter one sis, Dad would be proud,” he said and firmly squeezed her arm.
Melanie turned and carried the slide back towards the main freezer as her brother took off his glasses and wiped his face on the back of his sleeve. She carefully replaced the slide into its own box on the top shelf of the freezer.
“I’ll let you have the next choice,” she said as Greg came up behind her. “Don’t think about the list. You can choose anyone you want.”
Greg moved around the lab silently for a few minutes rearranging and tidying up. When he turned to face Melanie all of the pain from earlier was completely gone and he wore a massive grin from ear to ear. “I think it’s time we spend an evening with Stan Lee.”