Jamie wants to ask a boy to the dance. Mom isn't keen on her dating outside her species.
Contest: Journey Through the Genres 11/2020
Word count: 1,283/2000
"Mom, I'm home!"
The words rang through the house as the front door clicked shut. Nancy heard her daughter’s shoes hit the hardwood floor of the foyer, and then the kitchen door flew open.
"Hey Jamie, how was your day?" Nancy asked absent-mindedly as she finished preparing her gourmet cup of coffee she had made in her new Keurig machine.
"Great," Jamie said and put her book bag on the kitchen table. "I have some homework to do, but it shouldn't take me long."
Her mother turned to her and smiled, "So we have homework, but today was still great? It sounds to me like someone might have been asked to the big dance."
Jamie beamed, "Well, not exactly, but I know who I'm going to ask. And I'm pretty sure he's going to say yes."
"A girl asking a boy to the dance. How progressive," she said and sipped her coffee. She sat down at the table and patted the seat next to her. "So, tell me about this boy."
Jamie sat down and looked into the grain of the table, blushing profusely.
"Well, he's on the football team. He's really fast! And he's in my Honors Algebra class, so he's pretty smart. He's really nice, too. He keeps extra pencils in his bag in case someone forgets one on a test day. He doesn't even ask for them back! He's so great!"
Nancy thought for a moment and asked, "Have I met this boy?"
"Yeah, Mom," Jamie replied. "It's Kellen."
Nancy almost choked on her swig of coffee.
"Kellen? You're thinking about asking Kellen? The humanzee?"
Jamie rolled her eyes. "Yes, Mom. He's a hybrid - not like it matters, though. And don't use that word. It's not politically correct, and they don't like it. They're technically pan sapiens."
Nancy nodded in understanding. "Alright. And this is the only boy you're interested in asking?"
Jamie sighed and folded her arms. "What's the big deal, Mom? He's just a normal guy."
"Jamie, do you know about the history of their people? How they were designed and bred as an experiment to help the Russians take over the world? They aren't natural! He's not even the same species as you!"
"Yes, Mom," Jamie replied, "but he didn't try to take over the world! He can't help where his people came from! This sounds just like the 1900's, when people didn't want African Americans to go to the same schools and use the same water fountains and stuff! They're just people!"
Nancy shook her finger at Jamie. "It is not the same at all! African Americans are the same species--"
"And still got treated like second-rate citizens for years and years after they weren't slaves anymore! It's wrong, Mom! And it's wrong to treat hybrids any differently than us too. They're just people trying to live their lives!'
Nancy opened her mouth to say something, but before she could, Jamie scooped up her book back and fled from the kitchen. She sighed as she heard Jamie's footsteps pounding up the stairs and into her room. The coffee mugs in the cabinet rattled as she slammed her bedroom door.
Nancy sat at the table and contemplated Jamie's words while she waited for her husband to come home. She took her time finishing her coffee and contemplating the horrible things Jamie had said to her and briefly debated over the idea of making that meatloaf she had been planning or ordering in. Something about the way the way her conversation had gone with Jamie was exhausting. She pulled out her cell phone and ordered pizza through an app. Just as she was finishing, she heard the front door open and close again.
"Honey, I'm home!"
Nancy rolled her eyes and put her phone down. She exited the kitchen and met her husband at the door.
"I'm glad you think you're funny," she joked.
"I am funny," he replied. "I just have a very sophisticated style of humor."
He put his briefcase down and kissed her. "What's for dinner?"
"Pizza," she sighed. "It's been a tiring day. I'll make meatloaf tomorrow."
He looked at her sideways. "Tiring? What's tiring? Is that lady at work stealing your good pens again?"
"No," she sighed again. "It's our daughter."
"What's wrong with Jamie?"
Nancy led him into the kitchen and sat down at the table. He sat across from her.
"Ben, do you think I'm a racist?"
He looked at her incredulously and took her hands in his. "Where is this coming from? No, you're not a racist."
"Well Jamie wants to ask a boy to the big dance. It's Kellen."
"Kellen the running-back? Yeah, he's a good boy. His parents are very involved with the school. He has like three private tutors."
"Well...I asked her if there were any other boys she wanted to ask out, and she became upset. How do you feel about our daughter dating a humanz--a hybrid?"
Ben's gaze faltered. "Uh, well, that word you almost used is kind of derogatory, so I would steer clear of that. But there's nothing wrong with her dating a hybrid. He's probably more human than chimp, anyway. That was generations ago. He looks almost entirely human, and he doesn't do anything weird. What's the big deal?"
"You aren't worried about them eventually getting married and having little babies that look like chimps?"
He paused. "I understand where you're coming from, but I think Jamie's right. You're being a little insensitive about this. You're also panicking about stuff that might never happen. If it does, it would be years and years down the road. Plus, babies look like babies. Hybrid babies still look just like babies have always looked."
Nancy brought her hands to her face. "Oh my god! She's right! I'm a racist!"
"Now, Nancy, things were different when we were growing up. Things are changing. They're just people now, not remnants of the experiments or soldiers. They're just people."
She nodded. "You're right. I'm going to go apologize to her and tell her to ask this boy out. We'll meet his parents and do everything right because...he's just a boy, like any other boy."
Ben nodded. "Great. Make sure you put whatever times and dates you need into my calendar. I can barely keep my days straight with how busy work has been."
Nancy rounded the table and kissed Ben on her way to the kitchen door. He pulled her into his lap and cuddled her. A few moments later, they heard footsteps coming down the stairs.
"Oh, good. There she is," she said. "I'll go tell her. Plus, I'm sure she'll be excited about pizza for dinner. It should be here soon."
Ben nodded and patter her leg as she stood up. "Go get her."
Nancy exited the kitchen and went out the into foyer. Her eyes widened as she gazed upon Jamie holding the door open for Kellen in his letterman jacket.
"Hi, Mrs. Jamie's mom!" he said jokingly and waved.
Nancy smiled and waved back at him weakly. "Hello there, Kellen."
Jamie turned to her. "We're going skating and then to the movies. I won't be home for dinner. Kellen's parents are driving us, and they're going to stay for the movie too."
Nancy tried to find the right words for the moment but couldn't decide which ones to use.
"Great," Ben interjected. "Have her back by ten!"
Kellen nodded to him. "Yes, sir!"
Jamie was all smiles as she slipped on her shoes, picked up her roller blades, and left with him.
Nancy turned to Ben, unsure of what to say.
"Oh well," he said jokingly. "More pizza for us, right?"