Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  143 / 156 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 143 / 156 Next Page
Page Background


‘He works with fish… No not a marine biologist, a geneticist actually.

He looks at fish, and their muscular structure is very similar to our

own, I think. Yeah, um, and so he experiments on fish to study their

genetic abilities. Oh, I forgot to say, these particular fish have

regenerative capabilities, that’s the point of course, and so he studies

them and then passes on his findings to doctors who see if that will

helpwith any of their patients, whohave stuff likemuscular dystrophy.

But at the moment, I think he’s researching stem cells…’

I lose both their interest and their patience. They make an

attempt at politeness before whisking away. I am left standing alone

at the fringe of the party. I go tomy husband; he is with his colleagues.

They are laughing and discussing genetics in their faded grey

turtlenecks. The women wear the same dull colours. I wear shocking

yellow and dangly earrings; I feel ostracised in my own home.

‘Fifty, David!’ smirks a middle aged man. ‘So old! I definitely see

some grey hairs in there!’

Scientists have no concept of when they are being rude or not,

including my husband. I am fifty-one, and am greyer than David.

‘At least I’m not bald, Sergio,’ my husband returns slyly. More

inelegant laughter.

‘Nonsense!’ Nadia intervenes. ‘David looks far younger than most

of us here! In fact, I fear he might’ve defied Darwin and has stopped

evolving altogether!’ They become more raucous.

David stands up a little straighter, his grin a little wider at that

comment. Nadia is the head of the Institute, and an American

beauty. She gave David his position as the Deputy Head. He gives

her a look bordering on adoration.

I smile while my brain glosses over scientific terms.

My mother-in-law congratulates me on the party. She wants to

leave early. My sister-in-law, Karen, gives me a sympathetic look as

she drags her children away from my daughters.

In the piano’s reflection, I seemy smile slowly transform to a grimace.

My daughter, Charlotte, comes down from unplugging the fairy

lights with a small package.

‘For you, Dad,’ she says, yawning. Sorry, I forgot.’

It is a tiny, silver-framed photo of a black and white Darwin. My

husband beams and hugs her, staring at the little faded picture as he

had stared at Nadia.

The Theory Of


Sophia Currie