Of Cilia and Arranged Marriages

On Thursday Becca was absent in lab. Sassy was there, still shooting venomous looks at Jameson. He tried his best to ignore her, positioning his stool so that his back faced her.

That day, Dr. Olson had the students looking at slides of different types of protozoa and labeling them. Prandi eagerly went to the front of the class where the professor was handing out slides. Jameson stayed behind setting up the microscope.

He kept getting the urge to look at Becca’s table even though he knew she was absent and that looking would only gain him another death-ray glare from The Beast, as Jameson privately dubbed Sassy. He had been looking forward to seeing Becca, and possibly speaking with her to make sure that their date was still on for tomorrow night.

Prandi came back triumphantly bearing a handful of slides. “OK, let’s start with the first one,” she said, sliding it under the lens.

Jameson looked at it for a brief second and then said, “Gross, it’s furry looking.”

Prandi sighed and pushed him out of the way.

“Let me see,” she said impatiently. After a long while, during which she hmmmed and ahhhed several times, she looked up again and said, “It’s obvious it’s a unicellular ciliate protozoa. The ‘fur’ you saw was cilia, which is hair-like -“

“Spare me the lecture, Prandi. I already got it from Dr. Olson.”

“Well, apparently it didn’t sink in,” she snapped in an uncharacteristically sharp tone. Jameson watched in horror as she suddenly burst into tears. He was starting to think there were no sane girls left in the world. Except maybe Becca.

“Why do I have to marry him? He’s an old fat kutha, I don’t care if he’s rich. It’s not fair, it’s not fair!” She wailed. Jameson just sat there feeling awkward.

He patted her tentatively. “There, there. I’m sure your parents won’t force you to marry the guy. Just tell your dad to speak with him if you don’t want anything to do with him.”

Prandi looked up again, her owl eyes bright with tears. “Who do you think arranged the marriage?”

The End

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