Prelude: In Preparation of Future Failures
“So as you see, Madame President, this program is essential to increase not only humanities knowledge of possible life outside of our own planet, but our knowledge of the Universe as a whole.” Quentin smiled at his perfect delivery. Remembering everything the public speech coach video had taught him, he stuck out his chest and kept his arms relaxed and to his side. Several moments of silence passed before he just couldn’t take it any longer. “Well?”
“To be honest, babe, it was terribly bland.” His wife answered him from their bed.
Quentin Archer stared at himself in the mirror and sighed. “Well, what do you expect, Rose. It’s not a dissertation on energy yield of fusion weaponry or a slideshow about why we need to stop the releasing of celebrity nudes online. Maybe I could pique their interest by suggesting ways we can use science to finally stop ISIS.”
“Look, babe, I’m just saying there’s a lot of technical jargon they’re not going to understand.” Rose got up from the bed and sweetly approached her husband, touching his arm and laying her head on the back of his shoulder. “It’s like watching a PBS documentary in person with no commercials.”
“Well there’s not a lot to understand. It’s simple. Looking for planets with high levels of oxygen would give us the proof we need of extraterrestrial life. We need money to run the program. Give us money so that we can find life out there.” He replied with exasperation.
“I know, honey. I know. Look, I know how much this means to you. You’ve been spending your entire life on this. But you have to realize these are American politicians. They’re more concerned with immediate threats to national security and immediate threats to their next re-election campaign.” His wife said as she wrapped her arms around his waist. “I’m don’t get me wrong. The language was beautiful. I just didn’t understand any of it.”
“And you would know exactly what they would understand, wouldn’t you.” He replied back with a joshing laugh.
“Hey, I just work with them. I’m not a politician.” Rose teased back.
“No. You’re my beautiful wife.” He said as he admired her.
“Please, I stopped being beautiful 30 years ago. I got old, Q.”
“I am the scientist here, so let me make a scientific analysis of the state of your beauty. You can contribute. Thirty years ago, when we married, you were a size 5. What are you now, my dear?”
She smiled, knowing what he was getting at. “A size four, my love.”
“Ah, so you have dropped weight obviously. You were one hundred and twenty five pounds the day after our honeymoon ended. What are you now?”
Rose took her coy look. “Doctor, you know it’s impolite to ask a woman about her weight.”
“Only when she isn’t trying to brag.”
“Quite right my love. I’m an airy one hundred and seven now.” She said, biting her lower lip.
“So in addition to dropping one dress size in the last 30 years and losing twenty pounds, what else can we use to measure the extent of your beauty? The blue-ness of your eyes? The sweetness of your laugh? The softness of your touch? The general pleasing shape of your face?”
“The stretch marks on my stomach.” She shot back.
“Well, having 4 boys naturally will do that to a woman.” He took her in his arms from behind. His warm embrace always comforted her when her insecurities started in, and she laid her head backwards on his chest. “I think of it as a finger to the face of nature. ‘Take that, you wild bitch. Four kids later and I’m still the hottest chick on the planet.’”
They both shared a laugh. Her warm body twisting in his arms, she turned to face him and wrapped her arms around her head. “As long as I’m the hottest chick in your world, Doctor Baby, that’s all I care about.” They rested on each other’s foreheads momentarily, before engaging in what can only be called the kiss of a couple who have loved each other longer than most of us has been alive.
The kiss seemed to last an eternity, and Quentin didn’t want it to end. Every moment with his wife was the best moment of his life. No matter what was going on at work or in the world, her arms would sweep them all away, her kiss cure all wounds. Her slightest touch could give him the hope and inspiration he needed. And her cooking was out of this world. All in all, Rose Westhoven had been the perfect choice for a bride. Which is why he trusted her council more than anything.
After they broke the kiss, he let the moment linger before speaking. “You think I should make it more interesting, don’t you.”
“Please, Q. For their sakes. I was falling asleep on the bed over there. Just tell them that it is in America’s best interests to keep our eyes to the skies not only to look for scientific discovery, but to watch for possible future threats as well.”
“You know you’re the nastiest politician of them all?” He cooed at her, playfully biting her nose and pinching her butt cheek.
“Oh baby…”Rose took on her seductive voice. “Thirty years on and you still have no idea how nasty I can be.” She whispered as she leaned into his ear.
At this point, the author feels it best in the interest of discretion and taste to leave the events of the night up to the readers imagination. It would suffice to say, Rose did an amazing job of distracting her husband from the work he should have been doing.