Red and Blue

Red and Blue

A Story by bailish
"

If the history of humankind had been slightly different, what would our lives be like?

"

In an alternate reality, our world evolved differently.  Instead of different races of humans that had evolved in relative isolation, there were two competing species that evolved at the same time before any humans had migrated and populated the earth.  The two races were distinguished only by their skin color.  One race had blue skin and the other had red.  Each race considered themselves to be the superior race, but because they were fairly evenly matched, there was never a clear advantage for one side over the other, and so these two races migrated in similar directions in order to ensure that the other side didn't develop an advantage.  The result was two races living in close proximity, but not intermixing at all.  If there was any interbreeding, then the offspring were instantly put to sleep, their purple color viewed as a threat by all.  They had a peaceful coexistence.

One day, there was a newlywed red couple.  The wife was pregnant, and the husband and wife went to the doctor's clinic to see a sonogram of their baby.  Both parents instantly fell in love with the images on the screen, and when the nurse told them that their baby was a girl, they immediately began the long and detailed process of naming the baby.  They bought a book of 100 baby names, and each began the process in their own way.  The husband used the process of elimination to arrive at his top 10 list, while the wife listed the names that felt right to her. 

But the process didn't end there.  Friends and relatives were invited to give their opinions of names, and so the whole community was involved in the process, including their blue friends, which is the way it should be, for a baby signified the continuation of the community, not just the family line.  It was a joyous moment of unification that both races understood, respected, and rejoiced in.

And then it was the day of the birth.  The husband and wife were in the delivery room, most of the family and many of the friends were in the waiting room, and many more had turned their cellphones on so they could be quickly notified of the blessed event.  And then the baby appeared.

It is ironic how nature has a way of altering our expectations, of toying with our feelings, of turning a blessed event into a disaster.  And this birth was, for lack of a more descriptive word, a disaster.  The baby was a healthy girl, who took her first breath and used it to cry, and on the table for all to see, she did her first poo poo and her first pee pee, the events that every obstetrician hoped for to show that all the biological processes were functioning properly, but she was a disaster, nonetheless.

As was the rule in nature, the baby's color was a neutral gray immediately after birth, and only started to fade in after a while out of the womb.  And as her color came in, as the parents and medical staff chatted and admired the above-mentioned events, the chatter and excitement over the birth instantly came to a halt.  For her skin color was not the bright red that everyone expected, the color of happiness and joy, it was a bright purple, the color of a half-breed, the miscreant birth of the satanic union of mixed races, the color of youthful rebellion and infidelity and rape. 

The husband immediately yelled accusations at his wife of being unfaithful to him, and the wife earnestly denied them, but only cried when asked how it happened.  They turned to the doctor, who was also at a loss for an explanation, for the only situations where this had happened in the past were cases where the mother refused to name the father or gave the condemnatory "I'm not sure" reply, and no one complained when the baby was quietly removed.  But this time had all the earmarks of a match made in heaven, with the waiting family and friends, and the joy on everyone's face, and so the doctor gave the only reply he could think of when faced with a question of which he had no idea what the answer was, and thus uttered, "We need some tests."

But for the casual reader who may not have been paying attention too carefully, I warn you against thinking that the most difficult part of this trial was over, for it had actually barely begun.  The mother could easily be taken away and avoid any contact with those waiting for news where she could suffer her shame alone, but the father was faced with the difficult task of confronting all the waiting smiles and giggles and somehow giving them something that would send them away and let the unhappy couple deal with this situation on their own and thus avoid a chaotic eruption of unholy euphemisms which all should refrain from using in any hospital ward where quiet is the rule, but especially in a maternity ward, known for celebrations and jubilations.

So when the father came out, everyone instantly sensed that the news wasn't good, and they braced themselves for the worst they could imagine, that the baby was deformed or ill or, heaven forbid, stillborn.  And the father at this moment wished that it was one of those other reasons that he was coming to tell them.  But he avoided the complete truth, and refrained from lying, and expertly walked the middle path that is commonly referred to as being tactful, and merely said, "The doctor has ordered some tests."

And so the father was left alone, not wanting to see his wife nor anyone else, but just with his thoughts and misery, searching for an external cause to blame.  The wife, on the other hand, cried in her private room for her husband's companionship and support, but also blamed herself for the problems, for, after all, it had come out of her body, so why shouldn't she have known first?

But now the responsibility of sorting out this situation rested with the doctor and the myriad of tests which he requested.  First the baby, and then the mother, and then the father were each examined and tested thoroughly, but the result was disappointing in all three cases, for there was nothing found to be abnormal with any of them which would help explain this outcome.  The doctor was not ready to surrender, however.  He consulted with his colleagues, read journals, and ordered a plethora of new tests, many of which were experimental and thus very expensive.  So many tests were ordered that the hospital administrator decided to become involved, but when informed of the situation, he kindly stepped back and made space for the doctor to execute his craft.  Everyone was interested in determining an external cause of this to avoid a scandal.

Well, lo and behold, the answer came from a lowly graduate student as he was performing an experimental procedure whereby the DNA of the father, mother, and baby were lined up to see where abnormalities had developed.  This procedure showed that the baby's DNA was perfectly replicated from both parents with only one miniscule sequence altered, a normal function in the human body.  The altered sequence just happened to control the color of the baby's skin, and the alteration, just by a rare coincidence, so rare that there were no other known cases of it happening since the beginning of recorded history, resulted in the exact same change as would have been found were the parents of differing race.

The results were checked and rechecked by the graduate student, then checked and rechecked by his supervisor, and then performed again when the doctor ordered the test to be redone to make sure.  Finally, the doctor happily passed the information back to the parents.  But the parents were not comforted by this news, for what they wanted was not to know why it had happened, but rather how it could be fixed.  The doctor assured them that this was not a medical problem, for the baby now had a clean bill of health, and sent them on their way.  All the staff, including the hospital administrator, congratulated the doctor on his landmark evaluation, and the experimental test received high reviews in all the journals.

But now the parents, with no one else to blame, had to look within themselves to find the solution to the problem.  The father considered leaving his wife, changing his job, moving to a new city, and going back to school to learn a new trade.  The mother, on the other hand, considered altering the color of the baby's bedroom and wardrobe to reduce the effect of the sharp color difference.  In the end, the mother won.

© 2008 bailish


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All I can say is wow... this story makes you think about the way we judge people. (What I mean specifcally is when the baby is born and the father and even the reader believes that the wife has been unfaithful when in reality she wasn't.)

You've made me think about my own judgements of people and you've left me astounded by the relazation that we can all be inadvertantly predjudice whether we have malice behind it or not.

Great job! I hope to see more of your work, because I'm impressed everytime I read something you've written.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

All I can say is wow... this story makes you think about the way we judge people. (What I mean specifcally is when the baby is born and the father and even the reader believes that the wife has been unfaithful when in reality she wasn't.)

You've made me think about my own judgements of people and you've left me astounded by the relazation that we can all be inadvertantly predjudice whether we have malice behind it or not.

Great job! I hope to see more of your work, because I'm impressed everytime I read something you've written.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on July 30, 2008

Author

bailish
bailish

You've seen one polluted city, you've seen them all., Thailand



About
I want to be a writer, just like you. My goal is to write 10 pages a day. I often fall short, but I just try harder the next day. more..

Writing
Let's play! Let's play!

A Poem by bailish