"Are you sure it is what you want? You know that this procedure is not reversible and once started could not be interrupted"
"Yes ... I am sure", replied Susan with a trembling voice while looking at the floor. It was very humiliating submitting herself to that procedure, but it was worse admitting it was what she wanted.
Dr. Mark Summers was dressed in a white laboratory coat; he was maybe in his mid forties and talked in a neutral, relaxed voice, trying to hide his excitement.
"Let me insist. This procedure is not meant for the kind of job that you require, it is being developed to help people with post traumatic syndrome, on the other hand, I won't deny you that your odd request is an extraordinary research opportunity for us. We strongly believe that we can achieve what you want without any important side effect, if we could probe that to be true, it will open a new universe of possibilities for our technique, I am thinking of several military applications"
He could think of civil and even criminal applications for the procedure too, but his research was paid by the military which looked for experimental therapies to help reduce the growing cost of soldier veterans with post traumatic syndrome. He knew that could mean big money but controlled his excitement trying to show the image of a caring concerned doctor.
"But the implications would be life changing for you. We need to be sure that you realize that. I believe that using hypnosis you can get what you want but in a temporary and reversible way. Don't you want to try that first, and if you feel happy about it, you can make it permanent with our system?"
Susan hesitated, maybe it was the door that she waited for, maybe she could save herself from such great damage by making it just temporal, but then thought "No, that is not what Frank wanted. He said he wanted it to be completely real". She reunited the courage to say.
"No I wanted it permanent."
Dr. Mark smiled inwardly, but to ease his conscience, he made a last try to discourage her.
"Remember that there is also the cost issue. Due to the controversy of this use of our technique we could not get funds for this experiment, it had to be financed by yourself, and all the risks accepted by you. We require that you resign to any rights to proceed legally against us in case of any side effect or any problem derived from the ethics of the experiment".
Susan was not satisfied with the "cost issue". She already had deposited half the required amount, a big number maybe a third of her cash reserves. She felt ripped; the total amount was roughly a year of work. However, Frank had told her that if she wanted to stay with him, she must achieve that, and there is no other possibility.
Susan made up her mind and for a moment her haughty personality returned when she said "The cost is not an issue, but I will not pay you more than 80% of what you ask anyway. You should stop treating me like a child. If it is so hard for you to do it either technically or ethically, I may take my business to another place. In fact, I just talked with a German researcher who says could help me. So the ball is in your court, let's cut the non sense and just tell me if we have a deal or not".
Dr. Mark was impressed that Susan could be so assertive in this circumstance, he knew that she was, despite her age (28 years) and her even younger appearance, a very successful business woman, and she had confidently negotiated deals for amounts hundred times bigger than this one. Still he was surprised that she could deal this one just as good when she was so emotionally involved. He decided to close the deal right there. The risk of losing this chance was just too big.
"I just tried to do the right thing. You convinced me that you are committed with the procedure, and that you are perfectly fit to do this decision. I am willing to meet your monetary offer and even give you for free the other procedure that we talked about if we sign the contract right now."
Susan shuddered almost imperceptibly; she had forgotten the other change that Frank wanted. She had thought that she could get it without any procedure but had asked the doctor anyway. He had not mentioned it since that first appointment. He was surely keeping that card to use it in the right moment. That will add to her problems now, but she wanted to show Frank her commitment. She breathed deeply and then extended her hand to Mark saying "Deal", they shook hands and Mark quickly extended her a form so Susan could fill in her data.
He said "Please fill this paper while I fix the contract draft", and he left the office leaving Susan alone.
She started filling her data:
Name: Susan Lopez
Ethnic group: Latin
Academic history & awards (Complete):
· Elementary in a Los Angeles public school, best student of my class.
· Junior high at Iowa public school, best student.
· High school at Norman Institute from San Diego (on full scholarship), valedictorian.
· Business Management from Stanford University, top 5 of my class.
· Master in finances from Stanford University, awarded best research paper of my class.
Work experience (Last three positions):
· Current: B&L Associates. Director of Mergers & acquisitions (youngest director of the firm).
· B&L Associates. Team Leader (Merger & acquisitions),
· B&L Associates. Merger & acquisitions analyst.
Susan stopped writing and started remembering how all of this started.
Part 2: The long flashback
Susan was born in Los Angeles in a poor family of Colombian immigrants, illegal immigrants by the way. Her parents were uneducated people, her father worked as a janitor while her mother was a maid for some white people in the suburbs. Susan's fate was probably to get no more than a high school degree and end up working as a low clerk, or even as a maid just like her mother. From very young age Susan reveled against that fate, she admired her parents effort and all but she wanted to do better and stay as far of the Latina maid stereotype as she could. Her brilliant intelligence and strong commitment to work made her result outstanding at every academic challenge that she faced opened for her a door towards a bright future in spite of her family limitations.
A few months before she finished junior high, her parents passed away in an unfortunate car accident. An aunt even more ignorant than her mother took charge of Susan and her little sister Jessica. Her aunt was a good person but she barely made it to mid elementary and didn't valuated education too much. It seemed like a dead end for Susan but with the support of her teachers she was able to get a full scholarship and board to study high school at a prestigious private school in San Diego.
At first it was tough for her, to be in another town in a place she didn't quite fit. In her first year she was even victim of some bullying, but she was able to survive thanks to her outstanding intelligence an academic success as well as her strong will to succeed. A year later things turned even easier after the blossom of her undisputable beauty made her gain more and more self confidence and respect.
Susan was a very focused girl, even single minded, she was always working and frequently lonely, she had very little time to get fun and very few friends to go out with. Her social development had always been behind the rest of her classmates but in this school she felt even worse and she isolated herself further. She was very self confident in academic turf but outside that she felt very awkward, so she avoided most social life, even dating. Her lack of social life leaded her to little depressions in spite of her great goals. During one of those mild depressions in her senior year she met Frank, a mediocre student of the public school that was a few blocks from hers. While Susan was a senior at 18, Frank was still a freshman and he was already 20. Frank was a red neck in the ignorant and prejudiced meaning. The first time he talked to Susan she was exiting the door of her school and he impolitely asked her if she did the cleaning there. Susan was outraged, she said,
"You see a Latina and you thing we are all maids, but I am the best student here and I will be very rich in a few years while you will be flipping burgers".
Frank smiled and went away. The next day he waited for her and gave her some flowers to apologize. Susan thought Frank was attractive in some brute way, so she accepted the apologies and in a short time they became friends, her loneliness and depression pushed her closer and closer to him, being her main social interaction. She begun to have sexual fantasies about him, her fantasies were a little childish but her desire was very adult. So after a few weeks, Frank took her cherry. She was so inexperienced and naïve that he directed her in every step, but she enjoyed the sex enormously. After that first time, they continue doing it like rabbits several times a day for maybe two or three weeks and then suddenly Frank started to keep his distance.
When she confronted him, he said
"Look Susan. You are attractive and all, and we had good sex but you are not the kind of girl that I look for a relationship"
"What do you mean?", she said hurt.
"I like to be the one in control, and you are not that kind of girl, maybe we should remain occasional friends", He replied.
Susan felt bad, she didn't know how to manage this situation. Her social awkwardness stroked her in all it's strength. She blushed with anger and humiliation and said
.... There is more of this story ...