Sarah was the only person still at the laboratory. Her obsession demanded that she be the last person to leave, and the first person there in the morning. Most nights she didn’t even go home at all -- why should she? Not even a cat waited there to greet her.
Next to her monitor sat an old fashioned photo, with a print and a frame and everything. She did not want a digital device. Her heart could only handle a single picture. The blue light of the computer illuminated it so she could see it all hours of the night. Except for the dim emergency lights, her monitor provided the only bright light in the entire building at this hour. Darkness blanketed the rest of her office and the whole laboratory building. At 3am, only Sarah and her work existed. Not even Joe, the janitor robot, ventured away from his charging module at this hour.
The mahogany frame held a picture of Abram. Sarah glanced at it while she thought, and her chest constricted painfully. Why did she even keep it around? But every time she convinced herself to finally toss it in the trash, she turned and set it back on her desk instead.
He was a handsome man even though he had been twenty years older than her. Sandy hair, wireframed glasses, hazel eyes with laugh line crow’s feet. Even now she remembered every inch of his features. And he’d been an absolute genius. Sarah spent her life amongst people as far beneath her as a dog was beneath a human, but in him, she had finally found an equal.
It was perfect. Even their names were written in time - Sarah and Abram - the parents of descendants as numerous as the stars.
But he was gone now, lost to her. Everything they had planned for ended one awful day a decade before.
She would bend the universe to her will, do anything to have him back. The cost didn’t matter. Sarah Cowen always got what she wanted.
Sarah stared at the picture for a moment longer. The despair always lurking at the edge of her mind surged forward, threatening to consume her again. Angrily she slammed the picture face down on her desk, removing it from her sight. The glass covering the picture shattered from the force she used to knock it down. The breaking of the photograph barely registered with her. Breaking it was of little consequence now.
She would have the real Abram back soon enough, and wouldn’t need the picture any longer. She was so, so close to finally finishing it. So close to finally realizing their work.
And then she would get her happy ending, and it then the last ten years would never happen.
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