People of the Heart – Friends

Continued from Part 2 ….

Zana Sherman was fortunate that this weekend wasn’t as academically busy as it would become closer to the end of term. It seemed that her social calendar was compensating, by sending her invitations to meet with people she loved or enjoyed. Aside from Alon Cohen on Friday night, though, she was holding things to only an hour or so, and joining up with them on the way to other venues, such as the laundry or the Psych House … the graduate students’ name for the departmental offices. Even for a college student … at least one as diligent as Zana … socializing wasn’t everything ….

But she stretched the limits at Saturday lunch, because the meal was with Dara Furtano-Fa. The relationship with “Big Sis” ran back to when Dara had saved the lives of both Zana and her mother on the construction stage of The Land of Fantasy, her mother’s famous theatre. Not only had Zana met Dara that day, but the accident had set events in motion that led to Dara’s getting the cyborg conversion she had desired … and all that had arisen in the ‘borg community since.

Both women had a fondness for a restaurant in Vidran’s Arosen sector that offered what the owner called “Mongolian grill,” but served up al fresco. They were deep in discussion at a shady table outside the restaurant, situated on a food court in one corner of the district’s park. “And so the term’s going well so far?” Dara asked as their tea arrived. The sun of Videra’s primary glinted off her sunglasses, worn mostly for fashion’s sake, as ‘borgs’ eyes were quite capable of handling bright sunshine. (The sun also gleamed off the integuments of both women, golden on Zana and silver on Dara; they had chosen the shady table to spare the eyes of other diners and passersby as much as possible from the reflection.)

“Yeah, for the most part,” Zana replied. “Aside from nerves over the required personal psychotherapy starting in a few weeks. I’m finally getting itchy about it. Don’t worry,” she added, raising a hand as Dara opened her mouth. “I spoke about it with Mom a few hours ago on the comm; she calmed me down mostly.”

“That’s one of the things mothers are for,” Dara smiled. “But I point out to you that it’s you who picked the program to enter, and that you could have chosen a university … such as Bowditch-Laurier, my own humble alma mater … which does not require psych candidates to have their own heads shrunk. Or chips, in our case, as I understand other ‘borgs in therapy call it. Anyway, I did make that very point, you’ll kindly recall, two years ago, when you were making your choice.”

“I think I remember, yes,” Zana laughed.

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It had, indeed, been a little over two years ago. Zana was spending a weekend at a cottage owned by Dara and her ‘borg husband, Christopher Fa, up in the lake region north of Vidran city. Chris was inside, working on getting their three-month-old daughter to sleep, giving the adult women some alone time together. Now, in the quiet of the evening, Dara relaxed on a garden swing and listened to Zana go over her five choices for where to continue her studies in psychology.

“They’re all good choices, you know, based on rep,” Dara said. “Though I’d lean toward Bowditch-Laurier, for some reason; can’t say why.”

“Oh, I’m sure you can’t say why,” Zana chuckled. She knew how faithful the ad executive was to her old university. “And yeah, it’s a very good school. It’s got only one knock against it ….”

“That Aldine’s five days away from Videra by hyperspace?” Dara said knowingly.

Zana sighed. “Yeah …. It’s weird; I was perfectly fine living by myself during the past five years as an undergrad; now, considering moving off-planet, when I’ll really be on my own, makes me twitch.”

“Not that much. I went through the same thing when I applied for my internship with Trheakna Associates, here on Videra. It was the first time I’d ever been away from the family further than a single ride on an ion-hopper. Only two things helped me hold it together, until Ariel brought me into your clan: my desire to get converted, and then Chris.”

“Well, I don’t have a similar passion or goal to help me. So I think … in the end … I’m gonna give in to a little homesickness, and stick with U. Videra. Still within driving distance of home if I need a little family support–“

“Mmhmm. Plus free laundry, your chef’s cooking … I still love Jean-Claude’s ginger cookies … and all the other bennies of living near the family.”

“Well, that, too,” Zana grinned, and the women shared a warm laugh.

Then Dara twitched her brows. “You said UV is a school with a personal-analysis requirement, right?”

“Mmhmm.”

“I think you should reconsider Bowditch, then. I know they don’t have that requirement for D. Psych.”

“Dara, personal psychotherapy isn’t that bad a thing, and it’ll give me some insight on how to do a clinical practice, which is what interests me.”

Dara shook her head. “Well, personally speaking then, you must be a candidate for a shrink if you really want to go through that.”

“And why, clan-sister?” Zana said, though she figured she knew the answer.

“Simple; because you’re crazy if you want to do that.”

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Both women:

  • Body: Maitreya Lara 4.1
  • Eyes: NeuroLab Cyber Eyes EX-5

At the restaurant:

Jem (as “Zana Sherman”):

  • Skin: Fallen Gods Pure Gold
  • Head: LAQ Ana 3.05 Bento
  • Hair: Argrace Marumi
  • Outfit: Rapture Hamira bodysuit (Maitreya, Antricite)
  • Shoes: KC Couture Dania ballet flats
  • Jewelry: Zuri Rayna cross pendant necklace (sterling/diamonds)
  • Eyeshadow: Zibska Mara (tattoo/BoM, 04)
  • Lipstick: MONS Showy (tattoo/BoM, fushia (sic))

Diana (as “Dara Furtano-Fa”):

  • Skin: Fallen Gods Pure Silver
  • Head: LAQ Athena 3.07 Bento
  • Hair: FaiRodis Adelaide
  • Outfit: Rapture Imara (Maitreya, Foxy Red); Blaze women’s full height shorts (system, white)
  • Shoes: KC Couture Metis Sandals
  • Accessories: EarthStones Solitaire necklace and stud earrings (Sapphire); Deep Static Monique glasses
  • Eyeshadow: Musa Marcela (tattoo/BoM, Blue)
  • Lipstick: Glamorize Cloud 9 (tattoo/BoM, Bronze)

Photographed at Cosmopolitan shopping event central plaza (No Comment region)

At the lake cottage:

Jem:

  • Hair: Mina Cienna
  • Outfit: GizzA Leather Halter Top (Vibrant Colors); Alyce Cargo Pants
  • Boots: KC Couture Nevada
  • No makeup

Diana:

  • Hair: rezology Executive Handshake
  • Outfit: Elegance Boutique Anka top (red); Maddict Starlet leather pants
  • Shoes: KC Couture Viv
  • Jewelry: EarthStones Playful Dolphins earrings; Roger Paulino silver bangles
  • Lipstick: Glamorize Cloud 9 (tattoo/BoM, Winter Red)

Photographed at Harper’s house

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Thanks to the others on the blog for indulging me on this short story in three parts, and helped me with the photography by posing. It’s all much appreciated. JS

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