I jump out the door and speed-walk to catch my bus. Today is the day I meet the Big Boss. My first chance to make the best impression I can manage. She’s scary, by all accounts, but I reckon she’s going to like me. I have a driven vibe. I know what I want and I know how to get it. Neat clothes. Neat hair. And I recently got my bottom ribs removed to accentuate my natural curves. Yeah, she’s going to like me. She has to.
As I reach the bus stop my bus has just pulled away, and while I hop and wave to get the driver’s attention, he selfishly leaves me bereft of transport. Already breathing heavily because of the exertion, I decide to run – because I have no other choice, you understand. But by the end of the street, I am panting like an old dog. Something’s wrong. Usually I have more stamina than this, usually I can cover twice this distance easily.
A thought injects itself in my mind.
I check my bag.
I only brought one lung.
Where was the other one? I had it yesterday at… Never mind. Too late to go back now. Just got to keep going.
I reach the offices in a complete state, clothes all off-centre and hair like a bramble bush, but have time to give it a brush through before the meeting. I catch a glimpse of her from behind the toilet door. Tall. Almost too tall. She must have had implants. My heart begins to race, and I can feeling it hopping around aggressively. The bag in my hand begins to shake. I steel myself against the anxiety. Everything will be fine. She’s gonna love me. She has to.
“Great. And how have you found your first few months at Clear Co.?”
“Oh just wonderful. I feel like a new woman.” She laughs at that. I made her laugh!
“Well, then, you’ll be pleased, because we think you’re perfect for our new employee programme.” I am excited and again the bag shakes. I lean to see the boss’ bag. It’s crushed velvet, with several pouches. Very expensive.
“Definitely. What kind of programme?”
“Well, it’s called Re-Renew. All you need to do is give us one of your organs, and we’ll swap it for a better one. Then, you can write a testimonial about it for our advertising campaign. We aim to get this on the streets by December, so the sooner you can give us an answer, the better.”
“Oh my god! I’d be honoured!” Be the first to try out a new Clear Co. treatment? Sheryl is gonna be so pissed.
“Amazing. We can get started today.” She stands up and comes towards me expectantly. “So what we’re thinking is one of your lungs – you’ll be able to manage in the recovery room while the scientists do their thing,” she chuckles. “How does that sound?” My heart becomes heavier and I put down my bag.
“Oh…I, uh…how about a kidney? I can manage a little while with one of those…”
“No can do, I’m afraid. Our kidney team are out at the minute; seems there’s been an influx of kidneys since the recent tsunami in Laos or somewhere, so they’re collecting. It’s going to have to be a lung – is that a problem?”
I hesitate for much too long.
“Because, um, if it is a problem, I’m afraid we’ll have to ask someone else. This really is urgent stuff, Greta. Maybe one of your colleagues would be suited to it. Someone like…Sheryl?”
I can hold my breath. I can do anything. I hand the boss my lung, and feel my weakness as she takes it from me. My reserves can hold up. I’m sure they can. They have to.