“So…She could really use the money,” said Akira.
“I know! I was just thinking that,” said Gavin, “but we can’t pick our surrogate based on financial need.”
“You’re right,” said Akira, “but can we pick her based on an awesome amount of sassy and sense of humor?”
Gavin laughed, but before he could respond, in walked their next candidate. Corina Saucedo according to her name card, her entrance was like a record scratch. Both of their mouths dropped open as they took in her appearance. She was very attractive, but she had a whiff of… crazy about her. Actually it was more than a whiff–she was wearing a helmet.
She seemed unbothered by the helmet, which bothered both guys more than a small amount. She chose a seat and waved. Both guys waved back, but before they could speak she said, “what’s your first question?”
Not quite sure if he appreciated Corina taking charge of the interview, Akira asked his first question. “Tell us a little bit about yourself, whatever you’d like us to know about you.”
“I’m just your everyday IT gal who loves the company they work in. I work at Rainy Day Entertainment–You know, that funny looking building down the street here in Magnolia Promenade? It’s almost like a second home to me so I guess a few of the guys I work with think I never leave it. My hobbies include reading and watching sci-fi themed literature and films, having long walks, taking pictures of flowers, hackingthehomesecuritycamerasoftheCOOofWalrusBooksbecauseI’mquitesurehe’sanalien, buying funny novelties at yard sales and working on small scale model rockets in the comfort of my own home.”
Both guys were struck mute for a moment before Akira found his voice. “um…, you have quite an impressive job! I hope that type of ambition and skill-building is genetic. Now you said something about an alien? One of Gavin’s close friends is an alien and we’ve found them to be pleasant and not to be feared, but that’s neither here nor there. So tell us, what made you want to be a surrogate?”
“…Gavin’s friend is an… They’re an alien? …” Her face turned serious and her voice turned deadpan.
“Do they look like a, a giant cockroach? Or a spider? Some sort of giant bug??” Corina leaned forward, covered her mouth and whispered, “I am asking for confidential reasons,” as her eyes widened.
She didn’t move, letting what she said sink in for a moment. The guys exchanged a look, unsure of how to respond, so they said nothing.
“…But yes,” she resumed back into her cheery tone, and relaxed into the chair with a smile. “That’s something for another day–As for your question, it’s somewhat funny to think about, isn’t it? Someone like me…”
She cleared her throat.
“I’m always working and just busy being busy. My parents weren’t always around since they were the same, you know–working all the time? Jaime always took care of me when I was little, taking me to places where he did odd jobs here and there. He taught me a lot of things, too–from how to walk to disabling alarm systems–everything, really. He knew so much, even though no one else could see it. …To cut it short, family is important to me. If I could, I’d do my best to help any family out there, whether it be financially or lending my womb. I might not have time to take care of a child of my own with how much I work, but knowing I can help out a couple become a family by doing this makes me happy.”
“…Unless you’re an alien. Both of you aren’t aliens, right?” She readied a finger to the camera attached to her helmet. “If you are, I have to document this conversation.”
Akira looked at Gavin, who seemed content to stay quiet for now. ” Um, no, we can assure you that we are not aliens, either of us. Let’s just move on from aliens. You said your interest in them is confidential, and we don’t want to accidentally cross into classified information territory, right…?”
“Okay…” Corina narrowed her eyes at them.
“Still, can you provide me with a sample of your DNA so I can run some tests later? We can’t ever be too sure,” she turned her attention to Gavin, “you were in contact with aliens, no? The kid might come out with three eyes and spider legs, or spider legs for eyes!! You know–You can’t be sure. You can be buddy-buddy with your alien friend BUT who knows what you can get from breathing the same air as them?”
She rummaged in her pocket as she got up from her seat, pulling out a several containers. Corina placed them on the table between them.
“Pee in these for me when you get the chance, thank you–I can do a urinalysis for the both of you very quickly. I brought my own chemical analyzer with me–And before you ask, yes, I pack very efficiently.”
She gave them a smug grin as she sat back on the chair. They both did their best to ignore the containers.
Akira looked at a very silent Gavin who only stared at him trying not to laugh, “Can you clarify something for us? Who’s Jaime? We don’t have your file yet, so we aren’t up to speed on your familial relationships. Also…, um…, understanding where you are coming from in your reasons to be a surrogate, how do you feel about possible contact with any children after the surrogacy agreement is complete?”
“What was that first question again? Who is Jaime? Jaime is my older brother–Santiago Saucedo. Also, he is not imaginary,” she raised a hand. “Before you decide to say I’m probably smoking something because the background check you have of me will clearly say I am the only child of my parents–I know that it does–he won’t show up if you try to look for anything about him. If you try to contact anyone of my family to ask about him, they’ll deny his existence or say that he’s my imaginary friend,” she expressed in air quotes, “but he’s not!” She shouted, “Santiago is real! I know he is…!”
She let out a breath, slumped in her seat. Corina took a few moments to get herself together, doing deep breaths as she sat.
“Sorry about that–It’s just… Everyone just… Forgot him somehow. It’s like their minds just… Erased his existence. All the missing pictures and,” Corina looked back at them with her eyes almost teary, “I know aliens took him away. I just gotta find them first and they’ll tell me where Jaime is…”
Corina wiped her eyes and exhaled again.
“…Anyway, yes–I won’t mind contact with the child. I might not be able to respond as much since, as I stated before, I’m quite busy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being a part of his or her life. In fact, it’ll be very pleasant to hear of them or even from them from time to time.”
Akira looked pleadingly at Gavin, but he remained in his seat, apparently deciding now was the time to work on his mannequin impression.
“Okay…. So just to clarify, we aren’t fond of discrimination against aliens, though we can sympathize with those who have had less than positive interactions with an alien. Also, Gavin’s friend is bipedal, just like us, and if you met him, which we don’t suggest or encourage, you wouldn’t even know he was an alien.”
“Hmm, bipedal? I see,” Corina mumbled, “so they haven’t found the right wormhole to find Lyle–Good, good. That is good.”
She cleared her throat.
“I don’t mean to come off as dangerous or discriminatory to Gavin’s… Alien friend. Forgive me for seeming so intense,” she chuckled. “I won’t pry for their location, I promise.”
Corina raised both hands to show none of her fingers were crossed.
“Just to let you two know, I don’t think it’s productive to pull out all the stops for just one bipedal alien when I’m looking for a specific group of aliens. I mean it has to be a group of aliens. Jaime was practically a giant, it’s impossible for just one to take him on. Gotta be prepared!” She knocked twice on her helmet, “no use wasting the big guns for just one alien. Also, to say that I wouldn’t know they’re an alien is silly, I’ll always know.”
“Right…,” said Akira, “listen, we’re getting off topic again. We are actually out of questions. Thank you for coming in to meet us. Do you have any questions for us or anything to add before we end the interview?”
Corina’s grin slowly faded.
“…Actually, I’m starting to doubt myself now. I don’t like this feeling,” she shook her head. “How unusual. Haven’t felt like this in a while.”
She turned to them, returning to a smile.
“Regardless, it’s been a pleasure to meet you both, …I also hope you two pee in those cups. You can tell a lot about a person’s health from their urine.”
She left the room as confidently as she entered, while Akira turned toward Gavin and mouthed, what the fuck was that?!