Leigh stood in front of the room preparing to eulogize her father. She stared at the faces of those who came to attend. Some were friendly, but most were there to show their disdain for the man they say ruined their lives.
“Let me just start by saying that, my father and I were not close.” Leigh said as she scanned the eyes of the crowd. “Despite that though,” she continued “I did love him.” As Leigh uttered these lies, she once again looked out at the crowd and saw their faces twist and contort from confusion to anger and disappointment. She felt the knot in her stomach twist as she continued with her false stories of times spent with her father. She wondered if this was how her father felt when he peddled his lies on the pulpit.
“My father, Rev. Dr. Gregory Landon Hapstall III, better known as Reverend Georgie was adopted by his parents Alejandro and James Hapstall II in 2096 when he was just a newborn. They loved him and his sisters Joelle, Gaia, and Lewellen, with all their hearts. He grew up and knew he wanted to be a neurosurgeon. And he accomplished that goal when he was just 30 years old. But after I was born, and he discovered what would come to be known as the largest discovery in the field of neuroscience, life led him into a different direction. I won’t stand here and tell you my father was perfect. But I also won’t lie to you and tell you that he didn’t have good intentions for the world around him”
Leigh continued with her eulogy and eventually she ended by telling the world that despite his flaws, her father was a good man. Her stomach hurt as she uttered the phrase. As she stepped down from the podium, she walked down the aisle amidst a slew of negative comments and vicious words being hurled her way.
“Traitor!” One said.
“How dare you? You’re one of us!” another said.
The hardest part for Leigh was the fact that they weren’t wrong. But the 2.9 Billion dollar inheritance she stood to gain as a result of his death and the execution of the conditions of his will meant that she had to endure some abuse for the greater good. Leigh spent the last 15 years estranged from her father. Leigh was what he called a ‘harbinger of doom’ on the pulpit. That discovery he made all those years ago? Well, he realized that certain people have these “abilities”. Better described as control of parts their nervous system. These were people who had abilities that people from the early 2050s would talk about in science fiction, And Leigh was one of them.
Her ability was not so strange to most. She had to ability to alter her nerves so that she could change her body temp at will. She could match her environment so that she would be comfortable anywhere she was. Because of this, this made her a prime candidate for the exploration of some of the world’s most dangerous places.
Leigh, throughout her life, had discovered multiple new species on earth, in places that could not previously be accessed and yet, her father had no respect for her. He called her an abomination. He prayed that they would find a cure for what ‘ailed’ her, and at times, he even prayed for the death of all harbingers. Her abilities had not been her fault and yet, she paid a price for some imaginary sin she had committed.
Leigh, and people like Leigh, were restricted for a long time. They were unable to vote, they were unable to marry as her father and his followers fought to strip that right Leigh’s girlfriend at the time was particularly upset about that one. Leigh completely understood why people were reacting the way they did to her speech, and in truth, if it hadn’t been for Leigh’s mother and the 2.9 billion dollars, she probably wouldn’t have even shown up to eulogize him.
“He’s still your father,” Leighs mother had said days before the funeral. “Please, for me? And frankly for you, too. You and Katherine aren’t doing too well in that tiny New York apartment.” Leigh had a hard time disputing that; so she agreed to do the eulogy and speak well of her father. As Leigh left the funeral, she took one last look at the hate-filled room and the casket that contained her father and walked out. She hoped that the next steps she took in her life, would make her proud of herself.