Professor Herman Lollop shut his eyes. The chair of the Institute had a voice that others would spend a fortune to convert into a sleep treatment, he decided. He put a finger on his ear. At least it looked like he was focusing on the translation rather than giving in to this man’s Valium vocals.
As Prendegast Something continued with a turgid rehash of Herman’s career, Herman let his mind flow back to that first moment. When inspiration struck. That sliver of a moon above the tree, Patricia’s soft lips and the nipping frost biting onto his bare buttocks as he focused on postponing the inevitable eureka moment that she was so delightfully prompting. Why it should have been then that he’d seen a glimpse of what would become his future; how they could harness power from air, create nourishment from sunlight and moisture, eradicate famine and stop climate change in its tracts.
Prendegast mentioned set backs. Oh yes, many and none worse than Patricia dumping him for that pretentious smart arse, Gideon Foyle. The very same Professor Foyle now seated to his left and fidgeting in his tuxedo. Only not the same. No longer chiselled and charismatic was Gideon. But brilliant despite the ravages of passing years, none the less. He opened one eye and glanced at his companion. And winked.
Gideon has the grace to look embarrassed.
The applause startled Herman back to the moment. Now it was Gideon’s turn for this awful oral hagiography. By contrast to Herman’s insouciance, Gideon actually sat up straight as his life story was shortened and summarised. How, Herman wondered could you love and hate something so much at the same time as Gideon clearly was with this eulogy?
Finally the moment had come. They stood as the audience applauded. A Noble prize wasn’t to be sniffed at, Herman thought as he held out a hand to Gideon, friend, nemesis and collaborator.
Gideon nodded, overwhelmed by the moment. It would be just like him to faint now.
Herman gripped harder and sucked in a rattly breath. He pulled Gideon closer. ‘Come on old fellow. For her. We said it was for her.’
Gideon held his gaze as the adulation poured down on these two men who’d changed the world. It was as if it was only them, again. Back thirty years to that tree, another crescent moon. That moment when they poured the ashes of their mutual love on the leaf littered earth and swore to fulfil her last angry demand before cancer took her from them both. To work together.
Gideon swallowed. ‘For Pat,’ he said as he held Herman’s hand high in the air.
This was written in response to this week’s #writephoto prompt