“What is this?” She asked
“It’s my dissertation on the relationship between quantum entanglement and-” Ibrahim began but was cut short by the professor
“It says so on the cover. I’ve read it two times. I just want to know what it is, because this looks like a truck load of bull crap.”
Ibrahim stared at the prissy face hellion of a Professor, unable to decide on how to handle the situation. She took it as an invitation to say more.
“I have been studying quantum entanglement for over 20 years now, and all of the ideas you’re putting forth here are baseless, unproven, and immeasurable. Putting you on this team was a mistake, and I’ll surely be letting Professor Isa know this.”
Ibrahim was stunned. His genius mind began the complex process of searching for possible underlying causes for her acerbic remarks towards him. He acknowledged his weakness in identifying and understanding human emotions properly and filed his confusion away in the part of his mind where undecipherable emotions were kept. He turned around ready to walk away, but for some reason, this time was different.
As the Professor sauntered off behind him, her red high heeled shoes clicking against the tiles in the hallway of the department, Ibrahim turned around enraged.
“Your husband is leaving you! Your daughter knows you were cheating on him! She’s refusing to pick up your calls! You’re mad I saw you with the man you were cheating with in the lab! You’ve been excommunicated from your church! Your bra is too tight!”
His words travelled across the hallway in sonic speed, reverberating across the walls, heard by everyone. A sudden hush fell across the hallway. The professor stopped dead in her tracks.
“What did you say?” She asked turning around slowly, removing her red framed glasses, her face morphing from stoic to outraged in gradual stages.
“You dislike me because I’ve shattered all your records. I’m the poster child for the department and the school. I got in at an age 4 years younger than you did. I’ve published more papers than you in the last 2 years.”
“You stupid, egoistic, bile inducing, son of a -” She started heading towards him.
“You’re a washed-up has been faced with the approaching reality of irrelevance,” Ibrahim countered, walking towards her with slow deliberate steps “You’re losing precious funding and you’re at your wits end.”
The professor stood still, as if held by an invisible force.
“I am everything you wanted to be,” Ibrahim continued, his voice lowered so only she could hear him speak. The students stood still, too stunned to react. “I will take your place, and destroy you in this department. I will take over your office and your research. I will finish it in record time. You will be nothing more than a name mentioned from time to time.”
Ibrahim stood face to face with her, staring deep into her eyes. He leaned forward and whispered into her ear.
“All your fears will come to pass, every single one of them. Irrational fears will cloud the rest of your existence. You will die alone in an office far away from here, surrounded by stacks of papers nobody will want to read. You will die, hurt and alone. You will be buried away from loved ones. You will be the object of jokes within academia, nothing more than a name mentioned to teach values to young researchers. All of your achievements will come to naught. You will be forgotten in time, left to wander the dark depths of depression alone with no way out. In your final moments, you will realize that I have surpassed you in every form since the day I was born. My very existence swallowed up your significance in lumps, taking bit by bit as I age. Stay here now, and cry as these truths wash over you in waves, bringing down your defence mechanisms and tossing you into utter despair.”
Ibrahim walked past her and out of the hallway. The shell-shocked students stood and watched as the Lioness of theoretical physics stood in the middle of a hallway and began to whimper.
Ibrahim stumbled out of the hallway with a headache, holding his temples as his papers fell beside him.
“It hurts really bad, doesn’t it?” A voice inquired.
He looked up and found himself staring at a beautiful young lady with long hair and honey-brown eyes, with skin that seemed to glow. Her dress was snow white, with sun shades tucked into her hair.
“My head hurts.” He complained
“That’s what you get for using the power of suggestion and mind reading without restraint.”
“The what?” Ibrahim asked, wincing as his temples throbbed.
“Come with me, and I’ll teach you how to harness these powers.”
She stared at him intently and said in a clear voice.
“Come with me now.”
Ibrahim found himself under an overwhelming urge to follow the lady. Every fibre of his being began to push him to obey, building anxiety with every second he delayed, intensifying his headache.
“Stop.” She said suddenly.
The urge disappeared as quickly as it had appeared, the headache along with it.
“Those powers,” she said calmly “I can teach you to use them properly.”
“Who are you?” Ibrahim asked, rising unsteadily to his feet. He wanted to run but scientific curiosity left him rooted.
“I am the one who knows you have set that woman on the path that leads to Psychosis. I am the one who knows you have eroded her ego. I am the one who will lead you. My name is Linda.”
A weeping Professor with a befuddled mind emerged from the hallway to the sight of a red Benz driving off with Ibrahim in the passenger seat, leaving a trail of dust in its wake.