Shame

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8 The Test Results

After the meeting, John went home alone. He always said he was married to his work. He lives alone in a big house, utterly white on the exterior and interior, with a stylized glass wall at the front of the house. It’s a beautiful, modern house with all state-of-the-art utilities and facilities. John has a fondness for modernist architectural designs, and his beautiful home proves it well. It’s night now. John took a shower and went to the kitchen to make some dinner. Throughout his daily routine, he thinks of Julia. What is she doing now, what must she be thinking, is she okay or traumatized? The thoughts wouldn’t stop. This never happened to John. He never felt these kinds of feelings for anyone. It was raining outside. John never noticed the overflow of fanciful feelings in him in past years that stirred up with the rain. Suddenly the sound of raindrops made him think of Julia. John felt it would be great if Julia were here with him. He moved forward to the window of his living room. The window was covered with glass from top to bottom, and near the window, there was a couch. It was small, soft, and round shaped. John, till this day, couldn’t figure out why the interior designer placed this couch here. But now he realized its necessity. He sat on the sofa and watched the raining. Surprisingly John started to enjoy watching the rain. It was like the unceasing rain just hypnotized John, and he couldn’t take his eyes off from that. While watching the shower, he thought of all the moments he spent with Julia inside that controlled room. A gentle smile appeared on his face while thinking of Julia’s smiling face. He stared at the rain till it stopped. After a while, he went to bed and tried to take a nap, but he couldn’t as the thought of Julia was bothering him. The next day, his first and only task was to analyze the videos in the CRI lab, but tomorrow feels like too far away.

John couldn’t sleep at all that night, thinking of Julia and waiting for the morning to come. He thought about all their time together in that room and how Julia’s feelings changed from the first to the last day. Unable to sleep, he put on his headset and listened to some music.

Early in the next morning, John left his home and headed to the lab. He was in such a hurry that he didn’t even go for his routine exercise. Nothing seemed to be important than seeing Julia. That’s why he rushed to his office earlier than ever. In his office, he turned on his computer and started reviewing the videos, over and over again. He carefully observed Julia’s behavior, noticing how she responded in the very beginning, interacting with a stranger in such unusual conditions. He watched their last day together, scrolling through the neuro-activity graphs that recorded her brain activity. Julia’s behaviors and responses in this controlled environment were integral to this research project, and John was working on a deadline. But it wasn’t just the work that fascinated and encouraged John, it was also his feelings toward her. Their intimacy on the last of the experiment touched him, and he couldn’t help replaying their embrace and reliving the pleasure he felt at that moment.

Julia slept well. She woke up in bed and went to the bathroom to brush her teeth, and when she looked in the mirror, she screamed. She couldn’t believe what she saw seeing. Julia was naked. She ran to her bed and kept her eyes closed for a few moments before she could look at herself again. When she did, she was wearing pajamas. Julia touched her clothes, feeling it with her hands and assuring herself that she was actually wearing something and isn’t naked. Maybe it was some kind of hallucination. Julia was so scared, she stayed on her bed for hours.

While John was busy in the lab, Dr. Robert ran in to inform him of an emergency situation. ‘Julia had a panic attack! We received an alarm from her implant device.’. Hearing this, John yelled, ‘What!? How is this possible? How did it happen? Didn’t you give her the correct dose?’ This isn’t good, doctor. We have to fix it.’

‘Yes, Dr., Please, don’t worry. This will be taken care of immediately.’ Dr. Robert replied.

John got nervous. He suspected this could happen, and it turned out to be true. That’s why he previously instructed Dr. Robert to implant that device so that they can get alarmed if a situation like this arises. John, however, never intended to be hurtful to a person for any reason. What he did with Julia was only for the sake of the research. And now, as he started to feel for Julia, he began to hate himself. John started to realize what they did with Julia in the name of research was unethical. To collect information, they played with Julia’s dignity and mind. Regardless of the fact that the study intended to understand the construction of embarrassment or shame in people. However, they wanted to learn what influences shame is it religion, society, or it’s biological. Although their research was unapproved by the government in a way, it was approved and financed by big shots in the country. Anyhow John was feeling guilty and repented of getting involved in this research. It’s not for him he thus realized, but now there’s no way out, and he got scared thinking he is in the middle of nowhere. John started to feel negative thinking about the consequences of the research and felt heavy-hearted.

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