Bryan set the pen in his right hand down and reached for it with the prosthesis. He was able to pick the pen straight up in a pincer grip, but when he tried to get the fingers to maneuver the pen around into a writing grip, it fell to the tabletop. Attempt after attempt ended with the same result.
"Damn." He picked up the pen with his right hand, angled it in space, and closed the prosthesis' fingers around it. But when he set pen to paper, the pen slipped. Writing required good fine motor control, and he just couldn't do it. Bitterness chewed in his abdomen and rose up his throat.
Bryan heaved a sigh. Maybe a larger, flat object would be doable. He reached for the fork beside the plate of spaghetti Cass had given him.
Just like with the pen, he could lift the fork from the tabletop, but couldn't hold it in the usual position for eating. His mouth formed a grim line. If he ate something homogeneous, he might manage, but small individual objects, like peas, would present more of a problem. And twirling spaghetti was out by a mile.
Resentment and disappointment boiled up. He'd made a big mistake in letting his hopes get high. His hand clenched and his breaths came quicker. Scowling, he picked up his lunch and hurled it across the room.
"Dude!" Dawson flung himself back around the door frame just in time to avoid the object whizzing toward him. There was a Splat! as the window between the room and the hallway became a modern art exhibit depicting the mass murder of a large family of worms. Iambe looked at it, licking her chops, but didn't break her down-stay.
Dawson cautiously inched his head around to peer into the room and pointed off to the side. "The Frisbee golf course is that way."
Heat crept up Bryan's neck and shame tingled in his chest. Maybe Cass was on the right track, and he needed to do something about his temper.
When he returned from the bathroom with a large handful of damp paper towels , he glanced at Dawson with pinched eyebrows. "Sorry about that. I hope I didn't get any on you."
"No worries." Dawson pointed to the paper plate that had bounced off the window in the right direction to land in a wastebasket. "You even got a hole-in-one."
Bryan gave a twitch of a smile and cleaned up his mess.
He decided a decompression visit to Cass was in order. Walking over to the Psychological Research building, he hoped he wouldn't get her in trouble.
He bought a cappuccino from the vending machine, then search for her. She was in one of the lab rooms, inputting data. "Is it break time yet? I come bearing gifts."
With a grin, she looked up. Eyes pinned to the paper cup in his hand, she said, "You are my savior." She accepted her ambrosia and took a swig, then sighed. Rubbing her eyes, she declared, "Yes, I could definitely use a break. Let's go before Trent dumps another stack of paperwork on me."
Bryan reached for her free hand after she grabbed her belongings and rose for a kiss, then they scurried out the door before the group leader returned.
They strolled along the path, Cass sipping her cappuccino. "So how was the spaghetti? I based it on my mom's recipe, but did a little tinkering on my own.
Shame and regret returned full force. Why had he flown off the handle like he had? Wasted Cass' hard work, and for what? So that he could make a fool of himself, throwing a tantrum in front of Dawson.
Bryan forced a smile and proclaimed, "It was a smash hit."