Adjudication

Sam puts on her crisp white shirt and slim black pants, looks in the mirror to make sure her bra line is invisible, that her pants are properly creased. The interview is only two hours away but time stretches out, before the beginning step to determine if she will be permitted children. The bile rises in her throat and she rushes to the toilet. Again. Today the Directorate decides, after a precursory five-minute inquisition, whether mothering is for Sam. She picks at an invisible piece of fluff and peels her lips back over her teeth. Everything has to be perfect.