Encounter with an old professor – writing prompt

This particular situation did happen with some fiction elements to make it interesting. I might add it into one of my stories or other:

The last time I saw Al, he had stopped me at the commissary and suggested that I see a doctor.

“You’re forty, right?”

I wanted to slap him. No one should ask a woman’s age and especially not an old professor. He smirked a little as he adjusted his leather beret. When he was my biology professor, he had told all the women in the class that he liked young women with self-esteem issues. I wasn’t young and I didn’t have the self-esteem issues.

My hubby had been trained to tell me I was beautiful on a regular basis. Check good self-esteem.


“Yes, I am forty,” the exasperation was thick.

Then he went serious. “You do remember that before I taught, I was a primatologist.” My first thought was how did this have to do with my age. He continued, “Most of the older female chimps start to have physical problems when they reach forty. It’s rare for them to live past that age. So go see a doctor.”

I was insulted. I walked two or more miles per day. I didn’t have that extreme athletic look, but my body was toned. I could hike for hours when my husband and I climb mountains to look at castles.

He reached over and grabbed my arm. “You need to listen to this.”

“Okay, okay,” I said. I brushed my arm and walked away. Just showed how smart professors really were. They could use some social training, too. I’ll go to the doctor when pigs fly.

Well, Al’s concern was genuine and one and a half years later I was in the hospital for kidney failure and vasculitis disease.