The Klone and I: Chapter Four

Previously On The Klone and I: Stephanie and Peter finally do it! Peter is leaving on a long business trip to LA and has promised Stephanie a “surprise”.

Chapter Four

It was an odd feeling after he left. I had gotten strangely used to him in the short time we’d been together. it had all the elements of a fabulous romance, and yet there was a comfort level, and an ease with each other that was almost like being married.

Ah, we start off so well. Talking about how close you are after only knowing the man for several weeks.

He had won Sam over weeks before, but Charlotte was continuing to glower. She still attributed the worst motives possible to him.

The best part of this is that our own narrator once referred to Peter as a probable “sicko”, so chastising someone else for thinking he’s up to no good is a bit hypocritical, no? Plus, I think we’ve established that the 13 year old Charlotte is much more mature than her mother.

There’s a knock at the door. Stephanie opens it to who she thinks is Peter wearing outrageous clothing, specifically “fluorescent green satin pants, skin-tight and startlingly revealing, with a see-through black net shirt, with a little sparkle to it, and a pair of black satin cowboy boots” which sounds like just about the most hideous thing ever. Now, Stephanie is in the kitchen and the kids are in their rooms. And even though we are only told that they “disappeared” to their rooms moments ago, she knows without checking that they are “doing their homework” which seems awfully presumptuous. When I was a kid that was the last thing I would be doing in my room, but I was a strange child.

However, Stephanie reminds us that:

I hadn’t met many of [Peter’s] friends yet. It was still too soon.

Right. So, after over a month its too soon to meet his friends but you introduced him to your children after 2 days. That makes loads of sense, right? And this doesn’t bother her either. Because Peter is perfect and couldn’t possibly have ulterior motives.

I’m the surprise,” he said proudly, “and the secret. They cloned him.”

So, this person who has shown up at the door is Peter’s clone. Peter sent his effing clone to his girlfriend’s house while he’s on a business trip. Yeah… They talk about it for a while and basically Stephanie thinks she’s going crazy and Peter is playing some trick on her.

But now we have to have a little vocabulary lesson:

Clone: A group of organisms or cells produced asexually from one ancestor or stock, to which they are genetically identical.

Android: (in science fiction) A robot with a human appearance.

Remember this. It will be important for the rest of the book. I firmly believe that Danielle Steel did absolutely no research into science (or science fiction) before righting this book and has confused these two concepts.

Paul (the clone, excuse me, Klone) is talking about why he doesn’t dress the same as Peter.

“My name is Paul, and I can do everything he does . . . except,” he looked apologetic, “wear khakis. I can’t stand them. He tried programming me for that at first, but it kept screwing up my systems.”

He keeps explaining himself to Stephanie, including all of his… functions.

“You know, if you want to get pregnant, Steph, it’s probably easier for me than for him. They worked all the kinks out of that last year.”

Right. So, here goes the first of probably many rants about the confused science of this godawful book. A clone does NOT have programming or systems. That is an android. A clone does not have “kinks” worked out unless they go to a masseuse. You remember Dolly the sheep, right? Well, if you would have cut her open, instead of finding a motherboard you would have found lamb chops. Cloning ≠ Android.

Not to mention it’s really f-ed up that he offers to get her pregnant. Or the fact that her boyfriend is sick enough to send her this monstrosity while he’s away on business. But that’s small potatoes compared to the Clone/Android mixup (especially since she uses the egregious word Klone in the very title).

This is how I’m picturing Peter/Paul from now on.

Paul assures Stephanie that the kids will “get used to me”. Right. Because that’s a totally normal thing. But Charlotte offers us even more insight into her mother’s parenting style.

“I bought a shirt like that once. Mom made me take it back. She said I looked like a slut in it.”

Okay. It’s one thing for a mother to think this but a completely different thing to say it out loud. Parents, I know I don’t have any experience in this, but listen to me. DO NOT tell your 13 year old daughter she looks like a slut (even if she does). It does not do good things for the self-esteem and self-image, especially to an already, presumably, self-conscious pubescent teenage girl.

Stephanie’s reaction to all of this is to drink herself under the table. “I was drunk halfway through dinner”. Now, this is in front of her kids on a school night. Which seems totally responsible, right?

Anyway, they make it through dinner okay. Paul helps Charlotte with her homework. Everybody goes to their respective rooms. And now Paul wants sexytimes with Stephanie. So, he lights some candles and cracks open some champagne. And of course, Stephanie doesn’t turn the booze down. “I was drinking the champagne by then. I wasn’t about to waste good champagne, and it was the only way to cope with what had happened.” What had happened was she thinks her boyfriend is pulling a trick on her. See, she doesn’t believe Paul is a clone (I absolutely refuse to call him a Klone, besides, we’ve already discussed that he’s actually an android). She thinks Peter is playing some sort of game. So, instead of throwing him out and telling him to grow up, she lets him spend alone time with her kids and drinks to cope.

And then Paul really creeps me the eff out. When talking about how the kids seemed to be okay with him being there, he mentions that “Sam even asked me to sleep in his room”. Remember: nobody in the family has known him for much more than a month. Peter has never spent the night while the kids were in the house. Her 8 year old son just offered to let a virtual stranger sleep in his room and the “clone” spent an hour in Charlotte’s room “helping her with her homework” (the quotes are mine. As far as I know, there is no actual child molestation in this book, though Stephanie makes jokes about it frequently. But the opportunity was there and as Peter is setting himself up to be a creeper I wouldn’t have put it past his clone, especially as his clone is a horny bastard).

[Paul] locked the door quietly, and as he slipped off the ghastly green pants, I almost felt as though I recognized him again, until I saw the gold lamé jockeys he was wearing, if  you could call them jockeys. It looked more like a Speedo, and the gold was more than a little amazing.

First of all, I have never in my life called them jockeys. Second, I know this book was written in the 90s, but why does his wardrobe have to be so ungodly atrocious? If any man every came to my bed wearing a gold G-string (she figures this out just after this paragraph), there will be no sexytimes with me until he finds himself a pair of real underwear.

As they’re getting their funk on, the phone rings. On the other end is Peter, which really freaks Stephanie the eff out. So much so that:

The room spun around as I listened to him, and I looked at Paul, and unable to withstand any more, I closed my eyes, and fainted.

And that’s the end of this mercifully short chapter. She faints because she has absolutely zero coping skills. And Danielle Steel has never read a single science fiction novel or seen a single episode of Star Trek.

This is how I picture Paul. Would you let this man around your children?

 

Hopefully I’ll have another chapter up this afternoon.

Happy Reading!
-K

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