I’m going to post something really different from what I usually post. I’ve written this fictional monologue by a woman who, with her partner/husband/whatever, maybe waited too late to have kids and is now dealing with the fallout. Very important: This is not me. This absolutely did not happen to me. But perhaps because this is not my experience, it presents sort of a darker view of life that I allow myself to explore. I’ll admit something–sometimes I definitely wallow in it. It feels good in a strange way, like pressing on a bruise.
So here is where you come in. I know that a lot of my followers are excellent writers. If you are interested, use this thing I wrote as a prompt, or continue it, or answer it as though my fictional woman was speaking to you. I’m just curious where someone might go with it. I’m sort of wondering if you guys like pressing on your bruises too.
The piece I wrote is after the cut…..
So we were lying in bed one night a million years ago, at the start of what was supposed to be my fertility, a couple of months after I got my IUD removed, and you said, sort of unexpectedly, because you were about to use three words together I’d never heard you use in the same sentence before, “Depending on when you get pregnant, the baby will be born around the end of this year or beginning of the next….” And I was washed over by such a flood of passion—for living my life, for loving you, for knowing happiness. I could tell you were really excited by the prospect, that it had made you giddy and a little scared. That moment definitely raised the bar on my expectations of what our brand of intimacy would be, of what we could share. Because say all you want about soul mates—truly shared experiences in life are rare. It’s just that hard to get out of your own head.
And then….it never happened. I feel so bad now. Not only for the loss of the child we conjured in that declaration “the baby will be born,” but for the false charity I gave you by ever suggesting that we have a baby in the first place. I’ll always believe that you wouldn’t have thought of it all by yourself. It wouldn’t have crossed your mind. Who was I to break into that garden of completeness you felt you had achieved and begin tearing up the lawn? Forgive the fertility metaphors, but obviously we didn’t have the sod to lay down in my wake. In short, if the idea had never existed, then neither would the sadness. But I did have the idea, and we both bear the pain.
You should have been the father of a son. Initially, the whole thing comes about because you love someone so much that you want to make a little more of them. I wanted a little more of you. At the end of my labor, I had planned for you to text/email/shout from the rooftop the following: “My woman’s Herculean efforts have, at last, yielded one small boy. And he is magnificent.” Now I’m struggling to rewrite and forward the message. When all is said and done, what will I have given you?