He hadn’t planned on getting pregnant. He always wore a condom, sometimes two. But when his habitual hangover queasiness extended into Sober Week, and the smells of car exhaust and Indian spices nearly brought him to his knees, he began to wonder. Could I be knocked up? The last time this happened he’d been a freshman in college and his girlfriend had been adamant that they weren’t ready. She’d offered to pay for it, which was a nice gesture. He’d always sort of regretted the abortion, but in his heart of hearts he knew she’d been right. And now, 20 years later, he still wasn’t ready. Would he ever be ready? He had two roommates, one of whom refused to turn down his music. He was supposed to go scuba diving in April, which meant bathing suits. He didn’t even know which of last month’s Tinder dates had gotten him pregnant. But he suspected it was the narcissistic, angular girl who’d just left for Europe on a four-month tour with her synth pop band, because wasn’t that always how his cookie crumbled?
She was pretty sure this one was immaculate. The other two were straight-up love children, but here she felt that the devil himself had cast his semen into her. Not cool, man, she mumbled while stuffing peanut butter sandwiches into her bastards’ lunch bags. Not cool at all. The trouble with immaculate conception was the lack of child support payments. If the father were a player or even an administrator with Major League Baseball then she might consider keeping the child, just for the sake of her family as a whole. But no one was more of a deadbeat in financial matters than a divinity. You made a grave mistake, she said, looking at the cracks in the ceiling, of not giving this one to a virgin. I know my way around Planned Parenthood.
Kay sat in the car outside the clinic debating whether or not to go through with her appointment. Her best friend Lonna sat beside her, credit card in hand. When you can’t afford the abortion, said Kay, is that a sign for or against having the kid? Probably against, said Lonna. Unless God is trying to prevent me from killing his creation, said Kay. You mean the creation of you and a hipster butcher and a dozen pickle back shots and two slow songs, said Lonna. Whoa, Lonna, said Kay, pressing her face against the car window, smearing the glass with her tears. Is that Adam from Girls? Walking by with that blonde chick? Holy shit it is, said Lonna. I guess that’s what happens when you put a Planned Parenthood in Downtown Brooklyn. Do you think it’s a sign? said Kay. A sign of what? said Lonna. A sign that my life is finally as rich in urban female drama as Hannah Horvath’s? Is that something you aspire to? said Lonna. Kay opened the car door so she could take a last, wistful look at Adam’s back. Let’s hurry up and get this appointment over with so I can start writing my novel.
She was very short, about four feet tall, and she worried that her offspring would be short as well. Her lover had been of normal stature, but she suspected that these things tracked the female gene pool. Her kid would never outgrow his or her children’s clothes. She’d always have to buy socks with rainbows and cartoons on them. There was nothing inherently wrong with being short, but this was a tall person’s world. If only she could have sex with a giant and split the difference. Sadly there was no way she was going to give birth to someone her own size if she had a choice in the matter. She could barely reach the counter to fill out the form. She patted her belly, which was the same height as her obstetrician’s knees. It’s for your own good, she said. After the procedure, she would console herself by getting a puppy and a few outfits to go with it. It’s going to be all right, she thought, imagining all the dog apparel she could choose from.