BEDIJ, Creative Writing, My Writing, Snapshot Series

Snapshot 17

Hi, Hey, Hello!

A lot of these aren’t being posted in the order that I wrote them just because during Camp Nano they all kind of got muddled up. But I did write this one after the one that I posted yesterday because I needed context in, mainly for myself at the time, and also I rarely write anything that could be considered slightly conflicting between these two. So I did a little bit. Done talking now, onwards.

‘Hey, so I don’t really know how to say this so I’m just gonna come out and say. The chances of me conceiving are very slim, apparently it’s a hostile environment.’ Lizzy spoke quickly and looked down at a smudge on the kitchen counter while she felt Ryan’s fierce gaze stay on her while she talked.

‘Oooohhhhh…’ Ryan stuttered and then trailed off. The silence that settled over them was awkward and eventually Lizzy slowly lifted her head to look at him and carried on talking to fill the silence.

‘It’s just we talked about kids right, so I thought I would just go have everything checked out and then when we were serious about that aspect of our future we wouldn’t have to worry…’

‘When did you find out?’ He interrupted gently.

‘A couple of days ago.’ She mumbled, looking back down at the kitchen counter.

‘Did anyone, like, go with you or something?’

‘No, I was on my own.’ She admitted quietly.

‘And when you found out?’ She looked up at him and blinked slowly.

‘I was at lunch with Mum and Lols. But they don’t know, I pretended it was a work call. I felt like you should know first seeing as you’re the one it affects most.’ She looked back down at the smudge, but instead started stroking her wrist slowly.

‘Not really though. How long have you really known?’ His voice turned from gentle to harsh.

‘You already know the answer to that.’ She whispered into the tense silence.

‘Yeah but I kinda wanna hear you say it. I kinda want to know why you waited nearly two weeks to tell me, when all you were gonna do is blurt it out over our morning coffee.’ Lizzy closed her eyes and breathed in shakily as Ryan’s voice rose and slipped into anger.

‘Because I didn’t know how to tell you. And besides it’s not like you’re always so forthcoming with information.’ She defended weakly.

‘This is completely different and you know it. And why couldn’t you tell me the way you just did 12 days ago?’

‘I. Didn’t. Know. How.’ She stressed, looking up and staring at Ryan directly.

‘But why? We’re always been good at talking about the big stuff.’ His voice softened slightly and Lizzy groaned loudly before she threw her hands up.

‘Because I was scared okay! Because there’s big stuff and then there’s shit like this and cancer. This is having to sit across from you and tell you that I am a biological failure. I can’t carry your child. You can’t get all moon-eyed over a fucking bump. We can’t clutch hands and watch gloop get smeared all over the new stretch marks erupting on my stomach. We won’t get to wetly stare at an ultrasound and hear a heartbeat emanating from my uterus for the first time. We can’t disagree over whether or not we find out the gender and eventually settle on one of us knowing and the other not without a potential third person being involved. And even if we did decide on surrogacy there’s a chance my eggs won’t fertilise so I could potentially forever walk around looking at a kid or kids with your eyes and chubby cheeks mixed in with the DNA of some other woman and pretend it doesn’t kill me inside. And I’m not like Dylan, I didn’t expect to have to go down the adoption route and I don’t know if I could deal with that not working for whatever reason because it will just remind me that I can’t follow through with my own fucking body and give us a child. And you wanna know what a small part of me is really scared about? I’m scared that this is the last nail in the coffin.’ She sighed out in defeat and closed her eyes.

‘For what? Us?’ Lizzy nodded weakly.

‘Do you think that little of me?’ His asked brokenly and Lizzy opened her eyes and rubbed underneath them quickly.

‘It’s not about me thinking that little of you Ryan. It’s about me thinking in the most basic terms when it comes to the point of life. Something that I can no longer really take part in. Because when you look at it like that it would make sense for this to die.’ She rested her palms against the kitchen counter and watched as Ryan shook his head.

‘Except I’m not in love with your fertility. I’m in love with you.’ He stated bluntly.

‘Don’t make this sound like I suddenly said you shouldn’t be. But you asked why I didn’t know how to tell you and they are the reasons.’

‘Are they all the reasons?’ He asked gently.

‘Well I’m scared to tell our parents about the potential lack of grandchildren from us as well. But yeah they are all reasons.’

‘Firstly, because I feel like you need to hear this right now, I am not going anywhere. As shitty and, honestly, unideal as this situation is, it’s our reality. Our reality. I’m not going anywhere over this. I know we’re not actually married but I’m all here for this “better or worse, sickness and in health, until death do us part” thing. You’re pretty much it for me whether we have children or not. I love you.’ He stood up and walked around the counter and leant next to her, maintaining eye contact with her and talking in a gentle tone. He linked their fingers together and continued,

‘Secondly we’ll tell our parents together. At the same time. Get it over and done with. I’m guessing you’re not scared about telling Lola and Dylan?’ Lizzy shook her head, ‘then tell them when you’re ready. I’ll be there if you want me to. And thirdly, I love you.’ He leaned into her and kissed her temple.

‘You said that already.’ Lizzy responded staring down at their linked hands.

‘And you look like you believe it now.’ He smiled into her hairline.

‘I never really doubted it, but fear is powerful.’ She pulled away and turned her head to look at him properly.

‘Good, you feel better now?’

‘No. Yes. I don’t know. Kinda I guess. Can we talk about it properly later?’

‘Of course we can Liz.’ He squeezed her hand gently.

‘You said you wanted to talk about something.’

‘It was about baby proofing, we don’t have to talk about it now.’

‘Oh gosh that it a thing we’re gonna have to do isn’t it?’ She smiled, gesturing vaguely around the kitchen.

‘Tom was here the other day and has started seeing things in the way they could harm a roaming baby.’ He said fondly.

‘Our house must like a death trap then.’

‘He gave me some pointers on what was bad and how it can be better, but we can talk about it later.’ He insisted and Lizzy looked back down at their hands.

‘Are we okay? Is everything okay?’ She asked after a pause

‘We’re fine, everything else will be.’ His thumb stroked against the skin where it rested.

‘I’m sorry.’ She whispered.

‘This isn’t your fault.’

‘I’m sorry I didn’t tell you 11 days ago.’

‘It is what it is. Any other news you’re keeping from me?’ He tried to joke and Lizzy looked over to him and smiled.

‘I know we just kinda said that we would talk about it some other time buuuutttt, Dylan knows the gender of the baby and Tom doesn’t.’

‘So naturally you know.’ He smiled.

‘Me and Lols. Probably Danny now.’

‘How long have you known?’

‘Since Monday.’ She said sincerely.

‘Are you going to tell me?’ He prompted nudging their shoulders together.

‘You can’t tell Tom. I know you’re spending a lot of time with him and you can’t let it slip out. He wants to be surprised. The baby’s room here has to remain neutral and everything…’

‘Liz!’ He interrupted.

‘Girl.’ She sighed out excitedly.

‘No way! Tom is convinced it’s gonna be a boy. He’s gone through all those old wives tales about the position of the bump and he’s so sure.’

‘Nope, girl.’

‘You know they want us to be godparents right?’ He asked, stroking her hand again.

‘Dyl mentioned it yeah, figured it was best to not rely on you to tell me.’ She laughed and her free hand pushed her fringe out of her face.

‘You know I remember when I met him and I was convinced he was never gonna like me.’ He admitted quietly.

‘You were convinced no one in my family was ever gonna like you.’ As she smiled her tongue pushed against the back of her teeth and her eyes crinkled slightly and Ryan chuckled softly at her expression.

‘Yeah, but him especially. Of all your family, him liking me appeared to matter the most to me.’

‘Danny was scared about Dad.´ She interjected lightly.

‘Yeah your Dad was scary, but Dylan is like your best friend and you always hung out together and he was important to you. I really felt like I made it when you gave me his address, like I finally had this seal of approval even though I already had several meetings with him before that incident.’ He trailed off and scoffed out a single breathy laugh.

‘Why have you brought this up?’ She asked.

‘Because he asked if I would be the godfather and he started talking about how it was kind of a no brainer because I know how to be there for people and bring out the best in them and how if the worse did happen then there is no guy he would be more content leaving to effectively be the father of his child than me. He then thanked me for being the ready-made ‘cool’ uncle or something and about how he knew this little bundle of joy that is arriving into this world soon is probably gonna love me more than them sometimes in the distant, distant future. I nearly cried at it all to be honest.’ He admitted the last sentence against the skin of her shoulder, dampening the edge of the t-shirt that was resting there.

‘You would be a great dad.’ Lizzy said easily yet sadly.

‘Don’t do that.’ Ryan warned.

‘Kind of hard not to.’ She insisted as Ryan pulled back and looked at Lizzy’s stern profile.

‘We can just be the resident cool uncle and aunt who will be there whenever they need someone that isn’t their parents.’ He smiled and watched the end of Lizzy’s mouth quirk up slightly.

‘Is that gonna be enough for you though?’ Ryan eased his hand out of hers and pulled her towards him, placing his hands on her hips and settling her in between his legs.

‘We can have a proper discussion in regards to this whole thing at a later date when this isn’t all so fresh and I’ve processed it and what not. But otherwise yeah, I think it might be.’

‘How can you be sure of that though?’ She looked at a particularly faded spot on his t-shirt and twisted her hands around themselves.

‘Because I don’t want to have to run around after kids with my eyes and chubby cheeks with another woman’s DNA either Lizzy.’ He dropped his hands and took hers in a gentle grip.

‘Right, yeah. Sure.’

‘Don’t sound so damn surprised.’ He squeezed her hands.

‘I’m mainly surprised you took it so well to be honest, I kept going through all the ways it could go wrong.’ She flicked her eyes up to him.

‘Otherwise are you in good health?’

‘Well yeah.’ Her eyebrows knitted together.

‘Then that’s all that matters. I’m not lying to you when I say everything else will be fine.’ He smiled loosely.

‘I love you.’ She squeezed his hands and maintained eye contact.

‘I love you too.’ He replied, causing Lizzy to cock her head to the side and smile with confusion in her eyes. Ryan just smiled back, dropped her hands and pulled her into a hug. Lizzy wrapped her arms around his shoulders and nuzzled into his neck, breathing deeply and letting him squeeze her a bit tighter.

sign off 2


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