Monday, October 10, 2011

Chapter 14

Chapter 14

Rather than giving him a list I asked him another question. “Asa, how old are you?”

“Twenty-five. Why? How old are you?”

“Seventeen I think.”

He got a cautious look on his face. “You’re younger than Jasmine.”

“So?”

“I just … thought you were older.”

“Is that important to you?”

With a confused look on his face Asa answered, “I don’t know. I … I hadn’t really thought about it ‘til now.”

I shrugged. “Well it doesn’t to me. I was just wondering if you expected me to make babies right away or just what.”

He blinked, then blinked again. “If you’re only 17 you shouldn’t be thinking about babies. Lily and Jasmine … I still can’t believe you’re younger than them … they’re nineteen and twenty and don’t want to have anything to do with it.”

“That’s them, not me. They’ve got some kind of hang up over it … afraid and angry that they’re afraid; or at least that is the way I read them. Me, I never had a problem with it, just a problem with being forced. The way it was I figured I might not get a choice before I could escape who they had matched me up with. But if I get a choice I’d like to wait.”

Still struggling to compute the new information he said, “Well yeah, you’re too young.”

Thinking for all his experience Asa was still pretty naïve. “I’m not too young to make a baby; I’m just not sure I’m ready to be a mother. I’ve observed there seems to be a difference.” He did that blinking blank face again. “At SEPH they proved lots of boys and men could make babies but they were never the fathers of the babies they made. For females you could be a surrogate or an incubator … you could produce eggs or could give birth … but you were never the mother.”

Stumbling, like he was having trouble keeping up he stuttered, “Well … uh …”

“That’s what I’m asking. Are you wanting to make babies right now?”

“Hmmm. Well … it would be better to have a house in order and a plan for the rest of it before you add babies to the mix.”

“You’re not just saying that?”

More firmly he answered, “No. Not now that I’ve thought about it. From what I’ve heard babies are messy and take a lot of work. And they’re helpless. Better make sure we can take care of ourselves before we add in something that can’t.”

A knot I hadn’t known was there eased in my stomach. But then two knots took its place when he mumbled, “I don’t know if I can. Iv’e … I’ve heard stories that when the harvesters are finished with you …” He stopped and said, “If there comes a time when you do want a baby and I can’t give you one I won’t stop you from finding a guy that can.”

Surprised I said, “Wait, I thought … well, are you saying that all of this is only for a season or two? I thought we were talking about sticking?”

“Sticking?” he asked confused. Then he jumped, “Permanent? You’d … stick? … with me even if I’m not fertile any more but you are?”

“I thought that’s what we were talking about. This is too much trouble to go through it more than once so I want to make the right choice this time around.”

He started laughing. I hadn’t ever heard him laugh; it wasn’t hard on the ears. But then he kept laughing. He laughed so hard he fell off the rock he’d been sitting on. I’d never made anyone laugh like that before and I wasn’t sure that I cared for it. I got up and bent to pick up my pack and then Asa was there saying, “No, wait Gurl … please. I just … what else? What else do you want to know? Need to so you can say yes?”

“Well for one, you can get off your knees and stop acting so bizarre. I only asked a simple question.”

“How ‘bout you come sit by me. You don’t have to, but it’s drier over here and the gnats aren’t as bad.”

Put like that I decided to sit. He asked again, “Seriously Gurl, what else?”

2 comments:

  1. Well that was nice to get up to this morning.

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  2. Loving this story too.

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