Written by Lumberjacktom
Your skin is so smooth, almost translucent on the delicate curve of your sleeping body. I’m overcome by how fragile you look in that moment; your eyes closed, your shoulder length hair splayed across the pillow. I’m trying to tell if you’re beautiful. I think I’ve forgotten what it means. A squat, square face, big eyes, softened by your smile. A child’s face. Innocent. You have a child’s body as well, I might still mistake you for a boy, if there were any of those.
Doc says you’re ready for a child. He tells me you’re strong for your age, that it don’t matter that your breasts haven’t come through yet, that a baby can live on formula just fine. I keep thinking, maybe if I tell them you’re barren, that your womb’s no good, maybe they’d let me keep you. I wouldn’t have to break your fragile little frame, squirt my seed into your tiny body and let a little life grow inside, ’til it forced its way out, and surely split you on its way. Maybe then, when they didn’t care anymore, I could keep you safe, until you were properly a woman, ’til you knew what it meant to bear a child.
But they wouldn’t let me do that. They’d test you this way and that until they were sure, then they’d go inside and have your ovaries. Or put someone else’s baby in, one made in a lab from the chromosomes of men, a perfect little womb-bearer made to specification by the bio-engineers with their microscopes and pipettes. Just like you.
You wouldn’t let me, either. You want a little life too; it’s what a girl is born for, they say. And why wouldn’t you believe them? It’s what you’ve been told all your life, that is. When you grow up, when you come of age and your body says its ready, we’ll find a man for you, and he’ll give you a little one. Wasn’t it what you were born for? Just like the mother they put you in, deemed fit and seeded with life. So of course its what you want. What you say you want, anyway; I think you’re more scared than you say. I think you know you’re too little, too unspoilt by the world, else you would complain more that we haven’t tried. Seems fitting, you say, that we should get to know each other, since we’re a couple now, some kind of courting period. If it goes on much longer, they’ll find out. They’ll spread your legs on the doctor’s couch, and find out I haven’t yet broken you. Then what? Maybe they’ll seed you with someone else, and leave you with me, so I can stand by you; hold your hand while you push out someone else’s child. Or maybe they’d take you from me, say, “If you won’t use her, someone else will.” Scared to be a man. If that’s how you figure it, I’m as much a man as you are a woman, though I was one and a half times your age when you were born.