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Jennifer loved this time of day. The park was quiet. Children were still in school and the addicts that usually hung about at night were usually at the clinic. Jennifer knew it was a stretch to think of the park as a bucolic oasis, but it was so easy, especially on a warm, sunny day like this. So it’s not perfect. That wasn’t going to stop her from being happy. She stroked her swollen belly, her face lit with a dreamy smile. Mildred, an older woman, retired, tottered by with a tote bag and sat next to her, but left enough room between them to be considerate. She sighed deeply and pulled out a bag of bread crumbs and scattered the pieces on the ground. Mildred looked over and smiled warmly. Jennifer returned the gesture with a slight nod. In no time, dozens of pigeons cooed and flapped over the crumbs. “I don’t mean to intrude, but I just wanted to say congratulations,” Mildred said. She glanced down at Jennifer’s ripe belly. “Will it be soon?” “Oh yes, very soon now.” “That is so wonderful. No matter how terrible things may look, genocides, catastrophes of every stripe, tsunamis, wars and what not, but through it all, no matter how gloomy things might seem, new life offers us hope. It brings me a great deal of peace in my old age. I do go on though. May I ask, is it a boy or a girl?” “Excuse me? I don’t think I understand?” “I’m sorry, I said the baby, is it a boy or a girl? Or are you keeping it a secret? Jennifer tried to contain her laugh but couldn’t. “Oh, oh, it’s not a baby,” she said dabbing at her tearing eyes. “That’s a good one though, a baby. Our little miracle is in its fifth triconvexed phasia of gestation, also known as the ‘gnashing period.’ If it continues at this rate we expect it to be fully homeostatic in two, three phasias, max.” “Wait. I thought you said you were pregnant,” Mildred said, clutching her little bag of crumbs, as if it were a shield. “Oh Yes, I’m pregnant, but not with one of ‘those.’ We, that is me and Jeffery, that’s my husband, we decided not to have children. We just weren’t ready. Jeffery’s got his career. And I’m still figuring a lot of things out. So we opted for…for something else.” “Something else?” “Why, yes, dear.” “Life is beautiful isn’t it Mildred, it is Mildred isn’t it? No matter what its shape or exotic genetic make-up or bizarre appetites. Granted, this isn’t a life form in the traditional sense of the world. But me and Jeffery, that’s my husband, we didn’t feel we were ready to bring a traditional, warm-blooded, bi-pedal, member of our own species into the world. That’s a big responsibility. By the way, may ask you what your blood type is?” “It’s O positive.” “Perfect,” Jennifer said, and lifted up her skirt.
Date Written: January 08, 2006
Average Vote: 3.5