From ‘MOTHER’ coming Summer 2014
The word was out before Keisha could stop it. Before she’d even completely thought it. And from the look on Jayson’s face, it surprised him, too.
“I mean …”
“You don’t want to?”
“I meant not now,” Keisha amended. “Just not now, that’s all.”
Ignoring the hints had been simple enough, especially since she was sure he couldn’t possibly be serious. They’d been married less than a year, and things were still up in the air, with his new business, her new career.
“I don’t mean now either,” Jay said. “I meant maybe in a year or so. But you’re taking those shots and that’s for like, three months, right? What if we decide to do it sooner?”
And so there it was.
He might say he didn’t want babies now. He might think he didn’t want babies now. But once she wasn’t taking her Depo shots, all bets would be off.
Keisha lifted her eyes from her plate and focused instead on her husband. Standing in front of the fridge, reaching in for orange juice turning to pour them both glasses, he had no clue that he’d just dropped an atom bomb.
Having babies was not something Keisha was willing to contemplate. They were something she hadn’t been forced to discuss before they were married and she’d been operating under the vain and foolish hope that somehow, she could avoid the subject for, say, the next thirty or more years ‘til she was too old to have them. But that wasn’t true either, because even before the ‘I do’s’ Jay had mentioned wanting sons and she’d easily avoided talking about it because neither of them had been confident about taking care of themselves let alone children.
“Tea or a cappuccino?”
Jay had moved on to making the hot breakfast beverages. Following their Saturday morning routine of eating early at their kitchen table and talking about their week, Keisha was going with him to the store.
Almost a year ago, Jay had acquired a small photo business in town, a modest place that was barely enough for him to eke out a living at. But now it was taking off, because he’d turned it into a photo studio where he took family portraits and vanity shots, booked events and did natural light photography of engaged couples and women seeking glamorous headshots for dating sites.
It was the only way Keisha was able to have caffeine—with frothy, warm milk that almost masked the taste. Jay had gotten her a machine for her twenty-sixth birthday, his attempt at a joke about her past as a barista in a Brooklyn coffee shop. The real gift had been four days in South Beach, a belated honeymoon in a resort where all their needs were taken care of from sun up to sundown. Hands down, those days had been the happiest of Keisha’s life—just her and her man, thinking about no one and nothing else, wrapped up in the newness of being married, and in each other. The way it was supposed to be.
After eleven months of marriage, Jayson Holmes was still the most incredible stroke of luck to have happened to her in her entire life. Every day began with her staring at him, and wondering at the cosmic mistake had led to her finding him, and having him fall in love with her, of all the women in the world who might have had him.
“So what d’you think?” Jay asked looking over his shoulder. “You stop taking the shots and then take the Pill instead so that if we want to get pregnant sooner, it’ll only be a month before we can try for real.”
“I don’t know,” Keisha said, shoveling a piece of toast in her mouth to avoid giving a full answer.
“Or,” Jay said, “we could just … roll the dice.”
At that, Keisha almost choked on her bread. She swallowed hard, now eager to get some words out, because that ridiculous suggestion could not go unanswered.
“We’re nowhere near ready for something like that. Your business just got off the ground, I’m going to …”
“But you’re assuming it would happen right away. Sometimes it takes a while. And I read that when you’ve been on the shots, it sometimes takes longer.”
“Where have you been reading stuff like that?”
“The internet. I looked it up.”
He’d been looking up stuff about going off birth control and conception times? Holy shit.