I couldn’t believe what I had just been told. They were lying, or making it up. They couldn’t have–could they? I glowered at Jay and she stared blankly back at me, like she always did. That stupid blank stare. It really infuriated me.
“You did WHAT?” I yelled.
Jay took a step back. “I am sorry for having to trick you, Mr. Danevbie, but we could not just sit around and wait for you to get any older while we go searching for a mythological food dish!”
“YOU CAN’T DO THIS!” I clutched my head, feeling quite dizzy. “You can’t just play with people like this! We signed a contract!”
“That contract has not been broken,” Jay said.
“We agreed–ambrosia–we–” I looked down at the flimsy gown I was wearing and slowly put my hands on my stomach. “I am going to sue you for this.”
“It is not our fault you did not read the contract in its entirety,” Jay said in a pleasant manner. “There was no reason for you to sign your name without reading everything.”
I pressed my hands harder against my stomach. Could they really have done this to me? “What about the procedure?” I demanded. “You said it takes time before you can–impregnate me?”
“Another lie,” Jay said.
I sank down onto the edge of my bed, still clutching my stomach. Could there really be a baby in there? Could they really have this technology? “What if I’m not?” I asked, rubbing the spot where the baby would be. I think. “How can you be so sure after, what? Two days?”
Jay looked down at her feet. “You are correct. There is a chance it did not take.”
“And if it didn’t take, then what? I won’t agree to this again!” I snarled, getting back up to my feet. “You’re just playing me and I don’t like that. I swear I will sue you…”
“Have it your way!” Jay threw her hands up, looking annoyed now. “Tell a lawyer, get us all involved in a big lawsuit. But what if you are pregnant? What will you do then? The only people who know how to deal with a male pregnancy are us. You get us sent to jail and then you and your baby will probably die.”
I reeled back, shocked and horrified by her words. The worst part was they were true. They had me cornered. I couldn’t do anything about this until I knew whether I was pregnant or not. This is all too crazy, I thought miserably. What a mess I’ve gotten myself into. Why do I have to be so stupid and gullible?
“Mr. D-Dan… I m-mean… J-Jacob…” Kay stood up and came over to me, giving me a very worried look. “I’m s-sorry we lied to you. But p-please understand our s-side of things. W-we need someone who is willing to d-do this for a baby and not f-for money like our other volunteers. Someone who really wants this.”
“You made me think that I’d get the other thing I wanted,” I muttered, feeling too weary of them both to really yell. “I asked for ambrosia.”
“It d-doesn’t exist.”
“Then why the book?” I was trying to yell but it came out as more of a whine.
Kay reached out, taking hold of my arms. “It’s j-just a b-book.”
“You lied to me.”
“I’m sorry,” Kay said and he meant it, judging from the tone in his voice. There was something slightly more trusting about Kay than there was about his sister. But it still hurt, I still felt so dang stupid. But it was my fault. I trusted them when I knew I shouldn’t. I skipped over the contract, assuming that because some of the stuff I agreed to was in there that they really would try to find ambrosia.
What if I don’t live long enough to see my grandkids? I wondered, looking down at my stomach. What if I’m not even pregnant? Will I really sue them? I looked back up into Kay’s eyes.
“You better hope I am preggers,” I said, trying to sound ticked off. “Because if I’m not then you’ll never see me again.”
Kay looked a bit nervous but Jay…. it was very apparent she didn’t believe me one bit. I didn’t even believe myself. This chance… it was a crazy chance, but I was getting older and what if the adoption service never let me adopt? Was this really my last chance at a kid?
I stepped away from Kay, clutching my stomach again. I was scared. I was really scared. I was scared of living the rest of my life without anyone. Without a wife, or without a kid. This opportunity–could I really just pass it up? Could I turn my back on the Reddings? I wouldn’t go to a lawyer if I was pregnant, but if I wasn’t?
I don’t know, I thought, turning away from their creepy stares. I don’t know anything anymore! How had my life come to this? I was a guy for pete’s sake! I couldn’t be standing here wondering if I was pregnant? How could my life have been turned upside down so much? Was this some sort of alternate reality? A dream? Maybe I was dead and this was some sort of Limbo-Land.
Jay walked over to me, putting a hand on my shoulder. She looked so full of it that I wanted to just dump water on her or something. She was so arrogant, and it really irritated me that she could just give me these smug looks.
“I think right now you should just rest,” she said. “You’ve had quite the shock.”
“Yeah, telling a guy he’s pregnant is a bit of a wringer!” I snapped half-heartedly.
Jay stepped over towards the door, pulling Kay along with him. “Just relax for a bit, Mr. Danevbie. I don’t want your stress levels to get too high.”
She shut the door behind her, leaving me alone. I sat back on the bed and drew my legs up, feeling a bit like a little kid again. Left alone, scared, confused, lost.
I buried my face in my arms and cried, unable to stop myself.
After the Reddings checked me over, they took me back to the cramped lab where my clothes were waiting.
They left me be while I changed and once I was fully dressed, I looked around the little lab with worry. I still couldn’t figure out how I felt about all this.
When I got home, I felt a bit dazed. Everything was how I left it so the first thing I did was call Elouia. She told me that yes, the science lab had called to let her know I would be unable to work and was everything okay?
“Y-yes,” I stammered. “Everything is fine. I should be able to work tomorrow. Thank you.”
I hung up, sighing. How could I explain to her the truth? I would have to eventually. If I was pregnant. Everyone would know. My stomach would get bigger and bigger… I guess I could pretend I was getting fat, but then how would I explain suddenly being thin again and having a baby?
I tuned these thoughts out of my head by spending several hours chilling out in front of the TV. I watched the cooking program, not feeling emotionally up to watching the romance channel.
I didn’t get to sleep until late at night and the little bit of sleep I did get was very fitful. I woke up feeling exhausted and depressed, but I put on a cheerful face for work.
Am I? The thought plagued me throughout the day, never once leaving my mind. Could I really be? Was it possible?
Is there a baby in here? I wondered the next morning, clutching my stomach. I had been told to come in after two weeks but that felt like forever. Two weeks of not knowing. Was I pregnant? How would I be able to tell? Would I have all the normal signs?
How can I even be thinking this?! This was pure insanity. I wasn’t pregnant. I couldn’t be. They were just… pulling my leg. It was a joke, a stupid joke.
It can’t be a joke. Or was it? AUGH! Everything was so–damn–CONFUSING!
It was hard not thinking about babies when I was spending all my time with them. Every time I interacted with one of the daycare kids I wondered if I’d be doing this someday soon with my own child. It was what I wanted. I really did want a kid. But for me to be pregnant?
If I am, it’s too late to back out now.
I’ll admit, sometimes I got excited at the thought. I would be doing something like feeding Hercules or toasting bread when the thought of having a kid would just overexcite me. If I was married and had a wife, I would be more than ecstatic that she might be pregnant. Why was I letting the science lab making me feel guilty about this?
Okay, so it was weird for a guy to be pregnant but could I really just wallow in self-pity that they tricked me into this? I was still angry at them but could do nothing until my pregnancy was confirmed. And if it wasn’t… would I let them try again?
I might be having a baby… It invaded my thoughts no matter what I was doing, and I no longer cared. No point in worrying about it. I mean, sure I might not be pregnant but if I was, it was a good thing. It would get me what I wanted. Yeah it was so FREAKY that I would be the one giving birth to my own child and frankly the thought of a C-section terrified me. Letting them cut me up? I had nightmares about it all the time.
But I also dreamed of babies. Holding my baby, teaching my baby to talk and walk, sending my child off to school. These dreams made up for the nightmares more than anything else could.
I was having to pee a lot more than usual. Or was it my imagination? As the two weeks neared to an end, I found myself rushing to the bathroom. Was it a little speck of a baby putting pressure on my bladder? Surely it was too soon, right?
Maybe it was because I was eating more. But wasn’t that also a sign I might be? Or was it too soon? I must be imagining all this. The food, the bathroom urges–they were all just because my mind wanted this to happen. Right? Or was it NOT too soon? Could these REALLY be signs? I wanted to go out and get a book on pregnancy but I was scared. If I wasn’t pregnant, I would just be setting myself up for disappointment.
Or was I?
At the end of the two weeks, I left to go to the science lab. I had made up my mind. The past two weeks had made me realize that if I wasn’t pregnant now, then I would let them try again.
This was what I truly wanted, as insane as it sounded. I could just see Jay’s smirk already. But I hoped that I wouldn’t have to tell her. I hoped that I was already on my way to being a father.
When I got to the lab, I was taken to Lab C’s medical room and I changed into a gown. Jay came in shortly after and greeted me. If she noticed anything strange in my demeanor, she didn’t say anything about it.
What if I am? I thought as she began setting up the testing equipment. What if I’m not?
The examination took quite a while. Jay did some sort of scan and then had me give her a sample of my urine and also my blood. She left me alone in the room while she went to test them and finally, finally, she had a result.
Her face was, of course, blank when she came back in the room. I held my breath, waiting for the news. Am I? Am I not? What if I am? What if I’m not?
When Jay told my the results, I gasped and then promptly fainted.