Chloe was cross. How could Jim be so stupid? After his confession about his vasectomy Chloe did the right thing and spoke gently to him.
“You are right Jim let’s talk about this in the morning”. She wrapped her arms around him, hugged him affectionately, kissed him on his back then lay still appearing to drift off to sleep. He too relaxed now that her outburst was over and soon was snuffling in his sleep. She was about to move him slightly but thought better of it and tried to work out what they could do to redeem the situation.
She couldn’t believe that in just a split second all her hopes and dreams of a happily married life with Jim bringing up a gaggle of babies had been shattered. In the early hours of the morning she had gone through what she thought were all the possibilities to redeem the situation. Yes, she did love him and was pretty certain that he felt exactly the same way about her. How could he be so stupid to make such decision at such a young age? Would he marry her? Could she marry him now? Should they adopt children? She even thought of having babies by donor sperm. As she drifted of to sleep all her thoughts jumbled into a dream fantasy of scores of babies she was caring for all crying for their mothers while she was hopeless to help them, Jim in the background was shaking his head slowly from side to side.
“Tea” Jim had got up and made a cup of tea. She drowsily peeked out from the covers and looked at him. “Get back into bed”, she said. He did as she asked and looked at her straight in the eyes. “It never seemed to be the right time to tell you”.
“Tell me now. Leave nothing out. I want to know absolutely everything; names dates, places. What exactly were you thinking of?” She stopped there feeling that she might get hysterical. So she reached out for her tea and sipped at it whilst not taking her eyes off him for a moment, lest he might still hide something from her if she couldn’t see his face as he talked.
“I was engaged to this girl, a career girl.” Jim started. Chloe was about to interject, thought better of it and just nodded instead.
“I thought I was in love we had both been in Uni together, spent a lot of time living in each others pockets. We both were ambitious and were constantly planning our lives to minutest detail years in advance. We did absolutely everything together, we met each others parents. Everyone was so proud of us and keen for us to get on and to do well. And we did; we both got good degrees and managed to get good placements. Even though we were sometimes far apart it was agreed we would get married and live happily ever after. Sandra however was adamant that we couldn’t risk having babies at that stage. Later it became we could couldn’t risk having babies at all. After a few years she came up with the idea that we ought to make certain that our plans shouldn’t be compromised by little Jim's or Sandra’s on the scene. Her argument was that the world was overpopulated already. We both had an important job to do. There were plenty of other people having babies they didn’t want and we shouldn’t add to that number. I think once she said can you imagine our babies growing up like my sister or your cousin that would be crime we shouldn't commit. We drifted apart the Christmas before last. An irreconcilable amount of differences".
Chloe couldn’t believe her ears. She just had to say “You said you thought you loved her! And yet a thinking caring man like you would go along with twaddle like that! You didn’t just think you loved her you were blindly, stupidly captivated by this scheming woman. I just can’t believe you would do that”. Chloe paused “Sorry, I am selfish, I am thinking of myself. Just tell me this; how long ago did you have it done”.
“About three years”.
“Well that is better than ten for a reversal”.
“What do you know about vasectomies?”
“A cousin of mine had one after their third child, they were happy to talk about what they had done. Once they decided they had increased the population rather than just replaced it, they decided on the snip”.
Chloe then went on. “You must make an appointment with your doctor to get a referral straight away. Don’t you realise you may have deprived the world of another “Vonnegut, Rowling or Sue Grafton?”
“How about a Pasteur, Cook or Einstein?” he responded. Then thinking about it he went on. “No, the most important thing is to have another Chloe”.
“That is an excellent proposal” she said kissing his nose.