“Do you want this top?” I asked, holding up a wisp of metallic fabric by its spaghetti straps. “I don’t have the tits for it.”
“Er, I won’t be able to wear any nice tops like that for while,” she said, “…you’re going to be an auntie again!”
I stepped back and looked at her belly.
“I’m 18 weeks pregnant.”
I paused for slightly too long.
“Oh my God, congratulations! I’m so happy for you!” I said, kissing and hugging her, careful not to squish the little life inside her.
Shit. Now I have another reason to stay alive.
“Wow guys, you’re going to have a new baby brother or sister,” I said to my 2 current reasons for staying alive. “Are you excited?”
“Yes! I hope it’s a girl. We heard the heartbeat yesterday and it was like whoosh whoosh whoosh and it moves around so much like it’s dancing!” said my niece, barely able to contain herself.
“Wow that’s cool. How about you, little man?” I said to my nephew.
“Mummy has an alien inside her tummy,” he said, looking at the ground, clearly fuming at the reality that soon he won’t be the baby anymore.
“Ewww, I know, it’s kinda gross isn’t it?” I said, expressing my own true thoughts under the guise of kid-speak. He nodded earnestly.
I looked at her bloated stomach. There’s a little life in there, I thought. How peculiar.
Another reason to stay alive.
It’s so strange how women walk around for months with little lives inside of them. And how women can have something growing inside of them for weeks before they even know it exists. And some women grow a whole human inside of them and have no idea until it starts screaming at them from the toilet bowl.
I will never have children.
I briefly considered that the alien might be an Einstein or it might be a Hitler.
Another reason to stay alive. To see how it turns out.
I suddenly felt annoyed. How could you? I feel bad enough about leaving these 2 little humans, now I have to hang around to meet and fall in love with this alien too? Stop giving me reasons to stay alive. I don’t want to.
“When’s it due?”
“Early Feb 2019.”
Fucking 2019! Next calendar year! I have to stay alive until next year?!
Maybe this little life, this little alien, will be enough to melt my cold, dead heart. But I don’t want it to. I don’t want any more reasons to stay alive, I don’t want any more reasons not to leave. I am so selfish. But that’s just one of my reasons for wanting to go. And one of the reasons why I’ll never have children.
A new target.
I stared at her belly. It houses another magical being that should be enough to make me fight my diseases. But I already have 2 magical beings and though I wish they were enough, they are somehow not. They disappear when I take a knife to my wrist, they can’t shout as loud as the voices that visit me at night, they don’t see me cry like a child, they don’t pull me back from the edge of the platform, they can’t cancel out years of pain and they can’t erase thousands of bad memories. I wish they could but they can’t. It’s too much to ask of them. I realised this while I was staring at my sister’s stomach and telepathically asking the alien, “Are you going to save me?” No. No one can.
“I’ve got a new target then,” I said.
I live by targets. My last target was April 15th 2018. I reached it. I have been living targetless, and terribly, since then. Now, at last, a new target. One I’m not sure if I want, but one that I know I need.
Another reason to stay alive.
“Can’t wait,” I smiled.
Originally published on Hijacked Amygdala here (my 100th post!)