Caroline Ch. 04.03byVitorio©
If you are new to this series please read the intro to Ch 01 so you'll know what to expect. It isn't strictly necessary to read the earlier chapters but some of this won't make sense if you don't so I hope you will! More plot development here. I should say that all the talk about IVF etc, is simply for plot development – I have no real knowledge of the procedures or the possibilities.)
Chapter 4.03: Worry and some comfort?
Unfortunately, Jo wasn't in when I got home. She'd left me a message on the answerphone to say that she had to do a quick changeover and work a late shift at short notice so I was left on my own. I sat there feeling absolutely awful. It had been a wonderful day as usual, lots of love and absolutely fantastic sex, sex that I'd never imagined was possible, with the man I loved. But this feeling of fear had gripped me, taken hold of my mind. I'd almost convinced myself that he was gone, so silly, I know, but the thought of losing him was making me almost lose my mind with grief. I'd known him such a short time, how long would we have, what would I have when he was gone? You know what it's like when you feel like this, particularly when you're on your own. You go round and round in circles, trying to find the good and only finding bad. It was all I could think of, losing him, having nothing of him left.
Then I had an idea, it was silly I know, but it made me feel better, not much but at least I perked up a bit when Jo came in. She was dead tired so I just made her some supper and told her that I'd had a marvellous day. I told her that Mike was looking forward to taking her to lunch on Tuesday and she started to get quite excited as I told her what he had said. Unfortunately she had to work lates on Monday as well so I was going to be on my own tomorrow evening as well. I would have to try to snap out of if, especially with Jo going out with Mike on Tuesday and the exciting Sunday coming up. Jo went to bed but I sat up for a while still absorbed in my fear of losing Mike. When I did go to bed I didn't sleep. I kept mulling over my idea. Was it sound, could it happen, what would Jo say, and Mike? Was it even possible in the circumstances. I didn't know but I had to believe that it might be. With this thought I sank into troubled sleep.
I struggled through work on Monday still depressed over my fears and I had to sit alone with them all evening. I didn't want to burden Jo with any of this, I knew she would want to talk about tomorrow with Mike, decide what to wear, make-up and jewellery.
When she arrived home I made her supper as I usually did when she was on lates and, afterwards, we sat talking. She knew me too well for me to hide my feelings from her and she noticed something was wrong.
"What's wrong, Lena, you don't seem yourself tonight. Your not regretting me going out with Mike are you?" she asked concerned.
"Oh no, it's nothing like that," I said determined not to spoil her day tomorrow. I really wanted her to enjoy her time with Mike. I knew he would impress her with his gentlemanly manner, his politeness and his conversation. So I bucked up and replied, "It's nothing Jo, I just had a bad night followed by a load of miserable customers at work, and stocktaking on top of it all. Now, what are you going to wear tomorrow. You must look your best, none of this 'couldn't care less' dressing now you know!"
She laughed, "No, I'll dress up to the nines. What do you think?"
"Well, you know he likes bottoms. I'm sure he'll love yours so why not show it off, you know, wear jeans. You hardly ever do and you do have that really nice tight pair, you know, the red ones."
"I can't wear those," she said shocked, "they're positively indecent. No, I can't wear those out with him, I'm sure that he wouldn't be very pleased."
"No, perhaps you're right," I said pensively, "why don't you wear that lovely cream business suit you got for that training course you went on, you know, with the knee length skirt. If you wear that new scarlet blouse with it and those lovely new shoes, you know 2½ inch heels, you'll look a knockout. I'm sure he'll be impressed."
"Mmmmmm," she said, "yes, I think I will. I'll just go and get it and make sure it still fits!"
Off she went, returning in a few moments dressed in the suit. She looked lovely, the cream showing off her darker skin and dark hair. I smiled up at her, "You'll do," I said, "wear that and knock him dead."
"OK, I'll wear this. You sure I look OK?" she said suddenly losing confidence.
I smiled wanly, "I'm certain you do, he'll be overwhelmed. I'm sure he will like that style of dress and it really does suit you so well. You'll be alright, don't worry. He'll be the perfect gentleman. You certainly won't have to fend of his hands all day and I'm absolutely certain that he won't mention sex at all. You see, you'll have a great time." I yawned, my lack of sleep was catching up on me, "I think I'll go to bed now and catch up on some sleep. See you in the morning and don't worry you'll enjoy yourself."
We kissed each other goodnight and off I went to bed. Truthfully, I didn't sleep much that night either. I was still thinking about losing him, about what I was going to do and how everyone was going to react when I suggested my plan.
In the morning Jo and I had breakfast together and chatted about the day ahead. Mike was coming at 10.30 to pick her up and she was already getting excited.
"Jo," I said smiling, "he's only taking you out to lunch you know, there'll be much more later, get excited then."
"I know," she said, "but this is the first time I've been alone with him, you know, without you there. Perhaps he won't really like me, be bored, or something."
This was unusual from Jo. She is usually very confident with men so she was obviously very concerned that all went well today. "Jo, you are a very beautiful woman and you couldn't bore anyone, let alone Mike. And I know he likes you, he told me, so don't worry just be yourself and I know he'll fall in love with you."
"What did he say about me," she asked quickly, "come on Lena, tell me."
I didn't think I ought to tell her ALL he had said, at least not now, perhaps later so, "All I'm going to say is that he said he likes you very much and he fancies you. There, that should be OK. Now I'm going to work. I'll see you tonight and you can tell me all about it." With that I put on my coat and left for work.
It was another long day of hard work and I was quite tired when I got home. Jo, as usual when she is off, had prepared dinner which we ate together. Afterwards I asked her about her day.
"Oh Lena, it was exactly as you said it would be. He was dead on time and the perfect gentleman and now I know what you mean about his eyes. He looked at me in that way, you know, it made me feel so sexy I wanted to have him then and there. Aren't I awful?"
"Not really," I laughed, "I quite often feel like that. Did you enjoy yourself?"
"Oh yes, it was marvellous. He talks about everything and he actually listens doesn't he. You know, most of the blokes we go out with couldn't care less about anything other than their cars or bloody football. We talked about history, food, music, oh everything really. The time went so quickly, I didn't want it to end."
"Where did he take you, that little pub I bet."
"Yes, with the lovely gardens. We spent a long time sitting out there talking. Do you know he actually made me blush just looking at me. I felt as if he was touching me all over as his eyes were on me. It's a squishy feeling."
"'Squishy'?" I said, "where's the cool and in control Joanna now? You fancy him don't you?"
"Yes I do. He's lovely but I don't want to do anything to hurt your relationship with him. You're jealous aren't you. I can tell. You haven't been yourself for the last two days. Come on Lena, tell me what's the matter."
"Oh Jo, no, I'm not jealous. I was, a little bit, but not now. We talked it over, Mike and I, and I'm not jealous any more. I want us all together. I want him to have you, if you want. I know he does."
"I know something is the matter, I can tell. You know you aren't any good at hiding things Lena. What is the matter?"
It all caught up with me and I started to cry, "Oh Joanna, I feel so terrible, like I'm dying. I've got this terrible feeling inside me and it won't go away. It's like a lump of lead in my tummy dragging me down."
She came over and hugged me, just like she always does when things are wrong for me, and she said, "Come on, spit it out 'better out than in' you told me. Lena, you know you can talk to me, I love you."
This made me cry even more and I had to hold back the tears as best I could so I could explain to her how I felt.
"Jo, I feel so terrible. On Sunday after we made love he had a pain in his chest. At first he denied it then he said yes but it was nothing. I remembered then that he mentioned he'd met a friend of his, Roger who is a cardiac specialist. Jo, I got really worried then but he insisted there was nothing wrong. He'd got the pain last Monday and had seen Roger just in case it was anything serious. They did all the checks and he's OK, it's just a rib that he broke years ago acting up."
"Well, there's nothing to worry about then is there."
Still sniffling I replied, "No, not about that, but it made me realise, oh of course I know really, but it made me realise, you know right up front, how much older he is. I know he doesn't look or act it but he is. This made me think that he was so vulnerable to everything, you know health wise, and that it was likely," and here I choked, "that I would lose him. Jo, I couldn't stand that, not now, not after such a short time with him. It's making me feel like lead, like I've already lost him. I can't stop thinking about him not being here and it makes me feel so empty, so alone. I'm sorry, I know I have you and you'll be here for me, but it's such a painful feeling."
She cuddled and shushed me, "I think that's what love does to you Lena, it makes you feel like this. I suppose it's the down side. Everyone who loves someone else has to face the prospect of losing that love. You have to face it too, to come to terms with it."
"I know that, but it's so difficult because he's so much older. I don't know, I just can't get it out of my mind."
"But you must. Otherwise life is going to be unbearable, don't you understand. You must live for today, take what life gives you today. Think about tomorrow but you don't know what it will bring. You've found a man you love, he loves you. Enjoy it. It's something that doesn't happen to everyone. I learnt that with that bastard Steve. That's why I want to be part of your love for him, because I love you and I want to love him. Come on, pull yourself together for yourself and for him! How do you think Mike will feel if you keep on like this. You're going to emphasize the age difference and make him feel worse."
Of course she was right, and I had thought of something that would make me feel better, my plan.
"Jo," I said, calm now that my decision was made, "I know a way to make me feel better," I paused gathering myself, "I want to have his baby." I expected an explosion from Jo then. I was sure that she would not be happy.
"Why?" she said quite calmly.
"Well," I was a bit taken aback by her measured response, "I'll have something of him, you know, afterwards, if anything happens. Something to treasure and love. I never thought about having babies before but lying awake for the last two nights I've come to think I would like it, his child and mine, together. What do you think? Do you mind?"
Jo laughed, "Lena you really are priceless, that's why I love you so much," and she hugged me really tight. "If you want to have a baby of course I don't mind but what about Mike, what does he say?"
"Well, I haven't actually mentioned it to him yet. You see I only thought of it over the last couple of nights. I wanted to talk to you about it before I asked him. Do you think it's alright?"
"Lena, it's really your decision but I love you for asking me. Yes, it's alright, but I hope you've thought it through."
"Probably not," I said, "but there is a major problem."
"He's had a vasectomy. About 25 years ago."
"Oh, I suppose that is a problem."
I explained, "You know I came off the pill. At first I didn't think, didn't care about being pregnant. He never used anything and I didn't consider it. Then one day I just mentioned it to him and he told me that he 'fires blanks' as he calls it. So it's never been a problem, now it is because I want him to make me pregnant but I don't know if it's possible."
"Well, I'm not sure, but I don't think that a vasectomy actually stops a man producing sperm, just stops it getting out, as it were. Look, you've got to talk to Mike about this, you can't just make an arbitrary decision like this. Phone him and get him over here to discuss it. I've got to go to work tonight, they phoned me earlier, the bloody temps have let us down again. He can stay with you, you know, after you talk it over. If there is a doctor about tonight I'll ask them about it, OK. Now, go and phone him."
I'd calmed down by now and I knew she was right, she nearly always is about things like this so I phoned Mike. Luckily he was in.
"Hi," I said, "it's me."
"Me who," he said laughing, "hello Lena. Are you OK?"
"Oh yes, I'm all right. Look, I need to talk to you. Can you come over?"
"Is everything alright?" he said, immediately sounding concerned. I didn't normally phone him so he was worried something was wrong. He was very sensitive to things out of the ordinary, as if the routine kept things in order, especially our relationship. I knew he was always frightened of losing me, you know, me going off with a younger man, so I had to reassure him.
"Nothing's wrong, I just want to see you, can you come over?" Unfortunately I couldn't keep the tears out of my voice and his response was immediate.
"I'll be right over, hold tight."
"I told you he'd be over straight away," Jo said, "I'm going to get ready."
Ten minutes later the door bell went and he was here. He threw his arms around me and held me tight. I did the same but I cried as well. I knew this was going to be difficult because there were difficult things to say.
"Lena, what's the matter, tell me."
"Come in and sit down. I need to talk to you." He got that look again, you know, as if I was going to dump him so I quickly said, "No, I'm not going to ditch you, you silly man. You can take that look off your face. I love you, all right?" He followed me into the living room and we sat.
"I'm sorry Lena," he said turning to me, "but you know how I feel. I worry when I see you like this. What's wrong. You were so happy on Sunday."
"Look, Mike this is going to be very difficult for me, hard for me to say but I must. On Sunday when you felt that pain, you know, in your chest and I asked you about it and seeing Roger."
"Yes," he said, "but I told you, it's nothing to worry about. Honestly Lena, I won't lie to you, I'm OK, very healthy for my age."
"I believe you," I said holding myself in check now. I had to be strong because I didn't know how he would react when I finally asked him. "What happened on Sunday really hit me hard. No, don't interrupt, let me finish. I realised that I might lose you," I started to cry softly, "and I couldn't stand it. The thought of losing you after such a short time."
He hugged me tight and I cried softly into his shoulder as he whispered to me, "Lena, you're not going to lose me," he laughed, "I'll wear a label if you like," he said echoing my response before.
"But," I said, "oh, this is difficult. It made me realise, you know, our age difference and, oh dear . . ."
"I understand," he said making it easier for me, "I'm much older so I'm going to die." This blunt assertion made me even worse. I sobbed and held him so tightly it hurt.
"Don't say that, don't say that."
"But Lena, sweetheart, we all die. We have to take what today offers us, tomorrow's another day. Everybody who loves another has to face the idea of being alone again. We both have our demons. I worry that you'll find a nice young man and leave me, you worry I'll kick the bucket. We should both stop worrying and enjoy each other. What do you say?"
Him saying out loud how he worried about me bucked me up a bit and I decided that now was the time. I realised as well that my plan would solve his worry as well. I would hardly leave him for another man if I had his baby would I.
"Mike, I've thought of a way to make it easier." He looked with interest. "I want to have your baby," I blurted out looking intensely into his eyes. "You see he or she would be a part of you that I'd have forever, oh you know what I mean." I held my breath wondering how he would respond.
He smiled at me, took my face in his hands and kissed me. "That's the nicest thing you could say to me," he said smiling, but then seriously, "but I don't think it's possible. You remember, I've had the 'snip'."
"You don't mind?"
"Don't mind what?"
"Don't mind that I want to have your baby?"
"Mind, of course not. It's the most loving thing that a woman can do for a man, to carry his child willingly and lovingly. I might be a bit old to be a dad but the fact that you want to makes me love you even more."
I smiled at him and gave him a kiss. I was feeling better now, more confident. He has this effect on me, "So, if it was possible you wouldn't mind?"
"If it is possible, I'll do everything in my power to make it so," he said determinedly, "I bet you'd look even more beautiful when pregnant."
I laughed at him, "What, all fat tummy and everything."
"Oh yes," he said kissing me again, "oh yes."
Jo came into the room, "Hello lovebirds," she said smiling, "she's told you has she," she said to Mike.
He laughed, "I might have known she'd discuss it with you first. Yes she's told me and, if it were possible, I'd love it but I don't think it's possible."
"But Jo said," I butted in, "Jo said that a vasectomy didn't actually stop a man making sperm. Is that right Jo?"
"Yes, as far as I know. Look, I said that I'll ask a doctor if there's one on tonight who knows and I'll tell you in the morning. I've got to go now so 'night all, see you in the morning. Don't do anything I wouldn't do." She ended laughing.
I smiled at Mike and then I heard his stomach rumble, "Have you had any dinner?" I asked. He shook is head. "Oh dear, you rushed straight over. I'll make you something, OK." He nodded so I made him an omelette and some salad and some things and chatted away to him whilst he ate.
"That was lovely, thank you. I suppose I had better be going?"
"No, stay, please. Wait with me until the morning to see what Jo has to say. I don't want to sleep on my own tonight. Please stay with me."
"I'd love to," he said smiling across at me.
"Let's sit together, I need to hold you."
So we went into the lounge and snuggled up together on the settee. I held him very tight and asked him, "Are you sure you're not annoyed with me. I'm sorry for saying all those things but I felt so sad on Sunday and I had to get it out of my system."
"No, I'm certainly not angry with you, I understand how you feel, I feel like that sometimes too, you know, when I see you with young men. I have this terrible feeling that you might leave me for one of them, so of course I understand. Anyway, how could I be angry with such a beautiful woman?"
There you are, he does it again. When I'm feeling low or sad he tells me I'm beautiful. Oh, I know he's fibbing, I'm not that pretty but he makes me feel so wonderful. I suppose it's because to him I am beautiful and that's all that matters. "What about me having a baby? You're not angry about that are you?"