Chapter One: Now or Never
Hi everyone! I’ve decided to get into writing again. I felt so inspired after reading this fic by @imaginemedreamingstuff. Check out their work! Its AMAZING. Anyway, its been a long time since I’ve written anything so sorry if it needs a little work. Enjoy!
Warnings: fertility/menstrual cycle mention
Never in my life would I have thought to hear the words “low ova count” directed at me. Me. I was under the age of thirty and barely at my mid-twenties and I had limited time to have children of my own. The signs were already there and I was too occupied with finishing college and working full time. Guilt was the first thing I felt after hearing the news. I had only began to worry something was wrong after going months without a cycle or sometimes just a few weeks. This time around, it had been six months since my last period. Which was longer than usual.
My doctors words echoed in my head as I sat on the wooden bench at a children’s playground. I heard faint, high-pitched screams and laughter behind the ringing in my ears. My heart hung heavy. It was one of the warmest days since autumn arrived, yet I felt so cold. I watched a mother and her child eat lunch on the bench across the playground. For the five minutes I watched them enjoy sandwiches and bits of fruit, it felt as if I was watching someone I loved, love someone else. I could have a child, but it would have to be now or never. Did I want a child? I always figured I would, although it never crossed my mind. Watching that mother and child, even if it was just them having lunch, brought me to my reality. If I wanted children, I would have to start trying right now. Only there was one slight issue. I didn’t have someone to have a child with, and I would never consider getting a donor.
Being a single parent was a terrifying thought. I almost shuddered at the idea. “Who would help me? How would I be able to work? If I was to work with a baby, who will take care of them while I’m gone?” The questions were endless. Having a baby right now seemed impossible. I could feel a knot beginning to form in my throat as I fought back tears. I wanted to blame myself for not acting on this sooner, but how could I? I worked hard to get where I was in life. I moved to a whole new country to study abroad and I managed to find a well-paying job to support myself (barely). I did everything I was expected to do at my age, yet it didn’t matter now. I had to fast forward through life to be happy.
I walked all the way home in silence instead of having the usual upbeat music blaring through my headphones. The spinning thoughts in my head were too much for me already. I opened the door to my flat and in that moment, I almost wished I opened it to a family of my very own. It amazed me that I never thought about having a family, let alone when I’d want to have one. My flat felt colder and more empty. I switched on the lamp next to the couch and immediately sank myself into the couch cushions. Just as I thought I was about to finally have my break down, there was a knock on my door. I wasn’t expecting company and I really didn’t want it right now either. I managed to pull myself up and answer the door. There stood my upstairs neighbor who also happened to be my closest friend. “Dan! W-What’s up?” I choked out. I still had the knot in my throat.
“Not much, really. I was looking out the window and I saw you walking home so I thought I would stop by. How did the appointment go?” Dan was the only person I told everything to. He was the only person I felt comfortable enough around to actually talk about anything personal. It had been that way since I met him and his roomate, Phil.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had just moved to London by myself. I was struggling with the moving boxes that contained my pottery supplies when Phil noticed me on his way down the stairs. “Woah, those look really heavy! Do you need help?” He politely asked me. “Oh my God, please?” My fingers were already slipping from the sides when Phil lifted the box from the bottom. “Thank you so much.” I said as we set the box down inside. “No problem! Wait, are those mini flower pots?!” Phil said excitedly as he took a glimpse inside the box. “Yeah! I make them myself.” I replied. Phil’s face lit up as I gestured for him to take a better look. He smiled widely as he pulled out a few. “Do you sell them?” He asked. “Sometimes, but you can just take those. I don’t have the storage here for them anyway.” I said with a smile. “Really? Thank you!” We then heard a voice calling Phil’s name in a loud whisper from the hall. “Phil! Did you forget that we were in the middle of an important battle?! Phil! Where have you gon-” Dan immediately stopped outside my doorway once he saw Phil stood inside my flat. Phil turned to his friend. “Dan look! I was helping this lovely girl bring in a box and it was filled with these! Aren’t they cute? She said I could keep them.” Phil basically shoved the flower pots in Dan’s face.
“Phil, you do realize you have enough house plants that you can’t even take care of.” Dan said, bringing Phil’s hands down from in front of his face. I let out a small giggle. “I forgot to introduce myself! I’m Phil and this is Dan. We live right above you.” Phil held out his empty hand. I gladly shook it and shook Dan’s as well. “Nice to meet you, I’m Y/N.” “Do you need any more help bringing stuff in? You’ve got two of us now.” Phil asked with a small chuckle. “No, that was actually the last box but thank you so much. I really appreciate it.” I gave them a warm smile. “Well, we’ll let you settle in for now. Feel free to stop by our apartment around five tonight. We’re gonna have pizza and watch movies and we’d love to have you over. I mean, if you want to. You don’t have to. You just seem really cool.” Dan said as they both made their way out the door. “Pizza sounds amazing. I’d love to.”
I spent the evening with two guys I had just met and had the time of my life. We all bonded so well, especially me and Dan. We seemed to have the most in common and it was much easier to joke around with him than it was with Phil. My dark humor wasn’t exactly his cup of tea. By the end of the night, Dan had walked me back down to my place. I snuggled into my bed, thinking how I was so lucky to have made two amazing friends in one day.
Dan let himself inside and got comfortable on the sofa. I decided to join him instead of standing. I took in deep breaths. I didn’t want him to watch me completely break down and I was feeling an ugly cry approaching. I stayed silent until the knot in my throat went away. “The doctor said if I want to have children, I would have to start now.” I could see Dan’s face fall from the corner of my eye. Now I REALLY wanted to ugly cry. “What are you going to do?” His voice was low and almost filled with sorrow. Then came the water works. I brought my knees up to my chest and buried my face in my hands. “I don’t know….” Tears fell from my eyes. I felt so defeated and now I didn’t even care if Dan saw. I needed a friend. I needed someone to tell me it was going to be okay. He scooted closer to me and pulled me into a hug. His hands gently rubbed my back. “It’ll be okay. You’ll figure this out. I know you. You’re so strong.” I hated when he would try to comfort me but this time, I really needed to hear all of it. I finally looked up at him and forced myself to smile, mascara running down my face and all. I could tell he held back a giggle after seeing me look so horrific. “Do you want me to stay over? We can watch Hayao Miyazaki movies and eat popcorn.” The look on his face made it obvious that he just wanted to watch cute movies and eat popcorn, despite it being one of my favorite things to do when I was upset. Either way, I was happy to have such wonderful company.