They were going to have a child. After several months of contented peace, they began to argue about the gender. Their friends, tiring of the lovers’ quarrel had suggested that they have a doctor tell them and let the mystery be solved. The suggestion was shot down. A third doctor appearing into the talks only to end the debate was unacceptable, especially since it would ruin the fun. They declared that the dispute could only be settled by upcoming the birthing day, which was still four months away.
Lizzie wanted a son. Simon wanted a daughter. Lizzie wanted a boy: to bandage scraped knees and to ruffle spiky hair. Simon wanted a girl: to cherish against harm and to spoil with bows and ruffles. In reality, neither cared what sex the child would be, each would love without restraint, but the supposed difference in preference made for hours of excellent clashes in will. A child they would love, but exercising their intellect and will was something they lived for.
So on the battle raged. Beginning from the moment the alarm rang out in the dark hours of the morning to the rustling of bed sheets as the last comment was fuzzily lobbed and the other capitulated, preferring sleep to a retort.
They were to have a child. A child Simon envisioned with soft garnet hair, expressive emerald eyes, glowing ivory skin and chiming crystal laughter. He always thought of their child in gem stone qualities and he was constantly teased for it. But that was what the child was to him, a rare stone; to polish, cherish and seal away from the dangers of the world. Lizzie would chide him, the metaphor would only go so far, as the child would eventually grow up and want to live in the world outside. The green-eyed man would laugh and pull her close, hands gliding across the growing bump of her abdomen. Simon would ask his love, how soon would she be able to let go of their bundle of joy? Lizzie would simply chuckle, snuggle close to his lean frame and mutter, probably not until the child was well past its teens.
They had that talk often. Smiling and whispering, the couple shared their thoughts of a future apart from the test tubes and the charts of their scientific world. Away from the blood of strangers or the rancid odour of burning flesh during surgeries, this life they had created was near magical in its simplicity and the joy that it emanated was as blissful as any euphoric. Here was something man-made, yet nothing could be closer to nature.
A nursery would need to be planned out in the spare guest room. Simon would place the orders for the furniture, but first Lizzie needed to pick the furniture. Left to his own devices, Lizzie jested, the biologist would probably pick titanium and fibreglass. Simon only shook his head and muttered back that if it was left to him, the room would be filled with plush blankets and fluffy pink pillows. The female biologist had cringed and lifted her eyebrows in disbelief, pink? Tall, lean, pale and haughty, Simon had sneered at her through the steel frames of his glasses and declared, yes pink. It was after all going to be a girl.
And then the battle would recommence. Their friends would look at each other and sigh; it would be a harrowing four months.