Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol. 21  No. 1
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People Like Us

Before we meet in person, she asks for a few photos and makes me fill out a detailed questionnaire about my health. Surgeries? Zero. Blood pressure? The good kind of low. Smoker? Only in college. I leave out the panic attacks, the bout with hair loss, and the shellfish allergy that sneaked up overnight when I was nine. The only time I lie outright is when I list both of my parents as alive.

We agree to see each other by the carousel in front of the Corte Inglés department store on Calle Serrano. It’s a place I’ve visited before with my best friend, Clara, and her set of Irish twins. Here, the children always outnumber the adults.

When she shows up, she looks just as I imagined. I spot her first as she walks toward the black bench where I sit alone. Her face hides behind large sunglasses; the name of the Italian brand is legible, even from afar. Her limbs are tan, as are the leather shorts she wears with a white bedazzled T-shirt and a pair of sneakers emblazoned with gold stars that I know are intentionally made to look dirty even though they are brand new. In the crook of her right elbow hang three shopping bags made of thick, smooth cardboard. They’re from stores I recognize but have never set foot in. Her hair shines glossy and expensive.

Andrea? she asks and removes her shades. Her teeth are bleached white.

I get up and nod. Tatiana?

She comes up close and throws an air kiss near each cheek, even though only the Spanish do that and neither of us are from here.

We exchange pleasantries about the heat for longer than necessary, then decide to walk to a trendy café nearby, where they serve cold-pressed juices that cost as much as I make in an hour and colorful bowls of raw vegetables and seeds neatly arranged into rainbow-like layers.

When we reach the cashier, I can tell she’s a regular by the way she addresses the servers by their first names. She asks what I want to order and adds that it’s on her even though we both knew that already.

We sit down and I wait for her to talk first as I think it’s only appropriate that she begin this conversation.

You look younger than your age, she starts.

I used to dislike this about my appearance. I thought people didn’t take me seriously because of my freckles and small, childlike features. Only now in my mid-thirties have I’ve started to see it an asset. There’s such a short shelf life to a woman’s desirability; I’m lucky to be able to extend it.

Yeah, I get that a lot. Runs in the family.

I search her face for similarities but find none. From our previous exchanges, I know she’s only a year older than me, but we look almost a decade apart, not only because I can pass for someone in their early twenties, but because, in the wrong light, she could be pushing forty. I can’t place my finger on why that is.

How long have you been in Madrid? she asks.

Almost four years now, even though it feels like longer. You?

A little over two. Still getting used to the winters. They sort of depress me. Do you go back often?

I’ve only been back to Caracas once, I say. For my mother’s funeral, but I leave that part out. Once people learn about a dead mother, it’s all they see. How about you?

We can’t go back yet, she says. My husband . . . She rolls her eyes. He’s on one of those government lists—that’s why we left.

Half an hour goes by, and we talk about everything except the thing we came here to talk about. The only time we find common ground is when she mentions her close friend, the woman who put us in touch.

I love her kids, I say. I babysat them for almost two years.

And you don’t anymore?

No, they outgrew me, I say. I hadn’t heard from them in a while, which was why I was so surprised when she called to tell me about this.

At last, an opening.

So, why are you doing this? I take the last sip left in my smoothie. The air suctions loudly against the bottom of the glass.

She shifts in her seat and starts twirling one of the many gold rings adorning her fingers. Well, I don’t have a uterus, she says. I mean I had a uterus, but I had to get it removed during my daughter’s birth. There was a complication . . . She rolls her eyes again. They had to take it out, even though I begged them not to. But I would’ve died if not.

I’m sorry, I say, and mean it. I’ve seen enough of my friends’ gory C-section photos to easily imagine her stomach sliced open, the doctor first removing a bloody bundle of joy, then cutting out its defective cradle. I want to ask her what she focused on more: the fullness in her arms or the emptiness inside her body. It would reveal whether she’s a glass half-empty or half-full kind of person. But I guess I know the answer to that already, since we’re sitting here, having this conversation.

My mother also had her uterus removed, I say to try and bring some compatibility to the table. But it was later, when I was twelve, so I guess it’s quite different.

Do you have any siblings? she asks.

No, it’s just me.

I’m an only child too and that’s the thing, she says. I don’t want my daughter to grow up by herself.

She touches her earrings now, caresses the pearls with her thumb. I hardly know anyone else who grew up like me, alone in the backseat of the car. I had friends, sure, but none of those bonds were thicker than water. I wonder if that’s why she chose me, because we were both from the same breed of lonely children.

I understand, I say. I wish I had siblings all the time, even now. I don’t have any jewelry on my hands to play with so instead I fold the damp napkin on the table into smaller and smaller triangles.

Me too.

I have to go soon, I add, and Tatiana seems surprised. Work.

What do you do?

I work evenings at a restaurant.

Nights could go long since Madrileños preferred to eat dinner closer to midnight. But it was better than being in my room alone, staring at the ceiling, struggling to fall asleep.

I’ve really enjoyed talking to you, she says and reaches for her bag. I hope we can speak again.

Same, I’d like that.

I have to ask, though, before I get my hopes up. Is this something you’re seriously considering?

Her eyes are now unsure of me.

You haven’t had your own kids yet, and I read that most women who do this have gone through at least one pregnancy before.

Well, I’m not scared of pregnancy, if that’s what’s worrying you.

No, no, of course not, she says, and waves her hands exaggeratedly as if that thought never crossed her mind.

And the truth is, I don’t see kids in my future.

Really? She seems taken aback. Why not?

I don’t think it’s in the cards for me, I explain, even though I once thought it was very much in the cards. I think I might as well help someone like you while I still can. Biological clock and all.

There’s also the money, of course. The main reason I’m considering it. But we both pretend like that isn’t part of this equation.

It’s such a selfless thing to do, she says. I admire you.

We say goodbye to each other and this time I go in for the kiss on both cheeks. I walk away pleased with myself. After years of failed job interviews, it feels like I’ve finally aced one.


I have no plans on my day off, a Sunday, when everyone is busy heading to the park or enjoying languid lunches at a crowded table with sobremesas that last for hours. The apartment is empty because my roommate is in Barcelona for the weekend with her boyfriend. She left a few dirty dishes in the sink, and I want to leave them there for her when she gets back, but the stale gray water disgusts me so I end up rinsing the plates myself. She’s been getting a little sloppy in the house, probably on purpose, since she’s brought up hiring a maid several times in recent weeks. She tries to justify the extravagance by saying we both grew up with full-time help back home; that we’re not good at cleaning because we never learned how to do it properly. I remind her that cleaning ladies here actually make a living wage, which unfortunately falls beyond my budget. I worry she’s starting to look for another roommate more aligned with her expenses.

I find two-day-old leftovers in the fridge and eat them while crouched over the counter. I pull out my phone for company and my thumb compulsively hits the small camera icon. The world opens up.

It’s early August, so my feed is populated with people diving into crisp Mediterranean water, eating freshly grilled fish, drinking Aperol Spritzes. There are toddler noses sloppily lathered in sunscreen. Kids buried underneath sand. Chubby toes on grass. Sun-streaked strands of blonde hair. Fingers dripping with chocolate ice cream. Sunsets.

Even though I vowed to stop doing this, I type her name in the search field and click on the handle. Thankfully, her life is still open for consumption.

There they are.

There he is.

The last post is one I’ve seen before. It’s several months old. A Father’s Day tribute.

Santiago sits on the floor, his hand held out wide while a girl in a Cinderella costume paints his nails a bright shade of pink.

To the man of the house, our one and only, the caption reads. We love you.

He’s just woken up. I can tell by his heavy eyelids and the Rubén Blades T-shirt he’s wearing. I have one just like it. He bought them at a concert we went to only a few weeks into our frenzied relationship, where we danced all night, his hands never leaving my hip bones.

He always loved to wear that shirt to bed.


The next time we meet, her husband, Antonio, is with her. She apologizes for making a reservation at the restaurant where I work six days a week, but she says he just loves the duck dish so much.

When I get there, they’re already at the bar, each nursing a drink. I can’t say I’m surprised to find out that he’s significantly older than her. But next to his suit jacket and slicked back hair with more gray in it than black, Tatiana does not look younger. The opposite effect takes place. The physical age gap between us widens.

He asks what I want to drink, and I settle on a glass of white wine. The bartender comes over and it takes him a second to recognize me within the group. He introduces himself warmly and asks if they’re my family.

Close family friends, Antonio answers for me.

The bartender lingers for a bit and speaks highly of me to someone he must assume is a friend of my parents. He probably does this because we’ve slept together a handful of times. I stopped answering his late-night texts though, after he casually suggested I meet his sister and nephews one weekend. He was sweet, but I didn’t come all this way to end up with a bartender.

We sit at our table and before we even look at the menu, Antonio goes straight to the point. I appreciate this, a man who knows what he wants.

Strange situation we’re in, isn’t it? he says and unfolds the white napkin into his lap.

I don’t think it’s that strange, I say. I know someone who has done it.

You know someone else that has rented out their womb?

Tatiana bristles at his words.

I think the term is gestational carrier, I say, and notice his eyebrows perk up. Men never like to be told that they’re wrong. I choose my next words carefully. What I mean is that I know someone who used a surrogate because they couldn’t have a child on their own.

I see, he says and lets out a forced belly laugh. Sorry for not getting the terminology right, but this is all so new to me. I don’t know what to call what. These things, they didn’t exist en mi época.

That’s something my father always used to say. I wonder if he’s as old as my father.

It’s quite the sacrifice, he adds. You’d be giving up a lot.

I want to tell him I’ve already given up so much. Year-round blue skies for bitter winters. A large garden for a five-foot balcony that smells like stale cigarettes. A six-year relationship that collapsed after a few months of FaceTime calls. The last year of my mother’s life. What were nine months anyway?

It would be such a gift, Tatiana interrupts, opening her mouth for the first time since we sat down. She places her hand on top of mine and the gesture makes me uncomfortable. She’s behaving as if we’re old friends. The intimacy feels forced. I slip my hand away from hers and take a sip from my glass.

I’m conscious of the arrangement I’d be entering.

Yes, well, our arrangement is a little trickier than the rest, Antonio says, swirling his glass on the table and carefully lowering his voice to the precise volume where I can still hear him but no one else around us can. You know it’s not technically legal here, right? This thing that we’re doing.

I’d spent days doing research on compensation rates, perks I could include in my contract, even how long morning sickness lasted. But somehow, I never thought to Google the legality of the process in Spain.

We’d do the treatments and the transfer in Miami, Tatiana says, where it is legal, so no need to worry about that.

But here, Antonio says, tapping his hairy index finger against the table. Here, you’d have to act as if the baby is yours.

Yes, during checkups and doctor’s appointments and all of that, Tatiana says, the baby is yours.

And then, once it’s born, you waive your parental rights over to us, he explains.

It works like an adoption, she says.

Of course, we’d include all of this in our contract.

And we’d pay for you to hire a lawyer to make sure you’re entering this arrangement with both eyes open.

Everything will be crystal clear.

As transparent as it gets.


Their ping-pong exchange leaves me a bit discombobulated. I imagine this is one of his business strategies, to overwhelm me with information. Obscure the fine print. It’s then that I realize I don’t even know what kind of business he’s in. Finanzas, is what his wife said in one of our earlier phone calls. The business of money. As if there were any other kind.

I take a sip of wine and stay quiet for a minute. I want to remind them that although they might be rich, I’m the one with something invaluable.

I’ll probably need to quit my job then, I respond. I don’t see how I can run around the restaurant with a baby bump and then come back empty-handed.

Of course, we already calculated your time off from work in our compensation package, he adds. I think you’ll be very happy with the number.

Let’s not talk about money over dinner, Tatiana interrupts, softly swinging a manicured palm in the air and cutting the conversation short just as it is about to get interesting. The point of tonight is for us to get to know each other better. Andrea, I don’t want you to think you’ll be doing this alone.

She wraps her delicate fingers around his hairy hand. The gesture makes me question who’s really in control in this relationship. He might do the talking, but she’s guiding the conversation, taking it to the exact place where she needs it.

We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Yes, we’ll be keeping an eye on you, he says, letting out another one of his laughs and raising his empty glass up to one of the servers.

What’s important is that we all trust each other, Tatiana adds.

I trust you, I say, trying the words out, seeing whether I can make them sound true to someone else, for once.

We trust you, she says.


It’s my goddaughter’s fifth birthday party and the theme is pirates and mermaids. I wrap a silk scarf around my head, hang a large gold hoop in one of my earlobes, and set off to the outskirts of Madrid where the event is taking place. Elena, my goddaughter, is Clara’s eldest. Clara and I have known each other since we were about Elena’s age and have managed to remain in each other’s lives, some years more involved than others. Clara lives in a big house in one of those gated communities that famous soccer players also call home. Her husband got into crypto early. To say that they are doing well is an understatement.

In their backyard, there’s a sprawling balloon arch, large bouncy castle, face painter, and a DJ playing saccharine pop hits with all the swear words and sexual innuendo cleansed out. I spot Clara bent over with a juice box in hand and Elena taking a long sip. Elena’s barefoot, her cheeks are flushed, and the seashell crown above her head is charmingly crooked.

When Elena spots me, she runs my way and tries to tackle me to the floor. I humor her and pretend as if she’s knocked me down. She climbs on top of my stomach and gives me a tight hug. She smells like grass and sugar.

Why are you a pirate? she asks, pulling at my scarf. Pirates are the bad guys, madrina.

There are some good pirates, too, I say, looking around trying to find one, but none of the other parents are wearing even a hint of a costume. I hand over my present to her and she gasps when she pulls out tiny vials of glitter nail polish, something I’m fully aware her mother refuses to buy for her.

Clara pulls me up and hugs me hello. Thanks for making me look bad, she says, gesturing at my gift.

I’m sorry, I explain, but I’m obliged to give her everything she wants.

Clara laughs and pulls me over to introduce me, once again, to a gaggle of mothers in platform sneakers and pearls who always act as if we’ve never met.

Oh, I know you, one of them says. Don’t our kids go to the same swimming lessons?

I shake my head. I think you’re confused with someone else.

From school then? Are your kids in Ms. Aguirre’s class?

I don’t have kids, I say and raise my hands up in a gesture of mea culpa. It’s just me.

The conversation quickly turns to kindergarten applications and some disease going around that sprinkles tiny red dots on hands, mouth, and feet. I stand in silence waiting for a chance to jump in, but the fact that I’m childless somehow makes me invisible. We have no after-school activities to bond over, no viruses to moan about together.

Within ten minutes, I beg Clara for a drink, and we sneak away inside, where I’m relieved by the central AC and the fact that we have her massive kitchen all to ourselves.

So, I might fly to Miami next month, I tell her as she opens her Sub-Zero fridge. I think I’m going to do it.

She closes the fridge, a bit dramatically for my taste, and turns around with a disapproving look plastered all over her face.

There’s no way you’re seriously considering doing this, she says, holding a bottle of chilled rosé in one hand.

What’s so wrong with it? People do it all the time, I say. It’s a job, like any other.

It’s a child, Andrea, she says at a louder volume. You’d be bringing a human being into the world, not typing up some numbers on a spreadsheet. Do you not see the difference?

I’m so surprised—you being judgmental.

I slide a plastic cup her way and she pours a meager serving. Clara thinks I drink too much, but I don’t care. I leave my arm stretched out until she tops it off again with something more acceptable.

Is this because Santi’s wife is pregnant again? she asks and the news stings like the citric wine sliding down my throat.

I resist the urge to ask her how she knows. I never like to talk about Santiago with Clara because she thinks I should be over him by now, especially since he moved on so quickly and married that girl only a year after I left. I remember how he called to tell me the news himself, said it was only fair that I heard it from him. But I already knew. The day before he called, she posted a photo of the two of them, her diamonded finger held triumphant in the air.

They’re paying me almost three times what I make in a year, I say and pretend as if I’m unaffected by this new bit of information about my ex. Three years’ salary—for nine months.

If that’s what this is about, she sighs, you know I can always help you.

I hate it when she brings up money, which she does often, in that way that people who’ve recently come into a lot of it like to do. I know she means well but it only reminds me of this new gulf between us. I wonder if she felt the same way when we were kids, and I was the one with nicer clothes and better vacations.

I know that, but you can’t lend me money every time I can’t make rent.

What about your dad? she asks, while peeling off the plastic from a pack of juice boxes. Call him, ask him for help.

I shake my head no. Clara still doesn’t understand that my father doesn’t solve problems, he creates them.

It’s not just about the money, I tell her. It’s also about doing something that matters. This will help someone. This will change their life.

OK, but what about you? What if you meet the love of your life while you’re pregnant?

I scoff. Well, he’s kept me waiting this long . . .

This isn’t funny, Andrea. Have you thought about these things? Have you thought about the possibility that you might not want to give the baby up once you see it and hold it in your arms?

That won’t happen, I explain. She gets to hold it first as soon as it comes out. It’s in the contract.

Por Dios, Andrea, you make this sound so transactional.

Clara, I need to do something more than work, go to sleep, and start over the next day. You don’t understand because you have your kids and your house and your life. But a lot of women do this. I can do this.

What about going back? she asks, even though she left home and never looked back, too afraid to even set foot in Caracas again. Wouldn’t it be easier to go back than to do this?

I’d considered it once before, during a moment of weakness I kept to myself. One day, I ran down the stairs to catch the train, slipped, and banged my head against the dirty tiled floor. Eight people walked by before someone offered me their hand. An ensuing splitting headache convinced me that the fall had triggered a tiny brain hemorrhage. Blood pushing against my skull. Afraid of sleep, I laid there, forcing my eyes open, thinking: Who would come claim me at the morgue? How many days in a refrigerator until my father made it over? I became terrified that he might bury me here to avoid all the paperwork to get my body across an ocean and grew convinced that the only solution to this problem was to return to Caracas, where I knew that when the time came, I would be put to rest next to my mother under an apamate tree we chose because she always loved to point out its delicate pink flowers.

I can’t go back, I say to Clara and get up and open the door towards the garden. High-pitched shrieks and belly laughs flood back into our conversation.

If I did, then what was the point of these last four years here? I ask and she doesn’t even try to answer.

I can’t fathom all that time—wasted.


The next time we meet is in their home, a corner apartment located on a quiet street in Salamanca, where ivy crawls up prewar buildings and sidewalks are spotless. The three of us are scheduled to have a video conference with the fertility specialist in Miami, but Tatiana is alone this morning because Antonio had a big work thing he just couldn’t miss.

Tatiana heads to the kitchen while I wait in the living room, where thick fashion tomes and punchy hydrangeas decorate a center table. To the left of a long hallway, I spot the door to their daughter’s room, where an oversized stuffed giraffe with dead eyes peeks out from the corner. The girl is out at El Retiro Park with the nanny, Tatiana explains, and I wonder if I’ll ever get to meet her or if they sent her away on purpose. Will she know about me, or will a baby arrive at the doorstep one day wrapped in a pristine white blanket, courtesy of a generous stork?

I settle on the sofa and Tatiana comes out carrying a silver tray with a steaming French press and two white porcelain cups.

Enjoy caffeine while you still can, she says and pours a dash of oat milk into my cup. I think about the unsigned contract waiting in my bedroom and the long list of items under Restrictions. The standard coffee, alcohol, Xrays, and sushi, but also a few curious items like swimming in the ocean, traveling outside of the city, sexual activity of any kind.

Tatiana opens her rose gold laptop and closes the linen curtains in the background to improve the lighting in the frame. She clicks on the link and a woman in a white lab coat in a stark clinical room pops up. She introduces herself warmly and starts to detail the process to both of us. She walks us through the hormone cycle, the embryo transplant, the obligatory psych evaluation. She shares how they’re able to screen each embryo by gender and Tatiana tells me that Antonio is just dying to have a boy.

Have you decided what you’re going to do about the egg? the doctor asks, and Tatiana shakes her head no and turns to look at me now.

Andrea, I didn’t bring this up earlier because I wanted to talk about it in person, she says and rubs her hands up and down her suede leather pants.

There are two options, she explains. We can use a donor egg, from a stranger, which we would have to find—and pay for.

Of course, I think, always the business of money.

Or . . . we could use your egg, which would be much easier, in every way.

The doctor nods her head within the small square and I start to assemble these new, unforeseen pieces of the puzzle in my head.

What about your egg? I ask.

My ovaries, she sighs. They’re not viable.

But then, wouldn’t the baby be half mine?

Yes, the doctor replies from the screen. The baby would have half of your genetic material.

What about the other way? I ask. With the donor egg?

If you go down the route of a donor egg, then it would be 50 percent the genetics of the donor and 50 percent Antonio’s.

But wouldn’t our blood be the same? The words tumble out of my mouth before I have a chance to catch them, and I notice Tatiana shift in her seat. This must be odd for her, being the only one excluded from all the available scenarios.

Yes, your blood runs through the baby, the doctor says, but not your DNA.

The conversation ends and I tell Tatiana I need some time to mull it over. She says she understands and walks me toward the door.

No pressure either way, she says, leaning in for a goodbye hug. But now that I know you, I’d love it if it came from you.

Under a clean slate of cloudless blue, I start my walk home and stroll past sycamore trees, older men in tweed, and toddlers on swings. I arrive at the towering sculpture of a woman’s face that hovers over Plaza Colón. I take a moment to admire the statue’s closed eyelids and see myself in her expression, lost in thought.

My mind starts to consider whether I’m capable of doing what they’re asking. Can I go about my day knowing a child of mine sleeps under another roof and calls someone else their mother? And yet, the thought of a donor seems off now. A stranger’s egg, Antonio’s sperm, and my blood all mixed up inside my body—too many of us in one baby.

I check the time, count the hours until my shift, and fantasize about a life away from scalding hot dishes on my forearms. I look up rents for a one-bedroom apartment, a newly open possibility. Maybe I could move to another city and start over, try again elsewhere. Maybe I’ll go to Paris; Mamá always said she wanted to live there, at least once in her life. What would she think about all of this if she were still alive? What would she say? I stop myself from going there. It’s pointless. She’s gone and I’m on my own.


It’s an early spring day, near the end of my second trimester, and I walk out of a prenatal yoga class feeling as invigorated as the crisp weather outside. Twice a week, I like to take my ever-expanding body there to practice my breathing and talk to other women with bellies in tight spandex. We share everything, from the best oil to avoid stretch marks to the moment when we first felt the baby move.

As I walk down the street, I throw on a roomy sweater and wait at the corner for the traffic light to change when I notice someone familiar on the opposite sidewalk. It takes me a second to register that it’s him since it’s been years since we’ve see each other in person. His hair is shorter than the last time I saw him at my mother’s funeral, where he showed up alone. Today, a little girl clings to his left arm, her small fingers wrapped around his hand.

I must be staring since he turns my way and our eyes lock. He flashes a genuine smile and I feel something heavy drop in my stomach, or perhaps it’s just the baby kicking again. He waves at me with his free hand and as soon as the light turns green, the two of them cross and head toward my end of the sidewalk. While I wait, I smooth the stray hairs near my temples and hate myself for being sweaty.

What are the odds? he says, and before I can ask him what he’s doing here, he introduces me to his daughter, tells her I’m one of his good friends.

Hola, I say, bending down to face her. I notice she has the same bushy eyebrows as her father and start to wonder if the baby will inherit any of my signatures. Whether he’ll get my wavy brown hair or the same dimple in the middle of my chin.

Speaking fast, as he does when he’s nervous, he tells me how they moved here only a few weeks ago.

The situation back home, he says, unsustainable with kids.

He tells me it wasn’t easy leaving the family business behind, but he has a couple of interviews lined up and he has a good feeling about one of them.

What about you? he asks. What have you been up to?

Well . . . I respond and pull up my sweatshirt, rubbing my newly revealed bump with an open palm.

Wow, I had no idea, since you never post anything, he says. Who’s the lucky guy?

I tell him it’s no one he knows. I tell him he works in finance.

I just had a baby, too, he says, seven months old. He pulls up photos of his son on his phone, photos I’ve seen before, but I pretend like it’s all new to me, like I don’t know his first and middle name or the month when he was born.

I’m also having a boy, I tell him. We’re still deciding on the name.

The little girl pulls on his arm. Papi vamos, the park.

Yes, the park, he says and smiles at his daughter then back at me. Hey, maybe we can all hang out one day, he offers, with the kids?

He gives me his number and takes mine. He says his wife doesn’t know a lot of people here but he’s sure that if we met, we’d be friends. That’s not weird, right?

I want to tell him that yes, in fact, everything is very weird right now. The way we’re talking as if we’re friends and not people who once loved each other and thought about what we would name our children. How it’s weird that the baby inside of me isn’t his, or how I have to pretend it’s mine, or how I’ve done it for so long now that it feels weird to believe otherwise. I want to tell him how strange it is that he ended up here in Madrid, of all places. How weird that five years ago, I asked him to come with me and he said no, said he couldn’t leave. I want to tell him how things could’ve ended up so very differently and not weird at all if he had just said yes.

But instead, I shake my head and agree that it would be nice for all of us to hang out together. I rub my stomach and tell him once the baby is born, we could all go to the park or the merry-go-round on Serrano. I tell him it’s the perfect place for people like us.

People with kids.  

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