As I’ve mentioned before, I’m taking a Creative Writing class this semester. The first project was to write a piece of flash fiction (the professor calls it sudden fiction). My story was rather well-received, so I figured I’d share it with all of you. It’s more on the literary side, I suppose, but I think it’s pretty good. It’s called “Surrogate.”
She waited almost three years to tell me the child wasn’t mine. I don’t know what made this moment the right moment to tell me, but she laid it out on a typical night. We were in bed, the lights still on. We had just put the little one down for night-night, and I was just about to open my fresh copy of Franzen’s latest doorstop of a novel. She didn’t cry then, but maybe she had run out of tears. I didn’t cry either. I’ve been told so often that I shouldn’t that at moments when maybe I should, I can’t.
“So, whose is it?” I asked. She shook her head. “I have a right to know.” She remained silent. “I’m not gonna hurt the guy. That’s not who I am. You know this.”
“Drew who? The kid? Your intern?” She nodded “I thought he didn’t like women.”
“He was conflicted,” she said. “And so was I.”
She gave no more details, but I guessed it had something to do with almost eighteen months of trying to conceive, dozens of tests, and one miscarriage, which halted our intimacy indefinitely.
I found his address and drove to confront him the next day. He lived in an apartment on the East Side. I knocked until he answered. When the door opened, we just stared at each other. Damn near thirty seconds went by. I opened my mouth to tell him that I knew, that I wasn’t mad at him, that I’d raised his child as my own and therefore believed I had certain rights, but instead of saying any of that, I reached for the sides of his face and pulled him in for a kiss.