It was cold outside. Mid January in the prairies: freezing snow being pelted into your face by freezing wind. Even though I’d long been out of the wind and snow I couldn’t quite get rid of the chill that had settled deep in my bones. And though I attributed my discomfort to the weather, I wondered if it wasn’t in part due to the strange conversation I’d had with Cynthia earlier that day. Did she really expect me to find someone willing to carry her child? I mean what was I supposed to do, just visit SurrogatesRus.com and order them a uterus to house their child? Did she honestly think it was that simple? And even if it were, the thought of her and Horrace being parents seemed a little… a little unusual for lack of a better way of putting it. More than unusual, it seemed downright disturbing. But then I wondered, perhaps Cynthia was driven to her insane work schedule and standoffish demeanor by her inability to become a mother. Perhaps her failure in one aspect of her life had left with her with a desire to overachieve in her career. Perhaps all of these things that made her seem so cold and aloof were really just manifestations of her vulnerability.
Or perhaps she was just a bitch. Perhaps I was over thinking this. Hard to say which. Either way, though, it seemed a rather ridiculous proposition. And though I commanded myself to just do as she asked and put those thoughts to rest, they seemed to keep on turning up. So I found myself up late that night drinking tea and wearing my favorite terry cloth bath robe online searching for information on surrogacy in Canada.
I walked into the office the next day, tired, but successful in my mission. Though I didn’t have actual names of potential candidates, I had the numbers of several agencies, which would at least be a starting place for Cynthia. But even as I handed her the portfolio of the various agencies, I realized that somewhere amidst my tossing and turning last night, the idea had taken hold. It had implanted itself somewhere, somehow, deep inside my brain. And I couldn’t help but think to myself: what’s forty weeks? Forty weeks and I could, potentially, be debt free once again. Forty weeks and I could give someone else the joy, the miracle, of a new life. Forty weeks, in the scheme of things, was really not that long. I’d gone to school for four years, some 208 weeks, carrying around heavy ass text books to which a six or seven pound baby paled in comparison. And labor? These days alls you had to do was get an epidural and it was all smooth sailing after that.
I gave her the file, and she perused it without even once looking at me. I debated about whether I should bring up the whole idea or just wait a little while. When she was done flipping through the pages she gave me a dismissive nod and said “thank you” while tucking the file into a drawer. It was hard to say if she was pleased or not. I almost lost my nerve. I mean, why should I be doing her any favors? I had my fingers on the doorknob when I turned around and began to speak.