James and June sat on the floor, the late afternoon sunshine spilling in through their blind.
Beside them were a spent chess board, scrabble racks, monopoly pieces, and some tribal drums they’d brought over from a stop-over at Johannesburg in ’18. They were exhausted.
That was when James brought up the idea of the baby.
June gave him one of her looks. It was a mix of condescension and “are you serious?” and meant her lips took on a duck-like quality. It was the sort of look that reminded James of his mother. James had mummy-issues.
“It’ll be a great story for the baby!” declared James.
“You don’t make babies just to tell them a story of how crazy it was that you made a baby during a crisis James,” she answered. “Besides, we don’t have any money, we don’t have a big flat -”
“- We need something to do June. We need somebody else in the house. It’s getting kinda boring around here.”
“You do know babies aren’t an amazon prime delivery? Jeff Bezos doesn’t have a baby delivery service… an electronic drone-stalk dropping babies on you for £9.99 a month.”
James stored this idea in the back of his brain for when he eventually met Jeff Bezos. “Jeff Babe-os” could be a new billion dollar idea waiting to happen.
“Besides James, babies are messy, and icky, and take your time and body away from you. Much like contracting Coronavirus. I might as well get Coronavirus… at least that only fucks me for 2 weeks.”
James ignored the temptation to point June in the direction of the the news playing in the background, the figures of the hundreds of thousands of dead seeming wrong to bring up right now.
“June look, this is perfect timing. By the time this is all over there’ll be a surplus of well-trained and motivated doctors to help us. Like war veterans who know how to unpack a rifle blindfolded, or a cowboy who can spin their pistol around their fingers without accidentally shooting themselves. They’ll be desperate for other types of patients!”
She turned away, the silliness of all this seeming to overwhelm her. She went for a different tack.
“Look at the baby boomers born after World War Two, look how much shit they’ve caused the planet. We don’t want our baby to be a Corona-boomer! I don’t want anybody saying “Ok Boomer” to my child thank you very much.”
James pondered. Now that was a good point. A very good point.
In the end they didn’t conceive a baby that night, nor the next.
Instead they got divorced. Much more exciting.
Illustrations by Helena (@helenabonastre)
Written by Sam (@Sam_Ainsworth).
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