It was confirmed. I did have endometriosis, and the cause was unknown. How could I be so unfortunate with my life?
“What’s the worst that can happen to me, Antonia?” I asked her on the phone when I was out of the hospital and was at my own apartment. It was already night and I did not even have to stay overnight at the hospital as an outpatient. I had to leave work for a couple of days though. I wasn’t feeling good or keen to go to work anyway.
I could feel my stomach area numb from the procedure. The small incision in my navel was still fresh but the pain was nothing I couldn’t handle. Anyway, I had the pain reliever for it.
“Well, one of the symptoms of it is infertility actually, but we detected it earlier and it’s mild endometriosis you have. You’re still healthy when it comes to fertility, as we already examined that. But it could reach to that point if you don’t take medication. The good news is you can still have the baby you desire. Yay!” she said, trying to cheer me up.
Yes, I did want to have a child, and I needn’t have to be married for that. I could just have the child on my own without the father, if only I could arrange it that way.
I sighed heavily and sat on the sofa in my living area. My apartment had a bedroom, a kitchen with a dining area and also a living area. It was not really big but it was comfortable and spacious enough for someone who lived here alone. My unit was on the fifth floor of an eight-storey building, so it was nice to look out of the window during the night and see the lights from other buildings and the streetlights, as well as the passing vehicles and the different colors of neon lights of some nearby establishments.
I gathered my knees, ignoring the little pain of my navel when my thighs pressed against my abdomen. My eyes went to look out of the glass window, since my curtains were out of the way.
“How can I even have a baby when I don’t have a man?” I scowled, my lips protruding, and I grimaced afterwards.
“Right. I forgot you’re slightly a misandrist. But I don’t get you. You still want a baby,” she said. “For that, you do need a man, Zen!”
And yes, we circled to that.
“I can’t afford the in vitro fertilization. It’s way off my pay grade!” I told her and sighed again.
“Well, I can help you with the IVF if you want,” she offered as though she was just going to give me a piece of cake.
“You do know my stand on your being so generous to me, don’t you?” I returned gently.
“Well then, you do it in the normal way.” I could just imagine her eyes grew bigger to point it out.
“Right. It’s more enjoyable,” I sarcastically said, thinking of my parents that were divorced.
My mother was a university professor in Physics in Iași, while my father was an engineer who remarried and had a sixteen-year-old son. Right, I did have a half-brother but whom I couldn’t vent my anger on if I wanted to. How could I forget that detail? We were not close, although he wanted to. In fact, he would always leave me messages in my social media inbox, asking how I am and when we could see each other in Bucharest, since they were living there now. They moved from Iași a couple years back. And yet, I never answered his messages. If I did, it was just to say “I have no time.”
Reminding me that I was “slightly” a misandrist was maybe mildly put by Antonia. She did know I hate men generally, though I did want to have a baby. And of course, I need a man for that.
“Uh! About that. I think I forgot to tell you that with endometriosis, you might feel pain during and after sex, Zen. Sorry to tell you this late.”
“Right!” My voice went higher. I did remember about it in an article I read on the net.
‘Just a great life I have! How could I even enjoy making a baby if this was the case?’
“But don’t worry, I’ll tell you some tips on sex positions so that if and when you find the right man you want to have a baby with ASAP, you can do it without pain.”
My mouth opened. We were best friends but I hate to talk intimate things with her. It just so happened she was an OB-GYN that I had to consult my problem with. But everything was really mortifying. Although Antonia was not the one who would put on the brakes when it comes to intimacy topics because she openly discusses hers to me, I didn’t mind because it wasn’t mine. Nonetheless, she did know that I am still a virgin, as she knew too well I never had a relationship, intimate or not, with a man. Unlike her, who did have five boyfriends so far, if I did count them right. Now, she was hunting for men. In fact, she wanted me to go on vacation with her just so we can concentrate on finding a man for me! And of course, for her as well on the sideline.
If I’d think about it, our friendship started when she and her family moved from Piatra Neamț to Iași when I was ten, and we became neighbors. Their house was bigger than ours since they were well off. However, no one liked to speak with her since she always dominated the conversation. It was only I who endured it, that’s why she was so taken with me. From then on, she claimed that she was my lifetime best friend, and she’d take care of me no matter what. But I did know better. I was the sister she never had. She always wanted to have one, but her mom couldn’t get pregnant anymore because of her heart problem.
“Maybe I’ll get back to you on that. I have to hang up now. You know, I still have to call Mămică,” I said to Antonia.
“Okay, my best regards to your mom, Zen! I’ll drop by to see you tomorrow and see how you’re doing, all right? Bye!”
After I hung up, I did call my mom. I asked how she is and stuff like that. When she asked me how I am, I wasn’t brave enough to tell her. I didn’t know how she would react if she knew I wasn’t really well.
“Have you started dating?” she asked, without teasing in her tone. She was curious, and God knows she was dying to know if I’d settle down soon.
I rolled my eyes. “I didn’t call you to discuss my love life, Mămică!” I was irritated.
“But we can,” she insisted. “Why don’t you date? You’re already almost thirty!”
I blew my face in vexation, trying hard not to shout at her. “That’s still five years from now. Don’t exaggerate for heaven’s sakes! Mămică, I won’t date ever, all right? Just accept it. I’ll never get married just like you did and then break up afterwards! I can’t let my child, if I have one, suffer the same fate as I did. Men are dicks, Mămică! You should know that better than I do! Look what Tati did to you. He cheated on you and then, what? He divorced you and he’s now living happily with his little family, leaving us in a miserable state!”
I heard my mother sigh. “If your father did it to me, it doesn’t mean your man will do the same thing, Zenovia. Just give yourself a chance, will you?”
And I hung up, feeling so annoyed with her. I did feel remorse that I hung up on her. It was so rude of me, so I just texted her to say sorry.
A month later, I was in Biserica Neagră (Black Church). It turned out that I was alone in this vacation, which Antonia and I planned but she was the one who paid for it all. It was indeed unfortunate as she had an emergency at the hospital just before we were supposed to leave, and no one could attend to it because her fellow OB-GYN got sick and couldn’t make it. Antonia told me she would be here maybe in a couple of days to join me. I knew she badly wanted to have this vacation with me, as it had been long since we had our last one—maybe three years ago. Even though I’ve lived in Romania all my life, I’d never been to Brașov (a city in south eastern Transylvania); so was Antonia. It’s why we picked this place to have a summer vacation for two weeks. There were many places we could visit and have fun.
Now as I listened to the organ played by one of the priests, I looked up at the interior balcony of the church. It was empty but there were about a hundred or so guests in the church, seated on the long benches. I swept my eyes around me, taking in all the beautiful details of the Gothic-style monument of Romania. During the Great Turkish War in 1689, the church was partially ruined and burned when the Habsburg forces invaded. The church was then repaired with the help of Danzig masons, and the vaults were completed in Baroque style.
The sound of the organ echoed in the church; it was mellow and beautiful with a gothic vibe but it was good to listen to it. Then, I saw him… opposite to where I was seated. I was at the farthest side of the bench on the left side facing the altar, while he was exactly across the aisle. Without the aisle, we could’ve sat side by side.
I had no idea but my heart skipped a couple of beats, before it did again, only to hammer my chest hard. I could feel my blood warming up and travelling fast in my entire system. His eyes were the most beautiful green I’d ever seen—thanks to the lights I saw them well.
“You need to get laid, Zen! Let’s search for someone who can make you that baby you so want in Brașov!” I suddenly recalled Antonia’s words while we planned our vacation. These words rang in my head, as though she was just right here in the church.
The music’s vibe seemed to turn into a more romantic one for some reason. I had no idea if it was just my imagination or not. But then the gorgeous man held my eyes like he held me physically that even if I wanted to look away, I couldn’t.
And my breath became ragged.