Tara stares at the empty white walls. This room will soon be filled with her childrens things. She rubs her abdomen lovingly and smiles. Soon she’ll start to show and her husband can stay in her home for the first few months of their childs life.
There’s a knock at the door. She wants nothing more than to stare at these walls imagining the little black and grey animal figures that will dance on it soon. Before she can open the door her husband lets himself in.
“Oh, I thought maybe you were taking a nap.” He kisses her cheek gently.
“No, I could barely control my excitement. We’ve been trying for so long for a baby, I just thought it would never happen.”
“Don’t talk like that Tara, it’s not like you’re broken or something, it just takes a long time for some women, especially someone your age.”
She feels her smile falter but quickly recovers it, “You’re right.” Her attitude has taken a strange twist since she’s become pregnant, things her husband used to say that didn’t bother her suddenly make her feel like crying.
It’s true though, at thirty-five she is much older than most mothers. She absently rubs her abdomen.
“Did you see the news this morning?” he hands her a rolled up newspaper.
“No, why? What happened this time?”
“Some disgusting homo’s got arrested at one of those ‘Magenta’ marches.”
She looks down at the paper in her hands, two young womens smiling faces look up at her, she grimaces, “What could you possibly get out of that kind of relationship?”
“It’s so…unnatural. I hope they get put down for this.”
She just nods. In all honesty she doesn’t know why she hates them, but it disgusts her to think about them with each other, “Hey, Michael, I have to go see the doctors in the morning, will you come with me?”
“For what?”
She shrugs, “To see the sonogram?”
“I just thought it would be nice to have you there…”
“I’ll be there when it’s born,” he chuckles, “There’s no reason for me to with you to the doctors.”
“You’re right, I’m just being silly.”
“Are you feeling alright?”
She nods and smiles, “Just been a bit off since the pregnancy is all.”
“Well I just came by to check up on you.” He kisses her cheek again and makes his way to the kitchen.
She looks down at the paper again and shakes her head. Maybe if they had been discreet about it. Maybe it’s better that people like them aren’t in the world. Still, it makes her sad to see two young women in such a situation.
Michael calls her from the kitchen. She tosses the paper in the recycling and goes to join him for lunch.
Tara sits by herself in the empty room. The white walls feel like they are closing in on her as she cries into her hands. It happened just last week, only two months before her baby was due. She woke up with horrible abdominal pain only to realize that her sheets were also soaked in blood.
She had frantically called Michael to pick her up and they rushed to the hospital together. But there was nothing anyone could do. Her body just rejected the baby. The doctor told her there was little hope of her getting pregnant again.
Her crying intensifies as she thinks about the implications of this. She is broken. There is something about her body that is not right and she is not a real person because of it. Michael was quiet on the way home. He knew what it meant for her, for them.
She takes the small piece of cloth she carries around with her out of her pocket. It’s the only thing her family saved from the purge all those generations ago, her grandmother had given it to her when she married. The color calms her. It’s a soft green with little white flowers sewn in.
Michael taps on the open door and she frantically stows the cloth back in her pocket before wiping the tears from her eyes with the backs of her hands.
“Are you doing alright?”
“Yeah, I just really thought we’d have a baby by now.”
“Well it’s not something you can change.”
She can hear the edge in his voice. He resents her for being the way she is, for not being able to do what all real women should be able to do.
“I don’t really think we have any ties left. I’ve already filed my application to the leaders for a divorce.”
She nods her head and tries to breathe evenly, “I understand.”
“This is still your house to do with what you please.”
He taps his foot, “Alright, so I guess that’s it for us.”
She nods her head and starts to cry again. She hears the front door slam as he leaves. She will be marked as a barren woman. All her documents will now have that information stamped on them. She will never be able to marry again or be with another man because in the eyes of the leaders she would be taking away from the rest of society.
She takes the little piece of cloth out again and rubs it between her fingers. Maybe this room should be green? No one is allowed such colors but maybe she can find some way to make it herself. The color calms her. It makes her feel like she can move on one day.
Tara finds herself sitting on a mans porch drinking iced tea. They met one day at the store and have spent many days together just sitting on his porch relaxing. He has no neighbors so she feels safe being out here.
Both of them have a similar mark on their documents; his informing others of his impotence. Neither of them were capable of giving their spouses a child, neither of them allowed to remarry therefore not allowed to associate romantically with others.
If anyone were to see them who knew they were marked would be able to turn them into the proper authorities. But Tara finds herself caring very little about that. The man is kind, gentle, and he treats her like she means something to him.
“Another glass?” he yells to her from inside the house.
“Keep them coming!” she smiles to herself and takes another sip.
She’s shown him the little piece of green cloth, trusted him with the knowledge of it. They sometimes talk about finding a way to paint a room with that color, decorate it with childrens things and maybe one day have a child together.
They both know this is impossible, but it makes them happy to dream. Tara takes the little cloth out now and holds it to her heart. She mourns the loss of her unborn child everyday but the pain is slowly starting to go away.
The man comes out and hands her another glass of iced tea, “You haven’t even finished your first.”
“It’s almost done.” She smiles at him and thinks about all the time she wasted trying to be someone she knew deep down she never would be. She hopes they can spend the rest of their lives together now that they’ve found one another.


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