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Lunacy: Mission Abort


  06:45:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 978 words  
Categories: Lunacy

Lunacy: Mission Abort

Laura had taken several rounds of the Station. Her legs were starting to hurt from all the walking. And she told herself there was no point in putting things off anymore. So she went to their cabin. She?d waffled several times on whether it felt appropriate for her to be ?sharing? a room with him, after everything that had happened. It felt both presumptuous, and too permissive. But she?d put off talking it over with Ken until it was too late. And she knew that?s where Paul would be. Sure enough, when she entered, he was seated on their bed. ?I was surprised you weren?t waiting for me at the bottom of the elevator,? he said, ?after they gave the all clear.? ?I was watching the baby,? she said. ?And I thought about it. But I didn?t want to see you for the first time in years holding a baby that was yours but wasn?t ours.? Her eyes filled up with tears and her jaw shook. Paul patted the bed. She wanted to take comfort from the gesture, that he wanted to be near her, to have her close, but his expression was distant. She walked across the room and sat next to him. That brought him back to her. ?I have questions, but first, before we say anything else, you to know that I' sorry,? Paul said, ?for Maria. I know I wasn't... exactly in control. Wasn't thinking clearly- or acting like myself. But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't something I thought about. In a lot of ways I hated her, but not her her- but the her who left. And unfortunately, that decision wasn't monolithic- it didn't erase all of the good, admirable and pleasurable aspects of her. So despite myself I still loved her, too.? ?I know,? Laura said. ?So I can't pretend to you that I'm not at all culpable for what happened, because I don't know that's true- I don't even think it's true. I didn't want to hurt you- and I don't think I'd ever have cheated on you otherwise, but I did. I know by coming here you've already put yourself through a lot, and I'm not taking it for granted that you've forgiven me, or that you even can. I want you to, desperately, but until you know, for sure, that here is where you want to be, we really need to be careful. Because those of us who are infected are under quarantine. And if you're infected, you lose a lot of options.? She touched his chest gently. ?I made my peace a long time ago,? Laura said. ?I mean, I kind of thought it would be Claudette you banged- three years is a loooong time, after all. But Maria... I'm pretty cool with it- at least as cool as I'm capable of being. And maybe that's because I've seen her and Mai together, and I know that when she says the name 'Paul' she's only thinking about her kid and their family.? ?There's no pressure, on forgiving me,? Paul said. ?I mean that. I don't want you to force yourself.?He sighed. ?I know Ken's a crazy person, but he wasn't launching a pregnant woman into space. Or a woman and her newborn. And he and I had talked about how this was probably a one-way launch, and putting the two together I knew you weren?t abandoning a kid on-world- so that meant there was no kid. I'm not sure if I even have the right to ask, let alone to expect an answer, but what happened?? he asked. ?I aborted,? she said. ?Oh,? he said. ?The day before Ken hauled me in to talk to you. And terrible as it was, I knew you?d be less likely to hurt yourself if you thought- I thought if only I could pretend the day before hadn?t happened, at least for a while, that I could always have complications, later, miscarry or something.? ?Why not keep up the lie?? he asked. ?Because I can?t lie to you forever- even if it means losing you. I? I understand what you were going through, now, and if I?d known all of it I probably wouldn?t have told you anything at all. And I know how fucked up it is that I defaulted to manipulating you- that when push comes to shove I?m just as fucked up as my family?? Paul sighed, and rolled his shoulder around her. ?No, you?re not.? But there was still something in his voice. ?Are you mad?? she asked. ?I?m?? he hesitated. ?No. It?s complicated, how I feel, but, I told you to go off and live a life without me. Instead you followed me to the Moon. I wouldn?t have asked you to raise a child without me; I wouldn?t have the right- even if I had that inclination. And I don?t know that I?d have done things any differently. And the more important thing is you?re here, And we?ve still got lots of little things to talk about, like my having a son?? ?That?s complicated, too,? Laura said. ?But I understand. Ken told me, on the way up. It wasn?t your fault. And even if, on some level, it was- I can?t blame you. I get that it's complicated- and that there isn't a thing you would ever consciously do to hurt me; I trust you, is what I mean to say. And I love you. And I?m not even sure I want babies. But I think I want your babies. And it has been a looong time since I?ve gotten laid.? ?I?m glad you were the one who brought it up,? Paul said, as she tackled him back onto the bed. ?I wouldn?t want you to think I only wanted you for sex.? ?Perish the thought,? she said, and stripped off her shirt.

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