It’s not for lack of trying. Let’s just get that out the way first. Girlfriends and protection, that came naturally. But when I settled down with the current Ms Gale, and we finally starting trying to for Adam Junior, we hit my little roadblock.
It’s not an uncommon thing. Literally, that’s the first thing every single doc, nurse and specialist tells you. Like the only thing on your mind is “oh god, I can’t knock her up, my life is over”. Forget the five stages of grief. I give you the five stages of infertility;
One: this seems to be taking a while, I wonder if she’s barren.
Two: maybe it’s me. Oh god, what if it’s me?
Three: yeah it’s me, but at least it’s not an uncommon thing.
Four: it must be a miracle any man on Earth can copulate this is such an uncommon thing.
Five: I’m going to reproduce putting my fist through your face.
Now, this is my girl. She loves me. Always will, even as she pats down there and grins, I know it’s hurting her. She’s from a big family. Wanted a big family and now we’re three years in and nada. So anyway, my girl, knows I love science and geekery. One morning she tells me to open wide. For any guy this is a double edged sword, but I comply. I’m game. That little cotton swab was the last thing I expected.
And then nothing. She doesn’t mention it. Never brings it up or explains why. I’m curious. Dying inside to know why the hell she was poking around in my mouth, but too macho to ask. And then the day. I’m turning 27 next week. Girlfriend calls me downstairs, puts her phone on the table and turns on the speakerphone.
“Mr Gale?” the disembodied voice asks.
“My name’s Dominic. I’m calling you from Life Screens. We’re a genomic arts lab, putting your DNA on posters, that kind of thing.”
“Okay,” I say. My baby is just watching, anxious like I’ve never seen her before.
“I need you to confirm that the sample your wife sent in was indeed from yourself.”
“She would have swabbed your mouth to collect saliva. The sample was sent in… five weeks ago.”
“Oh yeah.” I smile. Game’s up. She doesn’t.
“Mr Gale, do you know if there’s any history of genetic disorders within your family?”
“No. Well, I mean, I don’t know.”
“Excuse me?” the voice asks.
“I’m adopted. No parents. I couldn’t say.” I reach for her, but she pulls her hand away. “What’s going on?”
It doesn’t matter if I’m asking the phone or the woman I was going to spend my life with. I need to know what this is about and I need to know now.
“Mr Gale, we’ve analysed your sample and the results are… unusual. Your wife tells me you’ve been unsuccessful at having a child.”
“Yeah,” I say, annoyance bordering on anger at her having shared such information.
“Well I guess this would explain why.”
The voice is quiet for a long time. By now I’m thinking they’ve found some horrendous genetic condition and any child I have would turn out like a cross between The Thing and that scum that collects around the edge of the bathtub.
“Your DNA is 99.3% homo sapien, Mr Gale. We can’t identify the rest. You’re… you’re not human.”
Prompt originally posted by SecretTherapod on reddit and received 138 upvotes.