Tea Leaves and Opal Necklaces

Celibate, Visions, and Pregnant

Match Twenty-Seven: Celibate, Visions, and Pregnant:

-Ju-

It’s been five weeks since Yao and I last had sex. We talked with the doctors after we sat down and talked to each other.

“I do not want to use a sperm donor,” Yao flat out told me.

“Okay,” I said. “We won’t get a donor. What about surgery?” My husband clenched his teeth and looked down at his hand.

“I don’t want to do that either,” he said.

“We might not have a choice. We’ll put that on the table last, okay?”

“Fine.”

It took almost all night to talk this through. Yao was adamant about not going into surgery or getting a sperm donor. The situation reminded me of the “family curse”. On my mother’s side of the family, if a girl was born, their fathers could never have any more children. As far back as I could remember, they would end up with impotent, leaving them having to carry on the family with their daughter. Every generation, they would pray for a son to break the curse. My grandparents almost broke it when Jianjun was born, but then my mother was born are him. After I was born, my father wasn’t able to have anymore children. Even when he tried to have a son with a family friend, the damage was done. In attempt to break the curse, my father, Hen-to, and Fei all buried my umbilical chord in the backyard near a small fertility shrine.

I rubbed my forehead. Did that attempt fail? Has the curse already claimed Yao?

“It’s the curse,” I muttered.

“What?” my husband asked. I lifted my head.

“There is a little bit of a curse on my mother’s side of the family,” I said. “Every time a girl was born, the man would become impotent.”

“What do you mean?” Yao asked.

“It’s a bit hard to explain,” I said. “But somehow, girls on her side of the family drain fertility out of the men. Grandma and grandpa thought they beat the curse, but then my mother was born.”

“Are you saying the curse got me too?”

“I don’t know.”

“But we haven’t even had any children yet.”

“I know.”

Yao rubbed me on the shoulder. I looked up and saw with a calm look on his face for the first time since that last doctor’s visit. He shook his head.

“I’m not ready to place it all on that just yet,” Yao said. “We’re not going to call it a curse. Think through this logically, okay?” I pressed my lips together.

“Alright,” I said.

“Very good,” he said.


The doctor put Yao on a strict regimen. He had to take fertility drugs to increase his sperm count. He had to take them morning and night. Yao decided to eat a meal while doing so.

“If I don’t eat, I’ll get sick,” he said.

“How long do the have to take these pills?” I asked.

“Eight weeks,” Yao said.

“Eight weeks?” I asked. “Dang.” He wore looser clothes in his crotch area. To top it off, no sex until he finishes the medication. Apparently, I don’t really need to do anything on my part. It’s a good thing I still have that Hello Kitty massager Tina got me as a high school graduation present. I guess playing with myself could increase my chances of getting pregnant. I will have to look that up later.

I sat and watched Yao take his pill. He made another bitter face. I could already predict what he was going to say next.

“So bitter,” he complained. Yao quickly took a drink of his tea and started eating. For now, I hope this will work.


Lately, there’s been something else on my mind. Do you ever get the feeling that you are being watched? For the past couple of days, I feel that someone has been following me around. When I turn around, there is no one there. I would chalk it up to my mind playing tricks on me. But, it didn’t feel right. I doubted that Jianjun would stoop that low. Would he? Junjie’s too stupid to do that and he’s too broke.

I probably am thinking about this much. But still, I can’t stop thinking about it. I need something to preoccupy me. I went down to the main part of my campus to look for something to do.


That night, I came home early.

“I’m home,” I said. Yao had gone down to a clinic to monitor his sperm count. I don’t know how long that will take him. I sent him a text asking when before I cam home. I hadn’t expected to do much that evening. My homework was already complete and I didn’t feel like eating dinner yet. Maybe I could read or watch a little TV.

But then, I froze when I got to the living room.

A woman dressed in a dark purple kimono sat on my couch. She had a white kitsune mask on her head. Her red umbrella sat at her feet. Her gold eyes followed my every movement. I took a step backwards.

“Who the hell are you?” I asked. This woman peered at me.

“Shion,” she said. “And you are?”

“What are you doing in my living room?”

“I was called here.”

“I didn’t call you here.”

“I know you didn’t.”

“My husband is not here and I doubt he called you here. He would’ve told me over the phone.”

Shion shook her head. “He didn’t call me here either.”

I blinked at this weird woman. “Then… what are you doing here? Get out of my house or I will call the police!”

“The person who called me hasn’t arrived yet.”

“Get out of my house!”

“I will.” Shion rose to her feet and walked out the door. I shivered as she walked past me. I heard her pause at the door.

“I will be back when the one who called me arrived,” she said. When I turned around, she was gone. What was all of that about?


It’s been quiet over these past few weeks. I didn’t tell Yao about that Shion woman. I couldn’t make sense of it myself. Who called her there? What did she want with them? Yao gradually started making progress. They aren’t shooting for a high number with him.

“We’re trying to at least get him to the minimum number to be able to reproduce,” Biao told me over the phone.

“How is it going?” I asked.

“Really well,” he said.

“When can we… you know…”

“We’ll rest the tests when he finishes the meds and we’ll let you know. How have you been doing with your end?”

“Good.” It still felt awkward to tell him about my reproductive status. I know that’s studying to be a doctor, but still. It just doesn’t seem right. I tried to push that thought out of my head.

“Keep me posted?” I asked.

“Of course,” Biao said.

“Thank you,” I said.

“You’re welcome,” he said before hanging up.


About a month later, Yao and I tried again. We decided that this would be the last chance before relying on surgery.

“I don’t want to use a donor,” Yao said when he was on top of me. I reached up and pressed my finger to his lips.

“Don’t think about that,” I said. “Just enjoy tonight.” I leaned up and kissed him on the lips. He kissed me back as I wrapped my arms around his neck. We slowly sank into another last chance as I pulled him down on me.


About three weeks later, I told the pregnancy test. I wanted for three minutes one last time. If this doesn’t work, I will call the doctor and schedule a surgery. I looked around my bathroom. I keep forgetting that three minutes can feel so long.

When the time on my phone buzzed, I looked down at my test. My eyes widened as I gasped.

The test revealed one little pink plus sign.


A little extra...

Suburban Day

Three little girls play hopscotch on a sidewalk on a sunny day.

Bright colors.

Birds are singing.

Pan upwards.

Color turns darker.

A chopper rips through the air.

Tall dead black trees stand tall with black dots floating up to the sky.

Suburban Island

Coming February 1st, 2018

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