);

INHERITANCE by Cavin Gonzalez

When she came hopping out of the bathroom holding an instrument that I mistook as a thermometer I was appalled that someone could be so happy about running a fever. She threw her arms around me and squeezed, squeezed like she hated me. But she didn’t hate me. She loved me. And that’s when I saw the two little lines, bright pink, glaring at me.

It’s been four months since then. We’re having a boy. Every day her womb grows, life gestates. All of our friends are so excited. “You’re glowing!” they say. Or “About time!”

Every night I watch him while she sleeps. I imagine a little me in there, stuck to a feeding tube and unaware of the great big world waiting to pounce. My wife will smile while unconscious, sometimes her hands will go instinctively to her womb and move in small, precise circles. That baby is made of exactly 50% of my chromosomes and 50% of hers. Mine are 100% fucked. When our son grows, will his resentment for life grow like an awkward peach fuzz? Will he become angry easily, contemplate killing himself before he’s even old enough to drive?

While my wife chatters about whether our child will play sports or be an artist all I can imagine is our son hiding in the bathroom, running a razor blade across his forearm and sobbing. I imagine our child taking too many pills, driving drunk into a barricade and bleeding out on the pavement; scared and alone and relieved that it’s all soon to be over. Schizophrenia, melanoma, bipolar disorder, acid reflux, overly empathetic tendencies, and a thin skin. Our child will be born broken and it’s my fault. He will try to fill his life with menial time killers; scrapbooking, soccer, friends, drugs. Whatever he may want. At the end of the day nothing will his void. Not fame, not fortune, not love. He will inherit all of my sins. He will struggle his whole life to understand why he feels this way but he won’t figure it out. Not ever.

Read Next: ASSASSIN by Colleen Rothman