- What’s wrong?
- It feels good, TOO good…
The condom broke… inside, and after. I reached for another one as if nothing happened but Karleen froze. I had never seen her that serious. She was in her fertile days of the month. She switched from love making to panic mode. We didn't finish. Our time in paradise was over. Fuck Durex.
I jokingly argued that we might as well finish our business. Karleen scolded me in a calm icy tone, a tone that commanded silence. This was not time to joke. The situation was real and required immediate attention. It could change both our lives forever… And I was hung up on not finishing. I avoided her look and dressed up quietly, ashamed of myself.
If she got pregnant, we would need to have a dreadful conversation. I had no control over the situation or her decision. For me, having a kid was out of the question, though I could not say so. I had to find a way, a subtle way to persuade her if she thought otherwise. I knew it wasn’t right, but the end justified the means.
The closest pharmacy was in the town of Pochutla. Anxiety hung heavy over la Chichona. We packed in silence and left our wonderful paradise. I put on ‘Three little birds’, hoping Uncle Bob would lighten the mood. We exited the dirt road and headed North to the noisy, dirty and crowded Pochutla. Every little thing, is gonna be alright. ♩ ♪♬
The music covered my distress. Humming with Uncle Bob helped keep composure. Karleen was quiet, probably exploring hypothetical scenarios in her head. What to do if she was pregnant? Her pretty face was still as ice, cold and scary. I had to tread carefully. One wrong word and the rest of my life would be decided for me.
To make up for my morning selfishness, I apologized. I was clueless and resorted to laughter as a defense mechanism, as always. Admitting my fault helped. Like a blossoming flower, she started to open up. It wasn’t her first time dealing with that. She knew what to do. I said I would be supportive and do whatever she needed me to. Her eyes showed a little warmth.
Karleen walked out of the pharmacy with two pregnancy tests and a morning-after pill. The pill messes up a girl’s hormone severely. She said she would take it only if the tests turned out positive. I was relieved. At least we were on the same page. We arrived at her place. I pulled her aside and grabbed her hands:“Listen. We’re in this together. I support your decision, no matter what happens. We're in this together”. She rushed to the bathroom.
The idea of becoming a father did not scare me. It is something I always wanted, but not like that. I wanted to choose the right time and the right person. It was certainly not the right time. At 31, I was living in a nomadic life in a van. I had no responsibility, no commitments and my only worries were the size of the waves. I was still a child, and a child needs to play.
From her balcony I fished at the sea for wisdom. What was the right thing to do? Abandoning her was not an option. If she was pregnant and wanted to keep the baby, the rest of my life would be linked to hers. We would probably move to Germany, have normal city lives and do our best to raise a child. What could be worse, the death of freedom or being with Karleen for the wrong reasons?
I daydreamed about fatherhood. I knew I would be good at it, at least the playing part. Plus, it would make my parents extremely happy. The worst-case scenario did not seem so bad, and Germany is a good place to start a family. A boy, a girl, the country, the mother? All that didn't matter, so long as the baby was healthy.
She came out of the bathroom holding the tests. Both were negative. It took me a moment to process it, surprised to feel a bit disappointed. We shared a long heartfelt hug. Her emerald eyes were smiling again, a shy sweet smile.
- Are you relieved?
- Yeah. I was not ready for this.
- Me neither….
- Shall we resume where we stopped?
Maybe responsibility would come one day… Meanwhile, a child needs to play.