Escape Pod 349: Origin
By Ari Goelman
This is how I find out that I’m pregnant:
I wake up to find Carter standing next to my bed. The fire escape door is open behind him, so the rising sun silhouettes his body. A human silhouette, albeit a little crisper than it should be, as his body bends the light towards him, powering up. Always powering up.
“You’re pregnant,” he says. No particular emphasis on the words, which is as per usual, his voice being run through vocal cords that are not human, formed by lips that have blown hurricanes off course. It’s not that he doesn’t feel emotion, he tells me and anyone else who’ll listen. It’s just that he doesn’t have the same biologically hardwired ways of showing it. Usually I believe him.
“What?” I rub my eyes, push up on one elbow. “That’s not possible.”
He leans over me, and touches my stomach. “I was flying by your apartment, thinking about you. I heard the heartbeat.”
“You told me that was impossible,” I say.
He frowns and asks, “I told you it was impossible for me to hear the . . .”
“Conceiving, Carter,” I say. “You told me it was impossible for us to conceive.”
“I thought it was. I was wrong.” His frown deepens. “I could take care of it for you right now if you want.”
I push Carter away from me and sit up. “For me, Carter?! You mean for us, right?”
“Right. That’s what I meant.” A pause, then. “You’re freezing the bed, Margaret.”