She took his hand and squeezed it until his knuckles turned as white as their favorite bed linens. Her thumbnail carved a crater of elation in his palm. We’re going to be parents.

They swung the adoption agency’s doors open with fervent and tranquil smiles on their faces. He filled out the forms while she looked through the glass. Her eyes moved left to right, right to left. She could hardly wait for him to finish before bursting down the hallway towards the “Assignment Room.” Which one should I choose! 

Their perfect bodies lay side by side, each perfect child matched with its less-than-perfect counterpart. The latters ached and cried, coughed and tossed, as the perfect organisms next to them remained still, lifeless, and beautiful. Ooh I want that one! 

She pointed to a little boy, his chestnut hair covering bits of his smooth forehead. His tiny lips were the perfect curvature of the moon. As she wagged her finger in his direction, a lab practitioner walked over and lifted his eyelids. They’re blue! They’re blue, honey!

The white-coated figure nodded, and she nodded back. It was to be theirs, this perfect specimen. He squeezed her waist as they followed the impeccable delicate body, its sterile holder, and the green squeamish baby next to it to the “Transfer Lab.” Let me do it, oh please, let me do it, she begged.

He paved the way to her happiness, holding his arm out so she could stand above the two creatures, one with hurting eyes wide open, the other with a porcelain nose waiting to take in the breath of life. Just like we practiced it, ok? He kissed her ear.

With steady hands he pulled out the knife from his back pocket. She took it with confident and eager hands, her reflection showing off her exultant expression to his calm face behind her. The blade was sharp and sparkling and perfect, just like the waiting figure before it. The imperfect human opened its mouth to let out a frightful cry, but could only let out a pitiful cough. For our child—

She sliced the spoilt being’s neck with tenderness. Its blood touched the perfect angel. With lightness in her eyes she signaled him forward. You do it, honey. He did. His gentle fingers made a small incision on its perfect neck. He glided his gentle fingers through the red substance, then from the ugly body onto the newly cut perfect surface. Its eyes opened, a blue sunset in the pink sky. The lifeless monster was taken away by the labcoat. I’ll leave you two alone.

 They pick it up, now forever a part of their tender union, a symbol of eternal promise. His skin smells sweet, his silky hair covers his mother’s wrists as she holds him, her tears creating rivers in his bellybutton. The labcoat returns with a cardboard box, wrapped neatly in blue and white ribbon. Do you want to keep the skin? Oh yes! Can we, honey? We’ll keep it in the nursery! Anything you want, my sweet, he smiles. They take their perfect baby, it in her arms, the box in his, and walk down the hallway, past the lobby and waiting soon-to-be parents. A woman in line stops them, eager to ask them all the questions jumping through her mind. How was it? How long did it take?! Is it true they let you keep the skin? She touches her impatient shoulders endearingly. We turned our old one in yesterday. He’s much better, she said looking into the two blue almonds in her arms. He’s perfect.

 

 

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