Jessica J.J. Lutz
Jessica J.J. Lutz

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My Dutch novel 'De Nederlandse Bruid' (A Bride from Holland) came out in November 2014 and sold out within two months. 

This story was first published online by Smith Magazine, and later included in the anthology The Moment, published by Harper Collins.

 

 

I’m sitting on the sofa with the man I love. He holds my hands and says: “I want to have a child with you.”

The smile freezes on my face. My first impulse is to pull my hands out of his, but I restrain myself. I want a future with this man. We’re both high-performing journalists, zip-zapping around the Middle East. We dive into war zones and adventures, we are part of the pack, feel relevant, real, important, and above all, get those addictive surges of high-octane adrenaline in our veins. Does he really want me to give all that up?

“Well,” I say, clearing my throat. “Well. I don’t believe in having a child and handing it over to the nanny. I think a child deserves a parent at home.”

“Me too,” he says fondly. “I think you’d be such a wonderful mother.”

Does he know that I dumped the last boyfriend who said this to me? To be fair, I was 20 then. Now I’m 37. But still.

“You can’t seriously want me to sit at home with an infant while you have all the fun, do you? To stop earning my own living and become totally dependant on you?”

He beams a smile at me. “You can trust me. I’ll support you with everything I have.”

“That’s what you say. I can’t risk not taking care of myself. You must be out of your mind!”

Several days later I slam the door as I leave our house, and stomp off to the hospital to see my gynaecologist. Fists in my pockets, scowl on my brow, and ignoring the sunshine, I mutter to myself all the way there. Why, oh why have I not learned to say no? Especially to a guy with deep blue eyes that make me feel like I spread my wings and float up into the vast space of the sky? “Why, why, why?” my footsteps rap.  

And there I am, helplessly sprawled out in front of the doctor, who, with a nasty jerk, pulls out my IUD. “You’ll be fine,” she says, seeing my contorted face. She pats my knee…

 

You can find the full story here