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little sky

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You couldn’t remember ever being this happy.

Of course, there was the day you first met Jennie. How you fell in love at first sight with her long dark hair, that flirtatious smile, those doll eyes. No matter how cheesy it seemed, you knew it right away that you just had to have her. Flash forward three weeks of awkward interaction whenever you both happened to be at the coffee shop, and you finally asked her out.

Who knew two years later you would be marrying her.

There were those instances. They were like Polaroids in your mind, memories you could visit again, and quite often did. They were amazing monuments in your life, a life you never thought would turn out as blessed and wonderful as it was now.

You couldn’t remember ever being this happy.

But you could remember the pain.

The pain of sitting beside Jennie, hand clutched in yours so hard that you felt her fingernails piercing the back of your hand. That didn’t matter. The agony of her hold was nothing in comparison to the way your heart broke. Tears streaked her cheeks, sobs riddling her chest. She couldn’t breathe and neither could you. The news shocked the both of you, and it ripped right through your wife. You were completely powerless, useless. There was nothing you could say or do. There was nothing anyone could do.

The news that Jennie would never be able to conceive a child was the worst day of your life.

The person you brought home was a shell of a woman with hopes and dreams of starting a family. Of raising beautiful, talented children. Of opposing all the odds society placed on you as a same-sex married couple. You didn’t need to ask to know that in more ways than one did she feel disappointed. Hollowed out. Something had been taken from her long ago, without her knowing, and she had lived all this time for a day that she could bring to life a part of her. Only to realize there was nothing.

Months passed, and Jennie eventually recovered. It felt as though you were both mourning a baby that had never come to pass. The day she smiled at you again, over breakfast you had fashioned, you thought that just maybe there was hope. Hope for something. A chance. Whatever it might be, it was there, you could see it in her smile. You kissed the breath from her.

And you vowed that she would be given a chance at a family like she always wanted.

You stole Jennie’s hand one day, a day that you both had free to spend. You remained as mysterious as you could, despite the incessant questioning of your wife. This was one surprise you wouldn’t give up easily. She sat beside you in the car as you drove, completely unsuspecting. Even when you arrived at the establishment, a clean and grand home, she had no idea.

It wasn’t until you were inside the halls that Jennie gripped your hand again. Almost as tight as that day… but not quite. You met with a kind, elderly woman. You spoke of options, of applying, of giving Jennie, your perfect wife, a family. When you left, Jennie was crying again. But the tears rolled down cheeks to a giddy smile, and she hugged you until you thought your ribs would snap.

So maybe you could remember being this happy.

Mail arrived one afternoon, and Jennie sprinted into the living room. She came barreling towards you, jumping into your lap in a cute little ball, and together, you opened the letter, or more like tore it open.


It took a couple seconds, a couple minutes maybe, for the both of you to process this. But when you did, you were screaming and crying and jumping and kissing and just happy. Again. You were happy. Even more importantly, Jennie was happy.



Haneul was the perfect addition to your little unit. And the name Jennie picked couldn’t have been more fitting. Sky, she told you it meant. It made you think of bliss and free spirits. Haneul certainly deserved his name. His smile made Jennie’s whole world. His little baby fingers curling around your thumb made you want to faint with joy. The way he was utterly content being cuddled between the two of you sealed together all the broken pieces left behind before him. Now, there was only him.

At night, when Haneul would frequently wake up and cry for attention, you were the one out of bed. Jennie had long and hard days, and the least you could do was put the baby back to bed so that she could get that extra hour of sleep. It wasn’t too bad a gig anyway, since the moment you would enter the room, glowing with his tiny night light, he would start giggling. You would pick him up in your arms and kiss his chubby cheeks, wondering how you could ever be so gifted.

You also wondered how someone could have given him up. The adoption house you had visited told the two of you that he was surrendered on account of being unable to care for him. It was a young couple, too young, and there was no way Haneul would have had a fulfilling life with them. They tried to do what would be best for him. You could understand that. But when you looked down into his eyes, saw them shining for you, it was always completely undermined. How anyone could have given him up was beyond you, but you counted your lucky stars that you and Jennie were the ones to give him a home. A family.

You came home another day to find Jennie asleep on the couch. A loving smile spread across your lips then as you saw curled up on her chest, Haneul, wrapped up in his mother’s arms so that even in her sleep, she prevented him from falling. You wanted nothing more than to join them, but the fear of waking them up from this moment kept you from doing so. Instead, you snapped a Polaroid, capturing the beautiful splay of chocolate hair across the pillow, and a tiny fist right over her heart. When it was developed, you clipped it onto the mobile you had installed in Haneul’s bedroom. It was a keepsake Jennie and you planned to add to through the years, and you were told to hang only the most important memories. Let’s face it, if it were up to you, the thing would be crammed full already. But this just had to go up there.

The day Haneul learned to walk was the day you truly felt like a mother. While work remained important in your life, you tried your hardest to balance it with raising your son. As it were, you sat at the couch, scrolling through documents on your laptop with one hand, while Haneul stood wobbly at your side. He had gotten the knack of standing already, a great milestone by the fact that Jennie cried and said it was happening too fast, and you held your other hand pressed to his back to keep him from tipping over. Jennie entered the room, lighting up as she always did at the sight of her child, but before she could even motion for him, the little guy was taking a step. A pause. You whipped your head away from the computer screen. Another step. Your fingers remained on his little shoulder, but then he took another step, breaking contact. He was walking. Mostly. A couple more feet, and then he was plopping down on his bum and clapping.

Jennie cried again. But as long as it was out of happiness, you were okay with it.

You couldn’t remember ever being this happy.