‘Ha ha, look, Jess,’ I said. ‘Thay havent put spases in bitween there werds. We shoud tell them its three werds, not one werd. Want…a…baby. Ha.’
Jess led me, still skipping, of corse, and chukling to my self as I was, up the parth, parst the small car park and in thrugh the frunt dors, wich were all glars. Even the large rownd dor handel thing was glars so you coud hardly tell where it was. In side it was warm so I took of my gluvs. Fish swam bihind glars. Evry thing seemed shiny, but dark and clene. There were wite lether settees and a lady with a very nete died black bob bihind a thick blue glars ricepshun desk.
‘Can I help you?’ the lady said.
‘Yes,’ said Jess. ‘Sally-Annes come along for her inducshun.’
Only a lot later than this did I find some thing owt. Arfter Jess got me thrugh that dor, she was pade for bringing me along. I jus dident saspect. Woud you? I had no idear, not being a saspichers tipe. The thing is I am a bit of a Silly Billy. Pepol tell me it all the time, so I know. And Duncan says I am naïv. I like that werd because it has got two dots on the i. But I dident know what it ment. And he tolled me I was gulibbel. I dident know what that ment either. But I am lerning. He said gulibbel ment I believe what pepol say to often even if thay are joking or not telling the truth. He said naïv ment that to, but it was like all the time. So if you are gulibbel all the time, then you are naïv. I got it. I guess I am both of them, all the time and jus some times.
We sat on the wite lether settees untill a skinny lady in a dark blue soot came. She shook my hand and looked at me, really care fully, I thort. Its like she was reading me. ‘Did Zoe want to see her?’ she arsked Jess.
‘Zoe,’ I thort. ‘What a funny name.’
‘Yes,’ said Jess. I thort that was odd, as Jess had only arsked me to go that day so how coud this Zoe of said she wantid to see me all redy?
But some times I get confused and pepol say to me, ‘Oh for gods sake, Sally-Anne, its not that conplicatid. Jus exept it, OK?’ So I have got use to letting things go, and realising Im not going to under stand evry thing.
Dark blue soot lady led us ferther in to the bilding to meet uther pepol. Some ladies were sitting abowt on settees and at tabels. Some were painting. One had died red hare. Anuther had china bedes sown into her plats. Thay were laughing and chating. I liked them. I notised that two or three of them had enormus bellies. Thay must be pregnunt, I thort to my self. I had not realised yet what it was all abowt, no, not at all. I dident have an inkling even.
One lady was sitting bihind a desk, riting. We went up to her. She was waring a very pritty pink dress. It had tiny flowers on it. I thort it was very pritty. I coudent help giving it a littel stroke. The materiel was intresting, like crushed silk or some thing. The lady looked up. She had pale grene eyes and a lined, rarther bony fase. She looked older than the uther wimin. Her hare was an iyern grey curved sheet. She smiold at us. ‘Is this Sally-Anne?’ she arsked.
‘Yes,’ said Jess. ‘I tolled you I woud bring her in.’
The lady held owt her hand. I stopped stroking her dress and took the hand. ‘So plesed to mete you, Sally-Anne,’ she said. ‘I am Zoe. I am in charge here.’
I giggerled. When I ferst herd her name I thort it must be speled Zowee but now I know its not. It sownded like a joke name to me like she was werking in the zoo or some thing. I had never herd of eny one being called it bifore.
‘Is that really your name?’ I arsked. ‘Zowee, Zowee.’
‘Yes, its un ushal. Not meny names start with zed,’ she agreed. Her voice was silky soft and went up and down in a coaxy way. Her hand felt soft too. Soft and smooth. I dident want her to take it awey. She sloly pulled her hand owt of mine. ‘Follow me,’ she said, getting up. I followed her.
She took me to a littel room on the secund flor. It looked owt on the enormus pine trees in the frunt garden. Jess came too. Zoe talkt and talkt. I carnt member hardly eny of the things she said now, but I do member two of them. She said, ‘Do you want to help me, Sally-Anne?’
I said, ‘Yes, I want to help you.’
She took a large grey file owt of a cabinet. She sat down at a shiney desk, opernd it up and said, ‘To help me and to help uthers, you woud be using your boddy to contane a new life. Do you think you coud do that?’
Jess and I sat on chares on the uther side of the desk. I dident know what Zoe ment by ‘using your boddy to contane a new life.’
‘What do you mene?’ I arsked. ‘How can I use my boddy to contane a new life?’
Zoe explaned that the werk was to kepe in side my boddy for nine munths, a chiold for some boddy else. I under stood that she ment I woud have to bicome pregnunt, but this puzeled me again. ‘Why can thay not kepe the new life in there own boddy?’ I arsked.
Things puzel me quite easily. I member the day in maths are teacher trying to teach us abowt giving the right amownt of change from muny. I jus dident under stand why some one woud not jus give the right muny in the ferst place. So he woud say ‘The dress costs eight pownds, Sally-Anne. You give the shop keeper ten pownds. How much dus he give you back?’
‘Why carnt I jus give him eight pownds?’ I said.
‘Because you only have ten pownds.’
‘But ten pownds is more than eight pownds,’ I said. ‘So if I have ten pownds I shurely have eight pownds with in those ten pownds.’
It jus really really confused me. I dident get the real problem, which is that you only have a ten pownd note. You havent got no pownd coins. No one explaned it well enugh. Now that I know, I coud explane it to some uther por fool what carnt get it. I woud say: ‘So its not like you can give eight pownds when you only have a ten pownd note. You carnt chop the note up in to ten bits to make one pownd pieces, right?’ May be I shoud be a teacher one day because I know what it is like not to under stand things straight awey and how confusing things are some times.
So eny way, my questshun wich was, ‘Why can thay not kepe the new life in there own boddy?’ seemed to make good sense to me but might not of to most pepol.
‘Well…’ Zoe stopped for a littel moment. ‘Thay are very bisy and very stressed and tiyerd. Thay have lots of werk to do. Thay cannot look arfter a chiold in side of them. Thay have too meny things to think abowt.’
She took my hand again. ‘You, Sally-Anne, you dont have too meny things to do. You have all day, to look arfter the baby in your boddy. You can kepe it warm, and eat good things so it is helthy and well.’
‘But…’ I was still confused, ‘dont thay like having there baby in side of them?’
‘Sally-Anne,’ she said. ‘A fiew years ago, most pepol still did have there own babies in there own tummies. But now, in Lunden and New York and most of the big cities in the werld, pepol have lots of muny, but thay dont have lots of time. Thay have to werk long awers, and if a woman wants to rise up high in the compny, its dangerus for her to take time of to have a baby. Things move so farst in the werk plase. By the time she comes back to her job, uther pepol have taken her werk and have bicome better at it than her.’
‘So…rich pepol carnt have babies no more?’ I arsked.
‘Rich pepol who still have babies are fiew and far bitween,’ she said. She looked down at a fiyul. Her curtan of gray hare fell in a perfict curve to wards the page. She ran her finger nale down a long list. ‘See! Look at are wating list! Lots of pepol are looking for nice kind gerls to grow there babies, Sally-Anne. We have a wating list of cuples desprit for babies, but we carnt find enugh luvley helthy gerls like you to eat wunder full food and nurish the baby in there tummies for a fiew munths.’
The wunder full food bit sownded good. I realised I was really hungry and had only had one of Mums donuts for my dinner. I some times ferget to make food as I am a silly billy.
So I went in the next day to sing some forms and be ixamined by a docter. He arsked me when I larst had my periud. I thort that was getting a bit persenel. ‘Abowt two weeks ago,’ I muttered, not looking him in the eye as talking abowt things like that is imbarissing.
‘Well then, Sally-Anne,’ he said, ‘Theres no reasen why we carnt go ahed today with your embrio transfer. Have you filled in all the forms?’
‘Yes, I have,’ I said.
He arsked me to take my nickers of. Ha, lucky I membered to put some on, I thort. Quite often I carnt find eny as there all in the wash. The nerse who was in the room smiold incuragingly at me, so I took them of and lay down on the thin bed thing. The shete on it was very stiff and very wite. The nerse held my hand wiol the docter got things redy on a tray. Anuther woman pushed my tee shert up and squerted cold jell on my tummy. ‘This is to do an ultra sownd and guide the choob in to your woom,’ she explaned.
I herd the docters pen scratching at the paper as he rote down some things. ‘So, wont take long,’ he said crispley. I like that werd. Crispley. It sownds crisp dusent it? Crisp like a… crisp.
The docter picked up a metel thing that looked like a small sord or light saber. ‘This is a speculerm, Sally-Anne,’ he said. ‘It helps to opern up your verginas wall…’
This made me giggerl a bit as I dident know my vergina had a wall. It probly had a garden parth as well for all I knew. Luckerly I dident say that because I know that some pepol dont find some things as funny as I do.
He continued: ‘….to allow us to transfer the embrio along a choob, parst your servix and in to your woom.’
Docters are so matter effact abowt all that down bilow stuff, and, you know, thay do it all day, but I still did fiyul imbarrassed. The sord thing was cold and hard but it dident really hert. I had had sex bifore, with Gary from the Garidge, in the back of his Ford Focus, and if your ever planning to have sex in a car be warned its not a very good car to have sex in as there isent much room and dont even try it in the frunt, because the setes dont go back far enugh. So this wasant as scary as having sex for the ferst time, but it was still scary.
The nerse was sliding the ultra sownd thing over my tummy. She pressed a bit hard, but I dident complane as I try to be help full and be a good gerl. It made pichers on a screne. If I craned my neck a bit I coud see the picher. It dident look like much, jus odd wite circuler lines and black bits.
Arfter werds the nerse said I shoud take it easy for the next two weeks. Rest often, she said. ‘Dont walk to far. Sit in frunt of the telly.’
‘Oh, Mum will be happy,’ I said. ‘She likes a bit of cumpny.’
‘In two weeks time, youl be givern a pregnuncy blud test. If its positiv, youl have a scan abowt two weeks arfter that.’
‘OK,’ I said, smioling at her. She was pritty, with slight downy wite fer on her chekes wich cort the light.
‘Good luck, Sally-Anne,’ she said, and smiold back. ‘Well done.’
I skipped, but jently, on the wey home, and hi fived the pine brarnchis and eny leves I coud find but most of the trees were conpletly bare by then, as it was all redy late janury.
Chapter 4 coming tomorrow!