Jay and Anita stepped into Dr. Singh’s office nervously. Dr. Singh nodded at them to take a seat and Jay and Anita sat down across from Dr. Singh.
“Jay and Anita?” Dr. Singh asked.
“Yes, that’s … uh … us,” Anita replied, her voice laced with nervous anticipation.
Dr. Singh nodded at the desktop screen on her desk. “Yes, good. I can see here that you have filled out all the required questionnaires — parenting rules, schooling options, prospective career paths, good, good it’s all here. Okay, before I begin the simulation, I just need a confirmation from you that these are your final answers and that you will accept the outcome of the DNA testing & simulation, and undergo the surgeries if required.” She handed both of then writing pads and some documents for them to signed.
Jay and Anita signed the documents and handed them back to Dr. Singh. He extended his hand to Anita’s hand and gave it a slight squeeze. “It’ll be alright,” he said. “I know it will be.”
“Good,” Dr. Singh said. “The technician was able to get a good sample from you last time. All we need to do now is run the simulation.” Dr. Singh clicked a button on her screen and looked back at the pregnant couple. She could see the nervousness on their faces. She had seen in their records that this was their fourth and final try. This was it for them.
“You know,” she said softly to them. “In the end, this is all for the better for the foetus. If this is what it wants, then it is what it wants. And no matter what the test and simulation shows, it is not a reflection on you, got it? There are too many factors at play, both nature and nurture, and you can’t blame yourself if it doesn’t want to be born.”
Anita flinched at that and her other hand went straight to her stomach reflexively. Maybe it was the way that Dr. Singh had referred to her baby as an ‘it’, or maybe it was the horrifying possibility that their baby might not want to be born. To them. They had been trying for too long now. And they had already had three rejections. Of course, they blamed themselves. Dr. Singh could say what she wanted to but at the end of the day it was the parent’s responsibility to give a happy life to their child. When they had received their first rejection they had actually believed what the doctor had said then and not taken any blame. They had just considered it bad luck. One in a million chance. Happens sometimes. But after the second time they had made some major changes to their lives. Jay had switched careers, they had moved out to the suburbs into a neighborhood with a good school, lots of open spaces, lots of activities for their child to enjoy, to learn to be happy. And after the third rejection, they had made more changes, read books, changed their entire way of thinking of bringing up a child. A happy child. Surely, her baby would want her now.
The computer beeped and Dr. Singh looked back at her screen. “So, the simulations have been completed,” she said keeping her voice completely normal, no hints of excitement or happiness in it. “And I am afraid, it’s a negative.”
Jay let out a soft groan and held on to Anita’s hand even tighter. Anita started to cry softly.
“I am really sorry, Anita. Jay,” said Dr. Singh softly. This was the part of her job she hated the most. “Since this is your fourth rejection, your license to procreate has been cancelled. You will now be escorted out to the operating rooms to have your surgeries. Jay, your de-sterilization will be reversed. Anita, the foetus will be aborted. The surgeries itself will be quick and painless. After that you will have your first session with the grief counsellor. Once again, I am sorry for your loss, and I wish you the best,” finished Dr. Singh keep her voice calm, professional, unemotional. She pressed a button on her desk.
Two nurses with wheelchairs came into the room to take Jay and Anita away for their procedures.
* * *