The Book of Her

Who are my parents? It’s a question I’ve asked often in my life. A question no-one seems to be able to provide the answer for. I ask ‘who’ rather than ‘were’ as I live in the vain hope that I might one day discover their identities, and that they are still alive. Somewhere.

What do I know about my mother? Only that she chose to freeze her eggs at some stage in her mid-20’s, and store them in an egg bank, allowing her to put off the decision to start a family until she was ready. And that she never did.

I know even less about my father. He was pronounced infertile, so his sperm was donated to science. It was discovered that weak sperm could be made strong and healthy when allowed to grow in the nurturing testicle of a lab rat.

Unbeknownst to him, his useless, rat-fostered sperm grew strong enough to create me when combined with my mother’s egg in a petri dish. I am what people refer to as a designer baby. Grown in a small glass tube in a lab. An experiment in genetics. A mutant.

If my biological parents knew of my existence, would they want to know? Would they be terrified? Appalled? Horrified? Or excited? Would they even be interested in me? Would they be angry that no-one had bothered to tell them? Would they be angry if someone did bother to tell them?

At best, my parents are Science and Conception. My name is Gene.

© Bea Pierce, 2003