Rules Get Broken

Rules Get Broken by John Herbert

Book: Rules Get Broken by John Herbert Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Herbert
Tags: Memoir
getting through it. God knows, if you can get through your end, I can get through mine. But I do miss you, and I love you. More now than ever before.”
    But one night, Wednesday, August 13th, Peg was wide awake, alert, almost vivacious. Our conversation that night was anything but one-sided and focused on a time before Dr. Werner and New York Hospital and chemotherapy and cancer. Instead, our conversation centered on memories—good memories—memories that we shared and which had come to define us.
    “Do you remember the first time we made love?” I asked that night.
    Peg smiled.
    “When was it? March? April?” I asked.
    “April,” Peg answered without any need for reflection. “The first Sunday in April, to be exact. Sunday afternoon. Anne Baker and Jane Goldberg had gone somewhere for the weekend, and Sarah and Jerry had gone out to the Island. And we had the apartment to ourselves.”
    “I guess you do remember.”
    Again Peg smiled. “Do you remember what happened afterwards?” she asked. “Do you remember what we did?”
    “I sure do. We got dressed, and we went for a walk. West up 67th Street to Madison Avenue and then north up Madison. I don’t remember how far. But I do remember that I was flying. I mean I felt great. And more in love than I ever thought possible. And I remember that as we walked along, we wondered if we looked any different to the other people on the street. We wondered if they could tell what had happened just by looking at us.” I shook my head in amazement at the clarity of the memory and looked over at Peg.
    “And I remember,” she added softly, “that at one point during that afternoon, you were so deliriously happy you threatened to stand in the middle of the sidewalk and shout the news to everyone around us.” She paused for a second and looked over at me, her eyes sparkling like they used to. “I’m kind of glad you didn’t do that,” she said with a little giggle.
    And before we knew it, we were laughing. At each other and at the silly things people in love do.
    When the laughter subsided, we both fell silent and looked out the window, watching the shadows of the buildings on the east side of Manhattan slowly stretch across the East River as the sun moved lower in the western sky.
    “Do you remember Dr. Amann?” I asked, turning away from the window to face Peg again. “Dr. Richard Amann?”
    “I remember,” she replied. “The male fertility specialist.”
    “He’s the one.”
    Peg rolled her eyes. “I also remember his waiting room,” she said, “and how tiny it was. And how embarrassing it was for you to be sitting there, holding your semen sample in a test tube, with all those other people who were just as embarrassed as you because they were there for the same reason. And I remember all those letters and baby pictures from patients who had babies after seeing him, all over the walls of the waiting room and on both sides of the hall leading down to his office. Yes, I remember Dr. Amann.”
    “Do you remember what he said after he examined the sample we brought in?” I asked. “After he had spent probably ten minutes telling us all about sperm counts and maturation stages and motility levels? When I asked him if I was sterile?”
    Peg shook her head no.
    “He said, and I quote, ‘Well, let’s put it this way. In the eyes of the law, no, you’re not sterile. But, practically speaking, if you ever spent an evening in the back seat of a car and worried about it the next morning, you didn’t have to.’ “
    Again we laughed. Not just at the recollection of Dr. Amann’s words, but also at the thought of where we had been, faced with the possibility of never being able to have children, and where we had ended up, with not one but two beautiful, healthy children.
    “Do you remember the sign outside that church on the way back to our car after we saw Dr. Amann?”
    “I do,” Peg replied thoughtfully. “I’ve thought of what that sign said many times

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