This is a scene I love from the upcoming book “The Unthinkable”. It’s between Tommy and Brittany and it really showcases the struggle they have as a regular couple in love, dealing with the issues of HIV and how, despite everything thrown their way, they are rock solid in their love and commitment.
“Britt?” a voice came and the door opened.
“No, go away,” she went to get up when she saw it was Tommy. She relaxed in relief and put her head in her hands.
“Hey, come here,” he said softly as he walked to her and pulled her into his arms
“I’m sorry, Tommy. I’m sorry I made you so mad. I just need you to let me be angry and not take it so personally. Can you please give me a few minutes alone?”
He sat back and reached for a tissue, wiping her cheeks.
“No. I can’t do that. I need you and I think you need me, too. While you were gone, I had a talk with Naomi and it occurred to me that I was being incredibly selfish. It’s a trait I’ve had my whole life, and I usually hide it by being “overly protective”.”
She chuckled and then shook her head.
“No, Tommy. You aren’t selfish. You have dealt with so much your whole life and meeting me was probably the worst thing that could have happened. You should have found a nice and healthy woman who would make a home for you and let you have tons of amazing sex and give you a houseful of healthy children. Instead, you’re stuck with a witch who spontaneously bleeds and bruises, who gave birth to a still born daughter, who has gotten you shot and beaten and caused you more heartache than any person deserves,” she put her head in her hands and cried.
He listened to her, really listened, before he stood up, and walked to the chair.
“Meeting you was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, Red. I dated before you, a lot. I met many women who were kind and pretty and would have made great wives.”
She looked at him and her chin quivered.
“So why didn’t you?”
“Because I was waiting for the woman who wanted me. I was waiting for the woman who looked at me and saw all of the things I was embarrassed to show. I was waiting for the woman who made me remember that life was worth living and the amazing beauty that can exist in the simplest of moments.”
He moved to her and knelt down in front of her.
“Has it been easy? No, it hasn’t, but so what? I don’t want easy and plain and boring. I want the woman who breathed life into me and who gave me that beautiful and spunky little girl who I adore more than life itself. I want the woman who looked death in the face and told it to fuck off because she had worked too hard to be in this world. You haven’t given me any heartache, Brittany, you have given me back my heart.”
She reached up and held his face in her hands, stroking his cheeks.
“I love you so much. I just don’t want you to look at me and see what you lost. I don’t want to be a reason you hurt any more.”
He leaned in and kissed her, his hands pulling her to him and moving up under her hair. She wrapped her arms around him and the passion and release they both needed was evident in the aggressive nature of their touch.
Tommy sat back and looked at her, the flush in her cheeks was incredibly beautiful and her swollen lips beckoned for more.
“I need to ask you something,” he said softly, his hands entwined with hers.
“What is it?”
“What did you mean about being allowed to have tons of sex? I am very happy with our sex life, aren’t you?”
She looked down and sighed.
“That wasn’t what I meant.”
“I need you to tell me what you’re thinking, please.”
She shrugged and looked at him.
“The look in your eyes when we made love with no protection was something I’m afraid I’ll never see again,” she stroked his cheek as she spoke to him. “The feelings I got when you were able to love me without a barrier and when you exploded inside of me was a moment I felt like I could be the woman you deserved.” She wiped her eyes and continued. “Even if my viral load stays low, I can’t risk getting pregnant. I can never be pregnant again, Tommy, and that means you can never be free to love me that way. I know it’s silly, but it’s an aspect of my disease that I just hate so much.”
He had never thought about it. He truly had never thought about it.
“I shouldn’t have said anything,” she said, seeing his silence as confirmation that he was bothered.
“I’ll get a vasectomy.”
She looked at him, stunned.
“I’ll get a vasectomy. It’s simple, Red. I never thought about it, but if it’s important to you, then I will do it. It’s safer for us, anyway, because we got pregnant twice while using protection. Maybe I’m just that potent,” he smiled as she laughed.
“That’s nice,” she chuckled, “but no. You should have the chance to have more children.”
He paused and sat back.
“If you can’t be pregnant, then how am I supposed to have more children?”
She shook her head and sighed.
“I didn’t mean for you to have them while we were together,” she stopped when the words came out.
“So you’re planning on us not being together?” he stood up.
She stood and faced him.
“Just forget it, Tommy. I am not planning anything. I just don’t think you should do anything permanent to yourself. You’re only in your 30’s and you may decide to have more children.”
He pulled her to him and held his hand on her shoulders.
“If I have any other children, they will be with you. I respect your fears, but I am not about to look at any aspect of my life without you in it. I love making love with you and I think we need to look at other ways to make this safe. I am happy and I am not missing out on anything. I just need you to feel the same way.”
She hugged him and sighed.
“I love you so much. I just want you to be happy.”
He smiled and kissed her again.
“I am happy. I think we need to go sit with our daughter and remember just how amazing we can be together.”
“Okay. I think that’s an amazing idea.”