Chapter 2.52



I sat down next to Nora at the dining table, smiling as I heard Caleb’s bubbling laughter coming from the living room. He was playing with the fire truck I’d gotten him and the police car Loralee had given him. He kept crashing them together, as kids were wont to do.


“I think you’re smitten with my son,” Nora said wryly.

I snorted. “I’m not smitten.”

“Pretty sure you are. You look all dopey and besotted.”


I chuckled softly and leaned back in my chair. “He’s such a great kid. He’s talking so well now.”

Nora beamed. “He really is. Did you realize it won’t be that long until he’s in preschool?” She shook her head. “It’s really amazing.”

I reached over and wrapped my arm around her. “You’re pretty amazing, too, you know. You’re such a spectacular mom.”


She gave me a little shove and huffed a soft breath. “Don’t start that. I’m doing the best that I can, that’s all.” I sighed internally. My sister really did not have a clear view of herself. I wished there were something I could do to make her see her own worth. “So anyway,” Nora said, changing the subject, “given the way you look at Caleb…”

I leaned my elbows on the table, looking down at the glass. “I’d like a kid.”


“You’re only twenty-four,” she replied softly. I’d told her before about how Alison didn’t want to have kids; we’d both hoped that something with either me or Alison might change with time.


“I know. I mean, I really do. But I want kids, Nora. I’m financially secure; I love the woman that I’m with. I want to start a family.” I hadn’t really said it out loud like that before. I’d said I wanted kids, but I’d never said the words, ”I want a family.

Nora rested her hand on my arm. “Then I guess you need to talk to Alison. Maybe she has changed her mind. Relationships are supposed to be about compromise, right?”

As much as I hoped Alison would want a kid, I was pretty sure she hadn’t changed her mind. It took a lot to make her change her mind. It was one of the things I loved about her, but not so much in this case.


Later that evening, Alison walked into the apartment and smiled when she saw me. “Hey, babe. How were things at the house?”

I got up from the counter and kissed her before taking my plate to the sink. “Really good. Caleb is pretty much the cutest thing ever, and Nora is looking great. I think her job is suiting her. How was the library? Did you make any progress?” Alison and Luc had spent the day deep in the Willow Creek archives, trying to dig up information on his parents.

She sighed. “Not really. There’s not a whole lot to be found about a French emigre who moved back to France twenty years ago.”


I slid my arms around her waist. “I’m sure you two will find what you’re looking for.” I drew her over to the couch and sat down next to her. “Allie, there was something I wanted to talk to you about.” As she frowned in concern, I squared my shoulders and said, “I want to have a baby.”


She stared at me, unblinking, for a long, long moment as if I’d just spoken German to her. “You…what?”

“I want to have a baby. I know we’re both pretty young, but we’re in a good place in our lives and – “


She held up her hands. “You’re in a good place in your life. I’m trying to finish up college and find an internship. That is not a good place in my life.” She shook her head, exasperated. “Besides which, I told you years ago, I don’t want to have any kids. I love Caleb, but I love him as a nephew. I like being able to spend time with him and then give him back. I don’t want that full-time responsibility.”


I tried to tamp down the frustration I was feeling. I couldn’t get pissed at her for being honest with me. “Won’t you just – I don’t know – consider it? Maybe sleep on it for a while and mull it over? This really is important to me.” If she truly didn’t want kids, I could respect that. It was her body, after all. But didn’t this kind of decision at least merit some deep thought?


“I have thought about it.” She looked at me apologetically. “I’m sorry, Josh, but that just isn’t something I want. Maybe in, like, ten years or something when I’ve got a good job, I might consider the option again, but definitely not right now.

“So that’s it then,” I said angrily. “You just get to say ‘maybe in ten years’ and expect me to just be okay with it?”

“What do you want from me, Josh?”


“I want to know that you actually care about what I want!” I burst up from the couch and paced around the living room. “This is something I really want. And you won’t even consider the possibility of compromising?”

“For me, ten years is a compromise!”

“Three years is a compromise! Five years is a compromise. Ten is just leading me on, Alison.”

“Well, then fine. I never want kids. Are you happy now?”


I glared at her. “Of course I’m not fucking happy.” I turned my back on her and walked out of the apartment. I practically ran down the stairs. I needed air. I needed to not be in that apartment.


My head cleared some once the cold January air hit my face. I was being an asshole – I knew that. I didn’t really have a right to be pissed at her. It was her right to not want kids. But I couldn’t help it. I felt like I’d been struggling this whole way, the entirety of our relationship.


I walked along the sidewalk as my head spun. It was a familiar feeling; walking outside had always been my preferred head-clearing method. I wasn’t sure it was going to work this time though.

I could either have Alison, or I could have a family. Making myself actually think it in absolute terms made my stomach roil. How could I choose? I ran my hand through my hair and grabbed a hunk, tugging at it. I’d been in love with Alison for so long. She’d always supported me with baseball and my family. She’d never missed any of my games in high school, not even the away ones. I knew she’d still be at my games if it weren’t for the mob scene after we left the stadium. Kids were messy. They were time-consuming. They were expensive. I’d need a new place to live if I had any. There was no guarantee I’d be a good father; I could royally fuck them up. There were a lot of reasons not to have a kid. And there were a hell of a lot of reasons to stay with Alison.


I made my way back to the building and looked up at the bay window of my apartment. For Alison, I could give up anything. We’d had a rough patch, but didn’t all couples have those? Relationships were about compromise, about forgiveness, about making it work. What Alison and I had – it was real. It was worth sacrifice.

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17 Responses to Chapter 2.52

  1. CitizenErased14 says:

    *starts running toward the lifeboats of the SS Jolison*

    Having kids is a BIG issue to disagree with. Obviously it’s Alison’s body/her choice on that end of things… But Josh also has the right to walk away and find someone who wants the same thing he does… I think it’s sweet how much he loves her, but I wonder whether a family is really something he wants to sacrifice :-/

    (Oh, also #TeamSiblingLove at the beginning there! <3)

    Liked by 2 people

    • JoieWilder says:

      It’s really a massive issue between them. We’re getting very close to their resolution – but I won’t say which direction that resolution goes in. They do really love each other, so maybe they’ll figure out how to meet in the middle?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. julyvee94 says:

    Uh oh I have a feeling Josh and Alison are growing Apart. Josh might feel like they have something great but given the last Alison chapters I am not sure how she feels about this… Boo 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Simslover163 says:

    Look out, world. Here’s comes the negative aura. I have a feeling those two are bound to become apart. Having kids does create an big issue to disagree with. Glad to see Josh saying that he loved her, but is a family something he would take on?

    Citizen, I’m coming with you to the lifeboats of the SS Jolison. Hope you got your life jackets ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Why didn’t they think about adopting instead? That way Allison doesn’t have to go though the struggles of pregnancy, and they would be giving a child a good home as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. maladi777 says:

    Sad but great chapter! I wonder if adoption would count as a compromise here. Josh could take care of the baby and Alison could finish the college and start her career. Still, this is a major issue with which relationships stand or fall. It would always hang in the air between them, if Josh made that sacrifice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kcsavege says:

    I think Josh is such an awesome brother and uncle he’d make a great dad. I love how great of a couple he and Alison make, but I feel that Josh shouldn’t make a compromise here. If he does he’ll regret his decision or even resent Alison for it later on in life.

    I just hope he finds someone who can make him happy where he doesn’t have to convince them to be with him or have a family.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. theplumbob says:

    I agree that it’s kind of harsh for her to say that she ‘might’ consider it in 10 years time. So he’s supposed to wait for 10 years, only for her to potentially say no again? What a rough set up to be in!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I saw the first picture of Alison, I thought the pepper shaker was some kind of decal on her jeans! XD I was like, woah, that certainly is an interesting choice of garment. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it until I looked down a little and saw the counter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kaffepigen says:

    Ouch! Kids are kind of a deal breaker, as i think i’ve said before.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hailey says:

    Yikes! My husband and I had to seriously nail this part of our future together before I could even consider him my boyfriend. Family is a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE undertaking, and it’s not something that can be taken lightly. Hopefully they can get this resolved!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. cshaner says:

    One thing you cannot do in a relationship is go into it with the expectation that the other will change.

    Josh knew going in that Alison didn’t want kids. He wanted her though and was willing to wait while she hopefully changed her mind.

    I’m with Alison on this one. She stayed up front she didn’t want kids. He knew that and expecting her to change isn’t fair. I personally don’t have kids. But I love my nephew and three nieces. But, as Alison said, you can give them back. 🙂

    Now Josh is wrong getting pissed about this when it was clear from the start but he’s got to realize that if Alison is most important to him, he’s got to sacrifice the kids. If the kids are more important, then unfortunately he’s got to move on from this love. 😦

    Sad either way really. But this one isn’t on Alison. Honestly I feel she’s falling for Luc anyway now and she’ll rebound quickly enough. #hateheartbrokenJosh

    Liked by 1 person

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