“Hi,” she said.
“For the morning.”
“Yeah. I’m putting finishing touches on a marketing plan for a new client. I’ll probably send it over this afternoon.”
“We have that leftover spaghetti from last night.”
“Sounds good,” he said, pulling open the refrigerator door.
“Join me,” she said, walking by him into the family room. She was carrying a sandwich and a glass of water.
He pushed the cold spaghetti onto a plate with a fork and slid it into the microwave.
“Care if I watch the news?” she called to him.
When his lunch was ready, he joined her in the family room. They sat at opposite ends of the sofa.
On TV, a man anxiously reported on an outbreak of measles because of children whose parents had refused to have them vaccinated.
“That’s terrible,” she said. “Those poor kids.”
“Just wrong,” he said.
“If we had had kids—“ she said.
He waited for her to continue, but she said nothing more. He looked over at her. She was looking down with tears in her eyes.
“What’s wrong, honey?” he asked, reaching over and putting his hand on her back.
“Do you think we made the right choice?” she said, her voice trembling.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean not to have children.”
“Yes,” he said. “Yes, I do.”
“Well, sometimes I’m not sure.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I mean sometimes it feels so selfish.”
“Hun, we’ve been over this,” he said, rubbing her back.
“I know,” she said softly.
“You know the opposite is true. We’re being selfless. There are far too many people in the world. We’re doing our best to lessen the burden on our planet. Our choice is a kindness.”
“I suppose you’re right,” she said, wiping her eyes with a tissue.
They resumed watching the news, saying nothing more, and finished their lunch. He stood up, then bent down and kissed her on top of her head.
“I love you,” he said.
“I love you too.”
“I’m going back to work.”
He began to walk back toward the kitchen, then turned around.
“Would you like to invite Matt and Sarah over for drinks tonight?” he asked.
“No. I’d rather not.”
He put his plate in the sink and walked back down the hallway to his office. She picked up the remote and turned off the TV. The house was so quiet, and she felt so lonely.