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They arrived unannounced, each bearing their own preferred form of comfort goods. Jayla was first, sweeping in past Della’s weak protests and opening all the curtains. She had brought flowers- real ones- which she arranged in vases and set out in the sitting room to brighten it up.

Naz came next, bearing several bottles of wine, and Aimi was not far behind, with one of her home made chocolate cakes and a pile of slushy movies.

“Guys,” Della protested, “you don’t need to-”

Naz cut her off. “We totally do. You’ve been moping about in the dark for days.”

Aimi handed Della a big slice of cake on a plate. “Yeah, you can’t hide forever. You have to, y’know, get over him.”

“What the hell happened anyway,” Jayla demanded in her usual blunt manner. “I thought you and Tomas were getting along great.”

Naz and Aimi shot dirty looks at Jayla, which as always were utterly wasted. Della sighed and looked like she might cry.

“He… He doesn’t want to have babies.”

Jayla put her drink down. “You’re kidding. You are ff-fricking kidding me. You did not talk to him about babies already?!”

Aimi put her arm around Della, shooting a look at Jayla that was half ‘you tactless cow’ and half ‘at least you didn’t swear’. “Seriously, babe,” she said gently, “That’s why you split up? You’ve only even known him a few months.”

Della nodded. “I’m totally serious. I want babies. I want to be a mother. I can’t…” She trailed off for a moment as tears started rolling down her face. “I can’t waste time on a man who doesn’t want to give me that.”

Naz sat down with a glass of wine and a big slice of cake. “Much as I hate to say it, but I’m with Jayla on this one. You must be kidding.”

Jayla drained her glass and leaned forward to refill it. “Fact of life, Della. You will never find a single man who wants babies. They all want to live forever. They’ve got it booked. They’ve been saving since high school for it and they’ve marked the date in their diaries, forty-fifth birthday, Immortalis clinic. That’s where life starts these days. Personally, I agree with them. I’d rather live forever than have babies.”

Naz nodded. “You can’t just say ‘I want babies’ and expect them to throw away a few hundred years of life for you. Not after only a couple of months.”

Della looked down at her hands. She knew her friends were right. “I can’t help it. It just comes out, I didn’t plan to say it. I just…”

Aimi hugged her again. “We know, you really want babies, and if it was up to me you’d be able to have babies and still get Immortalis and live forever like everybody else. But that’s not the way it works, so you… Well, you just have to try and get the guy head over heels in love with you first. Make it so he couldn’t refuse you anything. Before you mention babies.”

Jayla finished another glass. “Of course if it was up to Aimi we’d all be living five to a room to make space for your babies, and everybody else’s. Or, you know, alternatively you could just resign yourself to no babies and living forever with me!”

Naz stared “Oh God,” she said. “Eternity with Jayla?”

Aimi pulled a face. “I think I’d rather have babies!”

As Jayla swore in mock indignation and threw a cushion at Aimi, Della smiled for the first time in a week. If she couldn’t have babies, well, at least she would have good friends. Friends forever.

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