She sat alone on the bench, at the little waiting room of the ultrasound laboratory. Wearing a red top decorated Bordeaux gilt fabric, and carried her big belly. She supported it with both hands, her feet planted on the ground, in flat slippers. And she was the most beautiful and glamorous woman in this room, in the entire world.
At first I did not know it was her. There were few pregnant women there, some alone, some with their husband or daughter. I approached the counter and said that my name is Ilan, and I came to meet my surrogate mother, Sima Sen.
The lady I talked to pointed to her naturally and said "Here, this is Sima San."
I put my hands together and bowed before her, muttering, "Namaste." She answered me in greeting.
I sat beside her, looked at her. She did not look straight at me. I looked at her again and again, feel the warmth fills my being.
I asked the clinic staff, whether we could talk in private, in a side room, with a translator. She said yes, after the scan.
When our turn came, she invited me to come with her into the doctor's room, and inside the scan room. I did not believe it. I never imagined that this will be possible for me.
Sima lay on the bed, pulled the West and exposed her belly before the doctor and myself. Her stomach was very big and black. You could see her veins and capillaries. I was embarrassed, ashamed that I look like that at her belly.
The doctor took the ultrasound device, anointed it, passing it on her belly.
"Look," he invited me to stand next to him, "Here's one baby's head, and you can see his face. Eyes, nose, mouth, and here's the other baby's head."
Then he showed me their hearts beating, and let me hear the rate. It was so fast I questioned him isn't it too fast.
"Rhythm of the fetus heart is twice than that of ours," he explained, then added, that the babies are so big that one can see their full bodies at one.
"What are the chances you will tell their sex?" I whispered to him.
He laughed and said absolutely not. I told him that I will love and nurture what ever I get.
After we left the ultrasound room we stopped on the wide front porch, located off a main road. "Please," the staff lady turned to me, "you can talk here."
I gave Sima Sen the gift I brought her. A full basket of Indian sweets. I told her it was for her and for her. Works translated my words. We bowed to each other again.
"I hope you are all well, and pregnancy was easy," I told her, and translated immediately. "I am forever grateful to you, for what you have done for me."
She smiled, and this time looked straight into my eyes. I bowed to her broad bow, with palms pressed together.
That's it. Over.
I went down some steps, and suddenly I remembered the camera I have prepared for this meeting. The day before I ran around all day in Pahar Gansh Maine Bazaar from one electronics store to another, only to find an AC supplier. And here, I forgot to ask her to take pictures of us together.
I asked the clinic lady to ask her if she is ready for that. The worker objected. "We tend to take the photo only after birth," she said. I urged with her and ask to see what Sima feels about it. And she did. Siam was standing there, on the staircase, and was so beautiful, astonishingly beautiful really.
But Sima bowed her head in embarrassment, and I understood the answer. I bowed to her again, a sign that I am not angry about it, and walked away.
I argued with the ricksha driver on the price back at the Greater Kalish 2, and only when I was on his vehicle I felt a great wave of crying emerging from inside. Tears of excitement. It's unbelievable, but I'm going to be a father. I have just met with my children.
I had planned to greet her and then bless her by reading the Psalms. I even got out of the bag the little book of Psalms my students brought me in Tel Aviv, along with a precious stone that is called "Desert Rose."
"This stone brings peace and serenity, good closure and termination of old things and beginning of new things."
I took with me the stone as well, and I debated whether I should give it to her, or preserve it for me.
I'd better not give her a stone that opens and closes circuits. It might expedite the delivery, I thought. I kept it on me, to protect me during these days and the days to come.
On the way there, I wondered if I will turn the stone seven times over her head and over her belly, and read few Psalms to her and to me my children. Tuesday's Psalms or Psalm number KYT, which is a very powerful chapter, written in acrostic, in A – Z order.
But my children have heard me speak only English, and not directly to them. Because when I stood in front of Sima Sen, in the tiny room of ultrasound, looming over the Doctor's shoulder, Jolly, that's his name, Dr. jolly, I was speechless. Besides put my palms together in silent prayer, my heart overflowing, I could say a word.