subject line: deal breaker March 06, 2018 by Hannah Brencher Chicago, IL When things started getting serious between us, I stopped you on the sidewalk and said, “You know I don’t want kids, right?” You just shrugged and said you wanted kids someday but that we would cross that bridge when we got there. I thought “hey we can see the bridge from here and we should probably start surveying it a little...” but you brushed it off. Then two years passed. We talked about moving in together.We talked about getting married.We met each other’s families. (My family loves you. Your family loves me.)You bought a house in Rogers Park. I helped you pick it out. Every time I called it “your place” you would correct me and call it “our place.” I bought you a llama cookie jar because I liked the idea of having a llama cookie jar in my future home. I’m supposed to move in with you, in “our place” in four months. That’s when my lease ends. But you stopped me on the sidewalk and said “you know I want kids right? And we need to decide where we land on this before you move in because, honestly, it’s a deal breaker.” You say you don’t want to get into this only to get five years in and find out I don’t want to have kids. You want time to find someone else who does. You’ve just given me four months to decide my life. I’m an artist. A teacher. A performer. My life is pieces put together like a beautiful and fragile patch-work quilt and I’m in love with it. In my eyes, the deal is clear. To have a kid, you must surrender that beautiful quilt. Why do I suddenly feel like I have to choose a baby or my life? Why do I have to choose YOU or my life? Why does it feel like my future has been ripped from my hands in either scenario?What do I choose - the life I had always dreamed of and pictured for myself or the future I thought we had created together? Why do I have to choose at all? I’m so angry. And hurt. And confused. And scared. But I can’t tell you. I can’t tell anybody. But if you find this email, you’ll know.