Perfectly Planned Chapters 1&2


That was easy. Chloe Keay spun around in the office chair and smiled. Thank you, social media. Two new friends and plans for Friday night. How productive.

Her mouse hovered over her profile picture. She probably should update it. A year ago her hair had been flaming red. Gave her a homey Anne-of-Green-Gables look. Without the freckles. Or the pigtails. Or the round face and green eyes. She laughed. Yeah, she was nothing like Anne of Green Gables, but she had thought it suited Roger. She had been going for a wholesome ‘let’s start a family and settle by the water’ kind of look. Turns out Roger was more of a ‘live in a condo, travel, never have kids’ kind of guy.

Good-bye, Roger.
Hello, bleach blond hair. She glanced at her reflection on the computer screen. It kinda said come have my babies. Her gaze dropped lower to her chest. She smiled wryly. That definitely said come have my babies. How come that hadn’t worked?

She shrugged. Didn’t matter. She didn’t need to impress anyone or send out a mating signal. She was done with all that.

Her thirtieth birthday was on the horizon, and the future was making history.

She had listened to the financial news every morning with Roger. (The relationship wasn’t all a waste.) Not that she really cared about Dowel Jones, whoever he was, or the Toronto sock exchange (Really? Socks cost two dollars, buy new ones), but there was only so much chatter about painting you could do. Said Roger. She could chatter about painting all day. That’s pretty much what she did. And now that her boss, Margo MacMillan, a.k.a. Sweetheart Smarty-pants, was back with a stethoscope around her neck after a year of painting full- time, Chloe talked about it even more. Homes, hotels, warehouses, any wall, any color, it all worked for her.

But with all the financial advice she was catching up on, she did notice one thing. The population was aging (Someone’s just figuring that out?) and there wasn’t going to be enough money in the pension plan. Hmmm. Apparently that was a problem. And not that she liked to think too far into the future, but it seemed you needed a retirement plan.

Not only was it ‘highly recommended,’ but, they stressed several days in a row, it had to be started by age thirty. Hmmm. Retirement plan at age thirty, who’d have thought?

Well, if that’s what kept the big bean counters from Money Market News up at night, she’d better sit up and listen.

She never had to worry about what to do with her ‘disposable income.’ Sheez. She disposed of it. It wasn’t that hard. (She should do a podcast or two for them.) “Don’t spend what you don’t have,” her mom always said. “Debt isn’t your friend,” her dad would chip in.

Her parents, sixty-nine, turning seventy in a week, shared the same birthday and the same financial vision. They were thrifty, but knew they needed more. Their retirement plan was simple—have six children. There was bound to be a high achiever among them.

They were right. Dale, the eldest, was a lawyer. Pamela, number two, a nurse. Devon, number three, a dentist. April was an electrical engineer. She painted houses and Cory, her twin, was a plumber.

For pretty much everything her parents needed, from house repairs to health questions, they had a child on speed-dial. And bonus, funds flowed freely to pay for their place in a retirement home.

Perfectly planned.

That’s the kind of retirement plan she was after. Maybe not six kids. Six was a bit of a handful, especially flying solo. But she could handle one, at least to begin with.

It would’ve been easier with Roger, but oh well, on to Plan B.

Sperm bank.

She had been poked and prodded and deemed a healthy receptacle.

But, oh how to choose which little swimmers to let loose? She needed smart (had to earn the big bucks), features similar to hers (hair color notwithstanding), family oriented (obviously had to love their momma), and not too nasally a voice (very annoying). They needed to be screened for reverse traits—ones that would make her wish she could reverse the whole process.

She needed more than the measly amount of info available online.

No problem. She had applied for a job as a weekend receptionist at the sperm bank, interviewed quite successfully (naturally), and waited patiently while they narrowed down their selection.

She had started three weeks ago.

The job was straightforward, certainly not as creative as painting. In fact, it was kinda slow. She liked the music in the waiting room, though, especially with her mouse clicking. She could get quite a beat going. Left click. Right click. Left-right-right click. She could see it catching on. In fact, it should be posted on YouTube because it’d give her something to watch at work, too.

She hadn’t lost sight of her plan, but it wasn’t obvious where all the data was stored. She had opened several files, but it wasn’t until she rocked and clicked to The Jaded Gentlemen, that lo and behold, the folder popped up.

Now, she wasn’t a computer genius or anything, but who uses 1234 as their password? You’d think all that confidential information about sperm donors would be behind a bigger firewall. Nope.

So, her two top matches now had names.
4652. Ripley Logan
2485. Jared Clayton
A few social media clicks later, and voilà, she set up friend requests with both. Even better, it looked like Ripley’s baseball team had a rain-date game on Friday, seven o’clock, right here in Rivermede at Fairfield Park.

He was sporty. She clicked a happy beat.

She could go to the game and check him out. Try to learn more about him, but keep it quiet, fly under the radar.

She spun around in her chair and smiled. Perfect.

Looking back at the screen, she hovered the cursor over her profile picture. Redhead or blond?

What did that financial guru say? Plan carefully, go slowly, get the core established before exploring any specific tactical shifts.

Hmmm. Sounded like the redheaded photo should stay a little longer.



Chloe pulled into the parking lot at Fairfield Park at seven thirty on Friday evening and had her pick of parking spots. Surprisingly, since the park was actually quite busy. The baseball game was underway on the diamond in front of the parking lot. The stands on the right, along the third baseline, were almost full. Across the field, in a playground beyond home plate, adults watched the game as they pushed little ones on swings. More children (yes, all adequately supervised) made use of a giant play structure complete with climbing rungs and a slide.

A lot of people out enjoying the balmy August weather. They’d had an unusually rainy July, which had been good for turning the brown grass of summer a lush green. But now, in the third week of August, they’d had nothing but sunny days and warmer-than-average evenings.

Chloe grabbed a baseball cap and light jacket from the passenger seat of her car. She tugged on the hat and pulled her ponytail through the back. She adjusted her sunglasses, loving the extra daylight that made them necessary. After locking the car, she wandered over to the stands.

“Strike three. You’re out.” The umpire signaled the call as Chloe sat down. Fans clapped and the team in the outfield jogged toward the dugout. Players from the opposite dugout slipped on baseball caps as they ran out onto the field.

Chloe squinted and tried to read the third baseman’s jersey. Poppa Pete’s Knuckleballs. Ripley Logan’s team must be at bat because his posted pictures were all about the Tried and TRU. She wrinkled her nose. Hopefully, that wasn’t a sexual reference.

The first batter up had very good form. Well-toned arms, nice butt. Got a two base hit. She wondered if he donated sperm.

The second batter struck out. He had very skinny legs. Pass.

The third batter sauntered out like he owned the field. All the outfielders backed up.

“Bring me home, Rip,” shouted the player at second base, clapping his hands.

“Let’er rip,” added a voice from the dugout.

“Get’em on the board,” a silver-haired gentleman sitting beside Chloe called out. A few fans joined the clapping.

Rip. Ripley Logan. Sounds like my man, Chloe thought and sat a little straighter. He was very attractive. A solid twelve out of ten. The navy T-shirt stretched across his broad chest and flat abdomen. Shorts showed off his muscular legs, and when he stuck out his butt to swing, Chloe raised her eyebrows. She could live with that.

He swung the bat on the first pitch and connected with the ball. It cracked off the bat and sailed into left field. Ripley dropped the bat and sprinted.

Heaven. A little taste of heaven on earth.

He was so pretty. Fluid, graceful, lightning fast. The player on second made it home, and Ripley made it to third. A silly man standing near the third base stopped him. Really, it was poetry in motion. Why would you stop that? Chloe shook her head.

It took two more batters to bring Ripley home. The inning ended and the Tried and TRU were up two runs.

She followed Ripley as the inning changed and watched him walk over to cover first base. He played it well. Very good hand-eye coordination. Nice long reach. Quick reflexes. Reasonable shoe size. Beautiful smile. Looked like he had straight teeth, but she’d really have to get closer to assess. All in all, she was pretty pleased. He hadn’t said enough to check for the nasally voice, but it was looking positive.

She loved the atmosphere at the game. Fans clapped and stood with each exciting play. Between innings, music blared over the loud speakers. She really got into rooting for the Tried and TRU, and when the music played she sang along.

“Carrots and biscuits. Every day.” She loved that song. It was so healthy. She joined in at the top of her lungs, but stopped when the gentleman beside her gave her an odd look.

“What?” she asked.

“Isn’t that supposed to be ‘Takin’ Care of Business’?” he said, shaking his head.

‘Taking Care of Business?’ What kind of health food message was that? She frowned at her neighbor, who had shifted his attention back to the game.

After seven innings, Chloe went in search of popcorn. Actually, she had a craving for peanuts and Cracker Jack, but the canteen was limited to plain or buttered popcorn. No peanuts, the woman said with a horrified expression, mumbling something about risk and high taxes.

Whatever. Chloe took the bag of popcorn and found a seat in the stands closer to the Tried and TRU dugout. And the waves of radiating testosterone.

Really, with the exception of Skinny Legs, there was a stellar choice of sperm in that dugout. She munched the popcorn. Her talents were wasted as a receptionist at the sperm bank. They should hire her to recruit donors. She’d found a gold mine.

At the top of the ninth, Ripley came up to bat again.

Chloe smiled and set the popcorn bag down, ready to clap.

The pitcher wound up, and Ripley connected with the sweet spot. The ball soared in the air. The infield and outfield watched as the ball arced over them toward the parking lot.

Chloe sat straighter as the ball, almost in slow motion, fell dead center into the windshield of the only car parked in the north lot. The sound of glass shattering broke the silence.

“Who the hell parked there?”

Chloe looked over at Rip, a hand on his hip, a scowl on his face. A nasally voice wasn’t going to be an issue.


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