March 19, 2019

“The Suitor’s Room” by Roger Sippl

            The Alpha Phi House had a suitor’s room. Liz came downstairs, dressed nicely, and met me there. This was our fifth date. It was time to tell her. It would be over, but it was my fate. I knew the trade someone made on my behalf, behind some curtain or during anesthesia, was an agreement directly with the devil. The chemotherapy would sterilize me, but I would live.

            What if she thought of children, frequently, our children, the ones that would never be? What if, when I did tell her, she felt betrayed, threw her wine in my face, ran off crying?

            So, it was time.

            “Liz, there’s something we need to talk about. The MOPP chemotherapy sterilized me.”

            There was a pause as her emotionless face looked back at me through the dim light of the suitor’s room.

            “I know. I looked it up weeks ago.”

© Roger Sippl

About the Author: Roger Sippl studied creative writing at UC Irvine, UC Berkeley and Stanford Continuing Studies. He has enjoyed being published in a few dozen online and print literary journals and anthologies over the years including the Ocean State Review and the Bacopa Literary Review.

While a student at Berkeley, Sippl was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and was treated for thirteen months with a mixture of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, seriously challenging him in many ways, but allowing him to live relapse-free to this day, forty-three years later.

Between then and now Sippl started five software companies, taking three of them public, which was also an adventure.

See what he’s been doing at

Roger Sippl Author Photo

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