It is late evening.
Effe sits in her office and gently massages her neck.
She had carried out two complicated surgeries earlier, and she is tired.
But she is happy. The previous day had been one of her happiest.
She feels like a teenager all over again. She smiles and glances at her watch.
Chris will be picking her up in about an hour. They are going out for dinner.
She does not know where he is taking her, but she knows it is going to be something unpredictable.
She feels a tingling in her body as she gets up and slips out of her skirt and blouse.
She takes them to the inner room of her office and returns a few minutes later dressed in jeans and a fetching blouse.
She glances at her watch again as she gets out of her office and heads for the elevators.
She puts her phone to her ear. It rings. He picks up.
Darling Boy. Are you here yet?
Almost, Precious. Got held up in a little traffic.
Hurry up. I’m hungry!
For food, or for love?
For both, you bad boy!
Ok. See you soon, Precious.
Effe rides the elevator to the fifth floor to MATERNAL CLINIC.
Doctor Anaman had called earlier that he wants her to perform surgery on a baby born with an extra leg.
Effe wants to see the baby and make an initial plan.
She emerges out on the reception area and as she walks towards Doctor Anaman’s Consultancy she sees Rebecca and Sheena through the glass door of DELIVERIES.
They are Elaine’s friends!
Effe experiences a sudden pang of pain and misery which she quickly tries to push away.
Suddenly her name is called from behind, and she turns to see Steve and Dr. Anaman walking towards her.
(in a rush)
Effe. Oh, you’re here. For the profiling of the baby, right?
Effe nods. She is looking at Steve. He seems so excited as he looks at Effe.
Elaine’s here, Effe. Her water broke. She’s in the Labour Room.
Effe nods and pushes down the great leap of sadness and jealousy in her bosom. She pats Steve on the arm gently.
That’s good. Soon you’ll be a proud father.
Yeah. Isn’t that great!
Listen, Effe. Can you wait a little bit? Elaine is fully dilated, and this’ll take a few minutes. I’ll be with you soon so that we can see about little Akwasi’s problem.
Actually, I’m going to grab a bit to eat, so I’ll see you tomorrow.
She is suddenly scared. She knows she doesn’t want to be here yet.
It is suddenly too painful, reminding her forcibly that she can never be in a labour room, can never have a man smiling and looking so happy as Steve is doing now.
She can never put that look on Chris’ face, and maybe, when the love is aged, he might want that feeling, and not the feeling from an adoption home.
Alright. Just a second. Let me check on her and then we’ll talk, okay?
He does not wait for a reply. He opens the glass door and goes inside. Steve follows him without another look at Effe.
Effe feels tears dancing in her eyes, but she tosses her head back and against her will she walks to the glass doors, push them open and walks in.
Rebecca and Sheena look at her, and Sheena titters and winks at her.
Oh, the Righteous Angel is here! Please, Elaine’s going to have her Prince! Don’t you come and put any evil spell on her, Madam Righteous.
Effe smiles at her and sits down beside her.
So sweet. Tell me, when are you going to have your baby too? Oh, don’t tell me. You have to get married first, right?
Sheena’s lips tighten and her eyes go mad with anger.
At least I’m not bloody barren, like you!
Effe smiles again.
Oh, how do you know? Hundreds of abortions, I guess!
Sheena glares at her, tries to speak, and shuts up. For a moment she looks very lost, and her eyes look haunted.
Rebecca smiles secretly and gives Effe a thumbs-up sign.
It is time.
Elaine is screaming.
Steve is standing by her side, holding her hand.
She is gripping his hand so tightly that he fears his hand will be blistered for life.
Her legs are propped up with a sheet covering her lower body so that she and Steve cannot see what Dr. Anaman and the two nurses are doing.
Elaine is screaming and pushing as tears and sweat fall down her face. Steve holds her hand and whispers to her, encouraging her.
Come on, baby. Push harder! Our son is almost here… my son! Come on, baby! You can do it! I love you, Pumpkin!
Come on Elaine… head’s out now …a little push now… almost there …almost there…
The baby is half-way out. The two nurses look at each other, and then at Elaine, and then at the baby.
Dr. Anaman catches the baby, and his strident voice soon rings out, clear and strong.
Steve smiles through his tears.
He leans forward and kisses Elaine lightly.
We did it, Steve. Our baby! Our son!
(weeping uncontrollably with joy)
Yes, my love! My sweetest Elly, you made me a father! I love you, baby! Thank you, baby! I love you, baby!!
He is raining kisses on her face. She is giggling and touching his face, crying and laughing with happiness.
Dr. Anaman looks at them briefly as he expertly cuts the baby’s cord.
The nurses are cleaning the baby, and they still look at each other.
Elaine touches Steve desperately.
Darling! Darling! I want to see him! I want to see our son!
Yeah, yeah, baby, darling! Me too!
He straightens and looks at Dr. Anaman, who looks at them and then begins to attend to Elaine.
Steve walks forward slowly, rubbing his tears of joy away.
The backs of the nurses are turned as they clean the crying baby.
Is everything okay, Doc? You look… you seem quiet.
Doc Anaman glances at her and tries to smile.
Everyhting’s okay, Elaine. The boy’s just fine!
Steve pauses behind the nurses.
Can I see my son, please?
The nurses look at each other and slowly stand aside.
The baby is lying on warm sheets, and he is crying.
Steve looks at him, and slowly the look on his face changes from expectant excitement to incomprehension to absolute shock and then to great fear.
He shakes his head numbly. His body begins to shake hard, and he takes a horrified step back.
Elaine is suddenly frightened.
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Steve? What’s it, darling? Honey?
Steve looks at Doc Anaman with very terrified eyes.
What’s this, Doctor? What’s the meaning of this?
Be cool, Steve. I’m sure there’s a pretty good explanation for this. It is very possible.
SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS???
Elaine struggles to sit up, her face now filled with panic and desperation.
What’s the meaning of all this? You people are scaring me!! What’s wrong? Steve? Darling?
Steve turns with a roar of sheer terror and runs away from the Labour Room.
Steve crashes the waiting-room door open, causing Effe, Rebecca and Sheena to jump with fear.
He is screaming as he rips the glass doors of the Reception open and rush out to the elevators. He is so distraught and feels deceived.
What’s wrong? Has something happened to Elaine or the baby?
Effe is also confused. She looks after Steve, then at the doors of the Labour Room. She wonders what in God’s name would make Steve behave like that.
Fearing the worst, she and the other women look at the Labour Room door with apprehension. Effe is sure she heard the cry of a baby. What she is not sure about is Elaine’s condition. She wonders if something terrible has happened to her cousin.
Effe feels worried and scared now. It is true Elaine has betrayed her in the worst way possible but she never wish her any harm. She’s wished her nothing but the best after her abominable act with her Steve. Somehow, she has braced the fact that whatever was between Steve and her was not strong enough otherwise it would have survived the test of time and trouble..
Inside the labour room, one of the nurses is holding the new-born baby and brings him to Elaine.
Elaine takes one look and screams shrilly, and then she faints immediately.
Take the child to the ward! I need to revive Elaine. Take him out!
The baby is put in the incubator. The right temperature is set, and then one of the nurses wheels the baby out of the room through the waiting area to the infants room.
Effe, Sheena and Rebecca look through the glass cover of the incubator at the new boy and are shocked at the sight that meets their eyes..
JESUS H. CHRIST!!!
OH MY GOD!!! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!!!
Effe looks again and rubs her eyes. She is sure there’s been some mistake somewhere..
Even she is absolutely shocked.
The baby in the crib is healthy and big.
But he’s not black. He is a half-caste.
He is a white man’s child.
He has thick black hair.
He looks like an European.
Even Elaine’s African blood has not been able to dilute his strong European genes.
Effe wonders if Steve has British ancestors. She dismisses that thought for she would have known about it.
The baby simply cannot be Steve’s. There is no logical or scientific basis for him to be Steve’s.
Effe takes a closer look and realizes he looks a lot like the South African Paediatrician, Doctor Rupert Henderson!
(with deep shock)
Dear sweet Jesus!
To be continued
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