It is morning.
Ken Kedem turns into the huge and well-demarcated parking lot of the Eden Hospital.
Sitting beside him is Ivy Kedem, and in the backseat, are their daughters.
Eyram is going to buy some clothes and other things for Junior and Henderson Junior.
Effe is unusually quiet, and this makes Eyram concerned, but she resolves to speak to her sister later in the day.
The previous day she has stopped Effe from moving out of the house, although her sister had been very adamant.
Eyram had pointed out that moving out would hurt their father very much, and so Effe should wait a while, but she knows Effe will move soon.
When Ken stops the car, they notice that Doctor Gabriel Anaman is speaking to Steve and his parents a few metres away.
Effe opens the door and gets out. She is dressed in a simple white and black dress that shows off her amazing beauty.
See you in the evening, Ef!
Eyram notices that Effe smiles at her father, but does not look at their mother, and this further intrigues her.
I’m going to say hello to Anaman. Hasn’t seen him in a while.
Yes, I want to say hello to Iris too.
Seriously, Mom? After all that she did to Effe?
Madam Ivy turns and smiles reassuringly at her daughter.
People learn from their mistakes, Eyram. Iris is now a changed woman!
(with a curl to her lips)
Yeah, right, only because it turned out her grandson is actually a white man’s son! If Elaine had given birth to Steve’s son I don’t think she would be a changed woman, Mom!
Ivy shakes her head and gets out.
They all head towards the small group of people.
Eyram stays in the car and plays with her son.
She sees Steve calling Effe’s name and running after her.
Doctor Anaman and Mr. Kedem shake hands. Ivy Kedem and Iris Hollison embrace, and Captain Hollison puts on his glasses and nods at Ken Kedem.
Effe turns towards Steve. She sways suddenly and raises a hand to her forehead.
Eyram feels a sudden twist to her heart, and she turns and looks at Effe.
Effe takes a couple of steps towards Steve, and then she suddenly collapses and falls rather heavily on the ground.
Eyram screams, which startles Junior and makes him start crying.
Eyram gently puts Junior in his car seat, and opens the car door hurriedly. She runs towards the crumpled figure of Effe.
Steve is already bending over Effe.
Ken Kedem and the others are running towards her too.
Dearest me, what happened to her?
She just fainted.
(in a scared voice)
Effe, baby, darling, are you alright?
Eyram kneels beside Effe.
Effe is pale and unresponsive.
Ef! Ef! Ef! What’s wrong, Sis?
Doctor Anaman is feeling her pulse.
She’s fine. Please get her to my consulting room!
Oh, goodness! What’s wrong with her?
Must be a sugar problem. Maybe her sugar level dropped!
Steve lifts Effe up.
Doctor Anaman has called for some orderlies, and very soon they bring a stretcher and put Effe on it.
They began pushing Effe towards the restricted exit reserved for staff of the hospital.
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Oh, Lord! She’s stressed! My poor baby!
Eyram hurries and picks up Junior from the car. She races for the entrance and for the lifts.
In a few minutes, she joins her parents and the Hollisons at the Visitors Lounge of Doctor Anaman’s consulting room.
The glass doors open and a breathless Rupert Henderson and some other Doctors appear, all of them looking very concerned.
Rupert approaches Eyram and he looks very worried indeed.
What happened? We heard Effe collapsed.
Yes, at the parking lot. She just fell down. She’s in there with Doctor Anaman now. Oh, Lord! Rupe, I’m so scared.
Don’t worry. She’ll be fine!
They all wait anxiously, and a few minutes later Doctor Anaman appears and approaches them.
His big face is flushed, and he is looking far from worried.
Ken Kedem approaches him and holds his arm.
Is she okay? What’s wrong with my baby? Is she going to be okay?
Doctor Anaman holds up his hands, and then takes off his stethoscope and folds it.
She is fine. Just a little hydrated and weak. She’s not eaten well, and not drank enough water. She has also not slept well, and it appears she is very stressed up. All these factors are not healthy for a normal human, but for a pregnant woman, they are very bad signals!
The whole place is suddenly so shocked that absolute silence reigns.
It is an electrifying moment. No one can speak.
It is Mrs. Ivy Kedem who speaks first, hoarsely.
What? What did you say, Doc?
Effe is pregnant. Just a few days pregnant, not even a month. But she’s pregnant!
(in a fierce whisper)
Eyram begins to laugh, and tears of happiness suddenly blast out of her eyes.
You bad boy, Chris! Oh, you bad, bad, bad boy!
YEAAAAHHH!! OH, YEAAAHHHHH!!!!
The other Doctors are cheering, and Doctor Anaman is laughing too, loudly, happily!
Steve holds on to the walls to prevent himself from collapsing with sudden abject misery.
He is trembling violently, and his whole body is covered with so much sweat that it looks like somebody has thrown water on him.
Captain Hollison shakes his head numbly.
Iris Hollison looks at her son, and she wordlessly goes to him.
Son? Stevie love? Are you okay?
LEAVE ME ALONE! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!
He unbuttons his coat buttons and pulls off his tie.
His face is filled with so much pain and bitterness and jealousy that for a moment Iris fears he will have a heart attack.
We blamed Effe! We gave her hell! We ruined her life for being barren, but all along it is our son who is sterile?
Ivy Kedem is trembling.
She walks away from the group, and her heart is beating too fast, and she feels faint.
She reaches for a seat and drops weakly into it.
Chris! He has impregnated Effe! Hot tears fall down her cheeks and her hands ball into jealous fists.
Damn you, Chris! Damn you to hell!!
Eyram sees her father disappearing into Doctor Anaman’s office, and she pulls away from Rupert and follows.
They find Effe standing at the window, looking out, and then she turns slowly.
She looks at them, and there is such a look of sheer happiness and love on her face that it turns her into a really ethereal woman.
Her lips tremble, and this time the tears that flow freely down her cheeks are tears of joy.
The pain is gone, and the bitterness is gone. She is reduced to just a picture of a beautiful, vulnerable, happy woman.
(with tears in his eyes)
I’m going to be a grandfather again, my dearest!
Effe nods rapidly, and runs a trembling hand across her belly.
(in a small girl voice)
Yes, Dad! I’m not barren! I’m going to have a baby! Chris’ baby! CHRIS! My Darling Bad Boy! He made me a woman, Dad! He made me a woman!!
Suddenly she is crying very loudly, and she holds out her arms, and Ken Kedem and Eyram ran to her, and they all hug her tightly.
And Effe cries…
And cannot stop crying…
And calls out Chris’ name over and over again.
And she is so happy that she feels she is going to explode very soon with happiness!!
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To be Continued..