Desperate Measures

stock-footage-hispanic-cardiologist-with-african-american-coupleFumes from what had to be expired disinfectant went up Victoria’s nose as they stepped in through the government hospital’s sliding doors.

Tekena tightened his hold on her arm as they headed towards the emergency room. He had not said a word since the school called to inform them about the school bus accident. Luckily, there were no fatalities. However, their only child, Somi, was badly hurt.

They stopped in front of the nurses’ station. Tekena cleared his throat. “Please, we are here for our son, Somi Amadi,” he said. “He was in the school bus accident.”

Looking up from a file, the nurse popped the gum in her mouth. Watching her, Victoria wanted to slap the taste out of her mouth. Even though it was not the Christian thing to do. She mentally calculated how fast it would take for them to get Somi moved to a private hospital.

“Nurse, I said we’re looking for our son. Where is he?” Tekena said in a loud voice.

Oh no, Victoria thought. Now, she would really take her time.

The nurse narrowed her eyes. “Mister, please lower your voice. This is a no-noise zone. The doctor wants to see you. But he is in the emergency room with a lot of the students.” She gestured toward the waiting area. “Please have a seat. He would be with you shortly.”

An hour later, the doctor was yet to see them. They were informed by another nurse that Somi needed a blood transfusion. Since they both couldn’t remember their blood types, samples were taken for a match.As they waited, Victoria’s chest tightened with each passing minute. When the doctor finally showed up with a puzzled look, she knew what he was about to say.

Her mind skipped back eight years. After waiting ten years for a child, she had been desperate. She was desperate. She couldn’t go back to Nigeria with another miscarriage story. She did what she had to do.

The doctor’s voice snapped her back to the present.” Mr. & Mrs. Amadi, there is something I need to tell you,” he said. “Somi Amadi, can’t be your child.”

Her stomach heaved as Tekena turned in her direction. “Victoria?”

©Unoma Nwankwor 2013


This material is not to be reproduced or copied except with permission of the author.

10 thoughts on “Desperate Measures

  1. I like it. Great ending letting us anticipate the ticking ‘bomb’ go off. The woman in the story knowing that not having a child could cost her – ‘did what she had to do’. People are pushed to ‘desperate measures’ to keep the illusion going. Nice one.

  2. Very nice, Unoma! I was just imagining the look on her face when the husband turned towards her. Did she look scared? Feign surprise? So many possibilities…

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