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We Smile Again BY …May Joseph Ndubueze

We Smile Again BY …May Joseph Ndubueze

She was a gay young woman. Alive and exuberant. Aesthetic with unrivaled disposition.

Her name was Ejiro.

One time, she made a corpse crack a smile. In her dream. That’s how much life that percolated her pores.

She called me her husband, and I called her my wife. We were friends.

When she walked the aisle to conjugation a few years back, I had teased her about leaving me for another man. She had replied with, “Ehen now. You were more interested in eating my food than making money so you can go on your knee and pop the question. Now eateries will begin to suckle on your purse.”

We had laughed.

When she became pregnant, I teased her even more. “See the condition cheating on me has put you in. You see your life!”

Her growing belly, swollen face, nose, legs, buttocks, and drunken gait were not left out.

We had laughed even more.

The night her water broke, she was whisked to a midwife that operated in the next street. According to her husband, it was cheaper. By the way, who spends all that money on hospital bills anymore?

Labour came, and lying on her back, she pushed, and pushed, and pushed. Every new push shorter than the last.

The baby began descent, but for some reason, stopped.
She pushed even more. But when it was seen that there was no breath or strength left in her, she was referred to a hospital.

The journey was one that scarred the mind. Painful screams from the back seat punctuated it. Traffic was terrible. It was a man of the police, that when he saw the situation, joined the car and authorized that they drive against traffic to the hospital. Bless his soul.

The stretcher was waiting when they arrived, and she was wheeled into the emergency room. Preliminary checks were done, and it was found out that something had gone wrong, and the baby was now lodged in her pelvis.

Blades were rolled out, and the cutting open began.

It lasted a few hours. But in the end, the baby was out.

I was sent pictures from the hospital, and I smiled amidst my tears.

A boy. Beautiful. Just like his mother, my friend.

Back at the hospital, they wouldn’t let them go because they had to observe the boy.
It happened that during his uncomfortable stay lodged in the pelvis, he had taken in an alarming rate of fluid. And it was pooled in his brain.

The doctors had retrieved as much as they could. They said if they tried more, his brain tissues may flow out with it. He would be a normal child, but might be prone to seizures every now and then as he got older.

There were sighs and a few cries, but everyone took consolation in that the child lived.
But even that, was short lived. For on the fifth day after birth, the baby, that beautiful boy with a smile like my friend, died.

He was dressed neatly, in a blue and red superman jumpsuit, carried in a Cabin biscuit carton, and buried in the cemetery.

Too thin a twig she was from fighting for her own life, my friend was too weak to cry. She mourned him in silence, everyday till the day she was discharged.

Set to go home, they warned them sternly that she does not get pregnant for at least two years. It was time enough for her surgery wounds to heal.

Everyone blamed her husband. Penny wise, pound foolish they said. Playing with the life of his family. Now has he not spent quadruple and more? I heard that at a point, he just slumped on the floor and wept. And wept. And wept.

I couldn’t call to comfort my friend. I’m not good with bad news. It breaks me so much that I have to stay away. Very few people understand how staying away means you care. I guess I should work on that.

Months later, we met. She had lost all the added weight. She was beautiful again. Alive.

I stood guilty before her, but she didn’t condemn me. She smiled and touched my face. She understood me. She was my friend. I cried. And cried. And cried.

Time was a cheetah, because last year, I learnt she was pregnant again. I didn’t tease this time. Rather, I prayed to God, that he keep this one for her.

Last month was the ninth month.

When her water broke, she was whisked to the hospital where she had done her ante natal care. It would be a Caesarean section.

Seconds turned minutes, and minutes turned hours. This time, no complications.

My friend is home today. With her husband and child.

An adorable little girl.

Rainbows after rain. Silver linings on dark clouds. Lights at the end of tunnels.

Is that not the way we would love it? That life, after dealing us a bad hand, turns and makes us smile again.

 

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Posted by:- on October 12, 2018.

Categories: Literature

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