®It is a Monday evening. My seven months pregnant wife has just returned from work.
She is tired from the demanding tasks of her Boss.
I advised her to resign from that job and pick up a government appointment.
But she would do no such thing.
After taking a little rest, she entered the kitchen to find something for the baby.
That was her first pregnancy.
I have been the one running up and down for her.
What do I even know about pregnancies?
She was very hungry and so was I.
We barely started cooking when our gas cylinder ran out of gas.
You know how pregnant women behave.
“So you did not refill this cylinder, Ezekiel?” she asked with so much anger
I was shocked and afraid
“I did not know it was remaining small”, I answered.
“So you mean you have not been checking this gauge?” she asked pointing at the gauge on the cylinder
At this point her eyes were reddish
“Ezekiel I don’t like the way you are stressing me in this house”
“But it was not like this from the beginning of our marriage. I think it is the pregnancy that is stressing you. And the job too. I think you have to resign and take up an appointment with the government.”
“Don’t provoke me the more, Ezekiel. Go and refill this cylinder before the gas station is closed.”
I wanted to fake a smile when she felt a sharp pain and shouted;
“Oh my God! God have mercy”
She held her tummy in anguish and reached out to the freezer for support.
I rushed to help her, but she pushed me away.
“Go and refill the cylinder, I am hungry”
I remembered she did not have appetite to eat in the morning.
So I rushed to the bedroom to get my shirt
I returned to the kitchen to carry the cylinder.
My wife was not her normal self
I could feel her pains too
Then I started thinking if it was labor.
But the pregnancy was just seven months
Hence, I rolled out the thought of labor
I relaxed my mind.
Gave her a perk and assured her she will be alright.
I picked the cylinder and confirmed that my ATM was still in my pocket
“Please be fast. I am very hungry”
“I will be back before you know”
“Just give me 15 minutes”, I added
The gas station was just a stone throw from my house which was by the road side.
On getting to the road, I flanked an Okada.
“Abeg drop me for that gas station” I told the Okada
“Na fifty naira”
I was on the bike wondering what must have triggered my wife to address me by my name
She has never for one day addressed me that way.
Have I done something wrong?
Could it be she stumbled on my chats with Inem?
But Inem is just a friend and I have not done anything with her.
At least as at now.
Well, Inem’s story will be for another day.
I was still in my sub-conscious state when the Okada man shouted “Jesus!”
There was an accident just opposite the gas station, and people were screaming
The Okada stopped the bike and I alighted
I forgot to pay him and he did not ask for his money
To my shock, the accident involved a pregnant woman
I left my cylinder and joined the rescue team
The accident was so severe that the woman went into coma
A Good Samaritan volunteered to use his vehicle to convey her to the hospital.
We carried her into the vehicle and left for the hospital
Deep down, I was praying for both the safety of the baby and the mother.
We got to the hospital and she was rushed in to the emergency unit.
I followed the nurses but was asked to wait incase anything was needed
I returned to the reception to discover I was the only one left
The driver? Gone
The other two guys? Gone
I could have gone too
But I had to wait in case the hospital management needed deposit
I closed my eyes and began to pray
I was still praying when someone tapped me on the shoulder
I opened my eyes and beheld a medium aged man with 6 Police Officers
“Officers what are you waiting for? Bundle this animal and take him away.”
© Ezekiel Umoren