The Other Me by Rachael Aligbe
The St. Peters Specialist Hospital was having a very busy night. The three midwives whose shift had ended that afternoon had to stay back because there were about nine pregnant women scheduled to be delivered of their babies that night and only three midwives were assigned to be on the night shift.
Mr. and Mrs. George who were in the elite class, had been married for nine years; a marriage that had experienced about twelve miscarriages and mockery from neighbours. Some even said Mr. George sacrificed his manhood to get wealthy because they were very wealthy. Her mother-in-law constantly threatened to bring in another wife for her son but he loved his wife dearly and always turned down his mother’s offer. Eight months ago, when his wife was confirmed four weeks pregnant, he was elated and resolved to ensure that this wouldn’t be like others. He gave his wife a ‘letter of leave’.
The letter contained a list of the things that she should abstain from. While concluding the letter, he wrote that he hoped this baby would live else he’d have no choice but to give in to his mother’s offer since he wasn’t getting any younger and he didn’t want to die without an heir.
Having received the letter and read the terms and conditions, she was determined to do what she was told.
“How will another woman share my husband with me and give him a child? When we were hustling, eating only one square meal and drinking garri, nobody was there o” she thought to herself.
All through the remaining eight months of pregnancy, she was extra careful. Two hours ago, Ngozi, her maid, had to accompany her to the hospital when her water broke because her husband had been away on a business trip for three days. He hoped he would be back in time for the baby’s delivery but the baby had other plans. A midwife came in to check on her and they got talking. From their discussion, she got to know that there were eight other women to be delivered of their babies too.