A little restructuring had to occur when the women realized that Alero was in labor; it was a good thing that Stacey could drive.
Wana ended up driving Alero’s car while her boys pampered her in the backseat as she moaned softly. Wana knew she was probably curbing her moans for her children’s sake.
She shook her head ruefully; Morgan had obviously rubbed off on his sons because it was a beautiful sight to see Abel, the six year old, tenderly holding his mother’s head on his tiny thighs, while Mike, the three year old, petted her face even though he was sniffling.
Wana had to swallow thickly to curb her own tears, she couldn’t believe they’d done it, she couldn’t believe how awesome God had been. She hoped they’d be able to get to their husbands soon, she silently prayed for God’s continuous help while she drove in a convoy, her eyes frantically searching for the nearest hospital.
“We need a doctor!” Wana shouted the moment they busted through the hospital doors, she leading the charge.
Alero gasped and moaned in pain as Debbie and Eddy led her slowly but surely into the stark whiteness of the hospital’s reception area, her giant stomach heaving as she did her numbered breathing for labor.
“Madam, you cannot barge into a hospital, shouting like people are deaf. There are other patients here, you know,” the nurse receptionist snapped quite saucily.
Wana gasped in outrage and was about to go postal on the nurse when Stacey appeared beside her, placing a calming hand on her shoulder and managing an apologetic smile for the nurse.
Stacey was aware they looked like a ragtag group of tattered women with their cloths, not just in disarray but also sporting a copious amount of dirt on it. They had branched at the first hospital they could find, which turned out to be a private one…ergo, the snotty receptionist.
“Our friend just went into premature labor, because her baby isn’t yet up to term, we would really appreciate a doctor to look at her,” Stacey said calmly, even though her heart was going a hundred beats a second.
Wana scoffed at Stacey’s cautious tone, giving the nurse a glare.
“You have to register her with ten thousand naira, as she wasn’t taking her anti-natal check ups here,” the nurse said flippantly, her expression looking unconcerned.
“That’s the cost for delivery here?” Wana asked in disbelief.
“No, I said that’s for registration,” the nurse smirked, her eyes expressed her knowledge that they apparently didn’t have such money.
Alero moaned from where Debbie and Eddy currently supported her.
“But,” Stacey cut in again, just as Wana was about to resume shouting, “At least, a doctor can check her to tell…”
“Okay, I’m sorry for screaming before,” Wana begun, after taking a deep breath. “I am…we all are terrified right now. Our children attend the school that has been held hostage by some criminals and we’ve been there the whole day, trying to get our kids out and then she went into labor…of course we are not carrying that kind of money around, we just need a doctor to check…”
“Madam, please, you might as well find another hospital because this super story you’re giving will not be tolerated here,” the nurse snapped.
Stacey gasped, “It’s not a story. Haven’t you seen the news on TV?”
“Ehen? You probably saw it too and decided to come in here with that story to con your way…”
Wana lounged over the counter at the nurse, missing her because her stomach slowed her and the evil nurse smartly stepped back. Wana, undeterred, pulled off her flat shoe, getting ready to fling it at the belligerent nurse, when the composed middle aged woman walked into the hospital.
“What’s taking so long, Wana?” she asked, pausing Wana in the act of flinging her shoe.
Stacey turned to look at Cecil. She was as dirty and disarrayed as they all were, but she managed to exude coolness and class as she stood there, demanding to know what was going on.
“She won’t have a doctor check Alero until we pay ten thousand naira for registration,” Stacey reported while Wana heaved angrily, her eyes turning to look worriedly at a crying Alero.
They had left the children locked in Alero’s minivan with Ruth as supervisor; all of them still in their uniform. Cecil had offered to branch a super mart on the way to the hospital to buy drinks and heavy snacks for the children; it was the reason she’d arrived late.
“If you don’t leave the premises, I am going to call the police,” the nurse threatened.
“There’s no need for that, young woman,” Cecil said, while pulling out her I.D card and showing it to the woman. “This should give you some level of confidence that we will pay, but our friend needs urgent help. You are a woman and a nurse, have pity.”
The nurse looked at the card, and scoffed, “All of you are a bunch of lying women, and you should all be ashamed of yourselves. You think you can fool me, now this one is flashing an I.D that says director of the DSS, who dash you?” she scoffed, looking at Cecil from her head to her toes and back, derisively.
Cecil didn’t even blink at the insult; she turned to Alero who seemed blinded by pain, her eyes met the worried looks on Eddy, Debbie, Wana and Stacey’s face.
The worry wasn’t just for their friend, but also for the task of extracting their husbands from under the noses of some faceless criminals. They didn’t have time for this, the location their husbands were held could change at any time, especially after what just happened at the school; especially after one of the criminals escaped.
She shook her head, and then turned back to the nurse, this time though, her hand came back not with an ID card but with a gun, she calmly placed it on the counter and then pointedly looked at the now terrified nurse.
“For the last time, get a doctor to attend to my friend,” she said in a voice so deadly, it was unexpected from a woman.
The nurse, now a shuddering mess, lifted the receiver of the phone with a shaky hand and pressed the intercom button. She kept swallowing inordinately while her scared eyes never left Cecil’s gun on the counter.
Wana smirked and would have said something sarcastic if Stacey hadn’t shook her head at her; she scoffed softly, her step daughter was behaving like a mother already, apparently she would have more patience than Wana could ever manage.
Good for her though, she thought, she was having a baby and a bottomless amount of patience was needed in that department. Wana went closer to Alero, she was writhing in pain and there was nothing she could do for her.
She knew they all were terrified about complications but like a conscious consensus, nobody mentioned it; if it wasn’t spoken about, then it wasn’t real.
But that belief was totally defeated when she thought of their husbands; not thinking about them didn’t magically make them be un-kidnapped. Wana was currently rocking relief and a deep clog of trepidation; relief for the safety of the children and trepidation both for Alero and their kidnapped husbands.
Her hands shook a bit and her breathing begun being a little difficult, her nose became hot and she felt like bursting into the loudest bawl ever, but then a doctor walked into the reception at a clip pace.
Cecil went forward and introduced herself, showed the male doctor her I.D, was probably explaining the situation because the doctor’s gaze flicked over all of them, definitely noticing their dirty cloths.
Anxiety began chewing the pit of her stomach; why was it taking so long for the man to come check Alero out? Just then, the hospital doors pushed open and Wana gladly sort for any kind of distraction.
But it was Ruth, herding the children into the reception area.
Wana bolted towards her with questions in her eyes. In the harsh light of the hospital, the children looked like they’d been through a harrowing event, which they had. The light clearly revealed the tear tracks on their cheeks, their small noses were messed up with mucus and their eyes were dull and tired.
“Your phone kept ringing,” Ruth immediately explained while the children basically scattered to their various moms, “I thought it was important,” the teenager said, feeling guilty that she’d disobeyed an adult.
But she’d also been anxious for her mother and she hated waiting. They had made her wait in the car while they’d gone into the school to rescue the children, so, it’d been really difficult, almost suffocating to wait in the car again, while her mom suffered.
Ruth was shocked to be pulled into a hug by Wana, “It’s alright, sweetey, you did good…”
“Hello,” Wana said into her phone; it was Abigail and she wanted to come to the hospital. Wana rattled off the address to her, it wasn’t far off from the school.
When she ended the call, Alero was being wheeled away on a hospital gurney, screaming at this point. “She’ll be fine, darling,” Wana comforted again when she saw the teenager’s pinched expression.
She led them over to the other women and children and Cecil was saying, “I signed some papers and left my ID card with him, they’ll take good care of her and…”
“What about daddy?” Ruth blurted and got a comforting squeeze from Wana.
Cecil sighed, “That’s why we have to leave, Ruth…”
“I want to come too. I can fight,” she declared determinedly.
Eddy couldn’t help the grin that creased her face. The little thirteen year old girl was fierce, her frown at that moment was just like her father’s.
“We don’t doubt it, Ruth,” Debbie said softly with a smile.
“Your father made sure of that,” Wana joked and was glad to see the girl smile.
“And that’s why we need you to watch the kids, be their protector, you know, like Zena the Warrior Princess,” Eddy said with a grin because the girl was grinning too.
“Personally, I prefer Black Widow,” Wana quipped and Ruth turned in her arm to stare at her with a wide smile and nod.
“And I’m partial to Wonder Woman,” Abigail said from behind them, shocking everyone into turning to her.
“How long have you been there?” Cecil asked with a smile.
“Miss Abigail!” the children screamed and raced to her. She received all of them with a wide smile and opened arms. Then in a calm manner, almost like magic, she made all of them sit quietly on the hospital steel chairs.
“Oh my God, she’s good,” Stacey commented in awe, bringing a smile to Abigail’s face.
When she returned to the hurdle of women, Wana said, “Wonder Woman indeed.”
Abigail docked her head shyly, “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to interrupt,” she murmured, clearing her throat and explaining her earlier entrance.
“And yet you did,” Eddy said with an amiable smile.
Abigail swallowed thickly, she was in awe of these women and she really wanted to find herself in such company, they made her feel like she could do more as a woman; their words weren’t covered with innuendoes but frankly spoken, they were courageous and she’d been lacking that particular character all of life…no more!
“I wanted to help,” she explained her presence not wanting to be assuming.
Debbie touched her arm, catching her attention, “And we are extremely grateful for whatever help we can get,” she said and the women nodded in sincere agreement.
Abigail took a deep breath, overwhelmed by their acceptance of her, “In that case, I know how to help…I know someone here,” she declared and hurried towards the reception desk, “I’ll be right back,” she assured over her shoulder.
Even though she’d sworn never to speak to Dr. Kufre Ibanga, seeing as their relationship had ended because he’d decided her friend was more exciting than her, in bed and otherwise, but she really wanted to help the women.
If they were still going to try and rescue their husbands, then they needed to be sure that their children were okay.
Kufre was part owner of the private hospital, handsome, wealthy and considered an eligible bachelor. Her friends, now excluding the one that had betrayed her, had harangued her for months for losing such a man because she was too afraid to have fun.
Abigail sighed in a huff, recalling their endless rant. She bet the women she was currently trying to help would have a different opinion entirely, which was why she needed new friends.
“When I was paged that you wanted to see me specifically, I must say, I refused to believe it until I saw you,” Kufre announced in his usual suave manner, he’d always considered himself a man of the world, a man of leisure, Abigail snorted at the notion.
Kufre’s face smirked, “I take it I was right then, at our last parting you’d declared you’d never speak to me again and in the past three, four years, you’ve kept your word, until now,” he said it in a curious manner, his eyes narrowing at her.
Then his eyes slowly went down her body and then up, making Abigail fidget anxiously, she was aware of the women currently watching the exchange. Kufre had always made her feel self conscious, always pointing out what was right or wrong on her body and dressing.
He whistled in mock shock, “My, oh my, Abby, you wore jeans,” his eyes widened dramatically as he grinned, “And you do fit in those jeans,” he commented, his eyes pointedly centered on her hips, bending slightly to gaze at her ass.
She squirmed in self consciousness and sighed, she’d also forgotten that he loved to talk too much, “I see you still love the sound of your voice more than common sense, Kufre,” she retorted but smooth the insult over with a smile.
“It’s been a while,” she said when it seemed like his smile would disappear, she swallowed, she shouldn’t insult him if she needed his help.
“It has been. You must be here for your boyfriend, eh?” he asked coyly.
Abigail valiantly held her neck from turning away in embarrassment even though it was the only thing she wanted to do. She couldn’t believe Kufre knew she’d been dating Cyril, then she mentally scoffed, it was a small town anyway and her friends talked, he was bound to know…and it shouldn’t even matter.
She held his gaze, smiled softly and shook her head, “I sent him here after the disaster that just occurred at the school, I hope he’s fine?” Cyril hadn’t looked too good when he’d been taken out.
“He’s stable,” Kufre shrugged insouciantly and folded his arms over his chest.
“And though, I think it’s none of your business, I’d broken up with Cyril…”
“I hear otherwise, Abby,” Kufre mocked.
And she sighed deeply; her stupid friends had to learn to shut their mouths about her issues.
“This is turning out to be a viscous cycle in your life, don’t you think something must be wrong?” he asked with faux concern.
She sighed again, “Not the issue on ground, we can meet up later and discuss my floundering relationships, if it pleases you,” she said cuttingly, “Right now, I want a private room, I’ll pay for it of course, just not immediately, I’m unprepared. I need the children taken care of till their mothers return from…return,” she finished, determinedly holding back more info.
“Hmm, demanding,” he said as though sampling new wine, “I like the new you, Abby. We would have worked if you’d been more like this then,” he murmured, stepping close.
“This is important, Kufre,” she warned.
“Yes, I know,” he sighed, “My partner is currently delivering their friend and I’ve heard of their exploit over at the school,” Kufre gave her a speculative look.
“If you are looking to keep the kids here for a while, are there more…exploits for the night?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t tell you that…”
“It’s fine, the children will be fed and even bathed, but it will cost you,” he lowered his voice.
“Of course, it would, I’m going to pay for…”
“There’s that, but then you have to pay for my magnanimity in allowing such…” he shrugged at this point, “…an unusual situation in the first place.”
Abigail swallowed thickly, her pulse racing, “I’m not sleeping with you,” she whispered fiercely.
Kufre chuckled, “Get your mind out of the gutter, Abby,” he admonished with a smile and walked away to give orders.
In minutes, a young girl, who didn’t look like she was old enough to be a certified nurse came to lead Ruth and the children away. Abigail assumed she was a student nurse, since her cap still had red strips on them.
The women followed and made sure the children would be okay, some of them were already drooping off. Kufre assured them they would be fine and that his partner was capable enough to handle Alero’s delivery.
Just as he was assuring them that the seven month, premature labor wasn’t so dangerous, a nurse shoved out from the delivery room and everyone heard the cry of the new born baby.
It took some effort to hold back the women from barging into the delivery room to see their friend and the new addition to the family, but Abigail seemed to have a sixth sense for putting things in perspective.
All she had to do was remind them of their husbands and then Cecil was back to being the leader, she herded everyone towards the door of the hospital after they ascertained the sex of the baby and that mother and child will be fine.
Abigail had been shocked though to be held back by Kufre when she’d been about to leave the hospital doors, he had his lips in her ear, his hot breath brushing her cheek.
“When we do get to the bed, Abby, there will not be much sleeping involved,” he whispered and chuckled when she shuddered and walked quickly towards the women at the car park.
Wana saw her disgusted expression, “I know he just helped with our children, but, really, who’s the arsehole to you?” she asked frankly as was her way.
Abigail had to get used to how straight forward this women were, she cleared her throat and murmured self consciously, “Someone I use to know.”
Eddy chuckled, “Fair enough. Now, let’s go get our husbands back, this nonsense has gone on long enough,” she declared determinedly and shockingly, at least, to Abigail, the women cheered ferociously, their own war cry as they eagerly climbed into their cars, Abigail had no choice but to follow suit; she had no idea how the night would end.
DUCT SEASON 4 continues
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