Life and Death

My heart beat loudly in my chest as I saw him come in. I tried to smile but it seemed as if the muscles in my face were revolting against me.

“Good morning sir,” my voice croaked out in greeting.

I felt my boyfriend’s gaze but was in no mood to return his gaze and reassure him with a smile. We had come to the point of no return or had we?

“Good morning sir,” my boyfriend’s voice rang out, too cheerful for my liking.

“Good morning, how are you and what’s your name?” The man asked looking at me over the top of his glasses.

“Bola,” I replied, lying and still refusing to look at my boyfriend.

“How far along do you think you are gone?” The man whom my boyfriend had said was a doctor asked me.

“I am 2 weeks late sir.”

“When last did you see your period?”

“On the 5thof last month sir,” my eyes strayed to his hands and I shuddered in revulsion to think of those hands touching me down there.

“Okay, the bill would be 10,000 naira.”

I looked in shock towards my boyfriend who seemed to finally find his voice, “Sir that is too much. We are students and are quite new to this town. Please help us out, sir.”

The man seemed to think for a while before scribbling something on a paper and passing it to us. 5,000 naira was written on the paper and between my boyfriend and I, we had 6,500 naira. That was basically all the money we had and I knew that I couldn’t dare call home for money.

“That is the final amount.”

“But sir,” I replied stalling a bit, perhaps other avenues would be available in removing the …, my thoughts froze as I didn’t know if to call it a baby or a fetus.

“Yes, what is it?!” The man’s voice rang out a bit impatiently.

“Aren’t there other means? I have heard that there are drugs or injections that can be used since it is still a bit early.” I blurted out.

“And who told you that? Do you think the drugs would be as effective as actually removing the fetus? Do you want to risk using those drugs and coming back again when it doesn’t work?” The man asked glaring at me as if I had just said the most stupid thing.

“No… sir,” I stammered out a reply.

“Look I am doing the both of you a favour seeing that you are quite new in town. I have even agreed to do it here and not in my clinic to save you the shame, so let me know what you want as I have patients waiting in the clinic for me.”

“We are ready sir,” my boyfriend replied, a bit too quickly.

The man had directed us to this place, a room in a faraway place I had never heard of. ‘What if I died here? God, I know this is so wrong but you would have to bear with me and not let me die.’ I prayed silently.

“Alright, get up remove your pants and lie on this table.” The man said whilst getting his equipment ready. “Spread your legs up so that I can see inside clearly and not make a mistake.”

The effect of what he was saying had hardly sunk when I felt the cold metal on my skin and then a probing rod.

After 30 minutes of screaming, scolding and admonitions; I emerged shaken and sad. I felt nothing when my boyfriend squeezed my hand and smiled at me and even when the man offered to drop us back in town so that we wouldn’t have to trek back. The man and my boyfriend joked on how strong I was and my boyfriend nervously looked back every now and then to check how I was doing.

I, on the other hand, was lost in my own world, a world in which I felt nothing, not even hate, a world I was going to emerge from later with the realization of what I had done and then the tears that was lurking behind would fall but right then, I was in a world of nothing.


32 thoughts on “Life and Death” by enoquin (@enoquin)

  1. Nice exposition…

  2. Nice depiction of our present society and its depravity. The story is so real and quite engaging.

    1. I’m glad you think so, even if others like to close their eyes to the depravity, it still exists.

  3. Pitched just right…good one. Some minors errors which can be easily weeded out by proofreading. I enjoyed this, but I’m not quite sure the title fits the story. Good job!

    1. Thank you. As for the title, I usually leave that till after i finish writing but this time i got stumped and couldn’t think past “Weep not, my darling” and since I couldn’t think even after typing in it my new post, i closed my eyes and typed “Life and death” which is still suitable in a teensy weensy way.

  4. i am just short of words…the one thing i have vowed never to put my hands or money into. God help us.

    1. You, short of words? Hmm… May God help us all.

  5. …and just like that life was snuffed out before it even had a chance

    1. Yes, just like that…

  6. A straightforward and simple story, Enoquin. Maybe it would have been enhanced a bit by showing more of the turmoil and conflict in the MC’s head. It’s not very obvious why she should feel sad – did she want the baby? Did she have strong views on abortion?

    1. As this is a flash, I didn’t want to depict all that. Did she want the baby? I think all women are naturally protective of their bodies and what grows in it – i can’t say for sure- but it takes a very strong will to want to destroy what should be nurtured. Thank you, I have taken note of your suggestions.

  7. WOW!
    I sorta agree with Tola that an insight into her feelings would have been great…so we know what her thoughts are on the incident but you did good with the description.

  8. Cold.
    This left me cold.

    You do well.

    1. No, you shouldn’t be cold seun. It’s happening. I know society frowns on it but I think those who have gone through it suffer more. I shudder to think of the regrets many of them would have had and then not being able to tell anyone about it for fear of being castigated or stigmatized. I don’t know but I think something should be done for the ones who have made a genuine mistake and are suffering inside.

      1. You know abortion must be one of the hardest decisions that females have to make in life. In as much as I am a strong advocate of PRO-LIFE, i am still torn apart when I hear cases of rape, incest or high risk to the woman’s life. Its a tough one but I pray every woman who finds herself in such a situation will have God guide her to make the best decision.

        1. Yes chetachi, you understand quite well my point of view. Most of us give a blanket condemnation without even trying to listen specifically to each case and yet are we really better off? Can the fornicator say to the adulterer, “truly, mine is better because I am not doing married people?”

          1. No, don’t judge another just because you sin differently.

  9. Wow. She better stay in that world of nothingness for a while because when the pain comes, the force with which it will slam into her will leave her gasping for help.

    1. Ah! Aren’t you too harsh on her? What about the guy?

  10. A nice flash fiction. The story reads real and I was really engaged reading it. It was as if the narration was from a physical being sobbing beside me.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, glad you were engaged throughout.

  11. Hmmmmn! More on her emotions would have helped the story, but all the same – very real!

    1. Okey Dokey, but perhaps some people can keep their emotions in.

  12. Good going. I liked your depiction.

    1. Thank you africanrose!

  13. A bit nerve-wracking, but all the better for it.

    1. @Shai: Why nerve racking? Thanks for reading though

  14. You are a master at story telling

  15. I could well picture the young lad, I perceive he is an impulsive & jittery fella… Pity, hard decisions people go take, only to regret them later. Next please…

  16. @enoquin

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