The Night of Alexandria
by King TMC*
I was working late that night.
I remember it was sometime in November, I received a phone call at about 19 hours and a voice from the other side sounded rather hasty and said to me, “ Sir! Your wife has been rushed to Mom’s care clinic, she’s gone into labour.”
I panicked. I didn’t know whether to report to my boss or just leave; I opted for the latter.
I remember reaching for my car door trying to open it with my house keys; couldn’t go back to the office so I called for uber, at least they keep time and I just had wrist watch.
I arrived at about 19:40 at the reception of Mom’s care clinic; I yelled at the nurses, ‘where is my wife?’ impatiently sounding like the only husband in that room. “What is your wife’s name sir?” a voice calm and collected sounding like this wasn’t her first rodeo responded from behind.
‘Valerie!’ I responded hastily, ‘Valerie Atkins’ I repeated “follow me” she said, I followed her like a stray dog. I recall the stretch from the reception to the labour ward was quite long, but I was determined to welcome my son… or daughter who was I kidding right?
At the opening of room 24, the labour ward I was greeted with a long and loud cry, I could sense the pain so much so that my left eye begun involuntarily pouring rain but I quickly scrubbed it out; it would appear I was only a man when it came to cracking legal cases, big boys do cry too after all.
I reached for her hand in solidarity, biggest mistake I made that night because she grasped it firmly as if to survive the shackles of death with one clasp.
I could hear some voices in the room shouting in unison, “push!” I was still in shock between saving my hand and being in a state of oblivion; I think at some point I shouted along too, ‘push’ but the grip reminded me of my position accompanied by an angry voice, “it is your fault after all” I knew very well that instance than to interfere in what God was doing with her life.
About an hour or so I heard a cry, it was a baby’s cry after a clap at her buttocks and boy was I mad at the doctor, but her voice sent me into a euphoria. I heard a female voice say “congratulations, it’s a girl” thankfully, I already had a name lined up for her, holding her into my arms or at least what was left of it after the grip, I whispered ‘welcome to the concrete jungle, don’t worry dad will protect you my darling little Alexandria’ a name I got from the ancient Egyptian library, I always imagined my daughter would be the collection of her father’s literary works and more.
I remember the glow on her face; she could have out shimmered the Alpha Centauri.
She stretched her arms to hold her baby even though she was worn out; my beautiful Valerie looked like she had just survived the world war and still determined to hold her daughter in her arms, as I passed her on to her she sang a soft song for Alexandria accompanied by a tear or two but who was counting right?
The sight was so fulfilling, the thought of being a father to this precious little gift from heaven somewhat made me feel strong.
As I reached for my phone to capture this moment forever, I heard a loud knock on the door accompanied by a loud male voice, “Yo! Bro, aren’t you going for work today?” It was Skipper my housemate, funny; it was only a dream, I wasn’t even married yet the disappointment on my face was inexplicably priceless but at least now I know that if that time comes, I will be ready…