“Hello! Rumbi, are you there?” The voice repeated.
Taku hesitated to say a word over the phone. This was his former roommate who had warned him to stay away from his girlfriend Rumbi. Telling him that he had assisted her in murdering his child would add fuel to the hatred that had consumed their once cordial relationship. One thought assured him that he was justified to have done this. He was helping a friend. A friend whom Greg himself had dumped, indifferent to the fact that she would experience the shame of carrying a growing fatherless belly with an “unmarried” tag on her forehead.
Taku knew how bad this would have been for him. His Christian mind reminded him that he had broken the sixth commandment of Moses: Thou shall not kill. He was going to hell for this. But anyways, I am just a middleman. I am not physically involved in the process, Taku thought to himself. As he was still trying to formulate the words to utter a response over the phone, he heard his name being called from a distance. The voice seemed to come from a silhouette of a human being.
“Taku! Taku!” Sounded the echoing voice. The image before him started to solidify. It was the doctor.
“Have you been drinking or digging a whole mountain before you came here?” The doctor asked.
Taku was still trying to make sense of his thoughts. Why had the doctor suddenly appeared in front of him? Had he come to tell him more news about Rumbi? He had really had it with bad news and could not fathom more this time. He looked beside him and saw the keys to his room on the bench. They were not there moments before. Slowly, he figured that he had been dreaming. He had fallen into a trance the moment he sat on the bench and got lost in thought when Rumbi had gone in for the operation.
Still confused by this realization, he started asking himself, When did I fall asleep? Did I leave Greg hanging on the phone without an answer? Taku quickly pulled Rumbi`s phone from his pocket and checked the call log. There was no incoming call! All that had transpired in the dream was fictitious. Most importantly, Greg’s call was not real!
“I hope you come bearing some good news this time?” He asked the doctor, wiping the streak of saliva that had stained his cheek.
“Did anybody speak to you before?” The doctor asked.
No answer came from Taku. He wasn’t sure now which of which happened when he was in deep thought or when he was sleeping.
“Anyways the pregnancy was fourteen weeks hence I had to do a dilation and evacuation to remove all the remnant products of conception. This is a procedure whereby I used a tiny tube to suck out the baby from her womb. The procedure went on well with little bleeding hence we should expect her waking up very soon. However she had a risk of getting adhesions from the surgery which could reduce her chances of getting pregnant in the future. Also make sure she is on contraception until she has properly healed,” said the doctor.
For a moment, Taku felt relieved. It was not as bad as he had dreamt. At least from what he understood. If this secret was kept between Rumbi and him, there was no need to give any explanation to anyone anymore. He would simply take Rumbi back home and start the painful process of leaving her life again. Hopefully this time he would find genuine reasons to stay away. Evidently, his subconscious mind had confirmed his love for Rumbi. He still adored her, but his ego was too big to take her back. She left me for greener pastures, right? Why should I be the one collecting all the mess? History will still repeat itself if I take her back, he thought, trying to convince his subconscious mind not to wander into the Rumbi direction.
“You can come in after ten minutes to see her. She’ll be up by then. Don’t forget to get me my six hundred dollars for this.” The doctor shouted as he was almost at the door to the building. At this point, Taku noticed the almost invisible painted pictures of tyres and propshafts on the dirty outside walls of the theater building. He had no doubt that the structure was formerly used as a garage for servicing cars.
How Taku was going to get that much money, no one knew. This was the same reason Rumbi had left him in the first place. He couldn’t afford to take care of her needs. As he walked towards the door to the operating room where Rumbi was, he said to himself, I will cross the bridge when I get there.
The operating room was a typical makeshift theater. Beeps from the electrocardiogram blipped into the room every second. At least she is alive, said Taku to himself, confirming with the heart rhythm he saw on the machine. The moment Taku laid his eyes on her, now awakened and lying in bed, Rumbi locked her eyes back at his and started crying. She looked very vulnerable in that bed. Instantly, thoughts of abandoning her were dismissed from Taku`s mind. He immediately sat beside the bed, laid her head on his chest and stroked her hair as she continued to cry. The sight triggered him. He wanted to cry too.
9 May, 2023