Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 9

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This entry is part 10 of 24 in the series Dawn to Dusk

When his arranged marriage went haywire, James has to juggle from being a father to his eleven months old son, keeping his job, finding love in the strangest place, maintaining a balance and peace between his family and that of his in-laws, who are lost in the battle of power and authority.

EPISODE IX

Helen was totally disappointed, and ashamed of her actions. She was never to lose her peace because of Queen’s rudeness, yet she could not have taken her words without defending herself. She sighed; her efforts to captivate Catherine’s heart seemed a bit sabotaged. She gave Queen a scornful look, and shook her head.

“You need to leave this room,” she told Queen. “You have caused enough harm and trouble already.”

“And you said your sanity is still intact?” Queen scoffed.“You sure have lost it if you think you can usher me out of this room, a room where my son lies.”

“Bearing him does not make you his mother,” Helen replied.

She was determined on making Queen realise that Junior, though her biological son, could find a mother in another woman.And that pregnancy and childbirth do not alone qualify a woman for motherhood, but the emotional and physical attachments a child bonds with its mother during breast-feeding, which makes it possible for the child to recognise its mother.

“You might have brought him to this world, but I taught him how to eat and toddle. I nursed his midnight nausea. When he needed the warmth of a mother, I was there. So in practical sense, I am more of a mother to him than you are. Now leave and allow him rest,” she concluded, ushering her out with a point at the door.

“You sure are good with long speeches,” Queen said, still amazed at Helen’s courage to insult her at will.

She, who was Queen of her world and controlled everything around her; you talk when she allowed it and you are only permitted to say what she wanted to hear. But the figure in front of her was more powerful than she is in all ramifications, to the extent of having the audacity to claim ownership of her own child.

“And that makes you delusional,” Queen added. “I bore him for nine months here,” she thundered, hitting her tummy. “I gave birth to him. I gave him life. There is no law, legal or otherwise that could strip me of the title of a mother. What am I even saying? You know nothing about childbirth. You know nothing about pregnancy, so I won’t blame you much if you try to covert someone else’s child to your own, since you are running towards menopause already. But I want to tell you before your messed up dream turns into a nightmare, Junior is my son, and forever will be.”

The menopause reference cracked Helen up. She knew they both were of same age by mere looking at her, and her fair skin also made her look even older. So she didn’t dwell on it. To her, a kettle just called a pot black and there was no case in it.

“If only you had stayed in your husband’s house instead of flirting around with everything in trousers, that would have been the case, but I am afraid you stripped yourself of that title already. Now for the very last time, leave this room. Don’t make me push you out because you would not enjoy the ride,” Helen’s seriousness was seen as she footed towards Queen. And with every inch of determination, she was set to push her out if she stayed one more minute.

Queen was stunned! She just did not understand who Helen was, yet she wouldn’t let go without a fight. “I dare you!” she bellowed.

In a flash, she saw herself moving out of the room like a wheel barrow rolling down a mountain. She whined for help, unable to withstand the extreme force. But just as she gained her stamina and turned to fight back, the door, locked by Helen hit her head. With her hand on her forehead, she looked around stupefied, addled at what just happened. Snapping out of the stun however, she banged on the door, shouting “Nanny!” in place of Helen’s name, as she didn’t care to know her name. Vexed and dejected, she stormed into the reception area. She was complaining to the nurses that an intruder was about to murder her son, when James walked in and asked what was happening. Queen was quick to tell the nurses to ignore him, saying he was demented. But one of the nurses who knew them to be married baffled at what was going on, and with her instinct to save life first, she rushed towards the private ward, followed by the other two.

 

Helen, having bolted the door sat quietly on the chair beside Junior’s bed. She looked at Junior and wondered why he never shook on the bed all through her argument with Queen. She thought about the anaesthesia, yet at least a little shake would have been normal. She got alarmed. Truly she loved Junior and has been taking care of him for months, but she would not escape if anything happened to him; neither could she deny any allegation that she killed him. Her heart raced even faster than it did during her argument with Queen. She slowly made to touch him but kept hesitating. She sighed, stood up and slowly lowered her head towards Junior’s chest. Her head was almost rubbing Junior’s chest when a heavy bang on the door jolted her. She leapt in fear and took a very deep breath which somehow calmed her nerves a bit. She took Junior’s wrist to feel his pulse and it was fine, Junior was still breathing normally. She heaved a sigh of relief, smiled and paced to the door.

“Helen, this is the nurse. Open the door.”

She heard from outside and got more relaxed with the hope that Queen has finally left, but as she made to open the door, she heard Queen’s voice.

“I told you. She is hurting my son. She is evil.”

Helen halted; shocked at the level Queen’s manipulative behavior has gotten to. Truly, she wouldn’t have escaped if anything happened to Junior. She heaved another sigh of relief, did a sign of the cross and threw her hands in the air in thanksgiving to God for Junior’s safety. Afterwards, she spoke up with great confidence and the commanding tone of a terrorist negotiating with the government.

“I am not opening this door if she doesn’t leave. I want no trouble with anyone, so let her leave,” she said.

“Oh! This is awesome,” Queen’s loud voice pierced through the wooden door. “The crazy nanny is now holding my son, my own son to ransom. Great! But I am not going anywhere.”

“Then nobody is coming in here, unless you are ready to pull down the door,” Helen answered, double-locked the door and went back to Junior’s bed. She felt his body temperature; it was normal. She nodded in approval, covered his legs properly with the blanket and sat down comfortably.

 

“Please ma, you have to leave,” the nurse pleaded with Queen. “We promise, your son will be taken care of, but you have to go before we can do that.”

“I am not moving an inch from here,” Queen’s voice rose. “Not when my son is in there with that psychopath.”

James ignored them and focused on getting a call across to Helen, but when she did not answer, he got incensed, turned to Queen and silently, yet with an expression that spoke a thousand words, dragged her out of the hallway into the reception area.

 

“That is the exit door,” he threw her off.

Queen stumbled and regained her balance.

“Make use of it. And if by chance you choose not to, you can stay out here quietly, because if you move an inch to Junior’s ward again, I swear, I will put you in a condition worse than his,” he turned without waiting to hear what her slightly opened mouth wanted to say.

Queen recovered quickly from her shock and ranted on top of her voice, cursing James so loudly. She was very much shocked, yet her zeal to fight back was not waned.

“Excuse me ma, this is a hospital, not a marketplace. Please we need composure and absolute silence,” a nurse who was walking hushed her.

She glowered at the nurse: she was thin with her face roughly disfigured by the accumulation of acne. Her uniform was far from what white was perceived to be, while her nursing cap was askew on her hurriedly braided dwarf hair, giving her an altogether disheveled look. She hissed, feeling more insulted being admonished by some quack hungry-looking nurse.

“Are you also a nurse?” she mocked at the nurse who had taken few steps away from her. “You sure shouldn’t be here; you would be better fit for a waste manager,” she spat, looked around and discovered the glaring small crowd of angry and disgusted nurses, patients, relatives and hospital staff gathered in the hall, distracted from their work and activities the moment James pushed her out.

“What!” she yelled at them. “Haven’t you seen a woman fighting for her son before?” she added. Catherine said she should have fought for her son, and since she couldn’t go back in time, she decided to do it in the present. She scowled at their peering faces, hissed and dashed out of the hospital.

Read Dawn to Dusk every Tuesdays on Memorila.com!

Series Navigation<< Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 8Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 10 >>

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E.C Micheals

E.C Michael, a graduate of Theater Arts, is a passionate writer who believes that stories should blend with education so as to help correct social vices in the world. His watchword is edutainment. He writes screenplays, novels, short stories and essays. When not writing, he is blogging or watching Game of Thrones and Designated Survivor.

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