She looked into the doctor’s eyes and saw the answer to her question. He did not need to say a word.
Her eyes pooled with tears. Regret and pain was all she could feel. Her husband tried to console her but she slapped his hand away.
“No touch me, wicked man”. She shouted.
“Ah ah, why you come dey do like this? You tink say e no pain me too?”
She ignored him and bit her fore finger. There were numerous “If onlys” running through her mind. She cast her mind back to the events of the previous day.
“If only she had taken time off work to go pick up her son from school”. “If only she hadn’t called her husband and passed the responsibility to him”. “If only she hadn’t decided to stay back to braid the hair of just one customer so she could make extra cash in addition to her husband’s meagre income”. “If only she had refused to listen to her husband who told her that their son’s high temperature was just because he was tired”. “If only she had brought him early enough to the hospital even though it was already midnight”. Her son wouldn’t be lying cold in the mortuary.
She was too busy to leave her salon. Her husband, the electrical handyman had more time to spare and could pick up their son; she had thought.
By 6p.m, when none of them had picked up the boy, the proprietor of the school got her home address and took him home. He was handed over to her neighbour. He developed a temperature over the night which defied the paracetamol she administered to him.
He was rushed to the hospital 5a.m the next morning. In an hour, he was gone. She sat on the floor with her hands on her head. “If only, if only”. But it was too late to regret.
Will they stay together after just a year in marriage or will this be the end? Only time will tell.