Killy clutched Ubu around the shoulders and held her tightly, almost covering Ubu’s face so that she didn’t see the two policemen walking slowly towards them. Ubu winced and buried her face under Killy’s shoulder The toad-faced receptionist simply stood by the swinging doors with a menacing glance at the three. Voel, who had been sitting flat on the floor, jumped up. She assumed a stance that resembled a lioness whose cubs were being threatened.
While the policemen took slow strides towards them, a doctor came out of one of the consulting rooms. He was a short and stout who took brisk and deliberate steps. He seemed suspiciously oblivious of the policemen. He walked straight to the three women, “I’m ready to see you now”, he gestured, raising a yellow file in the direction in which they must walk. Voel was unsure of what was going on. She was still in a tense, read-to-pounce stance as the policemen were walking towards them. Killy did not hesitate. She stood up quickly, propping up Ubu as she walked in the said direction. Voel simply stood, fist clenched. The two policemen came to a an uncertain stop. The doctor looked at Voel, “ma’am…this way, please”, he gestured with his head. Voel, after seeing Killy and Ubu disappear into the office, took a few steps in reverse, then turned around, walking past the doctor into the office.
Inside the office, Killy and Ubu sat on the two chairs in front of the doctors’ desk. Voel remained standing. The doctor walked in and closed the door. He walked around the desk, planted himself in a creaking leather chair and pulled himself till his gut was sliced by the table. He flipped the yellow file open and started running his pen down the page. His actions seemed contrived; the pen moved too fast, he blinked too much, his eyes darted around the page erratically. He was peculiarly awkward. His awkwardness seemed to be like that of a moth bobbing around a light. Paradoxically, Killy sat with the poise and glow of familiarity. “Samuel, are you going to help or not?” Killy asked, sharply.
Dr. Samuel Khoza merely shot up a quick glance at Killy. He abruptly stopped his fidgeting. “What do you want me to do? Let you just steal a baby right out of this hospital? Let you just walk out of here?” His voice was painfully restrained as he didn’t want to make a noise. “I could lose my job…my bloody license! SHIT…” Killy maintained a frosty stare at him as he slammed his pen onto the table and squeezing his eyes, startling Ubu. Voel stood behind Killy, towering over all of them with a stern gaze fixed on the sweaty doctor: a man chained by an Hippocratic oath and chastised by the hypocrisy of his vices.
“I can only promise you that the baby will be taken care of, that is all! As for you…I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do”, he mumbled, still avoiding eye contact. Ubu sobbed silently. Killy’s glance could cut paper and freeze hell. Her upper lip flinched with disgust. She turned to Ubu and broke a warm and comforting smile. The type a mother glows with when she reassures her child when she knows that things are about to turn for the worst. “My lovey, everything is going to be ok. Neh?” she asked, caressing Ubu’s face and wiping away a tear with her thumb.
Killy stood up. She fixed her dress, like a duchess about to step out into a gala dinner. She helped to her feet. She looked at Voel, straight in the eye. The look between sisters that speaks a thousand words with silence. Voel turned around and opened the door and walked out. Killy and Ubu followed her. Outside the door, one policeman stood, waiting for them.