Lina walked towards the bus. She was exhausted. Exhaustion which showed in every step. She felt a low movement in her stomach and smiled.

“This one will be a footballer, I’m sure,” she murmured underneath her breath. She was 8 months pregnant and felt like the baby will drop any second. Her pregnancy was a weight she had never imagined and sometimes wheezed as if she’d ran a 100×100 marathon.

It was time for her weekly checkup and she hoped to hear good news. She’d been told during the last scan that the baby was in a breech position. She was hoping to be told the baby had shifted. Undergoing CS was something she was hoping against.

She saw the trotro just as it pulled away from the curb.

“Mate,” she cried. “are you going towards Akaway?”

“Yes. McCarthy Hill, SCC, Kasoa. Madam come and board and let’s go,” he told her impatiently as he got down to make way for her. She saw the seat available and hesitated. It was his seat. It will mean either shifting on the 3 person bench for him to sit beside her or having him sit opposite her on the engine side

“What are you doing? Are you going or not?” he demanded impatiently.

Making a split minute decision, Serwaa grabbed hold of the top of the bus and heaving herself into the bus, settled on the only seat available. The mate climbed in and quickly assessing the tiny space available, settled himself opposite her. The problem now was that Serwaa’s heavy stomach was resting in between his thighs.

“Mate, you look like you’ve been glued to her stomach,” the passenger seated next to Serwaa joked

“You see oh,” he said as he cast a nervous look at the distended stomach.

Serwaa burst out in laughter. “Stop looking at my stomach as if I’m going to give birth any minute.”

It’s not that but I’ve never been this close to a pregnant woman before,” he responded.

“Are you the last born?” she asked

“I was raised in an orphanage and left when I was 18. I’ll be 20 next month so this is my first time being around a pregnant woman.”

“I see,” she said with a smile. “It’s normal for some of us.”

“Does it hurt?” he asked curiously.

“Yes. I started having pains in my pelvic area from when I was about 2 months along and also got huge boils under my armpits. So painful that I couldn’t even raise my hands. That was till when the baby was 7 months. Now that it’s so heavy, I have a problem breathing sometimes. I pray for life”

“Why do you pray for life? Aren’t you alive already?”

“I am but giving birth is a life or death affair for us mothers. You said you were raised in an orphanage. There could be so many reasons why you ended up here. It could be that your birth mother died during childbirth. If she was alone at that time, the hospital authorities would have no other option than to give you to an orphanage till someone adopts you.”

“I always thought I’ll be adopted and grew angry when nobody did. I hated my parents for dumping them and took it out on others. Maybe, my mum passed away. She died but I’m alive.”

“Yes, you’re alive. Make sure that when you marry, you give all the best care to your wife especially when she gets pregnant so that when she goes into labor, nothing will happen to either her or your child.”

“Thank you, I’ll do that.”

“You’re welcome,” she said with a smile

He smiled back at her, turning to the passenger next to her he asked, “yes?” and stretched out his hand to collect her fare.

The end

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