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Heartbroken: The Precarious Promise By Xia Ekenna

POSTED 01/16/2018 11:55:13
9783 Reads Heartbroken: The Precarious Promise By Xia Ekenna, short story on Tushstories
I love kids, I really do.
Being a nurse has somewhat fetched me the advantage of having to meet a lot of kids, so many that I get attached to most of them. Well, it’s hard not to, they're so innocent and simple. Very lovable.
So recently, I worked at the new born Special Care Unit, usually occupied by pre-terms, and of course, pre-terms are babies who are not very ready for the world yet, so, they are faced with conditions they are not prepared for, and usually we lose them to being unable to thrive or miraculously they survive.
I didn’t see myself being attached to these tiny kids, who do not have identities yet, who are under probability, who could not relate to where they've found themselves or smile back at you like other babies would. But, I did. I got attached to this particular one, the smallest of them. He was so strong and determined to live that I had secretly given him a name "Chimsimdi", an Igbo name that loosely translates as "my God approves my stay"
My Simdi was brought in few hours after birth, he was a twin, his twin had died earlier after delivery for being born much earlier before term, just like him. But, Simdi determined to live. He fought to live. He had to, he was a precious boy, a boy conceived to fill a gender gap, after several attempts. He was precious indeed.
"Prepare the resuscité, we are bringing in a baby, he is a precious baby, so, we'll do our best for him, all our best" The doctor on call said. With that cue, everyone began running about, gathering instruments and drugs, and phew! After a while, Simdi was stable. One day, two days, and a week passed, and he lived still.
"He is a fighter, he'll make it, hopefully" I remember announcing to everyone that cared to listen. I was now fond of him, very fond of him.
So, every day at work, I will go to his incubator and talk to him for a while. He'd open his teeny eyes and raise his feeble hands each time you touch him. I had caught him suckling his lips, promising life, frequently. In fact, in my heart, I had concluded that this one is a fighter, "he'd live".
So, I wake up every day ready to go to work fully assured that I'd meet him. Then at work, I'd go to his incubator and talk to him, and remind him of how tall he'd be if he makes it out, how pointed his nose would be, how everyone would love him, and I saw a promise in his eyes, agreeing to my bid, promising to make it.
I was so confident that at some occasions when his parents asked me what I thought, and of course, lil man had all promises, I always had a positive answer, while I also told them to pray, and hope.
But today, little man lost all that promise.
My little man had fought through the night, him and the staff on call. They all did their best. I came into the Special Care Unit, and as usual asked about my lil man.
The nurse on night duty replied "we almost lost him last night, he is still fighting, he is at the resuscitation unit", then sighed.
I went straight to the resuscitation unit where he lay, fighting still, and said to him. "It’s too late to disappoint now, your parents have done everything they're supposed to do, even more. Look how they've fought for you, can you see that?" I saw in his eyes, as he tried to tell me, he has fought too, and yes, he has surprised everyone. I checked his vitals, cleaned him up, changed his diaper, wiped his still suckling mouth and left.
Two hours later, little man left the world. He has failed his promise to stay, to stay for me. But, he was a fighter, a valiant warrior who defied odds to live these few weeks. He was a Victor, even at death. He came to be, and he was, and still is somewhere in my heart where the image of his tiny handsome face remain etched.
Go on well then my Chimsimdi, you were a fighter, and you lived well.
But next, I'll look to see the precariousness in every promise, and when you get to God, remember to ask for an angel for your parents, they deserve better.

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