By Thiyam Ningol, Dr. Nalini, Africa
“Maria get up- the beauticians have already arrived.”
Neema did not wait to see her sister Maria getting up. She went back to talk to the beauticians.
Maria and John had known each other since their high school days. Both were ambitious. They had planned to get their degrees first before indulging into serious relationship.
John was a bright, committed student. After getting his engineering degree, he got employed immediately. After three months working, he was sent to Europe for a further training for two years. He promised Maria that when he would be back from the training, they would plan for their marriage. They communicated often, kept their relationship strong.
Maria got a job as a marketing manager in a small but promising firm. Sometimes because of their tight schedule they could not communicate as often as before but their love never faded.
Maria found a casual friend, a colleague in the same firm. They were not attracted to each other but they enjoyed each others company. Maria often talked about John to her casual friend. One day they both went to attend a marriage ceremony of their colleague. Maria had crossed her limit of alcohol consumption. The next day she found herself in a small hotel room, lying naked next to her casual friend. They both promised to each other not to mention and remind about that episode again.
Only 3 months were left for John to complete his training. He had planned to settle first before he took up other projects. Maria was more than willing to go along with his plans.
Even though John wished to propose Maria in the official customary way, he could not hide his intention any longer. He started planning about their marriage while he was still abroad. He even bought the marriage gown for Maria.
With the excitement and happiness, Maria had forgotten that she had missed her menses.
When she felt constantly sick, she visited a clinic and after few tests, she was informed that she was pregnant.
John was returning back after 1 month. Maria did not know what to do. She did not like to involve her casual friend any more. She discussed with her best friend. She suggested Maria to go and see someone who could help her.
Maria was two months pregnant. She agreed for the abortion.
Few days after the abortion procedure, Maria became very sick. She developed high fever, her abdomen was swollen and she was restless. After three days of high fever she lost conscious. Her parents took her to the hospital where she was found to have septicaemia, sever blood infection as a result of unhygienic and unskilled abortion.
After 2 weeks she was discharged from the hospital.
John knew Maria was hospitalized but on Maria’s request, nobody provided him the details about her sickness. When John came back, Maria told him everything and requested to cancel the marriage idea. John was upset but at the end, he confessed that he was not an angel either and Maria deserved to be given a second chance.
Five minutes had passed since Neema came to call Maria; still Maria had not shown up. The beauticians started grumbling- to do hair styling and facial make up would need at least about 2 hours and the to be bride was not yet available. It was already 11 AM and they were supposed to reach the church before 2 PM.
Neema went back again to see Maria. She found her still lying on bed. Neema shouted at Maria again. No movements. She went to shake Maria. She felt Maria’s body was very cold. She switched off the Air conditioner and went back to Maria.
A chill wind passed at Neema’s spine. Her guts rumbled. She shook her vigorously, but Maria’s lifeless body did not response to Neema’s shaking. Neema screamed hysterically terrifying everyone around.
Maria had kept everything ready. She put her marriage gown neatly on the hanger; the veil and the Tiara with the decorative pieces were laid down on the table. Still she had plenty of time before the arrival of the beauticians. She had a long day ahead. She might not get time to rest till the next early morning. She decided to lie down on the bed and rest for few minutes. After few hours she would be called Mrs. John. Felt excited and very happy. Soon she fell asleep.
She dreamt that she was walking into a salon for her make up and hairdo. When the beautician turned back to greet her, she found it was the nurse who did an abortion on her, fatal abortion. She saw her smiling at her disgustingly, teasing and mocking. She was telling her that the pregnancy was already big; it would need more medicines and more money. Maria was begging the nurse to do it at any cost because she was getting married soon to John and John should not know that she was aborting.
She continued dreaming- when the abortion was over, the nurse handed over to her a live baby. Maria complained to the nurse that her pregnancy was not that big. Then John, her fiancé came and snatched the baby from her. He accused her of trying to kill his child. She had to tell the truth-it was not his child, she made a grave mistake. He told her he would not trust her any more. He was walking away from her. She was begging him not to leave her alone. She was crying, screaming. The nurse brought out a big syringe full with a red coloured medicine in it. The nurse poked her with the long wooden needle. After the injection, she was loosing strength. She was getting chocked. She was gulping air but the air was contaminated with poisonous fumes. She was getting drowsy, loosing consciousness. She saw her own soul leaving her body and disappearing amidst the fumes……
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