Desmond finally got an appointment with Elizabeth. On her own initiative Karen subscribed for caller ID for Desmond’s clinic so that when Elizabeth rang again, she got hold of Elizabeth’s telephone number and called her back. Karen rang Elizabeth three times to fix for the appointment and also reminded her to come in. Desmond only got to know that she was waiting outside when Karen sent in the patient record card with the name “Elizabeth” on it. No surname, no age recorded, and no address either. Karen put it on his desk whilst he was attending to another patient when Elizabeth arrived.
Desmond kept his cool as he tried to recall his prepared speech.
He knew that he would be facing opposition. He almost rushed through the earlier patient. He imagined Elizabeth to be a quick tempered, vivacious lady, who would storm out on him if he refused her request.
She may even threaten to harm my business. Desmond was not sure. He wondered if he should ask Karen to stand in as he spoke to her. But then he realized that the conversation had to be in confidence. So he waited anxiously as his next patient pushed open the door.
Desmond saw her. The same face, the same curly long hair, and the large eyes. He paused, then he took a deep breath, and he wanted to open his mouth. He was lost for words. For a long time, they both stood staring at each other. From the expression on Molly’s face, Desmond knew that she didn’t expect to see him. Well, neither did he expect her. “So, you are pregnant?” slowly he began, trying not to show his true feelings.
“Yes,” she replied almost in a whisper.
“Nope, I am not going to do this,” immediately Desmond retorted, without giving Molly a chance to elaborate.
He saw the look of disappointment come on her face, and she gave him a look of reproach, almost angry. Molly didn’t say another word. Then she walked out of the consultation room, back into her own world, as when before she came in. Desmond walked over his desk and went after Molly. He saw the faces of Karen and the other patients that he has not yet attended to, he ignored them and rushed out of the clinic. Molly was so fast that he lost her at the lift lobby.
Desmond tried to call her. He rang her mobile, but there was no answer. She had left me she would not marry me now. Desmond started telling himself. Then as he thought about it, he came to his own conclusions:
If she did not tell me she was pregnant, that meant that she wanted to get rid of her baby and marry me, which is what was happening now. She should have told me about it. So she was dishonest. Desmond tried to reason himself.
But then if I were she, under the circumstances I wouldn’t mention it either. She was clever to make me marry her to begin a new life. But then I loved her too. I was the one who solicited her. I was the one who started it first. If I had not laid hands on her that evening, we wouldn’t have hitched up.
Was it my fault? I couldn’t say that she was not attractive. Would I have accepted her proposal if I had known that she was pregnant? I was overjoyed when she wanted to marry me. I bought her the most expensive diamond ring at Tiffany’s, I booked us a twenty-one nights’ tour to Europe. I was planning on buying an apartment, as I did not want to continue to live with my parents after marriage. And even if she did not propose to me, I would have proposed to her under ordinary circumstances. I knew I was besotted with her. I still have her scarf and I plan to keep it forever.
Now the situation was complicated. If we married I would have to be the father of her unborn child. Come to think of it, who was the father? She didn’t tell me, and I didn’t think that she would even if I had asked. But I couldn’t be raising a child fathered by someone I didn’t know. At least I needed to know the background.
But anyway, I loved her and I was prepared to marry her. For one, I already knew that her lover didn’t want her anymore when I met her, and I didn’t mind it at all. This was a woman who had it hard, and I felt for her.
Desmond recalled the image of Molly standing at Mother Mary, her thin shoulders twitching as she sobbed uncontrollably. There and then he swore that he wanted to give her a good life.
If she had wanted to call Desmond back, she would have done so by then. She must have seen Desmond’s missed call. Desmond rang again and again, but she did not pick up his calls anymore. Then Desmond decided that he would give her another half hour. Maybe she was busy with something else. NO! GOD! It occurred to Desmond that she might have gone to see another gynaecologist, since he did not want to perform the abortion on her.
Desmond Brown wanted so much to tell her that he still loved her, that he would take over the baby no matter whose child it was. Now that she knew that he knew about it, Molly must have been heartbroken thinking that he didn’t want her anymore. He didn’t want to help her to abort, but he wanted her. Abortion was against Desmond’s principles, and that was why he refused Molly’s request.
But if she wanted it, would Desmond do it? Desmond was not the only gynaecologist in town, and if she wanted an abortion she could always go to another doctor. Perhaps she would just do it, then afterwards go to Father Damien for confession. Desmond wondered what would be the penance.
He knew that many Catholics continue to sin day after day. They were sinners. They were just human beings, and they couldn’t help themselves.
Oh, God, where had she gone to? Why couldn’t she return my call?
Desmond swore that when he met her the next time he would tell her that he was prepared to do the abortion on her. They were supposed to start their lives afresh as a new couple and leave the past behind them.
She was the mother. She should have the right to decide on the fate of her unborn baby. After all, you only needed the mother’s signature on the consent form.
Molly lay on a single bed. The room was large but she was the only one inside. Nobody was there because she told no one about what she was doing. There was a clock hanging right on front of her on the wall. She could still see the time even without glasses.
When the nurse came in to give her an injection, she asked,
“Is the doctor coming?”
“No, you take this first and if it is too painful, press the bell.”
Molly said nothing.
And then the pain came. Like a bad stomach ache, it felt like labour but Molly knew that it was too soon for that. The foetus was not yet three months old.
Finally, after a three hour wait, the nurse came in again.
“Push,” she said.
Molly pushed hard together with the nurse, and after some struggle, the two of them managed to get the foetus out. The nurse put the piece of flesh on a receptacle by the side of the bed and she walked away without saying a word.
Then after another long wait, the doctor came in looking disgusted. Molly didn’t know why he was so late in attending to her.
“Am I not paying him for this?” she asked herself.
Finally, the doctor spoke to her and told her that he would write her a note on this procedure. Molly heaved a sigh of relief and glad that it was all over.
As Desmond was thinking and walking around the streets aimlessly, he realized that he had lost his cell phone. Perhaps he had left it in Gucci, or Fendi, or Tiffany's. Desmond drifted in to Tiffany’s to see if he could find something, not knowing what he wanted.
God! So now even if Molly returned his call she would not be able to get him on the phone. He remembered ringing her while he was at Gucci, then he rang her again from Fundi. Yes, it must be at Tiffany’s. Desmond quickly went back to the boutique and asked the doorman to look for his cell phone for him.
There were a lot of shoppers around, and when he went back with an empty look after having spoken to some of the salesgirls at the counter, he knew that it was gone. It was an iPhone 6, no one in their right mind would return it.
He left Tiffany’s in a daze, all the time wondering how to retrieve the lost connection. He had not brought Molly to his parents’ place yet, as he had wanted to marry in Europe first with the blessing of the priest in The Lady of Lourdes, so there was no way she could contact him through his parents.