The water breaks

Jiji Ndogo village is pregnant with expectation of Millie’s delivery

In Summary

• Sgt Makini's days of servitude to pregnant woman are numbered

Inspector Tembo and I sit at the post. There’s never much to do here. I’ve already wiped the place down. Rearranged the furniture. Twice!

“How’re things with the Missus?” I ask.

The Inspector and his wife have been trying to iron out their issues. His ‘cheating’ by texting other women, and her harsh treatment of him.


“You know why I kept texting those other women? Because it made me feel like a man. I mean, Pum’kin’s words can be so emasculating.”

“So, your wife is Pum’kin now, not The Dragon?”

“Not that I know why she treated me so badly.”

“You need to make it up to her. Do something romantic.”

“I’ve tried.” Tembo throws up his hands. “I’ve been watching her sleep but she slaps me when she wakes up and catches me.”

I laugh.

“That’s so creepy. And not romantic at all.”


“But it seems to work in the movies.”

“So does stalking, but it’s illegal. What are you gonna do next, show up at her window playing a romantic song from a boombox?”

Tembo lights up.

“That’s a great idea, son! You should help me make a mixtape.”

I shake my head. Amused.

“Inspector, no one makes mixtapes anymore. And cheesy ideas only work in the movies, not in real life.”

“Hey there, idiot,” a voice calls from the door. “Why don’t you ever pick up your phone?”

Millicent is at the door, looking like she just finished a marathon.

“What is it now?” I scream at her. The relationship with my forced “girlfriend” hasn’t improved one bit.

“I need to go to the hospital.”

“They don’t sell pickles at the hospital.” I’m referring to her cravings that have me running around even at night. “You need to go to Dr Selitol’s shop for those.”

“It’s not that, idiot. My water just broke.”

“You can get your own damn…” Then it clicks. “Jesus!”

“Are you sure this is not a joke like before?” asks Tembo.

“Do I look like a comedian to you? Makini, fetch me an ambulance. Now!”

“There’s no ambulance in Jiji Ndogo. Here we have Bertha.”

“What the hell is a birther?”

“I’ll go get it. Inspector, will you please take her home?”

I jump out the door.

“I don’t know what to do!” Tembo shouts at me. Then he screams.

I stop. Turn.

“What happened?”

“She’s holding my hand, but I think she’s trying to strangle it!”

“You’re doing fine, then.”

It takes me a while to locate the humongous midwife Bertha’s house. I find her in the garden. She washes her hands and we rush towards my house. I’m surprised at her agility. I gallop to keep up with her.

“Thank God you’re here,” Inspector Tembo cries when we get to the house. He pries his hand off Millicent’s deathly grip. “I can’t feel my fingers anymore.”

“Get this thing out of me!” Millicent roars. “I want it OUT!”

Bertha orders for clean warm water, towels, sterilised razors and so on. Millicent had most of them ready. I fetch them.

“Get out!” Bertha commands.

The door slams shut. Smiling, Tembo massages his fingers to get circulation going again.

“What’s so amusing?” I ask.

“I know what to get my wife.”

“You were entertaining romantic thoughts as Millicent was trying to kill your hand?”

“Actually, she gave me the idea.”

“Millicent did? This I got to hear.”

“But it’s a surprise, so say nothing to The Drag— to my wife, okay?”

“Okay, I won't.”

“Millicent doesn’t want the baby. She’s gonna give it… I mean, him or her, to us.”