The Birthing Suite Continued (Short Tale Tuesday)

Haven’t read part one? Click here before you read on.

Melissa took a step back toward her children, almost as if she was trying to distance herself from the situation. A commotion outside the hospital room told her that more nurses stood outside the door.  Even if there was a good explanation for the girl in the tall, cylindrical tank – who looked the carbon copy of herself and had twin girls at the same developmental age – it didn’t leave her feeling any better. In fact she felt more anxious. She was trapped in a hospital with two newborns, no access to the outside world and a nurse telling stories that were very hard to swallow.

‘Someone needs to tell me what the hell is going on!’ she demanded of the nurse in front of her.

‘Melissa, she is your twin. I’m sorry that I’m the one to tell you this but you were adopted.’

‘Adopted?’ She didn’t want to believe the nurse’s story but something about it rang disturbingly true.

‘Your real mother is Abigail Lockland…’

She cut in. ‘The former first lady? You have got to be kidding.’

‘Hold on, let me finish. When the one child policy came in, your father had to be seen to be supporting it both politically and personally. Only one child. Yes, you and Marion were conceived naturally, but he was the president at the time. How could he enforce such a controversial policy with two little girls at his side? He had to give one of you up. No one knew about you except Dr Newson and now a few selective people in this hospital.’

‘So I’m the conspiracy? And my twin?’ She asked.

‘Like you, Marion had two miscarriages before she fell pregnant with twins. It’s obvious you’re identical, but it’s more than that. It’s almost like your bodies work the same way at the same time, even when it came to falling pregnant with twins. But then Marion’s twins stopped growing in the womb, the first time a disparity between the two of you has ever been noticed. We knew you had the same blood type, we knew we could help Marion’s unborn children and so your father, who still has a large say in the presidential under-takings, ordered to do whatever it takes.’

‘Even if it risked me and my children, right?’ She said, disgusted.

The nurse bit her lip and nodded.

She rubbed her temple. ‘So did they save them?’

The nurse shook her head. ‘Only one. They tried for both but when one baby was out and stable they let nature take the other one.’ She paused. ‘You are the lucky one Melissa, you’re not under public scrutiny. Because your girls were born naturally, you get to keep them. Marion is only allowed one because she is the former president’s daughter. She would have had to adopt the other one out had it survived.’

She felt sick. ‘So they killed the other baby.’

‘No, they…’

‘They let it die!’ She spat.

Her girls had been fussing but now they were starting to cry. She had to feed them.

‘See to your babies,’ said the nurse. ‘I’ll leave you and come back in a minute. Do you need help to get them on the pillow?’

‘Umm yes, thanks.’

Once she had them feeding and the nurse had gone, she felt even more vulnerable. She couldn’t contact John without asking the nurse to place the communication link. What was she going to do?

She had never seen the president’s daughter on television during the time he was in service, she knew her name though. They were obviously identical, so why didn’t she get asked if she was Marion? She guessed it was the small island she and her family lived on. Perhaps the whole island had been paid off? Her whole life had been a lie. Was John a lie too?

She could still hear murmuring outside her room, low whispering. She strained to listen and heard a familiar sound. A communication link had just been opened. She could hear two men in discussion, neither of them were John. Something serious was going on.

She looked down at her chest. The eldest had fallen asleep still attached, while the other had just pulled off and cuddled closer to her bare skin. Oh god, what was she going to do?

The heater automatically turned on when she carefully placed them back in their cubes. She’d forgotten about the power. She switched it off at the wall, then tucked the chord in underneath the cubes and grabbed an extra blanket to put over them.

She’d just started wheeling the cube toward the door when Dr Newson walked in. His stride was so authoritative and confidant that she stopped. Her legs felt if she took one more step they’d fail her. There was no way out.

‘You can’t leave, Melissa.’ Dr Newson said, first staring at the cubes and then back at her.

She tried to keep her voice steady. ‘I’m just going to see if I can open a link. I need to talk to John.’

‘I’m afraid we can’t let you do that.’ His eyes moved back to the cubes.

‘What? I can’t ring my own husband?’ She asked, her heart starting to race.

He took a step closer to her. ‘You look very distressed Melissa. I think you need this mild sedative to help calm yourself. The nurses will take care of your babies while you have a rest. You’ll want to keep up your strength. You are feeding twins.’

‘No! I will not take a mild sedative. I want to talk to John, now!’ She demanded holding back the tears that were threatening to spill.

‘I’m sorry, but it’s the President’s orders.’ He lunged forward and grabbed hold of her arm. She tried to twist away but he jabbed the needle in.

‘No!’ She screamed. ‘My babies, no!’

She fell to the floor, unable to move. She watched as the nurse came back in and wheeled her babies away.

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