Lay still

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She walked to the hospital. When she got there, she was shown a room and told to wait. The floor was dirty. The only bed in the room was already occupied by a man who was coughing when he wasn’t moaning. He was shaking with the effort of trying to fight some kind of infection. Another man was sitting in the corner, sweating from the heat, his shirt wrapped around his head. He looked up at her when she came in, his eyes drifting over her. He pinched his lips with his fingers. His nails were dirty; his hands were calloused and riddled with veins. She found a spot on the dusty floor where she could lean her back against the wall, spread her feet out. Her belly was full and tight and bloated, the baby inside kicking. The sun dropped but the heat rose. She felt pressure now. The pain had started too. No one had come to check on her yet. The man in the corner had fallen asleep with his shirt still wrapped around his head; he was using it as a pillow. The man on the bed was still moaning, still coughing.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts in Creative writing on the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, 2020
Creative writing, Authorship