Short Prose: A Minute Late By Chidera Ifechukwu

There was tension as I stared down at her, lying on her bed; her breathing was ragged like one trying to get in air as much as possible. It wasn’t normal. Her body laid half-hazard on the sheets, hair spilled to another side without a care. I knew I should call her but all I could do was blink and stare at her.

Her body shook slightly as the noises from her throat seized. My brain had shut down and everything seemed to be moving around in a slow pace; the fan spinning beside her, the characters on the television talking really slow.

Why am I here? What did I come to do?

“Hey, have you asked mum if she will eat?” my elder brother, James, asked as he entered the room. But on seeing her, he quickly rushes to her side, checking her temperature. He begins to yell but all I could see was his mouth moving. It was like an animated character trying to speak. Immediately, I heard noises and my remaining two brothers were rushing in. I could only here something like not breathing, faint pulse and other things my mind couldn’t process. There was movement around me but I couldn’t see anything.

“Ada let’s go”, James made to drag my wrist and I wince, jolting me back to reality. He looks down to see a red mark on my wrist and I quickly pull my sleeves back in place, pretending there was nothing there and follow the others to the car. There is a lot of running as soon as we arrived.

Why is everyone running? Is something going on?

It seemed my mind couldn’t equate what was happening. Minutes later my father busted into the hospital, looking frantic and worried. I felt inclined to go hug him and say it will be alright. But my body refused to move, refused to show anything at all. James kept looking at me as the others explain to my father what had happened. It seemed like the whole day she was in intensive care.

“Ada?” my father calls out but I don’t respond, not even a nod to show I could hear him.

“She’s in shock. She saw her first”, James says to take the attention away from me. He knew I wasn’t in shock; I was just out of it. My whole body felt numb and my eyes struggled to stay open. It was like my body wanted to shut down as I stood at the far end, away from the family. After what seemed like forever, our family doctor came out to the reception.

“How is she?”, my father asks.

“Nothing to worry about. She is a bit stressed; pregnancy can do that to some women. But I noticed that her sugar level is very low along with…” The doctor kept yapping out things as my mind continued to zone in and out.

“You’re lucky you brought her in on time. A minute late and that would have been it for her and the baby. You are her children?”

“Step-children. It’s her first pregnancy”.

“Oh wow. Congratulations”

“Thank you”. There was more talk but my mind had decided on fading out. Everything seemed too close, like something weighing on me. A minute late; what did that mean?

Only when James pulled me close to him and I felt the tears trickling down did I realize that I wanted her dead.

Chidera Ifechukwu is a student and a passionate writer. She blogs at

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About Author

Joshua Oyenigbehin is an introvert who is passionate about Storytelling, writing, and teaching. He sees his imagination as an unsearchable world, more magical than a fairyland. He has written a novel and working on another

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