Anton took Shirley to the hospital in Dundee. He could see she was in agony.
“Jim Ndlovu, the caddie master, has had a run of bad luck these past few years. They’ve lost three of their children... miscarried,” Anton said. He realised he’d said the wrong thing and continued.
“But, they have a son. They’ve called him Christmas, to thank the Lord for their blessing, because he was born on Christmas Day,”
He helped her into the clinic. Anton noticed the calendar stuck up on the clinic wall. It was Friday, 13 February. An ominous date, especially for the birth of his first child.
He was struck by the medicinal smell in the hospital, but it didn’t matter to Shirley. She was already in the middle of advanced contractions in this, her first childbirth.
“I can feel the head,” she gasped between deep breaths. “My baby is starting to show!”
The midwife was going to be late for the birth of their child. He had better get here fucking fast or he was going to miss the action. Anton reached for the intercom and called for Mr Potgieter. He waited and waited for the midwife to appear.
Finally, the door opened. “Good morning,” Mr Potgieter, the midwife, greeted cheerily. “Let’s have a look here.”
Anton’s inexperience was obvious. There were another two, long, hours to wait before the arrival of their first-born. He insisted on being present at the birth in the maternity care centre.
“Aaaaeeeoouuggh!” wailed Shirley. “Mmmmuuuhhh!”
This was the first birth that Anton had seen. He stood back to one side of the bed, holding Shirley’s hand, which was difficult, as she kept screaming.
“It’s coming! Push, push... ” the midwife urged. Anton felt a surge of excitement.
“Come now, come.” He heard the slurpy, liquid sound as Shirley pushed out his first child. He was straining to see its gender.
He caught a glimpse of what looked like a big penis. He was mildly satisfied to see that it was a boy. He grunted his approval. The long-awaited son.
“Jako, my boy... ”
He had chosen the name, Jako. He hadn’t discussed it with Shirley - it was his decision alone. He was certain it was going to be a boy and he had given it a manly name. A powerful name.
The midwife allowed Shirley to cuddle her new-born son, Jako. In her exhausted state, she hardly reacted. Then she regained some strength.
Anton looked on with mixed feelings. The joy of Jako.
He turned his thoughts back to the week before when he had lain with Mati. He was finding the lust that she returned equally pleasurable. She had snuggled up to him after he had climaxed overwhelmingly.
“Aggh, that was fucking brilliant!” he had said. He was a highly satisfied man.
He hadn’t been able to bear the thought of touching Shirley while she was pregnant. At the back of his mind, the awareness of the date niggled at him, too.
Friday the 13th.