This is based on an occurring event in my country. Was written years ago, before I ever thought of actually becoming a writer.
* * * * *
The taxi came to a halt at the mouth of the street. The middle-aged couple alighted from it and made their way into the midnight darkness of the seedy tenement jungle. They’d never set foot on this part of the city before, and their hands held each other’s as they navigated their way into it.
They located the house they were looking for near the end of the street. The buildings’ address corresponded with that which they had written on a piece of paper. The old woman was sitting by the front stoop waiting for them as she’d promised over on the phone earlier that she would. She got up upon seeing them and without a word exchanged, they entered the building. They made their way past a filthy corridor and out through the back of the building. A short walk past a refuse-littered alleyway and then they stepped into the light of another tenement building. They climbed up a flight of stairs to the second floor before the old woman came to a halt before a door.
“Have you made your mind on which one you want to have?” the old woman asked them. The couple shared a glance at each other before the wife answered for them.
“Yes, we have. We would like to have a boy.”
“You sure you don’t want a girl?”
“No, we’d like it to be a boy. At least someone who will carry on the family name.”
The old woman appeared indifferent to this. “No problem, though boy’s are a bit expensive. The price for one is two hundred and fifty thousand.”
The husband took out a bundle of money from the inner pocket of his robe. “I have it all here,” he said before handing it over to the old woman who took her time counting it. She smiled at them when she was through.
“Both of you wait here,” she said and then gave a signal tap on the door before entering the room. She came out with a cloth-wrapped bundle in her arm, which she then handed over to the couple. The wife spread out the cloth to appraise the sleeping feature of the baby boy. The husband touched one of the baby’s hands and was rewarded by its feeble response.
“Perhaps some other time you can come back for another,” the old woman said as she led them out of the building, happy from the sale. “If maybe you want twins, we have that one, too. Or perhaps you would like triplets. That too can be arranged.”
When they returned to the front of the former building, the wife, whom since her marriage had found it difficult to conceive, asked: “I’d just like to know one thing. The children, what happens to them if no one ever shows to buy them?”
The old woman’s smile turned hostile. “Nothing happens to them. They simply wait for God to show up and claim them. Good night.”
The couple made their way back to the mouth of the street, a new companion in their hand to stem down the pain of bareness. All of a sudden the world felt all right for them as they stood there smiling at themselves, waiting for an empty cab to ferry them home.