Ulrica Dias

Bonded Labour

She and her boss were the only two people in the office. This was the situation daily.  She had applied for maternity leave and it had not been granted. Her boss, Mr. J had flung the application in her face, screaming ‘Your first Commitment is work, you should understand that’. It was a small company and there was Union to complain to. Caroline was too scared to approach the Authorities in case the case got round to Mr. J and she might be fired.
 
So here she sat at midnight, a week away from her delivery date, transcribing pages and pages of shorthand. Suddenly, she felt a kick in her abdomen and in the next second, her water broke. She screamed. Her boss looked out, saw her in dreadful pain and said calmly, “Come in. I need to do more letters”.
 
Caroline screamed “I am going to have a baby”. “That’s none of my concern” replied Mr. J coldly. “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times. Your first commitment is to your work. Now come in fast. It’s already past midnight and I’m tired”
 
Mr. J’s reflexes were quick and he was certainly not tired. It was sheer bad luck to Caroline that he had the office key with him. He locked the office. She was trapped inside screaming and gasping.
 
‘Dear Mr. Chavan,’Mr J dictated “I am sorry I am unable to attend you Annual Day Function on 14th July as I have a very important Board Meeting on that date”
 
Caroline took something down unintelligibly between cries of ‘OH, my God!’ and “Aaaargh!” She had managed to text her husband “ BABY cumin. am trapd in with bos.” Plz cum soon”
 
It was easy theoretically to ask Warren to come soon to the office. Practically, it was a different matter. He worked at the other end of town and it would take him about an hour to reach Caroline’s office. Even if he did reach the office sooner, how would he be able reach her and that maniac of a boss with the office being locked? Warren was a man of great presence of mind.  
 
He called the fire station, gave the office address (Thank God he had a good memory!) and said “Woman in labour trapped inside building, first floor, left wing, desk no 49, with maniac boss”.
 
Ten minutes later, the fire squad arrived. They broke open the door, pinned down Mr. J and whisked Caroline away to the nearest hospital. They locked Mr. J in the office. They would deal with him later.
 
Warren had been informed of the hospital location and rushed there only to find that the placenta cord had choked the baby and it had died. The baby was a beautiful girl who had lived for just two minutes.
 
Caroline was in a deep slumber, recovering from all the hypertension. She had no idea of the baby’s death.

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Ulrica Dias.
Published on e-Stories.org on 03/05/2012.

 

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