The air in the ward was tense as screams, curses, hisses and groans flew from different directions.

Above all, the air was heavy with high wrong move could end it all, cutting the expectations short.

On the beds laid two heavily pregnant women, drenched in their sweat. Let's call the first woman with high rank, "I" and the second woman low in rank, "V".

"One more push, V, you are doing great!" Beatrice, the pack's nurse encouraged as she rubbed V's head tenderly and patted her shoulder, "You can do this, you are stronger than this pain,"

Empowered by the encouragement, V shut her eyes, grabbing a fistful of the bedsheet as she pushed hard, allowing the infant to slip out of the entrance of her opening.

Exhausted, her head fell back against the pillow as she took deep breaths, struggling to recover from the intense pain that engulfed her.

"Is it out yet?" She asked weakly as if almost out of breath.

"Hold on for the placenta," The nurse answered, lowering her head as her hands spread V's legs wider.

V winced in pain, hissing and cursing as Beatrice's hand dug deep into her vagina, pulling out the placenta.

Beatrice stood over V with eyes filled with excitement, "Congratulations, ma'am. It's a girl," She announced.

"Can I hold her?"

"Sure," Beatrice asserted as she carefully placed the baby in V's arms, "But just for a moment. I will have to clean her,"

Tears welled in V's eyes as the baby cries filled the air, changing the atmosphere.

"Awwn, I love you too. Mama is here. Stop crying, little one," She whispered, clutching the baby tightly as she rocked her. As if on cue, the baby stopped crying as she fixed her brown eyes on her mother's face.

"Both of you are so cute. I'll leave you for a moment," Beatrice announced as she walked toward the other patient's bed.

Pity washed over her as she stared at I that looked like she was about to pass out any moment from now.

Once an energetic woman, but now as weak ad fragile as lily.

She had been labouring for hours with no result.

All through Beatrice's journey as a midwife, she had never experienced a prolong labour as this.

V's labour wasn't as strenuous as this.

"Ma'am," Her head lowered in submission. Despite the woman's pitiful state, her powerful aura hovered around her, demanding respect.

"Are you feeling pains?"

"Just little, nothing much to worry about. I'll call you when I need you,"

Beatrice's eyes widened in shock as she examined the woman, "I'm afraid, its time, ma'am," She said, swinging into action.

"I said I'm not..." The rest of the words were shoved back in I's throat as pain shot up in her spine, spreading like wild fire to other part of her body.


"You are a strong woman, you do it, you can do anything," An extremely tired Beatrice encouraged, forcing a weak smile on her face.

It was two hours since I laboured, but there was no result. Beatrice was far from exhausted, all the muscles in her protested.

"Fuck!" She cursed silently as she rubbed I's stomach.

If only she had assistance. But it was impossible as they were short of staff and patients trooped in and out of the hospital in multitudes.

"I want to die," I burst into tears all of a sudden, clawing the bed and pulling out her hair.

"Look at me, ma'am. You have to believe in yourself. Do it for the baby. Please, be strong,"

Beatrice was out of words, but she had no choice. She had to save the mother and the child or it would cost her life.

"Be strong," I repeated faintly, gasping for breath as her vision blurred.

"Less screaming, more pushing. Let's go...1, 2, 3,"

Driven by determination and withBeatrice hands in hers, I gathered the last strength in her, letting out deafening screams and howls as she pushed with all her might.

The tears of a baby filled the air as Beatrice finally let out a long sigh of relief.

Beatrice bowed in submission with a wide smile plastered on her face, "Congratulations, ma'am, it's a girl..." The rest of Beatrice words hung in the air as I let go of her hand and her head fell back, crashing hard on the pillow as she drifted into unconsciousness.

"Nurse!" Beatrice screamed in horror as she carefully wrapped the baby and place her in a cot, before dashing out of the ward to get assistance.

An evil smile played on V's face as she carried her baby and walked to the bed where I laid unconscious.

"You'd wish you never cross paths with me," She smirked. Her voice laced with hatred and jealousy.

Peeking at the door to make sure no one was coming, V quickly swapped her baby with I's baby, giving hers a unique mark before placing a gentle kiss on her forehead and waving at her.

A scorn replaced the smile on V's face as she held the baby carelessly. Hatred oozed out of her like a thick cloud of smoke and her face darkened with rage.

"Welcome to hell."

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