UNDER THE SKIN, a political drama by Nick Hahn

24fb76e6-5d62-44ec-96bb-b351047b8df2“Do you want to be there, Simon?”
“Where?”
“In the operating room during delivery.”
“I’m not very good with blood, Max. Do I have to be there? Doubt that I could add value to the occasion.”

“You’re too funny, Simon. This is not a business deal. This is the birth of your first child. You added value that night in Cleveland three weeks before our wedding. You do remember, don’t you?”

Simon grinned. He took my hands and assured me he’d be there. He was certain the doctor couldn’t do it without him.

Margaret Katherine Kincaid entered this world at 11:00 am Friday, January 15, 1978, at Lenox Hill Hospital on East 77th Street. From the moment she was born, Maggie would have the proper address.

The Cesarean was flawless, with Simon the perfect spectator. He kept his mouth shut for once, and stared in awed silence. He had wanted a boy, of course, but his disappointment was mitigated by the magic of the moment. He coughed nervously, rubbed his eyes, and smiled. “Congratulations, Max,” he whispered, “she’s beautiful, just like her Mother.”

Ten days later at 2:46 am, another child entered the world. She was born on a straw mat in a mud hut near the Ugandan/Sudanese border in East Africa. Her father, Erastus Kibugu, was also disappointed. He, too, wanted a boy.  After seeing her in the midwife’s arms, he smiled and named her Nabulungi. It means ‘beautiful’ in Swahili.

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