Who Comes First? by Mary-anne Scott

“My pager’s beeped.”
“No! Not today.” Anika turned to face him, the toddler’s fat ankles caught in her left hand. “Pass the wipes?” The room was airless, her body too heavy for kneeling, and the baby inside her kicked in protest. “Can’t someone else?”
“I’ve checked; they need negotiators.”
“Please, not you. The baby’s low — I’m scared it’ll be today.”
“I have to; they need me.”
She finished the nappy change and stood her son on his feet. “What is it?”
“A guy threatening to harm his child.” Her husband juggled his keys. “Could your Mum help?”
“Yes.” Anika touched his arm. “My family’s here, you go and help. Be safe.”

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