I was restless as I lay on the bed. My mind was darting back and forth. What would I do if the results come back that I was still pregnant? After all, I have been put through to get rid of the pregnancy? Where would I go to? What will happen to my education, my future? How would I walk around the neighbourhood without feeling enveloped in shame?
I must’ve fallen asleep at some point. I had a dream in which I saw that the doctor brought the result and it showed I was no longer pregnant. And I was excited. My mother was hugely relieved and she went on her knees thanking God. My father stood in a corner of the room, unmoved by the result, but with a look on his face that clearly said, “God saved you today!’
It was all so emotional for me that I broke down in tears. I couldn’t hold back my emotions anymore. It was such a relief to see that I had been finally been rid of the burden Bobby and his wicked uncle dumped on my neck. I was still in that feeling that momentary state of relief when I was jolted awake by a tap on my shoulder. It was my father.
“Where is she your mother?” he asked, his voice cold and unloving. He didn’t even ask how I was feeling. It was so heartbreaking for me to see my father, who loved and cared for me with every vein in his body, turn so cold and hostile towards me. It was as though he hated the very sight of me. It didn’t matter to him that this was a terrible thing that happened and that I deserved some love and empathy at this time.
“She left, sir,” I answered. ‘She said she was going somewhere and would be back soon.
“She didn’t say where she was going?” he asked.
I shook my head. “No, sir.”
“And the doctor, has he told you the result?”
Again, I shook my head. “No, sir, he hasn’t.” He began to pace up and down the room. I decided to try and apologise to him and beg for his forgiveness.
“Daddy, please, I’m sorry for everything, please, forgive me….” I pleaded, tears coursing down my face.
But the man wasn’t moved. “Listen, young lady, I am not ready for your apologies right now, lets just wait first for what the result has to say, that’s when you and I can really have a discussion about this matter. That is when you will know whether I will listen to your apology or not.”
He was barely done speaking when the door flung open and the doctor emerged with a paper in his hand. Following closely behind him was my mother!
My heart leapt with fear. For a moment, it was as though my heart had stopped breathing. I couldn’t tell why, but I just had a sinking feeling that this was not going to end well. I looked at the doctor’s face to see if I could read the report of the test from the look on his face, but the man, like most other professional doctors too, appeared to have mastered perfectly the art of masking his thoughts and feelings from his patients. His face was blank, there was no hint of what was in the document in his hand on his face. I could not tell at all if the result was what I wanted to hear or not.
“Hello, Doctor, I was just thinking about coming over to see you now, is the result ready?” my father asked. He was not even paying me any attention. It seemed to me the man had lost every form of affection that he had for me.
“Yes, Doctor, please, tell us, is our daughter still pregnant or not?” my mother also asked to know. She was visibly worried for me. Unlike father, I could see she was praying inside, hoping that everything will turn out well for my sake, and for hers too.
“Yes, sir, the result is ready, but I…..” his voice trailed off. He was staring into space, looking at no one in particular.
“But, what, doctor? What is the problem?” father threw at him. He was starting to get impatient. “Whatever it is, talk to me, am her father.”
“Doctor, is there a problem? You don’t have to hide anything away from us, please…” mother pleaded.
The prolonged silence of the doctor only added to the swelling inside me. I was starting to feel tiny drops of sweat form on top of my head and my entire body started to tremble inside.
“Well, the thing is, the result here isn’t quite what we were hoping for, sir.” And the doctor paused for a moment, took a good look at me as I stared at him with trepidation, then he continued as he dropped the bombshell: “The bleeding didn’t terminate the pregnancy, your daughter is still pregnant!”
It was my mother that screamed out first. Her loud cry reverberated through the four walls of the room. Father was speechless. He merely stood rooted to the spot where he was, unmoved, only his head lifted up as he stared into space. For me, I was too numb to speak or do anything. The only part of me that moved was my heartbeat. It was beating heavily against my chest. I couldn’t believe that all of the troubles I went through just to get the pregnancy flushed out of my system had come to nothing. It was as though the earth should just open up and swallow me, It was like the very end had come for me, I was in deep, deep trouble!
“Doctor, are you…are you sure about this?” I asked him, my voice trembling as I spoke.
“Why are you asking him that question? Are you going to teach him his job?” my father yelled at me. He was livid.
“I am very sure, Rosemary, this is the result in my hand,” the doctor said to me.
My mother sat down on one of the plastic chairs and began to sob. “Oh, my God, why me?” she began to lament uncontrollably.
“Listen, woman, this is neither the time nor the place for you to start crying, when you get home, you and your daughter can start that one.” He turned to the doctor. “So, doctor, what do we do now?”
“It is a straightforward thing, sir,” the doctor explained. “It is either we abort the pregnancy or you allow the pregnancy run its full course…”
“Meaning she will have the baby?”
“Yes, sir,” the doctor nodded.
“A bastard? The product of a rapist? In my own house? That is not possible!” my father spat.
“So, what are we going to do, daddy Rosemary?” mother asked.
“You’re still asking me what we are going to do?” father shot back at her. “Abort it, of course!”
“Yeeeeehhh! No!”, mother screamed, her entire frame trembling. “My daughter will not do abortion o! Do you want her to die?” she continued.
“Okay, no problem, but let me warn both of you, it is not in my house that she will stay and give birth to that thing inside her womb!”
He did not stay a moment longer, he turned and left the room, slamming the door angrily behind him.