At this point, the door opened and Aunty Lisa appeared, looking very apprehensive. “My dear, how are you? How are you feeling?” she was asking as she raced towards me. “I just heard in the house not long ago that you were rushed to the hospital, what happened? How are you feeling?”
My father and the doctor gave way for Aunty Lisa to join me by the bed. She turned to my mother. “Mummy Rosemary, what happened?”
“I just found her soaked in blood in bed this morning. It was gushing out of her womanhood like tap water,” she narrated to Aunty Lisa.
“Oh, my God!” Aunty Lisa exclaimed, looking really frightened. She bent over, wrapped her arms around me and like the doctor, she too whispered into my ears: ”Hope you have not told them I gave you the drugs?” And I replied: “Huhn, Huhn.”
“Sorry, dear, don’t worry, you will be fine, okay?” she consoled me. But my eyes were gazing into hers for answers. For direction. What happened with the drugs she gave me? Was it supposed to make me lose so much blood in the process? Now that my parents have gotten to know what I’ve been hiding from them all this time, how do I wriggle out of this now?
“Mummy Rosemary, please, you have to take it easy with her, she has been through a lot,” Aunty Lisa turned to my mum. She and my dad seldom talked. My dad let her know that he didn’t like the fact that she was living a single life and as such didn’t want me to hang around her.
“What do you mean by she has been through a lot? What do you know about my daughter’s condition that we do not know?” my father snapped at her.
“Ah! Rose, you have not told your parents anything?” she turned to me. I shook my head slowly on the bed, a fresh bout of tears running down my face.
“What is it, Lisa? What is going on, please talk to us!” mother was almost in tears.
“Mummy Rosemary, your daughter came to meet me yesterday and told me something happened to her weeks ago. And that is what resulted in the pregnancy in her womb,” she started to explain. My heart was trembling heavily as I listened to her. It was as though the entire world was about to fall on my shoulder.
“Lisa, what exactly happened to my daughter? Stop going round and round and speak to me!” Dad was almost snapping at her.
“Sir, your daughter was raped! She was raped by a male friend who wanted to have sex with her at all cost!” she dropped the bombshell.
“My daughter, raped? By a male friend or a boyfriend? So, Rosemary, you have a boyfriend?” father turned to me. I quivered in bed.
“No, sir. He is not her boyfriend,” Aunty Lisa came to my rescue. “According to Lisa, he is just a guy she knew in church. She was passing in front of his house weeks ago and he invited her to come inside to know where he lives and then began to pressure her for sex. It was when she refused to have any sexual intimacy with him that he now drugged the soft drink he bought for her and took advantage of her. And that is what has resulted in the pregnancy!”
“My God! Who has done this to me? Who wants to put me to shame?” mother cried out, pacing up and down the room.
“So, Rosemary, who is this boy raped you? Where does he live? Where can I find him?” my father turned to me. I couldn’t speak. All I could do was cry even more.
“Will you shut your mouth and talk to me? Where can I find him?” father yelled at me.
“He…he… ran away, sir…” I stuttered.
“Ran away? To where?” mother asked me.
It was like the earth stood still for a moment. If you dropped a pin in that room, the sound of it would be heard loud and clear. My dad just stood motionlessly, watching me with my mouth hanging open. For my mother, she was so stunned she had to take a sit on the empty chair behind her. Then, suddenly, mother’s loud cry broke the silence.
“Yeeeeeeh! Rosemary has killed me o! The boy ran away to where?” the poor woman cried. She started stamping her feet on the floor in pure agony.
“Madam, please, you have to remember this is a hospital, we have other patients here who will be disturbed by the noise you’re making,” the doctor said calmly to mother. She tried to keep her voice low but it still was not low enough. “You this girl, where do you want me to hide my shame? Where? Eeeeeh, you want to make me a laughing stock in this town, abi?”
Aunty Lisa tried to comfort her but she was inconsolable, she just broke into tears as though a major tragedy had occurred.
Father had been quiet all the while, he just gazed into space as mother displayed her drama. He was not moved by any of that.
“Woman, please, keep quiet. This is not the place to start all these dramas. When we get home, you will have all the time in the world to do that.” He turned to me. “Young lady, this boy that raped you and then ran away to Lagos, doesn’t he have parents? Didn’t you see them when you left your own parents house and when to his parent’s house to get raped?”
I was not sure what to say. I just kept sobbing and looking away from him. “Are you deaf? Didn’t you hear me?” my father shook the entire room when he shouted at me. He was literally quivering with anger. If he had been able to get his hands on me at that very moment, my story could’ve been different. My father may have been in jail for manslaughter.
“Take it easy, sir, please, don’t make me have no other choice but to ask you to leave her for now,” the doctor said to father. “You are making a whole lot of noise and its not allowed in any hospital.”
“Then tell this girl to answer my question before I strangle her here and now,” father returned, the anger in his eyes frightening me silly.
“No, sir, I didn’t see his parents. He didn’t live with his parents, he lived with his uncle,” I found the voice to explain myself.
“And where is the uncle?” father countered.
“He also left for Lagos. He was transferred there.”
The man shook his head. It was his own way of saying to me: ”Don’t worry, enjoy your stay here while you can, but you’re dead meat when we get home.”
“Okay, so his uncle too was transferred to Lagos immediately the boy living with him ran away to Lagos, right?” he said to me.
Then, he turned to the doctor: “So, doctor, what exactly is the situation now, is she still pregnant or she has lost the pregnancy altogether?”