I was confused. I don’t understand why my mother was asking me all these questions. As far as I was concerned, there was no point crying over spilt milk. The mistake has been made, the deed has been done, the next thing is to move forward. But I wasn’t in the position to tell my mother that one at this point in time. I had to take in every blame anyone puts on me. Because, in truth, I should not have gone to Bobby’s house in the first place, even though God knows I did not go there for sex. That was not my intention. I liked him, yes, I will admit that. But God knows that sex with him was not on my mind.
“Mummy, there was nothing I could do…I was too ashamed to tell anyone,” I said quietly to her, not sure I knew what she would love to hear from me.
“So, you were too ashamed to tell me, your mother as well? How can you be ashamed to confide in me, your own mother? Would I not have known the next thing to do?” mother was starting to cry again.
“I was confused, I didn’t know things would turn out this way, mummy, please, forgive me…” I pleaded, hoping she would be pacified and stop crying.
“I don’t know why you’re begging me now!” she returned. “You went to a boy’s house, somebody you barely know anything about. And you didn’t even go there with any of your friends. Now, you have gotten yourself raped and pregnant at the same time, the boy and his uncle have both fled to Lagos, and you’re saying I should forgive you? How do you expect me to be happy about this?” She stopped for a moment, looked pitifully at me and shook her head ruefully. “So, you were ashamed to tell me your mother what happened to you, but you were not ashamed to tell Lisa, ehn?”
“No, ma, it was just recently I told her. I had to tell her because I didn’t know what else to do.” I explained to her. I was not sure she listened to me or if I made any sense to her.
“Anyway, just pray the result comes back negative, that you’re no longer pregnant, otherwise, me I will just leave that house for you and your father.” She did not continue the conversation with me. She picked up her bag and said to me: “Will be back in another one hour.” And she left the room.
And silently, patiently, I began to wait for the moment of truth, the moment the doctor would come inside the room with the result…
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!”