I sat up properly and rested my back against the wall behind me. Then, the tears, hard as I fought to hold them back, started to run slowly down my face. The reality of what happened had just hit me. This was not a dream, Bobby’s uncle had actually used me, dumped and disappeared to Lagos. How on earth am I going to end this nightmare? And the tears started flooding down my face in torrents.
“Look, stop crying and tell me what the problem is,” the older woman urged me. “I heard you scream so I ran out of the house and met you here on the floor. What are you doing here in Uncle Kay’s apartment all by yourself?”
Didn’t they know already? Didn’t they read the letter Bobby’s uncle left behind for me? I looked around and saw the letter lying a few yards away from me. They obviously didn’t read the letter. They didn’t know the piece of paper lying a few feet away from them was the cause of my problem.
“I…I…I gave him some money…he didn’t tell me he was leaving…” I said the very first thing that came to my head.
“You mean you gave Uncle Kay some money and he left with your money?”
I nodded slowly, wiping tears from my eyes.
“What was the money meant for?” the lady inquired further. I knew she would not let the matter rest.
“It was for… it was for… he wanted to help with my admission into the university. He said he knew someone who could help me..”I didn’t know if I was making any sense but I knew I had to say something.
“That’s strange, so unlike him,” the woman said. I rose to my feet. I reached for the letter the bastard left for me and gathered myself together.
“So, what are you going to do now?” she asked.
“I’m going home to tell my parents what happened.
“Do you need me or somebody to accompany you home?” she offered.
“No, ma, thank you, I can manage,” I returned. She helped me straighten my dress and dusted my back.
”Thank you, ma.” I turned to the younger lady and gave her a nod of thank you as well. And then stepped out of the house and began the long and tortuous journey home. I had no idea what to do next Maybe it was better to simply go home, confess to my parents what I’d gotten into or look for a poisonous substance to drink and kill myself….
By the time I got home, mother was not home. I wondered where she was then I remembered she said she was going to see her friend whose underage daughter just gave birth to a child that’s yet to have a father. The girl had obviously been sleeping around with multiple boyfriends and didn’t know which one of them had gotten her pregnant.
“You girls nowadays,” mama had said first time she went to see the young mother and her child. “Instead of you to be patient, finish your education, go to university and after you look for a man that you can settle down with, you won’t do that, you will be in a hurry to start eating the thing that you will eat and eat and eat till you start fighting your husband that you don’t want again. You will now get pregnant and put yourself and family to shame. See mama Vero now, she has been crying ever since the girl put to bed. Who is the father of the child, the stupid girl doesn’t know. She is lucky she doesn’t have a father like your dad, she would’ve been experiencing hell on earth by now.”
I cringed at the mention of my dad and the thought of what he could do to me if he ever found out I was pregnant, raped or not. He would skin me alive. My father worked hard just to ensure my little brother and I got good education. To hear somebody got me pregnant would shatter him and there’s no telling what could happen to me if he unleashed his anger on me. I became very desperate. What should I do? Confess to mother what had happened to me or simply kill myself? I thought of going back to the doctor who said he could do the D&C for me if only I could sleep with him. But I remembered what Bobby’s uncle just did to me, what if he too did the same thing again? And besides, this man knew my parents, he looked to me the kind of man who could forever blackmail me by threatening to tell my parents if I stopped giving him free sex. I was utterly confused. Then, I remembered Aunty Lisa. She is our neighbor. She is a single lady. My parents, especially my mother didn’t like me associating with her because she was considered loose and she had no particular man she was engaged to, she was seen frolicking with different kind of men. But I like her because she is beautiful, smart and knows how to dress well. If anyone could help me out of the problem I’d gotten myself into, it was definitely Aunty Lisa.
Quickly, I raced to her apartment and knocked frantically on her door. There was no answer. Again, I knocked and there was no answer. I was about to turn away in disappointment when I heard the door knob turn and the opened. Aunty Lisa peered through the door. She was surprised to see I was the one at the door.
“Rose baby, are you the one that knocked on my door?” she asked. Rose baby was the pet name she called me from when I was still in the primary school.
“Yes, Aunty Lisa, I’m the one,” I answered, looking away from her.
“Are you alright? Is everything okay?” she was puzzled.
“Yes, Aunty, I mean, no…I want to see you.”
My response obviously puzzled her the more. She took one look at me and said, “Okay, just give me a few minutes, I will join you now.”
She locked her door again and I waited outside. Few minutes later, she finally came out, but with a man in tow. He was the reason why she couldn’t let me into her room or come outside to attend to me. When the man left, she came back to meet and held me by the hand.
“Rose baby, what’s the problem, you don’t look good,” she sounded genuinely worried about me.
I opened my mouth but struggled to get the words out of my mouth. No word came forth, only tears. They began to cascade slowly down my face.
“Come on, Rose baby, you’re crying, talk to me, what’s the problem?”
“Aunty, please, help me, I need your help…” I started to sob.
“Go on, I am listening, “she urged me, unsure what the matter was.
“Aunty Lisa, I am…I am…am pregnant..I need your help!” I spilled it out.