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.
For a moment, Aunty Lisa was just staring at me. Her mouth opened, her jaw dropped. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It couldn’t be true. Me, one of the most decent and adored girls in the neighbourhood, pregnant? She was speechless.
“Rose baby, what…what did you just say?” She finally found the voice to speak.
“I’m pregnant, Aunty Lisa, please, help me…”I begged her as I started to cry my eyes out again.
“You? Pregnant? But how?” she asked, looking me up from my head down to my toes as though she could get confirmation of my pregnancy from some part of my body. “But I never saw you with a boy, how come you of all people are pregnant?” she’d wondered aloud.
“I was raped, Aunty Lisa.” I told her as I wiped tears away from my eyes.
“Raped? By who?” she asked, totally shocked.
“By a…..a friend,” I replied quietly, unsure how I would narrate my story to her and she’ll believe me.
“Your boyfriend, right?” she asked me.
“No, Aunty, he wasn’t my boyfriend. He was just a friend. I went to his house the first time and he drugged me and raped me after I refused to let him have sex with me.” And, from the very beginning, I told her everything that happened without leaving out what Bobby’s uncle did to me as well. By the time I was shocked, she was in absolute shock.
“Oh, my God, you this small girl, you have been through a lot o,” she sympathized with me. ‘And you couldn’t tell anybody what you’re going through?”
“I couldn’t tell anybody, Aunty Lisa, who would believe me? You are the only one I could turn to that I know will not judge me because you’re still a young lady yourself.”
“So, the uncle of the boy too raped you and then moved to Lagos?” she asked aloud, not that she needed any response.
“Yes, Aunty,” I nodded, sobbing heavily. “My parents will kill me, Aunty, if they find out I’m pregnant, please, help me, I beg you,” I reached for her hands and held them tightly in mine.
The lady was pensive for a while. I couldn’t tell what was going on in her mind but I hoped she was searching for a solution to my problem.
“Okay, I think I know what to do,” she finally said. “How old is the pregnancy now?”
“It’s almost two months old,” I replied, hopeful she had found a way out for me.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, Aunty, the doctor told me so,”
“Okay, fine. No problem,” she returned, her eyes suddenly coming to life. “You will give me a few minutes, I need to get to the chemist down the road, I will be back shortly with the drug that will finally get you out of this mess!”