My heart began to beat wildly against my chest. I couldn’t explain it, but I had a sinking feeling something terrible had happened but I couldn’t quite tell exactly what it was. I looked around the sitting room again, every single item in the room had been moved. I was scared. I was confused. What is going on? Why is this place empty? Where has Bobby’s uncle gone to? How are we supposed to go see the doctor if his apartment is empty and I can’t find him anywhere? There were so many questions in my head begging for answers. And with hands that trembled heavily, I reached for the letter and held it in my hands. Written boldly on it in capital letters was the inscription: FOR ROSEMARY ONLY
The letter read: “Dear, Rosemary, I am sure you must be in a state of shock right now. The fact that you met my apartment completely empty must’ve confounded you. You’re probably thinking this must be one terrible dream. Wake up, girl, its not a dream, this is for real. As you read this letter, I am far gone on my trip to Lagos. Yes, I have packed my things and relocated to Lagos because I have been transferred by my employers and will be based in Lagos permanently henceforth!
So, you think you’re smart, right? You think you could just go about sleeping with boys and then come back to pin it on my nephew? I know Bobby very well. He couldn’t have raped you. He couldn’t possibly rape any girl. He’s a bright, decent, responsible young man who can get any girl he likes on his own without resorting to raping her. For you to have accused him of raping you is not only wrong but shameful as well. And then, to add insult upon injury, you want him to take responsibility for a pregnancy he knows nothing about, when even you know deep in your heart that even if indeed he slept with you, he may not be responsible for the pregnancy. Yet, you wanted to pin it on the poor boy. That’s wickedness.
I know your type. You appear innocent on the outside yet you are extremely loose and wayward. That’s why I decided to also take advantage of you, just as you wanted to take advantage of Bobby. I lied about everything. I lied about knowing a doctor that I could pay to perform the D&C and take out the pregnancy. I lied that I wanted to take care of you, I lied that after the D&C had been done, I will always be there for you. Its all lies, my dear Rosemary, you’re on your own.
I suggest you go and find a way to get rid of that pregnancy yourself before your parents find out what you have been doing behind their back. How naive of you to think I would give you my hard earned money to pay for the evacuation of a pregnancy I know nothing about! Go and meet the rightful owner of the pregnancy and get him to evacuate it for you. You are on your own now. Take good care of yourself, Rosemary, you are a very sweet girl, but there is nothing I can do to help you right now. Bye for now……”
By the time I was done reading the letter, both of my hands were trembling. I could not keep them steady. My legs were failing under me, shaking terribly, unable to carry my body weight. I started to sweat profusely, every pore on my body was oozing water. I was feeling hot inside, it was as though my entire body was on fire. I looked around the room again and pinched myself to be sure I wasn’t dreaming. And when it dawned on me that this was no dream but stark reality, I let out a loud scream before I fainted, falling flat on the bare floor with a loud thud…..
“Wake up! Open your eyes! Wake up!’ I was hearing voices that appeared to be coming from somewhere inside my head. They were unfamiliar voices, but I could hear what they were saying so distinctly.
“Wake up, young lady! Open your eyes!” one of the voices said. I tried to open my eyes but just couldn’t. They seemed too heavy for me to open. My eyes had never been so heavy for me like they were at that moment.
“Aunty, is she dead?” I heard the other voice say. “I don’t know,” the other voice answered. Then, I felt a hand placed on my chest. “I don’t think so. She is obviously still breathing.”
Am I dead? Could I possibly be dead, truly? I was asking myself, thinking if the lady was wrong, and that I was well and truly dead. Then, again, I heard their voices: “Wake up, young lady, wake up! Maybe we should take her to the hospital.”
‘Hospital?’ I was thinking in my head. ‘No, I shouldn’t be taken be to the hospital, they will find out I’m pregnant and tell my parents! No! Don’t take me to the hospital! No! No!’
“No! Nooooooo!!” I screamed out as I opened my eyes and struggled to get on my feet. But I felt some hands holding me back, asking me to calm down.
“Take it easy, young lady, take it easy,” one of them said to me. “Thank God you’re awake now.”
I opened my eyes fully and saw the faces of the two people standing over me. They were two ladies, one was older and the other much younger. I seemed to recognize the older lady. Her face was familiar. Yes, I had seen her the last time I came to the house. She lived in the apartment beside Bobby’s uncle. I had greeted her on my way out of the compound last time I came.
“Are you okay? Are you alright? What happened to you? Why did you scream and then faint?” she was asking me so many questions. I didn’t even know how to begin to tell her what happened to me. She looked to be just about the age of my mother, someone like her would insist she would follow me home to tell my mum what had befallen me.
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….