Just like I expected, mother was already pacing in and out of the compound, awaiting my return. I only told her I wanted to see a friend and that I would only be a few minutes gone. But now, I was gone for hours and we had things we needed to do in the house.
“Rosemary, where are you coming from? Why did you take so long? You only said you will be gone for a few minutes!” mother was firing question after question at me.
“I’m sorry, mama, I didn’t know I will stay that long, we were discussing about our exams and other things,” I tried to come up with something.
“But you know we have things to do in the house, don’t you” she’d thrown at me. “We have cleaning to do, we have to cook, and you’re standing there telling you didn’t know you will stay long. Did your friend tie down your legs to her house?”
“I’m sorry, mama……” I pleaded. But she wasn’t even listening to my plea, instead, she was running her eyes all over me, gazing deep into my eyes. Then, she slowly began to run her gaze down from my head to my toes. Something was wrong. I felt a severe turning deep inside my tummy. Mother had evidently seen something.
“Rosemary, come here,” she said to me, the tone of my voice changing completely. I took two slowly steps towards her.
“Ah, mama, I said I’m sorry now, let’s go and start doing the work we want to do,” I tried to placate her.
“Its not about work, you look pale, are you still feeling sick?” she asked me.
“Me, sick? Of course not, mama, I’m perfectly okay,” I’d quickly thrown back.
“Are you sure?” she asked again as she ran her hand over my face, pulling my eyelids apart looking for God-knows-what.
I’m fine, mama, it’s just stress, nothing more,” I assured her, trying to force a smile.
“Stress? Which stress are you talking about?” she’d thrown back at me. “Are you your father that goes out very early every morning to look for what we will eat?”
“No, mama, but…”
“So, what are you now talking about?” I kept quiet. She was right. I shouldn’t be talking about stress at my age. But if only she knew what her precious little girl was going through, she would scream to high heavens.
“I don’t know why I keep thinking there’s something going on with you, something you’re not telling me, but I just don’t know what it is,” she said, still staring intently at me. “Are you sure you’re okay, Rosemary?”
I smiled nervously. “Of course, I’m okay, mama, there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m fine, mama, believe,” I said to her.
She looked at me for a stretch of seconds. “So, there’s nothing going on that I should know about?”
“No, mama, here’s no problem with me at all,” I assured her again.
“Okay, if you say so.” And finally, she dropped the subject as I heaved a huge sigh of relief. But I also knew it was only a matter of time that what I’m hiding will be out in the open. I had to do something fast about my condition.
It was difficult trying to act normal around my mum. She knew me inside out and could tell if there was something wrong with me. The days flew past and the D-day was here to go see Bobby’s uncle who will take me to the doctor. I got to his place and the first thing I noticed was that the door was not locked. That door was always shut. Slowly, I knocked on the door and pushed it open at the same time. That was when I realized the entire room was empty. Everything inside had been packed away. My heart started beating hard against my chest. My head had grown heavy and there was a heavy pounding going on right in the middle of it. What’s going on here, I’d wondered. Then I saw a paper lying on an old stool in a corner of the room. A note was written on it. I took a closer look and found the note was addressed to me by Bobby’s uncle!
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…..