Mother gave it a deep thought. She knew she had to tread softly so she does not incur father’s wrath more than she’s already done. “Look, daddy Rosemary, I am not claiming I have more right over Rosemary than you do, after all, you’re her father, you reserve the right to take the final decision on any issue concerning her…”
“So, why then are you not accepting my decision concerning her pregnancy? Why do you insist she must keep a child she got out of a rape situation? Why do you want her to be nursing a child when her mates will be in the university?” father asked her for the umpteenth time.
“Because it is wrong before God!” she answered. “God will punish us and her as well if we get her to abort the pregnancy, please, my husband, don’t do this please….”
Father was not interested in hearing her pleas. “Woman, do not get me annoyed, I have taken my decision and that is final! I am going to return early from work tomorrow, when I come back, we leave for the hospital. God forbid, no child of mine will bring forth a bastard, the product of a rapist, inside my house!”
Mother was trying to say something but father had switched off, listening to the news he was watching before mother interrupted him. She reached for his hand gently to get his attention, but he angrily yanked his handoff.
“Don’t make me angry, woman!” he barked at her. “Don’t make me hit you, you know I have never done that before! Your daughter that was careless enough to have gotten herself into a situation where she was raped, you have not even scolded her, instead, you are eager to become a grandmother, the grandmother of a bastard, right? Is that what you want? If that’s what you want, no problem, but that’s not what I want and I am her father, and my decision is she must abort the pregnancy and that’s final!”
Undeterred, mother still tried to hold onto him but he got angrily to his feet and stormed out of the room.
Mother fell to the floor and started wailing. “You this girl, you see what you have caused? You see the shame you’re putting me through? Your father has never been this harsh to me before…see how he brushed me aside and walked away….”
I moved closer to her and helped her on her feet. “I am sorry, mother, please, forgive me…” Then, I summoned up the courage to barer my mind to her. I have always been afraid of my mother much more than I am of my father. Father has always been the calmer and gentler one. He rarely touched me. But mother was the disciplinarian. She was the one that could beat the living daylight out of you if you got her really pissed off.
“But mummy, you have not even asked me what I think we should do about the situation…at least, I am the one that is most affected.”
“Ehen, okay, tell me o, what do you think we should do?” she asked as she wiped the tears off her eyes.
“I think that father is right, there is no point keeping this pregnancy, we should just…..”She did not let me complete the sentence, a blinding slap struck me hard on the face….
For several seconds, I could not see clearly. My entire vision was a blur. It was a stinging slap, one that was meant to leave me partially blind for minutes.
“Stupid girl!” mother ranted. Her voice was laced with venom. “Look at the person I am trying to save from a possible tragedy, opening her mouth to say trash!”
I was lost. I didn’t understand what she was blabbing about.
“Don’t you know you could lose your life while trying to abort that pregnancy? Don’t you know you could die?” she fired at me. I looked away from her. I wanted to tell her the pregnancy was not in any way near a delicate situation but decided to keep shut. That singular response might attract another stinging slap.
“Or you could even lose your womb in the process and end up not able to bear another child,” she’d continued. “Or, tell me, is that what you want?”
“If you were such a sensible child like I thought you were, you would not have gotten into this trouble in the first place. Why would you go visit a boy you barely knew his family? And you couldn’t even go with one of your friends? Now, see what your stupidity has caused you, can you see?”
I have never stopped regretting that part, the fact that I visited Bobby all alone without the company of my friends. But what’s done is done, we cannot undo the past, can we?
“Mother, I have begged for your forgiveness several times and I know it’s going to be hard for you to find it in your heart to forgive me. I did not plan for any of this to happen, I was just unfortunate….” When I found she was quiet, not saying anything, I decided it might not be a bad idea to push a bit of defence for myself. “But mother, let us look at it carefully, what about my education, is this where it ends? Will I spend the next coming years of my life taking care of a child when I should be in school with my mates?”
She shrugged. I could see I made a whole lot of sense to her, but still….”I know how you feel, Rosemary, but still, I am not ready to lose you because of some education that you can still go back to school to acquire anytime you’re ready to go back to school.”
She gave a heavy sigh and then continued. “What I need to think of now is how to stop your father from taking you to the doctor to abort the pregnancy. I must think of something fast!”