A Story Written By Aartial D
I started noticing sever back ache come weeks later. I was always weak and dizzy and food lost taste in my mouth. I could no longer enter the kitchen because the smell of food was enof to make me dizzy.
Even coke which had been my favourite drink now had a metallic taste in my mouth.
I hated drugs so i hid my sickness from aunt Chime because she was going to drag me to the village clinic for them to administer drugs on me.
School was resuming in few weeks time but i didnt look forward to it.
Oma had returned to the village and she visited me almost everyday. She told me i was getting fat nowadays and what was the secret. I simply laughed it off and said it was because i rarely left the house nowadays and slept alot.
I lost taste for s-x and whenever Ralph called me, i always had one excuse to say. Ifeanyi never went beyond kissing with me. He understood me and claimed i needed time to heal. He was the best boyfriend that could ever be, he was caring, romantic, nice, and he wasnt stinging. He always siezed opportunity to shower me with gifts, some of which i rejected because i didnt want aunt Chime to suspect anything.
I checked my calendar. Today was 25th, it was due for 14th, why had Aunty flow not visited yet?
My heart pounded loudly against my chest.
I immediately fell on the bed, picked up my phone, turned on my mobile data and hit the internet.
SYMPTOMS OF PREGNANCY – I typed into the search box. My heart pounded loudly as it connected.
‘good evening nurse Amaka…’ i greeted the old nurse seated behing the counter, her glasses on her nose as she read a newspaper.
She looked up at my, her brow creased in a frown, obviously, she was trying to recognise me.
‘Maduemezie okwaya?’ she asked in Igbo.
‘yes ma’ i replied as my heart pounded loudly against my chest..i had hoped she hadnt recognised me. But she did.
‘gi bu afa yi sef?’ she asked meaning – what is your name?
‘i…i…’ I decided to lie ‘Mary’
‘asi!’ she said immediately shocking me. Asi meant lie.
‘okwi i che umara afa yi okwaya?’ Meaning, so you thought i didnt know your name right?
‘afam bu Mary’
‘ta mechionu, onye asi…’ she said smiling ‘afa gi bu Ivyy, so because i’m old, you think i forget people that easily okwaya?’
I smiled ‘my name is also Mary, my baptismal name’
‘ooo, anukwam (i’ve heard) Gini ki cho?’ What do you want?
‘erm, i…’ God help me, how do i tell her this without this inquisitive nurse asking me questions i wouldnt want to answer?
‘erm, i’ve forgotten what my neighbour called it oo…erm, okay..she said pregnancy strip!’ I exclaimed, glad the idea came into my head immediately.
She regarded me suspicously ‘children of nowadays, hian! Mere looking at you alone, i know you’re pregnant. So you want to fool me into believing its for your neighbour okwaya? When last did you see your period?’
I was shocked to the marrow, how did she know? I looked at my body, was it written all over me?
She chuckled as she rose on her feet ‘it seems you’ve forgotten that i’m a old woman with so many grandchildren and as such, i have more experience than you can ever imagine, mu amugo nwa oo (i’ve given birth oo). I know a pregnant woman immediately she crosses my face and immediately you came here, i knew you were carrying a child, that was why i was interviewing you..see your life…i’ll advice you not to bother buying a pregnant strip, because i’m already telling you that you are pregnant’ Her face wrinkled in disgust as tears ran down my cheeks ‘there’s no use crying over spilled milk. Shebi you wanted to taste what your mother was eating every night? Shebi you’ve tasted it…e sweet?’ She laughed wickedly.
‘your parents…oh! Your parents are already dead, too bad! But they will be turning in their graves by now…its a pity. I just hope the man marries you sha, so your life wont be a mess like your moms’
I broke down in tears. Who was this woman to judge me? What right had she to judge me? I thought as i cried.
Ralph has killed me! Ralph has ruined my future! My education…my career! God!
I fell on the floor of the pharmacy weeping like a baby.
I had always wanted to be an Accountant…a chartered Accountant. But all that had gone down the drains.
The heartless woman didnt even deem it fit to console me, instead she laughed.
‘shebi penis dey hungry you? Shebi you don taste am? Amu na su so, Amu ne gbu!’ (The penis is sweet, the penis also kills).
How i managed to get home that night surprised even me.
Immediately i got home, i locked the door behind me and cried my eyes out till i slept.
A knock on the door woke me up. I opened it to see Aunt Chime.
She regarded me for a while, held my hand and dragged me to the sitting room.
I was scared, what was happening?
She landed a hot slap on my cheeks immediately we got there.
‘tell me the ba.stard who’s responsible!’ She said angrily.
I started crying. She had found out ‘aunt, what happened?’
‘who’s the fool who got you pregnant, you animal!’
‘aunty….’ i started crying. I had brought shame to myself. What do i tell her? God please forgive me my sins, but please help me outta this mess. I felt like dying.
She gave me another slap ‘it seems you are trying me Ivyy, im tizie ife tata, e go wete oweyi (if i beat you this nite’ She brought a horsewhip from under the table and landed it severally on my body.
‘tell me…tell me’
I screamed as the whip touched me everywhere. I was dying slowly and only God could help me.
‘will you tell me or not?’ aunt Chime asked landing the whip mercilessly on my body.
I’d never been flogged like this before. I couldnt take it anymore.
‘IFEANYI!!!!!’ I screamed.
I stilled. What did i just say?