It’s already three months gone and mama doesn’t know yet.
Whether it’s a good or bad thing I can’t say.
Grandma would have known already if she was around, I’m glad she isn’t.
Niyi is more confused than I am.
I fell in love with him because of his snappy decision making habits; an outright appeal to me. He hardly ever asks what I want, he just takes the plunge and elicit control. That won my little delicate heart.
Now that we’ve both committed the atrocity, he seems confused. The charisma is gone, the confidence lost.
‘Should we keep it or not?’ He asks me.
‘You’ve always made the decision, I don’t know either’, I reply staring at his confused eyes.
Bags underneath, his eyeballs swollen. An evidence of sleepless nights. Does he regret?
Whether I regret or not I dont know yet. I dont know anything, I just push my troubles down my subconscious. I pretend I’m not heavy with unsureness, I pretend everything is normal.
I go to class everyday with my expressionless face, a good thing I’ve always been an introvert.
My protuberant tummy isn’t so conspicuous yet. My oversize school cardigan is finally becoming useful.
‘Tell your mom’, Oluchi insists, ‘No one beats a pregnant woman’
‘Hey I’m not a woman, I’m just 16’, I want to scream out loud. I dont reply however as I sigh deeply.
I remember vividly when I broke my elbow while jumping Iya Ada’s fence with my little brother. One of those dumb childhood knaveries.
My mom hit me twice first before carrying me on her back to the hospital. How much more a pregnancy!!
My father will definitely disown me I know for sure.
I’ve destroyed his big dream of having a female medical doctor. That which he announces to every guest that comes visiting. “Chima is going to be a medical doctor” he boldly claims.
Well, here’s a pregnant 16 year old to-be medical patient daughter in lieu.
There’s a knock on the shaky wooden door outside. Two taps; it can only be one person. Staring blankly at his handsome face, his hair uncombed – I think he has lost weight. Maybe it’s my mind trying to create an illusion of transformations in him to convince myself he’s peturbed.
“Post Jamb is out”, he tells me. Not even hello, how is our baby.
Okay I agree that’s over-the-hill. We are not married and it’s just a foetus.
‘Hmmmph’, I replied.
‘I’ve checked your result and mine too. You had…’
Typical Niyi, he already checked mine. Oluchi found it arrogant, to me appealing and mature.
He pulls out his jotter to read it out.
I immediately knew what to expect.
The blue and white pocket jotter was one of my attractions to him. He planned his day and future in that little book. It was a contradistinction to my spur-of-the-moment and extemporaneous personality.
‘What did you have’, I ask instead.
He’s the headboy, he would definitely pass.
“I don’t know what happened Chima, I honestly don’t know”
He drops heavily beside me, his shoulders bent, his heads bowed low in his large hands. Those hands that…
“I’m really sorry Niyi. I feel so bad for you.”
I place my hands round his shoulders trying to comfort him.
“How can you pass me Chima. You of all people, you’re not even that smart. 83 to 55. Is this a joke? A pregnant girl with no future”
The stone of words hit me like hot rocks. My hands fell and my mouth stayed open in shock.
The first line of Niyi Osundare’s poem “Pregnant words” comes to mind-
Some words burn the lips
Like forbidden fruits
With his face turned white, his lips quivering in shame struggling to take back his words, I finally realized what I had always been blind to. I could see everything Oluchi saw and I never did. The shade covering my eyes fell off and I saw through the facade.