Can I Please Kill You?
The table felt cold against her back. This was normal, seeing that it was of stainless steel. She was scared; shivering fiercely in reaction to the subzero temperature of the theatre and the fear that seemed to increase in her veins with every breath she took. I have to do this; I have to! she kept muttering under her breath. She had convinced herself of the necessity of the act, so she couldn’t help but wonder why her chest hurt so much.
Looking around her at the cold grey walls, she wondered how many people had come here before her…how many young, innocent girls had- and then she had to pause, because she could not call herself innocent anymore. Not after all those acts with Paul.
Paul. She stopped herself from shuddering as she thought about last week…the last time she had spoken with him before now. He had been drinking, and his eyes were glazed over. Those same eyes that used to give her shivers up and down her spine…those same eyes that looked like two orbs of fire when he was hovering over her…whispering her name in passion…she covered her eyes as she felt a flush of…she shouldn’t be feeling this way! Paul was a player; he had laughed at her and waved away her fears whenever she spoke about them. He had made her fears insignificant and groundless. And now…he had shown her just how unserious and shallow he was. May he be…and here she bit her lip. She could go on and blame Paul for this; but her more honest side prevailed. She was as guilty as he was.
Well…I’ll take care of this and after…never again, she solemnly swore to herself.
But just this one time…I have to. Dad will kill me! and mum…she felt the tears slowly trickle down her face as she thought about the devastation her mother would feel…hearing that her first daughter, an undergraduate in the university, a lawyer to be for that matter…it would break her heart. She felt her tummy. It was strange…like eating too much, but she also felt awe…at the realisation that a tiny life was growing in her belly. It’s…it’s like a miracle, she marveled. And she turned her head away as a fresh flood of guilt invaded her heart. Oh, this would never do! She angrily wiped her tears and sobbed, then hushed as she heard footsteps approaching the room.
She heaved a sigh of relief when the steps went past, and frowned as she remembered the kindly old nurse who had helped her put on her scrubs.
“Ah…you poor thing. The man rejected responsibility, abi?” At her dumb nod, the nurse had clucked and suddenly hugged her. “It’s okay…it’s okay. The pain won’t last…and you have another chance to do what’s right.” At the tenderness in the woman’s voice, her cold demeanor had crumbled and she had begun sobbing. And now, as she sat in the theater waiting for the doctor, she replayed the woman’s words in her mind. ‘Another chance to do what’s right…” what she never had that chance? She felt her tummy again, remembering all the online blogs she had read about how the baby was nothing but a lifeless bundle of cells and could not feel anything. She remembered several conversations with her best friend, who was a old hand at this, who had confirmed to her that the whole process was painless. She sat up, feeling irresolute and worried. And then the words of her lecturer, Dr. Obinna, resounded in her mind: “I refuse to believe in co-incidences…or happenstance for that matter. As sure as i am that there is a superior being…even though i am not sure what to call him…in the same do i believe that there’s a grand design. We are all in this class now for a reason. There is a reason why i am here to teach you particular set of students. I may be gone anytime from now…but I’m here now. You would do well to gain all you can from me…and me from you…now while we can.”
Maybe it was poorly-timed, but two wrongs…? Anything could happen.
She dried her eyes and contemplated the future. She made the mistake…she should have to bear the consequences. It would not be easy…but it was the right thing to do. The life within her had its whole life before it, and she at least owed it a chance to make its own way. Who knows…maybe it could even become the president…
At this, she started crying again, but this time it was from happiness…from relieved guilt. She stood up on shaky legs and walked out of the theater, her head held high, heart pounding afresh. As she rounded the corner into the dressing room, wincing from the abrupt change of temperature, she ran into the nurse who looked at her understandingly and hugged her again. For some reason she couldn’t stop crying…but she drew strength from the arms around her.
“It’s okay…you made a good decision…its okay…” The woman whispered. As she drew back, she was shocked to see tears on the woman’s cheek. Suddenly, something occurred to her and she asked the nurse; “You lost someone to…to abortion?” The nurse nodded, smiling. “Your…daughter…?” She nodded again, still smiling.
“It cuts my heart to see one of you walk in here and out…in pain. Usually I talk with them; some listen, some don’t. I refrained to say anything to you because you looked like you were struggling enough already…but I kept praying. I guess that’s what delayed the doctor.” As the nurse rubbed her back and helped her out of the scrubs, she said…”If you need help…someone to talk to…help you talk to your folks…anything…I’m here.”
As she walked out from the hospital…from the cold walls into the hot two o’clock Obalende sunshine, she rubbed her tummy and smiled. It felt good to think about someone else for a change.