My heart beat loudly in my chest as I saw him come in. I tried to smile but it seemed as if the muscles in my face were revolting against me.
“Good morning sir,” my voice croaked out in greeting.
I felt my boyfriend’s gaze but was in no mood to return his gaze and reassure him with a smile. We had come to the point of no return or had we?
“Good morning sir,” my boyfriend’s voice rang out, too cheerful for my liking.
“Good morning, how are you and what’s your name?” The man asked looking at me over the top of his glasses.
“Bola,” I replied, lying and still refusing to look at my boyfriend.
“How far along do you think you are gone?” The man whom my boyfriend had said was a doctor asked me.
“I am 2 weeks late sir.”
“When last did you see your period?”
“On the 5thof last month sir,” my eyes strayed to his hands and I shuddered in revulsion to think of those hands touching me down there.
“Okay, the bill would be 10,000 naira.”
I looked in shock towards my boyfriend who seemed to finally find his voice, “Sir that is too much. We are students and are quite new to this town. Please help us out, sir.”
The man seemed to think for a while before scribbling something on a paper and passing it to us. 5,000 naira was written on the paper and between my boyfriend and I, we had 6,500 naira. That was basically all the money we had and I knew that I couldn’t dare call home for money.
“That is the final amount.”
“But sir,” I replied stalling a bit, perhaps other avenues would be available in removing the …, my thoughts froze as I didn’t know if to call it a baby or a fetus.
“Yes, what is it?!” The man’s voice rang out a bit impatiently.
“Aren’t there other means? I have heard that there are drugs or injections that can be used since it is still a bit early.” I blurted out.
“And who told you that? Do you think the drugs would be as effective as actually removing the fetus? Do you want to risk using those drugs and coming back again when it doesn’t work?” The man asked glaring at me as if I had just said the most stupid thing.
“No… sir,” I stammered out a reply.
“Look I am doing the both of you a favour seeing that you are quite new in town. I have even agreed to do it here and not in my clinic to save you the shame, so let me know what you want as I have patients waiting in the clinic for me.”
“We are ready sir,” my boyfriend replied, a bit too quickly.
The man had directed us to this place, a room in a faraway place I had never heard of. ‘What if I died here? God, I know this is so wrong but you would have to bear with me and not let me die.’ I prayed silently.
“Alright, get up remove your pants and lie on this table.” The man said whilst getting his equipment ready. “Spread your legs up so that I can see inside clearly and not make a mistake.”
The effect of what he was saying had hardly sunk when I felt the cold metal on my skin and then a probing rod.
After 30 minutes of screaming, scolding and admonitions; I emerged shaken and sad. I felt nothing when my boyfriend squeezed my hand and smiled at me and even when the man offered to drop us back in town so that we wouldn’t have to trek back. The man and my boyfriend joked on how strong I was and my boyfriend nervously looked back every now and then to check how I was doing.
I, on the other hand, was lost in my own world, a world in which I felt nothing, not even hate, a world I was going to emerge from later with the realization of what I had done and then the tears that was lurking behind would fall but right then, I was in a world of nothing.