Dr. Bala had managed to convince me to come for an ultrasound scan before I made any lasting decision. I wanted to refuse but somehow my curiosity got the better of me.
It had been a month since I discovered the existence of my baby…a month of confusion and traumatic indecisions. A month of secrecy and guilt. I still didn’t know what I was going to do about the baby.
Another life was growing inside me. It had been seven years since I’d felt that. And I remembered the overwhelming sense of pleasure that filled me all those months I carried Shirley. There was not one dull moment with her…and it was easy because I’d loved her from the very first.
This baby though, was a different case. I couldn’t seem to make up my mind whether I wanted it or not. And each time I thought that way, something always reminded me that Mo had a stake in this too.
The baby was his too. I couldn’t get rid of it and not tell him. That would involve lying and keeping a secret I didn’t have to.
Was I ready for that kind of life? Di I want to lose my husband a second time?
A bigger question though, was did I want to risk loving another baby so much and end up losing her again?
These questions plagued me even as I got prepped for the ultrasound. At one point, I wanted to bolt out of the chair and run down the hall screaming bloody murder. I didn’t want to know that the thing in me was alive, not just a foetus.
I looked away while the sonographer did her job. I was scared.
“There’s your baby, ma’am.” She said, after a while. “Look. As healthy as a horse.”
I had no choice but to look. And swiftly that feeling that had engulfed me the first time I saw Shirley in my womb…suddenly seized me again. I realised what had just happened. And I began to cry.
I was in love again. New, fresh love for this baby.
I was capable of loving another child of mine as deeply as I’d loved Shirley. The thought of it made me weep. It wasn’t left over love. It was real, fresh, motherly love. That place I’d thought was dead in me…was indeed alive.
“Do you still want to go ahead with the abortion?” The sonographer asked.
I looked at her, tears in my eyes. “I’m keeping the baby.”
Two hours later I paid Mo a surprise visit at his hotel and broke the good news. It was a very emotional moment for us both.
“Why didn’t you want to tell me?” He asked, after carrying me in his arms for a while.
“You know why.” I replied shyly.
“You didn’t want the baby.” He said quietly.
“I didn’t think I could love another child of ours like I love Shirley.”
“What made you change your mind?”
“The scan. I saw the baby. Tiny as it was…and I fell in love. Just like it happened with Shirley.”
“Honey, you can’t help but love whatever comes out of you. You’re more capable of loving than you think, trust me.”
I nodded. “I know that now. But, I don’t wanna make the mistakes I made before. My whole world centred around Shirley and I pushed you away. This one is gonna be different. I’m wiser now.”
He hugged me. “We’re both wiser. We’re gonna love this baby the best way we know how…but we can’t protect him all the time. God’s gonna do that for us.”
I glanced at him. My husband was talking about God? Interesting!
“I know what you’re thinking. And stop looking at me like that. I’m retracing my steps back to God. Righting my wrongs where I can.”
I leaned forward and kissed him. “I’m so proud of you darling. And I love you so much.”
“I love you too.” He grinned. “I need to tell you something.”
“I got a call from Ruby. She wants to talk. She says it’s important.”
“Oh…” I still flinched at the sound of her name.
“What do you think? She sounded pretty serious.”
“Isn’t that another ploy to get you close?”
“I honestly don’t know. I guess I won’t go. Can’t take any chances.”
“I want you to know I trust you. If you do want to go…you can. She might be serious.”
“Thank you for trusting me. But I don’t trust her. I’m not going.”
She called me about a dozen more times begging to see me. The only thing that made me agree to see her was when she mentioned a confession.
“I promise this is not a game.” She said, her voice was riddled with something I couldn’t place.
“Why should I believe you?”
“Listen, this is for your own good. I can answer a lot of questions about what’s been going in in your home. If you don’t trust me enough to meet me at my house, then name the place. I’ll be there.”
I hung up without saying a word. I was still mad at her for her pranks.
It was 8pm when I decided to take her up on her offer and see her. I texted her and told her I was coming over. I knew I was about to do something stupid but I was curious. I needed to hear what she had to say and get her out of my life forever.
Minutes later she called again. I didn’t bother picking since I was already on my way and my phone battery was blinking red.
She obviously didn’t take the hint because she persisted in calling back and eventually knocked my battery dead. Well done Ruby.
I arrived at her doorstep in forty-five minutes and rang the doorbell. Twice. No answer.
Seriously, Ruby? I could see a light on upstairs.
I thought she was expecting me, what was she doing upstairs then?
Another prank. I thought. Stupid stupid me.
I turned to leave and heard a crash from within.
What was that? I spun around.
It was 9pm and everywhere was dark outside. It seemed a little creepy standing outside someone’s door without an agenda.
I twisted the doorknob. The door opened. The living room was dark which was weird. I took out my phone, hoping to light up the place. And then remembered that my battery was dead.
“Ruby?” I called. “Are you okay?”
“Ruby? Stop these games. I know you’re in there!”
Still no answer.
I found the stairs and began climbing. I was taking a risk and I knew it. But something didn’t feel right here.
I was upstairs and began making my way to her room when I heard a noise from behind me.
I made to turn.
And didn’t know what hit me from behind.
I dropped to the floor. Unconscious.