I am pregnant.
For a married man.
There, I’ve said it, out loud for all to hear. For every individual I have ever met to have their fill; raining curses and abuses on me.
For my mother to weep and ask “Why Temitope? Why?” Like I can answer that question!
For my father to shake his head and look at me with disgust “ One would have thought that after seeing what your older sister Oluwatomi went through as a single mother, you would have resolved never to end up like her!”. And what exactly is that supposed to mean Papa? I love my sister, and I think she’s made a huge success of her life, despite everything she and her son have gone through.
Anyway, I have no plans on telling them, or anyone…except the girls of course. And I can already imagine what their reactions would be.
“Temitope, you’re joking of course” Sade would go
“It’s not April yet oh, my dear” Isioma would say
“Its Gbenga’s right?” Halima, ever the perceptive one would say.
And all hell would break loose.
“You are not serious Temitope! Didn’t we ask you to ditch the married ex ages ago?!” Sade would exclaim
“Everyman wants to eat his cake and have it Temitope, how could you have let him use you like that?” would reason Isioma
“You girls should go easy on her; do you think she planned this? Everyone makes mistakes” Halima would say
“Mistake?! Mistake my foot! Did she open her legs by mistake? Or he used pliers to pry them open?” Sade would retort
“Haba Sade! No need to be so crude now” Halima would try to pacify her
“But you girls, on a more serious note oh, shey you know ex-sex is always sweet? I don’t blame Temitope for getting carried away oh!” Isioma would joke
And we would all burst out laughing, and then, they would help me choose the best way to get rid of it. Yes, get rid of it, because, that’s what I’m going to do.
There’s NO WAY I’m having a baby right now! Besides, it won’t be fair on the child to grow up not knowing his or her father, to have to live with the shame that he or she was born out of wedlock.
Ok, I admit, it’s mostly because I’m ashamed, and also afraid of what people would say. I just got a new job with an international company, and I really can’t ask for maternity leave yet, especially as I’m not married. My parents will be so disappointed with me, and I can’t bear to see the look of disgust on my uncle’s face when I tell him. He has so much faith in me!
Oh Lord! What have I gotten myself into?! Why couldn’t I have resisted Gbenga? Why can’t I turn back time and undo what has been done? Why, oh why do I still love this man?! Why can I not break whatever threads tie us together? He is married to someone else – a woman he chose over me, so why does he still need me? Why is it so important to him that we remain friends? Why can’t he just go away and leave me alone to get on with my own life?! Why, oh why?!
I’ve cried myself hoarse over this matter, and I am not going to do that anymore. I’m going to get an abortion, and I’m getting on with my life! There’s an opening in the Abuja branch, and I’m going to ask my boss for it. I need a new city, new life, and a new man. All in that order!
Ouch! My stomach! What was that? Ow!
What…? Dear Lord, is that a foot?
No, no, no, no, no, I can’t keep you. It’s no use kicking me my dear, I cannot keep you! It would be unfair to us both to even think of it. Ow!
Stop it! Can’t you understand?! We’ll both be outcasts! Shamed by my lack of self-control during a fleeting moment of passion!
Please stop, I wish there were some other way, but there isn’t.
What? Of course I’ve prayed! If you were listening well, you would have heard me crying out to The Lord a few minutes ago.
What do you mean I’m giving up and not trusting The Lord? Of course I trust Him, I’m just….
You’re right, I’ve already decided to take the easy way out without allowing Him show me the path my life is to lead. I remember when my sister Tomi became pregnant in school, she went crying to Grandma and Grandma wiped her tears and told her that whenever our need is greatest then the Lord’s help is closest to us. But because we don’t trust Him, we never see the help, even when it’s standing right in front of us.
I’ll keep you my child, and the Grace of the Lord will keep us both. Remember however, that I warned you; things will not be easy at all!