“You are not worth anything“, he said to her.
“How do you keep a pregnancy gotten out of rape and still expect me to love you?“
She looked at him, puzzled with a question in her eyes, and she muttered “how can your love so easily be taken away just because of one decision? You promised to love and honor me forever.”
Bisi was so distraught, “what will I do with myself?” She thought to herself. “My mother does not want me around. My fiancé thinks I am evil.” Her heart was broken as she recalled the events of that faithful night of the rape. See, she was raped by the area armed robbers during an armed robbery operation. Now, her mother, one who ought to be her strength was more worried about her reputation as a good or bad mother, more than she was worried about the future of her daughter. “What has the world become?” She asked herself. “I shall not risk my life for others to be happy. But what if this baby ends up like its father?” Was she willing to go through life with an armed robber for a child? And her mother’s reputation…”oh for Christ sakes!” She muttered loudly.
Unfortunately, this is what most children go through in the hands of their loved ones. Parents are too concerned about their reputations to see straight, they live through their children
She took one look at herself as she was about to climb in the bus. She had decided that it’s either she ended it all or ran away from home to her mother’s sister. The pressure of being a good child especially now, was a huge weight on her shoulder. “Is this an African thing or do parents all over the world actually pile these pressures on their children?” She asked herself. “And why is it my fault for being pregnant after being raped?” These are questions she had asked, but they were now merely rhetoric.
She called Aunty Jubi from the filling station opposite the main road, which seemed forever busy. Ah the “joys” of being in Lagos. This was quite different from the small town in Kano where she lived with her mother. And her father? “Long story.”
It was just an hour later and there, Aunty Jubi stood staring at her niece who had now become a shadow of herself.
“Omo’mi.” The petite and skinny lady muttered as she pulled Bisi in for a hug. Aunty Jubi was more understanding than the average aunty or mother. She understood that the rape was not Bisi’s fault, so why force the child into an abortion…even if it was her fault…”so bloody what?“
Jubi had no children of her own an always had a soft spot for Bisi. She knew the likes of her sister, Bisi’s mother. Imperfect, but trying to raise a “perfect child“
On getting to Jubi’s house, there was already a room and toiletries and books on pregnancies for young mothers, all nicely tucked into a pretty basket with all kinds of snacks and goodies. Aunty Jubi, the sweet one, always aiming to please.
“Okay Bisi, you take a shower and let me get some food ready for you. I know you like porridge yam, so I’ll have Amina start on them.”
Puzzled Bisi asked “Amina bawo?“
“Oh she is my new maid.” Aunty Jubi answered “though she is like one of us. So please be nice, I know you’re nice.” Jubi said with a smile.
“But hey get cleaned up and come on.”
“Aunty, please don’t tell my mother I am here.” She said, almost interrupting Jubi
“Well, not right now but soon. At least you are old enough, so we are okay. See you at dinner time.”
Her life was about to change. She was about to be a mommy. She turned around, looking at the mirror in the dimly lit bedroom, she was happier than she thought she would be.
“This is not my fault.” She muttered.
“But why are some Nigerian parents like this?” She asked herself…
As for Feranmi…”Idiot of a fiancé” she thought to herself…”I no do again o jare.“
It was early in the morning, she could hear Aunty Jubi on the phone “ah, sister mi, what you are doing is wrong! So what if she is here? She is old enough to make her decisions. She got in the bus and came here. Did I ask her to come here? I did not even know she was on her way until she was almost here really.”
Oh gosh! How on earth did her mother know where she was? Here she was pregnant as a result of being raped and there her mother was, worried about the wrong things.
Bisi looked startled as the door opened, but was only Amina, her aunty’s maid. “Oh Amina, can’t you knock?“
“Oh I am sorry ma.” The poor girl replied “I was knocking ma, you did not answer.””Oh oh, I am sorry.” Bisi replied, “I guess I had a lot on my mind. May I help you?“
Fidgeting a bit, the maid answered, “I just wanted to tell you that breakfast is ready. Ma Jubi said I should ask you if you want to eat in your bed as you may be tired.” Bisi smiled, she watched the poor maid shaking on her feet and replied “I’ll come to the table. Thank you“
“Tea or hot cocoa ma?” Asked Amina.
Now feeling uneasy with the questions Bisi replied “whatever works for a pregnant woman, now please give me some privacy.”
She reached for her mobile phone, it had been off. The fear of switching it on and hearing her mother’s voice and possibly seeing her mother’s face on the phone scared her. It sounded like an episode out of one of the Harry Potter movies. It reminded her of the part where Ron Wesley received a mail from home and alas! The mail spoke like his mother. “No!” She said to herself. “I have to avoid mother.” But just as she started to go out of the room for breakfast, in walked Jubi handing her a phone “Bisi, talk to your mom.”
As Bisi took the phone, she was shaking like a leaf. Her mom could be terror personified. “Hello mom?”
“Omomi. Why do you want to hurt me?“
“Mom?” Bisi was a tad surprised. Her mom was never this subtle.
“What is this woman up to?” She asked herself. Replying, she said “mommy, I never want to hurt you, but you kind of gave me no choice.”
“Omo’mi” replied her mother “come home. What will people say?“
“Oh there you go again mother! You worry a lot about what people will say.” At this point she had had enough. She gave the phone to Aunty Jubi “aunty gba! “
“Aunty Jubi, you know. I should go back with mommy. She might be right, but I am not aborting my baby rarara.” Jubi looked on as her niece spoke. She did not want to say much because it would seem as if she had some personal interests in the situation with Bisi. “Okay Bisi, if you think that it is best for you; then by all means go with your iya.”
It was early in the morning about three days later she and mommy boarded a bus home back up north to Kano where they lived. Days went by and it seemed like everyone had forgotten about this abortion business, hmmm she was sort of surprised.
“Okay o, let us just live peacefully.” She said to herself while putting her long and thick hair in braids one evening.
Ringgggg Ringgggg!!! It was 10am the next day and the doorbell woke her up…”Oh JESU I slept into the morning“, she said as she looked at the wall clock. “But who could be the dummy causing a nuisance this early morning. Ringing the bell anyhow as if they installed it.” Walking toward the door, she opened it and immediately get peaceful face turned into a frown. “Yes Feranmi or what is that your name. What do you want? Did you miss your way?“
“Ahah Bisi. Can you not invite your boyfriend in?” Feranmi must have thought it would be “beans” to get her to forgive him. Gesturing him in, she walked back into her room and stayed in there.
There was a knock on the door and it was her mother. “Bisi, I saw Feranmi in the living room. Why are you here? Is he not your guest?“
“No mommy, he is your guest. I know you told him I was home. Since you gave out the invite, you could go entertain him. Wó no body should disturb my peace.”
Her mother was wondering how she had such a stubborn daughter. Well goat no dey born dog. Her father was a knuckle head too. “Okay at least freshen up and come for breakfast; then he can leave. Ejór. He can leave afterwards.”
Reluctantly, Bisi agreed to go and have breakfast with her mom and Feranmi on the dining table.
Breakfast was quiet. Bisi answered none of Feranmi’s questions, she ate and off she went back to the comfort and quietness of her room.
Minutes later she heard the front door. “He must have left” she said to herself. A man who told her that she is not worth anything. All of a sudden started acting friendly. Something did not feel right. And whoa something did not feel right with her stomach. She felt a sharp pain shoot through her lower abdomen. She let out a scream “Mommy!” There was no answer. “Mommy!!” Then boom! The door flew open. It was her mother.
“Ah Bisi, Bisi. Kilodé. Omo mi, omo mi…haaaa!” All she saw was blood, dripping from in between Bisi’s legs. Haba this was not what she bargained for now. She quickly zip lined to the front door, and came back with a man who helped her carry Bisi into a cab. He was also the cab’s driver. He floored the accelerator and drove like a bath put of hell to Shehu international hospital. What a name for a hospital right? Bisi always thought the hospital’s name was corny. She let out a faint smile as was rushed to the emergency section of the hospital. “Madam,” a nurse said to her mother as Bisi was being wheeled in. “You have to wait here. We will give you an update as soon as we stabilize her.”
Adefunke sat at the visitors’ lounge of the hospital. It was painted with pretty colors and was the most comfortable home away from home lounge she had ever been in at a hospital setting. She kept asking herself “what have I done?” After hours that seemed like the age of wonders, a doctor and the nurse came in asking “parents of the bleeding girl please?” Ahh Nigeria, haba they respected no privacy.
Adefunke lit up and ran to answer “yes yes how is my Bisi?“
“Madam please calm down and follow me to my office.”
Leading the way, the doctor and iya Bisi walked into his office. Then he asked her “Mama Bisi, didn’t you know your daughter was pregnant?“
“Yes I know she is pregnant.” Iya Bisi retorted.
“Hmmm, I am sorry to say, we lost her. She may have tried a forced abortion on an already too developed fetus….. haaaa these doctors, they just break sad news anyhow with no emotion
“yeeeeeh what have I done? Ahhhh Bisimiiii forgive me.” Right there it flashed before her eyes.”Baba, she is pregnant and has refused to get rid of it. I need your help.”
Baba was the local herbal pharmacist. “How far long is she?” He asked.
“The pregnancy only turned 4 months last week.”
“Iya Bisi, don’t you think that is dangerous. Don’t tamper with your daughter’s life o” Baba said pulling on his ear as a warning.
“Haba Baba I am sure there is something you can give me for a miscarriage. My child cannot have a child for an armed robber. What will people say?” This woman was still stubbornly asking. She pushed and pushed until Baba gave her some dark drink to add into Bisi’s food.
Now here lay Bisi’s lifeless body. And her mother, crying like she caredBisi stared at her lifeless body, she was out, she could not go back in. She had to go home, back to where babies came from. She took a look at her mother and nodded in disgust. She will still rest