I was hungry when Shola called to ask If I was ready and I’m hungry now, in the waiting room with thoughts chasing each other through my mind.
Funny, simi is on the radio – her sultry voice should calm me, instead, it is setting me on the edge of my seat.
… shebi na you tell me say you are gone for good
Shebi na you tell me, goodbye baby..
After this night, I know that Shola and I are done. I’m guessing this is why I keep tapping my feet on the tiles and refusing to stand, every time the doctor asks for me.
See, Shola is impatient. I can see it in the way he purses his lips and sighs intermittently, he is waiting for me to make up my mind and be done with it. Several times, he would start saying something and then stop in his tracks, purse his lips a little more, scratch a bit of his head and pace around the room. A routine I am getting used to.
He is trying to make this my decision – to push everything on my head. We wouldn’t have been here if he listened to me. Every time, he would say nothing would happen and we were protected, but the pills failed!
Oh, they did! And you know, it’s not in Shola to protect himself. Somehow, he expected me to fix it. I’m only seventeen, I don’t even know the difference.
For a while, we ignored it and acted like nothing happened. This was not our first scare, obviously. We were going to play this one out. Two weeks came and nothing. We brushed it off as stress, till I fainted in class.
The nurses at the medical center would call my parents if they noticed anything fishy, we couldn’t let that happen. Father had just been appointed commissioner, It was too early to be a bla Bla black sheep.
Shola told his friends. I knew, from the silence when I entered the room. The way they made space for me on the couch and stared in awe, like they hadn’t seen a pregnant woman before; sho gbo? I wasn’t even showing sef. What’s doing all these children? If it’s to shout “Open your leg, hang it on the ceiling, Oshey mami! Pepper dem!” They can shout, but just small pregnancy and they’re acting like I killed Jesus Christ. Do I blame them? It’s me that went to date slay king.
“Shola, I’m going to keep it! “
I hear something that sounds like the hungry version of my voice. I really am hungry and cannot wait to get out of this hell hole with stained walls.
He ignores me and keeps typing into his phone, but from the way his fingers land on his keypad, I know he is angry. I have wasted his time and about to ruin his future.
“..and your father? “
That question would have put me in robotic trepidation and made me do anything – the fear of my father was the beginning of trouble.
This time, I really do not care what he thinks. Shola knows something like this would sever my parents already shaking marriage, the tabloids would say mother has raised a harlot like herself and Father would Trump it over her. Shola knows this, yet he’s still asking me this stupid question. Do I blame him?
“We will cross that bridge when we get there… “
He laughed at “we”. I had almost forgotten how brown his eyes were -so light, they almost looked grey. It had been long since I saw him laugh. Four weeks that felt like forever. The corners of his eyes wrinkled and smoothened as he went back to his poker Faced expression.
He’s ignoring me again and typing into his phone. I wonder who Yolanda is, but I can’t ask.
“Bubba, did you hear what I said? “
My voice is barely a whisper now, testing the waters.
“ Seyi, you already know what will happen. I don’t know what you want me to say again”
I want him to say why my name went from Baby to Seyi real quick. I want him to say why he’s telling Yolanda he misses her and would be with her shortly. I want him to say why he brought me here. I want him to say many things, but can’t ask.
The tears taste hot at the back of my throat and I pinch myself not to cry. Shola is doing this to me. Shola that chased me for years. Shola that didn’t let me rest. Shola put me in this situation and wants to run away.
I stand up and March for the grey metal doors. The doctor is waiting with a nurse, standby. I don’t Spare them a glance as I take off my clothes with the last piece of dignity I can muster.
You see, even as I say I will stand up to father and keep my baby, I know I can’t. He is impossible and I have to save mother from the shame this would cause. He would send us out, of course, and my school fees is not something we can pay on our own with the added cost of a growing baby.
Even as I hated the thought of it, I knew Shola was right. I did Infact know what would happen.
We would drive out of the hospital or whatever this is, in silence. He would drop me off at Tolani’s place – she was the only person I could use to escape from the house. He would then go on to Yolanda and tell her how long his day was and how he was stuck in traffic and she would comfort him while I bled my son’s life out. I would recover in a few months, of course. I would bounce back at school, finish with my 4.0 and travel to an obscure country to hide away from Shola, posting Yolanda’s pictures on snapchat and the gram.
Tolani and i would predict that they would crash and somehow he would realize what he missed and come home to me, but that would never be. He would go on to date Yolanda for some more years – there would be the cheating scandals of course, but she will stay with him and on a cold winter night when I am alone at Toby’s Diner nibbling cold croissants, he would ask her to marry him on Instagram live, at the Eiffel tower, with the whole world in view.
So, as I felt the first pinch of the forceps, I cursed him.
P.S: Simi’s song used here is titled Gone for good, you can download it here
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY 1NIGERIANGIRL FOR LAGOSCONVO.COM