Chapter 8 - WELCOME TO REALITY
“Mama m oh!”
I hear Elizabeth Obioma Agu calling out to me from the hallway.
“MAMA!” she screams even louder when I don’t answer her right away.
“O gini kwanu, what is the problem now?” I answer.
I look up and see the beautiful face of my daughter pop through the slit in the door of my study.
“Phone call!” she answered with a mischievous smile knowing I dislike her screaming in the house, or calling me mama for that matter. I told her she could reserve that title for her grandmother.
I took the call from my business partner Kenechukwu Marcos quickly but it was enough time to break my train of thought.
I could still hear Lizzy’s voice in the living room chatting with her friend Nancy who was spending the weekend. My precious daughter. She was conceived on that memorable, and totally foolish night of lovemaking between Obi and I. She is a product of love, or at least what I assumed to be love at the time and I don’t regret having her. She is ten years old and without a father.
I never imagined I would ever be a single mother; I never expected to keep a child from its father either. But hey, real life hit me in the face and everything I never expected started happening at once, like dominoes falling.
After our amorous night of lovemaking, Obi and I returned to our pretentious life in Lariba. I could not tell anyone of what happened during the weekend, not even Ezinne or Crystal but I was beaming like a new bride.
Two days later was Valentine’s day. Love was in the air in school that day. Couples exchanging love notes and gifts, stealing kisses in the hallway when no teacher was in sight, giggling and fondling and so much more. At first I was giddy with excitement about what Obi would get me, but as the day turned to evening I started getting worried. I had not seen him all day, and I was starting to wonder what kind of elaborate surprise he had planned. I found out soon enough, and it was indeed a big surprise.
A delivery van came in from Sweeties Confectionery, the most exclusive bakery in town. As the contents of the van were being off loaded a small crowd gathered. I saw all this but I was unconcerned with another girl receiving a gift from her boyfriend. I suddenly saw Crystal running towards me.
“Who is chasing you girl? Did you steal someone’s man” I said jokingly.
“Hmm that doesn’t sound so bad right now if I get the treatment Adaugo is getting downstairs right now.
“Which Adaugo?” I asked more out of disbelief than from confusion about who she was referring to.
“Which other Adaugo? Or are you trying to tell me that you don’t know Obioma’s madam again?” she replied not understanding my reaction.
I almost fainted there but I had to see this spectacle for myself. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me to the scene that was being made. The first thing I saw was Obi holding Adaugo in his arms like a love-struck teenage boy, and then she stood on the tips of her toes to plant a big kiss on his succulent lips.
That just took all the air out of my lungs and I just wished the ground would open up and swallow me. Unfortunately that wish did not come true. Obioma Okorocha, the same one who had deflowered me a few days before, had made arrangements with the bakery a week before that to have cakes that spelled “I LOVE YOU ADA” delivered to that spoiled, annoying fool he called his girlfriend; the girlfriend he was supposed to leave for me.
Please understand something. It was not one cake neither was it two. Each cake was shaped as an alphabet so do the math. That was 11 cakes, each costing 2000 Naira. Do some math again; that would total 22,000 Naira on cakes alone! This is apart from the perfumes, lingerie and other gifts he had bought for her.
I left immediately for the hostel trying as much as I could not be noticed. I made up my mind not to cry, or sulk, or think about Obi’s betrayal. I took the bottle of champagne I had bought for Obi and I to celebrate with out of my locker and downed the whole bottle myself. I did not want to be questioned by anyone or have to hear the oohs and ahhs coming from Adaugo’s room as other girls admired all the things Obi had bought for her. I especially did not want to eat a piece of the cake she shared with all the girls; I did not want to eat from the fruit of betrayal.
I did not mention to Obi how I felt, maybe I just expected him to know. Apparently he did not know and maybe even did not care how I felt because he spent the whole week being all lovey dovey with Adaugo. Their public display of affection was making me nauseous and it took all my will power not to go after his neck whenever I saw them together. I could not be mad at the girl, I had no business with her. My problem was with the boy who promised me heaven, earth, and beyond, but left me hanging dry.
Apart from dealing with seeing the love of my life in the arms of someone else, I had another problem weighing me down. I had never missed a period in my life and I had never been late either so when I was late that month I started to worry. Thoughts of my naughty adventure with Obioma were no longer sweet memories, they had turned into a nightmare. I couldn’t talk to Obioma about it because he was wrapped too tightly around Adaugo and I certainly could not talk to any girlfriends about it because girls cannot keep a secret.
Finally I decided to go to a local clinic in town where teenage girls could get pregnancy tests for free. The bus ride there felt treacherous and unending. I had a scarf over my head to cover my face in case there was someone around who recognized me. I’m sure you know what the result of that test was. I was pregnant. I was eighteen years old and pregnant.
For someone in that situation I took the news very calmly. I knew I had to tell Obi so we could decide what we would do about it. I sent him a text to meet me in the school garden, what used to be our favorite spot to break the news to him. I was about to get another rude surprise.
Obi was there before me, pacing the same way he did when we admitted our feelings to each other; but his time he didn’t have heart warming news for me.
“Nkem before you say anything I need to get something off my chest. I have been spending a lot of time with Ada recently as I’m sure you noticed and I have come to realize that I want to make things between us work. You know I have always and will always love you like a sister, but I can’t leave my girlfriend.”
He reached out to touch me but I moved away to put more distance between us.
“Nkem please don’t be angry, we will still be friends.”
“No we won’t” I replied immediately. “I was never your sister and will never be. I wish you all happiness, but if I can’t have your whole heart, I don’t want any part of it.” I turned my back to him and started walking away. I didn’t want him to see the tears flooding my eyes or hear my emotion in my voice.
As I walked away I heard him say “Come on Ada, I mean Nkem. What did you want to tell me? We can still be friends you know.” But he did not come after me. I knew at that moment that he would never know about the child in my womb, and that his heart was never mine. I was going to have to face this battle by myself.
(To be continued)
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Property of Pretty of Pot Of Africa.