“Those two blue lines there mean that I am pregnant” she said tonelessly.
He almost screamed, he felt weak at the knees and his knees actually buckled. He reached out and held onto the door handle to steady himself. He made for the nearest chair and collapsed in it.
He tried to gather his thoughts and finally he said “No this can’t be, I am sure this test thing” he glanced at the offending item in his hand before he continued “is not accurate, it can’t be” he paused and stared at it for a few moments before he continued speaking
“It’s been only a few weeks, there is no way you can tell in a few weeks, plus we only had sex once”
“It’s not been a few weeks, it has been a month and two weeks Ade”“I think that is still too early”
“No it isn’t, I was supposed to have my period two weeks after that day” she intoned the ‘that day’ like it was a dirty word, “I didn’t but I just assumed it was irregular, it’s been a month now and I am yet to have it again so I went and got the test kit” she gestured at the item he was holding.
“One kit cannot be conclusive” he spoke more to himself than to her.
“I tested four times” you want me to bring them.
“No” he shook his head looking really dejected, she actually felt sorry for him.
He looked so young, vulnerable and clueless but in reality it was the first time she felt in control since she found out she was. She didn’t really blame him but she felt she couldn’t take the blame all by herself.
“So what do we do?” he asked
“I don’t know, but I think you should go home, have a good night’s sleep and then we discuss this when you are in a better frame of mind, but I am not having an abortion.”
Ade’s jaw fell wide apart, but no words came out.“I’m not asking you to be responsible for the baby, in fact I am insisting that you do not lay any claim to her, however I am not risking my life getting an abortion, neither will I be tagged as the one who snatched her sister’s boyfriend”
“Cousin” he mumbled under his breath.
“What?” she asked
“Cousin I said cousin”
She looked lost so he said “You are her cousin not her sister”
“Oh so that makes it okay then, let’s make the announcement to the world.”
He couldn’t believe she was so calm, he was almost in tears and couldn’t understand why the tears would not come.
“It’s either we get rid of it or we have it together” he finally said.
“No way, I’m not having a kid with someone who is in love with someone else, most of all not my cousin, my best friend” as she said this some of her vulnerability finally shone through- her voice cracked a bit and an incredibly sad look passed over her face but it was gone almost immediately, as if it was as if was never there.
He started to talk but she interrupted “You are not thinking rationally right now, I think you need to go home and get some sleep, we can talk about this late” he looked at his watch and it was 3.45 a.m already, he couldn’t believe time was so far gone. She also glanced at the table clock nearby.
“I think you should wait till dawn before you leave” she said and then rose from her seat to put out the light. He felt rather than saw her walk back and curl up in her seat. After a few minutes, he heard her steady breathing, he couldn’t believe it; the whole world was in disarray and Julia was sleeping. How could she sleep? How could anyone sleep? He pondered. He also eventually drifted away into a fitful slumber.
She woke him at daybreak; he couldn’t believe he had slept, however fitfully. Julia was acting like everything was at it should be and even asked if he wanted some coffee before leaving. He couldn’t believe it, everything was just so surreal. He shook his head, indicating that he didn’t want coffee, while staring at her flat stomach. There was no way she was pregnant, he told himself. She gave him an indulgent smile at that exact moment as though she knew what he was thinking and then came to sit on the rug right opposite him and started speaking;
“Ade I really have thought it through, and you don’t have to do anything or even acknowledge the pregnancy, I insist that you don’t. It’s my personal decision to go through this and to go through it alone”
A frown creased Ade’s forehead and was deepening as she spoke. Ade’s mind was in turmoil, a riot of emotions; he was angry and was not sure if he was angrier with himself or with Julia. He was also confused and scared, with all these going on in his head; he realized he loved Teni more deeply than he had ever thought. He just kept staring at Julia as she spoke. “We have to keep away from each other from now because when the pregnancy starts showing I don’t want any speculations as to you being responsible for it.” Ade couldn’t take it anymore, he stood up put his hands on his hips and said
“Julia, I really think we need to think this through” to which she replied; “There is no we here, I could have kept it without informing you and you’d probably never have known it was yours”
“Then maybe you shouldn’t have”
“Shouldn’t have what?” she asked
“Shouldn’t have told me” he said quietly. He really wished she had not told him.
“I think you are upset, you should go home, take a shower and get some rest”
Her calmness was driving him nuts, he couldn’t believe how calm she was, he started to think she had planned this all out from the start; he also began to hope she wasn’t really pregnant, but something told him she was. At that point, he fleetingly considered killing her, he was big and he could easily overpower her, smother the life out of her with a pillow, but he knew he couldn’t; he was not a killer, would never be.
She stretched out a hand for him to help her get up from where he sat on the rug, he glanced hesitantly at the hand and then helped her up. She smiled at him as she stood up and once again he considered killing her.
The smiles were driving him crazy, they made him feel like a pawn in a game. A game whose rules he didn’t know, a game he wasn’t sure he was a player in. He wondered if this whole situation had anything to do with him; if it had to do with a pre-existing situation between Julia and Teni, if she was trying to use this to get back at her cousin for something that may have happened in the past. The smiles also made him wonder if Julia was slightly delirious. Eventually he took her advice and left for his flat.
The next couple of weeks were a blur. Ade went to Julia’s apartment thrice and she wouldn’t let him in. She refused to acknowledge his knocks on the door and he would have thought she was not in but every time he went there the door was locked from the inside. He eventually gave up and stopped showing up at her place. He didn’t want any part of the situation but he felt he couldn’t just pretend that the situation was not a reality. Somewhere deep in his subconscious, he also hoped that by seeing her, by seeing that her belly was not getting distended, he could prove that it was all a game, a play on his emotions and that there was really no pregnancy but he knew deep down that it was true and the pregnancy was real. Ade kept to himself after his attempts to see Julia, he stopped hanging out with friends and attended his lectures sparingly. He also did not discuss the situation with anyone; how could he?
Teni wrote him and he responded almost immediately although the letter he wrote to her could not have been said to be a response to her letter. While he usually wrote by commenting on her gist and complaints, this time around, he wrote two whole foolscap pages professing his undying love to her, then he walked to the post office and sent the letter before he could change his mind.
As he got back to his apartment, he met Julia at his door, she had changed since he last saw her; her face was puffy and she looked a bit chubby. He opened the door to let her in and walked in behind her.As he shut the door behind them, he said;
“I have been trying to see you for a while now” he was backing her as he spoke but spun around in alarm as he heard her sobbing, he moved over to her side and tried to take her in his arms but she shrugged him off, so he stood facing her
“What is wrong?” he asked, but she kept on sobbing, so he had to ask a couple more times before she started talking incoherently. “Calm down Julia” he said although it was taking every ounce of willpower for him to remain calm himself. Eventually she was able to speak but what she said was still unintelligible to him.
“It is ectopic”
“It is what?” There was a look of absolute confusion on his face.
“It is ectopic, the pregnancy is ectopic” she started crying again, actually wailing this time.
“Ec…” Ade spread his hands helpless in front of him, he had no idea what ectopic meant, he couldn’t even pronounce the word.
Stay waiting for Episode 11, next week Friday.
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