THE CHAT ROOM : PART 11 – 20
By Temi Akintade
My life was officially over by the time I took the pregnancy test at the small pharmacy by the corner of the campus.
My stomach already had a softly rounded bulge indicating that a child was growing safely and innocently in me.
A tear, then two, followed by torrents of tears wetted my face. I sat on a wobbly chair by the entrance of the pharmacy.
The nosy pharmacist who kept chewing her gum noisily like she had no pity for me walked towards me and tapped my shoulder.
“If you like am, comot am. That is what students do. I have aborted many babies in this place. I can do yours but it will cost 25 thousand naira.
Hurry let’s do it because once your pregnancy is 5 months old, you won’t be able to abort.” She sashayed back to her previous position as though she has been waiting for me to fall pregnant.
I took one more look at the pregnancy test, my eyes caught the number of months my pregnancy is. It was 4 months.
My mind wobbled and I was bewildered. “But we used condom. I was not supposed to get pregnant.” My voice shook.
The woman laughed. She was scribbling down something in her note while a local movie played on the small television locked away by the top right corner of the shop.
“You don’t know condoms break? The best thing is to abstain. But you people will not hear. Now you don carry belle.”
Something engulfed me and clothed me at that moment. It was a shame. I couldn’t even move because I wasn’t sure of where to head to.
“My advice for you is, don’t tell that boy who got you pregnant on phone. Tell him face to face okay?”
I nodded. Tayo never called. I was the one who always did the calling.
THE CHAT ROOM : PART 11 – 20
The following day, Tayo called and told me to come and meet him at our former spot. He was referring to his friend’s house opposite the school.
And so I dressed in a long flowing gown and rushed to the house. It was my only opportunity to tell him about this new occurrence.
By the time I got there, his friends greeted me. About two were seated with us, then I whispered to Tayo that we needed to talk.
We went to the kitchen attached inside the house. Then I told him about the pregnancy. The next thing he did, made my heart jump into my mouth.
It was that day, that I realized that I didn’t know the meaning of love.
Tayo raised his hand and h it me across the face. My head hit the wall I was standing close to and my vision wobbled briefly.
“How can you be pregnant you prostitute! Didn’t we use a condom?” He hissed and dragged me out of the kitchen then he sat me down before his friends while I continued to sober.
“This foolish girl says she is pregnant for me can you imagine?” His voice was hard and filled with something else I couldn’t identify with. There was no trace of humour in it.
“Are you not big enough to take care of the pregnancy? Do what your mates are doing to get rid of it now.” His tall and lanky friend said.
The tears didn’t stop falling.
“How did you end up dating this ugly and senseless girl?” The shorter one who was called Michael chipped in. He was scrolling through his phone.
Tayo sIapped me on the head again. “Look! I am just managing you and now you have spoilt our relationship.” He hissed.
Then he dipped his hand into his pocket, counted some wads of cash, and dumped it on my lap. “That is ten thousand naira. Use it to get rid of the baby. When you are done, come back. You know I love you.
But this child will come between us if you don’t take it out.” He kssed me. I took the money and left the house in tears. I have just been scammed with love.
I badly wanted to know the real meaning of love. If love meant what Tayo was offering, then love is not love. Love was hate.
A car continued to honk repeatedly until I stopped. the car stopped too and Frank rushed out. “What’s wrong? Why do you look like you will die any minute from now?”
I sighed. “Frank. I’m pregnant. And my boyfriend-” I busted into tears.
I could see the conflicting look in his eyes. I understood that he must be trying to understand the news I had just broken to him. He ushered me into his car and we drove to an eatery where we talked.
“So what do you intend to do with the pregnancy?” His snack was untouched and so was his drink. I didn’t touch mine either.
My pathetic news was enough to satisfy me creating no room for appetite.
“I will abort it. I don’t want my child to come into a loveless world.”
“The world is not loveless. You only encountered the loveless part of it. You cannot abort it, Paulina.
It is a child, not some insignificant thing!” His voice was firm but not like Tayo’s. So I wasn’t scared of him.
“I don’t care. My mother will kll me if she finds out and my career will end.”
He covered my hand with his warm ones. “Don’t worry, it won’t end. Just promise me you will keep it.”
“I can’t. I need twenty-five thousand naira to take out this child. I already have ten thousand.” I released my hand from his and relaxed into the wide plastic chair with the inscription of ‘star’ on it.
If only the chair knew that the person it was carrying wasn’t a star but a failure.
“I can not give you the money. But if you need the money for antenatal then I can help you out. But I’m disappointed in you. I expected more from you, Paulina.” He sincerely announced.
I took that as a cue to leave even though it was pouring lightly. I was also disappointed in myself but I had no choice.
By the time I got to the hostel, almost everyone already knew because they kept staring at my belly.
I peeled off the wet clothes and quickly threw on another gown. I climbed on my bed and put a call across to my mother.
A tear dropped from my face as I explained to her that I needed fifteen thousand naira to buy a textbook.
“Okay, let me send you twenty thousand instead so that you can do some other things with it.” She said.
Another tear dropped from my eyes. “Mummy? Thank you!” I quickly ended the call.
I was still thinking about my life when an alert entered my phone. It was an alert from the bank indicating that a sum of twenty thousand naira had just been sent.
That night as I slept, I began to dream of the abortion process- and then I dreamt that I d!ed
THE CHAT ROOM : PART 11 – 20
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