FLASH FICTION: THE FIRST ACT; BECOMING A MURDERER

​Setbacks, shortcomings, dumb mistakes…they have all become necessities in life and man has learnt to live through it all. I am not perfect too but I earnestly yearn for times when I would no longer be ruled by one thing: LOVE.

Love is good when it is right but it has never been right for me and maybe when it was, I ruined it blindly. Each time I fall out of its mess with hope that the next would be better, I find myself in another.  There are quite a lot of troubles in paradise and love is first on the list. Life could have been better, I thought but the pains of love, heartbrokenness, communion of a faithful lover with a masked infidel, rejection….Just name it. 

My phone rang about 11:05pm but I was struggling with a stomach wrenching pain to stay alive so I could not pick Richard’s call. It was all over, I had just aborted a child. An innocent one who chose to come through me sees if truly the voices raised by Nigerians towards heaven about the claws and pawns of recession and its tidings were true. 

Not that the foetus attempted to be in the wrong country, he could have been another saviour but I was not ready, we, Richard and I were not ready to carry the consequences. To think of it, love conquers all but that is when it is mutual. Richard never loved me but I fall in love with him daily even though he never for once refrain from telling me he could never date nor marry me.

The tears shed whenever that statement comes ringing never stopped me from giving my body to him whenever the call to satisfy his manhood comes.  A fool I am to be tagged as I never for once rejected such advances for 7 months. Perhaps, I was hoping that would turn his heart towards me. 

He is from the other religion, intelligence-wise; we are no match. Even he admitted that my intelligence and brilliancy is too high for him to handle. He urged me to find a man who could attain that height. Be reminded that it is true that, “One cannot love and be wise.”

Yes, I am brilliant, intelligent but no, love had a greater control of me while he was in control of my body.

I knew not what I was doing until on December 27th, 2016, I realised I was pregnant. Before I left school, I noticed breast enlargement, lightening skin, weighty body and daily abnormal temperature but I gave no serious attention. To me, it was my body undergoing changes.

Even my missed menses gave me no worry. After all, the same thing happened around December2015. After Christmas, I moved to my brother’s house to get medical attention from his wife Tina, she is a nurse. My mother had advised when I told her about the daily temperature. Even my mother could not recognise I was three months pregnant.

I got there and she decided to treat me for malaria first following my complaints. I told Richard about it on phone but he thought maybe I was pregnant.

“I don’t think so” I replied.

“You better think. Do a test and let me know the result.” He said and cut the call in his usual distant manner.

I became alarmed afterwards and started thinking of how to strike such conversation with Tina. I told her I had missed my menses too that I would to have a pregnancy test. She dropped a bottle for me and told me to have my morning urine in it.

Sleeping well that night was a mirage. Then I began to think about my enlarging breasts. I did what she asked of me in the morning and I was out to see a friend before she woke up. I was prepared for the unknown though.

*Phone Rings*

“Hello, Aunty Towoju, I have done the test and it is positive, ” came the voice from Tina’s end.

I laughed shockingly to myself and asked her if she was sure. She asked me to come home and see the kit myself.

“Now my mistakes have answered,”I thought to myself on my way to her home. Yet I was laughing that I began to query my understanding of the gravity of the mess I was in. First, I was pregnant for someone whom I could not call my boyfriend. What would I tell mother, families, friends, fellowship members and those who had had suspicions about Richard and I whom we kept pretending to?

He had always lied to his friends as well. They too felt we were too closed to be “nothing at all”.

I got to Tina’s and I called Richard. “For whom?” he asked. I wasn’t surprised and immediately I sent messages to my friends who knew about my unreciprocated love for Richard; Funmi and Tolulope though they were unaware of my sexual escapade with him. 

It was all a joke to them until it dawned on them that I had no strength to joke beyond thirty minutes about anything let alone five hours.

Three hours after I had called Richard, he sent me a message thus:

“Please, if you are joking about that, you had better stop. And this is all a joke, don’t you ever talk with me again.”

He asked to see the test result and I told him it was a urine test. My thought was on the run.  Abortion it is, no other way. My sister-in-law too had said I needed to talk with my boyfriend so as to know our next line of action. She wanted to be a nut too as she felt I wasn’t too young to carry the baby but eventually I cracked her and she fell along with my decision.

Abortion was not something I wanted to discuss with Richard on phone. I cooked up lies for my parents and brothers and the next day, I was in Ibadan at his place.

The Richard I met on bed looked haggard and down to earth, the last time I saw him so was when he had no money.

“I asked you every day why you have been hot, I asked about your menses, I asked about everything but you said it was just your body undergoing changes. Didn’t I beg you to always protect yourself? Would you want to birth the baby of a man who doesn’t love you right?” He asked as I tried to avoid his attempt to draw me closer to his chest.

Of all the questions, the last made me cry. Even the news that I was pregnant hadn’t had the effect of making me cry. There I was, paying the price, carrying the bay of a man who doesn’t love me.

“I will abort it.” I uttered. 

“My sister-in-law said I need close to eight thousand naira to do it, if you will get that for me, I will return to her place tomorrow.” I told him.

My friends were not in support but my mind was made up. They told me of a recent message they received warning them against encouraging and having a hand in an abortion by someone close to them for it would be consequential.

Yet, my mind was made up.

Work had not been smooth for Richard. In fact, he disclosed that he had closed his office the moment I called to inform him of the pregnancy. He was down, penniless; issue with his bank account hasn’t been resolved. He only left his room whenever it was time for prayer at the mosque.

Seeing his haggard remain relieved me, at least he too carried the buck of our mistake.

His soul was lifted upon my arrival. He had to be strong for the battle of rocking a crying-pregnant-18-year- old-undergraduate all night and day.

He had just ₦4,000 with him so we had to turn to those we knew. My lies eventually pilled through and I got a friend to lend me the remaining ₦4,000.

On 31st December, 2016, within 35minutes of lying on a table, legs wide opened, instruments going in and out of my womb, writhing, regrets, fears and pleas to God to remember my mother and give me another chance to make things right; I was done.  Yet, there was nothing to make right about the fact that if I have also become a MURDERER.

I recalled through the pain that the woman having seen my inability to withstand pains told Tina to pack a lot of Combination3 for me. She said, “It’s just an abortion and you are like this, what if it is a child-birth? Please, begin to protect yourself.”

That moment of pain, I said to myself that I would never have sex again. In fact, I do not think I ever want to go through the pain of child bearing. What surprises me was that neither did the pain draw me to tears nor did the sight of my forming Three-month foetus when I was flushing it down the toilet when I got home. The woman had given it all to me to discard. Thinking that I had learnt my lesson but no, I returned to Richard’s after new year and we had sexual intercourse again. 

I began to wonder about the height of my rigid wickedness, nothing moves me anymore. I began to wonder if it means that I have resigned to Richard’s control over my body and love’s authority to drive me to do the dumbest things. I asked what my brilliancy amounts to if I could be ruled thus by my emotions, I asked myself, “what if you let this continue and you get pregnant for him again. Would the time be right then to carry the baby of a man who doesn’t love me?”

This is my story, I am an AFASHEART; I have a heart.

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