You are ten weeks pregnant!
I fixed my eyes at the newly transferred gynecologist in our local clinic- Nasarawa General Hospital and my eyes dilated the more at the words that had just fallen off her mouth.
“Pregnant?” I asked again and she smiled, her well-arranged set of teeth shining at me gladly.
What was so funny about the news?
Exactly what was the cause of her smile?
“Pregnant?” I asked again, my lips shivering in naked disbelief and fear
The doctor’s smile vanished as she stood up and sat on the table before me.
“Is anything the problem madam?” she asked gently and I could only gaze at her
Everything was the problem!
Everything as a whole!
I stood up abruptly thus causing the doctor’s hands to fall off my shoulders.
“Bye” I whispered as I pulled the door handle
“Hey…Mrs…mrs…” the doctor tried to call me back.
I heard her footsteps, then the flipping of the case note I presumed and the call of my name confirmed my guesses.
“Mrs. Olowo!” she called but I had banged the door behind me.
That was my name!
In Yoruba, Olowo means a very affluent and well-to-do person but I was the opposite!
Affluence?…that was far from reality!
Well to do? …that was a no go area!
I got married to Adejare sixteen years ago amidst very great opposition.
I had met him in the University of Ibadan where we both attended and while he was the Class representative of our class, I was the assistant class rep.
I was popular for my really high IQ, beauty and humility and many guys really wanted my hand in marriage by the time we were graduating.
Adejare was my best friend so I notified him of the many advances from different guys and he had proven to be a good friend that had seasoned words to offer me when necessary.
Adejare knew everything about me except my family background…I told him nothing about it!
I didn’t tell him about the fact that my parents separated few months after I was born into the world;
I didn’t tell him that eventually at age five, both of my parents while on their way to the house of a pastor who sought their reconciliation were involved in a fatal accident and I became an orphan;
I didn’t tell him that I grew up in an orphanage home;
I didn’t tell him that getting into the university was due to the fact that I passed the WAEC examination with distinction and emerged in the third position in Oyo State thereby winning a scholarship which covered my tuition only;
I didn’t tell him that while in school, my feeding formula was always 0-1-0 and the only 1 there would be the rich dish of “Garrium sulphate’’ as we did call Garri in school. The addition of Kulikuli, sugar, milk, and groundnut or eja dindin- fried fish always made the difference though!
I didn’t tell him anything about my past.
I loved Adejare as my friend and never did I wanted him to know this about me.
I feared that he might forsake me when he realized that the beautiful shirts and skirts I wore to classes were the donations of churches, individuals and missionaries to the orphanage home where I was raised!
He was nothing but the son of a well to do man…even his physique said so much!
His shoes were majorly Italian!
His watches were always real gold-laced!
He even got me a very beautiful pair of YXL shoes and purse for my 2
But how long could I hold the secret back when eventually while serving in the same state- Nasarawa, he proposed to me!
And I could not say no…
…’cos I loved him too!
But it was a real tug of war when after researching about me; his parents said it was not going to be possible!
“You can never marry someone unfortunate!” Mummy Adejare blurted out immediately I finished my sad tale
“She isn’t unfortunate!” Adejare retorted, his eyes turning red
“You said she isn’t unfortunate son? How can someone’s parents be separated barely few months after the person’s birth? How?” Daddy Adejare asked, mockingly
“Oh oh! And I wonder why both parents would die same day when they had both determined to reconcile. I mean on the way to reconciliation fa!” Mummy Adejare exclaimed
“Things really do happen folks!” Adejare spat out again, obviously infuriated
“Not so spontaneously like that son!” Dad Adejare shouted too, banging the table loudly that my heart shattered into smaller pieces
“Did she kill her parents? Did she cause their separation? What is her fault?” Adejare shouted back, banging the table too in annoyance.
“This is the first time you are looking your dad up in the face. Isn’t that an indication that this girl isn’t any ordinary?” Mummy Adejare said and my already inflated heart burst out suddenly and as much as I tried to hold in my tears, they flowed as I shook with much violence.
“Daddy, I really don’t believe you could also be against love. You taught me about love. You told me that love is real and that you would support whoever I love. Is this the support dad? Is this…” Adejare cried on, his chest rising and falling as he spoke.
“Definitely, it can’t be someone this ill-fated! It can’t be someone without future, without bearing!” he almost screamed and my already shattered heart was grounded into powder!
I let out a painful shriek and ran to the door.
Adejare followed me
“If you follow that girl out of that door, I will disown you!” I heard Daddy Adejare say and I sprawled out of the room.
“You can do your worst dad! Do it!” He shouted back as he banged the door behind him.
I turned back to look at him but he was not approachable- he looked really fierce!
“Please, go inside” I said in a shaky voice
“No” he replied as he pulled my hands and we walked towards the car.
“Please don’t let’s do this. I will never be a party to enmity between a father and his son. Please go inside.” I repeated when he suddenly threw my hands away
“Who are you for exactly? Tell me. Who do you love? My dad or me?” he screamed at me and I shuddered.
What had happened to him?
He had always told me that he was the father’s pet but what happened today?
Was he disappointed that his dad could disgrace him that way?
“I love you but…” I was saying when he covered my mouth tightly.
“No but! Leave it that way. We can do it without them. Okay?” he asked in a raised voice and I could only nod
As he opened the door for me to enter, the front door of the duplex mansion opened and the dad, walking in a fast motion walked out of it.
“You are not taking that car out of this house. That is my property” he said firmly and my heart dropped.
I looked at Adejare and he blinked so hard as he fought his tears.
“I will leave everything for you” he said, retorting and the father collected the car key from him.
As he walked towards the gate, he kept on pressing his phone as if sending a message and he signaled that I followed him.
I genuflected before the parents as they gazed at me like shit!
I was confused as to what to do?
Was I supposed to support Adejare for standing by me in times like this?
Was I to stay with the parents and tell them not to mind Adejare for being egoistic, telling them that that was his personality?
Exactly what should I do?
As he flagged down a taxi, he let out a very bloodcurdling shriek which made me to run towards him with so much speed that my shoes fell off.
He fell to the ground.
The devil is a liar!
I started panting heavily
“Ade mi, what happened? Please talk to me” I asked as I supported his back with my hands
“He has killed me!” he exclaimed, widening his eyes in pain
“Who?” I asked so surprised
“This man I called father as killed me o! He has frozen all my accounts! No money anywhere. Ah!!” he slapped the floor many times as he pursed his lips in regret.
I checked the phone he was holding and I saw Mike’s (His friend) message.
Adejare had sent him a text to make withdrawal for him immediately he realized that his father meant the business of disowning him but before Mike who was a banker could do so, the highest powers had connived and there was a painful deal!
I shook my head
“Ade mi, you have to return home. If they agree, better. If they don’t agree eventually, that means we were never meant to be together.” I tried saying
What was happening had really sapped my strength.
“I don’t like pessimists! When did you become one? Exactly when Ogo? We can scale through this together! We can!” he said as he dusted his shirt and we were set to go
“But we can’t get married without their blessings. We really can’t Ade mi” I tried to say so he could reason with me but he didn’t seem to at all
“Who said so? No need of their curses in disguise which they surnamed blessing. Let’s go” he said as he pulled me away while my heart grew hot with uncertainty.
Was there any glimpse of hope at all?
None of his father’s friends took us in that night- they were working based on instruction was what they kept telling us.
It was both embarrassing and painful.
We left for Lalupon, a neighboring town in Oyo state and we lodged at a motel overnight.
We didn’t speak to each other
The silence between us that day was huge.
It felt really weird and I wanted us to just end the relationship!
This was not the man I knew!
What was happening to him?
Was he now seeing me as a real stumbling block?
He occasionally patted me and squeezed my shoulders in a bid to comfort me but I knew it was not going to last.
I woke up to his sobs in the middle of the night and I could only clutch at my pillow and weep too.
If he was full of regrets and all, he should go back and apologize.
He really should!
“We can wait till their hearts become touched. Apologize. I will wait for you. Thank God we are still young” I muttered silently and he shook his head.
I saw the outlines through the faint illuminations from the candlelight
“I know these people more than you! Once they have said no, nothing or nobody out there can change it! They did it for Adejide too when he refused to study Medicine and chose Fine Arts and he is actually flourishing now in Kent’s. I will flourish too!” he said with such finality that I was so certain that his choleric part had taken the most of him.
I probably would have to go to his parents’ house tomorrow to tell them I would leave their son ooo
I can’t bear this for long!
I really can’t!
“Ogooluwa, wake up” I heard his voice and I sat up immediately.
It was still dark and he was fully dressed, carrying a small bag. I was startled
“Good morning” I said and he nodded briefly.
“We have to leave now” he said and I looked at him, shocked.
“For where?” I asked
“Nasarawa” he said and I suddenly grew weary.
“What!” I exclaimed and he nodded still
“Let’s go and start our lives afresh there.” He said and I looked really baffled.
“Our loads, as in, come on, Ade mi…” I kept babbling.
It really met me suddenly and I didn’t know the right thing to say.
And that was how we left for Nasarawa state in the middle belt of Nigeria without telling anyone and with our modes of communication- Sim cards- broken!
On the way to Nasarawa again, we were involved in an accident where fire consumed all of our properties and I was so shocked as how this could happen to us.
I wept really hard as I could feel that I smelt of misfortune and ill-fate!
But my name was Ogooluwa- God’s glory!
What was wrong with me oh my good God!
With the little money we had (Thank God Adejare was wise enough to keep another account his parents knew nothing about), we secured a place to live in and it was quite comfortable since the cost of living in Nasarawa was relatively affordable.
But we were not married at all!
I didn’t allow him to touch me until he paid my dowry and until we were prayed for.
Who was he going to even pay the dowry to?
Well, I didn’t know who but I knew deep down that though I loved him, I couldn’t just give way to him like that.
We eventually went to a court of law and we were joined together as we exchanged the matrimonial vows while we hired a couple to pray for us!
Our wedding night was a night I would never forget!
Never did I envisage that everything could be like that!
The way Adejare tore at me as he rammed me was not pleasurable at all.
As I moaned in pain and bled, he didn’t care but only rode on as if I was a horse!
Oh my God!
After everything, as he walked to the bathroom, he turned back to look at me.
“You are a virgin after all” he said and tears streamed down my face.
Where is the guy I loved?
The Adejare that I gave my heart to, where is he?
I had earlier told him while we were in courtship that I wasn’t sure if I was a virgin and that he would find out when we married.
This was because while we were growing up in the orphanage home, one Mr. Sylvester who was a tutor there did teach us practically about sex. He would be so explicit that he would make us lie on one another and then record it in his then analog camera!
I was part of the victims then and there really wasn’t anyone who we could report to because almost all the men there were promiscuous as well and the women would only laugh.
I told Adejare about this and he consoled me, saying no matter the outcome of his findings on our wedding night, he would be just fine.
But see his response now!
You are a virgin after all!
I felt like dying!
…But that was the beginning of our frustrating marital life!
I am thirty-nine years old now and our marriage would be seventeen years in three months’ time.
This news from the medical doctor would definitely spark fire when my husband comes to hear of it.
After 6 children?
How did it even happen?
My husband worked with a quarry in Mararaba, near Abuja and while he lived far away, we had lived from hand to mouth.
I had presented my certificate to different educational sectors but despite my wonderful 1st class result, I had never been accepted!
Never did any of them call me back for interview- not even the budding private schools!
It was frustrating!
The only things I could do well with my hands were hairstyling, frying of chinchin and hand embroidery of clothes.
And those were the source of income for feeding the half a dozen children that I had.
The money my husband made per month was up to 50,000 but he never dropped a dime at home.
The only thing he brings back at the end of the month when he visited would not be more than Kulikuli, kilishi and masa (Corn flour cake) plus bread- sometimes!
You are ten weeks pregnant! That the doctor said was like a death sentence because, the last time my husband met with me was ten weeks ago and that was after about 2 months sexual break!
Why would pregnancy just result within that short period of time?
Why wouldn’t pregnancy visit the rich, barren wife of our Reverend in church? —probably because she is stingy!
She would come to the small stall in front of my house and start pricing my wraps of chinchin!
Uku amsin! (Three for #50)
Those were the words that come out of her mouth every time to the extent that my children had nicknamed her Mummy Uku Amsin!
Why must it be me and not her?
Not after the very stern warning from my husband that if I get pregnant again, he would throw me out.
How would I tell him?
Exactly how would I tell him that after so much period of sex starvation, the one time he met with me was in my ovulation period and that it resulted into pregnancy?
As I held my purse- the house of all the money I had in the world (#4000+) close to my chest, a car drove to my side suddenly and I outstretched my right hand, spread my palm and cursed
“Waka!” I said suddenly, very frightened
“Glory!” I heard the driver called and I knew who it was.
The only person who called me Glory was my neighbor Hasiya. Since she couldn’t pronounce Ogooluwa perfectly, I gave her the option of the English meaning- Glory!
“Hasiya, it’s you” I said, smiling faintly
“Yes it’s me. Come in” she said but she was not smiling at all.
What was the problem?
She was always smiling happily whenever she saw me but now, her face looked sad.
I turned and sat on the front seat.
“I hope there is no problem” I said, looking intently into her face.
“That would be a lie if I said so” she said as she drove off.
My heart started beating fast.
What could the problem be?
She had turned back to Kasuwa (market) side instead of going to Agwan-Biri where we lived and I wondered what was wrong.
I had the ability of maintaining my calm and dying in silence, so I was going to do same here.
I would wait till she showed me what it was!
My headache had started on a serious level!
She drove to a halt in front of one of the communication stores and she looked into my face.
She held my hands together and my anxiety heightened!
The veins at the side of my head were fighting hard to be heard and noticed.
“I saw this and I felt that if I didn’t let you see it too, it wouldn’t tell well of me” she said as she pointed at the other side of the road.
I turned to look at the direction she pointed at and lo and behold! …
It just couldn’t be true!
As my heart jumped anxiously as if to leave the cage holding it, I closed my eyes in shame and embarrassment!
“It is well Glory ko? I don’t even know what to say. Sanu….yakuri!” she begged me on, trying her utmost to console me.
The first time we spoke together was when I was seven years ago when I was in the pregnancy of my last twins and my husband kept kicking my tummy as if to put an end to the growing fetus!
She had rushed out of her gigantic mansion that midnight just to come in between the fight!
She was drawn to my beauty and that of my twins- 3 sets of twins!
She was dazed also at my spoken English and she wondered what was wrong!
Since then, whenever she had one thing or the other, she would give to me to help my children.
It was however heartbreaking that my last-born- the boy twins were seated on the ground with some ill-looking children, holding plastic plates and singing the Al-majiri song.
My own children!
Just 7 years old o!
Begging for money???
I didn’t know what to do.
Was I supposed to cross the road and beat them?
Or was I supposed to turn back and go home?
I was so stranded as to what to do!
If for real God really exists, why is this happening to me? Why has my life never been full of happiness?
Why have I always been a Mara?
Why has my portion always been bitterness?
The story is just beginning!