She is tall and slender, pretty in her navy blue gown. Her navy blue dress flared underneath her heavy breast. I can tell that she is a lawyer, much younger than I am. The flared gown accentuates her protruding stomach, what is typically called "baby bump." People from Anambra state Nigeria, my people, will say "Afo ime (pregnancy)."
She catches me as I stare at her, not once but thrice. She feels quite embarrassed, and she says "Good Morning Ma” for the third time. I smile and say, "Good Morning Dear." She does not understand that it is such a blessing, not just to be pregnant but to announce the new growth in you to smiling faces and happy hearts. To watch the smiles, turn to hearty laughter and the hearts throb with pure joy and excitement; to bear your afo ime without any form of judgment and without having to wake up to the hurting eyes of the people you love.
I had woken up that morning, and I had gone to the restroom, after which I cleaned myself up. There on the tissue paper were blood stains and semi-solid lumps of blood. The chunks of blood could be easily mistaken for those who found their way out of my body once in a month and reminded me once more that I was a woman. That morning, the bloody semi-solid lumps were my child Chimaobim, my four weeks old fetus.
The Sunday before, at exactly noon, I was in my older friend's house, and we had talked. Papa had been speaking with her. She reminded me that I had become long overdue for marriage, and she asked if I had a man in my life. I had answered no, and my heart had bled.
If only she knew. Aunty Anuli, I have a man. I have been with him for two years, but I cannot marry him. Adi m ime. I am pregnant, four weeks pregnant, but I cannot keep and nurture my baby. Any attempt to preserve and nurture my baby will be disastrous because my man has a wife and three adorable kids.
Aunty Anuli did not know, and she did not hear my heart. She did not see it in my eyes that I was bleeding inside, but somehow, I was sure that he knew. My Chi (God) knew and had heard my aching heart. That moment, I had given my baby the name, Chimaobim, God knows my heart desire.
The day before, at night, I had taken a medication that stopped my body from feeding my child and made my uterus uncomfortable for my child to nourish and grow. The next day, I inserted some intra-vaginal medication, which forced my uterus to contract and expel my child from my womb. I had stared at the bloody lumps, and my hands had trembled. It's been four years since I birthed my son, and again, the two lines on the pregnancy test strip had caused me to break down in uncontrollable tears, for I knew that I could not nurture another child.
Our eyes meet yet again just as she walks away. We both smile, but my face soon becomes gloomy. The sanitary pad glues tightly to my undies, and still, I bleed.
Until next time:
“Dream them dreams. Then man-up and live them dreams, because a life without dreams is black and white. And the universe flows in technicolor and surround-sound.”- The Late Great Combat Jack!