Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Previous Next

Chapter 8

  • I stared at the blue pregnancy self-test kit that Amy was handing over to me.
  • “Take it.” She implored camly, but I couldn’t bring myself to take it.
  • Beads of sweat formed on my forehead and my heart was thumping violently against my chest. My legs felt weak and my hands were shaky. I leaned against the bathroom door, taking in ragged breaths. I was scared of the outcome; the thought of seeing ‘positive’ as the result welcomed an engulfing fear that choked me.
  • “Leila, do this damn test.” Amy’s voice carried through the toilet walls and pulled me out of my jumbled thoughts. My breath hitched, now remembering that Amy was still here with me. She stood in front of me, folding her arms across her chest, her eyes urging me to take the test.
  • “I will.” I nodded and muttered.
  • “Do you know what? I’ll give you some privacy.” Without waiting for my response, she stalked towards the door and exited the toilet, the door closing behind her.
  • I don’t want to be pregnant, I mumbled under my breath. I finally mustered all the courage I had in me to pick up one of the packets and read the instructions. I did all that was required and was now on the last phase: waiting for the result. It was the hardest. Ah God, I don’t want to be pregnant, I kept muttering and praying silently.
  • I had a younger sister, Tella, that looked up to me. Getting pregnant in a hard time like this would outrightly serve as a bad example to her. Mother was sick and our finances were in shambles, hearing the news of my possible pregnancy could just break her.
  • I braced myself as I walked over to the test sticks and pick one up. I peeped through the slits while holding the test stick at arm’s length. My heart raced. It was negative, I couldn’t believe it. I re-read the instructions to be sure I was doing it the right way. “It’s negative.” I screamed in excitement as relief flooded through my entire body. Amy immediately barged through the bathroom and hugged me, afterwards we did our happy dance together.
  • *
  • Mom was getting more fragile and weak everyday. She was getting thinner, her thick flesh had dried up, leaving just bones that were almost visible. Her cancer in her liver were starting to metastasize, she needed immediate intensive treatment. She had worked hard when Dad died so we could survive. She bore every manual job available because she wasn’t qualified for white collar job. She was always exhausted and sacrificing her food for us. Her unhealthy feeding habits brought about her first health issues.
  • I felt sad just thinking about it. Jake had promised to handle the cost of her medical treatment, he said he had been saving for it since the first day I told him about her health. Since we were no longer in a relationship, I doubt if he’d want to help me without demanding that I get back with him. I wasn’t ready for another bout of abuse.
  • I couldn’t even consider asking my father’s relatives for financial support because they never liked Mom. They claimed that Mom was always controlling Dad but I saw was that they just really in love. Sometimes, I felt like they extended the dislike to her children (me and Tella) because they didn’t even try to stay connected with us after Dad’s death.
  • They managed to fake cordiality with us while Dad was alive. But immediately, he died and did his burial they cut ties with us. As for mom family, she was the first out of the two children her parents had. Her younger sister wasn’t really financially stable but she still managed to pay Tella’s bills as she was her God mother. Mom’s father was still alive but her Mother was dead. She was not in good terms with her father because (according to her) he had always wanted to control her life by helping her make basic decisions and she had always rebel against him. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when she ran off to marry a man (which is my Dad) whom grandpa didn’t approve off.
  • “She’s awake!” Tella’s high pitched voice jolted my mind to the present. I looked across the parlour to see mom struggling to hoist herself from the couch where she was lying. Me and Tella quickly rushed to assist her. She no longer looked young like she used to: her dark luscious hair were now tainted with grey hairs sprouting from every corner, her cheekbones were sunken, when she spoke, it was as slow as a snail.
  • Her eyes lit up the moment she knew it was me. “My little baby, how is everything?” She didn’t only talk slowly but her voice was very low. I struggled to form a reply because to be honest, everything wasn’t good. She looked around, as if searching for someone while I and Tella observed her. “Where’s your boyfriend?” She asked with a weak smile on her face. “I wanted to even ask.” Tella said, smiling and hoping for a positive reply. This little girl, I was wondered if she even knew what it meant to have a boyfriend. She just seven years old but she wasn’t already acting older than her age. It was because of the circumstances surrounding her life.
  • “We are no longer together.” I mumbled. “Mom, have you eaten? I bought you some fruits.” I said trying to wave off the conversation but she was persistent in trying to know the cause of our break up. “Why?”
  • “He … was… ” I stuttered. “Abusive.”
  • Their mouth was agape, eyes widened in shock. My mother reached out to hug me, I saw how she struggled with movement and then, I reached out to hug her too. “I’m so sorry.” She apologized, whispering into my ears. “I know I’m one of the reasons why you stayed with him all these while.” She explained and I nearly bursted into tears. “It’s okay, mom.”
  • “I think it’s high time you met your grandfather for help since I can’t go.” She said. “I’m dying… I need help. ” She said with a shaky voice and it broke my heart. I released her from the hug so she could rest her back on the couch. “You’re not dying, you’ll be fine.” I assured her and her lips slowly curled into a smile.