Run! Part 4
Dear reader, this is the final episode of this series. Thank you for being here and kindly remember to share this link with someone.
May we be courageous enough to take charge of our lives.
Have a great weekend!
I serve Victor his lunch and return to my chore. I can feel his eyes on me, and I wonder if I’ve offended him again but I concentrate on the beans I’m picking and try to ignore him.
“Where is your own food?” He asks.
“It’s in the pot.”
“Why are you not eating? Are you waiting for me to leave the house before you eat?”
“No, not at all. I just wanted to finish picking these beans first.”
“Leave that tray and bring your food here.” he orders.
I do as he says without another word, wondering what he’s up to and why he’s so interested in seeing me eat. Taking my food to the stool where I’d been picking the beans I start eating slowly.
“Let me see that meat you’re eating.”
Nervously I walk over to him and show him my food.
“You meat is bigger than mine. Why? You want to cheat me in my own house?”
I look at the meat in the plate and look back at his just to be sure that we’re talking about the same thing. His is more than twice mine. I know this game, he wants me to argue with him so that he can have an excuse to hit me.
“I’m sorry. Let me go and put it in a plate for you.” I say calmly.
He stops eating and stares at me, not sure what to make of my response. He waves me away and continues his food and leaves the house without another word. As soon as he is gone, I bring out my books from my box where I’ve hidden them and continue reading.
We’re waiting for the nurse at the clinic where I’m to get the family planning done. I’ve decided on an injection that will prevent me from getting pregnant.
“Don’t worry, it will be alright.” Caro squeezes my hands reassuringly. I smile back.
“Who is Eno…?” A nurse announces.
“I am!” I jump up excitedly.
“We can’t give you the injection.”
“Why?” I ask perplexed.
“You’re pregnant.” She hands me a pink sheet of paper which has the result of the required pregnancy test.
“No… it can’t be…”
“What do you mean?” the nurse says sarcastically. “Come back after you’ve given birth to your baby. Congratulations!”
I turn back to Caro who is as shocked as I am. “Eno…”
“I couldn’t have told him to use a condom…” I can’t speak any longer, I break down in tears and slump back on the seat.
“Don’t worry…” Caro says. “There’s a way out.”
“I know about a drug that you can use to terminate the pregnancy.”
“An abortion?” I ask wide-eyed.
“Look do you want to burden yourself with another pregnancy when your baby is not even six months old yet? Do what you need to do.”
I’m not sure about this plan but I agree. I don’t want to appear weak, I am not weak.
When Eno walks into her sitting room, I know something is wrong. She looks light-hearted.
“You look happy.”
“Yes my friend.” She says with a shy smile.
“Well, what has happened?”
“My husband found about the pregnancy, you know this thing is not easy to hide. He was so happy about it. He says that he has a good feeling about this one, he knows it’s going to be a boy. You should see the way he’s been treating me ever since he found out. He bought me three new wrappers just yesterday.”
I can’t believe my ears. “Eno, have you forgotten about the risk to your life? I’ve brought the drug I told you about.”
“I can take it…”
“Eno! What about our plan? Why are you allowing yourself to get distracted by wrappers? What if it’s another girl?”
“Look Caro, I’m not as bold as you are. I love my husband and I don’t want to disobey him or do anything that will destroy my home. Everything is going to be alright.”
“I’m disappointed in you.” I say angrily and fling the drug I brought at her. “Your greed will kill you.”
“And so will your strong headedness. If you were a quiet and meek woman, you would have married a good man like I did instead of the animal you ended up with!”
I’m trembling with fury. “I hope you’re carrying another girl so that you will understand what you’re doing to yourself.”
“You don’t understand what it means to carry your own child, and that’s why you want me to kill this one but I won’t.”
“You will have another girl and I will laugh hard at you.” I get up and leave.
Several months later, I take a deep breath as I open the piece of paper containing my result. It’s been a trying period, hiding my plans from Victor and hoping that I would pass my exams. I open up the paper and glance at it. All Cs. I passed!
Exhaling slowly, I realize that there is now nothing stopping me from leaving Victor. I am free, but I am afraid. What if Faith doesn’t accommodate me? What if I don’t get a job?
I think about Eno, she would want to know. Or wouldn’t she? We haven’t spoken in so long, still, I find my way to her house.
Caro comes into the room and I can see the look of horror on her face.
“Eno! How did this happen?”
It happened so fast. I was pounding yam for dinner when I felt a strong contraction but I ignored it, thinking that it was premature and it would stop. Within the next ten minutes, I felt the baby’s head crowning and my mother-in-law who was around had to take the delivery. I pushed, it was another girl just like Caro predicted. But then I felt another contraction, there was another baby. I pushed several times but the baby just won’t come out. Bleeding profusely and feeling exhausted, I almost gave up.
“You can’t stop now! Push!” my mother-in-law snapped at me.
Finally, the baby came out. A boy, but he is blue, he had the cord around his head. I’ve lost too much blood, I can feel myself slipping away.
“Run!” I manage to say to Caro before I close my eyes to sleep.
I’m still weeping when I get home and all I can remember is what I said to her the last time we spoke.
“Your greed will kill you.”
Did I kill my friend?
This is all I can hear as I pack up my belongings and leave Victor’s house.