Lynn lies immobile on her bed. Her hands are wide apart, her legs left over right, as if crucified on an imaginary cross on the bed. As a matter of fact, she feels crucified and betrayed. She stares at the ceiling. A lizard crawling upside down on the white board stirs her back to her senses. Things like these always bring her to her senses, always. Things she can’t understand. A strong gale coming from the sea slams the door and windows shut as if nature herself is fed up with her and confining her to her own demons, letting them connive in tormenting her by shutting the whole world away from this. Is it? Maybe the sea fears her demons would land on a pack of swine that would roll themselves in frenzy into the water in a mystic repeat of history. You never know, history repeats itself. So the sea held hands with the winds to avoid such a scene. I’m really sorry I’m referring to them as demons, but what would you call them if she didn’t know whether to cry or laugh, whether it’s anger or just pain, whether to avenge or let go, whether to abort or let live?
Did I just let the cat out of the bag? True. Lynn’s pregnant. A reality she’s woken up to for the past nine months. Laud of applause? She couldn’t believe it, huh, all that time? Unlike Ole Lenku, she’d applied all the textbook security measures. How the assailants found their way …. eer… deep into her eggs, or bypass security road blocks, she couldn’t comprehend. Yet now, that small lapse would render her hostage to a dark reality. She feels as if the ghost of the would-be bastard was haunting her already. That slamming of the door and window… shutting and opening in a persistent continuous cascade… phew that ghost! She lets the salty tears flow freely into her mouth, licks her lips as if to confirm that this situation is indeed salty and to add sting to injury, tries for the umpteenth time today to assure her that Maina has suddenly gone phoneless.
Maina’s number answers to the voicemail box. Maina’s stupid and she knows it. He’d lured her into bed severally. What a cheap slut she’d been, she thinks. That’s why for the whole nine months she’d kept this away from him. But Lynn’s friend had threatened her some time ago that she’d tell Maina. True, Liz didn’t fail her words; she’d rather fail everything else. Getting it? Liz confided in Maina, Maina got scared and took to the hills. Was it Liz’s fault? No. it wasn’t a threesome, she reminded herself.
She stretches her hand and fumbles about, into the bed-drawer for her diary. She scans through it for worse times in her 18-year long life but finds none. At nine, her mom had kicked the ‘pail’… but that wasn’t solely about her; it was family loss and burden. At 12, her first ever periods that were so painful and eventful weren’t a match either. Even though at the time she’d described the feeling as ‘what a lemon goes through when sour lemon juice is squeezed out of it’, this was the horrifying, killer terrorist. She let the diary lie open on the mole hills on her chest, clutches tightly at the sheets as if they are the only straw to clutch for a drowning damsel, then watches as the wind, oh sorry, ghost, slams her diary shut and pushes it to the floor.
That’s it. That’s stigma, huh? Society would be unfair and cruel as obviously expected to a pregnant 18-year old in Ukambani. It is as if she’d robbed her sperm bank and hid that stuff in her, and now, her 40 days!
She’s now pushing and shoving as I write this beside her bed. Not my wish, she’d demanded I do this as a friend. Never mind, we’re both writers and such craze isn’t absurdly abnormal. Why me? Well, I’d been there for her. At least I offered that shoulder to lean on (oh yeah, I did) wiped her tears, whispered sweet nothings (comforting words, by the way) into her ears and even suggested a name for the little angel (just trying to sound awesome). I then look into her abruptly changing gaze, sigh deeply as she lets out what sounds like heavy moanotones. The last time I did such noise, I was constipating real badly! This is where we, men, don’t get this. Strangely, that simple act of pleasure that leaves one slurping and licking their lips can also leave you cursing your hips. The nurse has arrived. Lynn struggles as I coax my brains to give me an emoji to stick here.
The nurse looks frantic and shocked. I move closer to her. Lynn’s voice is strangely dwindling in this sudden strange turn of events. I grab a look at her spread hips… My! It isn’t a head first; I could see tiny stiff legs peeping out of… Oh no!