“Where am I?” I wondered as I stared blankly into the dark space. Suddenly, I saw a white light. As my vision became clearer, I discovered that the white light was emanating from a doctor’s lab coat. He looked at me strangely, expecting me to utter a word. Yet, it was like my lips were glued, no form of sound could be produced. I could see worry written all over the doctor’s face, while the nurses gazed with concern. I kept wondering what I was doing in the hospital. Suddenly, I remembered my stomach had a “b” shape when I was rushed into the space some weeks ago. That was all I could remember at the scary instance. When I tried to place my hands on my tummy, I realized that drips were connected to my hands. My jaw dropped as one of the nurses explained to me that I had given birth three weeks ago through a cesarean section that was conducted on me because I was unconscious. I couldn’t utter a word because my brain didn’t seem to articulate any.
Lots of things were going through my mind ranging from how I got to the hospital to how I fell unconscious for three weeks. When the nurses handed my baby to me, my expression changed from being surprised to being sad. Within the twinkling of an eye, I became angry. I wanted a fair and hairy baby, but the girl I was staring at was as dark as charcoal. She was hairless, with barely a single strand of hair on her head and even her eyebrows. I looked at the baby disgustingly and felt as if I would puke before asking the nurse to take her back to wherever she had brought her. I couldn’t bear the ignominy of accepting such a horrible-looking girl like that. A whole spec like me raising a charcoal-like baby, never! Obviously, love was absent in my heart for her at that instance. Different thoughts rushed down my mind; either I navigate my way unnoticed out of the hospital without the baby or I put her up for adoption.
Two weeks after I was discharged from the hospital, I became fully conscious. I was caught in shock, and almost soaked in depression when I pondered that nobody including my so-called husband visited me while I was in the hospital. The events that preceded the birth of my daughter were tragic. Memories of my childhood played in my head. I was a bright, bubbling, and ambitious girl born with a silver spoon. I had dreams and inspiration to be one of the youngest billionaires in the world. I graduated from Harvard University with a first-class before my parents handed over their company to me. I attended a series of business trips and it was on one of such trips, I met Christopher – my husband. He was handsome, caring, and rich – the dream of every lady. We got married against my parents’ wish, though they attended my wedding since it was the talk of the town, or maybe because I was their only child. Smiles enveloped my face every morning that I am now married to the man of my ‘dream.’
The smiles ceased to find expression when I discovered that he was infertile. All hopes of him getting me pregnant were lost. I wanted to adopt a child but he was against the idea, claiming the doctors were wrong. ‘Let us keep trying,’ was his anthem. I was so excited when we finally found a trusted urologist who was willing to treat him. After a series of tests were conducted, a drug was recommended for him. We were happy that we could finally have a child of our own. The happiness faded gradually after two years of no result to show for it. It was already the third year of our marriage and everyone had turned us into a laughing stock. We were the talk of the town to the extent that I felt ashamed of my husband’s aridity. I started researching the possible solutions to infertility when I stumbled upon another urologist. However, his concerned parents pleaded that we come and consult a doctor near their abode. On our way to his parents’ house, two hefty men from nowhere stopped my husband’s car, pushed my sweetheart out of the car, and drove off. I made the costly mistake of not getting down unnoticed. I was taken far away to the outskirt of the city. I was kidnapped for no reason! My last memory before I returned home to my husband was that a powder was blown over my face. Then the next evening, I was released by the hefty men.
On disclosing the news to his parents, they were scared but thrilled I am now safe. Fear gripped my husband afterwards. Sadly, we couldn’t go to see his parents anymore. Our only fate rested on our ability to keep trying, as we disturb the neighbourhood with my screaming every night. Some weeks after, I discovered that I was one month pregnant. I was overjoyed as I called my husband to inform him about the pregnancy because he was on a business trip. As expected, he sounded very excited over the phone. He had to cancel his remaining appointments so that he could travel back to Nigeria first thing the following day. Unfortunately, he couldn’t return the next day because his business partner could not handle the deals alone. He had to wait for extra three months! He promised me a trip to Canada for three months once he returned.
Three months came with so much fury enveloped within me because I had to wait that long for my husband’s arrival. We packed a few luggage for the vacation. By now, my baby bump was visible and the news of my pregnancy spread like a wildfire. I received lots of congratulatory messages from well-wishers. To my utmost shock, my employees organized a surprise party for me and my unborn child. The much anticipated vacation came – the day we were to travel. His parents ushered us their maximum support, on the flip side, my parents were indifferent about the vacation. Not even a single text was sent by my parents regarding my pregnancy. I could not but be sad. I tried to forget about it so that my husband won’t be worried, but the thoughts of my parents’ fears filled my mind. I wondered what would happen if their fears came to reality. I was jerked back to reality by a distant call of my name. My husband dropped his eyes on me with an expression I couldn’t decipher before asking if I was alright. I nodded positively as we headed towards the plane with our first-class tickets dangling in our hands. As soon as my head tilted to the back, gaining support, I slept off. I was woken up by my husband when we arrived in Canada. I smiled as I pictured a déjà vu of our honeymoon. The three months promised to be exciting and fun-filled.
We checked in a resort owned by my husband. As soon as we settled down, I pleaded with him to let us tour the city, though we were tired. He agreed to make the love of his life happy. I excitedly roamed about the street on foot as against the ride suggested by my sweetheart. I regretted my decision a few minutes later. I was bathed with dizziness to the extent that I felt I would faint. My husband who was smart to notice my dizziness ordered a ride speedily. As soon as I got into the room, I slumped on the bed, putting on a stolen smile of satisfaction mixed with relief. Time passed, as seconds turned into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into weeks, weeks into months. The three months faded amid my frequent mood swings, daily tantrums, and unconditional love from my dotting life partner. As we headed towards the airport, I brought up my parents’ fears concerning my pregnancy, however, Christopher promised that we would discuss it when we arrive in Nigeria.
When we got back to Nigeria, we continued our lifestyle. I went to my office, while Christopher went on business trips. He was always jubilant to accompany me to prenatal tests at the hospital every time the need arose. Strangely, it never crossed his mind to bring up the discussion on my parents’ fears I put forward to him during our vacation. This aggravated my worry day by day. On a fateful day, I busted out. It was a terrifying decision to make. I reminded Christopher of my parents’ disapproval of our union, owing to the fact that we were both AS and O+. The potential of giving birth to a child with an SS genotype cannot be sidelined. My calm husband gave me a romantic kiss. That kiss sent me to the sky and back to the earth. In his bedroom voice, he said “None of our children would be SS, babe. Do not be scared.” We later agreed to visit the hospital the next day for confirmation. I was relieved!
The next morning came earlier than expected. The hospital we decided to go to was just a 5-minute drive away from our abode. “You won’t be worried again after today, babe,” my husband whispered to me as the doctor was approaching with the results of the tests. “The baby is AA and A+,” the doctor shouted excitedly. “Yes, yes, yes, I told you,” my husband added. I was thrilled when I heard my unborn baby was AA but my face dropped when the doctor said A+. “But that cannot be possible, Doctor,” I muttered with a shaking voice. “My husband and I both have an O+ blood group, how come the child is A+?” I added. That couldn’t be possible except Christopher wasn’t the father of my unborn child. The doctor then suggested that we carry out a DNA test to confirm. After the test was conducted, the results revealed that Christopher wasn’t the father of my unborn baby. My head spun as I sat down in perplexity. I had never cheated on my husband, so I didn’t know what was happening. Christopher on the other hand turned white like a ghost before hurriedly leaving the hospital, neglecting me. I was pissed off by his actions, little did I know that it was the beginning of my misery.
I got home to meet Christopher filled with anger which was so much visible in his eyes. I dared not approach him. My husband had turned from being an angel to being a monster within a short period. He muttered to himself as he kept staring at a picture on his phone with anger written in his eyes. It was a breaking news by a local newspaper. Some kidnappers were just caught with some pictures of their evil deeds revealed. He suddenly flung the phone at me to have a look. When I looked at it, my heart sank. Featured among the pictures, was a picture of me sleeping naked on a bed with two men by my sides – one at my right and the other at my left. I didn’t recognize the face of the men, not alone, the bed. I kept staring at the picture blankly, all of a sudden I remembered the men, they were the ones who kidnapped me some months ago. Many thoughts crossed my mind. “Why was I naked? Was I raped?” Christopher cut short my thought process with a loud bang on the door. He made his way out of the room. What kind of coincidence is this? I could not fathom it.
The next day as I returned from my office, my husband handed me a brown envelope containing some documents. I collected it with shaky hands while wondering if it had something to do with my pregnancy. I was shocked to my bone marrow when I discovered that Christopher had filed for a divorce. He had even signed claiming he could not raise another man’s child. I refused to sign the document. Two days later, I came back from work, only to meet the door locked, with some of my luggage outside. I tried to open the door, but to my dismay, the lock had been changed. I followed my relaxed thoughts and went to my parents’ house but my mum who sighted me from afar instructed the security guard not to open the gate. I was left with no other choice but to check into a nearby hotel since it was getting dark. Perhaps, the area was not too safe, especially for a pregnant woman like me.
My routine became from the hotel to my office on weekdays, and from the hotel to the hospital for check-ups on Saturdays. Sundays were the only days I had to rest adequately. Time went by and my expected delivery date was fast approaching. I kept on going to my office against my doctor’s plead for bed rest. On a fateful day, I asked my driver to take charge of the wheel as usual. We were to head to the office before navigating to the hospital. I needed to finalize a business deal with an international company. As soon as I entered my office, I started experiencing contractions, with my cervix dilating and softening. I needed not to be told that I am about to give birth. I cried out in pain and my secretary rushed in. She immediately called my driver and all that I knew was that we were in the car. I lost consciousness, only to finally wake up in the hospital after three weeks according to what I was told by my doctor when I opened my eyes. So weird that I lost consciousness for about 3 weeks!
I jerked back to reality by the cries of my daughter. I looked at the charcoal-like daughter of mine with disgust. She was the product of the rape and subsequently the source of my misery. I stared at the rat poison in my hand. It was high time I put an end to all the misery. I ignored her cries as I forcefully gulped the poison. Immediately I swallowed the poison, my phone rang – it was my mum. I didn’t want to pick it because of the hatred I felt towards her. I later gave in since it will be the last time I would hear her voice as death was fast approaching. I picked up the call and heard her talk, but I couldn’t utter a word. My eyes were closing involuntarily, as the phone slipped off my hand. I could hear the loud cries of my daughter, then suddenly I couldn’t hear or see anything – my body went numb. I tried opening my eyes but to no avail.
After all my frantic efforts, when my eyes opened, it was an extremely slow process. I could see angels in white apparel staring at me. It felt good to be in heaven, far away from my misery. As my vision became clearer, I discovered that they were not angels but nurses in a hospital. “She is awake,” one of them shouted. Immediately, my parents, as well as my husband came to hug me. My mum had called my husband because she sensed I was in danger when I picked up her call. She was talking, but couldn’t hear my voice, rather, my daughter’s cry was all she could hear. They had tracked my phone and rushed me to the hospital. They apologized for abandoning me when I needed them the most. I was happy my parents could love me once again and my beautiful husband is back. Now, we could start a new life happily.
About the Writer
I am Excel O. OLUNUSI, a mathematics student of the University of Ibadan. I am passionate about motivating people so as to make the world a better place. I also design graphics and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org