She panicked as she walked into the company’s Sick bay. One of her colleagues had informed her that her friend had fainted in the office and the in-house nurse was attending to her. She had just resumed work that week after a long suspension. What could possibly be wrong with her now? She might eventually get sacked if she doesn’t put herself together. She found her seated on one of the beds. The room was empty.
“What happened to you?” she folded her hands across her chest and leaned against the wall.
“I fainted,” she met her friend’s concerned gaze.
“I was told,” she eyed her, “What did the nurse say?”
“She ran some tests.”
“And?” she sat on the bed.
She looked away and bit at her lower lip.
“What did she say?”
“I am… I am preg… am pregnant.”
Her hand flew to her opened mouth. Didi was pregnant with Uwa’s child! Her hazel eyes turned red.
“How could you?”
She faced her.
“How did this…” she pointed at her tummy, “… happen.”
She blinked. It looked like her friend was about to cry. Why?
“We didn’t plan it. We… well… we only did it once… okay twice.”
“Once is enough to get you pregnant dummy!”
“Hey!” fried nerves.
“Hey yourself,” she got to her feet, “Jesus Christ,” she gritted her teeth.
She watched her. Why was she upset? It seemed her friend hasn’t gotten over Uwa’s preference for her.
“Why didn’t you take some pills or something?” her hazel eyes scanned her like an insect.
“Did I tell you I was in the habit of sleeping around?” she was beginning to get upset.
“You should have been smart enough to tell him to use a condom.”
“He doesn’t sleep around either. You don’t expect someone like that to have a pack of condom stashed somewhere in his flat.”
Mara shook her head and began to pace the room. They were dumber than she thought, “And to think of it, you always go around saying s-x before marriage is a no, no for you.”
She eyed her, “I stand by that.”
She halted and looked at her, “And you slept with him?”
“It wasn’t planned.”
She lay back on the bed and faced the wall. She wished Mara would stop looking for faults and act like a friend for once.
“Beautiful, this is just beautiful,” she smoothed her braids with her hands. They were beginning to look rough.
“I am keeping the baby.”
“What!” she looked at her. She was still facing the wall.
“It doesn’t matter if he wants it or not. I will keep the baby.”
Her heart missed a beat. What if he also wanted to keep the baby? That would be bad news for her. She could lose him forever.
“People like us actually look up to people like you when it comes down to doing things God’s way.”
She smiled and turned on her side, “Next time, don’t look up to people like us. Just do what the good book says, follow Jesus and try to be more like Him.”
“Whatever. You are a disappointment,” she turned on her heels and navigated her way out of the room.
She ran her creamy brown fingers through her dark smooth shoulder length retouched hair. It felt soft and silky in her hands. Her friend’s words had hurt. She had done her own share of blaming herself. She didn’t need to be judged by anyone else. She closed her eyes.
Oh God… what have I done?
She gritted her teeth.
Uwa, what have we done?
He picked up his girlfriend at the office that noon and drove her home. He helped her into the flat and got her settled in, tucked into bed and ready for a long nap.
“Where you given any medication?” her health troubled him.
She shook her head, “The nurse told me to rest and eat well.”
He nodded, “Okay.”
She bit at her lower lip. How was she going to break the news to him? He searched her face. Was something bordering her? She looked a bit worried.
“What is it?”
She turned her head.
“Talk to me.”
She directed her full attention towards him, “I am pregnant.”
He blinked and stared back at her. She is pregnant? They had only done it twice. Was that enough to produce a baby?
“I am keeping the baby,” she tried to read the expression on his face.
“Okay. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
She sighed with relief. She wouldn’t have subscribed to abortion if he had suggested it. Abortion was murder. It doesn’t matter what the society or those baby assassins who called themselves medical doctors painted it to be.
“I know I got us into this situation.”
She reached out for his hand and squeezed it, “I am equally responsible.”
He nodded, “We allowed our emotions to rule our heads,” he reached out for her other hand.
She took comfort in that gesture.
“I don’t want a baby out of wedlock.”
She blinked, trying to grasp what he meant. Was he changing his mind? She paled.
“We are both born again Christians. People will judge us and blame you.”
She held her breath and tightened her grip on his hand.
“I want to cover your shame. Even if you weren’t pregnant, I would have asked you this question in a couple of months’ time.”
She looked into his dark eyes. What was he trying to say?
“I love you. Please marry me, be my wife, the mother my children.”
Her eyes smarted with tears. She exhaled and nodded, “Yes, I will marry you.”
He smiled and pulled her into his arms. His warmth soothed her nerves and melted her worries and fears.
“I love you Onuwagbe Daniel Okosun.”
He became still. The way she pronounced his names felt like a cool bath. He pulled away and stared at her. She had just confessed that she loved him too. He had been waiting for her to say those words.
“I love you too,” he claimed her lips and she responded to his kiss. He groaned and released her, “The sooner we get married, the better.”
She chuckled and used her hand to fan her face, “It is getting hot in here.”
He laughed and got up, “Let me go. I will call you later.”
“All right love.”
He blew her a kiss and strode out. She leaned back on the bed. She was getting married.
“Halleluiah!” she raised her hands and shook it. She drew up the blanket, covered her face and threw it away. She sat up and started to dance, “I am getting married! I am getting married!”
Mara met Didi watching a movie on the television when she returned from work. She went to her room, took a shower and got into her pajamas. She planned to eat and go to bed early. She had a lot to do at the office the next morning. She was also eager to know the outcome of her friend’s discussion with her boyfriend. She hoped they both agreed to do an abortion. That pregnancy could wreck her plans. She heard a knock on her door.
Didi opened the door and walked in. She was surprised to see her friend in her pajamas.
“Hi yourself,” she picked up a pillow and sat on the bed.
“I want you to be my maid of honour.”
What was she talking about? What does she need a maid of honour for? It was only brides that needed best ladies. Was Didi getting married?
“Are you getting married?”
She nodded and smiled. Mara felt as if a train had just run over her. Did Uwa propose? That dumb son of a woman. How could he?
“You are still my best friend, despite our differences. I want you there, right beside me on the D-day.”
Her friend must be crazy. Watching her get married to him will be the death of me.
She must stop the wedding. They cannot get married. If he proposed to her because of the pregnancy, maybe the wedding would be cancelled if that pregnancy disappeared. She needed to hatch out a plan. She would not rest until he was hers only.
“My parents will be so excited. I am the first out of their three children and I am the only girl. Do you know that Uwa’s parents have only boys, no girls? They are dying to have me as their daughter-in-law.”
“Really?” she tried to concentrate on what she was blabbing about, but, all she wanted to do was to slap her silly or worse, strangle her. That would bring her so much pleasure. She grinned.