“This cannot be real!” I look down at the stick in my hands, ‘Dear God, this cannot be happening…’ I’m a psychology student so I know I am in denial but I can’t help it. ‘It was my effing first time! How can this be happening to me?’
I look down at the other three sticks lying on the bathroom counter all showing the same positive sign. I don’t understand how I had enough water in my bladder to pee on all four sticks but I had been convinced they were wrong and I just needed to get to that one which would prove me right. I guess where there is a will there is a way.
The reality of the situation is just starting to hit me and my hands unconsciously flutter down to my stomach. I feel the cold of my bare hands touching the slit between my crop top and high waist jeans.
A wave of different emotions hit me. Curiosity, a tinge of anticipation, fear and apprehension, but mostly, mostly I just want to cry. I want to cradle myself into a little ball and shed every ounce of moisture from my tear ducts that I can. Or wake up from what has to be a horrible nightmare.
I look at my reflection in the mirror -Fat round cheeks, puffed up by the tears which are now free falling, faded pinkish colored lipstick, and dripping black mascara (I really should invest in waterproof mascara). I laugh amidst my tears because that should be the last thing on my mind right now. Yet I don’t know what else to do. If someone came into the bathroom at this moment they would think me psychotic. A crying, laughing mess of a girl who’s mumbling to herself under her breath like she has voices in her head.
I do in fact have voices in my head. My mother’s voice when she will scream at me for being reckless and irresponsible when she and my father have sacrificed so much for me to get to this point. I hear her bursting into tears and asking me why I have thrown my future all away. I hear my father’s disappointed sigh and long frown, wondering what he will tell his congregation.
How can a pastor’s daughter be pregnant? How? The backlash and backbiting will be major, and that probably is what hurts me the most. My father doesn’t deserve any of this. He is a quiet gentle man, but already I can see Mama Kibet spreading rumors in the church. Scandals, to that woman, are like oxygen to the rest of us.What she won’t be expecting is the revelation that the scandal is her own. That she is to be a grandmother.
My phone starts to buzz. Speak of the devil. The name, ‘Kibet’ lights up on my phone screen and my heart starts pounding. What am I going to tell him? I don’t know how he will react. I’ve never done this before but maybe he has. I take in a deep breath and swipe the answer icon on my phone.
“Hello”, I try to keep my voice from being too shaky.
“Emma, where have you been? I’ve been looking for you everywhere. Shiro said you guys shared a class in the morning then you ran out heaving. Are you okay? What’s going on?”
“Kibet, I’m pregnant.” I’m about to have a panic attack or something because as soon as the words leave my mouth the room starts to spin. I need to sit down.
“Kibet? Did you hear me?” I hear his heavy breathing over the phone.
“Is it mine?”
I see red flashing; Anger like I haven’t experienced before blinds me.
“What do you mean?” In my head I am screaming into the phone so I am surprised when my voice comes out calm and collected but chilly.
“Is the pregnancy mine?”
“You asshole! I gave my virginity to you. You were my first and my only, how can you ask whether this baby is yours?”
“Okay firstly it’s not necessarily a baby, it’s a fetus hey? I don’t want you to get attached. And don’t worry we can deal with the problem. I had to make sure, for now just keep ca–.”
“Don’t you dare tell me to keep calm? I knew this would happen, it’s like every story ever told.Guy meets girl, taps and impregnates her and then leaves her to fend for herself. Yet for some reason I stupidly went with it. I trusted every sweet little nothing you told me. I don’t care Kibet. I know you sure as hell don’t really care either. I’m done with you. I’m done. I-”
“Hello? Hello?” Did he just cut the phone on me? I grab a handful of tissue from the dispenser; my spinal cord finds the coolness of the wall and slides down until my bottom finds the bathroom tiles. I start to sniff uncontrollably and wiping the makamasi from my nose and the tears from my eyes I hear myself talking to the tiles.
“You are different from men.” Sniff “I wish men were tiles,” Hiccup“dependable, cool, and allow me to walk on them, or sit on them.” Groan“Men could learn a lot from you tiles…”
What is my life? I’m supposedly going to be a mother in eight months and I am having a conversation with bathroom tiles.I can’t do this. Kibet’s words run through my head, ‘technically it’s not a baby yet’.
Speak of the devil yet again. My phone vibrates and his name pops up with the little message symbol. I open it up.
Emma I’m sorry I cut the phone. U were overreacting nd I knew I wouldn’t be able to talk 2 u in a reasonable way. I waz going to say I know a guy who can fix the problem if u want. He did it for my homier, Paul when his girlfriend also got a surprise like this. I’ll pay; he’s not as expensive as the other proper hospitals. I’m here for u though. Xo Kibet
He wants me to lie in a little black hole of a shoddy abortion center but the first thing I can think of is how did I never notice how bad his texting is? When they say love is blind, they lie. Infatuation is blind… Mama used to tell me true love sees flaws and all extremely clearly yet chooses to love anyway.
I put my phone aside. A part of me knows that I am done with him. It’s the weirdest thing, it doesn’t stop the tears and the sniffing but I feel like that understanding creates resolution in me; a knowing that I can do this; a desire to live not only for myself but for the life being formed inside me. I guess when life gives you lemons and baby-bumps; you can only make Lemonade and babies.
I however know I can’t do this on my own. I pick up my phone and dial her number. I am definitely not ready but I will take the consequences as they come.
“Hello? Mama? I need to come home; there is something I need to tell you and dad…”
Shingai is an upcoming writer with a passion for words and expression through writing. She lived in Zimbabwe as a child and has traveled to over ten countries. She craves adventure and hopes to be an inspirational writer. She is currently pursuing a degree in English Literature with a minor in Psychology at Daystar University.