Life is a twist of joy and pain. You never know whether or not things will work out in the end, you can only pray and hope they do. My mother calls it having faith, but faith was the last thing on my mind as I sat on the marble bathroom floor of the house I grew up in, holding the pregnancy test strip that read POSITIVE.

September 22, 2017

My story began on a day like any other with no idea that my whole life was about to

“Ugh…Jessica, that wasn’t so bad I guess”, Lucas rolled off my very still body the
same way he got on it.

“It’s Nneka actually, not Jessica” I corrected.

He got off the bed and strolled towards the bathroom door, “Whatever. I’m going to take a shower, do you mind?”

I shook my head slowly to mean no and waited until the door closed behind him before I let out the breath I’d been holding in.

“What did I just do? Did I just lose my virginity to that guy? What the hell just happened?” I thought all this to myself as I recalled countless lovemaking scenes in movies wondering how I ended up here. I quickly threw my clothes on and called for an Uber, making a silent promise to forget the whole incident and just move on with life.

Three Weeks Later

I could barely breathe when my mother opened the door and found me sitting there, still in my bridesmaids dress with my eyes never leaving the strip in my hands. The next few minutes were bleak, with screaming and shouting, my father’s voice boomed with anger, “Ï always knew that girl would be a disgrace to this family,” while she shouted back at him as she walked towards me and began to speak, but I couldn’t make out a single word she was saying. My family has always been against abortion, so as you can guess I was going to have to keep this baby. After I had told Lucas that I was pregnant, he had hung up on me and subsequent calls went through to voicemail. I was scared and I felt so alone. I despised the thing growing inside me, how could I ever love something or someone that had ruined my life?

May 19, 2018

My due date according to the doctor is sometime next month, and I am the least bit excited as I stare at the plate of Ogi and Akara in front of me. My meal choices had spiraled down during the first and second trimester of my pregnancy and I had gotten used to eating little or nothing as everything seemed to make me sick.

“Nneka, you haven’t even touched your food. What’s wrong?” My mother tried to coax me into telling her what was going through my mind. It was annoying but she had been my only support since the day I found out I was pregnant.

I stood up quickly and began to walk away, “Nothing mum, I think I just need to lay down.”

The last thing I remember was my mother’s scream as I opened my eyes on the hospital stretcher. I could hear the doctor mumble something about a premature delivery and how it would be risky. At that moment, I did not know what was going to happen to me but I found myself raising my hand as the whole room watched me while I struggled to speak. With all the strength I could muster I coughed up three words, “Save my baby.”

May 20, 2018

I woke up feeling sore on every part of my body, in an empty hospital room with at least three tubes connected to me.
There was no crib, she was gone. I sobbed lightly wishing I had gotten the chance to hold her just once.
“You’re awake ma, you shouldn’t be sitting up. Please lay back while I get the doctor”, said a very cheery nurse. She bolted out the door and came back in a minute followed by the doctor who seemed to be carrying something as he walked toward me. He stopped at the foot of the bed, “So, are you ready to meet your baby?” and he
came closer and put her in my arms. I couldn’t control the tears that fell from my eyes as I looked at the bundle of joy in my arms.

The nurse came closer to the bed and asked: “What will you name her ma?” I looked up at her, smiled and whispered, “Hope.”

Written by Dara Bong



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