Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Aunt Chime registered me in the clinic for antenatal, and that was the only place i visited apart from church.
The three places i ever went to were the church, the clinic and the garden which was also in the same compound. I’ve never felt so lonely the way i felt this past few months.
Henna was still angry with me, i could tell with the way she always reacted whenever she visited which was once in a blue moon.
The next time she visited after that day at her house was in my third month of pregnancy.
She came again in my fifth month and twice in my sixth month and i did not see her till my nineth month of pregnancy. She always came with gifts and novels to keep me busy and she never stayed long. She just asked me how i was faring, what it felt like to have a baby.
Oma and Ije came with her once and the degrading look they constantly gave me made me really uncomfortable and i had to tell them i needed to rest just so they could go.
I was standing by the window one fateful morning watching students hurry off to school as i usually did every morning. My classmates were now in their final year preparing for their Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE).
I looked down on my stomach rubbing it gently, i suddenly felt a sharp pain across my waist and below my abdomen.
I ignored it till it came again. This time it was really severe, i muffled a scream.
It came again, more severe this time and i let out a scream as i felt water trickle down my thighs.
‘help….somebody help me….’ Aunt Chime was not home, she went to her women meeting.
I needed help.
I slowly crawled to my box where i had hidden my cell phone. I turned it on and dialled a number.
‘hello?’ the familiar voice which i had missed said into the speaker.
‘hell…o, Ifeanyi…pls come over…i…ouch! I need help!’
I stared lovingly at the little creature in my arm and broke into tears.
Such a beautiful child.
I thought about everything that had happened to me these past few months, all the mistakes i made, all the people i took for granted, all the advice i recieved.
I cried even harder.
Aunt Chime came to me and wrapped her hands around my shoulders.
‘its okay baby, stop crying..you should be happy at this special moment not crying…’ she said.
‘i’m happy aunty, i’m very happy right now….but i cant…i cant stop my tears…’
‘the baby is so cute, just like her mother, what would you like to name her?’
‘aunty, Ifeanyi is unisex right?’
‘i mean, Ifeanyi is for both male and female isnt it?’
‘eh…yes, but males bear it more…’
‘i’ll name this child Ifeanyi…’ i spoke as tears poured from my eyes ‘her name is Ifeanyi Pamela Maduemezie…i’ll name her Pamela after my mother’
‘Ivyy….’ aunt Chime said hugging me.
‘she’ll always remember me of…of him…’
I nodded ‘i’ve lost him for good aunty
‘hold on i’m coming…’ i shouted at the person who was persistently knocking.
Little Ifeanyi was in my arms, crying with my b—m in her mouth. She seemed insatiable and i wondered what her problem was. She bit my ni.pple and i winced and spanked her playfully.
I removed my b—m from her mouth and tucked it back into my bra, dropped her on the sofa and headed to the door.
I opened it and gasped ‘Ralph!’
He smiled cockily and spread his arms ‘live and direct baby’
My heart swelled in hatred for this guy. He was my worst nightmare, and if i was given the chance to kill anyone, that would be him certainly.
I suddenly felt like banging the door on his face. It’d been a year since i last saw him. Obviously, his mother had told him about my baby and he had stayed away from me. Fool!
I proceeded to close the door on his face but he was quick enough to put his left foot in the way.
‘what do you want?!’ i asked angrily. This guy shouldnt tempt me, i would kill him if need be.
‘you baby…i missed you, you know’ he winked.
‘gosh! You’re so disgusting! Get out of my house Ralph, i dont want to see ever again!’
‘dont you love me anymore? Remember how you’d scream my name in ecstacy, telling me you loved me with all your heart and you’d never leave me whenever you were underneath me?’
I blushed in embarrassment and closed my eyes. Yes, those were the days of foolishness and blindness. I was naive and foolish then, but not anymore.
Tears smarted my eyes as i thought of everything i lost because of him. My education, my dignity, my self respect and above all, Ifeanyi.
‘i hate you Ralph…’ i whispered fiercely.
I saw emotion pass through his face but it was gone as quickly as it came and he quickly grinned again.
‘maybe if we get under the sheets once more, the hatred will disappear as quickly as it came…what do you think?’ he winked.
I spat on his face as my left hand flew across his face.
My other hand followed and he was quick enof to catch the third one mid air.
I raised my other hand and he held it, i struggled to let go but his hold only tightened. He was no longer grinning or smiling, his face was void of emotions.
Then he placed his lips on mine, but i bit it with full force and he drew back and winced. He held two of my hands with one hand and used his other hand to draw me closer to him. He placed his lips on mine again chewing on my lower lip.
The old me would have melted in his arms by now, but i was a different Ivyy now, i kicked his balls with my knees and he bent low in pain releasing me.
I sent another slap to him…i picked up the rod close to the door and whipped his back with it. He screamed in pain and fell down.
I raised the rod again and this time, it landed on his stomach…he screamed and tried to get on his feet, i landed the rod on his ankle and he was back on the floor again.
I raised the rod again and it bruised his lips. He was practically spitting out blood again.
I raised the rod again and he caught it mid air, but by now, he was weak and i dragged it from him with full force. He called my name and tried to get on his feet, but the rod landed again, but dis time, on his head.
Blood splashed all over the ground and on my body.
I screamed and threw the rod away. I squatted beside him on the floor panicking.
‘God!! What have i done?’
He coughed out blood as his eyes closed weakly, he opened it again and smiled weakly.
He weakly raised his hands and placed them on my jaw.
I started crying ‘Ralph, i’m sorry…Ralph, please i’m very sorry, please forgive me, please…’
‘shh…dont cry..’ he said wiping my tears with his hands ‘please dont cry anymore my love’
I blinked in confusion.
‘you were and would always be my first love Ivyy…you are the first girl i ever disvirgined….’ he coughed weakly ‘believe it or not..after our first time together…i..i made up my mind not to let you go…i…’ he coughed out blood again ‘i fell hopelessly and helplessly in love with you Vee…i loved you…’ he coughed ‘i…i..didnt want to seem like a weakling to you so i hit it. My child…’ he coughed again as tears rolled down his eyes ‘i dont know if i’m going to survive this but my child…please…please take care of him or her…’
‘her…whats her name?’
‘Ifeanyi…’ i said in tears.
He smiled ‘you loved that…that guy so much you had to name my child after him. Please take care of my child Ivyy, and tell her about me…please, let her bear my name..my mother might have chased you away that day…she was…she was only trying to protect my future. I’m sorry that i couldnt…i couldnt visit you throughout the period of pregnancy…my…my mum stopped me…i…’ he was breathing weakly now ‘i love you Ivyy…you and my child…take…take care…’ his hands fell off my face and his eyes closed. He stopped breathing.
I closed my eyes and screamed his name….
What have i done?