Rockabye Baby

Just this once, he said. One time. I want to feel you.
What of the consequences? She asked.
I love you, he said. I’ll take good care of you.
She loved him, she thought. He loved her. Surely, one time wouldn’t hurt. They would look back on this day sometime in the future and laugh about her fears, which would be moot. After all, everyone knew it never happened the first time, right? He was older and more experienced than her. Surely, he knew about these things.
I’m late, she says.
Late? Were you going somewhere? He asks.
No. I’m late late, she stresses.
He only listens with half an ear as the rest of his body is busy touching as many parts of hers as possible. Gradually it sinks in and his body freezes up, his hands go slack and his mind goes blank.
There is nary a sound in the room, apart from their breathing, for the next ten minutes.
Are you sure?
Yes, she says. I’m like a clock, regular and on time.
Have you taken the test yet?
No, I thought we could go together.
Okay, let’s go, he says.
One hour later, both walk out of the clinic in a daze. Turns out she was right, he was wrong. Choices do have consequences.
She thinks of how she’ll tell her parents who’ve worked so hard to give her an education and a better life. She’ll have to take a break from her studies. And how will she face people when it starts to show? Her mother will be so disappointed.
He thinks of how stupid she is. Damn it, she should have taken care of it. It was his fault for being with someone so young, so green. She makes him feel like a king, yes, but she is very naive. If word gets out that he made the mistake of a twelve year old boy, he will be the laughing stock in his circles. He can’t allow that to happen, he has a rep to maintain.
What do we do now? She asks this in a small shaky voice.
Don’t worry, we are in this together. I’ll take care of it, he says.
She sees wedding bells and holy matrimony. He slips away so he can call a friend who knows a guy. After the appointment has been made, he starts to smile again.
The room is dimly lit and very stuffy. It is situated at the end of a long corridor and the sign at the door simply reads ‘DAKTARI’. The man who now stands in front of her looks nothing like it. He is tall and as thin as a blade of grass. He wears an ill-fitting suit over which is a doctor’s robe, once white, but now various shades of cream and even brown in some spots. She cannot even begin to comprehend how her boyfriend knows this man, or how he could have brought her to this place. She is very scared.
The doctor’s eyes shine with impatience as she once again makes him stop. Her boyfriend, who stands beside her, stifles another sigh. Why does she not let this be over and done with already?
Are you sure about this? Is there no other way? She asks as she looked at him sadly.
We talked about this. This is the best option for us right now. We are just not ready.
But but…
No! He says. He gentles his voice as he continues, I love you, and I’m just looking out for us. It’s okay, I’m here with you. We are in this together.
She keeps quiet after that and the doctor gets on with his business. He knew that would work. She is always looking for sweet words and reassurance. Frankly, he’s gotten quite tired of her. Once this is done, she is history.
The pain in her lower body is excruciating still, even after two weeks. That is a walk in the park compared to the pain in her heart. There is a hole that nothing seems to fill.
She hears her, her baby, every time she closes her eyes. She sees babies everywhere when her eyes are open. There is no escaping her guilt, her shame, her suffering.
She has not heard from her boyfriend since that day. At first, when she tried to call him and go to his house, he’d made excuses. Finally, he told her he was tired of her and he never wanted to see her again. She had been devastated, and hurt by his brusque dismissal of her when she was still healing and needed him most.
She hears the key turn in the lock and comes back to the present. He was in such a hurry to get rid of her that he never asked for his key back.
She straightens the bed as she waits for him to come to the bedroom. She clutches a worn teddy bear in her right hand, one she bought with her child in mind. Very soon, she shall see her baby again, and bring her her teddy bear.
As the doorknob turns, she grips the knife in her left hand a little tighter.
He said he loved her, that they were in this together. He should be the one to see their baby first, then, she thinks.


*Originally posted on Storymoja.


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