When he walked into the store that day, I cast a weird glance at him. It was the first time I was seeing him around and something about him made it obvious that he wasn’t from the town. He looked like a stranger trying to find his way around.
He spoke to me for a while before buying what he wanted to buy. From the little interaction we had, I realized he was there on national service duties and had been in town for barely a week. We became friends and I started seeing him after I’d closed from the store.
He proposed to me. I said no. I told him I was only a child. Truly I was. I was only eighteen and had completed SHS some months ago. I had come to the town to visit an aunt and also help her with her busy schedules.
He was persistent. I kept saying no but I liked him. I liked spending time with him because he was fun and engaging. He loved listening to me and giving solutions for the petty issues I faced with my aunt and some friends. I kept seeing him though I had no intention of dating him.
One day, everything went wrong. He forced his way through and had me. That was when I should have left him but I didn’t ‘t. I liked him too much to let that come between us. He proposed again afterward and this time I said yes.
I was young. I’m not trying to make excuses but I didn’t know better. I didn’t know how to run from a friend who takes things through force. I stayed on and it kept happening until one day I missed my period.
I remember what he said when I told him; “It will come, just be patient. Things like this usually happen when you are having sex.” Again I believed him until the whole month ran out without seeing my period. Then he started panicking. He told me the only way was for us to get rid of it. Again I listened to him but I was scared. It took him a month to raise the money for the abortion.
That was long enough for my aunt to start getting hints of it. The day he gave me the money, he made me promised him that I would get rid of it as soon as the next day. He asked me not to mention his name no matter what happened. And I obeyed.
But I was too scared to do it and my aunt had also gotten the hint already. That night he queried and beat me to tell her who was responsible for for the pregnancy but I declined. The next day, she packed my stuff and put me on the next available bus to go back to my mum. It was so quick I couldn’t even say goodbye to boyfriend.
My mom was very disappointed in me but she was a little bit welcoming than my aunt. I gave her the money my boyfriend gave me for the abortion and asked her to help me get rid of it but she declined. She told me, “You made a mistake but I can’t allow you to make another one. You’ll give birth to a human being regardless so prepare your mind to become a mom.”
From that day on I knew I’d broken my promise to my boyfriend. I wanted to tell him about the new development but I didn’t have a phone of my own. I had his number on a piece of paper which later got missing. That was the end of us.
I had a baby boy. Through the unflinching support of my mom, I was able to raise the boy, put him in school and also continued my education.
My boy is nine years old now. Yeah, I’d moved on from my childhood mistakes but sometimes I ask myself questions. Sometimes I look back and cry. I cry for how stupid I was to believe in a big lie that boy told me but somedays I’m comforted by the fact that that mistake brought me a wonderful child.
Life was normal until two years ago, I found him on Facebook. He was quite a man judging from the pictures I saw of him. I wasn’t in a hurry to speak to him but I was curious. It had been a long time ago and wanted to know if he could recall stuff about me.
The day I sent him a message I immediately regretted it. He sent me a hi and I told him how happy I was to see him again. Later he said, “Sorry but have we ever met? I’ve gone through your photos and you don’t strike me as someone I know.”
I didn’t write back. For a whole week, he kept sending me “Hello, are you there?” I didn’t respond. There was no need.
I woke up one morning to see about twenty-one messages from him. A lot of smiling emojis and a lot of yaay and some dancing emojis. He said, “I’ve cracked the code! My little Pamela, is that you? You look all grown up with this plenty hair and makeups. That’s why I couldn’t make you out at first.”
He called me “Little Pamela.” After all these years he still called me ‘little’. He didn’t know what he put me through as little as I was. I responded to his messages and spent the whole day talking to each other. He called me on the phone. His voice was as just as it was when I knew him. someday
MY PARENTS HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 35 YEARS BUT THEY’RE THE REASON I DON’T WANT TO MARRY
He apologized for putting me through that pregnancy and asked me to forgive him for the pains of going through the abortion. I could only smile and say, “It’s past now. What’s important is what lies ahead of us.”
He told me his story. He was doing quite well in life. He had been married for four years and had no child. He said they’ve been trying and I said I wish him well.
We talk every now and then. I’ve turned down every request to meet him because I’m not sure what will happen if I see him. Maybe, I’ll be pushed by emotions to tell him everything and that’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid.