One evening, I slept off while gisting with her and woke up to find her touching me and trying to kiss me. Surprised, I held her back at arm’s length. “What are you doing?” I asked.
“Touch me na…” She said. “Touch me like father Kaka. He say e good for baby. He say if he enter me, baby will dey alright.” She told me.
I was repulsed. “That pig!” I said under my breath. I knew the bastard hadn’t come to sleep with Zainab because I was in town. Zainab was already eight months pregnant and I knew that pregnant women needed sex but I just couldn’t bring myself to sleep with Zainab. I’d rather that gave birth first then, got well by taking her to the hospital and then I’d make plans of settling down with her.
I shook my head and told her that I could not do what she wanted. So she sat down, folded her arms on her knees, placed her head on her arms and wept. I felt sorry for her but I’d never take advantage of her. As the weeks passed, I realized that Zainab grew lean and depressed.
There were hollows in her collar bones and her eyes had sunken. As it grew closer to her delivery date, she suddenly became protective of her pregnancy. She wouldn’t even let me touch her. She refused to sleep anytime I was around. She would only sleep when I left. She started accusing me that I had planned with Kalu to steal her baby once she puts to bed.
“You gimme juice, I sleep then I wake up, blood everywhere and baby vanish.” She would say with so much sadness and mistrust in her voice.
All my efforts to show that it wasn’t true fell through. She jealously guarded her pregnancy and would sometimes shoo me away with a broom. One day, while visiting her, I realized that she kept crying. She wouldn’t stop.
She was heavily depressed and she grew so lean until I could see the shape of her skull on her face. She refused to eat anything I brought to her. She either kicked them away or she let them get spoilt because she thought I had laced it with sleeping tablet and that once she fell asleep, I would cut her baby out of her.
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa