Dear Ify

Fiction

The fear that you’d make an immature single parent pricks you and you regret maintaining your stance on abortion. You’re confused, even now unconvinced of the decision to keep the baby. The questions surround you like a man drowning in a river. So what about murder?

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Dear Ify,

You can’t cast your mind back to that day, I know. It would be too somber, too complex. You’d feel ashamed to pick out the details as you come to the realization. You’d say within you, that you need to go to church and pray, for release and peace as you always do. But you wouldn’t, you would be too scared, the thoughts alone that Jesus can see through your pretense to your sins chipping bits of your sanity.

Instead, you’d pretend not to care; after all, your mother can afford the best of medical care at your feet in the comfort of your home, all in an effort to conceal the growing quagmire. Then in the defiance of your mother’s opinion you’d take golden steps on the streets of shame and prove to the world that you are, or rather were proud of actions. You’re aware that your story would be on the lips of everyone who casts their eyes on you; every mother setting you as the bad example to their growing daughters. They would say, that you have become the prodigal daughter of the well-known business woman whose store is stocked with the best of wines, brewing more shame in her teenage tummy than ideas for her mother. It’d be the new popular joke.

As you step outside, the weight of shame in your head outweighs that of your 7 months set belly. You wanted to abort the child. You wished you could have. You feel the pity in the eyes of everyone around you even your gate man whose greeting changed from ‘e kaaro sisi wa’ to ‘e kaare o.’ Their demeanor carries the unspoken words: how would a Law jambito become pregnant for a final year English student popular for his entertainment club and worsening academic record? You realize that even your friends have deserted you.

The fear that you’d make an immature single parent pricks you and you regret maintaining your stance on abortion. You’re confused, even now unconvinced of the decision to keep the baby. The questions surround you like a man drowning in a river. So what about murder? What about killing a child who you’d be proud of in the future? You thought of the viability of your womb and all the consequences attached to abortion – the risk of permanent damage to your womb and worse still the fear of losing your life. Could that be compared to the stigma and desertion? Does anyone know, how it feels to be labeled single parent at the age of 21 when your mates are at the prime of their youth enjoying every Friday night? Would it be their bare breasts they’d lift to breastfeed the child in public? Or every time you have to lie that the child is for your aunty visiting you for a short while. Their words are empty unrealistic advice with no experience. So you think, wouldn’t it have been better to escape all the shame and hard life and go the easy way which even the law wouldn’t make provision for?

While these thoughts spin in your head and create the story web of how you fell for a typical Yoruba demon, tell me, isn’t it a crime to abandon the one you love without any communication in the peak of their height of love for you? Tell me, how do you intend to explain to your child where his father is? Are you going to lie that his father abandoned him when all he did was look for you for the past 3 months?

You have your reasons for the decisions you’ve made. While I can’t judge you any more than I could for myself, I applaud your decision against all odds to keep the child whose name God already knows.

Sincerely,

A concerned friend.

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