My heart was literally beating against my chest. Pregnancy? How? Why?? No man, no! “Doctor, are you sure? Are you sure I’m pregnant?” I desperately asked. His smile faded away. “Hey, are you okay? I thought you’d be happy” he disappointedly asked. “How can I be happy, doc? How can I be happy? There is a lot going on in my life, and a baby is the last thing on my mind” I exploded. He stepped back a little, staring at me. I sighed. “I’m sorry, doctor. I’m just struggling to take the news well. Pregnancy is really the last thing on my mind right now” I apologized. “Well, let me rather leave you to process the news. Please let me know whether you want to terminate this pregnancy or you want to keep it” he said. “I want to terminate” I announced, without even giving it a thought. “No, you need to properly think about this. Once you go down that route, there is no turning back. You have to be 100% sure” he replied. I nodded. “I’ll keep you here for a couple of days, for you to rest and be closely monitored” he said, and I nodded again. He patted my shoulder and turned to walk away. “Doctor?” I softly called out. He stopped on his tracks and turned to look at me. “Uhm, please keep this to yourself” I said. He smiled. “That goes without saying” he assured me, and walked away..

Pregnancy, how the hell was I going to handle pregnancy? I was hoping that they made a terrible mistake. How? I mean, I wasn’t ready for such a burden, while I was a burden myself. I literally counted from the time I slept with Sibusiso. We never used protection, and that’s my highest level of stupidity right there. I counted from that day. Every “a week later” or “after a week” or even “a couple of days later” added up and the results of my calculation was close to the number of weeks my pregnancy was. I calculated every hour, hoping for a sign that all of that was not true. Okay, my calculation, even though it wasn’t accurate, but made me believe that it was true. But the amount of hatred that I had towards him made me hate the idea of carrying his child. Alex, how was I going to tell Alex? Alex is a doctor, there was no way I could hide such a thing from him. He was going to notice, one way or the other. What I didn’t know was whether he was going to stick around if he would find out about it.

Alex walked in, carrying a sandwich and a juice. “Hey, I thought you’d be asleep” he said, as he walked up to my bed. I had to fix my facial expression, and try to locate my voice. “Hey, I’m still up. The doctor just left” I replied. He pulled a chair and sat down. “Here, I bought you something to eat” he handed me the sandwich and I thanked him. “You gave us such a fright, baby” he said, running his hand on my thigh. “I’m sorry, I’m sure it will never happen again” I assured him, trying to get him to relax. “What did the doctor say the diagnosis was?’ he asked. I swallowed. “Uh, huh?” I asked. “The diagnosis” he repeated .. I giggled nervously. “Oh, its just that time of the month. I am on a heavy flow because of all the stress” I explained. “But baby, you really need to try and take it easy. I’m here for you, we’re in this together.” he said. A tear escaped my eye as I heard him utter those words. Alex was my only hope to ever recovering from my past. I couldn’t let any stupid pregnancy to mess that up. “Mandy?” he called out. I snapped out of my thoughts and looked at him. “You’re miles away” he jokingly said. I smiled. “I’m sorry. I’m just thinking about how I need to take it one day at a time” I lied. He nodded. “You will move on from this, and you will heal. Maybe not today, but I promise you, you will heal” he said. I started eating my sandwich. I took one bite and pulled a sour face. “What now?” he asked. “This egg is raw. How could they sell it like this? I took the chunk out of my mouth and wrapped it with a serviette. “This egg is not raw, and its healthy. Stop thinking that those overcooked eggs are of any nutritional value” he said. “This egg is raw, baby. Look at it, its dripping. No man!” I handed him his sandwich back. “Okay fine. What would you like to eat then?” he asked. “Nothing. I just want to sleep” I replied. “You’re kicking me out?” he asked. “I’m tired. Please understand” I begged. “Okay then, I will be back tomorrow. Its already late anyway” he replied. I nodded. “Hey, are you crying?” he asked, looking at me straight in the eye. I didn’t realize until he mentioned it. “Oh, no. I’m just happy that there is nothing wrong with me. You know, I was worried” I explained. He smiled. “Please make sure you eat. Okay? I will visit you after work tomorrow” he told me as he planted a light feather kiss on my forehead. He said his goodbyes and left.

In my search for that “mistake” that the doctors must have made, I forced myself to go down the memory lane. Why did I fall pregnant? Why didn’t the nurses at the hospital pick it up when I was hospitalized? Shit! So again, I went through those weeks and days, clearly as narrated again, trying to search for the time frame. Really, I was talking weeks, one week intervals and days. I sighed. “Second opinion” I burst out.. “Huh?” the lady next to my bed looked at me. “Oh sorry, did I say that out loud?” I gently hit my forehead with the palm of my hand. She laughed. “You must be really deep in thoughts, for you to think out loud like that” she jokingly said. “I’m just having problems, like very serious problems” I told her. Her smile faded away. “Do you want to talk?” she asked. I shrugged my shoulders. “Why not? Its not like I will ever have anybody to discuss this with, anyway” I responded. She silently looked at me. I tried to sit up, because my body was getting stiff.. “Uhm, so a couple of weeks back. My mother was killed, by her husband who was a step father to me. That’s where all my problems began. So there was this other guy, who promised to help me look for my older sister, whom I’ve never met. His condition though was that I would sleep with him” I started narrating. She nodded. “Because I thought I had no choice, I agreed to sleep with him. I was so desperate to escape my world, that protection never crossed my mind. We had sexual encounters twice, I think. Few hours after the sexual encounters, he took me to town and told me he was broke and gave me a lesser amount than the one we agreed on” I added, and she nodded again. “After that, i got robbed by a man who promised to help me look for a place to stay. I was desperate, so I believed anyone who offered me help. So upon reacting to the robbery, I found myself in hospital. I was told that I suffered from a panic attack. I was panicking because i was all alone in the streets, with no money” I said. “You were hospitalized few hours after the intercourse?” she asked and I nodded. “So in hospital, I met a girl who also promised to help me. She then took me to a woman who ran an escort agency. I couldn’t see myself selling my body, so I opted for working at her restaurant .. When she made my life a living hell, I ran away, in the middle of the night” I shared. Her eyes widened a bit. “A Nigerian guy found me and took me to his place. I think I stayed for about a week there, then I saw a man from the township I grew up in. He was our neighbour and a shop owner. He offered to take me in, because he didn’t trust the people I stayed with” I continued.. “Get to the problem already .. ” she said. I laughed .. The problem is that I have found love in that guy’s home, I’m in love with his brother and I’ve just been told that I’m pregnant” I told her. “Pregnant with whose child?” she asked. “I only slept with him once, and we used protection. I was counting days and weeks here, trying to search for a possibility that I could be really pregnant” I replied. “A lot happened, in a short space of time. So what are you going to do?” she asked. I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know” this guy and his father kicked me out ” I said. “Whoa, is he the shop owner’s son?” she asked and I nodded. “Wow! Why did they kick you out?” she asked. “Because I told the shop owner the truth about what happened between me and his son. He called me a liar” I replied. “You, my dear, are in trouble” she said. “But why didn’t the doctors pick it up the last time I was hospitalized?” I asked. “In few hours? Fertilization is a process, my dear” she replied. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose Alex over this. That man loves me so much, I’ve never been loved like this” I told her. “If he loves you that much, he will accept you and your baby” she said. “That’s what I don’t know. What if he breaks up with me?” I asked. “Its not like you cheated on him though, this happened before you guys met” she said “But still..” she used her hand, signaling that I should shut up and I did. “There is only one way to find out. Sit him down and take him through this story, with all these details. Make him see that this happened way before you two met. Make him see that this came as a shock to you too, because you were trying to move on and find your feet after a few weeks of hell. If he loves you, he will understand and you will work towards a solution together” she said. “If he doesn’t understand?” I asked. “Then he is nothing but a boy, looking for a nice time and nothing serious” she replied. “I stand to lose everything” I said. “Even with lies, you will lose everything when he finds out” she replied. I shook my head. “I don’t know what to do” I told her. “Think about it carefully, because whatever you decide on now, stands to determine your future” she responded. “Maybe I should just terminate and move on with my life” I said. She shrugged her shoulders. “If you will be able to live with it” she said. I looked down. “You’re not helping” I complained. “I can’t tell you what to do. All I can tell you is to make a sound decision that you will be able to live with” she replied. “What would you do?” I asked. “I’d tell him the truth” she replied. The chat wasn’t as productive as I thought it would be.

The following morning, I was woken up by Zizo and Chukwudi, with breakfast. “Hey, sleepy head” Chukwudi said. “Hey guys” I greeted. “How are you feeling?” he asked. “I’m feeling much better, they will discharge me any minute now” I replied. “You gave us a fright, girl. Imagine, someone dying in our house” Zizo said. “I’m sorry” I apologized. “Its okay sweety, its not your fault” she said. “We can’t stay for long. We were just allowed to bring breakfast in. We’ll see you later” Chukwudi told me. They placed the food on my locker and left. I closed my eyes again, trying to sleep, but I couldn’t. I went to take a bath and they changed my bed linen for me.. Days in the hospital were long, unlike in the real world where a lot happened in a short space of time. I was bored out of my skull. Being in bed all day everyday was killing me. I spent a couple of days there and my doctor came to discharge me..

“Have you thought of what to do?” he asked me. I shook my head. “I need time to think” I replied. “You don’t have much time hey, the sooner the better” he warned. I nodded. “I’ll only take a day or two” I promised. Alex walked in, while the doctor and I were still talking.. “Thank you so much, doctor” I said. “Pleasure. Please make sure you take your supplements before you go” he said. I nodded, and he left. “Is he saying what I think he’s saying?” he asked .. “Yes, baby. I’m going home” I announced. The excitement in his eyes, I couldn’t take that away from him. “Let me call Zizo to bring you something to wear” he said as he walked away.. “So, what are you going to do?” the lady on the bed next to mine asked. “I don’t know. I think I’ll hide it from him” I said. “How? Its not like you will keep that tummy from growing” she asked. “I’ll sleep with him without protection, to confuse him” I replied . Alex may have been a doctor, but he was still a man. Men don’t keep track of time. He won’t even know the first time he slept with me without protection, I hoped. “You are now playing with fire. Why don’t you just get rid of this thing?” she asked. “I don’t think I can handle another death” I replied. “Another death? So you’ve done this before?” she asked. I saw Alex appearing.. “Ssssh” I silently said. “She’s coming” he said, as he got to me..We waited for a while, then Zizo and Chukwudi arrived. I changed and we walked out. “I will pray for you!” the lady I shared my problems with yelled as we walked out, taking my supplements on my way out. Zizo and Chukwudi used their car and we used ours.

“Baby, you really have to take it easy hey” he said. “I want to do something to keep busy or I will lose my mind” I said. “Like what?” he asked. “That computer course that we talked about” I replied. “Oh, yes. But will you cope? I don’t want anything that will stress you out” he asked. I laughed. “I will be fine, what will stress me out is sitting around and doing nothing” I told him, and he agreed. We got home and he came to open the door for me because I was “sick”. We walked into the house, hand in hand. ” You must be very happy to be back home” he said. I nodded, trying so hard to look happy. Zizo and Chukwudi walked in, while Alex and I were sharing a hug. “Get a room,” Chukwudi jokingly said. We let go of each other and laughed. “Let me prepare dinner. Mandy, what do you feel like having?” she asked. I didn’t understand how she was suddenly nice towards me while we all knew how much she wanted Alex and I to break up. “Uh, I’m not hungry” I said. “What?Why?” she asked. “I’m just tired, Zizo. I want to take a bath and go to bed” I replied. “Are you sure you’re okay?” Chukwudi asked. I hated how they were fussing over me. “I am fine guys, really” I said, walking away from the spotlight. “Mandy, you can’t go to bed on an empty stomach” Alex firmly said. I was forced to have dinner. I was really not hungry though,but I did not want to be that girl. Me and the boys went to watch TV while Zizo quickly prepared something to eat. When she was done, she brought us our food in the living room and we ate.. I forced a few spoonfuls down, but couldn’t finish up. I knew I’d throw up if I would force myself further than that. I went to put my plate on the kitchen table and went to take a bath.

After bathing, I went to Alex’s room and got into bed, waiting for him.. After what seemed like forever, he walked in.. “Baby?” he softly called out. I turned to face him. “Hey” I said. “Did you take your supplements?” he asked .. “No, I didn’t.” I replied. “Where are they? I’ll give them to you, with water” he suggested. “No” I jumped out of bed. Shocked, he stared at me. “I mean, you’re doing a lot already. The least I can do is to be responsible and take my supplements on my own” I explained. He smiled. “Okay then” he replied. I took my supplements from my bedside and walked out with them. I knew I had to hide them, because I wasn’t sure whether Alex was going to be able to put two and two together after seeing them. I took them with a glass of water in the kitchen, and went to hide them in my old room.

When I got back to our room, Alex was in bed too.. “I missed you so much” he said as he opened the blankets for me. “I missed you too” I replied. We shared a long passionate kiss. I remembered that I had to act fast if I wanted Alex to father my child. I ran my hand down to his manhood while we kissed. He was hard, but he removed my hand. “What?” I broke the kiss and asked. “Mandy, you just got here. You have to rest” he said. “No, I’ve rested in hospital. I don’t want to rest” I opposed. trying to kiss him but he pushed me back. “My angel, I know you mean well. But seriously, you just got home from the hospital. I cannot bring myself to do that” the self righteous bastard said. I was so annoyed. He kissed me on the cheek and faced away…