Tuesday, July 13, 2010

EPISODE 33 – A TIGHTER KNOT

I guess everyone who watched the World Cup would agree with me that the just concluded soccer fiesta remains one of the most successful ever in spite of the officiating flaws and the ridiculous number of cards awarded. The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa has been the most unpredictable and interesting soccer event of all time, especially with the climax of the final between Spain and Netherlands. The culminating final made me feel like a prophet because I had earlier tipped the European duo for the finals along with England, Germany and Brazil as possibilities. Octopus Paul of course also did a great job of prediction and I have been wondering if we could enlist the awesome creature’s prowess in determining the political future of Nigeria among other things.

Anyways, it’s all over now and I’m glad we have a fresh new World Cup winner in Spain, and they also happen to be the current European champions.
I felt particularly sorry for Netherlands as they have now been in three World Cup finals without ever winning the coveted trophy. Well, I guess the moral of the story here is that you might get it right the first time (in the case of Spain) and also that you might try for a good while without achieving your dreams (in the case of the Netherlands) but nevertheless to keep trying until you get it right. Meanwhile, I have changed my recently adopted Ghanaian nationality ever since Asamoah Gyan denied Ghana the semi-final ticket with his fluked spot kick in the game against Uruguay. I am now Spanish and I choose to be called Hugo Gonzalez. That said, let’s return to our story.

I had decided I would never take BG for an abortion without the knowledge of at least a member of her family and she voiced her objections immediately.
“There’s no way that will happen,” she said stubbornly. “My sisters would kill me and my dad could have a heart attack if he hears of it.”
I sighed in frustration. “At least one of your people must know about this if we are to go ahead.” I told her pointedly.
“Why?” she asked.
I could not tell BG that the reason I wanted one of her siblings to be involved was because I had doubts on the possible success of the abortion. I had an ominous feeling that the abortion might have an unfortunate outcome and I was not ready to carry the whole weight of whatever happened all alone. I thought it would be much easier to cope with the eventuality if one of her folks was involved.
“I just want one of your people to be involved.” I said angrily as I could not come up with any other good reason to tell her and I would never mention what actually influenced my suggestion.
“Please, we can’t. They would kill me if they hear of this,” she said, referring to her sisters as she broke into a sob.
“What about Cher, your sister. We can call her and explain to her, can’t we?”
BG fell silent for a while.

She had told me about her immediate elder sister, Cher who was five years older. Most of the stories hardly painted a good-girl picture of the older sibling. Cher was the black sheep of the family and all her teenage and adolescent life, she had always given them a reason for worry. She partied to no end, hung out with bad company and indulged in every vice young women could involve in. I learnt from BG that her sister had also had a series of abortions. To the family however, BG had always been the perfect opposite, being the good girl everyone doted on and it was almost a constant practice in their home for Cher to be scolded and asked to learn from her younger sister and inculcate her good behaviour, much to Cher’s chagrin.
“What would Cher think of me?” BG asked pleadingly. “She would think I’m just like her. I am sure she would tell everyone about it just to prove that she is not the only bad girl in my family.”

I sighed as I realized there was a good deal of sense in what BG had said. However, we had no options here. Her other three sisters were much older and married and it was most obvious they would probably have me hanged if the news ever fell on their ears. I was almost tempted to go ahead with BG’s suggestions that we go for the abortion on our own but I decided it would not hurt to play a last card.
“What if I talk to her?” I asked.
“Talk to whom? Cher?” BG asked confused.
I nodded. I believed I could find a way to convince Cher to help us. BG told me earlier that she had confided in Cher that she had a boyfriend but made it clear that it was a no-sex relationship much to her elder’s sister’s derision. I also learnt that Cher had said she would like to see her little sister’s boyfriend. I decided it would be a good idea to capitalize on that and I asked BG to call her sister and ask her to come over to meet me.
“I’ll come on the condition that you guys will take me out for lunch at Chicken Colony and pay my cab fare to and fro,” Cher pointed out to BG on phone.
We agreed and she came over from her school to meet us at Chicken Colony, a fast food joint in the neighbourhood. I sized her up from a distance as she approached us. She did not at all look too bad. She was a more mature version of BG and I needed no one to tell me she was far much more experienced in every subject, good and bad. She appeared to be sizing me up as well and I smiled within.
“So you are the Geebee,” she said casually. “How are you doing?”
“I’m alright.” I said. “Thanks for coming.”
She smiled at BG. “He’s not bad. I’ll give him a 7.”
We laughed and gradually settled in.

While we dined, I approached the subject as carefully as I could. She had a blank look all through my narration, a look that finally switched to one of shock and surprise as soon as I dropped the bomb about BG’s pregnancy.
“My God!” she exclaimed, looking at her sister in obvious surprise. BG looked down shamefully. I imagined Cher jumping up and starting a victory dance over her confirmation as the-not-the-only-bad-girl-in-the-family but she remained rooted to her seat trying hard to take in the news.
“I realize this is not the best of conditions for us to meet but we really have no choice here and we need your help desperately.” I concluded.
She flashed me a confused look.
“My help? What do you guys expect me to do?” she asked, dropping the piece of chicken she had been holding for what seemed like an eternity.
“We want to go for a D and C,” I said.
“You mean an abortion,” she said. “Let’s call a spade what it is, please” she said in obvious irritation.
I sighed. “Okay, an abortion. We want to have an abortion.”
“Of course you have to have an abortion except you want our father and elder ones to kill her.” She looked at her younger sister and sighed.
“So what do you guys need my help for?” she continued. “I am not a doctor now. Or you guys don’t have the money to go through with it? I have none either.”
“We don’t need money actually.” I said calmly. “We just need you to come with us to the clinic.”
“No way, my brother,” she offered immediately. “You guys are on your own.”
“Please, we just need you there for the moral support.” I said. I was trying hard to contain my frustration. Things were not going as I had thought they would.
It took a great deal of pleading and BG had to break into a sob at a point as we begged Cher to come with us. Eventually, she agreed much to my greatest relief.
“I hope the doctor who’s going to do it knows the job,” she said. “I know one or two who can handle it smoothly,” she offered.
I thought about her offer but decided otherwise as I had spoken with a doctor a friend had referred me to and she had agreed to perform the abortion at a rather affordable cost once we were ready.
“We have someone. Thanks a million, Cher.” I said gratefully.
Cher simply shrugged and bit into her chicken. I excused myself so the sisters could play catch-up and say whatever they had to say to each other in my absence.

The next day, Cher, BG and I left for the clinic first thing in the morning. The doctor had been expecting us as I had confirmed our appointment the day before. The supposed doctor was a good natured woman with a beautiful smile and she assured us we had nothing to worry about. I was concerned about BG’s diminutive frame and I asked the doctor if that would not be a problem. She simply laughed.
“You call her ‘small’?” she said pointing at BG. “Girls who are in their early teens and still in secondary school come here all the time for this and they are out within minutes. She'll be up and running in a flash. Relax, my friend and give us fifteen minutes.”

I felt lighter and sat with Cher as we watched the woman lead BG into the operating theatre. I sat lost in thoughts for a while and could not even strike a conversation with Cher. I was sorry I was bringing her into such a shameful situation.
“I am sorry about this, Cher” I managed.
She sniffed. “You just pray nothing happen to my sister and once this is over, you had better stay away from her for good.”
“I will.” I said, meaning it with all my heart. I had decided that it was best BG and I went our separate ways once the baby was out of the picture and I was sure she would not mind the decision one bit.

About seven minutes later, the doctor came out of the theatre with gloves on her hands but with a worried look on her face. I could suddenly feel my heart racing furiously. What had happened? I wondered. Was BG alright? Cher got up almost immediately after I did and we approached the woman apprehensively.
“Doctor, how is she?” I asked impatiently.
The woman sighed. “I’m sorry,” she said. “You would have to come back tomorrow. There was a little problem.”
I could have been knocked down by a feather at that moment.

SEE YOU IN THE NEXT EPISODE OF THE GEEBEE CHRONICLES.

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