Wednesday, March 2, 2011

EPISODE 40 – SPILLING THE BEANS

In a flash, two months have already gone by in this New Year and it still feels like 2011 began just yesterday. I find myself wondering if we still have the same twenty four hours in a day that we had in the past; or perhaps, an hour has somehow become less than sixty minutes and a minute has become less than sixty seconds. I can hardly understand why time seemed to be much longer when I was much younger than now. Or, do little kids see time’s passage differently? It definitely appears so and I don’t think I need to begin to explain that now. Children are pretty lucky as they do not have to worry about life the way adults have to; so time just goes slowly and smoothly for them while we, adults practically carry the weight of the world on our shoulders everyday and our thoughts, worries and ceaseless plans make time run faster in our eyes. I woke up yesterday and realized it was 1st of March! Hmmm, another year speeding by like a race car in the Formula 1 series. The annoying part of the whole experience remains the fact that with each passing day, we grow older. I thought I noticed a strand of grey in my hair yesterday and almost screamed. Grey hair at twenty five! No way in hell that ain’t happening, I assured myself as I peered closer into the mirror. Alas, it wasn’t grey hair. It was a little hair brush strand that had somehow come off and lodged itself in my upcoming afro, posing as a grey. I sighed gratefully. Of course we’d all grow old but I wish it wouldn’t be too quickly. lol. THE GEEBEE CHRONICLES continues.

I had made up my mind that I would go ahead and inform my mum of what had happened. This decision was much influenced by factors well beyond my understanding and control. I felt like I was in a typical Nigerian movie. I remember a movie I had seen sometime back when I still watched local movies. This one starred Keppy Ekpenyong Bassey and in the movie, he got himself involved in some occultic mess and desperately tried to escape the repercussions by ending his life. At a point, he put himself in the way of an oncoming trailer and the thing refused to kill him. I can’t remember the movie title now but I’d bet some of the Nollywood fans reading this would probably have seen that movie and so can give us the title. That was exactly how I felt. First, all attempts of aborting the pregnancy had proved abortive (no pun intended) as we came to realize when we had received the shock of our lives after believing all problems were finally over. Then, I had decided to bow out when the ovation was loudest (you might call that taking the coward’s way out. lol) and tried to take my own life but that again had failed. The only logical next point of call was to turn myself in.

Two days after the suicide attempt, I traveled to see my mum. Throughout the five-hour journey, I constantly hoped the bus I had boarded would somehow skid off the expressway and tumble into the river or one of the ditches on the side of the road but of course, none of such happened. The powers in control were certainly determined to ‘open my yansh’ as some would say. On arrival, my mum was delighted as usual to see me but that motherly intuition came to play almost immediately. She practically read me like a book and knew all was not well. Anyway, my countenance could not have looked bright with the weight I was carrying on my shoulders. How was I going to break this news?
“Geebee, are you well? You look so pale and emaciated,” mum said lovingly, as she felt my neck with the back of her hand and held onto my shoulders like a woman would do to her seven-year old son. At that moment, I wished I was indeed a seven-year old son who was remorseful for losing his pencil at school and not a young man who was about to crash his mother’s world with a most shocking news.
“I’m fine, ma” I managed to say, as I moved to sit on one of the chairs in the living room. I had not come with any bag or anything else besides the clothes I had on and the sandals on my feet. In fact, the plan was to break the news and run off immediately. I was still convinced my mum would never take the news lightly and I wanted to be ready for the worst. I even had my transport fare back well kept in my pocket just in case she decided to throw me out at that very moment.

“Have you eaten anything?” she asked and immediately called out to her maid to come and get me food. I sat there silent, hardly paying any attention to her. Food was the last thing on my mind at that moment. I realized for the first time that I had not tasted anything all day and it was almost evening.
“Is it your father again?” my mum asked concernedly.
I shook my head. I understood her concern. She was aware I had not been on good terms with my dad especially since my decision to get my own place outside his house and she was probably worried that the man was still giving me a hard time.
“Mum, please sit down. There is something I have to tell you.” I said in the calmest voice I had ever heard myself speak.
Her countenance instantly changed. I beheld the fear clearly evident on her face.
“Is everyone okay?” she asked in a troubled tone. “What happened? Did someone get hurt or . . .”


I wished I could answer her according to her fears. I wished I could tell her that indeed some random family member had suddenly died or been arrested and that was why I had come. I wished I could tell her anything besides what I was going to tell her. I could bet my life at that moment that of all the thoughts that were running through her mind, none would have ever included the possibility that her son had gotten a girl pregnant and not just that; the foetus was already over four months old! I sighed again and wished I would suddenly wake up from the nightmare I was having. As at that moment, I still always hoped like I had ever since the dawn of the nasty episode that I was actually in an exceptionally long dream that I would awake from someday.

My mum sat down, her gaze hardly leaving my face. It was a steady gaze that made me feel very uncomfortable. It was almost as though she would see through me and know everything in an instant. For a second, my mum looked like a five year old child waiting expectantly to be told a story. However, in this case, it wasn’t excitement that was written on her face. It was fear! I averted her gaze and looked down. To my greatest surprise, I broke into a sob. The last time I had cried in my mother’s presence, I was about eight or nine years old. In fact, when I had lost a dear cousin at sixteen and she had broken the news to me, I had locked myself up in my room to cry. My mum was visibly shocked and rushed to my side immediately. She held me in her arms while I wept like a baby. I could imagine how confused she felt at that moment.
“Geebee, what is the matter? Talk to me” mum said, resting my head in her lap.
“Mummy, I don’t know how I am going to tell you this.” I managed amid sobs.
“Just tell me what it is, okay. God is in control” she added.
I felt a little relieved at her last statement and I really hoped God was in control. However, I still had a feeling in my heart that she could say that because she did not yet know the gravity of what I was about to tell her.
“Mummy, I have offended you. Would you be able to forgive me?” I asked, my head still hidden on her lap as I dampened her clothing with my tears.
She attempted to lift my head so she could look into my eyes and I sat up and wiped my eyes.
“Geebee,” she began, looking into my eyes. “Do you have another mother?”
I shook my head. “No mum.”
“Good. There is nothing you have done that I cannot forgive so tell me what it is.”

I sighed and hesitated for a little while. I looked up to see the maid came into the living room, apparently to inform us that the meal was served. My mum politely waved her off and told her that I would come to the table shortly. I waited for the maid to exit the room, buying myself some time for composure.
“Mum, I have gotten a girl pregnant” I said, looking down at my toes.
I could not look into her eyes at that moment but I was totally sure I had just given her the shock of her life. I thought again on how I would break the rest of the news. As far as I was concerned, all I had said was just a tip of the iceberg. How would I let her know that the pregnancy was not just a fresh one but a four month old pregnancy? I hoped again that God was indeed in control like she had told me.

SEE YOU IN THE NEXT EPISODE OF THE GEEBEE CHRONICLES.

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