Sunday, January 29, 2012

EPISODE 43 – RESISTING BLACKMAIL

What can I say? I am officially back from my longest hiatus as a blogger and I’m particularly surprised I was actually able to come out of this one. In the past, I have had cause to take breaks from blogging and usually such breaks have been for short spells – two weeks, a month, two months . . . Actually, the longest interval between my posts as far as I can remember was about four months – between Episode 38 (When A Gladiator Surrenders) which dropped in September 2010 and Episode 39 (Nowhere to Run) which dropped in February 2011. I can hardly believe I only dropped four posts in the entire 2011, the last episode being Episode 42 (Scaling Another Hurdle) which dropped in April 2011, thus having me set a new personal record of eight months between posts. Is that an achievement? Of course not! Well, I wouldn’t want to call whatever kept me away this long a case of writer’s block. It would be better considered as a case of writer’s shutdown or something close like I told Aloted when she checked on me. Thanks for the love, ma’am. I have always known however that I would never totally quit blogging. I might disappear sometimes but I would always find my way back home and here I am again. I hope I hang around for much longer this time. GEEBEE’S TRIP continues in a new christened title, THE GEEBEE CHRONICLES and I urge you to get set for the ride of your lives. Let’s pick up from where we left off.

I had since broken the news of BG’s pregnancy to my mum and was still basking in the euphoria of her acceptance of the situation. I was more than convinced it was the hand of God in action. The only problem we had was how to break the news to BG’s eldest sister, an action BG was far from willing to take. Thus, I had mixed feelings when Cher called and informed us that her sister asked me to come and see her. I was glad that the cat had been let out of the bag at last and at the same time I was scared of what reaction I would get. I summoned up courage however and went to visit the woman. I met Mrs. Oki eventually and realized the resemblance was striking. It was almost too easy to tell that BG, Cher and the woman were sisters. She seemed like a nice woman and welcomed me with a pleasant smile. Her kids instantly took to me as though they were so glad I was the going to be the father of their cousin.

“So what are your plans, Geebee?” the woman asked me after introductions were over. For a moment, I tried to understand what she was asking me and what she expected me to say. I was just a young man of twenty-one and really had no plans besides completing my course in University and proceeding with my Master’s degree and Ph.D among other things but I definitely knew she wasn’t talking about that. Of course, I never planned to get anyone pregnant but that had somehow occurred and naturally, some other plans had to be set in motion.
“Well, ma” I began. “I told my mum about this and she’s promised to come and see you as soon as she can to discuss the situation.”
I believed that was the best thing to say at that moment. Of a truth, I had no plans about the pregnancy, especially during the pregnancy and after the birth of the baby. My mum had the final say in the matter as far as I was concerned.
“I see.” Mrs Oki said, pursing her lips and looking towards BG who kept her head bowed like a condemned criminal. I could hardly imagine what was going through the older woman’s mind as she looked at her little sister. It was more than obvious she was disappointed in BG especially considering the fact that she had always been the model child.
“Well, if I must say, I think the best thing for both of you now is to go to a marriage registry and get married. As you know it’s not good to have a child outside wedlock.”

I almost spat my heart out. What the hell was this woman talking about? Get married? Did she know how old I was? Did she think I had no plans for my life? In fact if ever I was to get married, BG would be the last person I would want to get married to. I liked her very much quite alright but talking about marriage at that time was like asking an ant to eat up an elephant. Mrs. Oki continued talking and telling us about the need to begin planning our future together immediately. Her words hardly made any sense and instead made me wonder if she was thinking at all. I wished I could challenge her right then but I was still in a state of sobriety and had to be careful about whatever I said. I was still the culprit in question for crying out loud and it would be stupid to provoke the judge, I decided. I listened to everything she had to say and was glad when she was done. I promised her my mum would come around soon.

As I left the house, I had a million thoughts running through my mind. Had I just consented to all that Mrs. Oki had said? I wondered. Well, I had not exactly agreed with her but at the same time, I had not objected so what did that imply? I felt so confused at that moment and began to recall all she had said. The whole thing suddenly seemed like a trap to me. None of the suggestions made any logical sense. All I could draw from it was the fact that she wanted me and her sister to get settled and start planning a future together and that sounded selfish to me. Was I being blackmailed into marrying BG because she had gotten pregnant? I decided it was best I spoke my mind and right then, I turned and headed back to the house.

BG answered the door and she seemed surprised to see me back when I had left the house just a few minutes before.
“Did you forget something?” she asked me.
I shook my head. “No, I didn’t. Could I speak with you for a moment?”
She followed me outside the house and I asked her what she thought about her sister’s suggestions.
“I think she made a lot of sense,” BG said.
I could scarcely hide my surprise. “You think she made sense? You think it is okay for us to go ahead with marriage at this point of our lives? How old are you? How old am I? What about our academics and prospective careers?”
The frown on her face made it clear that she was not glad I didn’t agree with her sister.
“So you just want me to carry this pregnancy without any commitment from you, right?”
I sighed. “No, this is not a question of commitment. It’s a question of how ready we are to jump into marriage. We’re still too young and emotionally immature to go that far. Besides, if we get married now, we would lose focus of a lot of other things. I think we need to be truly ready before we decide to get married so we don’t end up as babies raising babies.”
I could still see that BG was not convinced by my words but I had decided I wasn’t going to be bullied into making a rash decision that I would end up regretting for the rest of my life.
“Okay, can you tell my sister the things you just said?” she asked.
I knew it would be difficult to do that. Somehow, I had hoped I would be able to convince BG enough and leave her to dissuade her sister from the idea of us getting married at the time. However, it dawned on me that BG was actually happy with the idea, a realization that made me feel very irritated.

I proceeded back into the house with BG and she called her sister out to come and listen to what I had to say. I was scared stiff but I gathered my confidence as I began to talk. I explained to Mrs. Oki why I felt it would be wrong for us to rush into marriage because of the pregnancy.
“So what would happen to BG when her tummy begins to bulge with the pregnancy? Where would she stay? Who would take care of her all through the period? How about her ante-natal? What will happen when the baby when is born?”
The questions were fired at me in rapid succession like arrows from Robin Hood’s bow and I almost wished I could scream.
“We’ll cross the bridge when we get there ma?” I simply said, wondering where the courage to say those words actually came from. It dawned on me that there were more hurdles to scale but I was strongly determined not to allow myself be blackmailed into taking a decision I was not ready for. I realized I would need my mother’s help yet again.

SEE YOU IN THE NEXT EPISODE OF THE GEEBEE CHRONICLES.

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