• Monday, July 22, 2024
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To live again

US CDC deploys ‘baby shower’ initiative in Nigeria to tackle mother-to-child HIV transmission

A few years ago, the youths of our nation took to the streets to protest against corruption, bad governance, police brutality and so on. They were tired of being oppressed and suppressed in their own country. They could no longer sit down and fold their arms while watching their leaders stifle their voices or bully them into silence. This protest was long over due, so with one voice, one aim and one agenda, I joined thousands of youths in the streets to lend my voice to a just course. I was tired of living like a second class citizen in my fatherland.

Call it fate or coincidence but I always found myself standing beside this particular guy. It was a mammoth crowd but we just found ourselves together all the time. Anyway, I met Scott on the protest ground, it started with a hello, then we shared a bottle of cold drink, then we became friends.

One Tuesday morning, I arrived the protest ground and my new friend was nowhere to be found. I was going to call him when I got a text from him. He was at the hospital…a bad case of food poisoning. He didn’t want to be by himself so he pleaded that come over. It was a tough decision to make because I really wanted to be on the protest ground. I thought I could make a quick dash to the hospital and back but things didn’t quite turn out as I planned. I had to stay with him because his family lived far away and he didn’t want to call any of his friends, he insisted on having me with him. I won’t even lie, I enjoyed his company so spending the whole day with him wasn’t bad at all.

I was about to leave the hospital when the breaking news came on the TV, I stood stupefied as I watched the live transmission as uniformed armed men opened fire on the innocent protesters. It was a gory sight. So many things ran through my mind, so many questions and so many what ifs. Above all, I was grateful to Scott for my safety and for being alive.

That incident brought us even closer and it was so easy to love Scott. It was only natural for me to say yes when he asked me to be his girlfriend. Six months into our relationship, he was already talking about marriage. He met my family and everyone loved him. My dad would usually frown at my male friends but he was different with Scott. He called him “son”.

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Exactly one year after we met, I found out that I was pregnant. I remember how Scott broke down and cried for hours when I told him. I couldn’t understand why he was so emotional. The very next day, he made me his next of kin and disclosed to me all about his investments, his bank accounts etc. He wanted me to know everything.

He always talked about his mother and he couldn’t wait for us to meet. He was an only child and he knew that she would spoil me silly once she knew that I was carrying her first grandchild.

One beautiful Sunday morning, Scott and I embarked on the long journey to the Rock City to see Mama. She was still in church when we arrived so Scott let us in with his own keys. He asked me to sit in the living room while he dashed off to a nearby store to get her favorite bottle of wine. I slept off on the couch while watching old albums.

Later I heard the door open and Mama walked in. She threw questions at me and I introduced myself that I was with Scott. Her eyes bulged out in fear and she began to scream. I looked at my watch and realized that Scott had been gone for over an hour. I called his number and it was switched off. Meanwhile, Mama was still screaming. Before I could bat an eyelid, the house was full.

I was asked to repeat my story and I did. I was confused. What was all the hullabaloo about?
After several minutes of aah! yeeh! abomination!, an old lady eventually revealed to me that Scott died six years ago from gun shot wounds sustained from stray bullets of a trigger happy police man. This was the point where I fainted.

I woke up in the hospital and Mama was by my side. We were both crying. I didn’t know what or how to feel. I fell in love with a dead man and I’m carrying his child. Why did Scott do this to me? Of all the women under God’s sun, why did he choose me? Why?

I was discharged from the hospital and taken back to Mama’s house while I waited for my folks to come get me because I was nervous wreck. Some people tried to convince Mama that I was lying but she shut them up. She’s the only person in this world that calls her son, Scott…she couldn’t remember the story behind the name but she used to call him that anytime she wanted to tease him. There was no way I could have known.

I wake up everyday hoping that this is just a bad dream. I can’t believe that the only man I’ve ever truly loved was a ghost. In an instant my life has turned from normal to topsy turvy. The worst part is that I still have this pregnancy to contend with. I want to terminate it but my strict Catholic parents would have none of that. Let me add here that Scott’s mother shocked all of us by moving into my parents home just so she can be close to me. She’s the most loving woman and my parents seem to be warming up to her but that’s their business. This is my life and I need to do something fast before I lose my mind. I have a plan. I’ll talk with my gynaecologist at my next visit so we can figure out what to do.

I couldn’t wait to be done with the routine checks so I could tell the doctor about my plan. I didn’t know what to think when she squealed in delight as she ran the ultrasound over my bulging stomach. “I can see baby number 1 and baby number 2, oh my goodness there’s a third one” she said in excitement.

At that moment, I could swear that I felt a light squeeze on my left hand. I could swear that Scott was in the room with me. I began to cry, not because I was happy but because I felt stuck.