I am a lot of things. But a manipulated woman I am not. I will not let my emotions show. He’s trying to rile me up. He won’t win. I look at my husband and I can tell he’s not gonna let this go. I just want to go home. I want to go home, bath and go for work. What to do. What to do. Avoid the baby drama.
Rule 11: Play it smart: Divert from the topic
“That’s fine.” I say slowly
He looks at me shocked. Shock him now. Shock him again when I change my mind.
“I will bring my family. We can discuss the details and venue if you want. I accept your offer. I’m going to leave now. So lemme just find my clothes and leave. I have work.”
“You are agreeing to the meeting?” He asks
“Yes. I’ll call my mum today. She will call the family. So yes. It’s fine. Let’s get this over and done with.”
I quickly walk away from him and leave the bedroom. I find my clothes and clutch in the living room. I wear my pants and heels while he stays in the bedroom. I don’t wait for him to see me off I know he won’t so why bother. I make my exit and head to my car. Walk of shame? Who cares!! I need to get home now.
Rule 12: Sometimes life throws you a lemon don’t make lemonade buy black tea.
The bath is a welcome. The hot water on my body helps calm me down. I wish I could cry but I can’t. Instead my mind can’t help but wonder to what he said about the abortion. An abortion I thought was a secret. I know it was a secret. I had only told one person about it. Mummy. Did she tell him I had an abortion? I know mama has always loved Isaac. Or did he find out by himself? I touch my flat tummy and feel the old stretch marks I attained during my pregnancy with the twins.
Motherhood was not meant for me. It never will be. If it had been then the twins would have been alive. A lot of things would be different. And all this wouldn’t have happened. I wouldn’t have ruined my marriage. But how was I going to stay if I couldn’t have children. What would my family think of me? What would his family think of me. Was sitting him down and explaining the best option? I have no idea.
Gosh when did this become so complicated? The day you married him my thoughts whisper. The day you lied to him through your vows.
In sickness and in health….
To have a family….
To be happy no matter what…
I sit down on the tiled floor of the shower. When did I become this person? My mind starts to wander off. Memories of the beginning flood my head.
After all didn’t it all start from somewhere.
“She lost the baby.”
I don’t turn to face the doctor. I keep looking towards the window. I can see trees outside; tall big trees. Will it bear fruit one day?
“The damage was extensive but she will heal. It will take time but she will heal.” He continues
I want to go outside. Take a walk. I know the nurses will disapprove. Bitter ugly women. Truly Zambian nurses are brutal and evil to the core. The treatment I have faced at their hands is appalling. Leaving my bed is out of the question. I will keep imagining I am sitting outside, fresh air surrounding me. My piece of heaven.
“She was lucky you found her as soon as you did.”
I want to see my father. But he’s not part of the living. I want to join him wherever he is. But mama won’t allow it. Instead she has me here with the brutal nurses. They gave me weird looks. They looked at me with disgust as if I had done something despicable. I want to go outside. Why am I still here?
“But Doctor. Will she ever have children?”
Children? Do I want children? Are they a need? I turn to face the doctor. He’s looking at my mother. She looks worried and as well she should be. Her hair is a mess because she’s been by my bedside all this time. I’m a bad daughter. I’m selfish. Am I?
The doctor smiles at her. “Yes.” He says. “She will be able to have children. She’s healthy. In a few years she can try again.”
“But to lose a baby now…..” Mama says
“She’s still young Madam. Your daughter will be fine. She’s one of the lucky ones. She will have children one day. All that matters is her mindset.”
“Yes. Abortion is a very traumatic experience that lives with you forever. She will need your help to get through this.”
Mama is a angry. I’ve made her angry. Maybe if I had behaved. Maybe if I hadn’t gotten pregnant. Maybe if i had listened to my boyfriend when he said he would always be there for me. Maybe if I hadn’t trusted my best friend with the abortion pills. Maybe if i wasn’t so noble. Maybe if I hadn’t listened to her stupid reasons until they became my own. Maybe if I hadn’t taken the pills when I was five months pregnant. Maybe if I hadn’t taken more pills when the damage was done. Maybe if I hadn’t thought suicide was my own way out. So many maybes but one reality.
I’m not meant to be a mother. I’m a bad person. I deserve all the pain I can get.
I promise I will face my punishment till the day I die.
I open my eyes and I see him watching me. He looks sad. I did that to him. Does he know the truth? If he did would he be here?
This is what relationships do when you indulge in things not right for you. Get you pregnant in the name of passion. Passion. Is that the word for what we had, have. I’m too young to understand the word.
“Hi.” He says
He smiles at me. I don’t deserve his smile. I’m despicable.
“Your mother called me. Told me you collapsed and that she brought you here. How are you feeling?”
I look away from him.
1. He deserves to have a happy life of his own
2. I deserve to go to University and live my life
3. We are both young granted I’m 18 and he’s 20
“Isabelle….” He says. “Your mum told me you lost the baby because of the fall.”
Mama lied?? Why? She’s always loved him. But he deserves to know the truth. Should I tell him when I can’t even face him. I need him to leave. To hate me. To disappear. To leave me alone in my pain. This is why mum said I’ll need counselling. I can’t even accept the outcome of my decision
“It’s okay Isabelle. I still love you. I’m still here. I’m not leaving you. Gonna stay with you through all this. It was our baby. Now come on. Look at me.”
I turn and face him. I don’t know why some men are stubborn. He needs to leave. He has to go. I don’t want to see his face.
“We had a plan. So we will stick to the plan. Granted our baby is gone but we can still make the most out of this. I don’t want to lose you. Remember our plan?”
Have a child and stay together. There is no child now so what. Stay together? Just like that? It’s that simple.
“You can finally go to university without worrying about the baby. And I can study, get my degree, find a job and we can make this work. Mum told me you will be fine so we can move things around till we are ready.”
Ready for what?
He reaches out and holds my hand.
“We can still get married Isabelle. We already had the talks. We can still get married. Not now but we can still get married.”
“Isabelle Jacqueline Kalebo will you marry me?” He asks
He still wants me. Even after the baby is gone. He still wants me in his life. He still loves me. He still has plans for us. Whereas I’ve lost hope. He sees the future of us. He is amazing. What did I do to deserve this guy. He’s making this too easy for me. My answer? I know it…
“No.” I say. “I can’t marry you Isaac.”
Why? What reason would be good enough. Because I aborted our baby. Because I want to have the life I always wanted. Because maybe I can’t have children again. Because you will remind me of this life. Because I deserve to be alone. What answer would he want from me.
I don’t answer him. Instead I look away. Away from him. Away from us.
He deserves to have a happy life of his own
Do not forget.
Rule 13: Never look back into the past, It is always crawling with pain and secrets you can’t handle
I block the thoughts. I’ve made bad choices. I also made good choices. I don’t care. I need to go for work and not focus on things long dead; things I can never change.
I quickly dress up. I’m going to late for work. Thank God it’s Friday. I should meet the girls tonight. I need some girl time. Drinks and advice. The way forward. I head out of my flat when I’m done. The office is at least 20 minutes away not taking into account Lusaka traffic. The town and it’s people.
I start the car and look in mirror. I look perfect. Who would guess I am an emotional mess right now? That my past is catching up with me.
Rule 14: Own your role if you have one.
I reach into my handbag and get my purse. I take my two gold bands and onto my finger they go. I’m still married. I will look the part till I sign the papers. Soon enough.
But my mind can’t stop from asking one question over and over again.
Should I have told him the truth from the beginning?