Everything about that morning was strange. Abike had been awake all morning staring at her flat tummy, touching it, poking it, trying to see if the thing would move. She felt nothing. She tried to struggled within to ascertain if the bland feeling was out of the fact that she wanted to feel nothing or because the thing was what it was; Just a thing. She laid down lazily on her bed the thick wine curtains shut out any ray of light. She preferred the room dark, at least for today. Her brown sheets seemed to be an active witness to the struggle. It was entangled into this huge bunch around her feet while she lay on the bare mattress. She had struggled all night, twisted, turned, cried, laughed hysterically and finally, she had made a decision. The room stood still for a moment; she remembered how the thing had come to be. Their pile of clothes on the floor, the curtains had been drawn aside that day, the bed sheet a beautiful shade of pink. She remembered the fear in her heart, yet the excitement of the fast pace, the raw love she thought she felt, the maddening feeling of pain and beauty all at once. It happened so fast and she was the last to fall asleep. She had been staring at her motionless fan blades.
The same fan blades stared back at her now, it seemed to tell her how stupid she had been to let it happen, how it seemed fair that she was wearing this shoes, how much it knew she depended on it. Finally Abike stood up. There was no need for a bath she told herself as she wriggled into a tight pair of pants and a loose top. She put some money in her pocket and walked out shutting the door against all the witnesses.
The coolness of the breeze dazed her, how could the world still be normal she thought. It was the first time she was stepping out since the day she found out. Rotimi had been to her room several times, called her a thousand and one times. She knew he would be worried but she dared not tell him of what she had done, the mess they had created. So she shut him out too. She took the longer lonely paths, trying her best to avoid all contacts until she got to the bus stop. The seat she sat on was cold, the lady facing her looked at her disapprovingly as if she knew the content of her heart, the thick voice of the man of God pierced her soul as he spoke of the love of God. Abike simply looked out the window. She had made a stand and so it shall be. As she stepped out of the bus, the preacher pushed a piece of paper into her hands which she squeezed into her pocket. Not even the stare of the chubby baby on the laps of her mother moved her. She only stared back.
Doctor T as he was called was a short stocky man; he seemed to have done the procedure a million and one times as he moved around the room with precision. ‘Calm down’ he said in an emotionless tone it will only take a few minutes. She had opted for the ultra sound procedure. She would see what would be done on the white screen. She closed her eyes and thought of Rotimi, what would he have done if he knew where she was, what she was about to do? She had no idea, she suddenly thought she didn’t know him so well. The cold feel of the wet cotton wool jerked her, the strong smell of antiseptic crept its way to her brain. ‘Its time’ she heard him say as he injected a syringe to numb her cervix. Then the insertion of the tube into her uterus. It came in contact with ‘the tissue’ as the nurse had called it. Yet, it Jerked! Squeezed! Abike thought she saw a heartbeat. After a few seconds of rejection of death, Tinumiwa was sucked out by the aspiration machine.
Hours later, Abike walked back to the bus stop her legs light as paper, her mouth heavy and her eyes saw only Tinu’s struggle. She put her hand in her pocket for her fare and along with the cash came a squeezed paper. She opened it and the words ‘IT IS NEVER TOO LATE’ was boldly written in gothic copperplate. ‘But it is she said aloud’ ‘it is too fucking late she screamed as she threw the paper on the floor. Then a moment of calm. ‘Tinumiwa’ she whispered.