Aatma is slavishly beautiful. She has marble eyes – bright and beautiful; they let her see things you cannot see. Like the expression on your face when you make a mistake. Should she gaze at you, she’ll certainly reduce you to ashes.Her skin tone is a shade of brown; moderate brown and she stands at 5.3. Her hair is black like algae in aquarium and it’s as extensive as mountain gorilla fur.
I was lounging in bed with my feet up counting the mosquitoes hanging from the ceiling waiting on lights off so they could feast on me like the blood suckers they are before she called me that evening. I have waited long enough for this girl grow some backbone to share her tale. So my heart did that dance when she said she wanted to do the talking.
You know, she started. The first time I met Alan, it was like the bear had been attracted by the molasses in the grain. He’s handsome that one. His skin tone reminded me of my high school sweetheart Nevile. That boy was a ladies’ man I tell you. I have always had a fetish for lightskin guys. I remember how all chics from different schools were all fascinated by this laid back lightskin boy who played the flute during fankiez. He knew we liked him for that. I also remember how I was walking in air the first time he stopped to talk to me. They were sort of our brother school so that day, we were sharing their bus after ours broke down. He found me in the bus over lunch and we sat a while chatting. Ah we were vibrating on the same wave length nanii. So kidogo kidogo before I knew it, we had started a sweetheartship which won me quite a number of love letters.That was a big thing in high school. My heart was on a high. We were both in form three at the time. The relationship went all the way till a year after high school. We broke up after he flew out of the country with no goodbyes. That hurt me. I’m the kind of girl who struggle to recover after a breakup because I give a lot of myself in the relationship. I commit wholly. So when it ends, it crushes me entirely. We’ve never seen eye to eye ever since he left and we eventually lost contact. Back to Alan, so anyway after that day, I did not entertain the thoughts of him since I was in a relationship and it was very stable. I gave the attraction a cold shoulder and moved forward like we do every day. The circumstances then, however, dictated that I was bound to be seeing more of him. If not every day, then very often. So we began to socialize. With time we became familiar. All this while though, my mind was occupied by my man. I was committed and in love. Whatever existed between Alan and I was purely platonic. We got along really well. He’s friendly and lovable.
Months later, my relationship grew rubbery legs. We were faced by this monster we couldn’t fight. It was a losing battle. No! we could fight, but we chose not to because families were involved. We chose peace and respect over the relationship. Let me not get so much into that. So we broke up. Again I struggled letting go. What destroyed me most was how fast he moved on. It was immediately. I struggled to understand whether he broke up because of family or because of the new woman. He justified himself insisting he was only looking for distraction. That he was looking for a place to divert the attention and affection so he could heal fast. That made sense. So also began to entertain the attraction I had for Alan. I allowed it to materialize. I found myself enjoying it until the day I woke up pregnant. Yeah, in this generation of contraceptives and afterpills, I still got caught by surprise as well.
That day I tested positive for pregnancy, I had conflicting emotions. I was both excited and indifferent. Deep down I felt a conviction that it was Alan’s pregnancy and I loved the idea. I was happy. However, a part of me felt somehow guilty of betrayal. I felt the pregnancy came too soon and it diminished whatever chance that was left of getting back with my ex if at all there was any. This same part of me wanted for the pregnancy to be his and it lived in denial for so long. Hoping and praying that the baby would turn out to be his even when my intuition was sure that God did indeed make green apples – it was Alan’s. I have always had a regular flow. Even my dates were leading to Alan but I insisted on arguing with them hoping that I might have mistaken the exact dates of my last flow or that some miracles could happen and prove otherwise.
When I talked to Alan about the situation. He was receptive. Very receptive. I remember him saying, “Aatma if you’re pregnant, (because he thought I was joking) and it’s mine, then it’s no big deal. We’re going to raise the kid.” He proceeded to give me baby names. I don’t remember what name he gave for a girl but I remember he mentioned if it would be a boy, we would call him Christian. Because he fancied the name. He also mentioned that he would buy us a house and a car of my choice. Haha! Wow! I should return to claim these assets. That reception alone gave me some sort of relief. Some sort of assurance. But still, I was somehow unsettled. He was about four years younger and he had just started receiving his take home. I felt like I had just wreaked havoc over his young life. I felt if I was to allow him tread this route with me, I was going to deny him the chance to enjoy life. I felt he deserved to be out there being young and wild exploring with young girls and not raising a kid at his age. I think he realized it or maybe the reality of things dawned on him overnight because the next day, he sent me a text that read, “Aatma, there’s no way that thing is mine, not even in your dreams.” I didn’t respond. I summoned myself to a small meeting and decided to be the bigger person. Not as if I wasn’t literally bigger. Haha! I mean, I was four years older. So yeah! Bigger person. Also I felt having been the woman and also older, should I have been more the responsible, we wouldn’t have been where we were at that instance. It felt so wrong to fight with him. I just blocked him and proceeded like nothing had happened. I never told anyone about it. I let everyone, my friends and family believe my pregnancy was my ex’s. I couldn’t swallow that pill. I wasn’t going to make space for them to judge and label me. I concealed my truth until I was in a fit state.
My pregnancy was a smooth one. No complications no funny cravings. I often craved milk and fries and bananas and Fanta passion. And again these cravings were manageable. I could do without them. Also because I was broke. By the way pregnancy cravings are somehow dictated by financial status. There’s no way you’ll ever crave pizza when you’re broke and jobless. I lost my job on my third month of pregnancy. That became another source of anxiety. At some point I contemplated abortion. I started Googling natural ways of getting rid of pregnancy. Every method I tried, one of which included eating a lot of pineapples to induce early labor, failed terribly. The baby kept growing and playing inside there. Then it got to that point where I enjoyed the kicks and movement. I grew some attachment until I was looking forward to giving birth. Then the day I gave birth, damn! That was momentous. She was pretty-pretty. She reminded me of the first time I saw Alan. I noticed her fingers first. Oh his. Then gradually noticed she had his nose, his ears, skin color and his toes. She looked so much like him. She still does to date. I can’t look at her and not see him.
Motherhood has not been easy. I had moments of postpartum anxiety. There were times I would lock myself in my room with my baby and switch off my phone to avoid humanity because I hated it when they asked me where the father was. Or whether I told him his baby was born and what he said if indeed I told him. I gave those questions a very big miss because they reminded me I had been irresponsible. It took me months to come to terms and eventually unblock him.
We don’t have the best relation per say. We have our shortcomings because of course, we are human. So yeah, sometimes he’s nutting in me, other times we’re not talking. But the best thing in all is we both have the best intentions for each other.
My daughter is the best thing life has brought my way this far. And today I’m actually content that she’s his may be because I don’t think I would have healed from all those shenanigans had it been otherwise. Today, I’m convienced all that transpired, that irresponsibility was a blessing in disguise.
Till Next week’s Com’s.
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Happy New Year