Chidera placed a call to Sabine’s mother as soon as she finished attending to the customers in her shop.
Chidera: “good morning auntie.”
Mrs Ogbonna: “it is night here o. how are you? Hope New York is good?” she replied, chuckling.
Chidera: “New York is good. A little bit chilly though. Winter is around the corner.” She replied, adjusting some cans in her shelf as she spoke.
Mrs Ogbonna: “ehen? Here there is no sign of harmattan o. Everything is upside down these days. Rain falling in December has a weird feel to it. Everybody is saying it is the end time.”
Chidera: “it’s all those gas emissions, global warming and ozone layer issues. It has warped the ecosystem. The changes are everywhere. That is why you hear of earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and so on.”
Mrs Ogbonna: “that’s true. There’s this guy who was asking one day about the name they have been giving to hurricanes; hurricane Katrina for example. He said if, God forbid, hurricanes occur in Nigeria, what will they name it? We will have names like Hurricane Nkechi, Hurricane Bamidele…the guy was hilarious.” She said, laughing loudly.
Chidera joined her in laughter,
Chidera: “I called concerning Sabine.” She said, soberly.
Mrs Ogbonna: “that girl is a disgrace, I tell you. I am so ashamed. Your brother has been venting his anger on me all month. I have told her not to come to this house o, or he would just kill her.” She replied, angrily.
Chidera: “she has asked to come live with me here in the States.” She replied abruptly.
Mrs Ogbonna: “that is even better because this house will not contain her. You and your elder brother discussed it before now. Although we didn’t expect that it would be because of a scandal.”
Chidera: “okay. I want you to promise to call her and hear her side of the story before condemning her. You cannot speak from one side that you read. You and my brother should put aside political ambition and remember that this is your child. She needs all the love and support she can get now.”
Mrs Ogbonna was quiet for some time.
Mrs Ogbonna: “I have not been fair to her, I know. I will call her and make amends. Do you need money for visa or ticket?”
Chidera: “na…I can handle all that. You can be sending her some cash though until she finds her feet. But most importantly call her and don’t judge her.”
Mrs Ogbonna: “I will call her, don’t worry.”
Chidera: “that reminds me,how did the news media find out that Sabine is your daughter? I thought changing her name from Ezinne to Sabine was to protect her from kidnappers and such publicity?”
Mrs Ogbonna: “who knows? She probably told a friend.” She replied thoughtfully.
They said their goodbyes and ended the call.
Femi loved the States. It was vibrant, alive, so much opportunity for a hustler. Not like Nigeria with all its backward thinking. He smiled as he watched high rise buildings fly past. The taxi was taking him to his hotel. He had not touched his feet properly in Lagos before his boss had given him a flight ticket to the United States. He was to help his boss’ brother over there do a deal. He never really like working with the man and they have had issues in the past but the money was good money so he could not refuse.
“California! City of sin! Well I can sin as much as the best of them and much more.” He thought to himself as the taxi sped past hotels, strip clubs, casinos and the like.
His hotel was not a classy, five-star affair but he was not here for pleasure. He quickly unpacked and placed a call with his phone to his contact.
Femi: “am in town, boss.”
Boss: “good. You are on time. I will send Ife to come pick you up tomorrow morning. Dress for church.” He replied and ended the call.
Femi looked at the silent phone.
“Church? This dude has never been religious or am I been invited to a funeral?” he thought to himself curiously.
He shrugged and placed a call to reception. He ordered room service, gave them his room number and hung up. He went to the bathroom to run a bath. Then he tied a wrap of weed and kept it by the bath tub. He had bought the weed at few blocks from the airport.
“This is the good life. Chilling things right here. Tomorrow I will see that lovely Ife. Maybe she will be willing this time.” He smiled to himself.
A knock came on the door. He went and opened it and welcomed the maid with the food and drinks. He thanked her and gave her a tip. As soon as the door closed behind the maid. He opened the bottle of whiskey and poured himself a healthy glass.
Jessica staggered home from the clinic that afternoon while Femi was having a time of his life. She stopped a passing keke and gave the driver directions to her place. They soon got home and the driver drove away as soon as Jessica paid him.
She felt lightheaded and weak. She had lost a lot of blood during the procedure. She walked to her bed and laid down.
She was delirious, her skin flushed with feverish heat but she was too weak to speak. She tried to raise her hand and get her phone but couldn’t, she felt weaker and weaker still.
A hand touched and shook her awake from her stupor. She could hear somebody calling her name as if, from a distance. She opened her eyes and saw Sabine staring at her, fear in her eyes.
Sabine: “you are bleeding Jessica. You need to get to the hospital.” She said, a voice filled with fear.
Jessica: “he didn’t tell me that it would be so. It was just fun, just fun.” She replied in delirium.
Sabine rushed out of the house and called neighbours. They carried Jessica into a car and drove her to the hospital. She was quickly rushed in as soon as Sabine paid the deposit. They commenced treatment immediately. After some hours, the doctor came out and Sabine rushed to him,
Sabine: “how is she?” she asked, her voice shaking with trepidation.
Doctor: “she is resting now. It was touch and go for a moment there. Are you a friend or her sister?” he asked curiously.
Sabine: “am a friend.” She replied.
Doctor: “a poorly done abortion was what made your friend bleed so much.” He replied quietly.
Sabine stared at the doctor in shock.
“Jessica was pregnant! Femi, that man. What sort of evil led that man into our lives?” She thought to herself. Then she realized that the doctor was still talking,
Sabine: “sorry doctor, I didn’t quite get that. You said what?” she asked, panic rising in her voice.
Doctor: “whoever did the operation did a shoddy job. He or she did not just destroy the foetus, her womb was also damaged beyond repair. We were forced to remove it.” The doctor replied sadly.
Sabine: “Jesus! Jesus!” she shouted.
Patients and nurses alike turned to stare at her and the doctor, curiosity and in some cases, pity written on their faces. Sabine placed her hand on her stomach.
“is this what was waiting for me, if I had gone ahead with the abortion? I have done it several times with no side effect. Who knows if this will be the one that will destroy my womb? God! Jessica…” she sighed, thinking to herself.
Sabine: “is there anything she needs?”
Doctor: “I have written down some drugs that she needs. She will need care too because of the psychological trauma.” He said, giving Sabine a slip of paper.
Sabine nodded her head absentmindedly, taking the paper from his hand.
Sabine: “can I see her now?” she suddenly asked.
Doctor: “she is still asleep. When she wakes up, we will send for you.” He replied, patted Sabine on her arm and walked away.
Sabine blindly searched for a chair and sat down. Her face furrowed in thought.
Question: Do you think if Jessica had done the abortion successfully, Sabine will still consider abortion as an option?
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