Brukeme laid on the bed, in his boxer shorts. His roommates had gone to work. He didn’t feel like leaving the house. His head buzzed with thoughts of Fidelia. He was remembering the first time, he had seen her; a weird night for them to meet. He wondered what would have happened if that robber had not picked that same night to rob her family. His life had always been difficult. There were so many things he wished he had; parents and siblings most especially. But things were looking up. He had met a girl that seemed to like him; a girl from a rich family for that matter. This was like every broke sharp guy’s dream. “If I do right, I could get the whole deal… the girl and the money.” He thought to himself. His phone began to ring. He looked at it and smiled. It was Lisa.
Brukeme: “hello beautiful.” He said, immediately he picked the call.
Lisa: “Ha! I am not beautiful o.” she replied, giggling.
Brukeme: “but you are. Meeting you was like letting the moon out after a storm in the night. As soon as I saw you, all the clouds of loneliness and pain disappeared. I am serious.” he replied. The phone was silent. “Hello…Lisa?” he said, wondering why the line was silent.
Lisa: “that is the sweetest thing any guy has ever said to me.” She replied and sighed.
Brukeme: “then you have been with the wrong guys. I am a different breed.” He replied.
Lisa: “hmmm…I hear you.” she replied, laughing. “See, there’s this friend of mine, her birthday is this weekend and she is throwing a small party for friends. I was wondering if you would go with me?” she added.
Brukeme: “party?” he said, his eyes widening. He had no party clothes. “I don’t think that is a good idea. I don’t want to embarrass you before your friends.” He replied.
Lisa: “don’t be an idiot. If I felt you will embarrass me, will I invite you? Can you come to the mall by 3 pm today; I want to give you something.” She asked.
Brukeme:”something. What is that?” he asked, excitedly.
Lisa: “my friend, just come. See you later dear.” She said and ended the call.
“She called me dear. Hmmm…party. I no get clothe to wear go party o. she called me dear…” he thought to himself smiling.
Fidelia sat with the doctor in the doctor’s office. She had quickly dodged in, while her siblings went to see her father and help calm him down when he woke up from his drug induced sleep. She shifted her buttocks on the chair in discomfort. The doctor was writing briskly on a piece of paper and was yet to attend to her. She stared around the room, her eyes trying but failing to avoid a calendar on the wall that had the picture of a healthy, laughing baby held in a smiling woman’s arms. The calendar had the words ‘Give birth to a Healthy Baby, go for Ante Natal Today.’ She shifted again. The doctor looked up and smiled.
Doctor: “sorry about that. So how are you?” she asked, pushing the piece of paper into a file and placing the file on the side of the desk.
Fidelia: “I am…I am scared.” She replied, her glasses reflecting the light in the office.
Doctor: “I can understand. Your situation is not unusual. The first pregnancy is usually a scary and beautiful experience. Is your man aware?” she asked.
Fidelia: “it is complicated. I will like to know if it is too late to have the pregnancy… you know?” she asked, making a pulling motion with her hand. The word refused to leave her mouth.
Doctor: “you mean an abortion? No it is not too late but why are intent on having an abortion?” she asked, smiling.
Fidelia: “I am 22 years old. I am single. I just entered year two at the university, my parents will kill me, this is not the plan I had for my life…pick your choice of reasons.” She replied, bitterly.
Doctor: “a child is a beautiful thing. There are so many women who would kill for what you have.” She replied, sadly.
Fidelia: “they are married and older, I am not. I am not ready for this. I have barely lived. Why can’t you understand that?” she shouted.
Doctor: “I understand you perfectly. I just want you to look at all the options properly. Abortion is not the only choice you have. You could give the baby to a family that will take care of him or her as their own.” She replied, patiently.
Fidelia:”I don’t know. I am not ready for this. There is so much on my shoulders. I am not strong enough for this, God…” she said as she burst into tears.
The doctor stretched a tissue paper to her and looked at her with sympathy. Fidelia sniffled into the wad of tissue paper she cut out of the roll. She blew her nose and handed the roll back to the doctor.
Fidelia: “this has not been a good month. My family…I have had several shocks that I am yet to recover from. I am sorry for lashing at you. It’s just that a baby is big responsibility. To be responsible for another life when I can barely take care of myself…it is not easy.” She said.
Doctor: “that is why I am suggesting you give the baby out for adoption. Abortion is dangerous. There are several complications involved that you have to consider.” She said.
Fidelia sighed then her phone started ringing. She pushed her glasses up her nose as she brought out the phone and stared at the screen; it was Kate. She picked the call and Kate informed her that their father was asking for her. She replied, telling Kate that she was on her way. She stood up and thanked the doctor.
Fidelia: “I will think on what you said. Thank you” she said and walked out of the office.
Mrs Anigboro could not take her eyes off the stump, where are husband’s left leg used to be. She still could not believe it. Fejiro had always been strong and solid. He had been her rock throughout the years. Looking at him now, looking pale, his eyes filled with pain, it was difficult to accept. She held the tears inside. She had been crying too much lately. Fidelia seemed to be holding up well throughout the storm that was slowly consuming her family. She wondered where her second child got her strength from. She turned as the door opened and Fidelia walked in.
Mrs Anigboro: “thank God you are here. I need to go and prepare lunch. Erm, Kate, oya let’s go.” She said.
Ese: “I am coming along o. don’t like hospitals. Papa, get well ehn.” She said, kissing her father’s forehead and walking away.
Since the robbery, Ese was different. She had become absentminded and clung to her mother like a baby. No one who saw her would believe she was 23 years old. Fidelia watched them leave then she turned to her father. She looked at the bandaged stump, where his leg used to be.
Dr Fejiro: “I guess my smoking days are over now.” He said; a forced smile on his sickly face.
Fidelia nodded and circled the bed to a chair, placed close to the window. She sat down in it and curled herself inside.
Dr Fejiro: “there is a possibility that one of your sisters or your mother is HIV positive. It can’t be Ese because her suicide attempt gave the doctors an opportunity to run a test on her. So it has to be Kate or your mother.” He said quietly.
Fidelia’s eyes looked like that of an owl’s through the thick lens of her glasses. She didn’t say a word. No bad news surprised her or shocked her.
Fidelia: “I am pregnant. Three weeks.” She replied, slowly.
Dr Fejiro looked at her then he laughed bitterly, tears streaming down his eyes.
Dr Fejiro:”he promised me an avalanche. It is indeed an avalanche. I need to make this right. This feeling of shame and quilt is eating me up. I need to fix this but look at me.” He pointed to his missing leg. “Look at me.” He muttered again, his eyes staring at the far wall.
Fidelia looked at him and wondered. “I hope I will not end up taking the path he took early in his life. I would not want to be living happily with my family and someone will come from my past, claiming to be my son or daughter. God, what am I to do?” she thought to herself as she listened to her father’s sad mutters.
Detective Hamza took one last look at the room; the late Friday had called home for several years. He had been ordered to close the case and he had obeyed orders. He was here out of personal curiosity. I wanted to understand what will make a young man rob a house then kill himself. He sensed that there was more to the story than what met the eye. He turned around the shabby room. He had checked under and inside the mattress as well as the bags in the room but he had found nothing but well written poetry, although quite sad. These he kept to one side. He dragged a bag down from the wooden hanger, nailed to the wall. As the bag fell, he noticed a piece of paper sticking out from the edge of a hole in the ceiling. He found a plastic chair and climbed. He stretched his hands and brought down the paper which turned out to be a note book. Inside he found more poetry. He was about to throw the notebook away when he saw something that was not poetry. He read it and his eyes sparked with interest. He gathered the books together and left the house. “Now I will know what really happened that night.” He thought to himself.
Question: what do you suggest Fidelia should do? Do you think Brukeme’s dreams concerning his relationship with Lisa are realistic? What has the detective discovered?
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