By Prisca Sam-Duru
“What exactly are you up to Mimi?” Rita asked.
“Welcome sister, how was your day?”
“Hectic as usual, but I bless God, so, why have you been packing your things, don’t tell me we’re going to repeat our argument concerning living on campus because you know I’ll never allow that”.
“Not at all sister,(forces a smile) surprise, surprise…sister, I got scholarship to study in Ghana”
“Oh my God!, scholarship and you kept it from me? How, I mean, when did you…what course?”
“Hold your breathe sister, I’m sorry I kept the news to myself ‘cos I wanted it to be a surprise…here, these papers will give you answers to your questions.”
Rita moved closer to her little sister and gave her the warmest hug she needed at the moment and promised giving her enough money to cover all expenses and pocket money. Later that night, while they waited for her husband to come home, Rita advised Mariam on how she was to comport herself during her study in Ghana.
“How easy it was to deceive my sister” Mariam cried. “No wonder Murphy manipulates every aspect of her life all in the name of being her hubby. Imagine not bothering to ask what becomes of my lectures here at UNILAG. Anyway, the lies worked, that’s what matters.”
Mariam lived with her sister and husband, Murphy since she was in elementary 5. She had become fond of the couple as if they were her parents. And Rita on her part didn’t fail in making sure she had everything she needed especially since she was still looking up to God for a miracle child.
Murphy had few months back, advised Rita to resign from her job at one of the oil companies in the country, since she travelled a lot and that gave them little time to try making babies. Rita had pleaded he gave her at least a year before she finally quit public job even though she knew that was not the solution to her problem having confided in Mimi that she had lost her womb during an abortion by a quack doctor while in the secondary school.
“So, when exactly do you plan leaving?” Rita asked.
“Well, anytime this week”
“Ok, but you need to make up your mind on a particular day so, I can accompany you to the airport.”
“Oh no sister, that won’t be necessary, Ken has promised to do that”
“Ken?, are you still courting, I thought you said you guys broke up”
“Em yes, but no… em sister you see…we kind of …in short we are trying to patch things together”
“Hmm…that doesn’t sound like there’s… anyway, you be careful”
“Thanks big sis…am always careful you know”
Eventually, Mariam left Murphy’s home with feelings of pain for her sister while she doubted if her plans would work. She moved in with her closest friend KC who resided off campus, there she hoped her plans would be executed.
KC tried so hard to make Mariam see reasons to put her past behind her but Mariam refused to believe that KC talked sense. “What past are you talking about KC. I am going to have a child who is right inside me and yet, you talk of past. I don’t think you understand what you’re talking about.”
“Please calm down Mimi, I understand how you feel…actually the past I mean is that you are already pregnant and since you won’t have an abortion, its best you move on till your child comes. I’m sure Ken would be able..” “No please don’t talk about Ken he’s not the father of my baby and please don’t ask me who, cos I don’t want to lie to you”
KC felt bad that Mimi didn’t trust her enough to confide in her but had no choice than to be quiet.
The truth about Mariam’s pregnancy was better kept a secret because of her future plans. Not even Murphy whom she detested so much for robbing her of her virginity, would ever find out about her child.
And as she settled down for lectures that morning, thoughts about that fateful night when Murphy came home and pretended to celebrate his promotion at the office, haunted her. He had insisted they drank together when Mariam suggested they waited for her sister who was away on an official duty.
She swore never to forgive Murphy for adding pills to her wine and for subsequently, taking advantage of her. A month later, she missed her period and when she told Murphy about it, his reaction shocked life out of her. “I know you’re joking”, Murphy accused her.
“Joking, please sir I’m not, am afraid of what would happen if my sister finds out.”
“Then she must not… get rid of the baby immediately”
“I can’t, am afraid I could die…”
“You won’t die…(CALMS DOWN)Mimi am sorry this happened, please stop thinking like a girl who hasn’t seen the four walls of the university. Ok, I’ll take you to my doctor on your way to school, is that okay”
“No, its not”. “Then what do you want?, Murphy screamed. “To tear my marriage with your sister apart?, I know she’s not given me a child but please I love her and don’t want to hurt her”
“I just want to do it on my own. I need three hundred thousand.”
“That’s outrageous, who aborts for that amount. Anyway, I’ll give you fifty so you’d take care of yourself with the rest.” “Three hundred or I’ll let my sister know about the crime you committed.”
Mariam had her way and with all she got from Rita, she relocated to KC’s place.
Months later, Mariam gave birth to a baby boy. She moved into a hotel two days after she was delivered of her baby and right there, she waited for Rita. She had sent a message earlier to Rita who was in Switzerland for a year course, to embark on an emergency trip back to the country. Rita was instructed not to make any stop over to her residence but straight to the hotel.
“Oh my God Mimi, thank God you are safe, what’s the matter…I came with some police officers” Rita said panting. “what? You came with…but I said you should come alone” “I’m sorry but I thought you were in danger so, I didn’t want to take chances.” “It’s alright now sister, you go and settle with them, I have a surprise for you.”
With tears, Mariam gave her baby to Rita. She told her the truth about everything and begged her forgiveness for deceiving her all the while.
“I’m sorry but I did it for you sister. I couldn’t possiblly live with thoughts of having aborted a child while you needed one so badly.” “Please don’t say anymore Mimi you’re breaking my heart…I’m sorry Murphy did this to you, worse still, you stood alone…I love you so much Mimi…can I name him Miracle?” “He’s all yours…and sister. Don’t tell your husband I gave birth. He has your husband’s blood so you find a way to convince him you’ve given birth in far away switzerland”