If you have not walked in my shoes, dealt with half the issues I have handled, and kept awake crying over the things you wish you could change; you have no right whatsoever to criticize me.
Often times I wondered how I became a topic of discussion especially to a bunch of illiterates whose adult minds could generate only as much wisdom, as to the point of ferrying people for an amount I’d give to beggars on the streets.
Why did they care that I got pregnant at a tender age? There is nothing as annoying as an ignorant low-life, giving his immaterial opinion on a subject that is not of their alarm. When will people ever learn that not every opinion matters?
“Yiiii, some men can be heartless! How can you sleep with such a young girl?” one of the Boda-boda men asked as I crossed from the University gate, transporting my bloated belly to the nearby supermarket. “I stopped feeling sorry for those young girls, unless she was raped,” another interrupted.
“Wama you’re right. Girls of this generation have been possessed by the demon of greed. They want every nice thing they see. You can even find that her boyfriend is old enough to be her dad,” the guy who started the conversation said, as they looked at me with unkindness.
I thought I would find solace in the temple of God, but even his sanctuary was like a haunted house. The people in that place killed my every sense of reverence to “people of God”. I do not want to cry, so I will not talk about them.
In all this, I did not lose my faith in God. In my room, I rehearsed before the lord. I poured out my heart to him. He heard me and has surely sustained me. I wish I could hate whoever was unkind to me, but I can’t. However, I will never forget them.
I did not get the chance to see my grandparents, sadly, my child won’t either. My dad was abandoned by his father at six years. His mum died four years later. My mother was raised by her maternal aunties, she has no clear explanation about what happened to her parents. Perhaps she was abandoned at birth, I do not know.
I thought blood loved even for adversity; not my family. I remember the look on my mother’s face when I returned home that evening with a protruding stomach. Even without mentioning a word, I knew she reviled me. I can still see the spite in her eyes. I thought like a normal parent, she would rebuke me but accept me back. I was wrong! Not even my mother wanted anything to do with me.
Her silence killed me a thousand times with each passing minute. She deliberately made me feel unwelcome. I felt like a stranger at my own parents’ home. My siblings were ordered to stay away from me. I could not handle the silence anymore. I decided to go. As soon as I got up to take my leave, my father walked into the sitting room.
“What is this nonsense I am seeing? Is this why I sent you to school?” Even before I could say a word, my father’s heavy hand landed me on the floor. He beat me like I was not heavy with child, and then ordered me to explain to my siblings how I got pregnant.
I swear, this was the biggest punishment I have ever suffered. Imagine the shame of explaining to your siblings how you got pregnant! Martha looked up to me. She always said she wanted to be tall and pretty and wise like me. But look, I just messed it all up. She cried uncontrollably and walked away.
Dad brought her back amidst flogging. “Why are you leaving? Do you also want to be a prostitute like your sister? Have you started sleeping with men even before you complete senior four?” I could not bear to watch my sister being reprimanded for a mistake I committed. I ran out of the house.
I was six months pregnant at that time, my son is six months now. But until now, my parents have never seen me or the child. I am a disgrace to the family name, and now I am living with the pain of family rejection. But then again, it is okay. I have handled it so far and will continue to bear it.
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