April 7, 2019

Mothers

“Happy Mother’s Day Mum! I am sixteen years old already, I am ready to listen my story” Zoe said. “Are you sure about that?” I asked and she nodded in anticipation.

All right, take a seat.  I think you are matured enough to handle the story. The story I am about to tell you is about how you came to be, more about yourself and I and a little about your father. You have always asked about him, today is the day to hear all about him and why your grandfather is the only father you know.
I was exactly your age when I had you. I never knew to have sex with a man once could get me pregnant, George said I wouldn’t be pregnant too and I believed him. George is your father, he was a Corp member serving at my secondary school, he volunteered to give me free extra private classes in my weak subjects after school, one of those days he forced his way on me. I actually never thought for once that he had such motives, all I saw was a nice teacher helping to make me better.
I didn’t know I was pregnant until I was three months gone, I hid it from my parents for two more months until the principal called them over. I attended a boarding school and I was often away from home. I managed to hide it from them when I went home on Easter break, they were already too busy with the church activities to observe anything. I could not find a way to tell them so they had to find out that way. My father would not hear of it, he was the vicar of our parish, we were the first family of the congregation, everyone looked up to us, we couldn’t afford to disappoint them. I was terrified.
“You are aborting that thing inside of you, I would not have an illegitimate child born under my roof,” he said, his voice reflecting disappointment and anger.
” Dad, that would be murder, she’s not a thing, she’s human. I can feel her moving already, please Dad, I want to keep her” I begged with tears in my eyes.
“You talk of murder? I doubt that you thought things through when you were sleeping around”
My mother was quiet all the while, she signaled to me to keep quiet. I saw compassion in her eyes, for a moment I felt she understood what I was going through. I was right, she felt my pain. She understood perfectly, she loved me despite my shortcomings. George had denied ever touching me when my mother confronted him, he even swore on his life. He passed out of his service to the country some weeks after and left for his state, that was the last I heard of him. He never contacted me up till date.
“Wake up dear, I need to talk to you,” my mother said, she had made her way into my room in the middle of the night to tell me the way forward unknown to my father.
“Your father is going to take you to an abortion clinic tomorrow, he’ll have them remove your baby, I want you to keep this child,” she said touching my little baby bump.
” Take, here is some money, you would flee to your grandmother’s place in the village before the day breaks, I have spoken with her over the phone, she will take care of you till you have the baby, I’ll come to see you as often as I can, but your father must not be aware that I planned all of this” she said.
My mother made sure I was comfortable throughout the rest of my pregnancy, she would always reassure me of my father’s love too, according to her, he was just too disappointed to think straight. I had you, Zoe, four months after leaving home. I have loved you from the first day I knew about you. Nothing has changed even now.
Your great grandmother baby-sat you while I prepared for my Senior School Certificate Examinations after I had you. Your grandfather loved you immediately he saw you, he apologized for ever suggesting abortion, that explains why he is overly protective of you. He paid for my university education while also paying for your Preschool and Nursery School education. Your grandmother volunteered to raise you while I studied in school. You, my daughter, are a daughter of many mothers and even though your earthly father has not been available, am sure you know your heavenly father has never taken his eyes off you. You are so precious to him.
This, my dear, is your story.

Dedicated to all mothers and would-be mothers out there. Thank you for doing all you do, may your sacrifices be rewarded.

Temitope
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Lover of books, animal scientist, fashion designer

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