Palm lines - Episode 12
The news of my father's death saddened me. He was only eighty four years, I know one may be tempted to think he has spent all his time on Earth but I wanted him to last more than that.
I've anticipated him reaching hundred years. Lawrence and I made a bet with a cousin that he would last hundred and we have pay up.
We didn't see it coming. Pa Tom as I fondly call him, was strong as hell, the last time I saw him was the last holiday Sharon spent and the only reason I saw him was because Mom requested I picked her up personally.
That was two months ago.
Sharon didn't take the news of her grandfather's death well . I received a call from Miss Erika in the evening, I guessed that she must have been informed.
"I heard about your Dad, I'm sorry"
"Yeah" I cleared my throat.
"Thanks" I added, "I don't know what else to say. God is the giver of life and He will comfort you, He has his reasons for everything"
"I believe he does. Thanks for your call"
"You're welcome Sir" she hung up.
I felt relieved, a bit relieved.
We fixed the burial on a Friday the next week. It was to be held at the family compound.
I got a call from Sharon after school hours
All episodes of this story can be found here >> https://www.ebonystory.com/story/palm-lines
. I was at the clinic, I had just sighted Vera from afar off playing with her baby. She was with the baby sitter.
"Hello Sharon" I said, this was followed by loud sobbing. "Hey, what's up? Are you okay?" I asked and then she sniffled.
"Grandpa is dead" she answered.
"Oh my God, When did this happen?" I asked, "Dad just informed me that he didn't wake up this morning. I didn't even get to see him"
"How old is he?" I asked and she sniffled again.
"That's...." I paused, that seemed old enough to me but I didn't want to be insensitive. "I'm sorry" I added. "I wish I had talked to him or even" she continued sobbing but I managed to keep her calm.
I thought of calling Mr. Savage to give him my condolence crossed my mind but i was already close to Vera.
"Good afternoon Vera" i greeted then I held her son by the hand.
"Hello Samuel" I smiled then he stretched his hands at me, "Awwn he wants you to carry him" the baby sitter explained and I carried him.
"Can we talk?" I requested kissing him on his cheeks.
"Alone?" I requested and Rita left us alone.
"What's up?" Vera asked, "You sound serious"
"Feso took me out yesterday, to a celebration. He nailed a deal and he celebrated it"
"Feso is the owner of Odogwu Construction"
"Seriously?" She asked in shock, "I was shocked yesterday too and he introduced me to his parents and we talked and Vera they liked me"
"Wow... That's good. You know what this means right? Wedding ring incoming" she guessed and I rolled my eyes.
"Feso and I spent the night together" "You're such a slut!" Vera commented. "And you're a bad friend too, how could you not tell me about it. Come on, let's go home, we'll talk about this, you're not missing any details, not even one. How was the s*x?"
"There was no s*x"
"Cause I couldn't go through with it"
"The baby would not stop you from having s*x babe"
"I couldn't go through it because I remembered I was pregnant and because of my hesitation, I told him abouty celibacy plan, s*x till marriage thing"
"You could have seen if the s*x would be worth it. You just wasted what could have been a good s*x, every pregnant woman needs good s*x, we need our machines well oiled for the D-Day"
"You had s*x?"
"Why? I did oil my machine once in a while" she answered and I scoffed. "I'm getting an ab*rtion done" I announced and the smile on Vera's face immediately wiped off.
"You're joking right?"
"No. I've made my decision, I came so you could at least reference a specialist to me" I answered and she immediately got her son from me. "Feel free to make your decision, but count me out of it" she yelled walking away.
"I said count me out!" She yelled then Sam started crying.
I had a date with Feso at his house, he promised to cook so I took my bath while dressing up, Kechi walked in.
"Hey" I said her and she laid on the bed.
"You didn't spend the night at home and now you're leaving again" "Feso called me up, we have a date at his house" I answered and she grinned.
"I hope you won't chicken out this time"
"I didn't chicken out, you guys will not understand"
"Whatever" she yawned. "Mehn I'm bored" she sighed.
"How far your student's dad? I called his number and some else picked it. Apparently that girl gave me a wrong number"
I just wished she could stop talking!
"Is it just me or your bre*st looks fuller?" She asked and I covered my boobs, I felt uncomfortable like she would find me out any moment.
"It's my normal size"
"Do you think he'll love to suck bo*bs?" She asked and I shrugged. "How am I supposed to know Mr Savage's preference?" I asked in disgust and she laughed.
"I wasn't talking about him, I meant your Feso. My ex would suck the living daylight out of my saggy bo*bs. He told me he didn't care if they were saggy" she paused.
"He lied through his teeth, and after making my boobs more saggy than it was, he cheated with a standing bo*bs bimbo called Bimbo. Screw him!"
The date went well, the meal was worth it but i couldn't sleep over. All I could think of was having the abortion done. I didn't know who to tell. I needed a doctor I could trust.
Vera refused picking up my calls, when a message popped in from Sharon on WhatsApp, I finally remembered to call her father to give him my condolence.
On Thursday morning as early as 6:15, Dorcas came out of her room with a swollen eyes. "What's up?" I asked her, I didn't see her come home the previous night.
"I just lost my grand Dad" she cried and I hugged her. Why is everyone losing their grand parents? I asked within.
"Ehya, Pele (sorry)" I sympathize and she withdrew cleaning her tears. "I have to be in the village first thing tomorrow or even today. Well it depends." She paused. "Grandma must be so devastated" she sniffled and I hugged her again.
"How long would you be there?" I asked and she shrugged, "I don't know"
She went into her room then left after a call from her mom. I was ready to leave home when i glanced at Kechi, I wasn't sure whether to tell her I was pregnant.
"If someone wants to have an ab*rtion procedure, do you know a good doctor to meet?" I asked and her face fell.
"Jesus!" She covered her mouth.
"It's the one night stand Shea?" She asked, "I didn't say I was the one" I opened the door and she closed it.
"When did you find out?"
"On Monday" I answered and she sighed.
"Are you sure you want to ab*rt it?"
"I can't keep it, I can't! What would I tell Feso, will I bring this child into this world without a father? God forbid!" "I know of one doctor that did one of my friend's own." She answered and I busted into tears.
Kechi quickly hugged me.
"You can just use the injection own and just forget about it" she suggested and I shook my head then I withdrew.
"I don't want any wahala, I just want it done by a specialist"
I met the doctor the next day after school hours since all schools closes early on Fridays. He fixed an appointment the following week.
I took a Keke afterwards to Tuni's house, I needed to talk to her mom. I was sighed to find Sharon there, she told me she lived in the same street as Tinu. Small world, I thought then I requested an audience with Mrs. Reiner alone.
We talked in her room, "What's going on? You look startled" she asked holding my hands.
"You're pregnant" she muttered, "Did you know from the start?" I asked and she shook her head.
"There are somethings that don't get revealed to me. You're being too desperate my dear. Too much alternatives and too much frustration"
"Why won't I be frustrated?" I cried, "I am pregnant with only God knows who the father is"
"It's called fate, it's your destiny"
"Why does all the bad things fall on me? Does my destiny have to be so complicated? How would I tell Feso about the baby?"
"I'm ab*rting it!"
"Abomination! Please don't do it" she yelled.
"I'm not having this child!" I yelled as quietly as possible while looking at the door to make sure no one heard me.
"I can't be a single mom"
"You have no idea what life has in stock for you. You're not going to get it with a hot head, Erika you have to be calm, what you need is a vacation."
"I don't want to be calm! I can't have this child"
"Why did you come to me then when your already made up your mind?" She asked and I shrugged. She asked a really good question. I came for enlightenment I came to get answers. I wanted a go ahead; some sort of spiritual approval from her as a palmist.
"You want my advice? Don't do it. You'll regret it"
"Maybe I'll regret it, but at least I'll be happy" I answered leaving the room. Sharon who was watching TV with Tinu turned towards me.
"Miss Erika" she called out and I cleaned my tears. "Are you crying?" She asked and I shook my head. "The burial has been fixed for next week Friday, would you be come? It's okay if you don't" She asked and I shrugged.
"I don't know" I answered.
I locked myself in my room crying my eyes out when a call came from Vera. "Hello" I answered, "I'm still not in support of the abortion but I'm trying to be a shoulder for my best friend to lean on. I realized you must be crying and sulking in your room"
"You probably haven't eaten, at least don't starve the baby before his or her death" she reposted.
"I feel bad already. Don't let me feel worse" "Whatever! I saw your WhatsApp messages. When are you having it flushed?"
"Don't use the term flush, you're trying to use reverse psychology on me" "Do you really have to do this?" She asked again and I nodded.
I already made my decision.
Dorcas called me almost immediately. "Hey dear" "Why does your voice sound worse than mine?" She asked and I chuckled.
"I'm stressed out" I lied.
"Are you sure?" She asked and I rolled my eyes. Dorcas and her numerous questions!
"Why won't I be sure? How are you dear?" I asked to avoid the question and she sighed.
"The burial will be held next week Friday" she announced. The same date with Sharon's grand father's burial.
"What a coincidence" I muttered and Dorcas inquired to know why I said that. "One of my students..." I paused. "Forget it" I added.
"Would you come?" She asked and I gave a quick thought.
"I don't know if the school will allow me" I answered, "I would really love to have you around"
"I'm sorry" I apologized.
Mom called me afterwards, "Ego's wedding card is out oh" she announced and I rolled my eyes. "Thank God oh"
"Tah!" She reproved, "You're not even ashame, thank God oh" she mimicked and I rolled my eyes again. "We're going to get her aso-ebi clothes on Friday. You must come oh"
"So the reality can be clear in your eyes, it's as if you're still blind" "Mom I can't go"
"Why?" She asked and I thought of a perfect reason to escape being disgraced and marriage-shamed on Friday.
"I have a burial to attend" I answered, "Then I'll see you at home later"
"It's in Benue, I won't be back till Saturday night" I lied and she hissed. "Burial okwa?" She asked, "Is that the husband you should be looking for?" She asked and I felt a headache coming up.
I wish I could just tell her I already had a boyfriend. "Mommy bye bye" I answered ending the call on her.
I sighed at how quick I was to think of going to Dorcas' Grandpa's burial. It won't be such a bad idea anyway so I called her to let her know I already changed my mind.
I postponed my ab*rtion appointment, I was too scared, I felt like I needed time and I won't like to go to the burial with the after maths emotional trauma of the ab*rtion.
I got permission from the schoo adminstration to miss two days for an important event. On Thursday, I took an early bus to Markurdi.
I felt bus sick all through my journey. I vomited in a nylon at every turn. I'm pretty sure the guy beside me regretted ever entering into the same bus with me.
I called Dorcas after I got to the park to pick me up. It was past 8 already. She came with her uncle. "Uncle Lawrence, meet Erika my best friend, Erika my uncle, Lawrence"
"Nice to meet you Erika" he stretched his hands at me and I shook him.
"Is this your first time in Benue?" He asked and I nodded.
"Welcome to Benue then" he exclaimed getting my bag from me. "Thanks, you didn't have to"
"Well, uncle Lawrence is a gentleman and also a lady-killer too" Dorcas answered and I chuckled. "He's probably trying to woo you now" she added and I tapped her.
"If I had any chances of wooing her, you've just managed to ruin it. Thank you Dorcas" he answered and I laughed.
"My legs hurt" I complained.
We entered into the car and we were out of the park in matter of minutes.
Read " Without Bridges " by the same author ( Essien Eno )
. We got Dorcas' family house. It was a big mansion, there were lots of persons there, people I didn't know but Dorcas tried to introduce me to some of them including her mother.
After dinner, I felt light-headed and I almost fell down the stairs when Lawrence caught me. He took me into Dorcas' room where I later got attended to by her mother who's a doctor.
"I guess you're just having effects from the long journey, I can't know for sure. You should take a rest" she advised and I looked at Lawrence.
"I'm sorry for getting you guys all worked up"
"It's nothing" He waved his hands now looking at Dorcas. "You should take care of your friend" he advised then walked out with Dorcas' mom.
"I didn't mean to cause problems"
"It's nothing, I was worried for a while there" Dorcas sat on the bed. "You should rest, I don't want you dying in my state because of my Grandpa's burial" she advised and I laughed.
"Are you sure you're not sick?"
"I haven't treated malaria in a long time, it has to be it" I lied, of course I knew what was won't with me.
Suddenly I yawned, an effect from feeling sleepy.
I woke up early with the usual morning sickness. I vomited twice. Then Dorcas' mom implored us to go downstairs to assist in cooking.
Just as we stepped out of the room with Dorcas, i saw Mr. Savage come out of another room directly opposite ours. Dorcas clapped her hands happily, "I've always wanted you to meet this awesome man, my other uncle, Uncle David. Uncle David meet"
"Miss Erika" he called out and I folded my hands in awe of the coincidence. Why didn't I piece it together? How could I have even piece it together? I got angry at myself.
Argh! I was having contrastive feelings.
I felt so stupid!
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