Star-crossed - Episode 19

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Comfort:


"Ginger biscuits, Ginger tea, gingerbread. Aren't you going a bit overboard with the ginger?" I ask Joyce while shuffling through her backpack. We both read on the internet that ginger stops morning sickness and she's been obsessed with the stuff for weeks now just because she didn't want her mother to get whiff of her condition before she gets the abortion done. Today's the day she's been waiting for and I can firmly say, that makes one of us . I feel sick to my stomach. I might be needing one of those ginger biscuits. I eye the contents of her bag.
"Give me that." She hisses at me as she snatches the bag from me.
"Don't do this." I can't help but say. I see her shoulders visibly stiffen but she gives me one of her wide grins.
"I'll be fine. You know me."
"It's not even safe!"
"Shhhh!" She forcibly covers my mouth with her free hand. I try to wrench her hand off but she's having none of it.
"Are you still going to be so loud?" She asks, exasperation clear in her voice. I nod slowly and she relunctantly peels her hand off my mouth.
"I'm so scared. For the baby

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. And you. You're one of the few people I've come to love after my mom's death. I can't lose you too." I choke on the hot tears as I cover my face with my hands. This is so scary for me, I wonder how she's so put together.
"Just think about it as getting a tumor removed." Joyce's voice sounding the smallest I've ever heard it has me dropping my hands.
"A tumor? I can't believe you, this tumor is your own flesh and blood!" I whisper yell, careful not to alert her parents.
"I don't expect you to understand. You're not the one who's pregnant for a man who doesn't want her! No, you're the perfect little girlfriend of a freaking millionaire!" My eyes snap up at her biting remark with a gasp.
"I don't know who you are anymore." I shake my head at her bitterly. I can't believe her!
"Do what you like. I hope you'll be able to live with yourself after this." I tell her before turning my back on her and starting out the door.
"I'm so scared!" I stop short just outside our door at her sudden outburst.
"I'm so scared.." she sobs out and my lips quiver with the emotions squeezing me up. I choke up when I feel hands around my waist as she comes to hug me from behind.
"Please don't leave me too. I can't do this on my own. I need you, Comfort. I need you."
"Joyce...." I choke out.
"I don't know what to do with this baby. My baby. I can't....I can't raise a baby like this. Alone." I pull her hands from around me and turn to face her, determination marred into my features.
"You are not alone. We'll take care of the baby together. Listen, I'll be leaving for the city next week for my exams, after that I have to get an apartment there for the year. We can live together there. Up until you figure out how to break the situation to your parents. I'll work. In a boutique. Just to fend for the three of us."
"You'll take a pregnant woman with you to school and work just to fend for us?"
"You're not just any pregnant woman. You're my sister." I tell her sincerely with tears rolling freely down both my cheeks.
"You'll do this for me? I..." I pull her into my arms as she chokes up with tears.
"Our baby deserves to live. We'll take care of her." I say into her shoulder.
"Her?" Joyce asks with a sniff.
"Seeing how emotional she's making you, I'll say it's safe to assume that we are expecting a baby girl. I mean, look at her mother." I joke amidst my tears.
"Her mother. Woah, this is really going to happen. I'm expecting a baby." Joyce pulls out of my arms and places her hand on her still flat stomach.
"You'll do fine. You can't be worse that her father." I say with a wiggle of my brows and succeed in making her smile through her tears.
"You're right on that count." 
"Of course I am." I say as I wipe the tears off my face and giggle softly.
"Joyce?! Aren't you supposed to be going for your friend's wedding in the city today?!" Joyce's mother's voice breaks through our quiet laughter and we both freeze. We both stare at each other, horrified as we hear footsteps coming our way.
"You told your mother you're supposed to be going to the city for a wedding party?!" I whisper yell at her as I start to hurriedly wipe my face clean of tears. Joyce pulls a t-shirt from her bag and starts to wipe her face clean as well.
"What was I supposed to tell her? That I was going to the city to get an abortion behind her back?!" Joyce whisper yells right back at me and I groan in frustration just as her mother comes walking in on us. Joyce drops the T-shirt at that moment and her mother's eyes follow the descent of the shirt to the floor before coming up to our faces. I nearly bite my tongue in anxiousness.
"What's with the red faces and puffy eyes?" She eyes her daughter then me. She knows I don't know how to lie. This time I really bite my tongue till I taste blood.
"Am I not talking to human beings?" She throws at both of us.
"Ummmmm..." I trail off while Joyce throws daggers at me with her eyes.
"Umm what?'
"Joyce has news for you!" I spit out in one breath.
"I do?!"
"She does?!" Both women ask at the same time before mother turns to daughter questioningly.
"Oh yeah... The news...." Joyce trails off while her eyes blink profusely.
"Yes, the news." I echo.
"The marriage was cancelled! Right, Comfort?" Joyce suddenly gets out. I blink in confusion.
"Uhhhh."
"My friend's wedding in the city. Which I'm supposed to be attending today..." Joyce connects the lie for me.
"Yes! That wedding!" I start to laugh nervously while avoiding eye contact with both women.
"Oh God. Was that why your faces were red and puffy? Wow, the way marriages end these days is just alarming. Imagine this one didn't even start and it's ended! You young people of nowadays don't know how sacred marriage is supposed to be." Joyce's mother starts to mouth off and I visibly relax.
"Yes, mom. I can't believe that jerk left my friend on their wedding day. I guess I don't have to go to the city anymore." Joyce tells her mother who shrugs.
"Yeah, well...I guess I should go and inform your father that he doesn't have to escort you to the park anymore." Her mother starts to walk out but stops after taking a few steps and turns back to us. My breath catches in my throat.

Read " The fill-in wife " by the same author ( Ameh juliet )

. Does she suspect anything?
"By the way, Comfort, isn't your exam next weekend? Shouldn't you be reading?" She points to me.
"Huh? Yes ma. I'm reading. I'll get right back to it. Joyce come help me revise." I hook my hand around Joyce's and pull her with me into the room.
"Where's that your book?" Joyce says aloud for the benefit of her mother and we pretend to search for the book until we hear her mother's footsteps fade.
"She's gone! She's gone!" Joyce shakes me excitedly.
"Hey, calm down. I..." My sentence is cut off by the look of shock on Joyce face.
"Blood!" She suddenly screams while pointing at my face.
"What? Blo..." My hand comes to my face and my blood runs cold at the liquid feeling on my finger. I bring the finger down and the sight of blood makes me light headed.
"Comfort!" Joyce has to hold me from falling as my head starts to feel woozy in dizziness. 
"Are you okay?! Can you see me? Are you going to faint? Comfort!" Her screaming just makes my head hurt.
"Will you stop yelling? It's just a nosebleed." I say tiredly as I try to inject some assurance into my voice. Her face is still marred in fright.
"I've been having too much late night reading. This is just my body telling me to stop burning so much midnight candles." I say with a smile I don't quite feel but I hope Joyce doesn't catch on to my fear.
"Are you sure?" She asks me.
"Of course. I'm fine. I should just take a nap and I'll feel better when I wake up." I don't look at her as I wipe the blood off quickly. I fake yawn and climb into bed.
When was the last time I had a nosebleed? I can't think about that time right now.
"I'm fine." I tell myself as I turn to face the wall and curl up in bed.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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