“O ti la ju,” (She’s awake).
I could hear the voices, some were still incoherent but I could pick mother’s voice and there was another voice.
A voice that could perfectly explain why the object had sat like royalty in my family’s sitting room.
It was Fisayo’s.
The blow of betrayal as I heard her call my name brought me slowly back to consciousness.
I had no idea what had transpired but seeing the nylon bag in our house had been shocking. It all made sense now, the argument between my parents, their attitude on sighting me.
I closed my eyes rather quickly, I was conscious now but I was neither confident nor ready to face the interrogations that awaited me.
“Oju yobo, please wake up now.” It was Fisayo, the annoying loud pitch of her voice gave me a mental picture of what her face would look like.
I was however angry. She could have panic attacks for all I care, she at least deserved it for putting me in this awkward position.
How could she even dare to beg me to wake up in these circumstances? This was all her fault. I could have just gone on with my plans but for her intrusion. It was all her fault that I had to play semiconscious here.
As I blamed her, a part of me reminded me that Fisayo was not Azeez’s girlfriend. She had not been the one who visited his house when his parents were not in. I tightened my eyes, I was in a deep mess and I had no idea as to how to get out of it.
Mother only called me that pet name once in a blue moon. I could feel her breath close to my face. I could feel her strong but soothing hands caressing my cheeks while pulling my torso at the same time.
“My baby,” she said this time, “please wake up and drink.”
I wondered what I was supposed to drink, but I knew I had to open my eyes to find out. My throat felt parched and uncomfortable. I did want to drink something. However, the thought of being interrogated by my parents was terrifying and prevented me.
“Please wake up,” My mother spoke once again.
The sound of her voice was weak. It was obvious she had been crying and probably was still in tears too. I was causing her pain and I felt bad about it.
The guilt pushed me to open my eyes slowly and stare at mother’s face. She hugged me and began mumbling some statements to herself. I could see Fisayo clearly just behind mother. She was on her feet and wore a look that said she was sorry.
Strangely, there had been no panic attack.
My father however sat and glared at me, his look made me wish I could disappear from the room but for my mother’s embrace.
That was the only source of warmth in the room.
“She’s awake na, leave her alone. Let her talk.” My father yelled at my mother who let go of me and resorted to sit on a stool close to the door.
For the first time I noticed Tunji standing by the door, had he been there the whole time?
He looked sad and disappointed and all I felt was terrible.
“Who’s the father?” My father asked.
Fisayo was sitting now, her face was sad, I could tell she was fighting the urge to cry.
I wanted to cry too. I also wanted to drink from whatever mother had been wanting to offer me.
I swallowed a lump in my throat, “He lives two streets away from here.”
I could barely hear my own voice.
“Speak up madam,” My father shouted and I could hear my mother muttering under her breath.
“His name is Azeez.” I said trying to be as loud as I could.
As the words fell off my mouth, so did tears flow out of my big eyes. My nostrils were not left out, I could feel moist liquid assaulting my upper lip. I wondered what my face would look like at this point.
I took a sniff to put the running fluids in check. I was still thirsty and I silently wished my mother would give me the cup of water that sat close to her feet.
“Azeez?” My mother spoke for the first time, “did you say Azeez?” she asked again.
She let out a sigh loudly this time and folded her arms across her chest while her legs moved back and forth too. She shut her eyes and for a moment I wished I was psychic. I really was curious to know what was running through her mind even though I could take a rough guess.
I turned to look at my father and I discovered his eyes were closed too. Fisayo and Tunji however stared at me and for a moment it seemed like their eyes expressed some emotion.
I was not sure if it was empathy or mere sadness.
“How many months Oju Yobo?” My mother spoke again with her eyes still shut.
“Erm…” I made to speak but became confused.
“Can’t you answer?” My father shouted and it was louder than the previous time.
I stood in panic. It was really getting hard for me to process everything.
My mother opened her eyes and exhaled. “Oju yobo, when last did you see your period?”
And that was when it struck me.
I had no answer to any of the questions I had just been asked.
To be continued.
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