The doctor was still on the phone, I wondered what could be the issue?
She caught my eyes, “do you mind me leaving you alone here for some minutes? I have to get to the lab.”
“No problem,” I replied.
I guess I needed the time alone.
“Fine, I’d also inform your parents that we are almost done here. They must be wondering by now.”
She left and shut the door behind her. The room was quiet but my head was not. I thought of the solution to my woes, could Jesus be it? I had wanted to kill myself, was that me being thoughtless? What if I truly died and discovered hell was real? I shivered at the thought.
Did God truly love me irrespective?
I closed my eyes and bowed my head, I had no idea what I was doing but there was a strong compulsion to do so.
“Dear God, is it true that you’re not going to be silent forever? Do you truly love me even though I did a lot of bad things?” I paused, was this actually working or was it a futile charade.
Something within however pushed me to keep talking, “God, I’m sorry for wanting to take my life. I’m also sorry for sleeping with Azeez. And I’m sorry for wanting to have an abortion. I’m sorry for all the bad things I have done. Please, forgive me.”
I paused again and sighed. I opened my eyes this time and looked at the picture frame one more time before closing my eyes again.
“God, I know there are consequences for my actions. Please, help me to live with the consequences of mine. Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Forgive me for ignoring you for too long.”
I had heard the sinners prayer a couple of times in church before. I was not sure of how the words were arranged but I allowed my mouth do the talking however way it deemed fit.
“Jesus I accept you as my lord, saviour and friend today. I know you died for me and I believe that you’re my redeemer. I confess you as my Lord. Amen.”
I raised my head and used the roughened tissue in my hand to clean the moisture gathering at the corner of my eyes.
This was it. The simple solution.
I was going to be a mother, I sighed at the thought. I would see a psychiatrist as long as it was needed. I would have history always remind me of my teenage years of pregnancy and psychiatric consultations.
It was the consequence I had to live with but I had to believe God to help me live through it. I had to have a blend of faith and patience.
I suddenly remembered I still wanted to say more to God. I closed my eyes again, this time it felt more comfortable.
“Lord, I forgot to add something. Please, help me heal. Heal me. Help me. On the pain of having failed my exams, help me heal. Help me move on. Also, help me break off every emotional attachment to Azeez. Help me turn to only you for solace. Be my strength. Help my family to forgive me, help them to understand. I don’t totally understand yet too, help me understand you more.” I paused, I needed to be sure I had said everything.
I smiled as I remembered one tiny detail.
“Help me to patiently believe you even when it doesn’t make sense. Be my hope. Help me to have faith in you. Help me to be patient too in Jesus name I pray.”
That was not my voice. I looked up to see Dr. Onuoha smiling at me. When had she returned from the laboratory?
“Do you mind sharing what you were praying about?” she asked as she made her way to her seat.
“I wanted the simple solution you suggested so I accepted Jesus into my life.” I replied and she smiled.
I could see she mouthed something really quick but I could not tell what she had said, she seemed to be quite happy.
“That’s the best decision my dear. I’m really happy to hear that. Welcome to God’s family.” She stretched her hand for a handshake which I accepted with a smile.
“I don’t understand everything yet but I hope you’d give me your phone number so I can call and ask questions when I need to.” I requested.
“Of course, I was not planning to let you walk out of this office without having your contact.” She smiled.
“I have your test results but I need to be sure of your stand on your decision. Do you still want the abortion?” she asked.
I frowned. How could she ask me that?
I just told her I had surrendered all to Jesus. I had repented of my sins, and even though it was tempting to have the abortion, I could not. I was ready to accept the consequences of my actions. I had to be patient and trust that God had a plan for my life.
“But ma, I just told you I’ve given my life to God. I can’t have the abortion anymore.”
I replied and I hoped she would be able to tell that I was hurt by her opinion of me.
“Beautiful then.” she smiled again. “I just wanted to be sure. A lot of people give their lives to God but still hold on to it still. Giving him your life is giving him your all even if it seems like there’s an easy way out. You just have to believe that his way is the best way.”
I replied with a nod. So she was trying to test my decision after all.
“Ma, what if I wanted the abortion, would you have done it?” I asked.
“No dear, it’s against my faith. I already clarified that with the hospital. I’ve had patients who wanted me to help them carry out an abortion. I also know doctors who carry out abortions. But I won’t do it. The only time I would carry out one is if the pregnancy is medically a threat to the mother’s life. And I thank God so far so good I’ve not been in that position. But other than that, no.” She paused and revealed the dentition I had gotten accustomed to over the past few minutes.
“The foetus is not just tissue and blood, it’s alive and aborting it means murder. But then God loves and forgives irrespective if perpetrators repent.”
She shifted in her chair and heaved a sigh, one I wanted to believe was that of relief.
“Well, don’t you want to know what your results say?” she asked.
I was indifferent. The results were only a formality, it did not change the situation of things and I did not care so much anymore.
“You’re not pregnant.”
Had I misheard?
The three words she said kept repeating in my head and I suddenly felt dizzy.
“What did you say?” I struggled to ask.
“Abike, you’re not pregnant.” She smiled, “the test says so, I’m guessing your depression was what made you think you were pregnant. I mean you couldn’t even remember if you saw your period last month.”
“But I slept with Azeez more than once, I allowed him kiss me several times.” I protested, this did not add up.
“Did he use protection when you had sex?” the doctor asked.
“I don’t understand.” I replied, and that was the honest truth.
“Did he use a condom?” she asked.
“Why would he use that?” I asked.
The doctor paused, reclined and leaned forward before speaking. “I’m going to ask you a weird question but please answer.”
“How did you two have sex?” she asked.
“Well ma, can I ask a question too?” I inquired, everything was beginning to get confusing.
“Go on.” she replied.
“What’s the difference between having sex and sleeping together?” I asked. “I’m actually confused.”
The doctor paused and rubbed her right hand across both her eyes.
“Which did you do?” she asked.
“We slept together.” I replied.
“Were you both naked?” she asked.
“No,” I shook my head.
I had never seen Azeez naked, why would I? He had not seen me naked either. We had spent a lot of time together without adult supervision but we only slept beside each other on his bed and cuddled a number of times.
I could hear the doctor laughing.
“You mean, you never put off your pants for him?” she asked again.
“I didn’t ma. Why would I?” I asked.
She stopped laughing and smiled, “you’re not pregnant Abike. You could have if both of you had gone further. But I think God put you through all this to draw you to Himself. Fornication is a sin, don’t fall for it. Never lose sight of God’s love, okay?” she concluded.
I did not totally understand everything she had said but the only thing that I was sure of was that I was not pregnant.
Another thing I was sure of was that I had found a solution to my worries. A solution that had given me peace.
I had found it in this doctor’s office.
The solution had not been her beautiful dentition, it had not been her life story either.
It was a simple one.
It was Jesus.
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