Ours did not start like a love story. In fact, there is no love in this relationship I am about to tell you about. I was working in Lagos for a pharmaceutical when I met the man responsible for this pregnancy. He was one of the supervisors at my place of work. He had been bothering me for a relationship but I did not respond because I heard he had also dated a few of the girls in my unit. Many of them do not like him. They called him all sorts of names.
The story about him was that he and his wife were separated because she couldn’t give him a son. So he was looking for a woman to bear him a son. This might have appealed to some women back in the day but women these days know that it is the man’s fault if he has no son.
So I didn’t bother to respond to any of his advances. As far as I was concerned, he was on his own.
But one day, during those fuel scarcity days. I had stood at the bus stop after work for ages. The crowd was huge, it was getting dark and there were talks of area boys raiding the area, especially attacking women at the bus stop. Days before, they had snatched bags, and phones and threatened to rape some women at that bus stop.
So when my supervisor came calling to give me a ride, I ran after him to where he had parked, away from the bus stop so that he would not be mobbed by other people waiting for buses.
I felt grateful at that time.
After that day, I would go and wait for him at the bus stop and he would take me home. And this happened just about six or seven times. I got to know a bit more about the rumours swirling around him. When I told him what I had heard, he told me they were all lies. He said he sent his wife away after he found charms in her possession. When confronted, the wife had claimed it was meant to help her have a son. According to him, though he wanted a son, he knew he as the male was the one responsible for the sex of a child. But the charms were for him a no-no. I was surprised at this because I heard the exact opposite.
So what of the many girls he was said to have dated to have a male child? He claimed this was also not true and that he only dated two girls, not the multitude I had heard of him.
I didn’t know what to believe because, to be honest, he wasn’t exactly my type. I told him I appreciated him telling me the truth but I was just not that into him. He then told me that if after that month, I still felt I couldn’t continue with him, he would understand and not bother me again.
Somehow, this kind of got to me. We ended up in bed that evening. Don’t ask me how, please.
I don’t want to be asked because, I mean, you’re an adult, you use your imagination, please.
Anyway, after that day, that encounter, I just didn’t feel him. I didn’t know how to tell him I wasn’t feeling him. So I would dodge every time I heard him coming around my unit in the office. I also refused to pick up his calls or respond to his text messages. I figured he should know this would not work.
Three weeks later, I think he got the message and left me alone. The weekend of that very week, he was said to have gone to a family wedding in Kwara State. On his way back, his car had an accident and all occupants died.
You know, I felt horrible when we all got the news at the office that Monday.
Oh, I felt really bad. I wished I had at least parted from him more maturely. I wish I had been more…sensible, you know in handling the separation, if you can call it that.
I felt so sick, as in physically sick, days after his death.
I didn’t know who to tell that his death affected me so much…but it wasn’t so much his death as the fact that days after, I found out I was pregnant!
Yes. I am pregnant and he would never even know.
I couldn’t tell anyone in the office, either.
I was torn between going to remove it quickly because, I mean, the father of the child is dead…
It was as if he knew what I was planning. After I had made up my mind to get rid of the pregnancy, I began to have dreams about him.
I would dream of him chasing me and vowing to kill me if I had an abortion. I would wake up sweating with my heart thumping many nights afterward.
Don’t kill my son, if you kill my son, I will come for you…
But what was I to do?
I knew nothing about this man beyond the office and the gossip around him and his version. I don’t even know where he comes from, where he lived, or any friend or family of his.
I am also very sure no one in the office has seen us together. So how do I claim he is responsible for my pregnancy?
And the dreams I was having then? the pregnancy had not even reached six weeks when I had the nightmares, who says I would be having a son?
Months later, I was too afraid to go to anyone to help me get rid of the pregnancy because I feared I could die in the process. I have had to lie to my colleagues that I have a boyfriend who is responsible for my pregnancy.
Everyone wished me well and hoped to meet him soon.
So now is my dilemma, I went to do a scan recently and it says I am expecting a boy! I can’t even jubilate because what name will I give this boy? The name of a dead father? My name?
I don’t know.
The only person who knows the true state of my condition is my mother. She has advised me to go find his family and tell them. Tell them they should expect a child from their dead son, brother…what?
Hummm. Where do I start? I am so angry with myself!
I checked online, Facebook, and Instagram…just to get a lead, but there’s nothing. His ex-wife is the only one I could find. He was one of those people who do not believe in social media. 8
I can’t go to his wife because…I mean for obvious reasons. She would kill me, instantly.
What woman wants some strange woman to bear a son she couldn’t have for her husband?
I know I messed up but…I don’t know what to do. I am due anytime in March.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)