It’s true I am expecting a baby and the father is my son’s friend.
But you have already judged me.
The reason you have judged me even before hearing my full story is because I am a woman. If I were a man, people wouldn’t be carrying all kinds of rumours. It is true that I am pregnant and true that the person who owns it is my son’s friend. But be honest with me, if I were a man, would you come and ask me questions?
Would you be looking confused, even disgusted at me?
I am not proud of what has happened but hey, here we are.
How did this happen? What else do you think?
When my husband left me, I remained a single mother for years because of my children. I didn’t have any relationship with any man. I worked hard and raised my children, all three of them. After my last born went to university almost two years ago, his elder siblings began to chip in for his tuition. That’s when I decided to give myself a break, you know. I went with some of my old school friends for a vacation. We had been planning it for years. And I had been wanting to just travel, you know and since we were going in a group, we got a good discount.
We went to Marrakech, in Morocco.
When you are with your school friends, you become a girl!
Being with my girlfriends opened my eyes again. It helped me see the life I had deliberately left out because I was raising my children.
That was me!
I felt alive again; like a girl again. In short, you know that movie, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, the one acted by Angela Bassett, that American babe?
I met this young guy, in his 30s, and he made me feel like a schoolgirl again. He sat beside me at the hotel’s restaurant and teased me and my friends. He said he knew we were “Naija babes.”
I was like, “Babes ke, these grannies?”
But he complimented all of us and paid special attention to me. He told us the fun places to visit because apparently, he had been visiting Morocco for so many years. My friends began to call him my “boyfriend.”
I ran into my “boyfriend” at the perfume market and he helped me choose perfumes to buy.
That’s when he complimented my skin, my hair. The silly boy was generally very…you know, cool. I asked him what he was doing in Morocco. He said he followed some friends from work for a birthday bash of one of them!
So these young people just decide, let’s go to Morocco for a party and they just go…just like that! They are not paying huge rent or school fees, so they can travel anywhere they like, just like that, o!
Of course, we exchanged phone numbers and he left Morocco days ahead of me. We spent 10 days there, and he and his friends left after three days…the things these children do. Why would I spend so much money booking tickets and a hotel and leaving after three days? Me, I would max the cost of travel to the T.
Back in Naija, he called me. I didn’t make the first move. He wanted to know if he could come to see me. I invited him to my house.
Look at me. I am 54 years old but I think our generation age better so you won’t know I am that “young.” Besides, I am too old for corner, corner love.
I liked the boy, I called him Bobo and found he was 34 years old.
I became Stella who got her groove back
Ok, I know I had told you I never had any relationship with any man while I raised my children, I never did but a few years back, I had a small thing with one 65-year-old chief. Then my last born was, maybe 15 years or so.
I thought, well, body no bi wood but the chief was a mistake.
Anyway, Bobo and I began to “see” each other…I was not embarrassed by him. I will say, I was self-conscious. This is Lagos where you see all kinds of things. And like I said before, if men can go out with younger girls, what is wrong with a woman going out with a younger man if there is mutual respect?
Thankfully, he has a job. He is doing well and had told me he had broken up with his girlfriend.
He could be lying, you say?
Ok, even so, what was I meant to do with the lies?
I am a good mother to my children, I have raised them well. If I choose to have an affair now, I don’t think anyone should raise their nose at me.
Anyway, I stopped seeing my menses for some time. In fact, when my friends and I were in Morocco, menopause was our main topic of discussion. We made fun of ourselves. You know, we were all in that age bracket where menopause had set in or setting in. I had stopped seeing my menses a few months prior. Yes, I had the occasional hot flushes but no dryness down there…you know. I had long forgotten that I even have anything they use for sex!
Chief with erectile dysfunction
The last time I had a sexual encounter was with that chief…chief that couldn’t get it up long enough to satisfy me or even he himself…
Let me continue with my pregnancy story, please.
Well, Bobo and I began to “see” regularly. He was fun, I had discovered I had something “down there.” You know. I wasn’t worried about pregnancy or disease because I told my Bobo I didn’t want to have to deal with sexually transmitted disease and he was such a darling that he went to get tested and showed me he was clean…so wetin remain?
Like I said, I didn’t see my menses…I didn’t know something had “come” upon me.
I never got sick…like pregnancy sick!
All my symptoms were menopause symptoms. Insomnia, hot flushes…feeling bloated.
Omo, I thought I had fully come into menopause because you see, even though I wasn’t vomiting, which I did when I was pregnant for all my three kids, my mind never wandered to pregnancy, at 54! Having not seen my menses for about 1 year or more.
Hummn, with this one, the symptoms fooled me. At first, my friends put it down to menopause.
All my symptoms were checked with menopause.
Then my clothes began to get a little snug. Foolishly, I put it down to me finally enjoying life. Being in a relationship, you know… adding weight because I had finally found love with my Bobo.
Then, some weeks later. I stood in front of my friend in a boutique, trying on a new dress. She looked shocked and said as if she was in a trance, “Moni, o ti lo yun!”
Then my symptoms just made sense
I looked at her, you know, like in slow-mo. I immediately knew she was right. It was at that moment that my brain reset!
That explained nausea, not menopause. It explained the weight gain, not menopause. That explained my bulging stomach, not menopause! What wasn’t explained though was my full breasts…which I ignored and pinned on menopause!
Te’mi ba mi!
I couldn’t laugh! In a matter of minutes, I told my friend to go with me to see my doctor!
Well, what did you think?
At this point, my children knew nothing about my relationship with Bobo. It’s not their business, actually. But a child, at my age?
Haba, that’s asking for trouble. This isn’t about me worrying about money to care for a child, it’s the care that worried me. I am too old and too done with childbearing to start from the beginning with a pregnancy at 54!
The doctor told me I was too far gone to have it removed! Almost 5 months, gone!
See me, see wahala!
Can you imagine?
What if the child has a congenital birth defect?
What if the child is born with some form of deformity?
I mean, I am an adult but having a child…haa, I will relocate abroad o!
Well. That was the point I knew I owed my children an explanation…of sorts. It was in telling them about my situation that my first son suddenly asked me what and where I met Bobo and all that. It turned out he was friends with Bobo!
My son and my boyfriend are friends
Not close friends but a guy he knows acknowledges and well calls his friend’s friend.
It happened that both of them had worked together when my son did his IT with the firm Bobo used to work at. They had mutual friends.
Over the next few days, they both met at my house…well. It was awkward at first but my son, who is 28 years old, told me he supports me in whatever I want to do with the pregnancy…
That’s not my problem, to be honest, yeah, I appreciate his love but having a child when I am 55 years old is a big issue for me.
I stopped all of that breastfeeding, rocking baby at night, and nursery stuff years back, I mean, my last born is in his second year in uni at 19 years. There will be a 20-year gap between my baby and the closest sibling. That is my worry.
As for the baby’s father, the silly boy is happy.
This will just change my life in ways I have no immediate plans for. But I still have three more months to go.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)