The simple sound of my name jolted me back to the present. Whoever complained of issues? I was sweating like several troubled people that harmatan morning. A Christmas goat would have been looked at as mild compared to me. I was in deep shit and knew it. The puzzle, to be or not to be, suddenly made sense. I looked at Nnezi, the tears in her eyes, and wept. How could she say I impregnated her? I remembered all the symptoms of pregnancy that I had seen in her before. Curse those sweet thighs that I thought were free!
“My friend, are you not the one I am talking to! She is six months pregnant. What do you know about it? Anything you want to tell us?” Aunty asked.
I had been accused of being an accomplice to this same girl before. I had not been able to defend myself then. Now, I didn’t know how to mention that I had already seen the symptoms of her pregnancy before. Yes, I had done it but therein lay my
dilemma. How could I tell them that I had actually slept with her but had used a condom? Now, the evil Judas had betrayed me! I mentally took note of all the things I would miss in the city. I looked at Uncle Anmant, he was sweating, looking a bit worried. I felt bad that I had caused him so much pain. I had sure disappointed him. I looked at Nnezi. Her face was to the wall. There was no way she was going to look at me. Judas had kissed Jesus at least … I was going to be a man and confess.
“Uncle, I slept with her but…”
The shock on their faces never allowed me complete my statement. Nnezi’s voice went up in a wail. She put her head down in tears. What now? Aunty looked at me for a short while then turned to Nnezi.
“Nnezi, I thought you said that he never slept with you?”
I didn’t wait to hear any more. No one urged me to pack my things. My eyes couldn’t look up to any of the three, six. I wondered who was hurt more. With the back of my eyes, I noted Uncle Anmant’s head down too. As I left, I sheepishly added in a whisper: “I used a condom.”
I got downstairs with my things. Something pulled me back to the door. I decided to go and beg. I prayed all the prayers of my youth and quoted all the verses in the few steps to the door. I heard their voices as I climbed up. I reached the door as my heart pounded. There was some argument. Nnezi sounded defiant while my Uncle’s wife’s voice was laden with what sounded like tears of betrayal(?) She had expected much of her niece. I only wondered what my Uncle would think of me. He was silent all through. Perhaps, he was too disappointed and hadn’t, couldn’t… surely, wouldn’t find his voice. I imagined his face still to the floor.
Then I froze as I heard Nnezi’s defence of me:
“Aunty, I got pregnant a few months before I slept with Bomboy.” What?!!
“But you were grounded in the period leading to it. Do you want to say you conceived of the Holy Spirit? Hail Mary, full of gra…” sarcasm spat up to Nnezi’s interruption:
“During the whole period, I still had someone sleeping with me… It was Uncle Anmant – your husband.”