by Daisy Yawson
It had been three months since Musa told her he was leaving to find himself. Three months of ridicule from her peers and three months she lost her friends after they found out about her pregnancy. Mimi had only a month to wrap up all she had learnt till the big day. Her exams. West African Senior School Examinations.
“Please let me stay home and go to school. You know Ibrahim would have agreed to it.” She’d begged her parents in her fifth month of pregnancy when she felt eyes on her the moment she walked to school. They were cutting her open.
“That’s your husband but you’re in our house now. You will do what we ask of you,” her mother had responded.
Case closed. There was nothing she could do. But now, she only wished she could disappear into thin air and never come back. Already, she was showing. No news of Ibrahim. Rodha had been her angel. She had helped her through the difficulties she faced in school.
Forehead glistening in a cold sweat. Palms, cold from exposing them too much. The sun that afternoon was killing her. Making her want to drown herself in cold water. She heard voices. The teacher’s voice but hardly clear as her thoughts drifted back and forth.
“Mimi, Mimi, wake up.” Rodha crouched next to her seat with Mimi’s head still down on her desk.
“I’m not sleeping, Ro.”
“Miss Asante is gone.”
“It was about time. I’m so tired.”
“Yes, I can see that. The baby is tiring you up. C’mon let’s go get something to eat.”
Mimi raised her head to look up at her. Some of their peers have gone outside, leaving just a few in the class.
“You know how I feel about going out. I wouldn’t want to hear anything which might affect me and affect this child.”
Rodha chuckled at her friend’s utterance.
“You’re talking like a mother already. C.mon girl. We’re only grabbing something to eat.”
Still, she was adamant.
“How about you get mine. Look at my stomach now. I can hardly walk.”
Taking a glance at the tummy, she laughed.
“Heyy. If I didn’t know, I would say you’re 4 months in this. You’re hardly big. But since you have to feed him, I will get yours.”
“How do you know it’s a he?” Mimi shouted after her, not minding the stares.
“You want it to be so you have it,” Rodha retorted, leaving the class with her short skirt, bouncing around her.
“You have some nerve coming to the school with this thing.”
Those words she feared hearing rang in her ears as soon as she put her head back down. In a swift, her head whipped back up, glaring hard at Lizzy, the friend she’d made the time she stepped into the school with four other girls.
“This thing is so precious to me. And…” She stopped amidst the pressure.
“And who, huh? The boy who got you pregnant? I see you have no shame talking about it as if it’s normal.”
She’d managed to get the attention of some students in the class.
“Hey! Stop it, Lizzy,” Rodha came right back in time to defend Mimi.
“Oh shut it, Ro. We were friends before this girl came in to ruin it.”
“If she hasn’t joined us, I probably wouldn’t have known your true nature. You’re selfish and foolish sometimes.”
That seemed to have hurt her ego, making her stomp away from the class.
Tears had already formed in her eyes.
“Sit.” Rodha helped her into her seat.
“This child has heard more hurt words enough. I suggest you speak love to it more often than not. Alright?”
Mimi could only nod amidst the tears that were threatening to fall.
“I will, Ro. I will.” Wiping her eyes dry.
A teacher entered, his expression, cold. Revealing nothing but coldness.
“Mimi. Come with me,” and he was gone before anyone could register his presence.
“Do you have an idea why you’re wanted?”
“No, but I will find out. Help me up.”
Rodha held her arms firmly while she got on her feet.
She left the class, supporting her tummy with her little hands.
Soon, she was in the principal’s office but did not see the man in front of her. Ibrahim stood watching the fragile girl carrying his child. She looked pale and tired and he wished he can scoop her up in his arms away from the mean creatures he’d been told about.
Getting on his knees in the office, he touched her tummy, giving it a kiss while holding on to her.
“Forgive me. I’m sorry for being a jerk and putting you through this.”
Her eyes travelled to the man kneeling in front of her and she burst into tears. Covering her face with her palm while she wept.
“I’m so sorry, Mimi…Let’s talk privately.”
And he led her outside the office with the principal still in shock after the encounter. That man had money to buy the entire school so she could only keep mute and watch him show his affection towards the girl.
“I’m not asking you to forgive me now. Stay strong for our child’s sake and your sake I promise I will do everything to keep you safe. I’m not letting you come back here until you have a paper.”
She stood close to him, nodding. Hugging her was giving him so much peace. Since he took that vacation, he’d suddenly got a clear head. Clear mind. No more pains even though it’s not forgotten but at least he’s much more in control of what goes on around him.
“Will you go back home with me?”
It’s like she didn’t hear him right. After taking a long glance at his face, she realized he really meant it.
“Yes, Mimi. Come home with me.”
Without waiting for an answer, he held her waist to support her movement out of the school with curious eyes on their backs.
A month passed in a fleeting moment. Mimi managed to write her exams with the help of Ibrahim, driving her to and fro from school and then back to the house. The troll has started to die down as everyone was busy with their exam. One which will determine their fate after they have completed school.
Mimi looked forward to having that chat with her aunt about travelling abroad. It never really left her mind.
It was her last paper and she sat grimly at the back of the seat waiting for Ibrahim to come and start the car. She wore a big dress, enough to cover her whole self.
The handsome man skipped towards the car, smiling. His face never leaving hers.
“Are you okay?” he asked with concern as she’s been quiet. “I know…I know and I’m sorry you have to take him all the time to do this.”
“Please, no” she cut him short.
“This is also mine. And I’m not ashamed to do this. Never have been and besides, he’s not the reason.”
“What is it then?”
“After the paper please.”
The drive was a quiet one. Occasionally rubbing her knee and humming in a low tone till they got to school. Students had books in their hands. Mimi had just gotten down from the car when a teacher called for their attention.
“Your supervisors will be in any minute. You should wrap up and get to your assigned classes.”
Before walking off towards the principal’s office.
“Mimi, I trust that you will do great.”
“Mm.hmm. I know.”
Nothing could stop her from speaking her mind especially when the hormones are stronger.
“I will wait for you out here,” he said while looking at her go. His smile widened, just looking at her. He could be branded as crazy for getting a minor pregnant and getting proud of doing that. At least he wouldn’t be taking care of another man’s child but his own.
At exactly 3:00, Ibrahim saw the students come out. The noise increased and looked around trying to find Mimi. He finally relaxed seeing her with her friend.
“I’m so happy we’re done with this.”
Holding a paper in her hands and twirling it around her fingers.
“And can’t wait for you to pop that child out girl.”
“Slow down, Ro. You’re shouting.” Mimi clasped her palm around her mouth.
“Geez, Mimi. Relax. You’re done with everything in here. And I’m glad. Seriously.” Her face, showing a sign of seriousness.
“You’re right. I think he’s waiting for me over there.”
“Alright but give me your number and your brother’s in case I can’t get to you.”
“Sure.” Mimi scribbled down her number and a second one on the paper Rhoda handed to her.
“Give me a call alright.”
“I will.” The girls gave each other a hug. Finally parting ways.
“I thought you’ll never come.”
He opened up the car for her. Mimi’s former friends who had turned their backs on her watched her from a distance. Finally getting an idea who the man was and the kind of relationship they have. From how he looked at her to the way he treated her. Everything seemed clear. Only if they could take back those hurtful words they said to her when they found out about her pregnancy. Too late.
She sits in the car. Waiting for him to start it.
Soon, she had the back of her head on the seat, dozing off. If he could drive fast, he would so she can get back home and have some sleep. Stealing glances at her, he confessed that she was one of the strongest, beautiful ladies he’d ever met. To have no shame and go to school like this for months would have scared the shit out of someone else.
The drive was peaceful and quiet. Mostly, Ibrahim hummed to himself.
“Mimi, wake up, we’re home.”
He thought the groan that escaped from her mouth was as sexy as ever. Helping her out of the car to the house. Adisa came out to greet them but something caught her attention.
The baby’s stuff at the far end in the hall brought tears to her eyes. Soon, they would meet the little one. The child who will receive so much love from the whole family. The surprises were not yet finished. They heard the door pull open and a car come inside.
“Mimi, I had your parents over. I regret it now that you might be tired from all that. Ibrahim gently told her.
“It’s fine… I have been wanting to see my family since.”
The tears kept pouring out. She rubbed her nose severally till Ibrahim bent to kiss her lips. Much passionate. He couldn’t help it as she was being super cute in front of him.
Surprised found itself on her face. The man who had refused to kiss her before was doing it now without being asked to.
“You ki…” Before she could ask him, the glass door slid open and in came her dad, mum and brother.
“My baby,” the elderly woman didn’t wait for her to make the move as she walked to her with open arms and a big smile on her lips.
“I missed you so much, Maa.”
“I know, darling.”
They hug while the others exchanged pleasantries.
Most of their conversation was about the baby which will be out in a couple of weeks. Since she was very young, they decided to let her stay at the hospital as early as possible to be on the safer side.
They avoided the topic of her schooling which they knew will upset Ibrahim if he found out what Mimi had decided to do. Especially as a new mother.
The conversation went smoothly. Knowing Mimi was tired, Ibrahim had them go back. Drawing a bath for Mimi himself while he watched her wash down.
After her bath, they didn’t talk much because as soon as she lay on the bed, the girl was gone.
He laid next to her till he fell asleep himself.
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