“So, you left your husband and home for Amen and ran away with your children?”
She hadn’t expected sympathy when she decided to come home to her mother. But the disappointment and faint glare of anger in her eyes hurt Belema.
“I didn’t leave my husband and home for Amen and I didn’t run away with my children, Mum. I came here so I could think and decide how best to handle this.”
“What is there to think about? You should have thrown that cheap girl out of your house. That’s what you should have done, not leave her there because her mother said she wouldn’t take her back.”
“And what should I have done to Mike? Should I have thrown him out too? After all, he’s my husband and betrayed me the most “
“Don’t be stupid!” Her mother said with a hiss. “You know very well you can’t throw your husband out of his house. Besides, he’s a man and men rarely know better in these matters.”
“That is the problem, isn’t it? Men have excuses. We give them the excuses – he’s a man so he doesn’t know better. Why shouldn’t he know better, Mum?” Furious, Belema slammed the cup of water in her hand on the table and jumped on her feet. “Why should a man not know better, because he has his brain where his penis is? Is that it?”
“Keep your voice down and sit down!”
“I won’t sit and I won’t make excuses for Mike. He deflowered Amen. He himself said so. The girl was innocent until he pressured her into sleeping with him.”
“How do you know he pressured her, because the stupid girl said so?”
“No, because that is the truth. Mike pushed Amen into doing this. Yes, she betrayed my trust, but my husband hurt me more. And I am here to have some sane moments to think about what I’m going to do, not for you to blame and harass me.”
“I’m not blaming you. I just think you shouldn’t have left the two of them alone together. It’s not wise. There’s no saying what they might start doing.”
“What they might start doing?” Belema snorted out a derisive laugh. “Mum, what else can they do except what they have been doing for a while now? Anyway, that presently is not my worry. I just want to have some rest. This weekend has been the worst period of my life and I feel like my troubles are just beginning.”
“Of course, your troubles are just beginning so long as you let that girl keep the pregnancy.”
“And what would you have had me do?” Belema asked, frowning. “You would have preferred if I supported the killing of that child?”
“That child is trouble and not meant to be.”
The cold retort shocked Belema. “Mum, we are Christians. We should not support abortion.”
“We don’t support a man having more than one wife, do we? And Mama Amen giving her daughter to your husband is same as asking him to take her as a second wife.”
“That is not what she has done, Mum.”
“Really? So, tell me, why couldn’t she keep her daughter with her even after you promised to take care of her and the baby?”
“She’s poor and without much help, Mum. And besides, it was Mike who put her in this condition.”
“Oh Belema, you’re so naïve. You look at everything and everyone from the point of view of your innocent heart. But life and people are not like that. That girl is now your co-wife and you have left your home and husband for her. She now has the upper hand, and can do and undo.”
“Don’t be melodramatic, Mum. This is not the situation and Amen is not Mike’s wife, just pregnant for him.”
“Belema, if you know what is good for you, go back to your home and protect it and your husband. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“I’m not going until I know for sure how to handle this. For now, I’m going inside to rest.”
But inside her old bedroom, she could not rest. She could only think of what her mother had said. What if that is indeed the situation now, that Amen has been given to Mike as his wife?
Six days ago her life had been different. Her world, though not trouble-free, had been without any form of chaos she couldn’t manage.
Only six days and so much has happened, Belema thought as she drove back home from dropping off her children in school. So much that she still didn’t know what to do.
Did she want to permanently leave Mike?
A divorce? Her mind quickly objected to the thought. No, she didn’t want a divorce. She didn’t want her family torn apart and her children having to live without their father. Or without her.
She didn’t want to start life all over again without Mike either.
That was the truth. Yes, she was angry with him now, was hurt and disappointed by what he’s done, but she didn’t want him out of her life.
She could forgive him. It would take time, a lot of prayers, possibly true remorse from him, but she could do it.
She would do it. He was still her husband. The man she loved and had been in a relationship with for eleven years. The father of her children. She would forgive him, someday but not today.
She parked the car in front of her mother’s house and got down. As she took her phone, it started to ring.
It was Mike and it took her a few seconds to decide if she wanted to speak with him.
“Yes, Mike?” She said, not in the mood for civility.
“Belema, it’s Amen. It’s Amen… She’s done something to herself. She’s… we’re at the hospital.”
The panic in his voice more than what he’d said sent same panic into her. “You’re at the hospital? But why? What happened to Amen?”
“I don’t know. She took… did something. I don’t know what, but she started bleeding… a lot. Please come. We’re at BMH.”
“What… okay, I’m coming.”
She ran inside to grab her purse and tell her mother what she knew and where she was going.
“If you ask me, you should sit here and let Mike and that girl handle their mess.” Her mother said.
“First, you reproved me for leaving them alone together. Now, you think I should stay here and do nothing. Which do you want, Mum, me taking action or staying out of it?”
“If there’s trouble and it’s what I’m thinking it is, then you should definitely stay out of it. They both started this, so let them finish it.”
“Well, I can’t stay out of it, not when she’s at the hospital and bleeding a lot as Mike said. I’m going to BMH. I’ll see you later.”
She left before her mother could say anything more and drove like a maniac to the specialist hospital.
She called Mike and he came out to take her to the Emergency Unit.
“What happened to her?” Belema demanded as they waited outside the Emergency room.
“I don’t know. I just don’t know.” Mike said frantically. “After you left on Sunday, I kept out of her away and she out of mine. I didn’t eat in the house all through Monday and Tuesday. Then this morning, I came out of our room to find her crouched in the corridor, gripping her stomach and crying. She… she wouldn’t tell me what she did.”
Belema’s heart skipped. “Did she take something? Did she try to abort the baby?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know anything.”
“But what did the doctors say?”
“Belema, no one has said anything to me. They just asked a couple of questions and then sent me out of the ward and have been with her since.” He scrubbed his hand over his face. “She was really bleeding a lot. So much.”
She had done something. Amen had done… or taken something, Belema realised. She’d taken something to terminate the pregnancy. The foolish girl never wanted the baby and now, she’d done something to put an end to its existence.
Oh Amen, what have you done?
What was going to happen to her?
I am sorry, we were supposed to begin a new story yesterday but I have no story, not yet. It’s not easy for me thinking up short story plots, so let’s go on with Her Home To Keep and hopefully next week, I will have something.