Journey into the unknown
The blazing October sun scalds her face as she walks downhill away from Sekuru Chapungu’s compound. Streaks of dried up tears stain her face complemented by the bleeding lips which had not known oil for days. She breathes heavily from the emotional pain that she has been subjected to. Her mind is desolate. She looks confused. One would probably mistake her for one of the homeless beggars .Maybe she was soon to be one. Her clothes were now dirty from almost a week of not changing.
She sits at the edge of the road waiting for lifts going to Mutare. She had no idea where she was going nether did she even have the bus fare for the trip.
“Waswera sei Patricia,”yells one of her friends who had recognized her.It was Nhamo,the girl she used to go with to fetch water when she still lived with her grandfather.At that time her mind slid back to the past where they used to gossip a lot and laugh as girls at the well. One day they as a mob of girls beat up a boy who was peeping on them bathing at a nearby river. The sight of Nhamo reminded her of all that.
“I see you are now pregnant, makorokoto. I’m sure life is good there in the city.” At that moment Patricia started crying silently.
“Only if you knew how bad life has been for me my friend. The seed you see growing in me has no one to take care of. All my relatives left me for the lions den and I have nowhere to go,”says Patricia. Nhamo looks at her with pity. She too wanted to cry witnessing her friend in such a destitute state. “I wish I could take you to live with me here but my husband would not agree to it. We are also struggling to feed our two children, hence an extra belly would do us no good.” Nhamo also had been married off at a younger age to the shopkeeper at the growth point shops. Her parents had failed to pay off a debt and had to reconcile it with her as the ransom. In her mind she had thought that Patricia was living the best life in the city where she had never been. To her it was just a dream to one day visit the city but she seemed to be stuck in Chigodora village for the rest of her life.
“I wish you well my friend, and hope to one day meet you again. I had thought you had forgotten me,” says Nhamo. The two give each other the warmest embrace with tears flowing on their faces. Nhamo hands her friend a five dollar note and a loaf of bread for the journey,things she had been asked to take home from the shop by her husband.
Patricia gets on to the bus headed for Mutare. Her imagination showed her many potential visions of what waited for her in the city. Meanwhile in the bus,people were chatting ,laughing,holding chickens and baskets of vegetables that they were taking to the market in the city. No one seemed to be sharing the sorrow that she was going through. The lady beside her, who had her child on the lap, kept on looking at her with discontent. She felt embarrassed as she knew that she had not taken a bath in days. However, what could she have done? She just managed to smile back and offered her child a slice of bread which made her quickly change seats.
As the bus maneuvered through the curves of the Vumba mountain road, Patricia started to have motion sickness.She felt a sharp pain on her flank and wanted to scream in agony. Shortly after, the inner part of her thighs began to feel sticky. She put her hand under her skirt and brought out fingers full of blood. “Am I having a period ?” She quizzed herself .
“Is it due?” The lady beside her asked when she saw the blood fingers.
“No, I am supposed to be six months pregnant,” replied Patricia.
“Then in that case you are having a miscarriage,” the lady said, adjusting the basket of tomatoes that was on her lap.
Patricia was frightened by her words. She had only had of the word when it was associated with pregnant women who lost their babies before they are born. At the realization of what was taking place, she screamed,“my baby!”
14 April, 2023