Slowly I was losing the energy to wake up with each rising sun. My youthfulness was slowly slipping off my fingers. I felt like a sixty year old woman abandoned by her children and waiting for fate to decide her end whilst living in a wooden shack full of termites. Each morning I would only manage to leave the house, buy a bundle of vegetables and tomatoes and return to the flat to fight the effects of malnourishment that were slowly creeping in.
One day as I was going about my usual routine I heard a whistle from someone at the Zimex base. Like everyday, I never looked in that direction each time I passed that “abyss” along the road. This was a place where the street drug dealers used to spend their days drowning their sorrows in bronchlear, alcohol and marijuana. I too had sorrows. Sorrows for which I could not find a solution to. Maybe this was my redemption.
“Hey beautiful!” yelled one of the guys. “ Mind if we can have a minute?”
For a moment I decided to ignore him but I slowly started to lose my step and eventually looked in his direction. He made a jog towards me and we started to talk. For the first time in a while I was so engaged in a conversation and laughing all the way through. He really had a way to lighten me up. I had missed this feeling. I liked him instantly.
“By the way, call me Uncle Tom. You can find me here anytime,” he said as I walked away towards my vegetable street vendor which was close by.
Seeing Uncle Tom became very addictive. What we had was the only positive thing happening in my life and I was ready to guard it. I even decided to take it further. Shortly after, our relationship became sexual. He even introduced me to drugs. At first I was scared at what I was doing. If my aunt was going to come back anytime and find out what I had indulged in, it would probably be the last day I would breathe. Another thought would tell me that I was a grown and independent woman. I decided to go with the latter.
Being in a relationship with Uncle Tom meant I had no need for buying the drugs. They would just be given to me for free whenever I wanted them. They had a very good way of numbing my pain and making me forget who I was. I hated my old self and this was offering me a new way with a community of people who loved me and never judged the person who I was.
After days of morning sickness and vomiting now and then, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I was pregnant by Uncle Tom. Scared to find out how he would react I decided to keep the secret to myself.
“Why are you looking all emotional today,” he asked. “Don’t act like a pregnant woman or something,” said his follow up statement.
He had expressed to me that he did not like girls who fall pregnant for him to trap him. I slowly began to realize the dilemma that I was in. I had to tell him. I couldn’t fight these demons alone anymore!
“I am pregnant.” As I said these words, Uncle Tom’s smile suddenly faded. I felt like the whole world would come down crashing at me at this point. I had heard stories of many single mothers who had successfully raised their children single handedly. This was not going to be my story. I did not want to be part of these statistics. On the other hand, what will my aunt say when she comes back? The thought of her hearing that I had run off pregnant with a random man terrified me. A drug dealer! I was sure she would kill me the moment that she would be able to lay hands on my frail body.
“Are you thinking of aborting my child?” Uncle Tom asked.
“If that’s what you are planning, I`m not letting you out of my sight.”
“No, no,” I quickly replied without even regurgitating his words. Did it mean he wanted me to keep his son? Yes! I was to be Uncle Tom`s wife. I was overjoyed by this realization and quickly threw myself in his arms. I wanted to cry as I had been stressing myself with thoughts of how he was going to react. Whilst I was still in the seventh heavens, my joy was quickly cut off.
“No one has to know about this,” he said.
13 May, 2023