The rain started without notice, no drizzles, showers, nothing. Furiously, it went on. A psychic would say something big was about to happen or someone with a big destiny was about to be born. Arms akimbo, I sat in the waiting room of The Maternity Hospital. Anxious and nauseous, I looked at the calendar on the wall that had baby pictures, successfully avoiding the wall clock. My little niece/nephew was about to be born and if you knew what happens in the labour rooms, you wouldn’t blame me. My sister, Seun, is in the labour room.
You see, my sister is big boned. She looks 17yrs old, like me. She is beautiful, outspoken, spoilt and intelligent but she is just 14yrs old. We share almost everything. She goes out of her way to tell people we are twins while I try to prove otherwise.
I blame myself for her ‘situation’ I could have prevented it. If I had taken my role as the elder sister seriously, she wouldn’t be in the labour room right now trying to bring a child to the world, I thought. I remember situations, opportunities I had to correct her. Worse, I even covered for her whenever our mom asks for her whereabouts. When I saw her with Bunmi, our Landlords niece, I wish I had extraordinary powers. “Is that not the girl we saw coming out of Smallville Motel”, I asked with a look of disgust. “She is”, Seun replied. “You told me yourself that she’s a bad influence, so what are you doing with her?” My sister had no answer for me that day and that was the last day I saw Bunmi. I came home from School one fateful day, tired and hungry to be presented with the view of what has become my worst nightmare till date. A boy had his hand in my sister’s blouse, Bunmi was sitting on the settee, cheering them on, or so I thought. In shock, I saw three of them hit the door. I couldn’t get that day out of my head until my mom called me. “Sayo, do you know what’s wrong with your sister”, she asked.
“How do you mean?” I was alarmed.If my sister has a little headache the whole house is troubled."there’s nothing wrong with her”
“You want to tell me you’ve not seen her stomach?” My mother insisted.
“Maybe she is adding weight; you know how big her morsel of Eba is. I think they are starting to pay off” I joked. Mom didn’t buy my joke. She dragged Seun to the hospital. They came home few hours later with long faces. Seun was 5months pregnant!
When I got no satisfaction blaming myself, I blamed my parents for not giving us moral education. They should have done better. The few times I’ve told my mom about my health was when I saw “the blood” for the first time and whenever I feel I have serious headache or cold. I blamed Seun too. It’s her body, after all. She ought to know better than allow boys touch her. Even though I’ve kissed boys and have often come close to have sex on more than one occasion, I shudder at the thought of being in Seun’s condition. I’ve often heard that sex is pleasurable. I now know that pleasures have dis pleasures attached to it. “Sayo”, someone called. I looked up into my mother’s happy face. “Seun has given birth to a boy!” We both rushed into the maternity ward.
Later, looking into Tobi’s(my new nephew) eyes , I couldn’t help but think about the life changing experience of the previous four months.
I remember walking on the streets after word got out that my sister was pregnant. I was unable to look into people's eyes for fear that I'd see condemnation in them. Luckily my dad travelled home to see his sick mother, so he wasn't arround. It's not unheard of but it was and still a taboo all the same to have a fourteen-year old pregnant daughter living in your house. I could remember walking the streets with my head as low as the ground, wondering if it could swallow me. I remember the gloom and doom hanging over our house. It felt as if light would never come again.
But it came. It came in form of a bundle called Tobi. I never knew that a new life in a family brings so much joy and happiness. If you are old enough to have a bundle of joy and you don't you sure are missing a great lot.
I'd thought babies were necessities for married couples. Tobi's birth brought on a remarkable turn around in our family. If I weren't so young, if i had a boyfriend i'd...... Children are indeed a heritage of the Lord!