She still did not understand how it had happened. Maybe she should have taken a deep scrub or douched immediately after the incident that night. She had been in so much pain; physical and emotional, and she had just sat in one spot without moving. Maybe that’s when conception happened.
But then again, she had gone to the clinic with Mama on Ojukwu street and they had tested her for HIV, STDs and pregnancy. They had given her Postinor 2. She had taken one tablet and was to take the other one later but then they got home and she had seen Ayo’s car and forgotten all about the drug. Seeing him had been all the medication she needed, even though it had been her most feared moment.
She grabbed her tab from the couch and went to her best friend; the all knowing Google.
Is pregnancy possible after taking postinor?
The different results that popped up on her screen started to confuse her. One link stated that the drug took care of unwanted pregnancies within 72 hours of intercourse in 90% of women. Was she in the 10% category? Why did she have to be in that divide? She had taken a second pregnancy test and peed on more sticks and the truth kept coming back positive, literally.
She wished she had someone to talk to. The rape was still a secret. A secret she was supposed to take to her grave.
She could ask Ugochi. Ugochi knew these things. But she hadn’t even told her that she was pregnant yet. She hadn’t even told her own father.
She didn’t resent her sister that much as she did before. She knew it wasn’t her fault in any way. She couldn’t have endured it if she had watched them molest Ugochi. She missed her sister. She picked her phone and dialed her number.
“Muna.” Ugochi answered.
“Hey sisi.” Muna said.
“Did you just wake up?”
“No.” She cleared her throat. She didn’t want it to be obvious that anything was the matter.
“Guess who is your most recent graduate!” Ugochi screamed.
“Awww….I’m so glad for you babe.” Muna smiled.
“I no know wetin I wan use this second class upper do. I’m just going to drop the certificate in your father’s hands. For me, all roads lead to Lagos. I told you about the agent who wants to sign me to their modelling agency, right. Muna I’ll need Ayo’s help o. I have been hearing all sorts of gist that it’s hard to break into the industry and I know he has connections. Pleasee….”
“Calm down. You’re saying too many things at once.” Muna laughed. “When are you coming to Lagos?”
“This weekend. Your wedding is in two weeks duh.”
Muna knew she was supposed to be excited for her big day but she shuddered. She was clueless. Ayo would find out one way or the other.
Perhaps her greater fear was not Ayotunde finding out that her hymen had been robbed by a stranger. It was the thought of finally having consensual sex. She had always pictured the scenes in her mind for a long time but all she had started to see in the past couple of months were horrific molestation. She was afraid. She wanted to give her husband her body but her subconscious was stamped with the pain from her experience. She did not like it but she could not help it. She tried to psyche herself. Everything would be okay.
She looked at the clock in her living room. The time was ten minutes past ten in the morning. She was starting to feel hungry again. Mama had gone back to Enugu. She had started preparing rigourously for the wedding and Papa had also started informing his people. When they had told him that they wanted a wedding within four weeks, he had asked questions. Reverend Eze was a smart man and he had specifically asked Mama if Muna and Ayo were pregnant. Muna wondered if he was in denial and was also afraid to ask the obvious question. Mama had denied it and said Muna was not pregnant. The wedding was originally meant to hold in her father’s church in Enugu but the couple had insisted on getting married at the church by the fifth round about at Lekki; the one they attended.
It was a Sunday morning and Muna for the fifth time in a row had missed church. She usually caught up with service via online streaming when her absence was unavoidable but she hadn’t even been bothered. She didn’t see the need or the point.
Where was He on the night her innocence was stolen [although she knew deep within her heart that she was not exactly innocent even if she had been a virgin. The thoughts and imaginations of her heart, the many lonely nights she fondled herself and watched those clips…] and she was raped? Where was He when she wept and prayed and hoped she was safe from any form of disease? Why had He allowed the disease of pregnancy? She wasn’t perfect but she didn’t consider herself to be that bad a sinner. And even if she was that bad a sinner, God was supposed to be a God of mercy and not punish her with something as callous as rape. Maybe going to hell would have been preferable for her instead. As far as she was concerned, the whole church thing and Christianity life was fake. No one had ever seen God and it was impossible to continue to believe in someone who would allow such hurt to come to her. She didn’t care what anyone had to say about her back sliding. She was done with the entire church thing. Even Ayo had raised concerns. She had been the stronger Christian of them both but of late, he seemed to be overtaking. He had asked why she had stopped going to church and she had told him she just did not really see the need.
He hadn’t probed further when she started to lie that she watched service online from home and listened to the powerful messages from T.D Jakes.
“Oh my God!” Muna screamed in surprise as she entered the Mirabelle Lounge at Phase 1. She was moved to tears almost immediately. Her fingers shook as she saw them all, clapping and cheering. She turned to face Ugochi.
“Congrats bride to be!” Ugochi laughed, kissing her sister on the cheek.
“Awwww…oh my God I don’t know what to say. I never expected this!” Muna said.
“You never hexperredit.” Ugochi laughed.
Muna had thought they were going for a meeting with Ayo’s friend’s girlfriend who was a model. Ugochi had begged her to accompany her to the meeting. Muna had started to drive, although she had the scarlet letter L boldly hung at the rear of the car. They got to the venue thirty minutes late, thanks to Muna’s slow skills on the highway. As soon as they got to the lounge, she was welcomed with loud screaming and clapping from her friends.
“This is amazing.” Muna said.
“Congrats sweetheart.” One of her friends, Kelechi approached Muna and hugged her.
“Oh my God! Kelechi Nwafor!” Muna exclaimed. She hadn’t seen Kelechi since primary school.
Then two of her colleagues from work came, then Ada, Isioma, Maria, Chidinma, Bisola, Bukola, Tolulope, Idara and a host of many others. They were all dressed in short white Grecian dresses with crowns of roses on their heads.
“I saw your pre wedding shoot on Bella! You guys look so good together.”
“Is it late for asoebi? I must find a bae at this your wedding, Muna.”
“Congrats dear. Happy for you. God bless your new home.”
Ugochi dragged Muna into a private room so she could change her outfit as the guests had started to chat and crowd her.
“I have an outfit?” Muna asked, laughing and still surprised.
“I am the bahddest party planner ever liveth.” Ugochi laughed.
Ugochi brought out the long white Grecian dress and head band and the sash that read ‘BRIDE TO BE’.
“Take off your clothes.” Ugo said.
Muna was a little reluctant.
“Are you kidding me? Munachi? What is wrong again?”
Muna didn’t want to but she kind of had no control over her speech.
“I…I’m pregnant, Ugo.”
The traditional wedding and the white wedding were fixed for the same day. By twelve noon, her bronze colored aso-oke embellished with Swarovski stones and made by the most wanted aso-oke vendor on Instagram as well as her elegant wedding dress had served their purpose. A whole Vera Wang dress bought in the trying economic times in the country.
She changed outfits to her emerald green reception dress and the make up artiste did an entirely different face beat for her second look. Then the photographer had taken some more time trying to get the perfect shots of the new couple.
They had danced into the hall with a series of party blasts from a popular Lagos DJ. A lot of celebrities were present and it was what Ugochi called Turnt! To Muna’s surprise, almost everyone had bought the nude and lilac asoebi in such short notice.
For the couple’s dance, they had chosen Timi Dakolo’s The Vow. Ayo had cried. And as Muna watched him, her heart bled in a mix of guilt and fear.
“I love you and I promise to protect you always. I promise you this, my Precious.” He whispered in her ear.
She had started to cry too. Maybe Ayo was the only favour that God had done for her. He was her everything and she knew she couldn’t survive it if he left her. She just could not. Maybe it was for the best if she kept mute.
The father daughter dance was quite odd. She noticed that her father avoided looking her in the eye. She wanted to say a lot to him. She wanted to ask him why he had been avoiding her. She wanted to tell him that it was not her fault that she had been assaulted by the stranger. She wanted to tell him that she was sorry for disappointing him. She didn’t know what she had done exactly to disappoint him though.
During the after party, when the older guests, predominantly Ayo’s very large extended family and their royal and socialite family friends had moved to one half of the hall and were dancing to the live melodies from King Ade and his band, and Ebenezer and his band, and they were spraying scarce funds and forex all over the place, the younger ones were at the other end, dancing to the songs from the DJ.
Ayo had started to drink a lot but then he stopped. He knew she hated him drinking and he didn't want to do anything to get her upset.
She started to feel a little woozy from all the dancing.
The lingerie she was wearing was the front-close push up baby doll from La senza. It was a gift from her bestie, Isioma at the bridal shower. She held it out and placed it over her chest as she looked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror of their hotel suite. She was supposed to be getting ready and looking good for her new husband, just the way she had always imagined it would be.
Ayo was in the room, waiting for her. She had never seen him more anxious or eager. He had practically started groping her from the hall way of the hotel.
She shut her eyes. She was also scared. She was going to be brave. She was going to try to view sex from another perspective. She was going to enjoy it with her husband just the way her friends had adviced at the bridal shower.
He had kissed her lips and her neck and started to explore the other areas of her body. In between the love bites, he kept on reiterating how much he loved her and he even thanked her for the gift she was giving him. She was only quiet. She was starting to become worried. She wasn’t feeling aroused like she had hoped.
‘Set your eyes on the goal, Munachi! You have to sleep with him tonight.’ She reminded herself.
She winced as he rested his weight on her stomach. Not that she cared for the baby in there, but she didn’t want him to hurt it.
As he started to undress her, she couldn’t block the thoughts that kept creeping in. She was weak. The scene from that night started to replay no matter how hard she tried to block it. She started to cry unconsciously.
“Baby, I’ll be gentle, okay? Or do you want us to wait a little more?” Ayo said in his deep baritone. She knew it would be nothing but torture if she asked him to stop.
“It’s…It’s fine.” She sniffed, looking away.
As he knew her, her eyes were open, staring into the darkness, and all she could see in her mind's eye was the silhouette of the masked criminal who had raped her.
The only sound audible enough was that of the compressor of the fridge in their suite. Ayo was laying on the left side of the bed, and she was on the right. They were not asleep. They were wide awake on the hotel bed covered in the immaculate white hotel sheets. It had been some minutes after he had done the deed.
“Muna…” He finally said, clearing his throat. She knew he had been doing a lot of thought processing.
She swallowed her saliva. It seemed like she was swallowing a rock. He could almost hear the thumping of her heart. She knew what was coming.
“It was a tampon.” She said.
“Huh?” Ayo looked at her.
“I…I hurt myself with a tampon when I was a teenager. That’s why…that’s why.” She lied, stammering.
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