Abedo woke up in the middle of the night. Her eyes stared into the darkness for a few minutes while she listened to Eda’s snores. His snores used to keep her from sleeping every night but over the years she had become quite desensitised to them and found that she slept soundly through them now. However, on nights when she was disturbed, she found it very difficult to sleep and the snores made it more difficult for her to do so. Tonight was one of those nights and tonight she wished Eda did not snore this loud even though she knew she had an important task to do and sleep was not on her mind.
She turned on her bedside lamp and rolled over positioning herself so that she faced Eda’s sleeping form. She whispered his name gently but he was fast asleep and did not respond to her whisper. So she tapped him gently on his shoulder. He did not respond until she tapped a second time, this time harder. He opened his eyes groggily and asked, “Abe, what is the matter?”
Abedo said quietly, “I think I am pregnant.”
His half-asleep eyes flew open, and his voice which was initially only a whisper rose two octaves. “What?”
Abedo said “I had a positive pregnancy test.”
He shook his head and sat up on the bed. “No, that is not possible, you have a coil. Remember?”
Then more to himself than her, he muttered, “Is that why you have been vomiting persistently?” It began to dawn on him that she had all the signs. Vomiting, complaints of dizziness and tiredness which was very unlike her being the strong and healthy woman he knew her to be. He had refused to entertain any thoughts that her symptoms could have been due to a pregnancy after all she had the coil. He was there when it was inserted because he had taken her to the doctor himself. He had planned to discuss a visit to the doctor in the morning with her.
He said slowly “Oh my God, it’s true.”
He thought to himself, how did this happen? Could she be mistaken?
So still grasping at straws he faced her “Has it been confirmed?” he asked.
Abedo sat up on the bed, her back leaning on the headboard with a pillow in between her back and the board. She looked into his eyes to make a mental note of his reaction and said softly “Yes. It has been confirmed on ultrasound.” His eyes and the expression on his face did not change. But she knew what his reaction would be and what he would say next.
He kept quiet for a few minutes. In his silence he kept his head bowed, his back also against the headboard. He folded his arms and took a deep breath.
In a firm tone, he said, “Abe, I don’t want you to keep it.”
Abedo knew he would say this and was prepared. She said “I am sorry darling, but I am keeping this pregnancy. Not just because it is against my religion to abort a pregnancy but because I have always wanted more than two kids but you did not and so I became content with two.” She became emotional as she thought about it and her voice became tearful. She continued “But now that God has blessed us with this pregnancy. I am keeping it.”
Eda looked at Abedo and in a soft pleading voice said “I am not prepared for this. We have not planned for this…this pregnancy” he said his pleading voice becoming almost hateful.
He continued pleading, “As you know, I have put money in a trust for the twins to cover their education should we die now. It is barely enough for them. What will we do now?” Abedo much calmer now looked at him and said, “We will split it into three”.
Eda continued looking at her but his face was no longer pleading. In a voice laced with sarcasm, he asked, “What if you have twins?”
Abedo said “Then we will split the money into four. Stop talking as though it is only about what we provide them. As though, they are pests. Children are also a source of joy, happiness and learning. Besides, we plan but God disposes.” Her voice rose “Please, please stop talking about all your well thought out plans and how everyone is supposed to fit into them.”
Then remembering that she needed to coax him, her voice softened and became pleading “Eda please let me keep this pregnancy.”
He said no more. With a grave expression, he slid under the sheets. He turned on his side with his back to her. She did the same and turned off her bedside lamp after several moments of silence.
The air in the room was heavy with unspoken words.
They slept after that or at least they both thought the other did but Eda did not snore again till it was daybreak.
He got off the bed, dressed quietly and the family went through their usual morning routine. He remained quiet throughout.
Eda was in his office when his phone rang.
It was Dayo. In his usual jovial and powerful voice, Dayo asked, “How are you doing mate?”
Eda said, “I don’t know. We are pregnant. Dayo, Abe is pregnant.”
Dayo shouted “Again?”