AUTHOR: OGECHI ALABI
The weekend was over very fast. Ebuka dropped her off at school and promised before the following weekend they will get a solution. He said he wanted to inspect the hospital to be certain they were good enough for her to be treated. He assured her she would be fine.
He left Funke and drove to his parents’ house. He truly didn’t want to talk to friends but decided to confide in his father. They were close and he believed he would have a solution and also keep their secret.
They were having lunch when he came in. They exchanged pleasantries and then he told his father he would like to see him privately and it was about work. His father knew this must be serious because his bubbly son seemed agitated. He was trying to cover it up but as a man, he knew something was bothering him. He asked him to wait for him in his study while he rounds up lunch.
As he entered the study, he saw Ebuka pacing. He knew this must be serious. He asked him, “What is it? What happened?”
“Dad, I am in trouble. I need your help and not your judgement. Please don’t ask too many questions.”
“Ok. What is it? Sit down and tell me.”
Ebuka sat down with his father and said, “If a guy gets a girl pregnant, will it be better for the pregnancy to be aborted to preserve the girl’s honour?”
“Who is pregnant?”
“Dad, no questions.”
“Who did you get pregnant? I won’t utter a word until you tell me.”
Ebuka struggled within himself to tell his father and then finally he said, “Funke.”
His father was shocked, “What? I thought both of you were celibate.”
“We made love when I moved to my new place for the first time. We weren’t careful on that day. She just found out she is pregnant and she is freaking out.”
“Her parents will never forgive this, especially her father. He adores her and she is his pride.”
“I know, dad. What do I do? She doesn’t want to have the baby because of obvious reasons and we had planned we will not have children immediately so both of us can advance in our chosen careers. I am so scared and I need advice.”
“I will talk to my doctor. He will perform the abortion. It is not a big deal and she will be fine.”
“Are you sure?”
“Let me call him so we can fix an appointment to have it done. But, nobody should know about my involvement not even Funke or your mother. It is our secret and it must remain so. Do we have an agreement?”
“Yes, dad. Thank you.”
Ebuka’s father called the doctor they spoke for a few minutes. He told him he was sending someone to him and he wanted the problem taken care of. He asked to be billed for the procedure. The doctor wanted more information and he told him it was an evacuation. He gave him an appointment. He also said she shouldn’t eat or drink before coming.
Ebuka couldn’t believe a problem that gave him sleepless nights could be resolved easily. He was still scared of the procedure but his father assured him, she wouldn’t feel a thing.
“Thank you so much, dad. We have to remain celibate until we get married.”
“It is not a big deal. Just use protection when you want to have sex. Use a condom for now until you get married and can use other means of family planning. How will you see her and not want to be with her? Stop deceiving yourself.”
### read – Bad boy’s crush episode 24
The appointment was for Tuesday morning. Funke went with Ebuka to see the doctor and then she was taken in to prepare for the procedure after the tests and examination.
The procedure took less than an hour. The doctor told Ebuka it went well but he would like to run an antibiotic drip for her and then she would continue with tablets. Ebuka was only interested in seeing his girl. When he saw her, she was still asleep. He waited with her in the ward until she woke up.
The doctor discussed family planning methods with them. He recommended the injection every three months which Nkem had mentioned to Funke. Because Funke was tall and slim, he felt it was going to be effective for her. Ebuka agreed but suggested it would be done when they get married. For now, he insisted on using condoms to be safe.
Funke couldn’t believe she went from a good girl who was God-fearing to a sinner. She felt guilty after she had the abortion. The evidence of her action was gone but the guilt lingered. She couldn’t stand to be around Ebuka. She stopped talking to him altogether. She felt she had lost herself because of love. Ebuka had taken over her reasoning and it wasn’t good for her.
Ebuka couldn’t understand how she felt. He came several times to see her but she refused to see him or even talk to him on the phone. He knew she was close to Nkem and must have discussed the issue with Nkem. So, he came to the hostel and asked for Nkem instead.
Nkem came down to meet him. She was surprised when she saw him. He asked that they sit in his car and discuss. She obliged his request. He asked her what was wrong with Funke. Nkem wasn’t aware she was avoiding Ebuka. She asked if there was a problem. Ebuka told her about the sudden change in Funke and it was breaking his heart because he loved her. He wanted her to tell him what was wrong. He wondered if something had happened to her.
Nkem told him to give her a week to find out what was wrong. At that time, she suggested he avoids calling but instead send her an apology.
“What am I apologising for?”
“For nothing. Just apologise and assure her of your love and willingness to give her the space she requires to heal.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I observed she has been down since the evacuation. She hasn’t been herself. Funke is a good girl and you are the cause of her problem. She had bragged about preserving her virginity until marriage. Three of us did. But she lost hers before marriage to her fiance. Unfortunately, she feels God punished her for the sin by making her get pregnant and then aborted. She is afraid to come back to you because she might give in to your advances and it will happen again.”
“I have made up my mind I won’t touch her again. Nothing will make me touch her. I want us to go back to the way we were before the unfortunate incident but she doesn’t want me anymore. I didn’t plan this. Why would I want to hurt the girl I love? Help me make her understand.”
“If you give her time after apologising, she will miss you and she will come back to you. She is not happy without you. I will talk to her but combined with what you will do.”
Ebuka agreed to do it. He sent an apology to Funke and assured her he won’t disturb her anymore. He understood she needed space. It was a trying two weeks for him. He had collected Nkem’s number and he tried to find out how she was coping.
Nkem wondered if this was how love felt. Funke was with the most romantic guy out of all of them. He loved her and wasn’t ashamed to show it. She was happy for her because the feeling was mutual. She had talked to Funke but she was still down. Nkem knew it was a matter of time Funke would miss her man.
By the end of the second week, Ebuka had not called or chatted with Funke since he sent the apology. She was upset he stopped talking to her. She missed him and most times when she cried, she wished she could cry in his arms. She was getting better but she couldn’t snap out of it.
Uncle Tobi came to visit her in school. It was the second time he was doing it and he wanted to take her and all her roommates out. Esther came to join them at the hostel. It was a fun outing. Uncle Tobi took them to a fancy restaurant. They had so much to each and also drink.
They talked about the forthcoming NYSC. Uncle Tobi asked where each person would want to serve as he could influence it. Funke was almost married and so she wanted to serve in Lagos. Zainab was considering Lagos as Bashir had said he would like to settle down there. Esther wasn’t particular. She wanted a state where she could get a good posting after orientation. Uncle Tobi suggested Rivers state. He had contacts with oil servicing firms. It was left with Nkem. She wasn’t particular too. She shared the same views as Esther. But she also wanted to explore an unfamiliar territory so she could learn about their culture and traditions.
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” uncle Tobi said to Nkem, “You are serving in Abuja. It is strategic and I can help you get a Federal Government job in a well-paying parastatal.”
“That’s nice. But I was wondering if I could travel for my Master’s degree.”
“Yes, you can. Or are you also getting married soon?”
“No, I am not. It is not part of the plan.”
“Good. Once you conclude your examinations, send your details to Funke and she will forward them to me.”
Read – A Road to Nowhere (episode 1)
When he dropped them off at the hostel, he gifted them some money. They were all in envelopes. They appreciated him and allowed Funke to speak with him in private as she had requested.
She broke down as she confided in uncle Tobi about what happened. She expressed her shame and disappointment in herself. Uncle Tobi consoled her and then he added, “When I was in my final year, a girl told me she was pregnant for me. Good girl from a good home too. I wasn’t ready to have a child and I felt it would be unfair for her to quit school because she got pregnant. It would have been a mess. We both agreed we had to terminate the pregnancy. We found a place and it was done. We became careful after that before we broke up. See my wife, removed three pregnancies for me. The fourth one, she insisted on having the child. Three abortions o! All I will tell you is don’t let it happen again. Use protection and if you don’t have, there is a morning-after pill you can take to prevent pregnancy. It is an emergency pill. You are not the first to commit abortion and you won’t be the last. Just know that it can happen again if you both are not careful.”
“I don’t think I can have sex with him again.”
“Why not? Did he grow a horn overnight? Snap out of it. If you have sought forgiveness, then forgive him too. If you stop talking to him and having sex with him, you are giving room for him to notice other ladies and if they show interest, then you will have a problem on your hands. He is a young man with raging hormones don’t allow him to get tempted.”
The conversation with uncle Tobi gave Funke some comfort. She made her peace with God and then reconciled with Ebuka. They were both trying to abstain at Ebuka’s insistence but when they fall into temptation, they use protection.
After the conversation with uncle Tobi, Funke went upstairs towards their room in the hostel when she saw Nkem by the stairs.
“I have been waiting for you,” Nkem said to her.
“I think your uncle gave me the wrong envelope. The envelopes he gave Esther and Zainab had N200 notes in them. The one he gave me has N1000 in them and it is bulky. I suspect it was meant for you.”
“What name is on the envelope?”
“My name, but…”
“Nkem, he knows your story and he is trying to help. He appreciates hardworking people who want to earn an honest living. You are that person so stay silent and appreciate him for the gift. That’s all.”
“Ok. I can’t thank you enough.”
“You are welcome.”
Funke was troubled in her spirit. Why did uncle Tobi give Nkem that amount of money? Their names were on the envelopes so definitely it was premeditated. Did he have feelings for Nkem? It would be a problem. She intended to ask him the motive behind his show of kindness towards her. She never did.