How I Got Pregnant From A Hug By Elizabeth Ekakoro Bore
I have a confession to make. I Have a problem. I ask too many questions, sometimes. Others too silly, especially to the answerer. I was told things like; babies were gotten from the supermarket. Grandma warned me from whistling my favorite song at night, that it called the night runners to come by. She also said if I sat on the cooking stone in her kitchen, mama would die, so I should not try it. I avoided her kitchen whenever we went visiting. I believed all these without questioning, until my brother came to birth. Why did mama buy him and put him inside her stomach again? I wondered. No wonder he was a mzungu, I thought.
My questioning became too much, mama was tired. “Look at this kid! where do you get all these questions from ah? When I was your age I never questioned people like you do. Give me a break!” That was when I killed my questioning.Now I only ask for the meaning. For instance, I listened to a presenter talk so much about a term, I didn’t understand what it really meant, it seemed interesting to me. So I went to the dining table and asked, “By the way, what is lungula?” I was asked to shut up or leave the table. My inquiring was too much, no, I just don’t have the gift of understanding parables, or hidden words. I get E’s when it comes to that. In fact, lately, a friend complemented me. But because it was not straight, I asked for the meaning. He was surprised, but I don’t blame me either.
Come along with me, see why I prefer saying it as it is.
“If you play around with boys, you will get pregnant.” Echoed mama. This was some minutes after I had asked Festo, my next door neighbor and friend to feel the hard swelling on my chest. He said that probably a wasp had stung me, or I had hit myself somewhere, and that was the only time mama noted that the curtain needed to be adjusted, the moment Festo investigated the swelling on my chest. I was 12, and as I came to learn later, I was growing. That’s why my chest was swelling ha ha ha, said aunt Bitu. She also advised me not to show it to anyone again, especially to boys. I guessed that I would probably get pregnant if I did so. I didn’t question. I promised mama I would never play with boys.
Honestly, I hardly understood how playing with boys would make me pregnant, as mama had warned earlier. I made a decision never to play with boys. I stopped even shaking hands with them. The thought of getting pregnant scared me. I heard that one of the young girls in the village played with boys and got pregnant, she had to drop out of school. “Me, drop out of school? Never!” I said to myself.
It is a hot afternoon. Ben, my Std 7 classmate, was staring at me. I looked at him, but did not understand if at all he winked his eye, or blinked an eye at a time. He smiled, and this time, I was sure it was a wink. I was so mad. “Do you think I want to play with you? Wink at me again, I will report you to the Head.” See him, perplexed, he didn’t understand, but I didn’t want to get pregnant. My male classmates feared me. Those who took risks to send me love letters were disappointed. I either forwarded it to the teachers, or, if unfortunately I met one’s parent, I would tell them to see what their son wrote to me. No, that was not me. How could I?
I graduated to high school, and thanks to God, I had matured a little. I wrote love letters too. To my water melon and orange. I also learned to respond to love letters from the boys. Just that I put it in one sentence. “LET US MEET IN CAMPUS!” They were broken, I was wicked they said, but for Leni, who says he vowed to study and meet me in campus. He made it, yayyy! Oh, I was so happy for him, but asked him to thank God and not me. I just didn’t want to get pregnant, though I never said it, I knew it.
I made it to campus too, and wow! The ratio of ladies to men in my class was almost 1:10. I didn’t want to stay in campus, but dad said it would be a good thing to be on my own and get exposed, to life and all there is. He however insisted that I maintain my dignity, and respect for others and their culture.
Despite the fact that I didn’t play with boys, I smiled at them. Some mistook it, thinking I was inviting them, but it was mama that taught me how to smile. So I started getting male friends. I didn’t play with them though I responded to their complements, I became a good friend.
Of all my friends, I loved one the most. We spent most of our lunch time and evening together. So he hugged me so tightly one day, he said he loved me. I couldn’t sleep that night. “Maybe I am pregnant.” I said to myself. I didn’t want to talk to him again. As I was brushing my teeth the next morning, I vomited . I was scared to death. “Why did I hug him that close?” I asked myself. The furthest we had gone physically was a handshake, and of course, smiles.
He wanted to know why I was avoiding him. “I might be pregnant. You know we hugged so close the other day and you held my hand. I don’t know how to say this to mama, she was right I shouldn’t play with boys…. maybe I’ll call aunt Bitu.” I would have run to dad, but he was out of the country. I was doomed.
See the Laughter that he gave. Like he had listened to the funniest joke of the year. He laughed uncontrollably. I could see tears in his eyes, tears of laughter. In fact, he couldn’t talk for a moment. He was so amused. “what? Pregnant? From a hug? are you kidding me? Do you really know what makes one pregnant? You are funny, very funny.” Continued laughing.
“It’s not a laughing matter! I sobbed.” He stopped laughing. Being intelligent, and mature than I, he said “Honestly, it has never happened in history. I have never heard. In fact, your aunt will be amused to hear this, trust me. Everything is ok.”
I lost appetite for food. Went home for the weekend. I went to the clinic, was not feeling fine. I told the Dr what happened when I was brushing my teeth. The first question he asked was “When did you last see your menses.” I couldn’t even remember as I had irregular cycles. “wewe, ni kama umekanyaga wire moto.” He laughed. He asked if I was brushing my tongue before that happened, I agreed, and he said that it was called a “gag reflex, and after explaining, said I should go back to the house, all was ok with me. Maybe I was just overwhelmed with studies, he was a family friend and knew it was my first time in campus, and to him, my course was tough too and tiring. I was medically ok. Huuuuh! I will not try that again, I said to myself. I had opted to only wave at my male friends. I didn’t want to get pregnant. Thanks to Google, I educated myself on this subject matter.
I was not a very good biology student. I shied off from the topic on reproduction, especially after seeing the naked male organ system. My biology teacher said one gets pregnant after sexual inter course bla bla bla. Then he also said the sperms swim. So I thought , “What if they decided to go swimming when I am close to a man? I will definitely get pregnant!” And that’s how I got pregnant, 3 years down the line and I am still pregnant.
Please tell your kids as it is, I am still embarrassed to date, that I was impregnated by a hug.
Naturally, I hugged. My male cousins and my brother and dad. I still hug(now without gender discrimination), it is a hobby. I do it warmly, if at all you are receptive. Receive a flying one from me…..awwwww…. you are so warm.
By Liz Ekakoro:Kenyan in Ukrain/Diaspora Messenger contributor
How I Got Pregnant From A Hug By Elizabeth Ekakoro Bore