A woman sat in the waiting hall of the hospital. It was a quiet room, not too crowded, with a soft music playing in the background. The receptionist was in a jovial mood as she moved her head to the beat.
Priscilla, on the other hand was worried. She did not know what the doctors would say. Sue, her daughter, was in the bathroom producing a sample. She had refused for her mother to join her when she saw the doctor and she could only guess how bad it was.
The doctor had come to her, tried to explain what was wrong with her daughter, but she did not want to know, not until the results were out.
She had raised a rebel, a stubborn child. The environment she had been raised in, was not what most people considered normal. Priscilla had married a mad man, mad in the sense that, he did not want to be a husband. He was always in bars, with prostitutes and other people’s wives, downing his entire pay. Then he would come home, drunk and hungry, demanding food that he had not provided. When the children did not go to school on time due to fees, he would complain, yet he never removed a penny. So the day she confronted him, he hit her once. Then he did it again, and again, and again, in front of the children. And they grew hard, distant and stubborn. She finally got the courage to leave him, but by that time, her daughter saw her differently. She did not listen to her mother, and fights were normal things in their home.
Her son, Jacob, got a job and moved out immediately. This only worsened her relationship with Sue. She felt like her mother was controlling her, and Priscilla felt disrespected.
So Sue did what she knows best. She ran away from home, and went to live with a boy in a shanty place. She switched off her phone therefore her mother could not find her.
Relatives kept telling Priscilla that they had seen Sue in town, she had grown thin and weak, but was still too stubborn to come back home. Life had been cruel to her. Rumor had it that her so called boyfriend beat her from time to time.
So when Priscilla got a call from her daughter saying that she did not feel well, and had no money to go to the hospital, she ran to her aide. When she saw her daughter, how thin, unhappy and weak she looked, she almost broke down to tears. She wanted to embrace her, drag her home and bring back her senses, but she just stood there, and they walked on in silence.
Sue emerged from the washrooms, gave out her samples and sat next to her mother. They had to wait for half an hour.
“Are you hungry?” Priscilla said casually.
“Not at all,” she replied back picking up a magazine.
“Well I am,” she said getting up.”Let’s go to the cafe down stairs.”
They sat down in the busy cafe and both placed and order.
“So, how have you been?” she asked her daughter. “It’s been close to seven months since I heard from you.”
“Been okay,”she replied looking uncomfortable.
“School? Your former classmates have been asking about you. They thought all of you would graduate from High school together…”
“That dream sailed a long time ago mother,”she responded with some irritation in her voice.
“And Gerald? How is he doing?”
“Jeez mum, is this an interview? Can’t we just sit down for once without you being on my back all the time!”
“Well, I’m sorry for wanting to know how my daughter has been. I haven’t seen nor heard from you for the past seven months. Is it not only fair that I-”
“Please, that victim thing you use won’t work on me. Your life has been better without me in it and so has mine. I did not call you so that I may come back home with you, trust me, you were the last option on my book. And I’m sorry if I bothered you. So let’s keep this as light as it can be till we are done.”
Priscilla sighed. She still could not get through to her. So she just sat there, asked nothing and ate her food, waiting for Sue to at least say something.
They cleared their bill and walked towards the hospital. The results were ready and soon, she would know what was wrong.
“Well, your results are back,”started the doctor as her opened her file. “It shows that you contracted an STI, and that is why you have been bleeding. Not to worry, it happens often to women in your condition and is curable with no effect at this stage.”
“Excuse me, what condition are we talking about?” asked Priscilla perplexed.
“Her pregnancy,” replied the doctor casually. “She’s four months in, I thought as her guardian you knew…”
Priscilla turned to face her daughter angrily. “God!! Seventeen and pregnant! Well Sue, if you wanted to spite me, you’ve done it now!”
“I’m keeping it,”she responded in a low even tone.
“The hell you are! Doctor,” Priscilla said turning to face the doctor,”how soon can we erase the stupidity of my daughter’s way?”
“Madam, abortion is illegal in this country,”he replied curtly.
“But she is just a child!” she shouted angrily.
The doctor took out a pen and prescribed some pills for the infection then directed them to the chemist.
They walked, in angry silence, bought the pills and walked towards the parking lot.
Priscilla was furious. “Honestly Sue, you cannot think of keeping this child, you are a child yourself!”
“I don’t care what you think mother, it’s my child and I am keeping it.”
She laughed. “It’s for Gerald, right? You think if you give him a child he’ll stick by you. Honey, he’s only twenty one, with no stable job-”
“He sells movies!”
“Making very little cash to sustain you both, let alone a child. Sue…you are making a mistake. That boy is not ready for commitment, and if he is beating you already, he clearly does not love you. Haven’t you learnt anything from my experience with your father?
Sue, you need to come home now, this has gone on far long enough. We need to work on our relationship, and get you back to school, shape your future, make sure you get the life you deserve. And we’ll start by getting rid of that…that thing inside of you. Do I make myself clear Sue?”
Priscilla got no response. She turned around, but she was too late. She could see her daughter from a distance, in a matatu, disappearing once more.
And she forgot her drugs.