“Ola, pregnant?” I asked in disbelief.
“Do you even know Ola?”, I asked Vera.
“I know Ola now, Ola is the younger sister of Onyinye”, she replied me whilst laughing.
Vera was my friend of eight years now; we had all worshipped in the same church. She was my teenage crush who enjoyed my company but wouldn’t admit it. She actually made church more interesting for me. Whatever church activity was there to attend, I made sure I was there; as far as Vera was going to be there. My lackadaisical attitude towards dressing, was weaned out of me by Vera.
My aunt whom I was staying with at the time; often looked puzzled whenever she saw me polishing my shoe fervently before going to bible class (Laughs). I remember one occasion; I rushed early to church so I and Vera could have some lone time before others would come, she didn’t come and I stayed all through the boring session. I got into choir because of Vera; I needed to see her more, hear her voice more and impress her with my deep bass voice. Whenever a sermon was rendered against ‘foolish love’ amongst teenagers; it made me angry, as that meant Vera would avoid me.
Vera wasn’t much of the holy one; but she knew how to be ‘churchy’ in and around the church premises. But Onyinye was the poster girl of the church. She was what every parent wanted their daughter to be. Ola, her younger sister was a beauty, and not just a beauty; she was an intelligent chap. Other families adored their family, especially with the good work their parents were doing with these two girls. Asides them, their elder brother was a drummer for the church. They were adorable!
How then could Ola be pregnant?
Onyinye was someone who always smiled in church, even in the hardest conditions that made me frown; and I was someone who hardly show anger facially. Onyinye was someone who was always ‘glad in the Lord’. We had always thought her sister would even be better as she seemed more introverted. If Onyinye could lead the children department, and be such a great example; then her siblings would hugely benefit.
“How possible it is that Ola of 15 years old is pregnant?”.
I asked Vera again, not for being deaf; but, I didn’t want to believe it. Ola was someone many people liked, adored and admired; I too.
What broke my heart more was not the fact that Ola hadn’t completed high school, No!
What broke my heart was that she had eloped to live with the cultist in his early twenties, who had gotten her pregnant. Her parents emaciated with time. They had even wanted to abort the baby; but she was strong headed. How could a church girl who’s a supposed virgin be pregnant? Was she another virgin Mary?
Her ‘husband’, a young man in his early twenties; no job, skill or education. How then would he take care of his ‘wife’. I felt I needed to see Ola, talk to her and let her know her life nor future can’t be truncated by this pregnancy. But I was scared, cos people would think I intend to also ‘shoot’ in her direction. Three years ago; a girl of seventeen, in her final year of high school also got pregnant; due to the stigma, neglect and shame committed suicide.
My pain isn’t about abortion; that’s a talk for another day. My issue was that these girls needed counselling after pregnancies. These girls needed proper sex education from their teachers, parents, churches, organizations, as a matter of fact from their society.
As Vera went on saying how people thought she’d get pregnant and God helped her to shame her enemies; I sat numb thinking about Ola, trying to imagine her hiding a big ball under her dress to feign being pregnant. I wondered what she could be going through; what she was doing at the time and I thought…
Must stigma come with unwanted pregnancies?
Must Ola live a life of regrets?
Must Ola always be used as the example of the wayward girl for every family?
Does unwanted pregnancy signify end of the world?
Your counsel to Ola would be valued and cherished on the comments box.
DISCLAIMER: this post isn’t meant to look like anyone; I really apologize for any similarity in names, place or situations.