Sun. May 12th, 2024

Story Written By Ogechi Alabi





Two weeks after we had resumed school, early on a Saturday morning, someone banged on our gate. I was up already cleaning the house when I heard the bang. I rushed out to check if uncle Chike was still sleeping but he was awake. He stood by the gate asking who it was and who they wanted to see.


“Open this gate. I want to see Chief Nnaka right now” a man responded in a loud voice.


“Who are you and what do you want?” uncle Chike asked.


“Tell Chief Nnaka I have brought his wife for him” the man replied.


I ran inside before I could get upstairs, the banging and continuous ringing of the bell had attracted uncle and auntie’s attention. I saw them by the stairs.


“Who is that making all this noise?” auntie Nneoma asked.


“There is a man outside. He said he brought ….” I stopped. I couldn’t finish the




“He brought what? Talk now! What is wrong with you? If you are not talking get out of the way” I quickly moved out of the way for auntie Nneoma to pass as she hurried down the stairs.


“What did he say?” uncle Emma asked me in a calm voice.


“He said he brought your wife to you” I replied in a low voice.


“He must be joking. Which wife? Let me go and meet him outside” I blocked him from going but he smiled and pushed me aside saying, “Nothing is happening. I



don’t have a girlfriend talk less of planning to marry another woman. Relax, we will get to the root of the matter”


I was worried. There has been peace in the home and I didn’t want anything to cause friction between uncle and auntie. I didn’t want any form of disagreement between them. They had taken me as a daughter and I wanted them always to be happy.


I followed him back to the gate. I heard auntie Nneoma saying “Identify yourself. Who are you?”


Uncle Emma walked to the gate and opened it. The man rushed into the compound with a girl in tow. Uncle Emma spoke to the man who was visibly fuming, “Calm down. Let us go inside and discuss the issue; we have created enough scene as it is”


They followed us into the house. I rushed to make tea for uncle because that is how he starts his day especially on weekends. I served him. He asked me to make for the others in the sitting room. they declined but he insisted. As I was serving them the tea, I observed the girl. She wore a long shapeless flowery gown with long sleeves and tied a scarf on her head. As I served her, she raised her head and I almost dropped the teacup and saucer in my hand. It was Chiamaka from my school. I knew today wouldn’t end well. I believed my sins had found me out. I excused them but I stood close by to hear the matter.


“Like I said, I brought your wife. My daughter here is pregnant and I brought her to stay with her in-laws” the man repeated.


Auntie Nneoma wanted to speak but uncle Emma stopped her. He took over. “I know we did not pay dowry for any woman and I know I have never seen this girl before so tell me, who is responsible for her pregnancy for you to be my in-law?”


“Chiamaka speak! Tell them who is responsible for the child you are carrying in that womb” the father told the daughter.


She said in a low tone, “It is Amanze”.



“Good. Amanze is responsible for your pregnancy. When did this happen? When did you meet with him because it is over six weeks Amanze left?”


“It was when he was around it happened”


Auntie Nneoma couldn’t hold it anymore. She asked aggressively, “Where did it happen? Tell me”


“It happened here. We met here in the boys’ quarters where he stays”


“How is that possible? Where was Chike when Amanze was bringing young girls into the house? Where is Chike?”


“Nneoma!” uncle Emma called her sharply “Allow me handle this ok? If you cannot sit still and we get to the bottom of this then you might have to wait for us upstairs”


“I am sorry nna anyi” and she kept quiet after that.


Uncle Emma picked his phone and called Amanze, “Hello son, please leave whatever you are doing and come back right away. It is an emergency. Did you hear me? I am waiting for you” he then turned to the people in the sitting room, “My son will join us but he is in Nsukka and it will take almost two hours for him to get here. My wife will make breakfast for us to eat. When my son comes and he admits he is responsible for the pregnancy then we will discuss the next step. For now, I would say we should eat and then discuss other issues”


“You want to feed? We have a serious issue on ground and all you want to do is feed us?”


“The deed has been done and can’t be undone. I think we should just relax, have a meal and wait for the boy to come back. I don’t want to pre-inform him otherwise he won’t come”


“We are going home. When your son arrives call us and we will be here. There is no need to be hospitable to us; we have a big problem at hand. When he comes then we will talk”



They left. Auntie Nneoma was obviously unhappy. Uncle Emma was surprisingly calm. He called me, “Avoid irresponsible boys, they will destroy your destiny. See how this small girl is going to ruin her life and the life of her family. People will only mention her when they talk about the pregnancy, they will hardly mention Amanze unless we marry her off to him which is what her parents want to happen. But it is not by force. If Amanze says he doesn’t want to marry her, we will just take care of her until she has the baby and brings it to us. She cannot be more than seventeen. If you come back home with pregnancy, I will kill you myself. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If any boy disturbs you on the road show me the boy and he will never come near you again. If you want anything, anything at all no matter how silly it is, come to me and I will give you. You didn’t get pregnant in the village you cannot get pregnant here. Have you heard me?”


Why was he transferring the aggression to me? I wondered. I did not dare say anything except nod my head.


“Where is Chike? How did the girls enter the house while Chike was at the gate?” auntie asked.


“Can Chike stop Amanze from bringing in girls? We both know Amanze so don’t drag Chike into this. I just want to know if Chike forced her to do it with him. That’s what I am waiting for. I want Chike to meet them here when he arrives. Nneoma, if you mention what is on ground to Amanze and he disappears, you will hate me. Let’s do the right thing”


“Nna anyi, I won’t defy you now. It is whatever you say we will do that we will do. I trust you on this. I can only lament within us but you are in charge”


“That’s better. Make me breakfast, I did not impregnate anybody so I shouldn’t be punished for another’s mistake”


I joined auntie Nneoma in the kitchen. I brought out the chicken I had pre-cooked the night before. I brought out yam to peel. Auntie Nneoma stood on a spot lost in thought while I peeled the yam. After sometime, she looked at me and said, “You know that girl, don’t you? Tell me the truth”


“Yes auntie, she was a student in my school”


“I said it. I have seen that face somewhere before. You don’t come home with visitors so how did Amanze meet her? This is too much for me. Amanze has always been a problem; he doesn’t listen. Don’t I look like a terrible mother like this?”


“Auntie, it is not your fault. If you teach a child the child is suppose to follow your teaching so his future will be bright. I follow everything you and uncle tell me because I know you will never lead me astray. Let us not condemn brother Amanze until he comes. He might give a good reason or he might accept the girl”


“Accept a girl who got pregnant for him? Mba nu. We will take the baby. She is a loose girl. Let them come back”


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I was surprised at auntie Nneoma’s utterance. Didn’t Amanze play a big part in the foolishness? Shouldn’t he be the one to decide if he wants the girl or not? I know he is guilty, I read the letter she sent. She might be anything but Amanze had a case to answer.


After his breakfast, uncle Emma called Amanze again. He confirmed he was already in Enugu and was on his way home. He then called Chiamaka’s father; he had dropped his phone number before they left. They arrived a few minutes before Amanze came home.


Let me replay the scene for you. Uncle was sitting in his favourite chair and by his right was auntie Nneoma. Opposite him was the three seater where Chiamaka and her father sat. As Amanze stepped into the sitting, he saw his parents first. When he came closer he saw these other people he didn’t know, he just greeted until Chiamaka raised her head up and next thing he said was, “Shit!”. I almost burst out laughing when I saw the expression of surprise and curiousity mixed together.


“Amanze” uncle Emma started, “do you know this girl seated here?”



“Well, dad, I know her. She’s a friend. But why is she dressed in rags? I almost didn’t recognize her” Amanze answered.


Uncle turned to Chiamaka, “Have you broken the news to him yet?”


“No sir”


“Why? Please let him know the good news”


“Amanze” she called in a very subtle voice, “I am pregnant”


Amanze laughed so hard everyone in the room was shocked. They wondered what was funny. When he calmed down, he turned to his father and said, “I’m sorry dad. It’s just so funny. I won’t deny I laid her but each time I did, I used protection.


Each time. I do not use the condoms bought from mallams, I use foreign condoms. So how come she is pregnant?”


“Did he use protection with you?” auntie Nneoma asked.


“Yes ma. But there was time the thing burst and I told him but he said…” and she stopped.


“From all that have been said, I want to establish that he didn’t force you to have s£x with him” uncle Emma replied.


“No sir” Chiamaka confirmed.


“Do you have other lovers?” uncle Emma asked.


Chiamaka went silent. She couldn’t look up.


Amanze offered to respond, “I wasn’t her first so she has had other lovers. Why would she want to hang the pregnancy on me?”


“Amanze, we both know when we were together, I had no lovers. I have only had one lover besides you. It was just you, so why are you disgracing me like this? You said you loved me; did you lie to me?”



Auntie Nneoma took over, “My friend, aren’t you ashamed of yourself? How can you at this age be having s£x talk less of having multiple s£xual partners. Aren’t you scared of sicknesses and diseases? I trained my children to use protection during s£x; none of them will have s£x without it. Go and find out who is responsible for your pregnancy it is not my son”


Chiamaka’s father was just shaking his head while the questions and answers were taking place. He then turned to his daughter and said, “Chiamaka, you have disgraced me. Chiamaka, you have finished me. You are from a good Christian home but you decided that waywardness is the path you have chosen to follow. This boy says he is not responsible for the child in your womb. Are you going to birth a bastard? You have put us to shame. It is your s£xual life we are discussing here, a seventeen year old girl. You are lucky you have finished secondary school. I am done training you. I don’t want you back in my house with this pregnancy still in your womb”


“Papa Chiamaka,” uncle Emma cut in, “that is not the best way to handle this situation. I am a Catholic and I will never support abortion. Send her away to have the baby. We will have a DNA test done to ascertain who the father is and we take it from there”


“Who has time for that one? She should go and look for who will do it for her. She is out of my house”


Chiamaka fell on her knees crying begging her father, “Daddy I am sorry. I am begging you daddy, please forgive me. Don’t send me away; where will I go?”


“Go to where you meet with these boys that you allow to have s£x with you. Go and stay with them. I don’t want to set my eyes on you ever again. You are a big disgrace. If I see you anywhere near my house, you will hear from my matchet”


When he attempted to leave, auntie Nneoma stopped him and asked, “Who are you leaving her for here? Go with your daughter”


Chiamaka’s father faced auntie Nneoma “I am not going with her. You can throw her out. Your son enjoyed her; he can continue unhindered now. He has a



reputation with these young girls, she is not the only one. Parents found letters written by him to them. He is spoilt and is bent on ruining our female children. It is because you do not have a daughter that is why you are not empathic”


“I have a daughter. She is well behaved. She will never fall prey because we have thought her values. Boys will always make advances but only the weak fall and are used by them. She will not even allow the advances. Your daughter refused to heed to your words; how is that our fault? Take your daughter with you and sort her out”


Uncle Emma stepped in. “I will bring her home to pack her things. She will stay here with us until you calm down. Some children don’t learn until they get their fingers burnt. She has learnt her lesson. But I won’t force her back to you. I’ll go with you so she can pack her some of her things”


Auntie Nneoma wanted to comment but uncle Emma stopped her with his stare.


He picked up his car keys and left with them.


“Why does daddy want to keep her here? I didn’t get her pregnant; she just wants to tie me down with it. Why are all girls like this?” Amanze blurted.


“If you zip up your trousers will anything happen to you? You are now going after secondary school girls Amanze. What is wrong with you? From house maids to small girls. Why can’t you have one girl and stick to her”


“Mum, what are you saying? They are the ones that throw themselves at me. All the girls, that’s what they do. It’s not my fault I am attractive. Why should I say no to a beautiful girl”?


“One day this your prick will put you in trouble. You are running your mouth now. You are wayward and you don’t care about the feeling of these girls you hurt. I am praying that one of these girls will not revenge what you have done to them. I am tired of talking to you. You cannot bring girls into my house anymore”


“But mum?”


“Pay for a hotel and take them there. My house will not be used to destroy lives. Have you heard me?”



Uncle came back home with Chiamaka. He handed her over to me and asked that she shares my room with me. I didn’t mind; I could see she needed help. I took her upstairs. She laid on the bed cying. I went downstairs to get her food and some medicine. I could hear uncle Emma and Amanze having a heated argument. Amanze came out and left the house. The peace I hoped would not be eluded and was finally gone.


Auntie Nneoma did not hide her dislike for Chiamaka. I advised Chiamaka to remain in the room when auntie Nneoma was around and should only come out when she was out of the house to walk to take fresh air. Auntie Nneoma stopped leaving early for her business. She only left when uncle Emma was leaving or if I was at home. I didn’t understand why then. She asked the driver to drop me off in school every morning.


Chiamaka was with us for three months. Her father refused to take her back. Her mother didn’t seem to have say. Her WAEC and Jamb result showed she was an intelligent student. She had chosen UNN as her first choice to study Computer Science. Uncle Emma knew she would not be able to survive there because the scandal will be too much for her to bear. He changed her university to FUTO. School year was still some time away.


Auntie Nneoma did not want Chiamaka in her house and she made it clear. She had heated arguments to uncle Emma about it with uncle Emma insisting that until they confirm Amanze is not the father she had to stay with them.


“Why does she have to stay here? It is because you have interest in her that’s why you want her to stay here. How am I sure it isn’t you she is pregnant for and you asked her to say Amanze? It looks like it was planned”


“Ah, auntie Nneoma, please don’t talk like that. Uncle is just trying to help her. Please auntie, you are a good person, let us all help her and lead her through the right path”


“Stay out of this Akwaugo. Since when did you have a say in a conversation between my husband and I? Is there something going on I am not aware of?”



I shrunk into my shell. There was no way I was going to get burnt for something I know nothing about. Uncle Emma signaled to me to keep quiet. I allowed her spill bile at her husband. I began to understand what people said in the village. She was a mother bear who goes all out to protect her cubs but she was doing it at the detriment of the other party. I had to find out if truly Amanze was responsible for the pregnancy. If he wasn’t it was best Chiamaka announced it and then move out of the house. The house was too hot to bear.


At night, I woke Chiamaka up. I told her to be honest with me so we can find a solution to the problem on ground.


‘Is Amanze really responsible for your pregnancy? Was he the only one you were having s£x with at the time the pregnancy occurred?”


“Believe me Akwaugo, I have only had one lover before Amanze and he and I had broken up three months before Amanze came on the scene. I swear, I haven’t had s£x with any other person apart from Amanze”


“Amaze is claiming he used protection with you..”


“We did skin to skin just once. The last condom he had broke in the process and we continued like that. He asked me to take the morning after pill but I didn’t know how to walk into the pharmacy and get it. Finally, Joy helped me buy some days later”


“Why didn’t you mention this earlier? This would have removed every doubt he is the father”


“I didn’t want my father hearing more of my s£xual escapades. Did you notice Amanze didn’t actually attack me directly? He knew I would mention it if pushed. I loved Amanze; I never thought he will turn his back at me. I have made a huge mistake”


“It is not to late to correct the mistake. Uncle Emma wants you continue your education and he is ready to sponsor you. This is an opportunity; make very good use of it”


“I will. I just don’t know what to expect”


“Let us pray that before school resumes you would have had this child with all this strike the university lecturers keep going on”


“That’s my prayer too. But where do I keep my baby?”


“DNA will let us know”

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