Aunty Teacher scrutinized her for a moment. She suspected that she was regarded as the potential infertile one in that moment but she did not care. She just wanted information.
“Well, I understand that you might be worried about not being pregnant few months after your marriage but that does not mean you are infertile. Your marriage is not up to a year, right?”
“You are right, ma. It is almost a year and I just want to have information that can help me understand better.”
“I get that. It is good to be well informed. However, these things happen. You should not work yourself up over it because the anxiety may even delay pregnancy.”
Her mother told her the same thing. Before now, she would have considered that to be a factor and probably put her mind at ease. However, the knowledge about Alaran’s condition trumped that probability in her mind.
“You can also visit a good fertility clinic around you,” Aunty Teacher continued, “and get some tests done just to be sure that there is no fertility issue anywhere.”
“Okay, ma. But…what if no fertility issue is found?”
“Then you put your mind to rest. Pregnancy will happen when you least expect.”
She was quite surprised at the answer. She expected Aunty Teacher to at least shine the beam on a man if his wife has no fertility issue. Even the learned Aunty Teacher overlooked the fact that fertility problem could stem from a man. That was disappointing but she was bent on getting the information she needed.
“Does that mean women are the only ones with fertility problems?”
“Hmm,” Aunty Teacher adjusted her position, “you have a point there. Men also have fertility issues but they would rather die than admit it.”
Her mother also made the same insinuation.
“What if the man is the one with the issue. What is the fate of the woman? I ask because in our society, a man can easily go out there and have children with other women if his wife cannot give him children but what can a woman in same shoes do?”
“It is a dicey one but there are ways around it.” Aunty Teacher looked round and spotted a shed. “Come, let us sit and I will explain some options that couples with fertility issues can explore.”
Aunty Teacher told her about assisted reproductive technology including IVF, ICSI, cryopreservation, and fertility medications. She also mentioned surrogacy and adoption. According to Aunty Teacher, the peculiar case of the couple determines their choice.
She was immensely grateful for the information Aunty Teacher supplied. She thanked her profusely and they parted ways. Now, she knew what to do. Throughout the journey back home, she strategized on how to lay all she had learnt before Alaran, starting with the information about his ‘blank shots’. She knew it was a dicey situation as Aunty Teacher mentioned, and she would have to approach it delicately. However, the thought of not resorting to her mother’s plans gave her all the needed motivation.
She waited for two days after Alaran’s return before broaching the subject with him. She needed to set the appropriate mood so she gave him extra attention and showered him with extra affection. She did not want him to feel any form of pressure because that might make him defensive. In her mind, extra lovey-dovey and sumptuous meal would do the trick and that was exactly what she treated him to.
Alaran poured the last bit of fresh palm wine into his cup and downed it in a blink. There was no better way to end a sumptuous meal! He had just finished a huge bowl of pounded yam and rich vegetable soup. The soup crawled with all kinds of seafood, just the way he liked it. Inwardly, he acknowledged that his youngest wife really knew how to please him in practically everything and that afternoon, he was so pleased with her that he told her, like king Herod, to ask him for anything and it would be done.
“My special one,” he caressed her hand lightly, “tell me what you want and you have it instantly.”
She knew it was the food and palm wine talking but that was the whole idea, not so?
She caressed his head in return. “You should have some rest, my husband. Let the food digest a bit and we can talk.”
“No, my love. Tell me now. I am in a very good mood, thanks to you. If I could, I would give you the whole world.”
That was her moment, so she seized it.
“My husband, you have given me more than enough and I am truly grateful,” she replied. “Right now, I do not want the whole world. I only want one thing from you and I hope you fulfill your promise and give me what I desire most.”
“Tell me, and it is done.”
Again, she knew it was easier said than done but she had to give it a shot. She hoped his happy mood would make him receptive to what she was about to share with him.
“My crown, you know I desire children more than anything.”
Wine cleared from Alaran’s system with alacrity. He snapped out of his giddy state. His eyes narrowed.
“Is this why you have been filling me with food and wine? To badger me with this talk about children?”
“Of course not! Is this my first time of treating you to a great meal? After all, I did not put words into your mouth, you were the one who told me to ask you for anything and I did. What crime have I committed now?”
“Yes, ask me for anything I can give you. Asking for children is a tall order and you know it.”
“Tall order?” she flared up, “how is it a tall order?”
“I simply mean that the gift of children comes from God. No matter how hard one tries, if God does not approve, there is nothing one can do.”
“Indeed! All your wives have children except me. Why is my case different? Why has God not approved mine?”
“As you can see, I am not God. Maybe you should ask God instead.” He stood up to leave.
“I think you know the answer,” she fired back. This was not how she expected their conversation to turn out but she was past caring now. She was prepared to go all the way. “You can no longer impregnate a woman, can you?”
Alaran stopped in his tracks. He turned, ever slowly, to face her.
“What did you just say?”
“What did you just hear?” The look on his face scared her but she stood there unflinching. She held his gaze, defiance flashing in her eyes. “Do not even bother to deny it. I got that information from an authentic source.”
Alaran had never seen her like this before. Although he believed that she made what she said up in her imagination, he knew he must tread carefully. “My love,” Alaran’s voice softened, “please, let us not fight.” He stretched his hand towards her, his way of calling a truce. She ignored the gesture.
“I am not fighting, I simply want the truth. I want to have my own children and if there is anything hindering that, I want to know. I deserve to know…right now!”
“I do not know what you are talking about,” he tried dissuading her, “it is all in your imagination, my love.”
She paced back and forth, clenching and unclenching her fists. “This is the reason you have shunned this idea of getting medical intervention, right? You think I am stupid? I may be young but I am not stupid. Do you hear me, Alaran, I am not stupid!”
She suddenly flung herself at him, beating his chest and screaming “I am not stupid” hysterically. Alaran quickly recovered from the sudden outburst and held her tight to stop her from lashing out. As usual, he allowed her sob while saying soothing words to her but he perfectly understood that he had been boxed into a corner this time and she would not relent until he spilled everything.
To be cont’d…
© 2020 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!