Her mother was full of mischief, no doubt. How could she think of bringing her ex-lover into this? How could she even think of such ludicrous idea of getting pregnant by another man in the first place?
“Forget it, mama. Do not even go there.”
“Where exactly? Getting pregnant by another man or getting pregnant by your ex-lover?”
Her mother laughed sarcastically.
“It is not funny, mama. This is a serious matter.”
“Do I look like I am acting comedy?” Her mother moved towards the backyard. “If you do not want my advice, stop coming here to disturb my peace.”
She followed her mother. “Mama, this cannot be the only way out.”
“Child, the other way out is to accept your fate but if you want to have children for a sterile man, this is the only way I know.”
“But it is not right, mama. How can you be asking me to sleep with a man who is not my husband? If you heard that I did such, would you not be ashamed of me?”
“Was I ashamed of you when you slept with your lover while you were betrothed to your husband? Did I not save you from shame on your wedding night?”
She would have said, “Touché”, only that her mother did not really save her after all but she would let her mother keep thinking she did. She would let her keep the feeling of accomplishment obtained by crooked means. In her mother’s defence, her shame was her mother’s shame as well.
“Look,” her mother continued, “these things happen from time to time. Yours will not be the first or last. It is part of life’s experiences. If I start telling you the things my eyes have seen and ears heard, you will know that life is full of mysteries.”
She agreed. Life is full of mysteries. If not, she would not be in a situation where her own mother brazenly encouraged her to engage in an adulterous act. However, it seemed like she did not have many options. It was either she accepted a childless fate as long as she was married to Alaran or she considered her mother’s idea. The truth is that, deep down, she had no real desire to leave Alaran and even if she dared to do so, her father would disown her and her mother would share in the punishment.
“Let us just leave my ex-lover out of it.”
Her mother’s face lit up, eyes twinkling mischievously. She had the triumphant look of someone whose devious plan was about to succeed.
“I actually believe he is the best candidate for this. There will be no awkward moments, it will just be like old times.”
“You forgot to mention discretion, mama. He is not discreet. He tried to blackmail me once.”
She gave her mother an abridged version of her encounter with her ex-lover.
“You should have told me. I would have dealt with him.”
“I handled it quite well, mama.”
“The good news is that I know his mother very well and I have her secrets in my hand,” she tapped her left hand. “His mother will draw his ears and give him serious warning about the consequences of trying to double cross you in any way.”
His mother would also be a part of the plan? Her mother did not cease to amaze her. Here she was thinking of discretion and her mother was making a reference to a fourth party.
“Mama, if I do this thing, only three people will know about it – you and I, then the other person. I cannot afford to have extra people on board.”
Her mother agreed. “You are right. I will come up with a better plan but go home and think about it again. It is a lot to take in and you do not have to make a decision today. When you are ready, I will be here, waiting.”
She met Aunty Teacher on her way home. They exchanged pleasantries. As usual, in some people’s characteristic way, Aunty Teacher ‘jokingly’ mentioned that she was expecting invitation to ‘eat naming ceremony rice’.
“You will be invited soon, ma.”
“Okay. Do not take too long. Do not join those people who say they want to enjoy their husbands first before thinking of children. You are young and have all the time but childbearing is best when one is still young and agile.”
She wondered how Aunty Teacher came to the conclusion that she wanted to wait to have children but that did not matter to her at the moment. She was already nursing the idea of seeking counsel from Aunty Teacher. She believed the woman could provide her with useful information and somehow, she trusted her to exercise discretion. After all, Aunty Teacher knew what she had been up to before marriage and she did not blow the whistle on her. Although she spoke to her ex-lover, that was understandable since they were in the same boat. Asides that, it did not appear like she had gossipped about her to anyone, which made her trustworthy to a considerable extent.
“Aunty Teacher, can I ask you a question?”
“Of course, you can. What do you want to know?”
“Do you have any information on fertility issues that you can share with me?”
To be cont’d…
© 2020 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!