“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Sunday, February 8, 2015
letters to my unborn child
He picked up after fifteen missed calls and
I won't forget how he shouted...
" Who a you babyfather?"
"Who a You babyfather?"
Those were the most painful Four words that ever came from his lips. They wrecked far more damage than when he said. " Girl me and you no deh"
I was not telling a lie on him. I simply wanted him to be there for the baby.
He continued, voice laced with anger and dripping with contempt. " Who fe give you to money fe go a doctor. Me no have no money to give you to go doctor"
I listened and my hope sank like a submarine in the deepest darkest part of the ocean. He was upset. He went on to say. " Other women took a morning after pill...or something. You just lay back and make it happen because this was what you wanted all along. A don't know what you hope to achieve?"
Yesterday I text him and asked him to buy me some lunch. He responded three hours later that he didn't have it. I choked back on my tears, remembering all those times I bought him lunch and went out of my way to give him what he needed.
He was simply not going to be there for me. He blamed me for this pregnancy. He thought I was trying to trap him into a relationship. He understood the eternal bond parents share. And in the same breath he knew that like many men, he could just walk away. Fatherhood for him was a choice, something he could completely disregard if he wanted to.
Why was I surprised he would shirk his responsibilities? He was afterall his father's son, the father he complained never took care of him. It was in his genes. Why was I even surprised?
He muttered angrily. " You on your own. Anytime you call or text me phone again. Me ago diss you"
I cried. " Why are you doing this to me?"
I shouted in distress. "you cannot hurt me and you cannot invalidate me."
He replied firmly. " Me can avoid you"
He added. " Don't call me to come down a hospital come sign no paper! You on your own"
I asked in anguish. " A wah me do to you so make you a treat me so?"
He replied in a gruff voice. " If you only know how me hate you. Me done with you. I swear to god. Me done with you for good now!"
I pleaded with him. " Hate me for what? What me do you to deserve your hatred?"
He croaked into the phone. " Me and you done. You ago sorry. Memba me tell you that"
I sniveled and asked meekly. " A threaten you a threaten me Dre?"
He let out a slew of profanities and then there was a click in my ear.
I accepted it now that I would have to take care of this child alone. He texted my phone again.
" I can't be your babydaddy. I am sorry"
He was showing me how parenthood could be a choice. He choose not to be the father of my child and I could choose not mother this unborn child by simply doing an abortion.
I told him that women have been raising babies for centuries without paternal support. Just like his mother, I had joined their ranks. Abortion was not a notion endorsed by my mother. She said. " Bring it. It can't suffer and make the little ediat bwoy gwaan bout him business. Him soon get what's coming to him"
" Little idlers bwoy siddung pon wall everyday and smoke weed a come diss my daughter. Who is (profanity) him? Him have a name fe himself? Him last name worth nothing? Him a gwaan like him name Stewart or Azan!!!"
My mother sucked on her teeth in annoyance.
" No fret over him. Him soon gone. How fe him name a ring inna streets. Police soon shoot him"
I knew what she meant. She had done it too so could I. How many mothers like her with pain in her eyes, knowing the all familiar anguish I must be feeling; told their daughters to bring an unwanted child into the world?
" Welcome to man world me daughter. Man a chameleon, them a lizard. Man a failure. Whole lot a them" She laughed mirthlessly staring out at the rows of cane fields behind her house.
My mother was upset. I could not blame her. I was falling into the same traps she did. For all my smarts, I kept thinking a good looking guy meant responsible guy, I failed this dating test over and over again. I am again left alone for the third time with a baby in my womb and a father slinking away into oblivion. It was true what they said. If you want to test the true mettle of a man's character, just tell him you pregnant and watch all hell bruck loose.
Excerpt From Crystal Evans
New Novel " The Bunna Man"
Get it this February 30