As the doctor said I wasn’t pregnant, I opened my eyes in shock and then sighed in relief. I wanted to express how happy I was but not in front of the men with me. I looked at uncle Sam who looked like he had just managed to escape death. I was so happy I didn’t know what to say. I finally muttered a “thank you Jesus” before turning to the doctor and saying a ‘thank you’. He just smiled at me and told me it was all the result. He explained to us that I had something called Pseudocyesis, the belief that I was expecting a child when really I wasn’t. He also said this belief caused me to have symptoms of pregnancy as It was a psychological effect. Because I knew the signs and symptoms of pregnancy and assumed I was pregnant, I began to have actual symptoms of pregnancy. He mentioned a lot more that got uncle Sam and I overwhelmed but relief at the same time.
After a while, uncle Sam thanked the doctor and exchanged a few more words before we left the office. As we got into the car, Uncle Sam looked at me as I was seated beside him. He smiled at me, saying how happy he was and apologized for everything over again. I smiled, nodding at him. He said I hadn’t said much since I got back from school and asked if I was hungry. Without even giving me a chance to reply he said;
“I’m sure you’ll be so hungry, let’s go and get something okay?”
I just nodded as he drove off to a restaurant where we got a takeaway package and headed for his house. As we got home, I went straight into the room after saying a thank you which when I look back, I ask myself why I did so. I thought of home and wondered if they had tried to reach me. I knew that if my parents eventually found out I was with uncle Sam, he would cook up something to say. All I needed was to think of the whole lie I was going to tell Anabelle.
That Saturday evening, uncle Sam asked If I was ready to go back to school and I said yes. We were supposed to leave the next day but I had told him that I wanted to go back to school and catch up with a lot of things. We left the house and got to school in no time but just before I got down from the car, he brought out some 500 naira notes from his wallet. He stretched his hands towards me, gesturing . I didn’t want to collect it but he insisted I collected it, so taking it and putting it inside my school bag, I thanked him and headed for the hostel gate.
As soon I as got in, I signed in and went up to my room. The first person I saw was Anabelle who screamed and ran to hug me. I was so happy to see her even though it wasn’t up to a day since I last saw her. My other mates also ran to hug me, welcoming me and asking a lot of questions. I just gave them one excuse and they didn’t ask further. Anabelle hugged me one more time and asked if I was okay. I told her I was fine and mentioned the same excuse I gave the rest. I really made up my mind not to tell anyone even Anabelle, my very close friend. We talked and later that night, did our assignments together during prep. She even mentioned that senior Daniel had been looking for me. I actually couldn’t wait to see him.
The next day, we all got up as we heard the morning bell to prepare for church as all the declared Christians were to meet up at the school’s chapel by 9:45am. We usually had breakfast early on Sundays so I and Anabelle finished our meal on time and headed for the school’s chapel. When we got there, we decided to sit down while we waited for the service to begin. There were a few students in the chapel as well and I thought I saw senior Daniel but it turned out it wasn’t him. I was looking around to see if I would sight him but he was nowhere to be found so I turned to face Anabelle who had been ranting over and over about random things. When the service was over, I was walking with Anabelle back to the hostel when I heard someone call my name. I looked back and saw that it was the errand boy, the same junior boy senior Daniel sent to me whenever he wanted to pass a message. He told me I was called by senior Daniel who was at his usual spot waiting for me. I looked at Anabelle when he said this and she gave me the gesture that I could leave and so she said to meet her at the hostel. The junior boy went his way while I went to look for senior Daniel. As I got towards the quiet place I usually met with him, I could see him leaning on the tree as usual and just playing with a stick or so.
As he looked up and saw me, he smiled at me warmly but then squeezed his face. I was trying to figure out what he would say this time. I got closer and we hugged before he asked;
“what took you so long?”
“I came immediately now,” I said to him smiling.
“Why can’t I just get mad at you. You’ll be deceiving someone with your charms.” he replied rolling his eyes jokingly.
“I’m sorry now”
“Don’t mind me. I was just pulling your legs.”
“I hope you’re fine, this one that you’re always looking skinny. Ehen! when I asked Anabelle to call you for me when I wanted to speak with you. She told me you weren’t around. Where did you go?”
“Oh! I went home.”
“Home? Why? Was something wrong?….I know, I’m asking too many questions.”
I gave him the same excuse and he believed me. We talked for a while and then he said he had to go. He handed me a nylon that was quite heavy and when I opened it to check what was inside, they were filled with cookies and Lucozade. I asked why he had fetched all of this and he said;
“You that if they should touch, you’ll just break. I know you complained that you were feeling weak the night I spoke to you so I went to get this to give you strength like mine, I got them from the tuck shop so don’t worry,” he said, winking at me.
I just smiled and thanked him before saying our goodbyes as I headed to my hostel.
To be continued