That night, as usual, Rosco steathily came into my crib. He was too eager to start the thing, in order to leave as quickly as he came. But I was having none of it. I wasn’t feeling fine. He wasn’t perturbed. The least he could have done was ask what the problem was. That was when it dawned on me that he didn’t place importance on my well-being as much as I did him. I was just a plaything.
After half an hour, it dawned on him that I wouldn’t budge. He now saw that I really wasn’t myself. With a frown on his face, he muttered that he was going to get medication for me. Seeing his facial expression, I wanted to say ”abeg no vex join this worwor face,” just like his colleagues mock him whenever he gets into a bad mood. I knew better not to dare it. I needed what he was going to buy.
The next day, Rosco resumed his characteristic morning rituals without giving a hoot about my present condition. Yes, he bought my medications. But a casual ”how body?” won’t hurt. Maybe he was still pissed that he didn’t do that thing with me last night. Obviously, his friends’ opinion mattered more than my health. I watched as he drove out in his jalopy.
Mama Ibeji owns the ‘Chemist’ in my area. You needed to see the surge in customers during the recent Doctors strike. Many things have happened there. I can’t say it. I had gone to explain my condition to Ibeji. He’s considerate. He offered to take my blood and urine in order to run some tests in a nearby Lab. He said it was the debt he owed me for helping clear their goods when last month’s flood came calling. I had already forgotten that favour. Besides, his mum gave me a jollof rice-filled nylon bag, to thank me for my efforts. The test results came out pretty quick.
I stood in what I have learnt to call a home thinking. A million and one thoughts ran through my mind. Which shape was my life going to take? How was I going to take care of another being while I was still struggling to give myself a good care? In which manner will I break this life-changing news to the Father of my child? Will this drive Rosco and his thing away? I cried. I hadn’t cried in donkey years.
Rosco came earlier than expected. Maybe he was worried that I didn’t come out to dance my characteristic Azonto for the crowd in the evening; perhaps he had a premonition of my condition.
I didn’t waste much time in giving him the news. He was expressionless, initially. Then he started shedding tears. Tears of joy. All his life, he had been labelled a nonentity. He kissed me for the first time ever and proudly announced : ”this is my greatest achievement. Now I have something to live for.”