Entry 31 by Natalie Johnson

Sometimes there’s a slight headache, that doesn’t bother me much, when you do what I do everyday you get used to it. Let me tell you what happened yesterday, I went to fetch water, and I slipped somehow, and almost fell into the well, they said I was trying to kill myself. Fools. They just wait for me to do something, anything to make them call me mad. I think I might be pregnant, or maybe its something I ate. But But even if its something I ate would I be dizzy and tired for over a week?
Rosco always comes back late at night and everyday I have to look forward to the night and its just torturing and other times waiting is the foreplay. Do I tell him I’m sick? No. He wouldn’t believe me anyway. Nobody believes me. If he suspects that I’m a little pregnant he’ll run. Staying in this place is like watching a movie at that place with big tvs where people go. Everything is happening and I’m sitting watching from a distance. Until when Rosco comes at night then I’m part of the action.
One other thing makes me happy though, music. I hear them in passing cars or shops and houses when I walk because I’m tired of sitting. There’s this one, knack me akpako knack me akpako. They play it everywhere. Makes every other thing not matter. Rosco plays it when he washes his bus and sometimes I stay inside and dance. Nobody can see me even if they did, they think am mad anyway.
I think of how my uncle died sometimes and I know anything can change anytime. One day you living It up in the suburbs of Lagos and the next you in a room without windows smoking hemp with complete strangers. I don’t cry about it anymore, it doesn’t hurt anymore. Nothing does. Waking up safe everyday is enough, what else can I ask for? I think of the headache and stomach troubles and my heart skips a beat. I cannot be pregnant. I cannot bring a child into this. I’m still figuring this out. I cannot support a child like this. I think I know what to do. The lady down the street with the clinic. She helped Mama Joke’s daughter, She died days later though. I hear these things when they discuss on the street. Its worth the try. Nothing is worse than bringing a child into this world.
They will call him names, they call me Mad woman. They would call him something even worse. Bastard. That is if he doesn’t die of starvation. What will he wear? He’ll just grow to hate me. I might be mad but I know better than to have the child. That is if I’m even pregnant. I worry too much. Uncle used to say that a lot and I’ll just smile. I’m not pregnant its probably something else. Everything works out eventually. Doesnt it? It always does.

 

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