A PIG IN THE MIRE – A short story on youth & choice.
I had waited for everyone who I thought could know me pass before walking in stealthily, my head entering before my legs, like an evil woman sneaking into a shrine to send something terrible to an innocent co-wife. No eyes must see or they would be committing sin.
I tried to convince myself I was right in between my conscience that flogged me. Anyone could see a doctor. This is the 21st century. I thanked God I had turned eighteen. It would have been more embarrassing.
“I need to see Doctor Mike.” It was the same bitter nurse that attended to me the last time. An elderly woman, probably in her late thirties. She made me nervous. My immediate scratching of nothing on my neck was proof.
“For my results,” I responded, looking away from the suspicious cursing and curious eyes, not only of her’s but that of others sitting, waiting.
The last time I came, a much older nurse had expressly let out, though not looking directly at me, that when she was my age, she had no business with hospitals; only the irresponsible girls, according to her, did, and they still remain unmarried.
The nurse opened a file, glanced at me, and back to the file. I wondered what was going through her mind.
“Doctor Mike is not yet here. He’ll come by 12,” she finally said, stylishly lifting her nose. “Should I refer you to another doctor?”
I didn’t want another doctor. I felt more comfortable with Doctor Mike. He knew my health history already and talked to me how I liked – like a grown-up. I checked the time – 10 in the morning. I needed to rush to the market and open Mama’s stall.
“I’ll take another doctor,” I conceded, this time, with my eyes fixed on her’s. Let her swear she got married a virgin.
“Sit. You’ll be called in in a bit.”
Doctor Emeka’s office smelt like soap, local soap. I entered, acting ready for any news while hoping he would ask no intimate questions. I wished it was doctor Mike.
I hated the way the man looked at me, with an unscathed curiosity that he couldn’t even hide under the cloak of professionalism. I sat down anyway, bringing out my phone to distract myself. Looking directly to his face was impossible.
“Mary, you got tested for STD?” He asked, adjusting his watch. Light from the window hit it, creating a beam.
I just gave a nod while gliding up and down my news feed, barely looking at the pictures of people I don’t know on Facebook.
“The results are out,” he continued, “hello, are you listening to me?” he lowered his very rounded glasses to the bridge of his nose.
“Yes, I am.” I put the phone down, wishing he had just went on.
“You do not have syphilis.”
My deep exhale met with the tearing sound of the paper as he flipped to the next page.
“But you have candida and staph.”
That part came out wickedly, like he wanted to spit on my face.
“Don’t worry, we’ll keep you on drugs.” The reassurance was unreassuring. He called for a nurse to take me to the dispensary.
On my way, the “don’t worry” sounded like “you should be really worried”. This was why I preferred Doctor Mike. At the same time, I felt I needed to leave to set my tears of gratitude free.
It was my third luck. I had been too careless. I had specifically begged Jide to cum inside me. He had said I’ll love it, and what I’d read from the romance said nothing less. I expected pregnancy.
An infection was still something, but I wasn’t pregnant. The society is evolving. They say no girl graduates from secondary school a virgin, so I had learnt to sweep my sexual escapades under the carpet of normalcy and societal advancement.
All I need do is come take the shots and everything will be fine, and probably, be more careful.
“Your treatment will cost fifteen thousand naira.” The speaker brought out his hand from the only opening on the wall to that room. What I had was not enough.
“Must I pay now since I still have to come back tomorrow for my shot? I don’t have money on me.”
“You have to make a deposit, ma.” He responded.
“I’ll be back.” I said, scurrying out of the hospital.
A lot of questions were on my mind as I ran to get my hostel fee, but I already knew the answer to one – “Will I do it again? – Yes.”
I couldn’t date without sex. The boys wouldn’t even allow it. That’s what it has come to. Generally, that’s what we have made it. Do you judge me? Judge yourself first.
Photo credit @ndizzot.
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