Missing In Transit! (Fiction)


                                         Photo: essence.com
 

My best friend Idera turned 40 on Saturday, but the day passed by like any other day. All that she had planned for her 40th birthday five years ago was different from the reality on ground today. To mark her special 40th birthday, she had planned for an exquisite holiday with her husband and their three children. She planned to ‘spoil herself’ real well; after all, she runs a successful business with her husband.

But two years down the line, Idera’s big dream for a special 40th birthday took a twist. Early one morning she woke me up with her repeated phone calls and demanded to see me urgently. “Hope everybody is fine?” I asked. “We are alive, but all is not well with me. Just come over,” she replied hurriedly and ended the call.

I couldn’t place a tab on what the problem could be. I have not known Idera and her husband to be at each other’s throats, so a quarrel was out of the guess. I managed to bundle myself out of bed and arrived in her house as soon as I could. It was weekend and the family was still in bed, though her oldest child Ifreke opened the door for me. I barely responded to his greetings as I rushed to Idera’s bedroom.  


She was still wrapped up under her duvet when I walked in. “What’s the matter with you?” I asked. “Just see for yourself,” she said, pointing to her stomach. My eyes widened with surprise as I looked at her bulging stomach. “ So you’ve been hiding your pregnancy all these while?” I managed to ask. “I am as surprised as you are,” she cuts in. “The doctor just confirmed to me yesterday that the pregnancy is already four months, but I have been having my monthly menstrual flow even though it had been light and shorter. In the last four months I have not felt a single symptom of pregnancy unlike the others”

Idera and her husband wanted just two children, but when the third one came shortly after the second child, they took it in good faith. As a Catholic faithful, Idera didn’t want to adopt any artificial family-planning method. She went back to her charting-board to ensure she got it right after the baby was delivered. Here she is 11 years after with another unplanned pregnancy. She was physically and emotionally down because she taught she was done with having children. Her long-term plan for a fabulous 40th birthday developed a crack because by the time she would be 40 the baby would just be two years old.

She tried to encourage herself, but stayed indoors as much as she could for the period of her pregnancy.  She continued to feel like a grandma to her new baby as her teenage children laughed over everything she did as a new mom. With time, she got used to her new family size.

Three days ago Idera clocked 40, but celebration was the last thing on her mind. This morning we were together at her doctor’s and waiting at the reception area. Her ‘monthly period’ was still missing five days after she expected it, so nothing sounds funny around her. “It may not be as you fear,” I tried to encourage her. “Let the doctor prove that please,” she said faintly. “So what are you here to see the doctor for?” I asked. “Let’s get to that bridge before we determine how to cross it,” she replied.

As we waited, Idera became very uncomfortable from a feeling to puke and she asked that I helped her to the ladies.  As she stood up, I noticed that the ‘special visitor’ she had been expecting had arrived!