The Life Within Me

To those of you who said, I shouldn’t abort the unborn child within me,

You might be the mother who had the grit and compassion in her to bring forth another child into the world, even when you were raising my brothers and sisters through an unhappy marriage. You had the determination to sacrifice; you made us your purpose for living, even when my father had given you nothing but scars and abuse, and us.

You might be that mother who gave birth to me and never thought for once, that I would probably grow up to call you a whore. You gave birth to me anyway; a result of one of your many encounters with men who left you a bundle of banknotes for the one night of happiness you offered them.

You might be the mother who [run] away from home on a wistful evening, away from your parents, and the bickering of everyday life. You must have had a starry-eyed dream to travel the world alone before you met the dark haired man, and got knocked up in a motel room.

I am not that woman who has the grit or the starry-eyed optimism towards life.

To those of you who said, I have no right to take away a life that didn’t belong to me.

You might be a man, who proposed to the girl whom you had been sleeping with. Your heart expanded with joy when she said she was pregnant with your child; a joy you had never felt before. The life growing within her was as much yours as it was hers.

You might be the man who told the woman carrying your child that you’d take care of her child financially, but cannot marry her. Probably you loved the woman but had another at home. The woman you loved told herself that she’d be strong and raise your child so long as you’d be around to look after them.

You might be the man who’d return home drunk and come down crashing on your wife, releasing your frustration into her loins. But you were also the father who sought affection in the eyes of your beloved children. A father who would be hurt if they’d despised your wholesome being.

I am not the woman who would be happy to be tied to you by flesh or bond, for the rest of my life.

I am a little selfish.

I am a little afraid.

To those of you who said, it’s a sin to kill another breathing form within me.

I am the starry-eyed girl who wants to paint her life, a different hue from everyone else’s. I am the girl whose heart raced at an uneven pace when the handsome face smiled at her. I lusted for the carnal heat that could fill the space between my legs; and we got undressed in a musty old room.

I am the woman who never knew what love is, but knew how to excite a man. I gave the man who claimed to love me for the night, the consent to touch me where he pleased. I am also the girl, who wasn’t asked for consent before her clothes were ripped apart from her skin, before the groins broke apart her virgin skin.

I am the woman who locks the door once everyone leaves and walks naked into the shower. I look down the length of my form in the mirror, the sores and scars; before I shriek out into a wail. I am the woman who lathers herself with expensive creams and lotions before greeting everyone, my scars and pain well hidden from the envious eyes of the world.

It’s my sin to carry, but it is my life to live. Not yours.

So maybe it is true that I don’t have the determination to live my life the way it comes. It is true that I am tired of the drudgery and pain of a failed marriage. It is true that my children bring me happiness, but they are also a reminder of my inability to fend for myself. If I flushed the child who had been only a few weeks old, down the latrine, then I don’t regret it.

It was difficult for me, but you wouldn’t know.

I have decided to start afresh. It would be difficult to manage the steeping bills once I walk out from the marriage with my children; but I have the right to be happy, yet, you wouldn’t know.

While it is true that I whore myself to earn my daily bread and you’d call me a slut during daylight, I won’t tell you how I stifle a laugh when you groan in the darkness of my room. I see you better than you see yourself in broad daylight.

So if you are going to call me a sinner  for having murdered that child, a result of the seeds that were forced through my vulva, know that I am purer than the holiest of your thoughts.

That night when I slept besides the stranger I had met only a few hours ago, I felt a satisfaction I hadn’t felt in the longest time. It felt like I had touched the pinnacle of all my dreams and set my foot back on earth. I wasn’t thinking of the dark haired man; I was entirely engrossed in me.

It took me by surprise when one month later I learnt that he his sperms had received a warm reception and I was on my way to make his baby.

I hoped  to shape my life the way I had wanted, to give it a pair of wings;  and caring for a baby wasn’t on the list.

I don’t give you the right to preside over my choices.

To those of you who say, abortion should be banned.

My life is different from yours.

I am feisty.

I am a coward.

I am practical.

And I am human. Just, as you are.

I have no care for the world, and what you think. I know that when I abort the embryo growing within me, I am taking away a life that could have been. But I am young and I have so much more to look forward to. Between an unborn life and mine, I would prioritize mine, because probably I will never be ready to take up the responsibility of another life. I could take care of mine though.

I have society to fear, its grueling questions. While you might be the person telling me that it is a sin to kill the embryo growing within me, I also know you are among the people who would question my character and my chastity. I know, I shouldn’t fear the world created by the generations before me, but everyone existing in its aftermath hasn’t made it easier for me.

Maybe you can’t be supportive of my decisions, maybe you’ll be in constant disagreement; nor would I ask you not to be.  But please, respect my being, accept my choices and do not decide them for me.

I write for a profession; at other times I fiddle with concepts and concretize them through art; paintings or poems.