Sleep was elusive, I was in the midst of my final exams and no matter how hard I tried, I could not find a position to rest in. Despite the new mattress, my brother Bhekani had brought me I just couldn’t sleep.
And to think using protection could have avoided all this.
I had never imagined that things would pan out like this. My family had been so supportive, so much so their support felt like an invisible cross I was meant to carry. I had disappointed them, I know but most of all I had disappointed myself.
I always thought of myself as intelligent, three long years in university and I had kept myself. guys lined up asking me out and I kept my focus until Achi. He had effortlessly swept me off my feet and dropped me quickly into the motherly way.
I had avoided going home for most of my pregnancy. In a bid to help my parents save face, my mom’s church group would look down their righteous noses at me, worse at her because a parent is never absolved of their child’s sins.
Staying on campus was also not easy. I had become a master of disguise, wearing baggy shirts and leggings but now it was quite difficult hiding the limp and the fact that i was out of breath all the time. I had to stomach some nasty comments from other students and stigma from my friends. I seldom went to church even, things just seemed a bit too much now that I was showing.
I was internalising everything, just so I could get through my exams. I was trying not to think about how it will be when I go home. My dad will want to know his name, I kind of just told them I was pregnant and the father was not taking resposibility.
Every night I looked back on my failed relationship and how I got here. I was waylaid by the fact that Achi did not tell me he had enlisted to join the Voluntary National Service. We met in my first year, I was a naive fresher and he was the mature third year in the School of Engineering and I was first-year Natural Sciences making points for the School of Medicine. He was already studying Civil Engineering.
We met at the gulf, I was walking out to answer my phone and I bumped right into him. It was an easy friendship. He helped me with schoolwork mostly and was the first to tell me I won't make it into Med school after our first exams.
Achi was like that, straightforward no sugarcoating things. Together we figured out that I could still do Biological Science and take a longer route to achieve my dream. He told me not to give up.
We had been friends for a year before he finally asked me to be his girlfriend, it was his last year so we had been discussing a lot about after-graduation plans.
I put my hand on my belly and turned to my side. Wondering what I had missed.
Hot tears seeped onto my pillow. Memories flashed in my mind as if they belonged to someone else. On his birthday we went to Siavonga with his friends and mine. We had planned it for a long time, it coincidentally was his birthday and Henry his best friend wanted to propose to his girlfriend on that trip. We were all so excited.
It was the first time Achi and I were going to be alone, I was a virgin and I was so excited to be with him. I was so in love with him. It was the most amazing night of my life. I hugged my belly because that night I reaped a reward.
In the morning we had all gone onto the Boat for a cruise when Henry accidentally let it slip that he would miss Achi. They were best friends and I could still see the look on his face when he realised that I did not know. Everyone seemed to know, but me. I had to smile through it, all the while Achi just kept looking at me. I held myself together in front of our friends.
From that moment everything was blurry for me, I think I blocked out most of that day, I just remember that when we got to the mainland I packed my things and called Bhekani. I got on a bus back to Lusaka. My brother picked me up from City Market and took me home. Achi and I never spoke after that, I found his missed calls and messages.
I heard from Henry he left for training the next day. I never got to see him. I was a mess for the weeks that followed, and my family were worried. I explained to my mom what had happened and she told me with time it would get better. I stayed home for a week and only went back to school when I was no longer crying.
Henry had come to see me several times, and several times I told him I didn’t want to hear what he had to say. He stopped coming to my room after some time.
I turned to my side again.
“Lindi,” Beca groaned.
“I can't find a comfortable position babe,” I complained.
“Do you need me to come and rub your back again?” she asked peeping from the entrance to my side of the room. A wardrobe separated our sides of the rooms, the only room was a small space where she liked to peep in.
She walked across the room and scooted into bed next to me, rubbing small circles on my back.
I must have fallen asleep then because the next thing that woke me was my alarm. I turned it off, and Beca was asleep beside me. She had her hands around my belly. I was too comfortable to move, so I just opened my revision module and read from my phone.
Beca and I despite the fact that we were doing the same course, we had never been this close. We became friends the day we were assigned the same room. That and my brother Temba was smitten with her. Temba and I were twins but he was studying Accounting at Copperbelt University.
Beca stretched awake beside me and smiled.
"You slept some?" she asked.
I nodded with a smile. She got up and went to her side of the room.
"I owe you," I said getting out of bed too.
"Trust me am never getting pregnant," she vowed. "But there are other ways you can make it up."
I switched on the kettle and prepared for my bath. Beca and I were talking about the exam when my phone vibrated with a good luck message from my dad. He had been sending them every day. I knew mom would be calling later to find out how the exam will go. It is my last exam, I was so psyched that finally I could rest.