Queen literally stumbled into the Jamb tutorial class, she
felt woozy and light headed, she was sure she was coming down with malaria.  Registering into a Jamb tutorial school hadn’t
been a problem, her brothers had made sure that they made inquiries of the best
jamb tutorial schools in town and in December of 2012, she had been enrolled.
2013 started with a quiet mood for Queen, she moped around
the house and secluded herself from the outside world. Despite the probing from
her family members to go on Christmas shopping and having fun in general, she
solemnly declined. No one knew how much she hurt or what caused her sudden
seclusion. She couldn’t believe that all the love she had for Tunde could
transform to hate all of a sudden. Since her birthday, he hadn’t called or even
texted her. After her ordeal with Tunde, she was shattered, pouring all her
energy into studying and camouflaging her pain with the pretext of taking her
studies seriously, Queen tried to push the past behind. Her parents were proud
of her commitment to her studies for the forth coming Jamb examinations and
they sang her praises aloud to anyone who cared to listen.
The tutorial class was rowdy, students who had passed
through different secondary schools graced the large room, some were talking at
the top of their voices and others were hugging and exchanging pleasantries
with old friends. Unlike her usual bubbly self, Queen retreated into her shell
and could be termed a loner by anyone who was meeting her for the first time. She
always sat at the back of the class and shied away from conversations.
Queen had hardly taken her seat when the English tutorial
teacher walked in, in his hands was a very large book and on his face was a
frown. Queen hardly noticed the noise produced by the soon to be Jambites, she yawned
and placed her head on the table before her and using her arms as a pillow, she
fell asleep.
She felt a slight nudge and she sat up with a start, clearly
amazed at the stares everyone gave her including the tutorial teacher who was
standing right infront of her. Queen stared in confusion; ‘what could the
matter be?’ she asked herself not really comprehending what the issue is.
“Are you ready to learn young lady?” The teacher asked.
“Yes… I mean… of course sir.” Queen answered looking
perplexed.
“What is your name?”
“Queen.”
“Hmmm… didn’t you sleep last night?” The teacher asked.
Some students laughed, others coughed.
“I did sir.”
“Do you understand that if you fail your Jamb exams, you
cannot gain admission into the university this year?”
“I do sir.”
“What was your score in the qualifying exams?”
“I… don’t know sir, I mean… I… never checked the score
board.”
“What an unserious student!” The teacher exclaimed. “Can someone
go out to the notice board and check her score?”
One short chubby girl rose up her hand and the teacher
beckoned to her. Queen gave the girl her full name and the girl dashed off to
the score board. Minutes later the girl returned breathless.
“What was her score?” The teacher probed.
“Four hundred and eighty four points sir.” The girl replied.
The class gasped as they stared at Queen in awe.
“Are you sure of that?”
“Yes sir…” Answered the girl.
The teacher dragged in a deep breath and after a while he beckoned
to Queen and she rose from her seat. Without further ado, he switched her
seating position, placing her at the front seat.
The class progressed and Queen struggled to keep her eyes
open but it was quite impossible, it fluttered close at every excuse.
Immediately after the class, she checked her ‘Time-Table’, the next subject was
mathematics, Queen couldn’t deceive herself anymore, she had to go home. She rose
from the chair and made to leave the class, when she heard her name. She turned
and saw a girl rushing up towards her.
“Hello Queen.” The girl said breathless struggling hard to
carry a very heavy bag.
“Hello.” Queen answered, trying to place the face.
“My name is Ego.” The girl said with a deep Igbo accent.
Queen nodded, slightly puzzled and confused.
“I am the girl who went to check your result. Are you going
home?” Ego asked, desperate to make friends.
“Yes I am.”
“Can we go home together?”
“I might not be going your way.”
“It doesn’t matter, we can walk together and part ways at
our different junctions. You see, I am really impressed with your score.”
“What score?” Queen asked, taken aback.
“Your qualifying score, I mean, the first test we all took.
The one the English language tutorial teacher asked me to check, you scored the
highest, four hundred and eighty four points, wow!”
“Oh… that, it’s no big deal.” Queen said nonchalantly
“Does that mean, you are used to such high marks?”
“Not really, except when I study hard.”
“Did you study hard for the test?”
“Maybe… I never knew that they give qualifying tests two
days after registration.”
“Me too… do you think…they would cut down on some students?
I mean those that scored very low marks.”
“What was your score?”
“Seventy two points.” Ego replied
Queen was shocked at the poor score but shrugged and walked
out of the noisy class while Ego followed suit, they both left the Jamb tutorial
centre together.
“I was wondering if, we could be friends.”
“Why would I want to be your friend?”
“I don’t know…maybe it’s because I like you.” Ego replied
rather innocently.
“What way are you taking, left or right?” Queen asked
deviating from their subject of discussion.
“Left.”
“Too bad, I’m taking the other way.”
“Don’t be in a hurry, my house is not far from here. Why
don’t you wait for me, so that I’ll drop my bag then I’ll walk you home.”
“If I were you, I wouldn’t worry, my house is far besides I
don’t trek, I use a bike.”
“I thought bikes have been banned in Lagos.”
“Not in all areas.” Answered Queen off handedly already
tired over her conversation with an obvious wannabe.
Ego shrugged and didn’t say anything. Queen was ready to
halt the bike which she sighted from afar when her phone buzzed. It was a text
message from her mother.
‘Queen
dear, I am on my way to an important meeting and I don’t know when I’ll be
back. I am hoping your tutorials will end early today and you’ll be home sooner
than expected. There are vegetables in the fridge alongside carrots and
cucumbers, if you get home on time, do chop them for me and keep them ready for
the salad. Remember your dad’s club members are having dinner at the house
today. I would have done the chopping myself but an urgent meeting came up, I
would have asked the house help to do the chopping but, I don’t trust that she’ll
wash her hands clean or wash the veggies well enough to rid it of germs.
However, if you are still stuck in tutorial class and you won’t be home on
time, send me a text so that I could make other arrangements
.’
Queen quickly typed ‘Still
stuck in tutorial classes’
in reply to her mother’s text message and sent
the message hastily. She still held on to her ‘title’ as the laziest girl alive
and if her mother’s intention was to have her back home on time for salad
making purposes, she wasn’t game. Ego still stood by her side, not really sure
of what to do next.
“How old are you?” Queen asked.
“Seventeen, how old are you?”
“Eighteen. Do you know what? I’d love to go to your house, perhaps
I could stay there a while and maybe nap for a couple of minutes.” Queen said
suddenly to Ego’s surprise and delight.
Ego smiled happily, her white teeth twinkling in the
sunlight.
“Yes… let’s go.” Ego replied.
*********************************
Queen wasn’t napping as she thought she would, she was busy
flipping through photo albums and admiring the flat Ego shared with her elder
sister. Ego sat beside her, pointing at people in the pictures and explaining
to Queen, their relationship with her.
Ego, had left the village to stay with her eldest sister
after her secondary school education, she had been in Lagos for five months and
had no friend. Having Queen in her home was to her, a rare privilege and she
was happy to have found a new friend especially one who speaks so well.  From the first day they enrolled in the jamb
tutorial lesson at the beginning of the New Year, Ego had spotted Queen.
Queen’s personality had drawn her like moth to flame and she desperately wanted
to be friends. Ego who was a little over five feet two inches was no match for
Queen’s five feet nine inches height, her chubby body could not be compared to
Queen’s slender build but nevertheless, Queen was for her, a perfect match. Finding
out that Queen had the highest score in the qualifying test cemented her
resolve to make friends with Queen.
Ego was quite a loner herself, her igbotic accent made her
stand out as students made mimicry at the way she speaks (especially when she
intended answering questions in the class), Queen never laughed, she always
seemed preoccupied in her own world. Speaking English was quite easy for Ego
especially since she went to a federal government school in the east where
English speaking was mandatory but getting the pronunciations right was a huge
problem.
They were still flipping through the photo album when the
door opened and a young lady in her early thirties walked into the house. She
was wearing a nurse’s uniform and holding a rather heavy bag, Ego stood up from
her sitting position and was off to help the lady with her bag, greeting and
speaking heavily and fluently in the Igbo language Queen did not understand.
The young lady walked towards Queen in smiles and Queen hastily dropped the
album and greeted the lady.
“How are you?” The lady asked.
“I am very well thank you.” Queen answered.
“My name is Gee, I am Ego’s elder sister.”
“It’s my pleasure….my name is Queen.”
“Welcome to my home, please make yourself comfortable. Has
Ego offered you anything to eat?”
“I am not hungry.” Queen smiled.
Gee frowned and stared at her sister.
“Ego, so you haven’t learnt manners. How long will you live
with me to know that you are expected to serve your guest as soon as he or she
enters your house?” Gee chided.
“I’m sorry sister, I asked her if she wanted anything but
she refused, she actually came to sleep for a while but we started chatting and
sleep was forgotten.”
“Sleep? At this time of the day?” Asked Gee almost laughing.
“I wasn’t feeling too well, besides the lecture was boring.”
Queen said.
“You look pale. Are you sure you aren’t coming down with
something? How long have you been experiencing such?” Gee asked.
“For about a week.”
“A week? Hmm… that’s long. How come you haven’t seen a
doctor yet?”
“I felt it would pass, maybe I am just feeling sad or….”
“Sad? What could make a young girl of your age sad?” Gee
asked.
Queen smiled, realizing that she had said too much to
stranger she barely knew.
“Let me change my clothes, it’s been a long day. I like you
Queen, I know that you and Ego would be good friends.” Gee said as she left the
sitting room.
As soon as they were alone, Ego gave Queen a quick hug.
“I knew we would be friends.” Ego said in glee.
Queen suddenly felt woozy and tried hard to hold her balance
but it failed as she fell on to the sofa.
“Queen, are you alright?” Ego asked worriedly.
Queen quickly blinked, Ego’s face had multiplied into three
places. Ego hurriedly ran to call her sister who followed suit, soon enough
they had Queen supported on to the arm chair.
“Is she going to be fine?” Asked Ego.
“Get me water.” Gee ordered. Ego ran to do her bidding.
Minutes later, Queen felt better, she tried sitting up but
Gee held her down urging her to get some rest.
“I am fine, thank you sister Gee.” Queen said, trying to
smile.
Gee looked at Queen worriedly.
“Queen, when was the last time you had your monthly flow?”
Gee asked.
“Emm…it was…last month…I think…last two months, I have lost
count.” Queen replied with eyes wide.
“I have to run a quick test on you.”
“Test? What kind of test?”
“When was the last time you had sex?”
“Sex? I don’t understand you.”
“Sexual intercourse, mating, coupling, how else do you want
me to break it down for you?” Gee probed.
“I have never had sex before.” Queen replied trying to evade Gee’s gaze.
“Are you sure?”
Queen didn’t reply, she frowned and shook her head
vehemently.
“Queen…this test is for your own good.”
“What kind of test is it?”
“It’s a simple test.”
“What is a simple test? I am confused.”
“Okay…it’s a pregnancy test… you look so pale and my mind is telling me that you could be pregnant.”
“Pregnant? I have only felt a little tired these days and…” Queen stammered.
“You were sleeping in the classroom.” Ego said.
 “Today’s my first day of sleeping in class… I didn’t
sleep well during the night and I had beans for breakfast.”
“All the same, just take the test.”
“Why can’t you do a malaria test or a fever test, why should
it be a pregnancy test…I have never been pregnant before, I’m still a virgin.” Queen
cried.
“I do not know you Queen, this is the first time I am
setting my eyes on you. Please don’t feel that I am trying to impose the fact that I am a
nurse on you. Young girls like you are prone to make mistakes, perhaps I am
wrong, you might just be tired. But trust my instincts as a nurse and take the
test.”
“No!” Queen almost shouted.
Gee exhaled deeply and beckoned to Ego to bring her bag. Ego
ran off to do her bidding and was back quicker than expected with the bag in
her hand. Gee brought out a pregnancy test knit and gave it to Queen.
“Do you want to know or do you prefer to remain ignorant?”
Gee asked.
“What is wrong with you? Were you sent by someone to spy on
me? I told you I have never had sex in my entire life, or are you deaf?” Queen barked rudely.
“If you are sure, I won’t push you any further.” Said Gee.
“Thank you. I’d like to go home now.” Queen said quietly,
drying her tears with the back of her palms as she returned the pregnancy test knit
to Gee.
Gee nodded and accepted the pregnancy test knit. Queen rose
from the chair, slung her bag and made to leave when suddenly she felt the
urge to use the toilet, dropping her bag on the chair, she asked Ego the
direction to their toilet and Ego eagerly led her there.
*****************************
Queen had arrived home an hour ago, luckily for her, her
mother was already home and in the kitchen busy preparing the dish for her
father’s club members. Queen had peeped into the kitchen and greeted her mother
before hastily walking down the passage way to her room. Her breath was caught
in her throat as she mentally reassured herself that she wasn’t pregnant. How
could she be? She asked herself, pregnancy was for women of child bearing age
and not for her, a teenage girl who was ready to take the university by storm.
She had spent the past few months studying hard and assuring herself that the
year 2013 will not find her slacking in the University department.  Tunde was a past issue, ‘dead and buried’
after the prank he pulled on her on her birthday, she had never seen him again
and to her surprise and greatest chagrin, he never called her. She moved on,
hoping that he would someday pay for his wrong and chiding herself over been a
desperate fool too.
Gee had struck a nerve, and she was scared silly, she could
not have admitted there and then before two people she was meeting for the
first time in her entire life that she had had sex. She recalled everything
that happened between herself and Tunde although it looked more like a dream
than an actual reality, he had indeed had sex with her and she had been
helpless to stop him. Deep down she knew that Tunde didn’t need to get her drunk to take her to bed, with the right words, she would have been won over. 
That day she had come home, confused and bitter, she wished
she had someone to confide in but she didn’t dare tell anyone. She still
remained the youngest child of her parents and a baby in everyone’s eyes, if
she ever mentioned her ordeal with Tunde, she could be sure that before the end
of that day, Tunde would have been pronounced dead.
She slightly placed her shaky palm on her abdomen, ‘could
someone be in there?’ she asked herself. It was too scary to think that she
could be carrying a child in her womb, with fear and trembling in her every
breath, she ran to her reading table, opened her laptop, turned it on and typed
on the Google search bar “ eighteen and pregnant, is it possible?” The question
sounded very stupid in her ears while Google searched for results.
As soon as the answers popped up on her screen, she could
only grimace. Clicking on her mouse, she opened the first answers bar she saw
and was speechless.
There were lots of eighteen year olds, pregnant and confused
on the internet, some were even as young as fourteen. As she searched further,
she found out that the youngest mother in the world is eleven years old and
some other websites boasted of younger mothers. She
finally got the answer to the question she should have never asked in the first
place; it’s ridiculous to search the internet for very obvious answers.
 Queen stood up from
her reading table and sighed in frustration, pulling her hand bag from the
table carelessly, she felt it fall and spill the contents from her bag on to the
ground.  She gasped in shock at what she
saw; tossed from her bag and unto the floor alongside some books and pens was
the pregnancy test knit, obviously, sister Gee had placed it inside her bag
when she went to the toilet. Queen felt her world crumble, she quietly fell to
her kneels and picked up the knit with shaky hands.
 Minutes later she was
in the toilet.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Its been a while since the 1st season. I am so happy and humbled to know that my page views has risen so fast. God bless you guys. I am plus one today, that's why i decided to bring in season two on my special day. I hope you enjoy it.
    Happy new year dears, may this year bring blessings, joys and shouts of laughter to you and your loved ones.
    Welcome to 2013!

  2. you write very well, and what a sad story but so many sad situations and often when I deliver those babies to their young naive mothers it is very difficult for me to say congratulations. Most of the time I pray for the babies that they are able to have some kind of future. Happy new yr and happy bday

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