“Alright class! It’s break time. Be sure to be back by the time the bell rings.” Evonne announced.
The kids quickly scattered around the classroom to fetch a few things before rushing to the door. “In a single file. I don’t want anyone crowding at the door.” She instructed in a tone firm enough to make the kids comply.
After the last kid left the classroom, she let out an exhausted sigh and closed the door. “Finally! Some peace.” She threw herself in her chair. “As much as I love teaching the kids, they sure take a lot of energy outta me, I’ll give you that.”
“You and me both.” I concurred, taking a seat as well. “But a pay check is a pay check.”
“Yeah, yeah.” She answered, waving her hand dismissively. “Thank God for motherhood. If there’s anything I learned from being a mother for sixteen years is patience and resilience. Looking at these kids kinda reminds me of my daughter when she was they’re age.”
I subconsciously rubbed my belly, though the bump wasn’t showing yet. “What was it like?” I asked, making her look at me with an arched eyebrow. “Being a mother I mean. Is it scary?”
Evonne leaned back in her seat, pursing her lips in deep thought. “To be honest with you, it will be scary if you make it be that way.” She answered. “But it’s not easy either. Raising a child takes a lot of patience ’cause kids are a handful and they will get worse as they grow older – trust me.”
I swallowed, feeling a twinge of apprehension at the pit of my stomach.
Beverley, you’re a university student. What makes you think you can balance school and being a parent, Gran’s words echoed in my head causing me to frown deeply.
There was no denying that there was some truth in Gran’s words especially the little insight I got from Evonne. If what she said was true, then what were the odds of having what it took to be a parent even with Matthew’s support?
It was one thing to be able to handle working under pressure when it came to my academics, but parenting was another thing entirely.
You won’t know unless you try, my conscience reasoned. Though i had a choice to give up or abort the baby, I couldn’t find it in myself to do it. It just didn’t feel right. As much as I wanted my life to go back to how it was before the pregnancy, I had a feeling that I was going to regret it in the long run.
“Are you planning on being a parent or something?” She asked, startling me out.
“Not really...it just kinda happened.” I answered.
There was a brief pause. “I was joking.” She replied.
“I wish the fact that I have a baby growing inside me was a joke. But here we are.” I replied with a lacklustre shrug.
After another pause, Evonne exhaled a sigh and rubbed her forehead. “I can’t decide if I should or shouldn’t be surprised that this happened especially after I asked if you wore protection that one time I asked.”
“I wasn’t at that time but I did end up sleeping with the guy a few times after that.”
“How far are you in your pregnancy?”
“About seven weeks.”
“Does he know?”
“Yes, I told my family about it before telling him. My grandmother was disappointed but not upset. My dad, however, is a different story and I don’t want to get into it.”
Evonne pressed her lips and nodded. “So what’s the plan?”
“The father offered to let me move in with him. Things aren’t exactly all that dandy back home so I’m considering taking up the offer.”
“Did you discuss it with your family?”
I paused briefly. “I wasn’t planning to.”
“So you’re moving in with your baby daddy and you’re not going to tell your family about it or letting them know?”
“It’s my decision. They don’t get to have a say in it I certainly do owe them anything.”
“Yes you do owe them the knowledge and explanation to why you’re doing this in the first place. They’re not going to be pleased with you making a decision without consulting them.”
“They won’t be pleased either way. They weren’t pleased when I told them about the baby. What makes you think they’ll be pleased with me wanting to move out?”
“They’re allowed to express their concerns. They care, Beverley. They really do.”
“If that’s the case then my dad shouldn’t have looked at me like I was a whore just ’cause I’m pregnant.” My voice shook a little. “You have no idea how much that look he gave me haunts and torments me just thinking about it.”
Evonne paused briefly before leaning forward and looked at me straight in the eye. “Beverley.” She started. “You’re planning on leaving everything you have and known all your life just to be with a guy you’re infatuated with.”
“It’s not like that!” I retorted with a flashed face. “He offered.”
“You’re stupid and unbearably naïve if you’re thinking you’re infatuation towards this guy isn’t playing a part in influencing your decision. And must I remind you that you were brooding over him months ago.” She countered. “If anything you are thinking with your heart, not your brain.”
I opened my mouth to retort but soon closed it and said nothing.
“Look, I’m not going to tell you what to do or how you should handle this issue since it’s not my place,” she said. “but I will warn you that with every choice you make comes with consequences and there is no coming back. This decision you’re risking to take will put a strain on your relationship with your family, not forget that it’s selfish. Are you sure you want this?”
I looked down at my hands that rested on my lap contemplatively.
My relationship with Dad was already strained. I doubt if he’ll ever forgive or accept what happened and I didn’t expect him to. Gran was already disappointed in me. Even if I did tell them that I was moving out, the outcome would have still been the same if not worse. But either way, I had to move on, even if it meant cutting ties with them.
I had nothing else to lose since I already lost them.
“I’m sure.” I replied.
“Are you willing to face the consequences of the choice you’ve made?
“I have to. I think it’s best for me and this kid. If my family don’t like it then so be it.”
Evonne looked at me, searching for any uncertainty and hesitation. When she saw none, she exhaled a sigh.
“Alright. I hope you don’t regret it.”
I closed the zipper of my duffle bag. I had to rush home an hour before school was over so I could get started on packing and leave before Gran and Dad got home.
After clearing my room, I sat down on my bed and looked around the room for the last time until my eyes landed on a photograph of Dad, Gran, and I on my first day of first grade.
I picked up the frame containing the picture and examined it closely.
Gran was happy and excited for me back then.
Dad was trying to fight back the worry and fear he had through his tight smile.
I was a little nervous and withdrawn.
I wasn’t much of a fan of change – even now as an adult. When you’re so used to doing the same routine it becomes difficult to break away from it and be open to try new things but you’re forced to do so whether you liked it or not but eventually with time you adapt and get used to the change – just like how I was trying to get used to the change I was going through.
I didn’t like the change but at least I had someone who was willing to help me get through it and made me feel less alone every step of the way. That was what really mattered and put me at ease.
I put the photograph back on my head dresser. As I grabbed my bags and made my way out, I turned back to my room one more time.
As much as I had so many memories and a life in that room – that house I called my home – it was now time for me to move on and start a new life elsewhere.
End Of Part Two...
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