"Who from hell is responsible for your pregnancy?” her father roared.
As a Preacher, he was furious after discovering that while he preached for couples to remain innocent of sexual intimacy till marriage, his own daughter had gotten pregnant under his roof.
“No…nobody.” she stuttered and immediately realized how foolish she sounded. Her father realized it too.
“Oh, so you just magically got pregnant?” he questioned, incredulous.
At this point, Inara’s mind had started working fast. She knew that she had to pin it on someone. But who? Who in her class was easy bait? Eric? No. He was a nerd and hardly spoke to anyone. Victor? No. Everyone knew that he was gay. Her friend Mike? It would be a betrayal. He was a nice guy and had a girlfriend. It would ruin their relationship.
So who? Alex in the choir? He was an alto singer like her and they often scored songs together. He would be devastated and it would ruin his reputation as a good guy in church. Besides, he had already told her that he loved her older sister Amara. So who again?
She was on her knees before her parents in their bedroom as she always was whenever they interrogated her over serious issues. It was just how she and her sibling had been brought up. And this time, she feared that she had crossed the finished line. Her life was about to change.
It was a tense atmosphere, the most it had ever been in her home. Her worried sister, Amara was outside the door, listening and her mother was mad with disappointment over her situation. It made her heart sink.
“Speak up!” her father snapped, “or by God, I won’t care if you’re pregnant. This whip will remind you of whose daughter you are.”
Inara was terrified and felt for her mother who was looking down at her with a disapproving frown across her face. Her mother didn’t talk much but her anger and disappointment was evident in her disappointed expression. Inara was deeply sorry that she had failed them.
“Are you dumb?” her mother shouted and she heard the whoosh of her father’s whip in the air. Inara flinched and before it could land on anywhere near her skin, she whispered the name Lemuel.
“What was that?” Her father questioned, his raised hand, pausing at midair.
“Lemuel.” she repeated in a louder voice, her head down.
“Who the sky is Lemuel?” he demanded, lowering the whip and tossing it aside so that it landed carelessly on the floor.
Inara didn’t know how to explain it. This was someone who was in her Extra moral classes but did not fit in. He wasn’t of her age grade which was late teens. He was in his early thirties and from whispers around, only there because he wanted a high school certificate in business before he would get into business school.
Word in campus was that he was already a Model and certified Civil Engineer. He had insisted on learning business from scratch. He hardly mingled with the students and often minded his business. Many girls were dying to be noticed by him which had never surprised her because of how attractive and coordinated he was but she simply saw his confidence as arrogance and self-importance.
She saw him as a guy who saw himself as better than everyone else which was probably why he didn’t mix up with the other students. The only persons he really mixed up with were the Lecturers. Maybe they respected him because of his self-importance or something, she had always reckoned with irritation, which had never made any sense to her.
“Who is Lemuel?” her father demanded again, cutting off her thoughts.
Her mother began to weep upon hearing that.
“She disgraces this family. How will I show myself in church?”she wailed.
“Oh my dear, we will show ourselves in church.” her father said in an ominous voice that was disturbing.
“How?” her mother asked him. “How is that possible with what she has done? People will laugh at us. They will say that we can’t practice what we preach. This is bad.”
“Don’t worry dear, our daughter is not having a baby out of wedlock. No way. That boy or whatever, is marrying her by fire or force.”
“Daddy no!” Inara cried out and that was when she started crying, the enormity of her situation, completely sinking in. At nineteen going on twenty, she had not cried in a long time, except when watching emotional movies. Her parents had stopped disciplining them some years back so there weren’t such episodes.
The reason they were so mad now was because of the current situation and she was overwhelmed with regret for putting herself in this sticky situation. It wounded Inara that she couldn’t turn back the hands of time. And the truth was that she was only in this condition because, she had been drawn into a game called The Last Dare.