I felt a familiar sting in my lower abdomen as I stirred awake from my sleep. I groaned as I got out of my bed and made my way to the bathroom.
Please, please no. Let it not be what I’m thinking.
I pulled my sleeping shorts and panties down as I sat down on the toilet seat. I inwardly groaned as I saw the red stain on my panties.
After peeing, I immediately got up from the toilet seat and straight into the shower. I had my towel neatly hung on the wall fixed railings so I didn’t need to go back into the room.
During my period, I was extremely irritable and emotional. I could go from 100 to 0 and vice versa in a minute. My period cramps were variable, sometimes I would get them really bad and other times, it won’t even feel like I was on my period.
After showering, I stepped into my room with my towel firmly secured around me. I headed straight for my undies bag in the wardrobe, I kept my pad and panties in there.
I pulled out a black cotton pant to avoid unnecessary stains as I reached in to bring out a sanitary pad, I pulled out an empty sanitary pack.
I had completely forgotten to get a replacement after using the last pad on my previous period. I had made a mental note to go shopping for them but it skipped my mind. I stared wide-eyed at the empty pack like it would magically produce pads.
Oh my God. What do I do now?
I couldn’t go out and get one right now because, in a matter of seconds, I would start dripping. The struggles of being a heavy flow-er. I had to act now and fast.
I quickly walked over to my bedside and picked up my phone from the bedside table. I was about to do the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done in my life but I had no choice.
I dialled Noah.
After three rings, he picked up the phone.
“Hey” he said groggily.
“Hi” my voice sounded high-pitched, even for me. “Did I wake you or were you already awake?”
“You woke me, but it’s fine. What’s happening?” I heard some shuffling sounds in the background like he was sitting up on the bed.
I scratched the back of my head nervously. “Uhm... I need you to do me a favour... Uhm, I ran out of pads and I need some right now”
“Pads?” He sounded lost.
“Sanitary pads, Noah”
“Oh... oh okay” he sounded alert now.
I heard more shuffling noises in the background and then the jingling sound of keys, most definitely his car keys.
“Do I just get any kind?” He asked.
“I use the ‘always’ brand but any kind is fine” I replied
“Okay. Just give me five minutes”
“Thank you” I said softly.
“Yeah... no worries”
With that, he hung up the phone.
I grabbed my black panties, walked back into the bathroom and sat on the toilet seat. I didn’t want to drip all over the bedroom tiles. I let my mind wander off as I waited for Noah to arrive with the pads. A knock on my bedroom door was heard about five minutes later.
“Come in” I yelled from the bathroom.
I heard the door open and gently close followed by the pattering sound of feet against the tiles in the room.
“Ijeoma?” Noah called out.
“I’m in the bathroom” I replied
I heard him approached the bathroom door and the embarrassment I felt increased the nearer he got. He placed two subtle knocks on the door and I cracked it open a little before sticking my hand out. Once I felt a sanitary pack placed on my hand, I quickly drew my hand back in.
“Thank you” I mumbled before closing the door.
I heard him chuckle from behind the door as he walked away. He knew how embarrassing this was for me.
I rinsed off myself for the second time before wearing my panties with the pad attached to it and stepping out into the room. I had a long day ahead of me.
I whimpered in pain as another wave of cramps attacked my lower abdomen, it was like having baby contractions. It seemed that I was having the really bad cramps this time around.
I was laying on my bed at the moment, twisting from side to side whilst cradling my abdomen. I had taken two tablets of paracetamol earlier in the day at the office when the cramps began to take effect.
The drugs must have waned off because I was feeling the rage of the cramps really badly and I couldn’t take anymore because that would be overdosing.
A soft knock that was almost inaudible was placed on my door before it was pushed open. I heard the sound of little feet running to the bed and I knew immediately it was Zozo.
“Mummy” she came to stand by my bedside.
“Yeah sweetie” I managed to let out.
She gave me a puzzled look before touching my face. “Why... you crying?”
I touched my face and felt wetness under my eyes. I didn’t even know that there were tears under my eyes.
“I’m not crying, baby” I said as I wiped my face.
She didn’t look like she believed me but she just nodded. I gritted my teeth in pain as I didn’t want her to worry or get scared.
“Sweetie... do you want something?” I asked and she shook her head.
“You... you just want to stay with mummy?” I asked again and she nodded.
I scooted a bit into the bed, giving her room to climb in. I placed a soft kiss on her forehead once she laid down next to me. For the five minutes she laid down with me, I had to grit my teeth in pain before she got up and left my room.
Seconds later, another knock was heard at the door. I looked up from the bed to see Noah walk in.
“Hey... are you okay?”
He walked over to the side I was on and sat at the edge of the bed. “Zozo said you were crying?”
“It’s nothing... just cramps, that’s all” I waved it off
“Must be really bad for you to cry” he brushed my hair off the side of my face.
I was lying on my stomach with my back facing him, it was literally the only position I could be in at the moment. I had my head turned to the side in order to talk to him.
“I’ll survive” I tried to sound strong but a groan ended up escaping my lips.
“Have you taken anything for the pain?” he asked rubbing his palm on my lower back
“Uhm... just paracetamol” I whispered out.
He nodded. “Okay. I’ll be right back”
He gave my back one last rub before he stood up and walked out.
This wasn’t actually the worst cramps I’ve had. Back when I was in high school, I had a really terrible cramp that my stomach churned and I ended up throwing up. Although, I wasn’t taking any pain medications then, I was trying to act strong.
Unlike some ladies who had sugary snacks cravings like chocolates, sweets, cakes and stuff like that during their periods, I didn’t. In fact, during my period I actually avoided anything with sugar because they made my cramps worse.
My cramping calmed down a bit and I was on the verge of falling asleep when my door opened up. I raised my head to see Noah walk in with a tray in his hand.
“What’s that?” I craned my neck to see what was on the tray.
He placed the tray down on my bedside table. A steaming bowl of soup, a blue napkin and a stainless tablespoon were on the tray.
“Is that Ofe Nsala?” I looked up from the bowl. (Ofe Nsala a.k.a white soup. A delicacy peculiar to the Igbo tribe)
“Yes” he said. “I wanted to get pepper soup but it wasn’t available”
“You ordered this?”
“Yes. Now sit up” he ordered
I slowly turned over and pushed myself up, placing my back against the headboard. He picked up the napkin, then the bowl of soup and placed in on it. He was actually going to spoon-feed me.
“You know I’m capable of feeding myself” I said with a weak smile.
“I know but I want to feed you” he said cheekily
He dipped the spoon into the bowl, blew off the excess steam before bringing it to my lips.
“What’s this supposed to do?” I asked after swallowing the soup.
“Well, pregnant women take this after giving birth. The utazi leaves used in making it helps loosen and flush out the congealed blood which causes the cramps” he explained
“Where have you been all my life?” I said dramatically
As he fed me, I started to feel the knots in my lower abdomen slowly loosen. Once he was done, the cramps had not vanished but it was close to non-existent.
“You’re welcome” he placed a kiss on my cheeks before picking up the tray and placing the empty bowl on it.
I couldn’t wipe off the wide smile on my face even after Noah had walked out of the room.
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