Augusta came knocking yesterday.
Although there was nothing strange about her visit for she is a regular guest in my room but yesterday was different… Her signature smile was in place as I opened my door to her… but deep in her big beautiful black eyes was a sadness I had never seen in the always bubbling Augusta.
Augusta is one of the gifts the township gave me… I noticed her eyes immediately… even before she spoke a word. They were a beautiful contrast with the sad ones that accompanied me from the village. She had the kind of eyes that always seem to smile in a way that says ‘I know a secret no one else knows’. It draws everyone to her… just like it drew me.
She and her kind mother had helped me arrange the little room I was to live in when I had first moved to the township many moons ago. That evening, after we were done arranging, Mama Augusta left to make the night’s meal but Augusta stayed, insisting she would play with me.
And as soon as her mother left, Augusta looked at me and asked why I was sad… and as if she required no answer, she quickly promised that she will make me happy by sharing in some of her happiness. Her words made me smile and at that moment I knew without a doubt that the girl with the smiling eyes will bring at least a little splash of sunshine into my life.
So when I saw the sadness in her eyes yesterday, I knew that the visit would be an unusual one…and it was.
For what seemed like a lifetime, Augusta sat quietly… with her head down… fingers wringing. I wished she would just speak… for the silence was killing, but I too kept quiet… sensing that she needed to gather her thoughts.
“Aunty, I think I’m pregnant” those were the words that first came out from Augusta’s lips. I was startled… yet in a calm voice that sounded strange even to my ears, I asked how she knew.
At that moment, she lifted her very misty eyes to look at me and said
“Mr. Badejo touched me again, and now my monthly visitor has not come… so I must be pregnant. Do you think I’m pregnant Aunty?”
A lot of thoughts went through my head all at once. Mr. Bádéjọ…Augusta’s Chemistry teacher… why would he touch Augusta… she just celebrated her 14th birthday last month… when did this happen… What will Mama Augusta do… how do I even tell her…
“Do you think I’m pregnant Aunty?” she asked again.
This time, her question somehow passed through the fog in my mind… I looked at her and spoke with a calmness and courage I didn’t feel,
“I don’t know if you are pregnant Augusta but we will find out, and then you will tell me everything”
Nodding in agreement… she held on to me tightly… as if holding on to a lifeline… her quiet sob was gut-wrenching.. she was a scared little girl unsure of what next.
I promised her everything would be well… although even I was not sure.
But today is the day we find out… ’Aunty Nurse’ has promised to help.