Admitting he had no more strength to give or words to encourage her with, he resolved to leave.
He felt her sadness, not her loss.
The loss was his; to hold and to keep.
How could she..?
Overcome by a plethora of emotions, he needed to sort things out. Things being his thoughts. And he knew he would need time and space to do so. Wanting to grant him neither, she granted him both.
How could she not?
Having been married for well over three years, the pressure had been immense. Intense.
Coming from both within and without, her and his family’s side – family being the mothers really – she so deeply wanted to please.
To prove to them that she was worthy of his love, of their acceptance.
To please both him and his people. To bare them children, especially sons.
To prove them wrong; to show them that she would be as good and submissive a wife as the Igbo girl they had wanted their son to marry. She was equally capable.
But was she?
If only she had been a bit more careful and had paid for the pregnancy test in cash, rather than by card.
Then, he would never have seen the purchase reflected in their accounts or found out about her taking the test, or the positive result, or the fact that she was becoming exceedingly troubled and stressed and nervous.
Of course she knew to pin her irritation, heightened levels of stress and emotions on her new promotion. Too many responsibilities. And she would have believed her, just as he had before.
But this time he knew she was pregnant; and he was excited.
So, how could she disappoint him now?
Tell him that she had lost it, as she had so many times before?
How would they bear the shame? The mockery, the f*ckery?
How could she possibly admit that she was no woman at all?
Capable of giving birth to death only.
How could she possibly?
No, she would not. She could not.
Rather than admitting she was unable, she would simply confess that she had been unwilling.
It was a smaller shame to bear, a smaller loss to carry.