A flash fiction by Ferdinard Henry
THE MISSING PERIOD.
The last thing any young guy would want to hear from his girlfriend is that she has somehow missed her monthly period.
Chidinma called me very early in the morning to tell me that she still couldn’t find her monthly period. At first I thought she was joking, but before I could say anything, she started crying in panic. It’s been three days now and it’s becoming long overdue.
“what do you mean you still can’t find your period “
I asked her, before she dropped the call to continue crying.
We’ve dated each other for six months now and we have been very careful whenever we felt the urge for sex. There’s no way I could forget using condoms, they always have a very special place in my heart and my wallet.
I couldn’t totally fathom what was going on. I called her number again and she didn’t pick up. My mind literally flew out my body. I lost my mind! Totally.
I tried recounting all that happened the last time we both had sex. On that valentine’s day, I took her out to dinner and then we lodged at a hotel. I remember pulling out my condom, I remember. So how can she say she’s looking for her period? Or did the condom break?
“it’s barely ten days and she’s pregnant”?
I couldn’t wrap my head round the fact that Chidinma could be pregnant with my baby. I loved her but not this way! What will my parents say? That I went to school and decided to impregnate an innocent girl. I would be dead before the last words could come out of my mouth.
I was confused. I never fully understood the “politics of menstrual cycle”.I considered menstruation a political tool, used by girls who wanted to frustrate their boyfriends.
Is Chidinma playing a game with me?
I thought every girl should see their periods by the last day of the month? I thought it comes to them like monthly salary alerts?
I was swimming in the ocean of thoughts.
I brought out my phone and opened goggle. I browsed,
“how to find a missing period”
It opened and I began to read tons and tons of articles on what might cause a girl to miss her period. I did not like reading generally, I don’t even read sign posts on the road side. But in my desperation, I read some articles that even some medical doctors knew nothing about.
Chidinma called again, she was crying bitterly.
” baby please come over to my place”
She said and she dropped the call again. At this point, I felt like running away from this world. I didn’t even mind meeting the devil and running hell with him. I was gripped with terror, with fear. For the first time in a long time I was really scared.
I called Chioma. She’s Chidinma’s best friend. I did not know what exactly to say to her.
“hello honey, please I’m in class I’ll call you as soon as I’m out” she said.
She calls me honey because she says I’m the sweetest thing that ever happened to her besti Chidinma.
“Chioma please wait. I just want to ask you a little question” I said.
“go ahead honey, be fast “
” Chioma please have you seen your period this month “?
I asked her. It was a very stupid question apparently but I didn’t mind. I wanted to know if the missing period was a national issue and no girl could find hers.
” my period? ”
she replied, in utter disbelief before the phone dropped. She latter said her phone was sized by the lecturer who was in her class when I called.
My temperature began to rise, I was falling seriously ill. Chidinma’s lost period was all I could think of. I’m going to be a father out of wedlock. I wanted to tell it to Emeka. He’s a very good friend of mine but I knew he would suggest abortion if she was truly pregnant.
Emeka had varieties of abortion pills she administered to girls he “mistakenly” had sex with without condom. I saw abortion as deliberate killing. I couldn’t kill anyone so it was far from my options.
I continued browsing until I slept on my phone. By this time, I’ve read menstrual articles equivalent to the volume of the English dictionary’s 9th edition.
The dreams I had were terrible and they didn’t help matters too. I saw myself buying diapers at Unizik junction in awka and Chidinma clinging baby Junior at her back waiting for me.
I jumped up. It was a bad dream, I wasn’t even inside a car. I thought. How terrible! The witches in my village has finally succeeded.
I looked at my watch, it’s 1am. I’ve been sleeping for the past 9 hours. I picked up my phone, the battery was remaining 5 percent. I’ve missed 30 calls. 20 from Chidinma and 5 each from Chioma and my dad.
My heart was pounding heavily. Has Chidinma called my dad to inform him of her pregnancy? She could do it. I know she’s mad. Maybe she thought I was going to run away from her. She had taken my parents phone number from my phone without my permission but I strictly warned her never to call them.
I couldn’t return the calls now, it’s already late. I couldn’t sleep anymore either. I was wide awake, pacing up and down my room begging God to give me a last chance. only sleeping in snatches.
I brought out my dusty bible, it’s been a long time since I opened it. I began to mutter to God, begging for my life.
By 7am Chidinma called again, my phone switched off as I was about to pick up.
I ran out to borrow Emeka’s power bank. I was sure he brought a new girl home last night.
I knocked at his door and he came out to meet me.
“shhh, don’t disturb my visitor”
He said smiling.
” Oga just give me your power bank”
I was in no mood for his silly jokes. I might become an impromptu father in a couple of months.
He said he received a call from Chidinma last night asking if I was home but he didn’t talk much to her before ending the call.
” I no dey talk too much whenever I get package ”
He said, boastfully.
Chidinma’s call came in almost Immediately I powered on my phone. And it was accompanied by the most precious news I’ve heard since I was born.
” baby I have seen my period”.
She said happily. Hot tears of joy rolled down my cheek. at last! God is really wonderful I thought.
” I was calling you through out last night to tell you. Where were you “?
I was not interested in whatever she was saying. I didn’t even ask her where she finally saw it, or how.
God has done it for me and I couldn’t stop saying thank you to him. I kept my bible on the top of my television where anyone could easily see that I’m a Christian.
Emeka began playing loud music like he always does. Tu face’s ” rain drops”. It was a perfect song for my situation.
“young man, be careful and think twice. Before you choose to use your device. So you don’t have rain drops falling from your eyes “
My dad called to tell me he has transferred the 50k he promised me and he too was calling last night to confirm if I got it. I did.
It was a sweet end to a sad story, I escaped mine, be careful If you know you can’t afford a baby yet cos you just might not escape yours.