Friday evening of 9th March 2018, I am persuaded that I should attend the salsa sessions that always happen in the Common Lecture Building in our campus. This was against the backdrop of the full spiritual knowledge that I should have been attending the Friday sundown service in anticipation for the Sabbath. Nevertheless, I attended the Salsa dance expeditions.
Just the other day while in Java, courtesy of my working-class friends, I learnt that Salsa besides being a style of dance originating from Cuban folk dances, it is also a spicy tomato sauce, often including onions and hot peppers. Did you know that?
And so with my inborn charisma, I walked into the Salsa arena. I still battled with the guilt of missing the evening church service but I somehow subdued the guilt. The lighting in the hall was dim, characteristic of many night clubs. I then spotted a very benignant lady seated alone. Social cues demanded that I join her and at least get to know her name. Cheelo Beenzu is the name she told me. And that she was from Zambia. I realized I was in a campus of more than 30,000 students and it was no surprise that a Zambian could have been one of them. I thought she was lying though until she constructed a sentence with Zambian verbiage.
“I think I hev seen you in the SDA chech before.”
For sure, that was a Zambian accent. Where we pronounce ‘have’ with ‘æ’ and ‘church’ with ‘t͡ʃɝt͡ʃ’, they replace with ‘e’. [I was keen during the lessons in high school where we were taught of diphthongs].
“Yes, you have seen me in church.” I responded in attempt to correct her accent.
The room was suddenly well lit with the common white lighting. I took a thorough glance at Cheelo without her knowledge and she was pulchritudinous.
The event was curtain-raised by the Shawano group who did an epic dance with the song, ‘You sang to me’ by Marc Anthony. The mood was set.
I really had a good time watching the salsa moves. Especially how the feet of the dancing couples rhymed with each beat that tore through. I wandered in the thought of me and my future wife doing those moves in our honeymoon at the Mexico Beach city in Florida. I couldn’t help but grin.
“Do you know anything about abortion?” Cheelo suddenly asked. I wanted to pretend with the ‘I beg your pardon’ statement but it was rather late.
“Yes! Abortion is the most uncouth thing any lady can do! Why would one even abort? Aborting is intentional killing! Any person who has aborted is not worth human attention. Not at all. Jeez!”
I realized I was having verbal diarrhea. I should have given her a one word answer. I regret my sloppiness with words to this day.
“I had an abortion last week. I still have some lower abdominal pains. Could you help me go get some painkillers?” Cheelo requested confidently as if my condemnatory statement ignited a zeal to narrate her story.
“My boyfriend said I couldn’t keep the child. He studies Medicine and Surgery. He is in his fourth year now. He did the abortion on me himself. He left me for good sadly.”
Before I could make a remark, she continued, “He made me feel loved in a manner I have never felt before. I moved in to his house. He loved the Zambian food I cooked. He ensured I wasn’t bothered by anything. In a microcosm, I felt loved.” (I smiled at her use of the word microcosm. I had only heard PLO Lumumba use that word in one of his speeches at a University in South Africa.)
I was then stunned at the bluntness of this lady. She barely knew me yet she had told me things she should have confided in her mother or close lady friends. We bought the painkillers and kept walking as she chewed them like candy.
“Wait a minute, you said he did the abortion on you? A fourth year student?”
“Yes. He did it so well. I have just had some mild pains which I have been calming with these painkillers.”
Foremost, this lady does not know whether I am an undercover operative sent to the campus to nab drug dealers. [Of course I’m not]. Secondly, all we know about each other is our names. Thirdly, I had just damned abortion. Regardless, I played along and gave her a listening ear. I wanted to know how she ended up attending Salsa and opening up to a stranger.
“I would want to know how the guy did the flushing.”
“Ooh, he first gave me a pill when I was 10 weeks. He told me the pill would stop the development of the pregnancy. But it did not. I experienced cramping, intense pelvic pain and bleeding after like 6 hours and I thought it was done. So did he. Two weeks after that, I still felt pregnant. I had nausea and cravings and I let Dan know. That very day, he came to the house with some items I normally see in the hospital. He explained that he would do vacuum aspiration. I did not know what that is. I study Quantity Survey.”
I was still in denial on all these happenings and I interjected her, “Why would you allow him do that to you? What kind of love is that?”
“I think you should learn the art of listening!” She said in a relatively high pitch and I felt ashamed once more. So she continued, “He injected an anesthesia into my cervix and then stretched it open and inserted a tube. I felt like air was being sucked out of me. I didn’t feel much pain though. He then inserted a cold metal that I could tell was sharp and I felt him scrapping my walls. I trusted him that much. I didn’t question anything. Then he said it was done. I suddenly felt terrible. I saw blood all over the floor and it dawned on me I had killed. I wailed uncontrollably as he cleaned that mess. I felt that death should come and give me a peace I badly desired.” She paused as she held her back and leant forward a bit.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine. I have just felt some back pain. So, two days after that, Dan said he would be going for clinical rotations in Nandi. He had been posted there by the school. I felt doomed. Without knowing it, I one day came from class to an empty house. He had packed my items in two suitcases. I slept on the floor that night. The following day, a new person was to move in the house. I had to vacate. I put my suitcases in the gateman’s room. They are still there. I have been pirating in the hostels. I feel terrible.”
I noticed that her clothing were dirty as we walked near the floodlights. I suddenly was moved like I had never been moved before. Before I could utter anything else, Cheelo fell down and began convulsing. Two guys joined me as we held her down for the convulsions to cease. After 6 minutes, the school’s hospital ambulance picked her up.
It is with immense negative nostalgia (English critiques hold your horses), that I recount the incidence in the wake of the rising cases of abortion currently. To this day, I can in no wise tell of Cheelo’s wherebouts.
In an emotional article titled I Regret My Abortion in the Daily Nation of October 5th 2018, a woman narrates her abortion innuendo with a lot of derangement:
‘You were three months old and still developing, and I suspected you would be a girl. I felt it in my bones. I knew you were going to be a beautiful girl.
But now all I have are regrets. I feel guilty and ashamed. I cry almost every day and wonder how it would have been if I had kept you, if you were born and I held you in my hands.
Many times when I see pregnant women or sometimes scroll through Facebook or Instagram and see people posting baby bump pictures and photos of newborns, I cry wishing that I had kept my child.
Please forgive me my sweet angel for my inhumane act. You deserved better, you deserved to have a taste of this life. But I took it away when it had hardly begun.
My angel, I have never forgiven myself. And often times I get angry with myself and angry at my friends who encouraged me to get an abortion.
I know I need to deal with my emotions and let go of the hurt and anger, and hopefully, I will forgive myself and my friends and let it all go.
My baby girl, I am telling your story so that girls and women who find themselves in a similar situation do not kill their babies. Abortion is not the way out. And the guilt is more painful than even the abortion itself. I regret taking the life of my child and I would not like any other woman to go through the same trauma.’
It certainly is a lifetime conscientious imprisonment of the conscience to abort. It is a permanent emotional destabilizer for as long as one is alive. This is enough to not condemn victims of abortion. Any further pain inflicted would be torture of an immeasurable magnitude. I was unfair to Cheelo in my words.
In a story in the website of Abortion Changes You, a statement from an anonymous narrator is potent enough to make any lady contemplating about abortion to cease that thought with untold urgency:
‘…I believe I made the wrong choice that day. I didn’t make that decision for myself I did it for the people I love around me. And as much as a care for them I should have listened to my heart and I should have kept the baby for me. I talk to my baby all the time, write her letters. I wear a necklace for her every day with her birth stone on it. She’s a part of me and I can’t wait to meet her in heaven one day. I ended up going to post-abortion counseling. No one tells you how difficult it is. No one warns you of the emotional scaring and grief you go through. I want everyone who reads this to know you are not alone. You have the right to grieve the loss of your baby. Your feelings are real, you are strong, and we will get through this.’
Celine Dion, legendary Canadian singer always gives credit to her family’s parish priest for convincing her mother not to abort her. Pope John Paul II’s mother was advised on having an abortion after losing her daughter shortly after birth. His mother decided to defy the doctor’s orders. Nick Cannon’s mother got pregnant at 17 and seriously considered having an abortion. He thanks his mother in his song ‘Can I Live?’ for not going through with the process. Steve Jobs in his biography reveals that he was almost a victim of abortion too.
In the wake of the degenerate health statuses of our era, abortion at times becomes imperative. Laura, a lady featured on The Cut underwent a ramifying ordeal when her unborn baby of 23 weeks was diagnosed with severe brain abnormality, possibly Dandy Walker (A rare congenital malformation that renders a human incapable of everything), missing kidney, small thorax and intra-uterine growth. What more options did she have? She had an abortion when the baby was 23 weeks and 5 days.
“The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.” – Mother Teresa.