The women leader asked Lara to wait and see her after church.
Lara wondered, they had never spoken beyond the routine greeting so what could the leader have to say to her specifically.
She didn’t have a lot of church friends, her reason being not wanting to lead them to sin by giving them reason to talk behind her. Maybe that was the problem, or was it her dressing? She’d made conscious efforts at maintaining a youthful look so that her not having a child wouldn’t be pronounced. She was thirty one years old now.
When eventually the women leader made her way to her, Lara was prepared with her defenses but the woman had hugged her and exchanged pleasantries, even commented on how beautiful she looked in the dress she wore. Lara was confused, she had been prepared for some form of reprimand so the woman’s warmness threw her off guard. She was about accepting defeat when the woman asked her ‘how things were at home’.
Lara had narrowed her eyes and angled her head in a bid to hear correctly what had just been asked of her, there had to have been an undertone to the question because the woman’s smile was more affectionate than friendly like it was before and she was waiting for an answer, intentionally waiting.
All of the walls that had started to shake seemed to firm up. Lara braced herself, said her home was fine and took her leave.
They’d attended the church for two years after they had left one where the stares had been a hassle and gossip circulated like wild fire. The groups had even been biased as you were either single or a mother, she had friends there but those relationships had waned since every single one of them was either pregnant or had just had a kid, it was all they talked about. It hadn’t been the best time.
She was able to hide under the general women group at this new church for the past two years but it seemed she had been found out and now her defenses were up, again. Church banter wasn’t one she wanted to be a topic of again.
It took a while, about three or four tries from the women leader, for Lara to eventually break. The woman had visited her and spoken to her and was just very friendly and motherly and Lara needed that, up close and personal, as opposed to the long distance calls from her parents who had relocated abroad.
“It has been four years ma, since we got married and there has been no issue. I was a virgin o, and I’ve always been a Christian. My husband had a wild past but he found Jesus. Isn’t that all that matters?! And yet”, Lara pushed her hand forward and gestured for the woman to look at her.
The women leader was sympathetic and encouraging, she asked if Lara had been to the hospital and what the results were and what she had tried.
Lara said she was fine, that there was nothing wrong with her. She told of all the stimulating drugs she had used and hormonal medicines but to no avail.
The women leader listened and then asked if she had considered any alternatives. That ticked Lara off, but she respectfully dismissed the question by affirming that she will bear her children the natural way to which the women leader had punctuated with a resounding, Amen!!!
At work too, her colleagues suddenly had an opinion. “Babe try artificial insemination now” or “have you considered adoption”. Lara was more guarded at work, they were people of the world and they would talk anyways. She had two confidants though who were Christians, they were the ones she actually spoke to aside family.
What put her off most about this period was the fact that all of a sudden, all at once, everybody had a suggestion that sounded very alike. Even her mobile service provider wanted to give her fertility pointers from free. It was all so laughable and annoying.
Maybe she would have taken it all in stride had the first suggester not been that pervert doctor, she didn’t like him the slightest and thinking of his suggestion and the way he had said it left her with a bad after taste.
She and Kola still hadn’t addressed their issue, they were avoiding it with every breath they drew. It was the worst thing to think about and she doubted that she or her husband would have ever had such atrocious thoughts on their own, which was more reason to detest the doctor.
Her uncle wandered around them, like a lost puppy and it wasn’t fair. He wasn’t probing out of respect for their marriage but he too bore their burden. So she decided to tell him, just so he’ll be in the loop and not because she needed his advice. Her mind was made up.