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May 12, 2011, 3:53 PM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

It was late June and the gnawing fear that had been haunting Samantha for two months was being confirmed. She had missed two of her monthlies. She was standing at the balcony, staring as the pregnant clouds release their burden. Her hair flew whichever way in the wind and she used her hand to brush the stray strands. It was already cold outside, but she wasn’t. All sorts of thoughts were coming to her and her heart was beating against her rib cage. Suddenly she heard her father’s car horn and her heart flew to her mouth. She froze and gripped the railing with all her might. Her father was coming home from work and Samantha knew exactly what he would do to her after hearing the news. She dreaded it. Minutes before, she had gathered all the courage she could muster to tell her mother, but before she could say a word, she interrupted and said, “child, I know that this is a bad time,” she took a deep breath and reached for her half-filled glass of water on the bed-side table with shaky hands. She gulped the water in one go, doubled over and coughed painfully.

Samantha was scared as she helped her mum and said, “are you okay, mum?”

“Yes child, em, I mean no child.”

Her mum stared into her deep chocolate eyes and shut hers tight.

Samantha could feel her heart racing and it made her feel nauseous. Does she know already? She told herself. All sorts of thought came to her head.

“I know that this is a very bad time, now that the exams are nearing.”

“Mum what is it, you can talk to me,” she encouraged her half-heartedly.

“I have wanted to tell you that I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,” she paused, “I am afraid I am going to be stuck in bed for a long time because I can’t feel my legs.”

Samantha felt that her life was crumbling and she couldn’t afford to hurt her mum now by telling her the news.

She moved in the bed and hugged her mum tight. Each was sobbing. Now she realized that she had to deal with the pregnancy alone before it would start showing.

As she watched her father bring the car to a silent halt, she prayed for her mum, herself and the unborn baby, and rushed into her room to avoid meeting her father that evening.