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  • WHY FEAR THIS GENDER By Mixta Marquez
  • “Are you pregnant?” Tunde asked his wife that evening when he came back from his nine-month journey. He remembers very well that his wife was not pregnant before he left for Lagos nine months ago. In fact, she was on her period before he traveled, so he did not even make love to him five days before he embarked on the journey. Coming back to see his wife pregnant really surprised him.

    “Yes, my darling! I’m carrying our second baby. Are you not happy? I have gone for a scan, and the doctors say it is a baby boy. I thought you would be thrilled. I did not tell you on the phone because I wanted it to be a surprise when you return.” His wife, Funmi said. She was serving her husband food that evening, and she knew it would be hard to prove to him how she got pregnant in his absence, but she had everything planned.

    “Indeed, it is a big surprise because I remember we did not make love before I traveled. How did this happen? I want to hear the truth and only the truth from you.” Tunde said to Funmi, who was by then sitting down beside him. He had not started eating his food because he wanted to hear the explanation his wife had to give before he would touch her food.

    “I want you to read this document. It is from our family doctor. He wrote the document when I went for my first antenatal session. He said a woman can be pregnant and still be seeing her period. He said I was pregnant when I was seeing my period.” Funmi said with confidence in her voice. She placed her right hand on her husband’s shoulder as he opened the white piece of paper and started to read through the content.

    “This is surprising to me, and I have never heard it before. I never knew a woman could be pregnant and will still be seeing her period. What I was taught in my secondary school Biology is that once a woman gets pregnant, her period stops coming. It is surprising to me that your own is different. But if this is what the doctor said, I will accept the baby.” Tunde said as he started to eat his food.

    Funmi was already nine months pregnant before her husband returned from his journey. One week later, she delivered a baby boy.

    “This baby is so handsome. Look at his eyes and hair. He is so cute!” Funmi said to her husband as soon as they got home from the hospital. It was when Funmi mentioned the baby’s hair that Tunde attention was drawn to something strange. The baby has a tuft of grey hair on the right side of his head. It was naturally there like a patch.

    “Where did the baby get grey hair? Nobody in my family has ever been born with such a thing. Can you explain this to me? Is this child mine?” Tunde asked his wife with a strong face. He looked very worried. Since he returned and saw his wife pregnant, he has not been himself. After he accepted responsibility for the pregnancy, he was not fully convinced he got his wife pregnant before traveling.

    “I’m asking these questions because the baby does not look like me. I don’t have grey hair and our first child did not come out with grey hair. From what I know, this kind of grey hair is hereditary, and no one in the family has such a thing. Even in her old age, my mother does not have grey hair. How is it that a little baby like this came out with grey hair? Please, tell me the truth. Is this baby mine?” Tunde asked again, laying emphasis on each word. His wife was confused but held her breath.

    “You are scaring me with these questions. The baby is yours. You got me pregnant before traveling to Lagos. Why are you behaving like this? Have I ever cheated on you? I have been very faithful to you since we got married. You were even the person that disvirged me. Why are you now trying to rubbish me?” Funmi asked her husband with tears in her eyes.

    “You have to prove to me that this baby is mine. I remember only one person who has this kind of grey hair in this compound, and that is the gateman. Did you sleep with him?” Tunde was now shouting. The baby started crying when Funmi responded to her husband’s shouts with equal energy.

    “Why are you accusing me of sleeping with the gateman? Of all people in this world, it is the gateman I will sleep with?” Funmi responded. Clearly, she knew that her pack of lies was collapsing before her very eyes. Indeed, the gateman has a patch of grey hair on his head, and even the child’s face looks like the gateman’s.

    “Tell me the truth, or I will call your family and tell them about this. I’m not accepting this baby. He resembles the gateman.” Tunde was still shouting. At this time, his wife was really scared that he was going to attack her. She was still weak due to what she went through in the labour room.

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