When I woke up, I had to drag myself out of bed.my legs felt heavy and head so groggy. My sisters were still sleeping. I opened the window and looked outside. I didn’t care much about the weather. I just stood by the window taking in the morning air and contemplating how my life had changed. My dreams of a wedding were shattered and my hope of getting married was hanging by a single thread. From the look of things, I did see any light at the end of the tunnel. James had just turned into a slippery eel.

I felt ravenous, I decided to go and look for something to eat in the kitchen. I met my dad who was just coming from watering the garden.

‘ morning dad.’
‘morning Tess, you are up early.’
‘not as early as you.’ I replied smiling.
‘you know me,’ he said laughing.

I prepared us some coffee and took some cookies from the jar. We sat eating. We talked about my work mostly. He was always interested in hearing about the stories I was working on. At times he had a different fresh angle.

The rest of the family woke up later and the house was alive with the daily routine of a lazy Sunday.

At around mid-day, my dad had gone off to a local pub as usual. Judith, Terrence’s mother came and sat with my mom. I could feel tiny drops of sweat on my forehead.

When I was called,I went and sat next to Judith. She made a bit of small talk before she dwelved into the heart of the matter.
‘ Phyllis, I don’t know how to say this but I guess I should somehow. You see Thessaly here is pregnant.’
‘What?’ my mother screamed in disbelief.
‘ she is pregnant, she told me yesterday.’
‘ is this true?’ mom asked.

All this time I hadn’t removed my eyes from the carpet, yet I knew that this question was directed at me.
‘Yes,’ I whispered, it was barely audible.
I didn’t see how mother got up but I felt the sting of her clap on my cheek. I looked up and saw Judith trying to hold my mother back.

‘ no, Phyllis, don’t. calm down.’ Judith said.
‘where did I go wrong with you? Where? What is it that you lacked, that you couldn’t have told me? And your father? What am I going to say to him?’

I just sat there crying. This was just too much. I wished the earth would just open up and swallow me. I cursed at James and I cursed the day I met him.

It took a while before my mother calmed down.
‘how long gone are you?’ she asked.
‘almost four months, I missed my period in January.’ I answered.
‘four months?’ she was surprised, ‘ and all this time? Right under my nose.’ she shook her head furiously.
‘who is the father?’
‘ James.’ She sort of knew him but not in a formal way.
‘ what is he saying?’ she asked.

That question made the tears come flooding. I never knew a person could cry so much.
‘ answer me! Does he know?’ she asked.

I was speechless. I searched for the words to say but there weren’t any.
Judith managed to answer my mom.
‘ I am so disappointed.. right now I could just beat you to a pulp. Get out of my sight.’

I stood up but I felt my knees going weak. Before I could sit down again I fell on the floor.
When I woke up, I was on the sofa with a cold towel on my forehead. My head was throbbing so bad and my mouth was dry.

‘Tess, are you okay?’ I made out Judith’s voice
I tried to sit but I felt a sharp pain in my stomach.
‘lie down,’ my mother said. ‘we have called a doctor.’

Was I losing the baby? Was I having a miscarriage? What was happening to me? Fear gripped me. I clutched onto the sofa and tried to get up. I have never experienced such excruciating pain. I screamed and lay back. I just couldn’t lose this child. Somehow I didn’t want that, I didn’t want it but I didn’t want to lose it. I wasn’t thinking straight…

Click here to see a list of all the chapters of the diary of a single mother

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