Soiled Dove

If I could find justice, then I would scream at the top of my voice. Speak I can, converse I do, give speeches, I have…yet still I am unable to scream for help. I long for a helping hand, I crave justice, and my heart pleads for mercy… but scream? I cannot. If I could, I would, but since I can’t, then I won’t. Pen in hand, paper underneath, let these words scream for me.

Soiled Dove
A few heads turn, three or four men let out whistles as I pass and a dozen or so women cast acidic looks my way. Whether they are jealous or just genuinely concerned, I will never know. But I know one thing, where I am is no place for a girl my age.

Seventeen years old, of a bubbly nature and very outgoing is how I like to describe myself. I love meeting people, conversing and being in sororities- the modest, Kenyan type. My hobbies are akin to those of every other teenager in the vicinity: travelling, watching movies, dancing… sound familiar? I like to belong; no man is an island you know? So naturally, I have a boyfriend.

He is responsible for this- the bulge in my stomach, growing slowly and surely. My parents warned me about him you know, but I thought it was unfair to judge a kind man. I may have been wrong, but he was kind enough to leave a kindred mark in my life- the inevitable child that is due anytime next week. Where is he? You may ask. I know not, but he walked away. I believe he is allergic to such responsibilities, so I let him be. Besides, all my energies are focused in one direction, my baby.

My father won’t even look at me; I am a source of shame for the clergyman. At least my mother acts normal and cries when she needs to. Everywhere around me, friends, neighbors and those known to me laugh and murmur as I pass. School is no different; teachers and the student fraternity waste no breath in letting me know how grave this mistake was. It is never going to be the same, understandably so. I try to keep a straight face but honestly, in so many words and deeds, my world lets me know that abortion would have been a more welcome and easier option, discreetly wiping my sins off the public book of insult and condemnation.

I made a mistake whose consequences weigh 3kilos on the outside and a ton more on my heart, a load I can hardly bear. But everyone makes mistakes, some more grievous than mine, only the outcome is, a lot of the time, not as pronounced. Is it so bad that I decided to keep the baby? Would you rather I killed it in some back alley clinic to save face so that my father could at least smile at me again? Would you rather I forced it out so that I fit into everyone’s description of what a teenager should be?

Bear your burden, you say. And I will. All 6kilos on the outside and a ton or so in my heart, because the doctor says I have twins growing in me. But as I do, my heart bleeds and pleads for all soiled doves in my world, whether they dived in mud or were forced to swim in it. I wish, for once, someone would stand and look at us differently. Like the she-roes we are: bent lilies about to bud again, for choosing the dreaded path- the right path, for keeping our babies.

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Njambi is a young and vibrant urban soul. Great poet and scriptwriter. She authors the blog