Am I Ready?

By Yvonne Nyatundo

I looked ahead, in a slight stupor as I reflected on what the young woman in her early twenties seated beside me had said. It was worth mulling over on this promisingly long and torturous bus ride given that our bus had a reputation of being the slowest of the three. It had been a wet, chilly morning with persistent showers of rain but you could see the sun’s rays peeking through the horizon now and the sun coming majestically as if it never sunk the previous dusk. The warmth was beginning to creep under my long-sleeved top and after about seven hours on the road, I desired nothing more than a cold unrushed shower.

She was in my age group albeit with her face turned gazing out of the window and her forehead twisted into a mild but noticeable frown, a few more years settled on her youthful face. It was apparent that she was lost in thoughts but not the kind of thoughts you’d expect a twenty-one-year-old to have soon after their pregnancy test came out with two red lines. She appeared calmer, composed and contrary to my expectation, eager.

Now, who would be so eager to conceive and birth a child in this day and age? I pondered. I expected a frantic, restless her yet seated beside me was a calm, cheerful young woman looking forward to breaking the news to her then, boyfriend whom they had been with for 2 years now. She spoke dreamily of her gestation by date and her estimated date of delivery which would be in the following 5 months. She couldn’t wait for the baby, she added. This baffled me since my experience with most of my age mates who had delivered was a state of panic and hopelessness mostly because the pregnancy almost always was unplanned resulting in a state of endless turmoil before they finally accepted the situation.

It was different for Sarah, she argued that one would only panic if they weren’t certain of the foundation of the relationship they shared with their man and that as for her, she felt secure in the love she shared with her boyfriend and therefore this pregnancy was a blessing and something to be cherished and looked forward to. She held no worries in her future and in their future. This was concept that took getting used to on my end given that I have never been enthusiastic about this union called marriage and consequently, children not to mention conception out of wedlock!

I had to unlearn what I had strongly had ingrained in me from the experiences of the people I knew to welcome this new perspective of welcoming pregnancy and looking forward to bringing life into this world which is why it broke my heart when one week later she phoned me and spoke in the saddest tone of voice I’ve ever heard explaining that she was not pregnant. Turns out the first pregnancy test had been invalid. My heart reached out to her and my thoughts kept wandering; had she just had an episode of psychosomatics? Psychosomatic illnesses are conditions that manifest physically as a result on psychological stressors. For instance, I could imagine myself to have skin cancer and therefore insist that the pimple on my arm proves my point. I may even begin feeling sick hence acting sick.

Nevertheless, Sarah left me wondering how sweet the feeling of being ready for something in life is. As the Bible corroborates, there is a time for everything.