I Would Have

Uso m,

I came over for the weekend so we can have a crucial discussion. While waiting for you to return, I was looking round the house for something to keep busy with since there was no power supply for the TV to serve. That was when I saw the jewellery case on your chest of drawers. I broke down in tears all over again. Now, I know what happened to my ring the day I pulled off my jewellery in your car on our way home from Denzel’s wedding. I didn’t suspect a thing then because pieces of jewellery go missing all the time and they get found in unlikely corners.

I remember how we started. I remember the letters we exchanged during our secondary school days. They didn’t start out like the usual “lifting pen from the basket of love and doxology” kind of letters. Our letters talked about how we fared with Math and Chemistry, the thrills of inter-school debate and chess competitions and our hopes of a glamorous university campus life just like we saw in Nollywood movies. Until I mentioned in one of my letters that you were beginning to make grand appearances in my dreams. I would discover afterwards that you had always been in love with me but you were too scared to say so.  You were fearless in everything I saw you do, everything except making the first move to step up what we shared from a simple friendship to a romantic relationship.

That delay must have been good for us because we were different from other lovers our age . We didn’t need to go on a date to have a great time. Doing laundry together or helping out in your father’s shop were for us, precious and awesome moments. I remember the days we spent compiling a list of names for our kids. We argued about which gender was better as first children. Many times, I have daydreamt of our son Enyinnaya who I always prayed would have your sleepy eyes. I always looked forward to troubling you during my pregnancies. I have read about strange cravings that pregnant women develop and I’ve hoped that one of mine would be roasted intestines. I know you hate animal innards so I wanted to see the horror on your face when I demand for it and the helplessness with which you’ll hurry down to Amaeze Avenue to buy them.

I would have run into your arms and screamed while forcing out tears of joy like the ladies I see on Instagram. I would have ensured that my nails are polished till further notice to ensure that in addition to a glittering engagement ring, the nails are brightly coloured and picture-perfect. I would have said yes and brought the dreams of our family and friends to reality. I would have loved to see the excitement from my mother when the wedding dates are finally fixed.

However my darling, I just discovered my genotype is AS, contrary to my mother’s assumptions all along.

Ijeoma, my elder sister did a genotype test as part of an entry requirement into the boarding school and results showed hers as AA. There was never a need for me to do a test as my school didn’t require it. When I confronted my mother, she said she felt it was only normal that my sister and I have the same genotype. I don’t blame her, anyway. She is not very literate to understand some of these things and I took it for granted. I have always known you are AS. I saw your medical records years ago, when I helped you scan some of your credentials.

We both know how much we love each other but I’m not sure this is one of those things that love can conquer especially since we both love children and would want to have our own babies. I don’t know what else to do right now but I hope we can both do what is best for us and for children that will be brought into this world.

As lovingly as always,


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  • Reply
    January 7, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Even my fellow medical students do not know their genotypes and forge them for their ID cards. “How did you know that you are recall AA?” I asked one of them once. To him,everyone in their family is okay. His sister did not have problems getting married so it means that she is AA and so is he. And I could not help but stare and wonder of the bravery of people. Some of us do not have the luxury of such bravery though. For me,once I know that I like a man as a friend and it may venture into something else in the future,I ask him about his genotype. There is no need creating room for heart aches when it could be so easily avoided.

    • Reply
      January 8, 2017 at 11:54 pm

      Thank you for sharing this, Amy. I hope we all try our best to help ourselves and may we find the courage to do what is profitable for everyone involved.

  • Reply
    Nneoma Chuku
    January 9, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Beautiful piece as always Chisim. I’ll like to add this…..
    In my years of practice in Nigeria, I met couples, not 2 or 3 ; has to be at least 5 or 7. These people had ‘genotype test’ done before getting married and were told one of them were AA and the lab results were wrong!!!! Yes, you read right, it was WRONG. They were AS not AA that some of them knew all along and this new discovery was because they just had a baby with Sickle cell disease.
    Very sad lot indeed!!!. But this is very REAL too. So dear friends, just testing isn’t enough, even if you’ve always known your genotype, if you’re planning to get married, test in 2-3 laboratories just to be sure. Seen this happen in the east, west and south of Nigeria where i worked.
    You can be sure I repeated mine over and over before i got married even though my parents were AA (Call me paranoid, hehehehe but ana amacha kwanu?) Mbok, i no wan stories that touch the heart.

    Finally, i’ll like to add, LOVE is great but not worth bringing a suffering and sickly child to the world. It’ll shatter your heart to pieces when you look on that child face.
    A lot i want to say but uhm…..this is Chisim’s blog not mine.
    Cheers Sim, thanks for the space

    • Reply
      January 10, 2017 at 7:20 am

      Thank you, Dr Chuku. Your contribution is very insightful and I’ll heed your words to check several times. If there’s more to add, please share with us. The blog post aims to start a conversation and your experience and advice is greatly needed. Thank you, again.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Some people know they are both AS and they are busy praying for a “miracle “.

    • Reply
      January 10, 2017 at 7:22 am

      Well, I hope they find a miracle. Thank you, Oge.

  • Reply
    chychy Ilodianya
    January 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    This got me teary eyed… is not a good feeling but is better than a sickly child. thanks dear

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