The day could not have started any worse. Overnight the storm had flooded the kitchen. MaSelebi was mopping up the mess. Her daughter, Angela was standing up to her ankles in water helping her. Suddenly she stopped, leaned back, put her hand on her back and gave a small groan. That's when her mother saw it – her stomach- the bulge, round and smooth -as clear as anything.
"Huh?" she said, dropping down the bucket with a crash.
Suddenly all hell broke loose.
"What's that? Eh? Ai, ai!"
"Ma! I'm doing my best. This mop is ancient," cried Angela.
"I'm not talking about that! Hey wena! You've kept it from me all this time?"
She's rapping again! thought Angela, which is what she called it when her mother started ranting. But then she saw her mouth. It was wide open. So were her eyes which were glaring at her tummy. Angela knew this was it. The moment she had been dreading had come.
"I name my own daughter Angela – after the angel that I thought you were. But no! You're not an angel! Far from one!"
"Ai ma!" said Angela softly, tears in her eyes.
"How long have you been like this?" her ma shrieked.
What could Angela say? Her best friend had told her how your period stops when you're pregnant and you get morning sickness. Well, her period had stopped and the gory stories about morning sickness had happened; that was six months ago. She hadn't wanted to believe it then, but all the signs were there.
"You thought you could hide it from me? Uh?"
Yes, Angela thought, I really did. Angela had even hidden the unused pads which her mother bought her every month; she had worn her one size too big school jersey to cover the bump, and a loose night dress at night. At weekends she hid it with large sweaters and oversized
"How dare you lie to me, you little ...you sinful...you..."
At this point her mum ran out of words and burst out crying.
"Ai Ai, Lord! Must I carry this burden, this shame, this horror with me, all over again?"
WHAT DO YOU THINK: If you were pregnant, would you hide it from one or both of your parents? Or tell them?