Teenage Pregnancy; a prevailing issue in our society

One of the issues addressed in my new novel Beyond Now is that of teenage pregnancy.

I have found that it is a prevailing issue in the society today. According to research, teenage pregnancy is so common  such that an estimated 23% of teenagers between the ages of 15-19 get pregnant at least once before they reach 20 years of age. This to me is an alarmingly high percentage of teenage pregnancy.

I addressed how parents can handle the situation of teenage pregnancy if they suddenly find that their teenage daughter pregnant. It was a very unconventional method though.

Here is a snippet of one of the scenes in the novel:

 

Chris was happy to see me. I had called him ahead and he told me to come directly to his house. He gave me a big hug and invited me to his room; the room where most of our naughtiness came to be; the room where we made a baby together.

“Hi babe! I was not expecting you today until you called. How are you feeling now? Hope you are better?”

I smiled. On my way over, I had decided to just come out with it and not beat around the bush. The earlier we started planning together, the better for both of us. I decided to take the plunge – after all I can either land on my feet or crash. I prefer the former though.

“I’m fine for now but I might not be better for the next nine months.”

“Nine months? Why? What does that mean? What did the doctor say?”

I held his hand. “Look at me, Chris, because what I am about to say is going to change your life forever.”

He looked scared. I had never seen that look on him before.

“Chris, we are going to have a baby. That’s what the doctor told me earlier today.”

He released my hands immediately and pulled back. I was not worried because I knew he needed time to process the information I just gave him. I was shocked too when I heard what the doctor had to say at the hospital. My immediate reaction had been denial; until I had time to think and process.

I laid back on the bed and continued watching him. He stood up suddenly and started pacing. I still was not concerned at this point.

“So, what you are telling me is that you are pregnant?”

I smiled again. “Yes.”

He turned his back and looked out the window. “Whose baby is it?”

As I heard that question, I became rigid. “What sort of question is that? The baby is yours of course. Why would you even ask me that?” I shouted.

“Shhh, keep your voice down.” He turned back towards me. “I have a right to ask the question because I never had sex with you without protection. We always used condoms, right?”

No, no, no. This was not going according to plan at all. I was supposed to tell him the good news and we are supposed to work out a plan, have this baby and live happily ever after.

I looked into his eyes, they were hard. He was waiting for the answer to the question. “Yes, we always used protection.” I answered.

“Good. So you see, the baby can’t be mine.”

I felt deflated. Suddenly all the tiredness caught up with me. “So what are you implying?”

“I’m not implying anything. I just said the baby isn’t mine. You are not pregnant for me.”

This was not the Chris I knew. The Chris I knew was loving and caring and always wanted the best for me and to care for me. I don’t know this Chris and that scares me a lot.

“Whose baby is it then?”

“I don’t know Bella. You know and I suggest you go tell the right person the good news.” He said, so quiet.

“Chris, you are the first boyfriend I ever had and I was a virgin when we first made love so I don’t understand what you are saying and why you are saying it. Are you suggesting I was unfaithful?”

He turned back and faced the window. “I don’t know, girl. You think I don’t see you making calf eyes at that boy from class? What’s his name, again? Errrm…Rasheed, yes Rasheed is his name. Do you deny it?”

“Rasheed?  Rasheed is just a friend of mine. When did I make calf eyes at him?”

“Well, we should ask you that, shouldn’t we?”

I realized this line of argument wasn’t going anywhere so I decided to try a different tactic.

“Sit down Chris. Let’s talk this thing out.”

“There’s nothing to talk out, Bella. That baby isn’t mine because we used protection while making love. And how many times did we even have sex?”

That just made me angry. “It only takes once. Did you know condoms are only about 85-98% effective? That means you can’t depend on them as much.”

He looked surprised. “That’s a lie. They are 100% effective. Who told you that?”

“My mum.”

“You mean your parents know about this already?” he looked scared.

“Of course. My mum took me to the hospital and she was there when the doctor gave his diagnosis.”

“Shit!”

That shocked me. I had never heard him use any expletive before. The situation was bringing out the other side of Chris – or is this the original Chris? Maybe the Chris I knew did not exist anymore. I was so confused.

“I’m sure you told them the baby is mine – you better go back and tell them you made a mistake.”

“And why would I do that, hmm? There’s no mistake here. You are the father of this baby so the earlier you accept your responsibility, the better for us all.”

“I’m not accepting anything.” He pointed in my direction. “That baby isn’t mine.”

I stood up angrily. “Why are you insisting on that Chris? Didn’t I just tell you how effective a condom can be?”

“Look, Bella, I don’t care. All I know is I’m not the father of that baby.”

I sat down, deflated. My world came crashing down. It was the Chris I knew and loved, wasn’t he? The same guy who professed undying love for me, who said he would never leave me? The same guy was denying any knowledge of my pregnancy. Where would I go from there? What would happen to all my dreams of happily ever after? What would become of all my hopes for the future?

I stood up as if in a trance and walked out of his room.

 

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