Joanna retched and bent over the toilet bowl. The pain and nausea twisted her stomach until she couldn’t breathe. The stuff came up and burst out, all yellow and slimy and tasting of bile. She knew more was coming, so she sat on the bathroom floor waiting. In the interval, the door banged and her mother’s voice asked her to open up. Seconds later, she was standing over her, a look of anger on her face. She had just begun feeling the wrenching of her gullet when suddenly her mother gave her a resounding slap. It was the trigger for another outburst of her stomach’s contents. When she rose her mother was waiting for her.

“Whose child is it?”
“What do you mean?” This time the tears were not held back. She began sobbing quietly.

“What do I mean? I am not stupid.  Don’t you think I know morning sickness when I see it? I’ve heard you throwing up all over my toilet for the last two days. You have been complaining of being sick for three months. Now tell me, whose baby is it?”
“But mum I’m a vir…”

There was more retching and throwing up. When she was done, she kept heaving but nothing would come out. Sobs gushed out of her as her mother glared at her in anger.


“All this time I thought I was raising a daughter and instead I have a whore in the house! Those tears will not help you. Tell me who the father is before I beat it out of you”
“Don’t you mum me! I was not there when that baby was made. Do you expect me to be the proud grandmother of an illegitimate child? And who do you think will pay for that child’s upkeep? What do you think the neighbors are going to say of me? Do you think I can walk into church with my head up anymore? I will make you regret every second of that day you decided to bring shame on me! You will pay for every ounce of embarrassment I shall suffer!”
“MUM!” She was screaming now. “I’m not pregnant!”
“Don’t you dare! Its bad enough you spread your legs for every man, now you look me in the eye and lie? Pack your things. I want you and that bastard out of my house.”

“But mum… I…”

“Nothing. I want you to leave in the next 30minutes or I will throw you out like a dog.”

Joanna was left crying as her other walked away without a backward glance. She was in too much pain to move but she knew her mother. If she did not willingly leave she would be thrown out. She dragged herself to her room and packed her things slowly. A dull pain was going through her but she ignored it. She had 10 minutes left and her mother was already yelling for her to get out.

She couldn’t believe this was happening. She wasn’t pregnant, but her mother would never believe her. The pain increased and she screamed out for her mother. Her mother came to the door but was unmoved.

“Stop that acting. Get out.”

“Mum help me!” she cried clutching her tummy as she fell to the ground.

Her mother simply watched her, yelling about how it would be good if she lost that bastard. She didn’t want an illegitimate child.

Joann cried and said a prayer for God to forgive her mother as she felt the life get sucked out of her. Her mother was unmoved, to her the bastard was dad and so was her slut of her daughter. All was right in the world because she would not be embarrassed by a scandal.

Days later, the autopsy results were in. her mother had ranted about a pregnancy and the doctor had to set the record straight. The doctor was brief. He had learnt from experience that it was best to give this sort of news in the fewest words possible. He broke it down into simple layman’s terms.

“Your daughter was not pregnant. She had ovarian cysts, they raptured and she bled out when they raptured. If she had gotten to hospital in time, we could have saved her.”

Joanna mother sat there I shock. Her baby had told her the truth. She had let her baby die for nothing. Tears ran down her face as she thought of the last thing her daughter saw as she died; her other with a look of hate cursing her. She had failed as a mother and a human being.  Joanna’s death was all her fault.