Bashirah smiled to herself as she poured out the water into the drum and it filled to the brim. She nodded at herself and left for the tap to fill up the bucket in her hand before she go back home to her mother. She has left the house very early in the morning to fetch some water for Mama as everyone call her in the village and to help the old woman do some morning chores as she always does since she has been back in the village after her secondary school education which she had in a neighboring village.
She is the only child of her mother and lost her father ten years ago. Her mother never remarried and thus her uncle who is an elder brother to her father took responsibility of her secondary education , which she finished two years before but he couldn’t sponsor her further thus he sent her back to her mother who sells food in front of the house.
Mama lives two houses away, she is in her late seventies while her husband is his late eighties, both are very nice couples whose children lives in the city and do send them foodstuffs and money often. The old couple do give most of these to them in return, they help them with house chores.
Bashirah wish is to be a nurse , it is a profession she always wanted to go into ever since she was a child and she know she would have been in a nursing school if her father had been alive.
She dropped the bucket on her head on the top of the covered drum of water
“My dear. You have done so much within a short period of time. “ she heard Mama’s voice , Bashirah smiled and turned to see the old woman behind her smiling.
“As salamualykum mama, how was your night?” Bashirah asked .
“Walaykumsalam, my dear, Alihamdulilah.” She replied .
“How is Bami?” Bashirah asked anD she was told Bami slept off immediately after Subhi prayer.
“I have prepared your breakfast and cleaned the house. I will be back later in the day , ins sha Allah.” Bashirah told mama and left for her mother’s house to help her prepare some food to sell. It was almost eight and very soon , customers will be arOund for breakfast.
It was a very hot saturday, suleiman was sweating profusely, he entered the first taxi that stopped infront of him , he told the driver his destination.
“Dont worry Oga. We will soon get there. ” the driver said and started the car. Suleiman closed his eyes deep in thought. It’s been five years that he has seen his parents and siblings , he missed them so much. Since he completed his secondary school education, he hardly stays at home , he was awarded a scholarship to study abroad and he was employed immediately after his first degree in to a multi national company, he relocated to south Africa , stayed there for couple of years and got married to Misturah, the love of his life. He got transfered back to the country to Abuja, his wife left him two years later, after a seven years of childless marriage . He divorced her few months later. He still missed her alot and still wondered why she decided to leave him.
Misturah was an international lawyer and he loved her so much , he turned a deaf ear to everyone’s comment about her.
“she is too rude.” her mother told him but he gave the excuse for that: she was born and bred in London!
“she is lazy. ” his sister pointed out , even his brothers has nothing good to say about her .
Misturah broke his ties with his family , they hardly call him and none ever visited him, he was so much in love to realise this until she finally left .
Suleiman sighed , he was going home for the first time in seven years!!! He cant even wait to see them all.
He is the first child of the family of five children, Hadrah was the second child and the first daughter, she got married seven years earlier, her marriage was his last visit back home. The third and fourth were twins Hassan and Hussein, they both got married a year ago, both lives in lagos , close to their parents , Kudrah was the last child , she got married six months earlier.
The house will be so quiet now. He wondered how their parents were able to live alone in such a big house all by themselves. He still wish to have the family together one more time.
“Alihamdulilah!! We are here.” The driver announced and that woke him up from the thought. He smiled at the man , paid him and collected his luggage from him, watched him drove away. He carried his bags, hung one on his shoulder and held two on each hand, then walked slowly to the gate, . He dropped the bag, and pressed the door bell. The gate opened and the gate man opened, he was not the old one, the man asked him questions, then he told him to wait so as to call the man of the house to announce his arrival.
“Suleiman? Let him come in .” the man said , the other end of the intercom. The gateman nodded , smiled at Suleiman and helped him with the bags.
“i am sorry sir, i dont know you are the “Uncle Suleiman.” the gateman said.
“No problem .” Suleiman said and followed him inside. The compound looked completely different.
Bashirah winced in pain as tears ran down her eyes, the door opened and her mother ran inside with some drugs.
“Stop this your tears. ” her mother cautioned her and helped her sit up with her back rested on the wall.
“Mami, I am feeling dizzy.” Bashirah said after taking the drugs.
“You will be fine, ins sha Allah.” Her mother said, how she wished she had some money to take her only child to the hospital for a proper medical care but what can a poor widow like her do?
Suleiman smiled as he listened to the old couple’s story. They are both happy to see him, it is been seven years! They were glad when he called them a few days ago to inform them he is coming to the village to see them. He kept to his words and arrived the before.
“I think I have to leave you both to the men’s talk while I go and prepare dinner.” His grandmother said and stood up to leave the living room.
“ I thought Mum said you have some sort of help. Where is she?” Suleiman asked, he could not understand why his grandparent refused to get a maid due to their grandparent old age but rather rely on a help from a neighbor.
“I told you to go see her mother.” His grandfather said
“I forgot.” His grandmother said and her husband insisted she go see her first.
“we have to know what is wrong with them.” The grandfather said.
“I will prepare dinner.” Suleiman volunteered and the couple broke into laughter.
“Come on, I can make all different of dishes.” Suleiman pointed out, he has been alone for five years after his divorce and he did seventy percent of the cooking during his marriage with his ex-wife.
“Al right, let us give him a trial while you go check on Bashirah and her mother.” Suleiman’s father said, Mami left and went to Bashirah’s house, it was just a few steps away from their compound. She entered the house, the room was opened and thus she entered, it was dark but for the candle in the room, there was no electric connection in the house . The room was hot and Mami felt uncomfortable, Bashirah’s mother smiled at Mami and greeted her warmly. Bashirah was sleeping on the mat, a place was cleared for Mami to sit on the mat, there were no chairs in the room.
“What happened?” Mami asked and looked at Bashirah.
“She is sick, Mami.” Bashirah’s mother replied.
“Subuanallah! Why don’t you take her to the village Clinic? She is turning pale.” Mami asked with concern and Bashirah’s heart missed a beat!
“Mami, you know everything. ” the poor woman said tearfully.
“Ofcourse dear, you should have let me know, you are just like my own daughter, you both had done a lot for us.” Mami explained .
“How is she now?” mami asked further.
“There is no improvement.” She replied, Mami then suggested they take Bashirah to the Clinic.
“I will foot the bills.” Mami promised .
We will need to refer her to town. She has a chronic typhoid and we don’t have much resources to cater for her here.” The doctor pointed out and Bashirah’s mother broke into tears.
“Alright Doctor, we will make some arrangements.” Suleiman said. He was instructed to come with Mami to the hospital to see the sick girl.
Mami took him out of the doctor’s office and plead with him to help take Bashirah to the City for medical treatment. Suleiman had no choice than to accept. He put a call through to his father and explained the situation of things to him.
“No problem, I will inform the doctor.” He said to his son and thus Bashirah was taken to the City for medical treatment.
To be continued ins sha Allah