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Last Call

By Raihanah Bint Abdul Hakeem

Episode Ten

This is my fifth year in marriage, but the journey of a thousand miles they say begins with a step and He who is patient eats the fattest bone. It was believed to be said that He who doesn’t have a child doesn’t talk with those who are fertile. It’s neither by the favour of any mankind that my dreams came to reality. It was by the favour of my Lord who I worshipped in the day and at night.

I held my child in my hands, a replica of his father. The little child’s face shone like the sun. My dreams eventually come true, I could see his tiny hands as he folded my finger into his happily. He snuggled to my direction and I could see an undying child’s love he’s got for his mother. What else could I describe the charmness of the little baby!

Can I call this a tale of motherhood, how beautiful is it to have your child wrapped comfortably into your arms, he gave a tiny smile and I moved closer to give a peck on his little cheek, “how cute he is,” I muttered.

The door to the labour room quietly opened and I turned to meet an handsome man, “Well, not as handsome as the one laying on my lap,” I thought. Mas’ud moved closer, apologised for being late. He carried his son and sat next to me.

“This is our dreams come true,” He smiled. “Alhamdulillah” He added with joy written all over his face.

“What’s his name going to be?” I asked with excitement.

“And he shall be called – Mubarak.” Masud gave a smile, the typical one which usually make him look much more younger than his actual age. The smile whom every lady would love, indeed it’s an attractive one. He continued, “this is because he is a blessing from our Lord.”

I curved a smile, “Alhamdulillah, he is really a blessing from Allah.” I drew the shawl closer to the baby. Mas’ud could be wondering how I feel so over protective. How I feel so excited. Indeed, he is more excited with the way he held his child closer to himself. This is his child, his first son, his heir.

Mas’ud drew the child more closer to himself gently, kissed his forehead, he stared at me, then asked, “Give him a native name.”

I smiled, then suddenly wished my mother was here, to share our joy, to carry her grandchild in her soft hands. To dance with iró and bùba, to wriggle her waist around in excitement.

She left! At the tender age of five, I became a child without a mother. I grew up in the hands of a lonely father. I struggled, but I never had a confidant. Father tried all his possible best to make end means so I could attain a qualitative education, to live a good lifestyle but a father’s love and care was not enough.

Then a lovely day, when the sun was bright. I got a call from my friend, Aa’ishah informing me of a company recruiting new staffs. In the company, while in an unexplainable haste, I had ran over the son of the C.E.O who was carrying with him some office files, and the files got scattered all over the shiny tiled floor. I made a move to pick them up, but the son had not retreated as he joined in packing the scattered files.

Two weeks later, I was called to resume with the position of a secretary to the C.E.O’s son, the one whom I had ran into. He seems nice as we discussed like we knew each other already. As time goes on, he declared his intention and I accepted wholeheartedly. Mas’ud was the C.E.O’s son, whom I later got married to. Our first year of marriage has been full with happiness and going smoothly until things began to fall apart.

Should I began with the day Grandma came and had rained insult on me, or the day she had told me I had her son beyond her control!

“You have locked my son beneath you. He doesn’t listen to me any longer. You have entered his head. Release my son from your bondage, onìnabí.”

Should I began the tales of how she once held my clothes in a bit to fight me. Mas’ud witnessed all that had happened but he couldn’t say anything. He tried talking to his mother to be patient with his wife but she grew deaf ears to heed. Mas’ud couldn’t withstand all that I faced with Grandma’s persistent visit to our house especially when he is not at home so she could torment me to her satisfaction.

A very beautiful day, Mas’ud ringed it to my ear, he said we would be relocating abroad. I knew it wasn’t because of anything but he did it just for me, to satisfy me so I would be free from all troubles. So, I could live my life happily without no worries. Grandma raged, when she heard from Mas’ud of our relocating. She felt bad and hissed uncountably at me like the way snake make their ‘hiss’ sounds when they saw their prey.

Life abroad seems beautiful, it looks worthy but still Grandma never stop disturbing with calls, “I need a grandchild,” she keeps saying each and every moment. The fateful day came when we eventually arrived Nigeria and circumstances changed.

The day Grandma told my husband he would marry another wife, the day Mas’ud brought in another wife, the day I was treated like a stranger in my home, the day Mas’ud never had respect for our trust, the day tragedy occurs, the day happiness swam into our home and an everlasting pain was written in our lives. And till date, I accept my fate.

I faced Mas’ud who was anxious to hear of the names, “I felt pain in my heart for good five years, and here comes a child who is to put a smile to my tears, the one who is to fix my broken heart.” Tears welled up in my eyes as they broke the bondage and swam down my face. He couldn’t take it anymore as he wiped my tears and comforted me.

“I have lots of names.” He nodded in affirmative for me to go on. “He shall be named, Adésanyà, Olúwàrémilèkún, Ayómidé, Fìyínfòlúwa, Ibúkùnolúwa.”

Mas’ud pulled me into an embrace, and held my soft hand in his “And his oríkì shall be ‘Ayìndé’ cos we gave his praise and he came. Then which of our Lord’s favour can we deny?”

” None,” We both said in unison.
_____________________

“Now await in patience the Command of they Lord: for verily thou art in Our eyes: and celebrate the praises of thy Lord the while thou standest forth,” (at-Tur 52:48)

“O ye who believe! persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that ye may prosper. (Al’Imran 3:200)

“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” (al-Baqarah 2:155-7)

“Nay, seek (Allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer: it is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit”
(al-Baqarah 2:45)

“O you who have attained to faith! Seek aid in steadfast patience and prayer: for, behold, God is with those who are patient in adversity. ( 2:153)

Written by Raihanah bint Abdul-hakeem

Thanks for reading! Mention at least one lesson you’ve learnt so far.

May Allah reward you abundantly.

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