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Last Call

By Raihanah Bint Abdul Hakeem

Episode Three

It’s been three month since we’ve arrived Nigeria, and within this short while, Mas’ud had tied the knot with Aliyah Badmus, all had been going on fine. We’ve been living like a perfect happy family with everyone minding his or her own business until a fateful day when everything turned sour.

Last Saturday morning, Aliyah had complained to Mas’ud of feeling uneasy, vomiting and losing thirst also. The duo had gone to the hospital where it was confirmed to them that she was three weeks pregnant. Our joy knew know bounds as she came home and I congratulated her cheerfully. Immediately, she called Grandma to inform her and Grandma was over excited and full with joy with the way she had sounded on phone, telling her not to do this or that, giving her stern warning on some things I don’t understand.

Mas’ud had gone to work the following week which was on Monday and I was all alone with Aliyah at home when a friend of mine, Tinuola called to remind me of my appointment with a business consultant and hurriedly I dressed to be on my way as fast as I can because I hate delay and lateness. I took my husband’s car key and was on my way to the parking space when Aliyah came forward to me.

“Can I have the car keys in your hands, I need them because I’m going shopping for my baby” She said as she pointed to the keys in my hands.

“You need them, for what ? …..but you just went shopping with your husband last week and by the ways I have a business appointment to catch up with . -Oh this is April but I’m sorry Aliyah I’m not in for jokes. And I guess this is not a mood swing. I have an appointment to catch so see you later in the day” I told her as I turned to open the door to the car.

“Really, Lateefah. Do you think I’m joking. I need that car and I’m dead serious. By the way, I’m not going out without that car.” She shouted pointing her fingers at me. I withdrew from opening the car to face her with surprises on my face.

“Wait, did you just called me by name. Since when have all this started, ‘egbá mí lenú e. O má go oro so. I’m older than you with nothing less than four good years. Aburó mi to je egbe e gán ko je lá orúko mo mi lori, jó bawó ni tí e je?” I replied her annoyingly.

“Seriously, you ought to have beaten me. Yes, kúkú lu mi. Agbáya ‘Go and give birth. Are you not shameless that your younger one is giving birth and you are here happy to take a car outside. Yeye woman, by the time I’m through with you in this house you will shed blood.” She said as the keys dropped from my hands and in a haste she took the keys and drove the car out of the compound.

However, I decided to cancel the appointment with the consultant but I had no choice than to go because I wouldn’t want to lose such opportunity. Eventually, I left the house boarding a “danfo” bus to the office.

By the time the appointment was over, I left for home stressed and tired and upon reaching home I met Grandma and Mas’ud sitting on the chair while Aliyah was sober in a corner of the living room. I asked what was wrong but was given the least I had expected.

“Lateefah, abí ki lón jé. If you don’t have a womb to give birth, does that mean you should kill the one who has it and is willing to give birth. Answer my question.” Grandma raged in anger.

“I don’t understand what’s going on. You are speaking in parables, Grandma. Can you please go straight to the point. Mas’ud, what’s going on.” I asked in confusion.

“A fool like you will never understand. Yes, will never understand. If you are tired of living in this house with your co-wife. Just tell us, let us know how evil you are. What did this girl do to you.” She asked pointing to Aliyah. – Why did you not want her to take her husband’s car out. Tell me what right you have in this house that she doesn’t have? “. She said boiling in anger.

“Grandma, the car belongs to our husband and by the way I was the first person to take the keys to the car before she came telling me she wanted to shop for her baby.” I said plainly.

“Can you see Grandma, have you seen I was telling the truth?” Aliyah cuts in, as she continued sobbing.

But I still don’t understand what they are trying to insinuate. Who is meant to be hurt here? Me or Aliyah. Then why is she crying?

“So that accounted you to push her in her stomach, right? Can you see how evil and wicked you are. Just because you took the keys first. Does that warrant you pushing her?” Grandma shouted at the top of her voice.

“Pushed her, I never did such. How could I – No I can’t do that. Believe me I did nothing of such to her. Did I hit you?.” I asked Aliyah.

“Yes, you did. Grandma, she even said I lack manners. O nì mo goro so!. Ask her that too”. She said crying.

“I admitted to say that. Yes, I did say that but can you believe she called me by name. I am not her age mate. I am older than her with four good years. She should learn to respect me.” I told Grandma.

While all this interrogation was going on, Mas’ud kept mute. He only kept looking at the drama we were playing until he broke the silence.

“Now, I don’t know who to believe. Either you or Aliyah, but tell me Lateefah if a child behaves like a child. What is expected for an elderly one with experience, do you have to insult her telling her she lacks manners. She is your co-wife and you both deserve to be treated equally.” Mas’ud said angrily.

I swallowed hard trying to hide the tears embedded in my eyes as I listened to Mas’ud as he continued “……by the way, you confirmed to telling her she lacks manners but denied hitting her on the stomach. Just tell me the reason why you are telling a lie. If you have never hitted her on the stomach, would she have called mother or I in panic. Take a look at this result.” He said as he handed me a paper. “I never expected this from you. I am highly disappointed in you, Lateefah.”

Mas’ud left the living room in anger and I stared at the paper unable to believe my eyes. “This was a planned medical report” I muttered to myself. I could see Grandma telling Aliyah to go and rest. Definitely, this is all planned by Aliyah as she gave me a wicked smile before leaving for her bedroom. Grandma neither knew all Aliyah has been cooking.

Written by Raihanah bint Abdul-hakeem

Dear readers, if you were to be in Lateefah’s shoes. What would you have done?

And what would be your next action in – line?

Did Mas’ud did the right thing?

Thanks for reading!

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