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Last Call

By Raihanah Bint Abdul Hakeem

Episode Nine

Marriage is not a bed of all roses, as time goes on Mas’ud and I can be involved in a hot argument but the only solution lies between us, as we solve our grudges between ourselves without the interference of a third party. Just last week, Grandma visited our home, cheerful she was as she greeted me wholeheartedly.

“Abìmbólà mì, how are you. Hope you are fine. And hope my baby is kicking. I hope Mas’ud isn’t disturbing you.” She bombarded me with questions. “I hope you are not stressed either.” She added.

I could see cheerfulness in her voice, happiness in her face, friendliness in her character. Still, I couldn’t fathom why she changed suddenly to me. Has she been behaving harshly to me because of my childlessness. “Grandma, all is well. The baby is kicking, and Mas’ud isn’t disturbing me either.” I replied and she gave a smile. “What would you like to eat. There is Amàlá and vegetable soup, Rice and meat, Yam and stew, Semo and Obé Ata, Eba and Obe ilá. Name any of your choice, and within a seconds I would be back.” I said.

“Láye-Láye, what did you just say Lateefah. What do you mean. Never.” Grandma was on her feet as she stamped them to the floor. Her voice could be heard everywhere in the sitting room. My heart started pounding already, I don’t understand what I did wrong. I never said anything wrong. “But, erhmmm Grandma…. I don’t..” I have hardly finish my statement before she interrupted.

“Lateefah, in your condition I can’t allow you prepare all those you mentioned. You are meant to rest and not to stress yourself. Ó ye kó ma sé wáhàlá bó tì léwu kò kerè to. Egbá mi, nì ó wà kà adùrù oúnjè kàlé. You know what, bìmbóla. Sit down, I will go to the kitchen to prepare what I will eat” Grandma said as she adjusted her wrapper and headed to the kitchen. I heaved a little sigh as I rested my back to the chair.

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Grandma prepared Amálà, and she warmed the vegetable soup I had prepared a day before which was in a container in the freezer. She made for herself, Mas’ud and I. Mas’ud came from work shortly later and was happy to meet his mother and a sumptous meal prepared by his mother. On the dining table, as he eats, I could see the way he licks his fingers happily.

“No doubt, Grandma is a very good cook. The food is very sweet. Thanks to Grandma” I smiled.

“You are welcome, my dear bimbola.” Grandma replied. “Hope it’s delicious, Akanni” She said, facing my husband. He smiled back, “Sure, you are a very good cook and thanks to my wife too. She is a very good cook.”

Grandma gave a smile,”May Allāh be with you both and may He continue to bless all your endeavours. ”

“Amin oooo” Mas’ud and I replied.

By the time everyone was done eating. I packed the dishes to the kitchen for washing. I was so glad for the change in Grandma, I feel like one of the happiest person on earth. This is one of my beautiful moments, and the second time grandma would ever call me bimbola. The fist time she had called me that was on my wedding night. This calls for celebration.

Back in the living room, Grandma handed me five different pieces of lace material, a jewellery and some shoes to match. She apologised for all what she had done to me and I was moved to tears as Allāh knows best. She prayed for both me and Mas’ud as well as our unborn child. She thanked me for having a good time with her. By the time it was getting late, she called her driver to come over and she left happily after giving me a warm embrace.

This was the second time, my mother in law treated me nice even when she knew I lost my mother at the tender age of five. I never received a mother’s care and affection but just a fatherly one.

Mas’ud came closer after noticing my change of mood, “Lateefah”. He smiled. “Why are you sad, don’t make me sad too.”

“Sad…come of it, I am not sad. I was thinking of the….of how to call the plumber tomorrow to fix the….” I faked a smile.

“Till tomorrow then, guess what……guess, guess, guess” Mas’ud said.

“But I’m not good in guessing, you know.”

“We are leaving……”

“……leaving to where.” I asked mouth agape

“We are travelling in three weeks time, we are going back to London.” Mas’ud replied joyfully.

“Really, that’s one of the best news ever. I’m so happy Mas’ud. Thanks for making me happy.” I replied unable to hide my joy.

Mas’ud gave a handsome smile then spoke, “I should be thanking you for making my dreams come true. You are the best thing that ever happened to me, so why won’t I make you happy. Abimbola mì owón, I am so blessed to have you.”

This is my Mas’ud, the man I loved, the man I knew before everything changed. “I’m blessed to have you too, Mas’ud. You are the best husband in the world.
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And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. (30:21)

Written by Raihanah bint Abdul-hakeem

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