Raheemah’s eyes suddently turned red, her lips trembled as she narrated the terrible ordeal which claimed the life of her precious husband. Her tears kept rolling uncontrollably. I wiped her tears with my bare hands, her story moved me to tears and made me see another side of life.
According to her, her husband was hale and hearty when he left for work this particular black day. In fact he was the one that dropped the kids off in their school before he proceeded to his own office. Raheemah too was already at work when their neighbour’s call came through. The man had to lie to her that she had a visitor back home who claimed he was her brother. Coincidentally she was expecting her brother from the north that same day, the only thing that baffles her was why her brother didn’t call her on his arrival so that she could tell him where she left the key. She tried her brother’s no but wasn’t reachable so she had to take permission and rushed home. On getting home she met a crowd in front of her flat. She stood still and was wondering what could be going on, one of her female neighbour rushed to her and took her to her own flat. She was still in the dark as to what could be happening yet her mind couldn’t stop somersaulting over and over again. ” What is going on here” She demanded severally but her neighbour kept telling her to calm down. “Calm down for what, I asked what is going on you keep telling me to calm down. Tell me what the matter is or I’ll go out and ask the people outside” She said and made to leave when another neighbor came in and burst the bubble “Is this how people die? I heard Abu Hiqmah is dead” The neighbour, oblivion of Raheemah’s presence said immediately she entered. “ Which Abu Hiqmah are you talking about?” She asked sharply charging at the woman who made the revelation while others were calming her down.
The reality later dawned on her that her husband was gone forever. His car had collided with a truck on his way to work, according to eye witnesses, he died on the spot with no glimmer of hope. Dream dashed and hopes buried, at first she thought she was dreaming, she needed someone to wake her up and tell her it’s only a dream. She needed someone to tell her Raheemah, your imaginations are weird, come on stop imagining things. Someone they slept and woke up together just this morning has suddenly gone on a journey of no return. She wept blood and was depressed for months. The days of her iddah was gloomy and she only wallowed in self pity and melancholy but thanks to Family and friends who rally around her and gave her succor. It was indeed a terrible experience, which is soul draining. She narrated in tears while I tried to console her but emotions failed me too and I broke down. How on earth will I deny this poor helpless woman the joy of being married again. The pride and honour of having a crown as Yoruba do call it. That would only amount to wickedness and selfishness.
After the washing, we went to a room and chatted like old time friends, She was really cheerful now and I quickly ceased the opportunity to ask her how she met my husband. She replied simply that Ahmad was her brother’s friend, I interrupted by asking her which of my husband’s friend was her brother because I practically knew all his friends. It eventually turned out that I didn’t know her brother and they happened to be close pals as Raheemah claimed. Humans heart is full of secrets, they tell you exactly what they want you to know and they withhold that which they think you don’t need to know.
The marriage between Raheemah and Ahmad hold eventually and fast forward to today, our relationship as co-wives had not been all rosy but not bad in the real sense of badness. We argued and fight sometimes and other times we got along just fine. We were not living in the same house as this was Ahmad’s decision. He said I’ve always said I couldn’t live with a co-wife and he wouldn’t want to go against my wish as there’s no stated rule that co-wives must live under same roof without their consent. He said it’s not right for him to make us live together against our wish and consent. Even now that I said Raheemah was free to come live with me, my husband wouldn’t listen, he firmly told me that I shouldn’t compromise my wish simply because I’ve developed a soft spot for Raheemah. I might think we would get on fine but issues will spring up which may cause a heavy rivalry provoking arguments and fighting and he doesn’t want trouble.
He got her another apartment and was dividing his days and nights between us. The first major issue that came up was when Ahmad was spending my days with Raheemah. She took in and had a terrible hyperemesis gravidarum. He had to spend more days with her and I wouldn’t take it lightly. I confronted him and instead of being sober he flared back.
“What would you have me do, leave her alone in that condition? Because I don’t understand your protest at all”
“SUBHANALLAH Ahmad!! It’s been two weeks now, our agreement is for you to spend five days here and five days there, Ahmad you’re trampling upon my right”
“Haven’t I being faithful to that agreement up till now? She needs me now more than you do, she’s sick can’t you understand”
“Understand what? Pregnancy is not a sickness, and if you feel it’s sickness then you can bring her down here so that you can keep an eye on her because I won’t agree to be cheated on account of hyperemesis gravidarum.”
“I suggested her coming here but she said no.”
“Then she must be joking if she thinks she can steal my husband just because of pregnancy fever. I will never take it lai lai, if I do you people will take me for granted and do worse things to deny me of my rights, I won’t allow you turn me into an abandoned wife” I said firmly
“Anike try to understand, you’re also a woman”
“I refuse to understand anything in this situation. In as much as I know that hyperemesis can be fatal, it’s not as if we don’t have a choice here, she can come stay here or better still get a maid for her to tend to her needs in your absence. If she’s not okay with any of these options then she has an ulterior motive she’s driving at. I need you, my children also need you so don’t tell me that Raheemah need you more than I do” I said with aching heart.
I have to protect my interest, I have to protect the man I love not because of myself alone but because he has to be fair in his division of time. I have to protect him because I wouldn’t want Allah to resurrect him with one of his sides leaning because of injustice.