I fixed my gaze on his mouth, eagerly awaiting it to open and say what I’ve been expecting to hear. He noticed my eagerness and uneasiness and instead of him to talk he burst into a prolonged laughter which made me wonder if he’s alright.
“Ah! Oh my good Lord, Anike! I got you there. You were shivering like a victim to be sacrificed to the gods. Calm your nerves, there’s no cause for alarm ” He said amidst laughter and I gave a faint hiss.
“What’s all this suspense about now, ain’t you the one who said you needed to tell me something. Tell me now before I develop BP o ehn ehn”
“Chai! Someone cannot play with you agaiiin, actually there’s this pamphlet I got from a friend which I’ll like you to read. Let me go get it” He said and went inside the room, came back and handed me the said pamphlet. I looked at him and shook my head in disappointment, so all this arose of eagerness is about an ordinary piece of paper. I collected the pamphlet and impatiently glanced through, it read thus:
LOVE LIKE NO OTHER
You’re the doctor and I am the nurse, we’re a force to reckon with in this marital institution, just like a doctor and a nurse are a force to reckon with in the hospital. Together we shall save lives, a doctor cannot work independently without the help of a nurse. I am your soul mate, without me you’re incomplete. We complement each other and our love is as strong as a rock. Without the wife the husband is just an empty barrel with no water.
You’re the teacher and I am your student, without the student the teacher has no employment. Without you I may probably not exist, I was created from the most crooked portion of your rib. Don’t try to straighten me so I won’t break. Don’t leave me untamed so I won’t remain crooked. You’re a teacher assigned to teach me right. Like a teacher and student relationship, corporal punishment instil fear in the student but love from the teacher makes him free and eager to learn. Please don’t hit me, don’t hurt me and don’t hate me. Please teach me with love, correct my inadequacies with wisdom and shower me with lots of affection. I shall be a good student and a pride to you.
We’re like a body, when any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever, your happiness is my joy, your problem is my trouble. Your success is my victory and your wealth is our wealth. Behind every successful man they say, there’s a woman standing like a rock and behind that successfully happy woman there’s a strong support system who’s the husband.
Forgive me, tell me if I go wrong, accumulated resentment and unforgiving spirit kills a marriage and lack of understanding buries it without resurrection. When you see an old man and his old wife on the street holding hands and smiling to each other, ask them about their success story and they’ll tell you marriage was never a bed of roses, is not and never will it be. Happily married ever after takes a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment from both parties. Do not join the gang that say it’s the work of the woman to keep a marriage and correct them when they say a man has all it takes to make it work. It’s a team work, a collective effort and a joint venture. To achieve a love like no other, it takes two to tango.
A love like no other should continue even in polygamy, a Muslim woman should prepare her mind at all times to either be the first, second, third or fourth wife of a man. The phrase one man one wife has no basis in Islam. The first wife should be kind enough to receive a second wife with open arms. The second wife should neither be seen as a husband snatcher nor a home wrecker. Until every woman realize and accept that polygamy is part of Islam which can never be cancelled or altered just because they’re not pleased with it, will live be a little more easier. Polygamy like no other would be achieved with Love like no other.
I finished reading, dropped the pamphlet and rested my back on the chair.
“Won’t you say anything ” He said in curiosity
“What do you want me to say? You asked me to read and I have read, what else? ” I asked back
“Okay, I want you to tell me what you’ve learnt from the message in the pamphlet”
“Oh oh okay, I learnt that doctor and nurse work in the hospital and teacher and student are found in the school” I answered indifferently
“Anike!!!” He exclaimed
“What?” I demanded
“Is that all you deduced from the whole message?”
“Come o, stop patronising me now, you asked what I learnt and I’ve told you, you didn’t ask me to summarize or narrate the whole pamphlet, do you? ”
“Okay, all good and fine. Please can I get something to eat I’m famished ” He said giving up.
“Oh sure” I replied and headed for the kitchen.
He would definitely not put words in my mouth, if he needed to tell me something, he should come out straight and stop perambulating. I know for sure that he’s pregnant with something and I really wish him a safe delivery.
The days that followed saw Alabi treating me like a queen. He was all over me with love and affection. He assisted with chores and volunteered to do the cooking on weekends. Wow he even loosened my hair and washed for me. He showered me with gifts upon gifts. He took me for shopping and we went on several dates to resort and monument places. All these he does before but not like every other day. His kindness was beginning to scare me and I couldn’t wait for him to unravel the misery, yet I don’t want to put words in his mouth by asking, so I waited impatiently for the D-day.
On a Saturday night, we were about retiring to sleep when he called out my name softly
“Anike, your husband wishes to get married for the second time” He said without blabbing or stuttering. There was a long silence after he burst the bubble, his words echoed severally in my ears. I wasn’t surprised or shocked because I saw it coming. He broke the silence by asking me to say something. I opened my mouth to talk but I cried instead. I cried like a baby deprived of breastmilk. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing for some minutes. I had cried gallons of tears and still I was hurting. He tried to placate me to no avail. After crying to my fill, the tears stopped on it’s own and I cleared my throat to speak.
“Alabi! You’re a good man, you’ve always been good to me and I’m surprised that your goodness increases even at the verge of taking another wife. You see I’ve always been scared of a day like this probably because of the experience I had while growing up. I won’t lie to you the mere thought of polygamy scares me like fire, but it appears my man is different from them all. However I have my fears ” I said and burst into another round of tears.
“Please let’s peg it for today, we’ll continue some other time, I can’t stand this tears any longer” He said but I insisted on saying my mind before sleeping.
“I won’t be able to sleep if I don’t say my mind, I hope it’s not because you don’t want me to get mad, that’s why you’ve been so good to me”
“Haven’t I been good before ?”
“In fairness to you Ahmad, you’ve been a good husband and a good father to our children but that goodness increases which made me believe you’re faking it ”
“SubhanAllah, I’m not faking Aminah, all I’m doing is discharging my responsibility as stated by Allah and his Rasool”
“So you won’t derail even after the arrival of my co-wife? ”
“Oh my co-wife, I like the way that sounds” He said jokingly but I wasn’t in for any of his jokes.
“Promise me that you won’t abandon me, love me less or hurt me to please her”
“May Allah assist me to be just ”
“Promise me that you won’t share my love with her”
“I don’t understand? ”
“Create another space for her in your heart, don’t share my space with her”
“My allowances must not reduce, my gifts must continue and your attention for me must not be altered”
“May Allah assist me”
“I just want to share your body and not your love hope I’m not being selfish or asking for too much ”
“Not at all, you have acted honourably”
“Then let’s meet her”
“What?” He exclaimed in surprise
“I said let’s meet her” I repeated
“You won’t strike?” He asked with humour
“Oh this your big head don’t forget, that’s if you didn’t tell me and now you’ve acted honourably.” I said smiling back at him
“Oh come here you this angel, what have you given me, you’re driving me crazy” He said tickling me and we both laughed to sleep.