“Even though he will not say it for fear of offending me, I am sure he is wondering why I am not pregnant yet even though I have been having an intercourse with that guy. The way he looks at me sometimes makes me very suspicious of him, the way he murmurs to himself around the house is really making me jittery with suspicion. Is there something going on in his head that I don’t know of? Should I ask him? Will he tell me the truth? I feel the herbalist’s charm was not potent enough if not, why doesn’t he tell me even stuffs he thinks about? Why only those I seem to already know or ones I’m supposed to know as his wife?” she sat on her bed musing on and on about her husband’s behaviour.
Nneka strutted into the room with the neatly folded towels she had washed that morning and some other cloths.
“I think it’s about time I started using this girl since I have now confirmed the herbalist meant it when he said he used my womb for whatever rubbish he did. I have to do something before my husband’s family decides to force another woman on him. No matter how much control I have over him, when they come together and agree as one, it will be possible. Besides im tired of being mocked as a barren woman. All the women in our meeting comes with one child after the other but I am the only different one. I have to come up with a plan fast before it is too late”
Mmesoma: “Ehn ehn Nneka…before you leave come I want to discuss something with you” she gestured for her to sit beside her.
“Would you like to go to university?” she asked looking intently at the girl.
Nneka: “University? Yes ma” she jumped up in excitement with eyes almost popping out of their sockets.
Mmesoma: “That is my girl. So I am going to sponsor your university education. You will first go for IJMB or one of the A’ level programme. I will enrol you on one very soon. Which course do you want to study again?”
Nneka: “Mascom ma” she kept giggling. She could not believe her luck. It was something she had been praying for.
He had to rush her to a maternity hospital closest to his place. She was later referred to UITH when they realised her case had gone beyond their capacity. Both the mother and child were in great danger.
He had been made to know that she was going to have to be delivered of the baby through cesarean section if he wanted the baby to live. They couldn’t even assure him of the baby’s well-being let alone hers. All they told him was that she was in a very critical condition.
He paced the corridor of the hospital’s reception area waiting for the red light on top of the theatre entrance which indicated that an operation was ongoing to turn off but it remained on for hours. He got tired of pacing around and sat down at last. He thought of how many times he had had the opportunity to show her love but he didn’t. He thought of how he hadn’t even returned her hugs yet and burst into tears.
“Bola please don’t die. I still have a lot I have to tell you, I have lots of love stored in this heart for you. I want to be able to hug you too. Please don’t die, please don’t die” he thought as tears rolled down his cheeks. A nurse walked over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder…
Nurse: “The doctor is asking of you” she said gently with sympathy written all over her.
Ifeoluwa: “Oh you guys are done? Please where is his office?” he sprang to his feet.
Nurse: “Follow me, I will take you there” she said and led the way down the long corridor which had different consulting rooms lining it. She knocked when they got to consulting room 6.
Doctor: “You are welcome Mr, please that lady you brought here, who is she to you?” he asked sizing him up from head to toe as he struggled to give him a suitable reply.
Ifeoluwa: “I am the father of the baby” he said at last “And she was with me when the accident occurred” he ended then took his seat.
Doctor: “Hmmmmmm…we managed to save the baby who is still on life support but she will be fine”
Ifeoluwa: “And her mother?” he asked sitting upright on the chair.
Doctor: “We tried all we could to save her…
Sunday was in the house that day and she decided to break the news of her intention the sponsor his daughter’s university education after they were done eating…
Mmesoma: “Ermm nna anyi. I have something I need to tell you and my husband has agreed to it, right darling?” she never told him anything but he said yes anyway.
Sunday: “Okay? You don’t need to seek my permission before you tell me anything now. I can see the way you are taking proper care of my daughter and I can’t help but notice she has added weight. Thank you so much our wife” he flashed that smile that always infuriated her but she kept her cool.
Mmesoma: “I have decided to sponsor Nneka’s higher education”
Sunday: “Higher education is which one o”
Sunday: “Mba nu. She is not going to the university. My Chi rejects it” he said and spat in the air.
Nneka: “But why papa?” she was behind herself with disappointment at her dad’s reaction. She had expected him to stand up and dance for joy.
Sunday: Shut up my friend! How dare you open your mouth where elders are talking?” he shot at her.
Mmesoma: “Darling is it true? Your niece should not be allowed to go to the university?” she looked to her husband for support.
Charles: “Of course she should be allowed to go. Sunday why don’t you want her to further her education? You know how much women are now making exploits in this nation. The world has changed, the world belongs to those who are learned in this century so get your wits together and thank my wife for her thoughtfulness” he said ad then cleared his throat, casting his wife a side glance to see if she approved of what he had said.
Sunday: “Brother no. it is easy for you to say that because you live in this mansion and have you want. I want her to get married and fetch me some money. Many of my friends married their daughters off after secondary school and they are all doing well right now”
Mmesoma: “How did you know your own daughter will be as lucky as your friends’ daughters? Please do not prevent this girl from reaching her full potential because of your own selfishness” she cajoled but cursed him in her hear.’
Sunday: “No way! I am a full traditional man who still believe in our old ways. Women have their place only in the kitchen and not behind some desk chewing the back of pen. That thing called university makes them lose their uniqueness thereby making them fight for equality with men. I will not have my daughter end up like that. What if she goes there and strays? Becomes wayward and nonchalant about life? Isn’t that what most of the girls turn to when they reach there. That thing called university makes our girls mad and my child will not be a part of that madness” he stood up suddenly from his chair and started walking away.
Nneka: “Papa!” she heard herself calling after him…
Question: What is the doctor trying to say? That they couldn’t save her or what? Do you support Sunday in his assertion?
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