Mustapha reached for her towel to take it off her body when Fatimah jumped up with a start.
Fatimah: “wayo Allah na, thank God it was just a dream” she said rubbing her palms together in supplication to Allah.
She got up, went for ablution and observed her prayers.
Fatimah: “what sort of a dream was that? Me and my husband’s son in such a situation? Allah ya kiyaye” she said.
Then her mind drifted to the document that she had seen in Alhaji’s file and she wondered if she had done the right thing by marrying alhaji despite her father’s warnings. She was still engrossed in thoughts when she heard a car drive into the compound. She checked through the window and saw that it was alhaji.
Quickly, she grabbed a veil and wrapped it over her body and applied her light makeup because her mother had always advised her to make sure that she was well dressed whenever her husband was home.
Alhaji went into his room, showered and had dinner and then sent for her. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw one of the domestic staff coming to inform her that alhaji had asked that she see him in his room. She took one final glance at herself in the mirror and satisfied that everything was in place, she sprayed on her body spray and went in.
Fatimah: “welcome, maigida”
Alhaji Abdul: “how are you today? I must say that you look very radiant” he remarked.
“thank you”, she said and lowered his gaze.
Alhaji Abdul: “so, do you have anything you want to tell me?” he asked.
Her heart beat increased and she feared that alhaji could hear the beating of her heart against her ribs.
Fatimah: “anything like what?” she managed to say.
Alhaji Abdul: “anything like anything” he replied not taking his eyes away from his flat screen LG television.
Fatimah: “no, why do you think I have something to tell you?” she dared to ask.
Alhaji Abdul: “well, because you haven’t seen me since the day before yesterday so I thought we have some catching up to do”
There was a moment of silence with Fatimah debating within her if she should tell him about the document she had seen in his file. But then, she thought against it because she knew he would ask what she was looking for in his room and in his files while he was away. She didn’t want to give him the impression that she was snitching on him.
Alhaji Abdul: “I am waiting” he said cutting through her chain of thoughts.
Fatimah: “I don’t have anything to tell you” she said.
Alhaji Abdul: “are you sure?”
She nodded in the affirmative.
Alhaji Abdul: “okay then” he said “you may leave” he dismissed her.
She got up and turned around to leave but he stopped her.
Alhaji Abdul: “wait” he said and changed the television channel.
Fatimah’s legs began to quiver when she saw herself captured on CCTV camera as shown in the television screen tiptoeing to Alhaji Abdul’s room and going through his files.
Fatimah: “I…er…I am” she stuttered.
Alhaji Abdul: “shhhh…I think we should watch this in silence. Remember I asked you if you had anything to tell me and you said there was nothing”
Fatimah swallowed hard and watched as all she did in his room was replayed. After it finished, alhaji Abdul turned off the television set.
Alhaji Abdul: “so, are you ready to talk now? What were you looking for in my room when you knew that I was not in”
Fatimah: “I thought you were in. I actually came to check on you” she lied.
Alhaji Abdul: “oh no you didn’t. The video showed you tiptoeing into my room and being conscious of anyone seeing you, if you thought I was in, you wouldn’t have tiptoed and you would have knocked before coming in like you always do. You see, Fatimah, when people lie to me once, especially people I love, I find it difficult to trust them again even when they tell me the truth in the future. I am sure you don’t want me to begin to distrust you. So, I will ask again. What were you looking for in my room when you knew fully when that I was not around? Who sent you?” he asked without raising his voice.
Fatimah got down on her knees.
“I am sorry maigida. It was just curiosity, I was not looking for anything in particular and no one sent me to do anything” she managed to say.
Alhaji Abdul: “curiosity? Tell me more”
Fatimah: “I heard from one of the wives that you travelled and I felt bad because I thought you would inform me before traveling. So, I become angry and jealous and I felt that since you could hide your journey away from me, it meant that you may be hiding more things and so I went into your room to see what I could find”
Alhaji Abdul smiled but Fatimah was not deceived by the smile. She had known him well enough to know that he smiled even when he was angry.
Alhaji Abdul: “I am also curious to know what you found in my room, so tell me”
Fatimah: “I found nothing except your will which I saw in a file and I was shocked to see that you had willed all your properties to your first son and his mother” she said sadly.
Alhaji Abdul: “well, my will has always been like that but there may be provisions in it for you in the nearest future” he said.
Fatimah: “how? When I give you a child?” she asked curiously.
Alhaji Abdul: “not at all. Are you God who gives children? The will contains my son and my first wife because they are the only ones that have shown me unconditional love. I have tested their love and I have seen that they are as blemish free as a white lamb. If I discover that you are also like that, I will include you in the will” he said.
Fatimah: “okay” she said at a loss on what to say.
Alhaji Abdul: “I leave the door to my bedroom unlocked when I go out even though I have so many valuables in it because I have a CCTV camera monitoring everything that happens in my room. Let this not repeat itself. If you have anything disturbing you, ask me rather than doing this. I will not warn you again” he said and waved her off with his hands.
She got up to leave but he stopped her.
“I heard that the security man kept your mother waiting outside until Mustapha intervened. I don’t blame him, he was working on orders. I will send the driver with some food stuff, provisions, wrappers and jewelries and other accessories to her as apology. You will do me the favour of informing them that nobody comes here to visit until he or she informs me. That is the rule and I am not willing to change it for the sake of anyone” he said.
Fatimah thanked him even though she had not expected him to tell her that her parents must seek his permission before they visited her. She wanted to ask him for the permission to always go out whenever she wanted but she decided to leave that for another time since it was obvious that he was not in a good mood.
Outside, one of the wives who was eavesdropping on their conversation ran away as soon as she heard Fatimah coming out. The wife giggled and laughed, her plans of causing problems between Fatimah and alhaji was working.
Question: Which of the wives was eavesdropping on them? Women, what will you do if your husband asks you to seek his permission before allowing your parents visit?
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