It was their first wedding anniversary and Fatimah expected that her husband would celebrate it or even take her out on a date or outside the country but the date came and left without him remembering thus leaving her more angry and miserable than she was few months ago.
On that day of the anniversary, alhaji Abdul had gone out to work very early and had returned late. When Fatimah reminded him that it was their wedding anniversary, he had apologized and promised to make it up to her for forgiving.
Fatimah thought that they would have the night to themselves since it was their anniversary but alhaji had slept in the room of his first wife whose turn it was to have him.
When he came into her room the next day to give her the gift he had ordered for her online, she was all gloomy and alhaji Abdul could not help but notice that she was looking older than a age.
Alhaji Abdul: “you don’t look happy, anything the matter?” he asked sitting close to her on the bed.
Fatimah: “Your wives alhaji, your second and third wives will not allow me rest in this house” she exploded.
Abdul: “you mean your co-wives?”
Fatimah: “whatever. I mean Jemila and Shafa, they see it as their pet project to torment me anytime you are away and when I talk to you about it, you tell me to be patient and understanding. I am running out of patience” she said sadly.
Alhaji Abdul: “so, what do you want to do?” it was on a Saturday and so he had all the time in the world to discuss with her since he rarely went out on Saturdays.
Fatimah: “Alhaji, you are rich and you have many houses in different parts of this city. I want you to take me away from this family house. Get me my own house elsewhere where I don’t have to see these two women everyday else they will make me mad one day”
Abdul: “never, no wife of mine will live in any house apart from this one. Don’t you know that families that live together stay together?”
“but you promised me before marriage that you will get a different house for me if I don’t want to live together with your other wives” she protested.
Abdul: “Indeed I said that but now that I have thought about it, there is no need doing that. I need you here so that I can see you whenever I want to” he said.
Fatimah: “Okay. About getting permission from you before I go out, can you inform the security man to always allow me out without asking for any pass? Sometimes you travel for weeks and then I get bored and want to visit friends and family but the security man won’t allow me” she pleaded with him.
Abdul: “I have told you that some rules in this house cannot be changed. Why don’t you just get used to them rather than looking for ways to change them? For security purposes you cannot go out without my permission. People out there already know that you are my wife and you could be easily kidnapped or hurt just to get back at me. Please understand with me, my dear” he appealed to her.
Fatimah: “fine. Can I get a job in one of your companies or even anywhere at all? I am tired of sitting at home all day doing nothing. The boredom is killing”
Abdul got up from the bed and went close to the window.
Abdul: “I see why you want to get your apartment elsewhere, so that you can have the freedom to go out anytime you want right? What does a married woman need freedom for? And now you are saying you want a job so that other young men out there will feast on your body with their eyes right? Let me remind you that no wife of mine works. What do you want people and the media to say? That I cannot provide for my wives and so they have to fend for themselves by working? No way!”
Fatimah: “that is not what I mean. I am just tired of staying in this house and doing nothing”
Abdul: “what exactly are you tired of? This house or this marriage?” he asked with pain in his eyes for he loved her dearly.
Fatimah seeing that he was saying all that he had said out of love for her moved up and held his hand.
Fatimah: “you are my husband and I love you very much, I just need to do something that will take my mind off my inability to conceive. It’s a year since we got married and I am yet to get pregnant, it hurts me”
Abdul: “Allah will give you children at the right time, I am not complaining” he assured her.
Even after the lengthy discussion with Alhaji, the situation did not improve and Fatimah continued to wallow in sorrow and misery especially with her inability to conceive. She had tried to make friends with Amina, Mustapha’s wife so that she could have someone to talk to but the woman was aggressive and hated Fatimah for no just reason. Fatimah had no option than to confide in Mustapha who was very friendly and understanding. Many times, she wished that she had married Mustapha rather than his father.
Anytime she was feeling discouraged, she would call him on phone and they will talk at length with him encouraging her to be patient with his father who was only protecting her because of the love he had for her. Mustapha knew the right inspirational words to say to her and she was glad she could call him a friend. Many times when she had issues with alhaji, Mustapha had served as the mediator who apologized to alhaji on his behalf.
Tired of sitting in the main sitting room, she retired to her room where she switched on her television and tuned in to Africa Magic Hausa, a Kannywood movie was playing and she settled down to watching it. Suddenly, her door opened and Jemila, the third wife walked in.
Fatimah: “what are you doing here?” she asked getting up.
Jemila: “what is this one doing? Do you think I am here to kill you or what?” she hissed.
Fatimah: “what are you doing in my room?” she repeated.
Jemila: “I came to see how you are doing. Oh, wait, so you are not pregnant yet? Hahahahha….” She laughed out loud and long to the disdain of Fatimah.
Jemila: “I am sure you thought you would come here and get pregnant for alhaji without stress. You don’t know how hard I and the other wives have tried to get pregnant all to no avail” she laughed again.
Fatimah: “why are you doing this?” she asked, her voice shaking from suppressed emotions.
Jemila: “eya, she wants to cry. Your plans of turning our husband’s heart away from us by giving him a child is not working right? Cry o, better cry o, because that is all you will be doing this house. By the time you stay here childless for five years, you would have finished all the tears in your eyes” she mocked.
Fatimah: “get out of my room” she suddenly mustered courage and said.
Jemila: “and if I don’t, what will you do?” she asked warming up for a fight which was what she had always desired from Fatimah.
“I am warning you to leave my room now o”
Just then, Mustapha who was coming to check on Fatimah entered.
Mustapha: “what is going on here? Jemila, why are you this troublesome? What are you doing in her room?”
Jemila: “I should be asking you what you are doing alone in the room of your father’s wife. So, this is how you have been sneaking in here when alhaji is not around right? Your father and Amina your wife must hear this. I said it that this your likeness for Fatimah is not ordinary. So you are eating what your father is eating? Alhaji and everyone must hear this” she said and stormed out of the room.
Mustapha: “no, it is not what you think. Wait” he went after her.
Fatimah sat on the bed and began to cry, there was trouble in paradise and she knew it.
Question: Is it right for Fatimah to be that close to her husband’s son? Will alhaji believe that she has nothing to do with his son?
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