Fatimah listened with peaked interest to her friend narrating how she would go about getting a man to get her pregnant, without her husband ever finding out.
Fatimah: “have you finished talking? Well, I can never do such a thing to my husband. It is an abomination” she said.
Aye: “look at you, what exactly is the abomination? Securing your home is what you call abomination? Okay, stay there o, another woman would still come and kick you out because it is obvious that you want to go back to your poor lifestyle before alhaji married you”
Fatimah: “well, it is because of alhaji, then there is no need getting worried because the man has assured me that he would never take another wife” she said with a pinch of pride in her voice.
Aye: “trust me, that was how he assured his other wives that he would never take another wife until he introduced you to them as his fiancée”
Fatimah: “my friend, just forget about that talk jare, let me go and get you something to eat” she said and got up leaving her friend to continue with the admiration of the room.
Fatimah pleaded with her husband to allow her visit her parents. He agreed and he told her she could stay with them for one week after which his driver will return to bring her back home.
The seven days that she stayed with her parents was one of the best days of her life and she wondered why she had even gotten married in the first place.
Her mother dotted on her and she made sure she fed her daughter well enough out of the bounty that she had brought from her husband’s house. Alhaji Abdul had made sure that he gave her enough money, foodstuffs and provisions for herself and her people while she was going. He also instructed her not to go out except it was necessary for her to go out with her parents but Fatimah flaunted that rule as soon she got to her parents house.
After resting a day, she spent the other days visiting her friends whom she had not had the time to visit ever since she got married.
Her father would have objected to his married daughter going out to visit her single friends at will but she made sure she came back home before he returned from work and her mother covered up for her where necessary.
Her friend Nana become a constant visitor to her house when she heard that she was on a visit to her parents house and more than once the two friends went out to see visit their mutual friends from their university days.
Her mother also made sure she took her to herbal homes in search of fertility and even to ABU teaching hospital very close to their house in Zaria. The hospitals certified that she was medically fit to have children and so there was no cause for alarm.
Her father called her to his room the night before she left for her husband’s house to have a word for her.
Baba Fatimah: “you may be surprised that I called you into my room for a private discussion this evening knowing fully well that you will return to your husband’s house tomorrow. I just want to ask if you are happy in your husband’s house. I noticed that you were looking very gloomy when you came here few days back but as the days rolled back, your groove returned”
Fatimah: “yes father, I am happy in my husband’s house” she lied avoiding his gaze.
Baba Fatimah: “what about the other wives? Are you getting along well with them? Your mother once told me that they trouble you, how true is that?”
Fatimah: “we are getting along well now. They were just a little bit jealous when I first came in but now we live like sisters” she lied again because she couldn’t bring herself to tell her father all that she had been going through in the hands of the other women.
Baba Fatimah: “tor, alhamdullilai. I have been having some terrible night mares about you these days and I was worried that you may be unhappy over there. Make sure you live at peace with all of them and be very submissive to your husband. I don’t want a situation where you would be returned to this house as a divorcee, I will not tolerate that. Did you hear me?”
She nodded in the affirmative and thanked her father. When she went to sleep that night, her heart was heavy and her sleep troubled, the reason behind it, she could not tell.
Fatimah woke up and ran into the bathroom where she threw up all that she had eaten the previous night. She rinsed her mouth and returned to bed but few minutes later, she was back on the same spot vomiting. After several rounds of vomiting that felt like she would vomit her lungs, she went back to bed very tired and fragile.
It was two months since she returned from the visit to her parents and she was getting lazier and had chronic nausea. Then it occurred to her that she had not seen her monthly period ever since she returned from her parents’ house and her heart skipped a beat.
“could it mean that I am pregnant?” she asked herself.
“no, it cannot be possible, I will just die of excitement” she replied herself in the monologue that she was having.
She called her mother and explained the feeling and symptoms to her. The excited woman informed her that those were the symptoms of pregnancy and advised her to avoid any form of hard work and go for a pregnancy test immediately
That night was her turn to sleep with her husband and when he tried to touch her in the night, she refused him for hear that having sex with him could cause her to miscarry, when alhaji asked why she wouldn’t allow him touch her, she opened up to him.
Fatimah: “alhaji, I am sorry but I am not strong enough to allow you touch me tonight” she said gently.
Alhaji Abdul: “are you sick? And you didn’t tell me? When did it start?”
Fatimah: “some weeks back. I have been vomiting and have been feeling very week. I wanted to tell you earlier but when you travelled, I thought of observing myself for days before I inform you about it”
Alhaji Abdul: “so what sort of illness is it? It can’t be malaria, there are no mosquitoes in this house, it cannot be typhoid either, we all eat clean food and drink clean water and our environment is very clean. So, what is it?” he asked searching her face.
Fatimah: “I think I am pregnant” she dropped what sounded like a bombshell in his ears.
Alhaji Abdul: “pregnant? How can? That is not possible” he said sitting up.
Fatimah: “I have missed my period for two months now and I have explained the way I have been feeling to my mother, she says there are symptoms of pregnancy”
Alhaji Abdul: “How can? I mean? You know what, get dressed” he said getting up from the bed.
Fatimah: “get dressed? How?”
“we are going to the hospital right away” he said to her.
Fatimah: “but the time is almost 10pm, can’t we wait till tomorrow?” she asked.
Alhaji Abdul: “we cannot wait. We are going to the hospital now” he said and began to get dressed.
Seeing that he was serious, she got up and began to get dressed too, albeit reluctantly.
Question: Why is alhaji surprised that the wife he is sleeping with is pregnant? Is Fatimah hiding anything from him?
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