Dapo’s Mother helped her friend to the local clinic next to their street after the night brawl at the beer parlour.
Dapo’s mother: “you see why I did not want to tell you this thing in the first place. As if I knew this was what would end the whole thing. See the pain you are causing yourself now. Abi no be you go feel the pain now?” she blamed her friend as she helped her to the clinic. “Nurse, abeg who dey duty this night now?” she shouted as she got to the reception of the clinic.
Nurse: “yes, wetin happen?” she asked nastily.
Dapo’s mother: “na wa for you o. you see me with someone dying and you still dey ask me wetin happen. Na dance we come here come dance”. She replied looking at the nurse irritatingly.
Nurse: “agh, abeg abeg, e no reach to dey insult me”. She replied facing her palm up in the air to hush the woman. “o ya, walk gently, Nurse Temi”. She shouted the second nurse’s name as she led Ranti to the dressing room in one corner of the reception.
It was late and Fatou was worried as to why her mother was yet to return home since she left the house. A neighbour met her sitting at the corridor of the house.
Neighbour: “Fatou, what are you doing there? Where your mama?” she asked, squatting beside the girl.
Fatou: “she went out with Mama Dapo”. She replied calmly.
Neighbour: “go where?” she asked looking worried.
Fatou: “she go that side”. She replied pointing to one direction in the street.
Neighbour: “hmmm, you don lost. Na im your mama come leave small pikin for house?” she asked wondering where the woman could be. “o ya come inside”. “No be your sister dey cry so?” She entered Ranti’s room to carry the crying baby from her cradle. “I no know where this woman go at this hour wey she leave her baby for house. Na wa o!” she said as she pacified the baby.
Few minutes afterwards, Ranti was back in the house after her wound had been dressed. She walked into the house gently feeling drowsy and weak.
Neighbour: “aghn, aghn, whetin happen?” she asked looking bewildered with her mouth wide open, when she saw Ranti with her head bandaged with gauze.
Mama Dapo: “leave her now. She needs rest. This is not the time to ask question”. She replied the curious neighbour.
Neighbour: “hmmm, it is well o”. She said, shrugging. Ranti was laid to rest in bed in her room.
Dapo’s Mother: “okay, make sure you take your medicine o, especially the paracetamol to relieve you of the pain and headache. I want to leave now. My children will be waiting for me”. She said as she headed for the door.
Ranti: “thank you”. She said faintly as her friend left.
Dapo’s Mother: “good night, and don’t quarrel with your husband when he comes home”. She said as she shut the door behind her.
“That is if the idiot will come home”. Ranti thought and hissed.
The neighbour was outside the house waiting for Dapo’s mother to come out so she could ask her what happened to her friend.
Neighbour: “ehn, Mama Dapo, whetin do your friend?” She asked, raising her chin up and supporting her waist with her two palms.
Dapo’s mother: “you and her dey quarrel? Abi she no be your own neighbour?” she replied disinterestedly.
Neighbour: “ahn, aghn, haba, shebi the two of you na friend and you entered the house together. Is it not nice as I ask you what happened to her? After all she needs to rest for now. I can’t be asking her that question now”
Dapo’s Mother: “hmmm, na so, na my friend and she be your own enemy? Amebo!” She said and looked around to see if anyone was around. She beckoned at the woman to come closer. “na her husband she go fight for beer parlour whey dem break bottle for her head o”. She whispered.
Neighbour: “I talk am. I talk am as she don dey fight her husband since morning something must happen”. She said snapping her fingers. “But, how she take know sey her husband dey the beer parlour and you too come bring her come house?” She asked as she sensed that Mama Dapo must have been the one to have orchestrated the whole issue.
Dapo’s Mother: “na me you dey ask, abeg I get whetin I wan do for house”. She replied to avoid answering the woman’s question.
Neighbour: “hmmm, na wa o. see life. I know sey na she go tell the woman where her husband dey. I pray make she no push the woman to her grave sha. Amebo!” She clapped her hands and entered the house.
Khadijah was at the local midwife’s mini-clinic.
Khadijah: “good day. How are you? Is mama at home?” she greeted the young girl she met at the small room used as reception for visitors ranging from pregnant women to women with fertility issues.
Girl: “She is at the backyard, wait for her, she will be here soon”. She replied, pointing to the direction of the door that leads to the small garden in the courtyard.
Khadijah: “okay, thank you”. She replied, sitting on the old wooden chair in one corner of the reception. Shortly, the old woman in her late fifties came into the room with some herbs and roots in her hands. “Agh, Ye Olosa, e kaabo ma. You are welcome”. She knelt down to greet.
Ye Olosa: “welcome omo mi. it is quite an age”. She replied, patting Khadijah at her back. “o ya, omo, you take this to this to the kitchen, wash the leaves and soak the roots in the earthen pot” She instructed the young girl at the reception. “Let us go inside”. She said to Khadijah as she turned her back to enter her consultancy room.
Khadijah: “Ye Olosa, don’t be angry with me. I have not come for my herbs all this while. I have been busy”.
Ye Olosa: “hmmm, you have been busy?” She asked, shaking her head. “But, I want you to know that all this running up and down looking for money it will be a waste if you have no one to leave the property for”. She advised.
Khadijah: ‘hmmm, mama, e ma binu. You know I am not like that. It is just that my customers are always on my neck for their goods that is why”. She pleaded.
Ye Olosa: “hmmmm, toh. What are you here for now?” she asked pretending to be oblivious of her mission in her house.
Khadijah: “aghn, agh, mama. You know why I am here now. I have come for my medicine”.
Ye Olosa: “you know you have stopped since beginning of last month, and you know what that means?”
Khadijah: “hmmm, okay. I will start all over again. I have no choice”. She heaved a sigh of relief.
Ye Olosa: “o ya, wait for me while I prepare the thing”. She said and entered her inner room, which was only lit with a slim reflection of sun that managed to penetrate through a small broken part of the ceiling.
Khadijah: “I will wait for you”.
Ranti managed to get up from bed, she held her head with her hand groaning in pain as she breastfed her baby.
Ranti: “if I curse this man that led me into all this mess, I don’t think I am at fault. See the pain he has caused me now. And the idiot has refused to come home since the incidence”. She wept as she soliloquised. Someone knocked on the door. “Yes, who is that? Come inside” She replied to the knock as she quickly wiped away the tear that trickled down her cheek. “agh, maami. E kaabo. What happened? Why are you here?” She asked her mother who had come to visit, looking bewildered as to why the old woman came at this period.
Ranti’s Mother: “I am just here to check on you and your daughter”. She replied, staring fixedly at her bandaged head. “What happened to you? Why is this thing on your head?” she asked, turning her head sideways.
Ranti: “I. hmmm, what will I tell this woman now o”. She thought as she placed her baby in her cradle. She paused for few seconds thinking of what to tell her mother.
Ranti’s Mother: “talk!” she shouted at her.
Ranti: “I hit my head on the wall”. She lied.
Ranti’s Mother: “see, look at me very well. I am not a baby. I am your mother and you met me in this world, so, you can’t call black white for me. Your husband has beaten you again abi?” She asked rhetorically, clapping her hands.
Ranti: “no oo, maami. i…”
Ranti’s Mother: “shut up, you think I don’t know what happen? You went to the beer parlour last night to fight abi. And they break bottle on your head. That is good for you. Did I not tell you not to marry that boy whose family is more wretched than church’s rat? See, today na today. O ya pack your load and follow me home. You are leaving this place today, because I cannot watch that vagabond kill you for me. Never! Not in my lifetime. Over my dead body”. She said, pulling her daughter from the bed.
Ranti: “Maami, e duro na. Hold on. Just give me time to clean my baby”. However, the old woman objected to her suggestion.
“You must follow me now now”. She said.
Question: How will her husband take this and what will the aftermath be?
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