Khadijah greeted her husband as she got to the room with him.
Khadijah: “welcome. How was work?” she greeted, scratching her head.
Abbas: “yeah, thanks’”. He replied casually, turning his back to her.
Khadijah: “okay, you can freshen up while I set the table.”
Abbas: “ehn, ehn, that’s by the way, what…?” he paused, looking face down trying to remember something.
Khadijah: “yes”. She turned swiftly with her heart in her mouth. “Okay, is anything the problem?” she asked, looking at her husband with fear written all over her face.
Abbas: “never mind. I was trying to remember something. Later”.
Khadijah: “okay, let me prepare the table”. She left the room to meet her friend in the sitting room.
Abeni: “Khadi, how far?” she asked, stretching her neck.
Khadijah: “I don’t think he heard anything. He did not hear what we were discussing”.
Abeni: “are you sure?”
Khadijah: “of course” she replied stretching her neck to see if her husband was listening to their conversation.
Abeni: “if so, why did he act like that? Why was he cold?”
Khadijah: “maybe someone upset him at work or on his way home”. She replied to brush the topic off.
Abeni: “hmmm, okay. But how far your routine? How is the procedure going with Ye Olosa?”
Khadijah: “see, come and be going. We will talk later. This is not the right time and place to talk”.
Abeni: “so, you are indirectly sending me out of your house abi?” she asked touching her chest.
Khadijah: “no o. not like that. You know I …”
Abeni: “okay, don’t worry. I understand. We will see later”. She said, lifting her purse off the floor to leave.
Khadijah: “okay, I will call you on phone”. She said as she shut the door behind her friend.
Dapo’s Mother: “o ya, I am back o. come and take the medicine, before the illness will weaken you. O ya nde nde nde nle (stand stand stand up) take it and feel okay”. She advised as she lifted her up gently.
Ranti: “hmmmm”. She grimaced as she sat up in bed. “Thank you so much o. if not for you all the time, where I for dey?” she asked rhetorically feeling weak.
Dapo’s Mother: “drink your herb and stop saying what you are saying. Thank God not me. o ya pele. What will you eat now?” she asked looking around the room for food items.
Ranti: “I will take pap”.
Dapo’s Mother: “at this hour? It is late already, why not try and eat solid food that will hold your stomach?” she advised. “Where is your daughter sef? Fatou!” she screamed.
Dapo’s Mother: “where have you been to since? And you know your mother is sick. Where is your sister? That is by the way, go and prepare something for your mother to eat, abi you people will not eat this night?” She asked rhetorically.
Ranti: “thank you once again, my friend. God bless you for your love always.
Dapo’s Mother: “hmmm, it is enough”.
Khadijah went to visit her friend in her jewellery shop close to Cocoa House Building in Dugbe.
Khadijah: “good afternoon. How are you dear?” she greeted the sales girl at the desk.
Sales Girl: “good afternoon aunty, it is been ages!” She replied, grinning.
Khadijah: “yes, my dear. You know I have been busy lately. How is your boss? Is she around, abi she don travel again?” she teased, smiling.
Sales Girl: “she is inside”. She pointed to the direction of a cubicle she demarcated for receiving visitors in the large shop.
Khadijah: “okay, thank you my dear. I will see you before I go”. She said and entered the inner room.
Abeni: “agh, Khadi. Hmmm. You said it and you did it”. She stood up to receive her friend as she sighted her from the door.
Khadijah: “what do you take me for? I am not like you now, who does not keep to her words. I say what I will do”.
Abeni: “hmmm, a bere (there we go again)”. She said, smiling. “You know it is not my fault. I am always busy. I am in my prime, let me work while I can before nature calls on me. This is the time for me to do whatever it is I have to do”. She spoke in defence.
Khadijah: “hmmm, I know that is what you will say. You always have one or two things to defend yourself, defence mechanism is already in your blood”. She teased as she glanced through a catalogue of jewellery on the table. “Wow! I love this”. She said as she saw the image of a diamond encrusted pendant necklace in the catalogue.
Abeni: “what is that? “ She stretched to have a look at the image on the catalogue across the table.
Khadijah: “it is this” She said pointing to the image.
Abeni: “oh, I see. You like it?” she asked grinning.
Khadijah: “o tun n na. Before? I love it”. She replied, feeling so elated.
Abeni: “hmmm, I trust you. Jewellery addict. I am travelling next week to Italy, so I will get you this. I don’t have in stock again. But, ehn, ehn, you understand now?” she said, rubbing her palms together.
Khadijah: ‘hmmm, ekun! I trust you. I understand you more than what you think. I will pay you as soon as you arrive. Calm down, you know money is not my problem.
Abeni: ‘that is by the way. What have you come to do? Abi you want to tell me you just came to look at my face or my shop?”
Khadijah: “hmmm”. She sighed. The question changing her mood. “It is still about the matter o. the one I could not finish the other day you came to my house when my husband arrived from work”. She replied, looking sober and face down.
Abeni: “I have been thinking about it too, since that night that I left your house. I hope your husband did not suspect anything that day?”
Khadijah: “no, not at all. Everything is fine. Insha Allah!”
Abeni: “toh, better. So, what do you intend to do now?” she asked looking around suspiciously.
Khadijah: “are you asking me? That is why I am here now”
Abeni: “hmmmmm, this is a crossroad. But let us believe all things will work out well with the local midwife. We don’t know what God can do. Nothing is impossible for Him”. She advised.
Khadijah: “yes, I know. But the bone of contention now is; this man that has come into view again. And now he is my husband’s old friend. So, I am afraid”.
Abeni: “don’t worry. No shaking. That one is a little thing for us to handle. Just calm down and don’t let your husband suspect anything”. She said, rubbing her friend’s back palms.
Khadijah: ‘’okay. Thank you. That is why I like you. I know you will always suggest solutions. So, what next?
Abeni: “nothing jare” she replied casually.
Dapo’s Mother went to check on Ranti the following day to know how she was faring.
Dapo’s Mother: “e n le o” she greeted as she was about to enter the room.
Ranti: “good afternoon!” She greeted as she managed to sit up in bed.
Dapo’s Mother: “agh, how is your body now? Abi you will go to the hospital?” she asked, feeling some empathy for the sick woman. “And your husband never come house since yesterday?” She asked, feeling irritated.
Ranti: “see, leave my husband out of this. Let me take care of myself first. When I get well I will know what to do to that useless man”.
Dapo’s Mother: “okay. But, there is no improvement since yesterday o. shey you will not go to hospital now? At least they will test you and know the medicine to give you, rather than filling your stomach with agbo and you don’t even know the name of the illness”. She advised.
Ranti: “hmmm, where is the money to spend at the hospital? You know I have not been able to go to work since the day that bastard broke my head with bottle”.
Dapo’s Mother: “hmmmmm”. She sighed heavily. “But, you cannot continue to stay indoors and get well now. And health is wealth. You go first. I will lend you some money. You will pay me back when you get well”. She suggested.
Ranti: “agh, o seun gaann ni. Thank you so much. God bless you”.
Dapo’s Mother: ‘o ya, manage to stand up and let’s go”. She helped her friend to her feet and they left for a local clinic close by.
Question: What relationship could be between Khadijah and her husband’s old friend?
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