Ponmile: “See my guy, be strong. You are a man. You don’t need all this. Be a man!” he said, holding his friend, who tried to find his way to the wall to lean on.
Abbas leaned on the wall, with his head tilted up. He tried to speak, but his voice failed him. He wept bitterly.
Ponmile: “My guy. I said be strong. What is wrong with you now? Just use your head, know how you will get rid of that devil, called woman, before it becomes too late”. He advised, hugging him so tightly. Abbas struggled out his grip, and headed to the park of the club.
Ponmile: “guy, where are you going to?” He asked, holding his hands. But, Abbas looked swivelled around, looked at him, chuckled and jerked off from his grip. “See don’t do this to yourself. You can’t drive in this situation. I told you to calm down. Calm your nerves and approach this matter with calmness” he screamed on top of his voce as Abbas drove out of the club premises with fury and sped off into the road of Bodija, heading home.
His wife was shocked to see her husband at such an hour on a weekend. She was gleeful to see him around.
Khadijah: “wow! You came early tonight?” She asked rhetorically, with joy all over her face as she grinned. But Abbas stood for a few seconds, looking at her with fury.
Abbas: “Khadi, I want you to tell me the truth right now. Whatever question I ask you, tell me nothing but the truth. Did you ever have a child before?” He spoke with a clenched teeth and fists.
Khadijah: ‘hahahah, this is the funniest question I have ever heard in recent time” She replied chuckling.
Abbas: “I am not here for joke nor do I look funny to you”. He fumed.
Khadijah: “see, man. It seems you are hungry. A hungry man is an angry man they say. Your food is ready, if you are hungry, go to the dining table while I dish your meal”. She replied casually, swinging her backside on her long, waxed, spotless legs.
Abbas: “come back here, I am not for joke tonight”. He said, dragging her back to him. “Tell me now. Answer my question, before you or I join the ancestors tonight”. He held her neck with his hand and pinned her down the leather settee in their sitting room.
Khadijah: “leeeeee” she muffled, fighting back with her fingers and shaking her legs as she fight for breath under his firm grip.
Abbas: “I will kill you tonight, ad kill myself. Tell me or die”. He yelled at her, straining his eyes, with his forehead covered with sweat. He wept as he asked his lovely wife series of questions.
Eventually, Khadijah escaped from under his firm grip. She quickly ran to the bedroom, locking herself up. Her husband banged on the door several times, all to no avail.
Abbas: ‘khadi! Khadi! Open that door or else I will break it. And if you allow me to do that, nothing will top me from killing you this night”. He threatened after several attempts of forcing the door open.
Abbas sat down at the bedroom doorstep, feeling depressed and tired. He supported his head with his palm on his knees as he looked blankly into the dark. He began to remember the affectionate moment he and his wife had shared together, how he was defiant to Ponmile’s words, and the many vows he shared with his wife. Also, he remembered making a vow secretly to himself that he would never hurt his wife in any way or any form. Her joy would be his sole business and priority. But, right about now, he felt betrayed by his wife’s unfaithfulness. As all the events of their fairy tales past replayed in his memory. All the soothing words they shared echoed in his brain. He yelled so loud, his voice re-echoing in the night. He gnashed his teeth and hit the floor with his fists, bowing his face down with mucous and tears flowing freely from his nose and eyes respectively to his mouth.
Few minutes later, he drove out of his compound, heading for an unknown destination. It was almost twelve in the morning. His phone rang as he drove out, he looked at the caller, it was Ponmile. He swiped the receiver to the red button, and switched his phone afterwards.
At five in the morning, when Khadijah, discovered that Abbas was out of the house, she came out of the room, packing few of her clothing and headed for her another friend’s house at Ojo in Ibadan. She did not tell anyone about her whereabouts not even Abeni, before she left for Bimpe’s apartment.
At 6 O’clock am, she arrived at Bimpe’s house. She parked her car at the gate of her house and dialled her phone number. Bimpe came out to open the gate for her.
Bimpe: “aghn, aghn, ki lo de. What happened? Why this early morning?” She asked, looking startled.
Khadijah: “see, let me, enter and rest first”. She replied, as she got out of her car.
BImpe: “hmmm, why this early morning? Is your husband not around or what?” she asked put of curiousity.
Khadijah: “hmmm, my friend, there is war. It is my husband. He wanted to kill me. I managed to escape from the mouth of death this morning?”
Bimpe: “ahghn, aghn, oti o. it is a lie. Brother Abbas that I know cannot hurt a fly o. you all know how we your friends, used to pray that we should see husband like your own to marry”. She replied, finding it difficult to believe her fined.
Khadijah: “hmmm, my friend, the same way I used to think, until last night when he wore another being, I thought it was a joke until he pinned my neck down to the floor like this” She said, gesticulating how she was attacked by her husband.
Bimpe: “it is a lie. Ahusubimlahi minah sheitani rajim’
Khadijah: “this one is awusu bim true. Not lie kan kan” She replied sarcastically but in a rather serious tone.
Bimpe: how did you now escape?” She asked further, feeling curious,
Khadijah: “let me finish”. She said stressing the word: “finish”. “I managed to escape from him last night, and I ran into the room and locked the door till this morning. I came out, when I discovered that he had left the house” She explained.
Bimpe: ‘yes all well said. You know there is no smoke without fire, something must have triggered him to do that. What really happened?” She asked.
Khadijah: “hmmm, my friend, Abbas came home to ask me last night I f had a child before”. Bimpe became shocked as she heard this.
Bimpe: “yeepa! Shangba fo. How did he know?” She asked, opening her eyes wide.
Khadijah: “hmmmm, this is a long story, but I will brief you, thank God you too are part of my history. I am sure Ponmile told him”. She replied, shaking her head.
Bimpe: “wait, I hope it is not the Ponmile I am thinking”. She asked, snapping her fingers.
Khadijah: how many Ponmiles did you know, while we were growing up?”
Bimpe: “agh!”She exclaimed, putting her hands on her head. “agh, what a small world. Nothing can be hidden forever o”. She said, with her hands on her head, as she sank into the sofa.
Khadijah: “my friend, I would have gone to Abeni’s housed, but you know, my husband knows Abeni very well and he might go there to look for, and he does not really know you. So, that is why I acme to take solace here till everything calms down” She said, feeling relaxed.
Bimpe: “hmmmm, no wahala. You are free, but let me blunt with you, I cannot be your fired and still not tell you the truth. You know I used to tell you that year about your lifestyle, ad all the things you used to do. But you wouldn’t listen, rather, you listened to Abeni, and now see where your past has landed you, costing you a very good man”. She said, looking away from her friend to avoid eye contact.
Khadijah:”haba, is this the time to bring out such matters? Do we all not have past? I don’t blame you, it is me that carry my two legs to your house that caused it” she said, hissing.
Bimpe: “Okay. I know. But, I am sorry”. She apologised, sitting close to her, and hugging her.
Abbas went back to his house at dawn. And Ponmile checked on him at the breaking of the day. He met his friend, sitting on the floor, with a bottle of brandy wine in his front, and looking blankly with heavy eyes.
Ponmile: “agh, you this guy, I told you to take it easy. Don’t kill yourself because of a woman now” He said as he entered his sitting room. Meeting him in a very distasteful position. Ponmile spoke to him, but he just nodded his head to all he said. Few minutes afterwards, he stretched forth a paper to him.
Ponmile read in between line, the tiny impressions on the paper. It was a test result Abbas discovered when he was ransacking the while house out of depression.
Ponmile: “Agh!” He exclaimed, covering his mouth with his hand. “Your wife does not have a womb?” He asked, and Abbas chuckled.
Abbas: “what you told me, was just a little of all you said, I found this this morning when I was searching the whole house. I have been living with a viper for years. I gave her all my life, my everything, see what Khadi is paying me with”. He lamented, stretching his hand to the paper. “Despite all I did for her. Material things apart, I gave her my loyalty, my my” He sobbed as he put the bottle of brandy wine in his mouth.
Ponmile: “women! Women!” he said repeatedly, shaking his head and looking at his friend with pity. “But, I never knew, sincerely” He said calmly.
Abbas: “thank you Ponmile, for opening my eyes. If not for God and you, what would become of me? That is how that devil will continue to deceive me for the rest of my life. You know what hurt me the most? It is the fact that she kept this secret all this while. No wonder, no wonder, now it is becoming clearer. “He said, trying to remember an event.
Ponmile: “what is that?” He asked curiously.
Abbas: “No wonder she got me her own doctor for test, when we started complaining about this infertility issue. Also, she refused bluntly to go to hospital for orthodox treatment. She knew what she was up to. I should have known now, that in this age, what educated woman still goes to local herbal midwives to solve infertility problems if not that, there are strings attached. Agh! Women!” He lamented, weeping profusely.
Question: Now that Abbas is aware of his wife’s chances of fertility, what happens next?
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