Khadijah stayed back at her friend’s house, Bimpe since she fled from her matrimonial home upon the discovery of her hidden secrets about infertility complications. She had woken up very early in the morning to dress up, and her hostess wondered where she was headed to. Bimpe, however, asked her about her destination out of curiousity.
Bimpe: “agh, agh, madam, where to this early morning?” She asked looking curious.
Khadijah: “I am going to see Abeni. You know I have not seen her since I left my house, and I have something crucial to discuss with her.
Bimpe: “hmmmm, okay o. you and this Abeni sha. I pray both of you will not land into ditch you will not be able to get out of someday”> she said.
Khadijah: “abeg, abeg, abeg. Aghn, Olopa ewo n t’epe. Why the curse now? Did we offend you before? I don’t blame you anyway, it is me I blame for carrying my two legs to your house because I have a little problem. So, that is a gateway for you to enter me and rain insults and curses on me abi?” she snapped back at her friend.
Bimpe: “hmmm, as far as I am concerned this is my house. Go to your husband’s house. You know I have never supported all your promiscuity way back, and I will always tell you the truth nothing but the truth. Truth they say; is bitter. Change! Change!” She yelled at her, straining her eyes and hissing. This aggravated Khadijah the more, she left the room annoyed, slamming the door behind her.
‘Don’t break my door o”. She shouted at her as she left the flat.
In few minutes time, Khadijah arrived at Abeni’s shop.
Abeni: “agh, ore mi. Khadijah Alhaja. Hmmm, Hajia ti o kere.” She praised her friend sarcastically, showing off her golden canine.
Khadijah: “hmmm, see, leave all those praises for now. I am not in the mood for that this morning”. She replied, looking unhappy.
Abeni: “ore mi, ki lo de? What happened to you? You look dull”. She asked, drawing a small stool closer to sit on in the main shop.
Khadijah: “See, let us go inside your office. We cannot discuss here”.
Abeni: “okay, let us go inside”. They entered the demarcated room serving as her office.
Abeni: “ehn, ehn, Khadi, what happened?” She asked, looking so curious and worried.
Khadijah: “hmmmm, my friend the corpse we buried, the feet are outside o” She said, heaving a sigh.
Abeni: “what? Please go straight to the point, you know I am not good with proverbs”.
Khadijah: “you know, what I have been hinting you about my husband’s strange attitude lately? He came home a bit earlier two days ago, at first I was happy, thinking he had turned a new leaf. I even welcomed him home happily o, and that is how this man just switched to something else o. At first I thought it was a dream or some pranks, until he pounced on me, pinning my neck down, that was when I knew he was not joking at all. He almost killed me last night, thank God, I was able to push him away, otherwise, you would have heard that your friend is dead.” She explained.
Abeni: “ehn, ehn, what did he say happened to him that he wanted to kill you?” She asked, casually.
Khadijah: “he came home that night, asking me if I had a child before?”
Abeni: “are you serious?” She asked rhetorically, opening her mouth wide.
Khadijah: “I am serous o. and I am sure it was that goat, Ponmile that told him, after I had begged him not to tell my husband anything. He must surely pay for this that he has done”. She said, threatening.
Abeni: “eghn, after that, what happened?”
Khadijah: “did you not hear all I have been explaining to you?”
Abeni: “I heard and I am with you. What I meant was that I told you not to tell him anything if he confronts you.”
Khadijah: “of course not, I did not tell him anything. He did not even give me the chance to speak. He just pounced on me and pinned my neck” She said, gesticulating.
Abeni:”hmm, that is by the way is that why you now look so moody like a woman mourning her husband?” she asked, waving her fingers at her.
Khadijah: “hmmmm, that is just a little part of it o. it was Bimpe that spoiled my mood this morning, with the stupid nonsense talk she was telling me”.
Abeni: ‘Ow, Bimpe, how come?”
Khadijah: “Yes o, I ran to her house to stay when, my husband wore a wolf’s skin, to take solace, so, that is how she came up with her usual advices that have not yielded a boyfriend for her not to talk of husband”. She replied sarcastically, laughing at her friend.
Abeini: “why didn’t you come to my house? After all, I have a flat to myself alone, instead of going to her, you know me and that girl we no dey gree”. She said, showing a bit of irritation.
Khadijah:” I chose her place because of my husband o. you know, he might begin to look for me, who knows what he has in mind to do? And he does not really know me with Bimpe not to talk of her house that is why I went there to hide my head o, till everything dies down”.
Abeni: “Okay, that is good! It is true, that even reminds me, I hope he does not know, about the womb part?” She asked looking curious.
Khadijah: “how will he know? I did not tell him anything now”.
Abeni: “All your medical records, I hope they are safe?”
Khadijah: “of course! He can never see them where I kept them in the house”. She boasted, feeling confident. “But why are you asking about all this?” She asked, looking startled.
Abeni: I am asking so that when we go to beg him on your behalf, he might still listen to us. And you know if he now knows about you not having womb, hmmmmm, I am sorry” she said, shaking her head.
Khadijah: “Ow no problem about that. That part is settled and safe”. She replied.
Ranti’s mother looked so dejected as she sat in front of her house one afternoon, brooding about her sick daughter, whose health deteriorated the more as she had not started her therapeutic procedure she was supposed to. She had run helter skelter for help but all to no avail.
Abeni developed some interest in Fatou since the day she set her eyes on her washing some dirty laundry for her neighbour who had hired the little girl. She decide to follow her home one day. She met Fatou’s grandmother outside the house.
Abeni: “e n le o. good afternoon ma!” she greeted, bowing her head and knees courteously.
Ranti’s Mother: “e n le o”. She replied, looking surprised and wondering whom her granddaughter had brought home.
Abeni: “I know you don’t know me mama, but your granddaughter, Fatou knows me well”. She clarified the old woman’s doubts pointing to Fatou, who stood by, watching.
Ranti’s Mother: “agh, I was wondering where she brought stranger from too o. you can have your seat”. She said, dusting the long bench she sat on for Abeni to sit on.
Abeni: “thank you ma. Like I said earlier, I stay in the house where your daughter comes to help them with their house work. She is not working for me o, because, me I cannot ire this kind of a girl, she is too small. But, she told me something that really caught my attention that is why I am here to find out. Because, I know these children of nowadays can be cunning”. She explained.
Ranti’s Mother: “hmmm”. She heaved. “She is kuku not lying, it is her mother’s condition that is making her work as a house help at this tender age. I did not want her to work in the first time when she tell me say she want to work, but, when things become harder, I need to let her work” she said, weeping.
Abeni: “o tito mama. May you not weep over your children in sha Allah” she prayed as she consoled the old woman. “But, what about the father?” She asked with a puzzled face.
Ranti’s Mother: “hmmm, that one na useless man o. he has run away from my daughter”.
Abeni: “okay, can I see Fatou’s mother?” she asked, and the old woman took her to the room where her daughter was lying on a camp mattress placed in the corner of the room.
Abeni shook her head vigorously as she saw Ranti lying helplessly down looking impoverished, battling a terminal illness in her prime. She thought: what a world! As she shook her head. She left the room few minutes afterwards and went outside.
Abeni: “okay mama. May Allah heal her. I will try to help in my own capability. Anything I can give, I will send it to you, so, you can take her to the hospital for her treatment”. She said, and left shortly afterwards.
The following day, Abeni placed a call across to Khadijah.
Abeni: “Hello, Khadi! Can you please see me in my shop today? Please, it is very important we see. I have something to talk to you about”
Khadijah: “okay, but o hope it is not something serious sha?”
Abeni: “not really, there is a girl I want to discuss with you”. She said
Khadiah: “a girl? Ehn, ehn, what about it?” She asked looking puzzled.
Abeni: “yes. Let us see first”. She said and hung the call.
Question: What does Abeni want to discuss with Khadijah over a girl about?
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