Khadijah arrived at Abeni’s shop in less than thirty minutes.
Khadijah: “good afternoon. What happened now? You scared the hell out of me, when called me, I had to stop what I was doing”. She asked looking so sacred.
Abeni: “hmmm, sorry. I have been worried for some weeks now. There is a girl that comes to my house to do some domestic works for my neighbour”.
Khadijah: “ehn, ehn, how is that my business?” She asked, cutting her short.
Abeni: “let me land now. There is something that attracted me to this girl. She looks so much like you, and I was wondering how a girl can look so much like someone whom they are not related to like that, she is your carbon copy if you see her. So, I followed the girl up. I went to her mother’s house, after she told me that her mother was sick of cancer, so, I decided to follow her home”. She narrated her story while Khadijah listened with keen interest.
Khadijah: “so, what happened afterwards?” she asked, looking confused.
Abeni: “hmmm, I went to her house, and I saw her mother, and her grandmother as well”.
Khadijah: “hmmm, you are really trying o. So, you did all this out of what if I may ask?”
Abeni: “I did it for you now. You know the baby you had did not really die?”
Khadijah: “ehn, ehn, please don’t bring memory of the past again, I am still trying to bring my life into shape and settle, and you are here exhuming dead matter again. Abeg, stop it”. She said, frowning her face.
Abeni: “My friend it is for your own good. So, that you will not lose at both ends at the end of the day. In case your marriage does not work, you will claim back your child”. She advised.
Khadijah: “Agh!” She opened her mouth looking her with full surprise. ”Do you listen to yourself at all? Are you sure you know what you are saying? Since when? For how long, and how sure are you that this girl was the baby I had years back?”
Abeni: “ehn, ehn!” she said clapping her hands. “That is what I want to hear, number one; this girl looks so much like you, two, we will claim her, and nothing will happen. Because, her parents self don’t have money to feed her, and her mother is dying of cancer in their house, so if we offer them money, at once they will accept”.
Khadijah: “now, I can see that you are not well at all. It is now I believe all Bimpe has been saying about you. All your brain is full of evil and fraudulent thoughts”. She said, looking at her with amazement and shaking her head.
Abeni: “see, woman, it is for your own good. After all, I have nothing to share in this with you. Look at me, no husband no child. Do you want to end up like me? I am helping you, and you are here opening and closing your mouth spouting rubbish”. She hissed and tuned her face away from her friend.
There was silence for few minutes. Khadijah, broke the silence.
Khadijah: “hmmmm, but don’t you think this is dangerous and hard? For almost sixteen years now. Hmmm, this is going to be difficult, where do we even start from?”
Abeni: “Exactly! That is what I want to hear. You still remember where you put gave birth now, the mid wife at Moniya?”she asked, snapping her fingers.
Khadijah: “ehn ehn? Yes, I do”
Abeni: “we will go to that woman. I saw her sometimes last month in that area, so, no cause for alarm she is still alive?”
Khadijah: “what happens when we see her?
Abeni: “yes, we will ask her how she did the baby, since we both connived with her then to sell the baby to anyone that needed a child then”
Khadijah: “so are you trying to say she sold the baby to a family that can’t afford to feed themselves, not to talk of pay hospital bill? See, ore, think deep. Reason what you are saying now, does it make any sense to you at all?”
Abeni: “I am not saying so. All I am saying is; who knows maybe she …?’
Khadijah: “maybe she what?” She asked rhetorically, yelling at her.
Abeni: “see, I am not forcing you to reclaim the child, it is your choice and you are the owner of your life, so, you are entitled to your decision. I don’t even know why I am using Panadol for another person’s headache sef”.
Khadijah: “Thank you so much, I really appreciate all your efforts from the very beginning that we started this our friendship journey. You have been very supportive, but at this juncture, give me some space, I need to think about my life by myself, not you doing the thinking for me. o ti to – it is enough. Let me live my life for once”. She fumed at her and left her shop angrily.
Few weeks after Khadijah left her friend’s shop angrily, she went back to her after she was feeling disturbed and her marriage was shaky. She thought there was no means of escape for her, so she succumbed to her friend’s suggestion and they both agreed to go to Ranti’s house first to carry out few investigations on her daughter, daughter.
Ranti was still lying helpless in the room, with no hope of getting medical attention since there was no means of raising fund for her. Abeni and Khadijah arrived at Ranti’s house in the late afternoon. Khadijah was shocked to the marrow, when she saw Fatou who, looked so much like her. She looked at her friend, Abeni, who shrugged off her shoulders, indicating; I-told-you-but-you-never-believed-me kind of look.
Khadijah: “Abeni, you said it and I met it like that. This is so amazing”. She whispered as they entered the compound.
Abeni: “good afternoon o”.
Ranti’s Mother: “agh, my daughter, good afternoon”. She greeted, and brought out a long bench for her guests to sit on.
Abeni: “thank you mama. How is Fatou’s mother doing now?” she asked, looking at the old woman with pity.
Ranti’s Mother: “She is inside”. She replied, with her eyes heavy with tears.
Abeni: “hmmm, how is her body now?”
Ranti’s Mother: “hmmm, it is getting worse day by day “. She replied, sobbing as she cleaned her face with the scarf on her laps.
Khadijah: “it is okay Mama. Allah will give her good health, just have faith that she will be fine. I shall remember her in my prayer”. She pacified her, putting her hand round her neck. Her friend, Abeni winked at her.
Abeni: “there is a very important matter we want to discuss with your daughter, Mama Fatou over a serious matter”.
Ranti’s Mother: “okay, let me call her for you” She went in to call her daughter.
Abeni: “Easy o. pele”. She greeted Ranti as she sat down on the bench supporting her waist with her palm and the other on the bench.
Ranti’s Mother: “let me excuse you. I am in the back yard”. She said and left the two with her daughter.
Abeni: “okay, thank you ma. How is your body Mama Fatou”
Ranti:”I am fine”. She said in a low fainting voice.
Abeni: “okay, sorry we came to disturb you o. so, let us go straight to the point.
Ranti: “no problem, what can I do for you?” She asked, looking puzzled.
Abeni: “it is about your daughter, Fatou”.
Ranti: “ehn, ehn, what happened to her?”
Abeni: “nothing o, just that we want to clear some doubts about her. Sorry, how old is your daughter and where did you give birth to her?”
Ranti: “she is fifteen years old. And I gave birth to her here in Ibadan”. She replied wondering why they were requesting her daughter’s profile.
Abeni: “okay, sorry o, in Moniya, at one Mama Fabunmi?”
Ranti: “yes” she replied with a puzzled look, wondering how they got to know so much about her and the time she had her child.
Khadijah, however was feeling restless as she sat down, she did not know whether to sit or stand. She began to feel uncomfortable, goose bumps all over her arms as her friend interrogated Ranti.
Ranti: “sorry, why all these questions and I don’t even know you from anywhere, so how come you know me so much like this”. She asked feeling puzzled.
Abeni: “nothing just that we want to clear something that is why we are asking you all these questions”. She replied, to avoid suspicion.
Ranti: “okay, no problem, my mind is at rest now”.
Abeni: “okay, thank you very much. We will come and check on you”. She dipped her hand into her small golden purse and gave her some cash, likewise Khadijah.
Question: “what are these two friends up to? And is Fatou really the baby Khadijah had years back?
SEE Episode 19 Below…(You Don’t Wanna Miss This!)… Adelove Stories… Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!