Abeni and Khadijah went on their search for the local midwife they had lost contact with more than a decade ago at Moniya. The duo were able to locate the midwife who was shrunken in age with the help of the market adjacent the Area Command Police. The house was not difficult to locate for them as there had not been much change in the ancient street on a slanting narrow road like an aisle.
Abeni: “good afternoon!” She greeted a young lady she met at the frontage of the midwife’s house.
Lady: “good afternoon!”
Abeni: “yes, please we are looking for one woman that stays here”. She said, pointing to the painting of a midwife delivering a pregnant woman on the wall of the house.
Lady: “oh, is it Oya Abiye, oyu want to see?” She asked.
Khadijah: “yes, you got it, Iya Abiye”. She replied eagerly.
Lady: “she went out not quite long, but you can stay back and wait for her, she will soon be back. Go inside and wait for her”.
Abeni: “agh!’ she whispered quietly. “For how long will it take her to come back, we need to see her today. It is very urgent. “She asked, looking worried.
Lady: “she will not take long. Just wait for her, she went to get something in the herb market. She will come back in no time”. She explained to calm the worried ladies down.
Khadijah: “don’t worry, thank you. We will wait for her in outside”. She replied, facing Abeni.
Abeni: “okay, let us stay in the car till she gets back”. They both headed to stationary car Abeni drove to the place.
While they were in the car, Khadijah prayed all things worked out in her favour when the midwife gets back as she was becoming worried.
Khadijah: “hmmm, Abeni, do you think what we are doing is the best?” She asked, resting her head on the car seat’s back rest.
Abeni: “hmmm, you too fear. Forget, have forgotten who I am? Just relax and let me play the game”. She boasted as she rubbed her friend’s chest with her palm.
Khadijah: “hmmm, okay o, I will count on you. It is just that I am wondering how we will do it. And that even reminds me, don’t you think I should go and see my husband and apologise, so he will not think the false accusation was true”.
Abeni: “hmmm, that is true o. But let us take one step at a time. When we do this to a certain level, then we can face your husband’s issue, after all, it is not too late” she.
Few minutes later, the midwife was back with some herbal leaves and roots in a black polythene bag.
Lady: “welcome mama. Some ladies are looking for you o” She told the old woman.
Midwife: “where are they?” She asked looking in the direction of the long dark passage way of the old building.
Lady: “they are not inside. They are there”. She told her, pointing in the direction of Abeni’s car across the road.
Midwife: “okay, please call them for me”. She waited while the lady went across the road to call Abeni and Khadijah from the car.
Lady: “Ma, mama is back. She said I should call you”.
Khaidjah: “okay, thank you. We will join you soon”. She said as she wound the car door.
Abeni: “toh, let us go. It shall be in our favour in sha Allah”. She said as she was about to step out of the car.
Khadijah: “hmmm”. She held her friend’s right hand. “I want to thank you for all your supports so far. You are a friend indeed, what more can I ask for in a friend? You have always been saving me. I thank you a lot”. She appreciated her friend, and there was an absolute silence afterward as the two looked into each other’s eyes for a few seconds and exchanged some emotional glances.
Abeni: “hmmm, never mind. We are more than a friend now. We are sisters”. She replied, and they both head to see the midwife.
Abeni: “Mama good afternoon!’ She greeted, boing her head courteously.
Midwife: ‘welcome” She relied, raising her chin up and supporting her waist with her palm, looking a bit confused as she tried to figure out where she had known the ladies from.
Khadijah: “Mama, you cannot remember us again?” She asked, grinning.
Midwife: “hmm, that is what I am trying to do. How many people do I want to remember? I see different people here everyday, so, I am trying to pick the faces.” she replied, still looking puzzled.
Abeni: “mama, have you forgotten the student that you delivered of a baby girl some years back, and said she wanted you to give the baby to anybody that needed a child then”. She asked lowering the pitch of her voice because of eavesdroppers, snapping her fingers.
Midwife: ‘ha ha ha. Abeni and one Adijah abi?”
Khadijah: “yes mama”. She replied grinning and kneeling down to greet the elderly woman properly.
Midwife: “agh, good. Let us go inside”. They both left for a small poorly ventilated room in the old building. “Have your seats my daughter. Welcome. It is quite an age. I hope all is well? This that I saw you ladies after how many years again”. She asked, smiling broadly showing off her gap teeth stained with tobacco and herbs.
Abeni: “Mama, it is for the good of the two of us. We are here again about the same issue”. She said.
Midwife: ‘which issue is that?” she asked looking worried.
Abeni: “you see mama, this world is a mystery. Since that time my friend has not had any issue in her matrimonial home, and we have tried so many things, all to no avail. And we thought maybe it the past that is telling on her. But, recently we saw a girl that looked so much like her, and we did our findings about the girl and discovered that she was born here the same period my friend had her child that year. I hope you are following me mama?” She asked.
Midwife: ‘I am with you my daughter, go on”.
Abeni: “okay. When we saw the mother of the girl, she told us she had the child here as I said earlier on. And we were thinking maybe, this girl is my friends’ daughter that she gave birth to that year. Since both of you agreed to give the girl to anyone that needed a child, that is why we are
here, to know the person you gave the child to”. She said, looking face down.
Midwife: ‘hmmm. This is a big issue. Do you know what you are talking about at all? How do you think do that kind of thing? Anyway, I gave the baby out to a woman that needed a child badly at the time you and your friend ran away without looking back. So that is all I can say for now. Go elsewhere and look for your lost baby, don’t come to my house again”. She warned the two ladies, feeling irritated by their sight, as she sat at the edge of the chair.
Khadijah: “see, mama, we know you are angry, and you deserve to be mad at us self, but we need your help right now. Please forgive us for our past. We were young then and did not know what we were doing. But now that our eyes are opened and clear we are back to make corrections to our past mistakes”. She apologised, going down on her knees.
Midwife: “see let me not deceive you, begging will not solve this issue. Just accept fate and look up to God for the fruit of the womb”. She said as all their pleas fell on her deaf ears.
Khadijah: “hmmm, mama, that is there is a house for a child for a baby to stay”. She said weeping. And this caught the midwife’s attention. She turned around looking startled with her pupils dilating in her sunken eye sockets.
Abeni: “that is why we are here mama. So, that my friend will not be like a snake that crawled on the rock that has no that left no path behind. It will not be good if she leaves this world with all her hardwork and another person will inherit it that is why we are here mama” She pleaded.
Midwife: “okay, what you want me to do for you now?” She asked with a feeling of empathy for Khadijah.
Khadijah: “if you can help us locate the woman you gave the child to, we won’t mind how much it will cost, we are ready to pay”. She said. And the old woman was lost in thought, as she face the ground, shaking her head and legs simultaneously.
Few days later after the midwife had refused to tell the two who she gave the baby to, they decided to go to Ranti. After many explanations and persuasions, Ranti refused to yield to their fabricated lies as to the fact there was a mix up at the midwife’s clinic.
Abeni: “hmmm, you see madam, we cannot lie to you. The midwife mistakenly gave you my friend’s baby that year, it is so glaring now, look at my friend and your daughter, don’t they look alike?” She asked rhetorically, pointing to her friend.
Ranti: “hmmmm, I am finished. You people are talking as if there is no brain in your head at all. What is the meaning of that you are saying? So, you mean my own child died and the woman exchanged it for your own that is was your own baby that died?” “She clapped her palms and laughed hysterically.
Khadijah: “see, if you don’t mind we will pay you off, after all you have another child”
Ranti: “so, you want to buy my child now? Is that where you are driving at?” she asked feeling amused. “Okay, it is not hard, let us go and see the midwife, and she will tell us who the mother of the child is between the two of us. What about that?” She asked and the two friend looked at each other for a long time. Dumbfounded and do not know what to say, since the midwife refused to yield to their cunning acts.
Question: “what happens next? How will Khadijah reclaim the child she had long forgotten and gotten rid of?
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