Mr Jacob: “you can have a look at the result” he handed the test result to Ranti who scanned through but had no comprehension of the medical jargons.
Ranti: “I don’t understand what is here” she replied as she looked at the paper in her hands with a puzzled face.
Wendy: “Congratulations Madam, the daughter is yours”. She explained to her, smiling.
Ranti: “agh! I know my Fatoumata is my own. I carried her in my womb now”. She replied, smiling broadly with her right hand in her mouth.
Mr Jacob: “so, what is the next thing to do now? What is the next line in action?” he asked, looking at the people in the office.
Wendy: “nothing much, let the mother reclaim her child, and go home with.
Mr Jacob: “okay, thank you doctor”. He stretched forth his hand to shake the doctor and adjusting his suit as well.
Doctor: “you are welcome sir it’s my pleasure”.
Mr Jacob: “okay, let’s take our leave. Head straight to the office everybody”
Wendy: “yeah, sure. Victory at last” she hugged Ranti so tightly smiling.
Ranti: “thank you so much Madam Wendy, My joy knows no bounds. I am very happy, you are God sent.
Wendy: “it is okay. I am only doing what I feel and know is right; putting smile on the faces of people like you and any one whose right is infringed upon. I think you can now go for your treatment proper, now that your daughter has been brought back to you?’
Ranti: “of course! I am so glad.
Wendy: “okay. The Organisation will pay for your medical bill, and all necessary things that you need. Just do me a favour by following your medical routine religiously. Don’t miss any of your therapies”. She advised her, smiling.
Ranti: “hmmmm, before nko. I know how I am feeling, so, I will dare not miss any of my therapy”. She replied, smiling.
Khadijah looked so gloomy, resting her head on the seat back rest and looking blankly into air.
“hmmmm, vanity upon vanity. The past will always tell on one in the future. How can I be so dumb? I ate my cake and still wanted to have it again. And friends, family warned me back in the days, I thought I was doing the right thing, evacuation of innocent unborn kids was nothing to me, now here I am with nothing. All the wealth I was pursuing, of what use is it to me now. Wasted! Another person will come and acquire all that I laboured for. Ah! I am finished” she wept bitterly with her two hands on her head. Not long after, her friend, Bimpe entered the room looking at her with surprise.
Bimpe: “Khadi, what is it?” she asked, staring at her with surprise.
Khadijah: “nothing! I am okay”. She lied, looking away from her friend’s side to avoid eyes contact as she dried her face with a handkerchief.
Bimpe: “see, don’t tell me nothing is wrong. Your eyes are swollen and red hot. I can see, and I am not a kid. Talk to me, what is the problem?” she asked, sitting beside her, and drawing her closer.
Khadijah: “my own is finished” she replied, weeping profusely.
Bimpe: “God forbid! Your own is not finished o. tell me what happened and stop saying negative things to yourself.
Khadijah: “and you warned me, but I wouldn’t listen. You warned me”. She said, burying her face into her hands, soaking her face in tears.
Bimpe: “stop all this wailing and talk to me. If I know what the problem is, then we will know what lasting solution to proffer to the problem, but if you don’t talk, how do we help?
Khadijah: “okay, thank God you know virtually everything about me, my past and now. The mother of the girl Abeni said looked so much like me, got someone to help her. So, we went for another test and the test says I am not the mother?”
Bimpe: “I knew it. I knew there was something fishy about the test you people said you did. And you know I warned you in the first place. So, how come your test and the one they did not tally?’ she asked, looking at her with a bit of irritation.
Khadijah: “hmmmmm, it was Abeni that advised me to plan with the doctor to allow the test favour me. She said the woman is poor and needs money for her failing health that if we offer her money, she would let go of her daughter”.
Bimpe: “so, did she agree to sell her daughter?”
Khadijah: “no, she said she would rather die than sell her daughter to someone she knows not to talk of not knowing. She refused bluntly. And I suggested we do a DNA test. That was when Abeni said if the test does not favour me I can always connive with the doctor to manipulate the result”.
Bimpe:’hmmm, you people are mean o. And you did all this under my roof, without me knowing?’ she asked rhetorically, covering her mouth with her hands.
Khadijah: “I agreed to all her suggestions and since the woman is not that educated and enlightened, it was easy for us to get”
Bimpe: “she is not educated, fine. But, how did she now recall for another test?”
Khadijah: “she did that through an NGO”.
Bipe: “hmmm, this is not time for crying o. you better pack your load now and think of what next to do. Because, as I am seeing you now, you are not safe, the NGO might send police to hunt for you, since what you did is punishable by law. But, wait a minute, where is the Abeni that put you into all this mess now” She asked rhetorically. Coincidentally, Abeni entered the room.
Abeni: ‘yes, here I am. I am here” She replied, raising her shoulders high. Bimpe looked at her contemptuously, hissing.
Abeni: “ehn, ehn, what is it? Why that look? Anyway I have not come for you, it is my friend I have come to see. Khadi Alhaja, how are you? Wait o, why is your face swollen like this? What happened? She asked, feigning concern.
Khadijah: hmmm, Abeni, see where all your wrong advices have landed me. Or secret is out”
Abeni: “which secret? I did not do any secret thing with you. Which one is our secret is out?
Khadijah: ”I was summoned by the social worker for another test about Fatou”.
Abeni: “when did all this happen that you did not tell me?”
Khadijah: “they lured me to their office, calling me that they wanted me to chair an occasion for them,
Abeni: “and you believed? Oh no, you can never be like me. You are not smart at all”
Bimpe: “shut up! Shut that your gutter mouth up”. She fumed at her. “All the advices you have been giving, where do they land her, is this not it? The outcome of all your diabolical advices”. She spoke firmly, gesticulating.
Abeni: “see, Bimpe, I am not talking to you, just stay out of this> by the way, you should have hinted me now, Khadi, and… ooo” She paused, biting her finger, with her other hand in her waist, looking up as though she was trying to remember an event.
Khadijah: you did not hear what I said? I said I was lured. They deceived me to their office.
Abeni: that is why I said you are not smart. You have used your common sense that they must be up to something, when they mentioned social work office to you. And besides you should called me asap, when it is not that you don’t have my number.
Bimpe: ‘Madam Smarto, she is already in this mess, use your own common sense to get her out of the trouble she is into now. See, Khadijah, it is you, I have to advise, you better pack your load, leave Ibadan and travel as far as your legs can carry you, because, whether you like it or not, police will soon start hunting for you. And you know what that means”
Abeni: “stay, nothing will happen to you.
Few minutes later, Khadijah received a phone call from an unknown caller, disclosing her whereabouts to the caller.
Khadijah: “yes, you can meet me here?” she replied, the caller, and hung the call.
Abeni: ‘who was that?” she asked, curiously.
Khadijha:” I think it is one of my customers, who needs to collect her goods.
Abeni: “okay” she heaved a sigh of relief. “So, what is the way out now?
Khadijah: “I am confused right now. But, I think I will go with Bimpe, I will leave Ibadan for some far away place and settle.
Abeni: “so, you want to follow her advice abi?”
Khadijha: “what else do you want me to do? I have no choice that to leave here now”.
Bimpe: “see, why do you want her doom like this?” she asked rhetorically, looking through the window. “wait it seems someone is at the door”
Abeni: “who is that? abi you the person want to break the door?”
Bimpe opened the door for the guest and discovered it was a police officer in mufti.
Bimpe: “yes, how can I help you?”
Officer: “we would like to see one Ms Khadijah in our office for a brief interview.
Bimpe: “she.” she stuttered as Khadijah stood up to see what was happening at the door.
Khadijah: “yes, how may I help you?”
Officer: “you are wanted at our station for a brief interview”
Khadijah: so, you people disguised as my customer to get to me? if I may ask what am I needed for?
Officer: “just for a brief interview, when you get to our station you will find out” He replied and Khadijah followed him. She saw the doctor with whom she connived to forge a fake DNA test result in the police saloon car parked outside the compound. She opened her mouth wide open, looked back at her friends who followed her behind, and shook her head in regret.
Abeni: “ah! See where Khadijah has landed herself o” she cried, stamping her feet on the ground as the car drove off.
Bimpe: “what did I just hear you say? Where she landed herself or what you pushed her into? I said it, you know I said it, that I will be in this house when the police will bundle the two of you into their cell? Has it not happened now? My pain is that it is only Khadijah that will bear the consequence, you are not there to share in her punishment”
Abeni: ‘abeg, let me be. If someone advises you, are you not supposed to use your head?”
Bimpe: “I have always known that you are fake, but Khadi was just too blind to see the truth. She thought I was the enemy because I always told her the truth, now see where friend has landed her. hmmmmm, what a life! Won’t you follow me now so that we can go to the station?” she asked Abeni as she went back to her flat to pick her car key.
Abeni: “you and who? See, I have an important business appointment to sort, and my clients are waiting for me in Abuja, so, when I come back I will come and see you people” she replied, and left the compound.
Bimpe:”agh, is this a friend at all? And I warned Khadijah o, but she would never listen”. She bit her finger and shook her head as she saw Abeni leave her compound.
After the apprehension, Khadijah was found guilty of all the charges against her. She was charged to prison for six months without fine, and the doctor’s license was seized by the body of Medical practitioners.
Ranti was placed on therapy, and she got a job with the NGO that helped her, and her daughters were catered for as well. However, her husband came back begging her but all his pleas fell on Ranti’s deaf ears. She lived managing the terminal illness.
Abbas remarried and relocated to the UK with his new family. Abeni on the other hand was struck with a strange illness which drained her purse.
Thanks for reading.
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