Haliru stopped drinking; he paid more attention to his wife, going with her to the hospital sometimes for her checkups and ultrasounds. One day when they went to the hospital, it was doctor Ugbonna who was to attend to her, he was a pediatrician and was to be her child’s doctor.
Haliru: “I don’t like this doctor”
Jasmine: “Oh really. Well you have to apologize to him, you hit him for no reason” she said as she twisted his ear.
Haliru: “Ok ok, I will apologize, you don’t have to cut off my ear” he said with a smile.
Doctor Ugbonna: “I see you guys have sorted your issues. I am happy to see that”
Haliru: “Well, sorry for the other night” he said grudgingly.
Doctor Ugbonna: “Apology accepted, well now I have to examine your wife” he said and pulled on a pair of gloves.
Haliru: “No way will I allow you touch my wife. Get a female doctor, or another male doctor. But definitely not you”
Jasmine: “Haliru Danlami” she said in a hard tone. She always pronounced his full name when she wanted to scold him.
Haliru: “Danburuba, if you like call my ancestral name, he will not examine you” he said firmly.
Doctor Ugbonna: “Not to worry madam, I will get another doctor for you” he said and left the room. Jasmine turned to look at Haliru, giving him the stink eye. He just shrugged, he could not help being insecure, he was trying hard to trust his wife and build a happy home.
A female doctor entered the room and examined Jasmine, while Haliru watched. While the doctor prodded her tummy, Jasmine remembered her other child, she felt sad and it showed on her face.
Doctor: “Are you alright? If you feel any discomfort, please let me know” she said, looking concerned.
Jasmine: “No doctor, I am fine” she replied and forced a smile on her face. But her troubles never left her mind; the blackmailer had not contacted her since their last meeting, neither had she carried out her threat. Perhaps she scared her away, Jasmine hoped that was true. But she knew it was not possible she scared her away, perhaps when she lavished the money, she would call again. If she called her bluff, she had the most to lose. The blackmailer would lose her source of free money, but she, Jasmine would lose everything she had worked for. She also knew her husband had doubts about her, her suicide attempt had shaken him, and he was trying hard to put his doubts aside.
Doctor: “You are stressed and it is not good for the baby. Mr Danlami you should make sure your wife gets enough rest, why not take her on a vacation, it will be good for everybody involved, including the baby” she said as she wrote in her pad.
Haliru smiled, it was the very thing he had in mind. They needed to remember when they were dating, before all this strife. He came and helped his wife off the examining table.
Haliru: “What do you say, we go to the Bahamas, I can set up everything, we go in a few days”
Jasmine: “Great baby, I want that very much. But first I have to travel to Calabar, there is an investor I need to show my proposal to” she replied, praying in her heart that Haliru would allow her travel. she had decided to go back to the house where she gave up her child, to see if she can connect with them. She had also decided that it was time to tell her husband the whole truth. She was tired living in fear, she needed to know if Haliru would be down for her or if he would leave her because of her mistakes.
Haliru: “Did you hear the doctor at all, you need rest, not flying across the country” he said, not understanding when Jasmine seemed desperate to travel.
Jasmine: “Baby, it is just about 45mins to Calabar, in two days or less I will be done with my business and then we can go for the vacation. We need to discuss issues and Bahamas is the best place” she said and kissed him.
While the couple was planning their trip, Nengi had something in store for them. Bali was becoming restless, he wanted to ask for his rights as a father, but Nengi kept telling him to wait. Truly she was done with blackmailing Jasmine; she couldn’t tell what she would do. A desperate Jasmine was to be feared, she had almost killed Bali, and she would kill if she ever asked her for money again. It was time to up her game and strike before the couple became too strong to break. And there was only one person who could help her, it was time to go back to Port Harcourt, the land of her birth.
Nengi took the first flight out of Lagos, bound for Port Harcourt. When she touched down at the airport, she took a taxi from the airport to a community called Aluu.
There in Aluu, was an old baba that specialized in making potent potions for runs girls who wanted the men to do their bidding. To his hut in the outskirt of the community, Nengi crawled into, on bare feet.
Baba: “My daughter, what has brought you here? You want that man don’t you, you think you deserve him more than your friend”
Nengi: “Yes baba, I want Haliru to love me, I want him to do anything I ask him to do” she replied enthusiastically.
Baba: “This man that you seek, his heart is occupied by only one person, his wife. But there is nothing I cannot do, but you must be ready to pay the price” The thought of having Haliru to herself, did not make her wonder about the price she would pay. In her mind’s eye, she could already see Haliru chasing Jasmine out of his house and life, he would reject the child, and they would get married. Her status will be elevated as she joins the royal Danlami family. She deserved this life, not Jasmine.
Nengi: “Yes! Yes! I will pay whatsoever price as long as I have Haliru to myself” she replied vehemently, the fire of determination burning in her eyes.
Baba: “Follow me” he said and crawled out of the hut.Nengi followed him down to a brackish stream where the baba asked her to undress.
Nengi: “Baba, undress ke”
Baba: “Don’t question me, just obey!” he said in a loud voice that sounded like the clap of thunder. Nengi became afraid, she hurriedly began to strip herself of every piece of clothing she had on. When she was stark naked, the baba instructed her to dip herself in the brackish water. She did not hesitate this time, she walked into the water, and dipped inside.
Nengi: “I am doing this for you, Haliru” she muttered under her breath, as the cold water chilled her to the bones. All the while, the baba was making incantations, and wielding his staff in the air. After some more incantations he told her to come out. Nengi thanked her stars thinking it was all. She was to be surprised.
The baba began to walk away, Nengi instinctively followed him, naked, and she carried her clothes in her hands. When they got to a clearing which looked unnatural, like nothing ever grew on that soil, the baba stopped and turned to fix Nengi a stare with his red eyes.
Baba: “Now the final part of the assignment. Lie on the floor, now” he said authoritatively. Nengi laid on the floor obediently, and she saw the baba kneel down before her and spread her legs.
Nengi: “Baba, baba, what is going on?”
Baba: “Don’t ask me questions, what you ask for is too big to be done any other way, I have to share my powers with you, so that when you talk to him, he will hear your voice and do your bidding” he said as he thrust into her continuously. After the act, Nengi felt weird, like she was losing her grip on the world. She tried to stand, that was when she realized that her head was spinning, it was like something was in her head, she began to spin and spin, till she landed on the floor in a heavy thump. Her eyes opened and stared at the clear sky, as a tear dropped from the corners of her eyes.
Question: Will Nengi survive the spiritual exercise, or will she die in Aluu?
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