“Congratulations, Alhaji. Your wife is 8 weeks pregnant” the doctor gave Alhaji the best news that he had heard in a lifetime.
Alhaji Abdul: “are you serious, doctor?” He asked just to be sure.
Doctor: “this is the text result” He said handing him the paper.
Alhaji collected the paper, read it and thanked the doctor.
In the car, away from the prying eyes of the public, Alhaji hugged Fatimah who had butterflies swimming in her stomach since the time the doctor broke the news to them.
Alhaji Abdul: “thank you very much, Fatimah. It’s so unbelievable that I am having another child at this old age. I have already given up on having another child” He said.
Fatimah: “alhamdullihai, Alhaji. This has been my greatest worry. Thank Allah it is finally over”
As soon as they got home, Alhaji assigned three of his female domestic staff to attend to Fatimah, he instructed her not to do anything apart from eating and bathing herself. The maids were to attend to her and make sure she did no strenuous works.
Alhaji Abdul: “one more thing, Fatimah. I don’t want you to worry yourself over anything. Make sure you eat well and rest well. If you must go outside this compound, I will take you there myself. If the maids are not enough, I will add more, I don’t want you to do anything until you give birth”
Fatimah: “But Alhaji, I will need to do some work which will serve as a form of exercise. It is necessary for pregnant women”
Alhaji Abdul: “see who is talking. As if you have been pregnant before. Do you know how important the child you are carrying in your womb is to me? I don’t want you to do anything that would put this baby at risk” He said.
The weeks that followed were the most memorable for Fatimah. Alhaji Abdul dotted on her and made sure she had whatever she desired even before she asked for it. Alhaji would return early from the office and stay up watching television and chatting with Fatimah till the next day when he would leave for work. He would sleep in her room and won’t even touch her for fear of hurting the baby forming in her womb. He was contented with keeping his head close to her stomach and imagining to hear the baby speak and kick.
Alhaji Abdul dotted on Fatimah to the consternation of the other women whose jealousy for Fatimah turned to hatred. Several times they had sought to talk to Alhaji about how they felt but Alhaji would wave them off and run off to work.
For fear of what they will do to her, Fatimah remained locked up in her room after Alhaji left for work every day.
She was getting bored of staying all locked up in the room but there was nothing she could do because she knew that her adversaries were prowling around like lions, looking for her to devour.
On that fateful day, she had just stepped out of the bathroom when she heard the two troublesome co-wives pounding on her door.
“who is it?” She summoned courage and asked, her heart pounding so hard she thought the baby would be affected.
Jemila: “Will you open the door? You little rat” She cursed from outside.
Fatimah’s heart flew to her mouth. She thought of picking up her phone to call her husband but he had told her about having a crucial meeting with some foreign investors and so she couldn’t risk interrupting.
“open up the door, you witch and husband snatcher” She heard Shafa’s voice, causing her heart to beat faster.
Fatimah: “Please go away. I don’t have the strength for trouble” She pleaded with them.
Jemila: “Oh, so we are now the trouble right? It is us that you are calling trouble simply because you are carrying one bastard in your womb right? Okay, no problem. You have just invited trouble upon yourself and you shall surely get consumed” She threatened.
Fatimah: “I don’t blame you. You have never been pregnant before so why won’t you talk this way. Listen, whether you like it or not, I will give birth to this child in this house and there is nothing you or anyone can do about it. Go and chew on that” She threw at them.
Shafa: “Ah Fatimah you will pay for this your mouth that is running anyhow simply because you managed to get pregnant”
Fatimah: “Nothing will happen. Oh, you think I am still the naïve little girl that Alhaji married few years ago? I am pregnant for our husband and right now I am the apple of his eyes. If it is easy ,go and get pregnant too. I dare you”
Jemila: “open this door, if you know that you are strong. Why are you just making mouth inside there? Open the door and come out let me show you the stuff I am made off” She said when she saw that Shafa was running short of what to tell Fatimah.
Fatimah: “I will not open the door, I am in my room, come and beat me. Nonsense”
Shafa: “Jemila, we have suffered. Can you imagine what this little thing that Alhaji married and cleaned up is saying to us? We have really suffered”
Fatimah: “Please o, when you people are done wailing about the things you cannot change, carry your busy body selves back to your rooms. Your noise is disturbing my unborn baby” She said and turned on the home theatre to the loudest volume, shutting out the voices of the other women.
The ringtone of Fatimah’s phone woke her up after she had fallen asleep following the exchange is words she had with the other women. She picked the phone and it was her friend, Nana calling.
Nana: “Madam Fatimah, how far now. Na wa for you o, since the last time we spoke, you haven’t even called again” She said.
Fatimah: “Don’t mind me jare. You know it’s not easy to be pushing pregnancy up and down”
Nana: “I don’t know o. How will I know when I have never been pregnant before? Anyway, can I come and visit? I am missing that your house o”
Fatimah: “Ah, you cannot come o. My husband is always with me ever since I got pregnant and he doesn’t allow anyone around me apart from himself”
Nana: “So, how does that stop me from coming?” She asked suspiciously.
Fatimah: “Babe, I no trust you na. I know how many women you have sent out of their husband’s houses because of your sexy eyes. Abeg o, I don’t want to share Alhaji” She joked.
“Really? Babe remember that I am the one who gave you the solution to this pregnancy in this first place o”
“What are you talking about” Fatimah asked, bewildered.
Nana: “You know now”
Fatimah: “Listen, I didn’t follow your advice. The baby I am carrying is my husband’s”
“story” Nana sighed and ended the call.
Three days later, Alhaji returned from work with a long face. Fatimah tried to welcome him but he shoved her aside and pushed her down.
“Park your things and leave my house, I divorce you!” He said and Fatimah felt like her world had crashed.
Fatimah: “What!” She tried to speak but the words refused to form.
Alhaji: “If I come back here and meet you, only Allah will save you from my hand”
He rushed into his son’s apartment.
“Mustapha, today you seize to be my son. You lose all the benefits that you enjoyed as my first child. Pack your personal belongings and leave my compound this minute. I disown you “ He said to his bewildered son.
Question: What is going on here? Is this a dream, surely it is not. Why is Alhaji acting this way?
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