Fatimah and her mother and some of her paternal uncles pleaded with her father and after days of pleading, he allowed her stay even though he promised that he would not contribute anything to training up a child whose father had rejected his mother.
Fatimah and her mother went to the community health center and there she registered her daughter for ante natal because she could not afford to continue with the hospital where alhaji Abdul had taken her to while she was in the house.
The period that Fatimah stayed in her father’s house was one of the worst moments of her life as she had to adjust from the life of affluence that she was already used to in alhaji’s house to a life of penury and scarce resources. The psychological and emotional condition of her heart also did not help matters. Towards the end of her second trimester, it was discovered that she had high blood pressure and because of the mosquitoe bites and water that she was exposed to in her father’s house, she had chronic typhoid and malaria. She was hospitalized for weeks during which period her mother stayed by her side, attended to her. It was a trying period for the woman who had to abandon her other children to attend to her pregnant daughter. Her father also could not help but feel for his daughter for he saw how much she was suffering. It was one journey after the other to the hospital, as if the baby in her womb had resolved to keep her on hospital bed all through the pregnancy period.
Soon, Fatimah exhausted all the money that she had taken with her from alhaji’s house on drugs and hospital bills. Her father who was complementing with the little he had was also exhausted as he could barely afford to feed his wife and other children. They had depended on alhaji for everything and as such did not plan for the future.
The doctor came around for his daily check up and informed her that he had to refer her to a hospital in Kaduna town for ultra scan to determine the condition of the baby since he had observed some complications. Fatimah’s mother returned from where she had gone to buy fruits for her and saw her daughter looking gloomy.
Mama Fatimah: “why are you looking this dull? How many times will I advise you to stop thinking because that is what is responsible for your fluctuating blood pressure?” she asked, bringing out the oranges from the black nylon bag that she was holding.
Fatimah: “Mama, what crime did I commit by getting pregnant? No, tell me is it a crime for a married woman to get pregnant?” she asked, tears welling up in her eyes.
Mama Fatimah: “why are you talking like this? I have told you to forget about the past and concentrate on positive thoughts for the sake of you and the baby” she said handing her an orange.
Fatimah declined the offer and waved her mother off.
Fatimah: “I wish that I didn’t even get pregnant. I am tired of all these”
Mama Fatimah: “you have to trust Allah, he has a reason for whatever you are going through and I am sure that he will not abandon you at the end” she assured her.
“which Allah, no tell ma mama, which Allah? Please, I don’t want to hear anything about Allah again. As far as I am concerned, Allah does not exist because if he does, he would not watch me go through all these and yet do nothing” she said.
Mama Fatimah: “why are you talking this way? You were full of positivity when I stepped out to get the fruits for you. Has the doctor come around for his daily checks or do you want me to go and call him for you? Tell me, are you feeling pains anywhere?” she asked touching her daughter affectionately.
Fatimah: “the doctor came and informed me that I have complications and that I need to go to Kaduna town for a scan that will determine the position of the baby and other things. He told me to go for it immediately as delay could be dangerous” she said.
Mama Fatimah: “Okay. Why are you getting worked up then? It is normal for pregnant women to go for scans”
“the money, mama. The doctor told me that the hospital is a private one and their charges are high because they are one of the best around with the most sophisticated machines. He told me to go with not less than fifty thousand naira. Where do I get that kind of money from in my condition?”
Mama Fatimah: “Fifty thousand naira? Oh Allah, is this temptation not getting too much? I have nothing on me and even your father has exhausted the little savings he had. What do we do?”
Fatimah: “take me to alhaji’s house, I need to see him”
“What! No, you are not going back to that house. Were you not the one who said that alhaji warned you never to go anywhere close to his house else he would have you arrested?” the old woman asked.
Fatimah: “even if it means him arresting or killing me, I have to go there. Why should I die of lack of funds to treat myself when my husband is a billionaire who doesn’t even know what to do with his money? Please mother, help take me there because I am too weak to go all alone”
Fatimah and her mother left the hospital under the pretense of going for the scan in the city center and took a cab directly to alhaji Abdul’s house. As soon as the gatekeeper saw Fatimah looking pale and fragile, he allowed her and her mother in without bothering to ask the usual questions he always asked guests.
Alhaji was in the living room watching a business oriented programme on Channels Television when she entered. He sat up abruptly as soon as he saw her.
Alhaji Abdul: “what are you doing here? I thought I warned you never to show your ugly head here? Get out this minute” he barked.
Mama Fatimah: “haba my in-law, wont you at least hear her out before you throw us out?”
Alhaji Abdul: “who is your in-law? I regret the day I met your daughter. Cursed be the day I married this slot and made her my wife”
Fatimah: “alhaji, please have mercy on me. I am dying, this pregnancy came with lots of complications. Right now my parents and I have spent all we have on hospital treatments and I have been asked to go for a scan urgently. Please assist me, at least for the sake of the unborn baby, your child” she pleaded weakly.
Alhaji: “why won’t you have complications when you did the most abominable thing on earth? Why don’t you go and meet my son who got you pregnant to give you money for hospital bills? If you don’t leave here this minute, I will have you arrested for trespassing in my property”
Fatimah fell on his knees and began to cry. Her mother patted her and led her away when she saw him attempting to push her out.
Mama Fatimah: “don’t worry, let us leave my daughter. God will see us through”
Alhaji Abdul: “Go and die with the pregnancy for all I care, prostitute” he said while the other wives laughed and giggled.
“push!” the midwife on duty ordered Fatimah who was already running out of breadth having been in labour for two days.
Fatimah summoned all the strength she had in her and pushed but there was no headway.
Fatimah: “I am tired, I cannot do this anymore” she said crying.
The midwife cleaned the sweat that was forming on her brow, removed her hand gloves and went out to where Fatimah’s parents were eagerly waiting.
Mama Fatimah: “how is my daughter? Has she given birth now?” she asked eagerly.
Midwife: “we need blood, she is running out of blood and her blood pressure is seriously shooting up. We need to act fast. I am going to get the doctor, this is beyond me” she said and walked away leaving the couple dumbstruck.
Baba Fatimah: “what kind of trouble is this? This girl has been in labour for days now and she has collected more than 4 pints of blood and yet she is still running out of blood? Where do we get money to get another blood?” he asked rhetorically.
At the end, series of tests were carried out on him and his wife and it was discovered that his own matched her own, so he had to donate a pint for her since they couldn’t afford to buy from the hospital’s blood bank.
The doctor and nurses went in to the labour room and after what seemed like eternity to Fatimah’s parents, he returned shaking his head and invited them to his office.
Doctor: “I will just go straight to the point because we have no time anymore. Your daughter is having a very tough time giving birth to that child because it’s a cross breach, meaning that the baby is coming out with one of its legs rather than the head. Right now, your daughter is too weak to push and we need to carry out a caesarean section on her immediately if you do not wish to lose her and the baby. I have told the nurses to get her and the theatre ready. All you need do is deposit the sum of N75, 000 so that we can go ahead with the surgery” he said and removed his medicated glasses.
All plea by Fatimah’s parents to get him to commence the surgery while they ran around to look for the money fell on deaf ears. At the end, they went out and called alhaji Abdul’s number. Fatimah’s father explained everything to the alhaji.
Alhaji Abdul: “is that why you are calling me and disturbing my peace this afternoon? What is my business with what is happening to your daughter and the bastard she is carrying in her womb? She can die with the child for all I care” he said into the receiver.
Baba Fatimah: “please alhaji. Remember that she was once your wife, just help us with the money and consider it as an act of charity to an enemy and Allah will surely replenish your pockets” he pleaded.
Alhaji Abdul: “Like I said, she can die with the baby for all I care. She is in that condition because of the abomination she committed. Yes, in my culture, women who commit such abominations die during childbirth unless they confess. Tell your daughter to confess her sins or she would die even in the theatre” he said and ended the call.
Fatimah’s parents asked to see their daughter and they were led to the female ward where she was taken to from the labour room. Her mother began to weep as soon as she saw her daughter in a deteriorating state. The nurses had to take her out, leaving father and a daughter who was finding it difficult to breathe.
Baba Fatimah: “my dear, I am your father and I will not forgive myself if I fold my hands and allow you die. That is why I need you to tell me the truth so that I can do the needful. Did you cheat on your husband while you were married to him? I called him for financial assistance because of you and he said you are in this condition because you cheated on him and that you can only survive this pregnancy if you confess. Please tell me the truth and save yourself all this pain” he pleaded with her.
Fatimah: “baba, I went through hell in that labour room and I am still going through excruciating pains right now. There is no way I will be lying in this stage when I it feels like I will die at any minute and so I will confess but I need to see alhaji Abdul first. Call him to come here please” she said weakly.
Her father ran out and informed his wife and after several calls and pleading alhaji Abdul came to the hospital. Fatimah’s parents led him to the ward where Fatimah was and soon as she saw him, she tried to sit up but fell back for pain.
Alhaji Abdul: “what is it that you want to say? Say it fast because I left an important matter pending in the office to come here since your parents said you are at the verge of dying” he said refusing to take the seat that was offered him by Fatimah’s father.
Fatimah: “alhaji, please forgive me. It all started after my friend visited me in your house and told me to get another man to get me pregnant for you since it was obvious that you couldn’t get me pregnant. When I came to visit my parents for almost a week, she introduced me to two men that I paid with your money to sleep with me without protection with the hope that I would get pregnant. Upon my return to your house, I discovered that I had not taken in and there was no way I could go out to meet them because you would not allow me go out for any reason except if we go out together. So I decided to confide in my friend again and she helped me get a substance to use. I invited one of your security men to my room that fateful day and drugged the juice I served him, after I forced him him to disable the CCTV camera installation in your house. He slept off and I mounted him and made love to him. When he woke up and discovered what had happened, he wanted to scream but I threatened him that I would accuse him of raping me if he ever spoke about it. Then I made him swear with his life that he would die by accident if he ever told anyone about it. He did and since then he became my sex tool. Whenever I was sure that nobody was watching, he would sneak into my room and sometimes spend the night there and we would make wild love all night. I stopped him from coming as soon as I discovered that I was pregnant. My friend who gave me this evil advice has abandoned me and refused to give me even a kobo all the while that I was sick. I tried to call and send her messages some time ago but I discovered that she had blocked me and then I heard she died in an accident last week. I am sorry, please forgive me”
Baba Fatimah: “Oh my God, Fatimah!”
Mama Fatimah: “wayo Allah na, Fatimah you have killed us. A security man coming to sleep with you in your husband’s house? Na shiga uku”
Alhaji Abdul: “this is so unbelievable. And you made me to accuse my son falsely and watched while I disowned him and sent him away without saying anything in his defense? Do you know that my accusation caused him his marriage? And my first wife too, I sent her away because I thought she was supporting her son. Oh Allah, my quest to marry a young woman to keep me warm has cost me the people I love most in my life. After you told me that you were pregnant, I went for my normal routine check in the hospital and I was told that I had low sperm count and there was no way I could get a woman pregnant in that condition. I told the doctor that my wife was got pregnant recently and he told me that there was no way I could be the father. I was in my office thinking about what had happened when I received an anonymous call from someone who claimed to be your friend. She told me that you were sleeping with other men and that the person who is responsible for your pregnancy lives in my compound. She said her name was Nana. Immediately, I thought it was Mustapha considering how close you were with him and the fact that the other women had once accused you of having sexual relations with him, that was why I disowned him and sent him away especially after I found out that my CCTV camera had been disabled because only him and my security men in my house could do that”
“Please forgive me” Fatimah said and stretched her hand to touch him but he moved away.
“Do not touch me with those abominable hands. Pray to Allah to forgive you your sins. Let me also apologize for paying the doctors we went to earlier to lie to you that we were in a perfect condition to give birth, I actually didn’t want you to find out my secret for fear that you will leak it to the world” he said and asked her father to follow him to see the hospital’s accountant. There he made a transfer of all that would be needed for the surgery and in few minutes, Fatimah was wheeled to the theatre where she was delivered of triplets.
After Alhaji left the hospital, he got across in touch with his son and begged him for forgiveness. The young man was adamant at first but after several pleas from his father’s family members, he forgave him and returned home and they went to plead with his mother who was living with her grand aunt to return back to her husband’s house. She refused but her grand aunt pleaded with her and after weeks of pleading visits from alhaji, her son and his family members, she returned home. Mustapha’s wife, Amina also forgave her husband after she heard that he was innocent and returned home.
Alhaji gave Fatimah sarki uku (divorce) and sacked the security man that had gotten her pregnant. After she returned home from the hospital , her father sent her away and told her to go and live with the security man who got her pregnant because there was no way she could stay in his house with three children after the abomination she committed.
Fatimah had no choice than to move with the babies to the small container in the outskirts of Kaduna where the security man had moved to after alhaji sacked him. The man having heard of how Fatimah slept with two other men before him kept reminding her to give him his own child and take the remaining two back to their fathers. The two of them lived in abject poverty and were always quarrelling, the security man accusing Fatimah of ruining him and causing him to leave his job and she accusing him of not being man enough to carter for her and the children the way alhaji did.
Alhaji divorced the other two women, Jemila and Shafa after he caught them red handed planning against Mustapha’s mother and how to charm him to love them alone.
We are Speechless here. Kindly share your thoughts on lessons learnt. Do have a pleasant rest, we love you.
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