Alhaji’s thug who he called on phone barged into the room and started pushing Justina out.
Justina: “You cannot just chase me away like that, Alhaji, you haven’t paid me”.
Alhaji: “Pay you for what? For making me commit an abomination? Get out of this place before I descend on you. Look at this kafiri, if you don’t leave here this minute, I will order my boys to beat you to a pulp and nothing will happen here”, he thundered.
Justina picked her bag and ran out. When she got home, she saw that her friends had not returned. She made herself a cup of Lipton and went to sleep.
“So, you are here sleeping when your mates are out there working hard? Wake up, jor “, she felt Amaka’s hands on her shoulders. She jerked up.
Amaka: “What the hell happened between you and alhaji?.
Justina: “Alhaji is a very wicked man. Can you believe he chased me out of his room without giving me a dime after I had finished servicing him? That stupid man almost broke my waist and yet he sent me away empty handed. If not for the thugs he called, I would have done something to him that he won’t forget in a hurry”.
Vicky: “Of course we believe you because alhaji called and told us all that happened. How could you be so careless as to allow him notice that you are pregnant? Do you know the damage that this has caused our reputation? Now, Alhaji is going about talking to his friends that we don’t deliver clean girls. Do you know how much patronage that will cause us to lose? What wrong did I commit by accepting you when you were homeless? Is this how you intend to pay me back? By causing me to lose my high paying clients?”
Amaka: “Ooooo,Vicky. That is my problem with you. You too like to dey speak English. Listen, Justina we have had enough of you and your ill luck in this house. From the first time you went for business, it has been from one problem to another. Pack your things and leave, we are tired. We cannot continue to harbour a pregnant woman, it is bad for our business. Abeg go meet the person wey give you belle make una suffer am together. Afterall when you were enjoying the thing, we no follow you enjoy”.
Justina: “Please, you can’t do this. Where do you want me to go? It is almost 11pm; you can’t throw me out now. Please”.
Vicky: “I am sorry, Justina. But we have had enough. Just go. Even God knows that I have tried for you”.
Amaka brought out Justina’s things and threw them out throwing her into the street despite her cry and plea for help.
Amaka: “Oya, come dey go. Carry that bad luck belle wey you get commot from our house”.
Out in the street, it was very cold and Justina was shivering. She walked around for 30 minutes and she fell down and began to weep. When it dawned on her that harm may befall her if she sleeps outside, she went back into compound where she was chased and passed the night at a secluded corner.
The next morning, Justina got up and knocked on the door of her friends’ room and even though they were inside, they refused to answer her. Having stood there on the door for more than twenty minutes without them answering, it dawned on her that her friends were determined not to allow her back into the house. She picked up her hold on bag and left the house, vowing never to return there.
She roamed the street moving from one place to the other all morning and when it was afternoon, she looked for a place and sat down to rest her head from the scorching sun. She felt the baby in her womb kick and out of hunger, she cursed the child in her womb. She thought of going back to the village but gave up the plans when she realized that she didn’t have enough money for transportation. In anguish, she began to cry. So great was her sorrow that she didn’t realize when a Silver SUV pulled beside her and a woman dressed in a black Ankara skirt and top with a black after dress on it and gold jewelleries wind down the glass and beckoned to her.
Hajiya Hauwa: “Why are you crying? I drove past you but something told me
Justina: “Ma, I am hungry and homeless. Please, give me some money to buy food. If not for my sake, at least for the sake of the baby in my womb”.
Hajiya Hauwa: “What! You mean you haven’t eaten all day even with this pregnancy? Where is your husband?”
Justina: “I don’t have a husband and I don’t have parents. I am all alone in the world. I was raped and that is how I got pregnant”, she lied.
Hajiya Hauwa: “It’s okay, wipe your tears. I think I am interested in that baby. Enter the car, I will take you to a restaurant where you will eat whatever you want after which I will disclose the plans I have for your unborn child to you. I assure you that you will be greatly compensated if you cooperate with me”.
Without thinking twice, Justina grabbed her bag and hopped into the car. The woman started the car and smiled mischievously to herself as she drove away.
“Are you okay? Why are you looking so far away? What are you thinking about so deeply?” Mallama Fatimah’s gentle touch on her shoulders forced her back to reality that she was waiting to be operated upon in the hospital and to the kicking of the baby in her womb.
Justina: “Hmmn, I was thinking of how I got pregnant and how I met Hajiya Hauwa your sister. She has been so good me, may Allah bless her”.
Mallama Hauwa: “Amin, yarabi. Don’t worry, the doctor said all is set for the surgery now. They will come and take you to the theatre shortly”.
Few minutes later, the nurses came and made Justina ready for the theatre. As they wheeled her away, she felt the pressure of the baby’s head coming in-between her thighs and a very sudden urge to push.
“Nurse, the baby is coming”, she told the nurses who mocked her.
Nurse 1: “You no serious, when we dey tell you to push since you no gree. By the time dey tear you up for theatre commot pikin, you go know say Jesus is Lord”.
As soon as she got to the theatre, the doctor picked up his surgical material and was about to begin when Justina gave out a loud push with all the strength in her and the baby’s head came out.
Doctor: “This is a miracle. You just gave birth naturally in the theatre on the operation table. It is not medically possible for anybody in your condition to give birth this way. Congratulations, madam, it’s a cute baby boy”, he said as he showed her the baby before handing it over to the nurses to clean.
About an hour later, after Justina had been cleaned up, they handed over her baby dressed in an immaculate white sweater to her, she looked into his eyes and the love she felt for the little angel in her arms overwhelmed her. She held him close to her bosom and she knew that it would not be easy for her to give up the child to Hajiya. She began to thank God for preventing her plan to flush out the pregnancy and instantly, she began to regret why she had promised to give up the child to hajiya Hauwa.
“A child fills up a vacuum that we didn’t know exist in our hearts. I am not sure I can go through with the deal I made with hajiya. I can’t part with my baby, not for all the money in the world. Never!”. She soliloquized.
Question: Hmmm… Will she agree to give Hajiya the baby when Hajiya returns? What will Hajiya do when she finds out that Justina is not willing to release the baby to her? Gbesereeooo! I was thinking promise is a debt!
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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