It has been more than two months since Ismail died. Amina has cried out her eyes and she has lost flesh as life appears meaningless to her. Many times she has prayed and wished for death.
She has on several occasions’ contemplated suicide but she lacks the courage to bring herself to doing it. During the course of her grieving for Ismail, she has become close to God as life and material things do not appeal to her anymore.
Mama Amina: “My daughter, I happy as you don dey commot small small now. No worry, God go bring another better man wey go marry you. No worry yourself about Ismail again, na as God want the thing n im e be so.”
Amina: “Mama, I am not crying anymore. I know that I shall be united with Ismail again at the resurrection on the last day. I just pray that his soul rests in peace. He was such an amazing person, I realized it when it was too late”.
Mama Amina: “Wipe your tears, my pikin. If tears dey bring person back to this world, Ismail suppose don wake up. No worry, another correct man go come wey you go marry”.
Amina: “Did you say marriage, mama? I am no longer interested in getting married. I have given my life to God and I will leave for him till I die. It’s obvious that I already ate my cake in the past and now I can’t have it back.
Mama Amina: “Ooh, nwam. Take care and pray for those of us at home”.
Amina: “I will, mama”.
Amina yielding to Mama’s advice decides to cast all her burden on God for she had mourned Ismail enough. Amina’s relationship with God becomes a healthy one.
Amina: “I’m not interested in any form of relationship anymore. I just want to pleased my lord that’s all!”
After prayers that night, the thought of Teacher Isah flashes through her mind. It is an old memory. She remembers how she did hurt him. Why is his thought coming up a sudden? She is puzzled. The feeling of guilt piles up on her, “Only if I can see Teacher Isah to ask him for forgiveness! Lord, I wish you can make this possible.
She sleeps off and sees Teacher Isah in a neatly dressed white Kaftan and black loafer shoe. They are both sitting side by side but she doesn’t recognize him until he looks at and talks,
Teacher Isah: “Heyie, beautiful!” She is stunned,
Amina: Teacher Isah? Wow!
Teacher Isah: “surprise to see me right?”
She nods. He keeps talking to her but she hardly says a word to him, after he talks for thirty minutes,
Amina: “I’m sorry for hurting you,Isah! I’m really sorry!”
Teacher Isah: “No worries. You don’t have to apologize for I am happily married now!”
Tears fall from her eyes, “You don’t have to cry dear. You didn’t get what you don’t deserve. You might end up being unmarried for the rest of your life!”
The cab stops and Teacher Isah drops off all smiles, the cab moves away as she cries out her heart.
The pillow is soaked in tears,
Amina: “I just wish you can forgive me, Isah!” she says and in less than a minute sleep whisks her away.
Amina: “What kind of dream is that?”
The next day in the morning, Amina boards a bus going to Islamic Convocation Centre (IVC) organized by MSS venue.
When she draws near her destination, she gives the conductor her transportation fare but he refuses to collect saying that someone sitting behind had already paid for her. “Who could have paid for me?”, she asks. “The man sit down for your back”, the conductor replies.
She turns around and sees a gentle man in a nicely pressed clean white Kaftan and black loafers shoe with a medicated glass.
Amina: “Teacher Isah!”, she screams, it is a feeling of fear and excitement. He is dressed in the same way she saw him in the dream. She finds her shivering; out of fear that this encounter shouldn’t be same with what happened in the dream. He smiles at her, the same kind of smile she had received from him in the dream.
They get down and coincidentally, teacher Isah is also going for the convocation.
Amina:”I almost didn’t recognize you, you have changed” she managed to say
Teacher Isah: “It is the Allah’s doing my dear. You have also changed, I must confess. You look older and pale. Are the children giving you too much trouble?”
Amina is shy and tries to hide her face. “I am not married yet”, she lets out.
Teacher Isah: “What! You still haven’t seen the man of your dreams?”
Amina: “It’s a long story, teacher”
Teacher Isah: “Never mind, I am also not married. After you rejected me, I lost interest in marriage and preoccupied myself with developing myself more. I have been busy pursing knowledge and all the women I have met do not have the patience to wait for me. I now work with…” He is still talking when Amina rushes to the gutter beside them and starts throwing up.
Teacher Isah: “What is wrong with her?” Is she pregnant? he soliloquizes as he walks to her.
Teacher Isah stops a cab to take Amina back home back home but she refuses, insisting that she must go for the Convacation.
Teacher Isah: “But you need to go to the hospital and treat yourself. What if you start vomiting at the Convocation venue? That will be the height of embarrassment, you know”.
Amina: “I can’t miss this Convocation for anything in the world; it’s Shaitan trying to stop me from going”.
Teacher Isah: “You may be right, but what about your health? That is equally important to me”.
Amina: “I will be fine; it’s the lunch I ate this afternoon that is upsetting my stomach”.
Teacher Isah: “Okay, dear. But if it is about the cab fare and hospital bill, I will handle that; you need not bother your pretty head over that”.
Amina: “Thanks, now let’s rush in before the auditorium gets filled up”.
All through the Convocation period, Amina sits close to teacher Isah and she realizes how interesting it is to be with him. He behaves matured, has a very good listening ear and above all, she realizes how very generous and God fearing he is. He always pays her transportation fare to and from the Convocation venue and buys snacks and drinks for her even when she doesn’t demand for it.
On the 2nd day of the Convocation, Teacher Isah: “Amina, you don’t look good at all. You are getting pale and you appear dull to me. After this Convocation, I am taking you straight to the hospital, you need proper medical attention. Please, don’t say no”.
Amina: “But I am fine”.
Teacher Isah: “No buts, thank you”.
It gets to Amina’s turn for the one on one counseling with one of the Imam. She goes in and immediately the man Sheikh sets eyes on her, he begins to pray. “My sister, who did this to you?” he asks.
Amina: “I don’t understand, sir. Who did what to me?”
Imam: “Who gave you this filthy garment that you have on?”
Amina: “Filthy garment? But my clothes are clean. What are you talking about?”
Imam: “look at you, physically you appear tall, well dressed and beautiful to people. But when men who intend to marry you look at you, you appear dirty with a foul odour oozing from you and they have no option but to leave you and go for other girls”.
Amina breaks down in tears as the reality of what the Imam is talking about dawns on her.
Imam: “I see Jins from diabolic men revolving round you. Have you had anything to do with powers of the underworld before?”
Amina: “Imam, please help me. I am almost 40 years and I am still single. I rejected men when I was younger because I didn’t want to rush into a marriage that I will live to regret for the rest of my life. Since then, all the men that come my way leave me empty and broken hearted. The cold hands of death snatched the only man who wanted to marry me some weeks ago. In my desperation, I visited different herbalists and spiritual homes in search of a solution; they all cheated me and slept with me”.
Imam: “Lord have mercy! You went in search of solution in the wrong place. Anything that is outside God cannot last. If the devil gives you a shoe, he will take your leg as payment. My daughter, do you know that we perish for lack of knowledge? Why do you have to go to the devil in search of solutions to your predicament when you can kneel before God in the comfort of your room and pray to Him? Allah says that we should call on Him in times of trouble and He will answer for He is the God of all flesh, there is nothing that is too difficult for Him to do”.
Amina: “Help me. I am tired of all the frustrations, embarrassment and disappointments”.
Imam: “Do not ask for my help, my sister. Don’t you know that vain is the help of man? Our help can only come from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and earth. Go down in sujood and pray”.
Go and perform ablution and come let us pray together and after a rigorous prayer session, the Imam stops abruptly.
Imam: “I see a strong spirit, refusing to let go of you. Did you do anything wrong or did you deliberately hurt someone?”
Amina: “None that I can remember”. She pauses to think and she recalls the begger at the market that was acclaimed as an evil spirit. “Oh yes, I gave food to a woman sometime ago in the market and they said the woman is an evil spirit and that she has gone with my destiny.
Imam: “You do not have to worry about that. The woman is a poor helpless woman whose destiny has been tempered with by humans just like your case. The prophet who came around the market praying for people is the evil one. If he lays hands on the head of anyone, he takes the person’s God given stars and the person becomes conformed to a life of penury and disappointments. People should beware of those who lay hands on them and pray for them. It is not everyone who says ‘Lord! Lord!’ that is of God. That singular act of charity to a poor woman even when you had little is what has kept you alive till today. Continue to give to the poor and God will always meet you at the point of your own needs”.
Amina: “Thank you, sir. This is a great relief, all these while I have been living with the fear that the woman diverted my destiny”.
Imam: “I hear Shettima, who is Shettima?”
Amina: “He is a banker who wanted to marry me when I was in the polytechnic. I knew that there was no way I could have married him but I accepted to date him because of his money. He sponsored my education in the Polytechnic and took care of all my needs. When he proposed, I insulted him, ridiculed his job and he left in anger”.
Imam: “Oh my God, that is the problem with our sisters of this generation. Why did you have to allow him spend on you when you knew you were never going to marry him? It is not all men that will spend on you and allow you go freely. You may not know it but everything has its own implication. When the banker left you, he was heartbroken and because of that he couldn’t concentrate in his job, he lost his job shortly after and he joined a secret cult for wealth and he placed a curse on you that you will never get married because of what you did to him. He also placed curse on you that you will be opening legs uncontrollably to any men that come your way easily by devaluing your womanhood. Shettima is dead now; his cult took his life when he refused to use his mother as a sacrificial lamb”.
Amina: “Oh my God! What have I gotten myself into, see what greed has caused me”.
Imam: “It’s okay. Allah is the most forgiving. Now that you have confessed your sins and repented genuinely, he will set you free from all demonic manipulations and curses. You have to go to the street and give alms to beggars, give out clothes to the naked and feed the hungry. That way, you would have made retribution for all that Shettima spent on you. You may go and fast tomorrow which is on Thursday after which I and other men of Imams here will pray with you again. Wipe your tears and go your way, you are free!”
Amina leaves the Imams office feeling very light and happy. She felt like a heavy burden has been taken off her head. She observes the fast and gives alms as the Imam had suggested and after the convocation, teacher Isah takes her to the hospital where the test shows that she has typhoid and Cholera contrary to her fears that she may be pregnant for Ismail. She spends four days on admission and all these while, teacher Isah never left the hospital for a minute as he is always there taking care of her and buying all the prescribed drugs. On the day she was discharged, after Isah paid all the medical bills at the reception, he kneels down before Amina.
Teacher Isah: “When a man falls, he rises again. It is not the fall of a man that is the end of his world but when he falls down and refuses to rise up. You rejected me once but instead of me getting discouraged, I took it as a challenge to work harder to ensure a brighter future. Today, I have my Masters degree and when I ran into you in the bus that day, I realized how sensible and matured you have grown over the years. And so, I ask again: Will you marry me? Please don’t say no as I am not sure I can rise up again if you let me down a second time”.
Amina is overwhelmed and with tears of joy in her heart hands him her finger. “ Before I say anything, I want to ask for your forgiveness for hurting you in the past,” tears drop down, she goes on her kneels too, he smiles,
Teacher Isah: “I have forgiven you and that’s why I want us to make it right this time,” she hugs him crying,
Amina: “Yes! Yes ! Yes!!, I will marry you. Ours is obviously a match made in Heaven. I won’t throw this opportunity away again”. They hug and teacher Isah kisses the engagement ring he gave her to the admiration of everyone in the hospital’s reception who are busy capturing the moment with their phones. In less than few minutes, Inside Arewa Instagram page posted their picture and different social media outlets starts buzzing with their engagement details as posted by those who had witnessed it: “Man, kneels down in the hospital and proposes to his long time sweetheart shortly after she is discharged”
In the cab on their way to Amina’s house, teacher Isah says: “I have good news for you; I didn’t want to tell before I proposed to you at the hospital because I wanted to see if you will accept me with my profile as an ordinary teacher. I just secured a job with ECOWAS, it comes with a salary package of N500, 000 per month and an official apartment and car as a Master’s degree holder.”
Amina: “Wow! Thank you, Lord. I didn’t know you will answer me this way. What an awesome God you are. Congratulations, my love”.
After Chief had Kamal beaten up, he rents another apartment for Fatima who is now his full time mistress. Chief is very generous and kind and Fatima on her part leaves no stone unturned in making sure she satisfies him in bed. At Fatima’s request, Chief takes her to Dubai to shop for her birthday which is coming up in a few weeks time. All through the three days stay in Dubai, Chief and Fatima enjoy themselves so much that they begin to make plans to go back there at the end of the year to continue their rendezvous. On their way back to Nigeria, their plane develops a technical fault and it crashes. Chief and Fatima dies, with their bodies shattered beyond recognition.
Exactly one year after their wedding, Amina heavily pregnant goes to shop for baby things with her husband in Lagos. Even though she had bought more than enough baby things in Abuja, she insists on them getting more from Lagos. They leave Abuja with the first flight and arrived Lagos before 9:00AM. After her shopping, she recognizes the shop attendant as Kamal as he kneels before her asking for her forgiveness.
Amina: “It is okay, Kamal. I bare no grudge against you, I forgive you. But wait, do you now limp? What happened to your leg?”
Kamal: “I was beaten up by one chief and his boys and left half dead until a man of God came my way. I got a fracture as a result of the beating and I have been limping since then. I guess this is an indelible mark to remind me of the need to get something doing instead of depending on women for sustenance. I am doing this job to save some money while I await my JAMB results. I have ask for Allah’s forgiveness and everyone I hurt before and I have resolved to keep myself pure from now henceforth until I get married”.
Amina: “Congratulations, living the way Islam teaches us is the best thing that can happen to anyone. You can keep the change, use it for lunch”. Her husband also hands him a thousand naira note after she told him about Kamal.
Teacher Isah: “It is well, my brother. Hold on to God, he never fails”.
Kamal: “Thank you, ma. Thank you, sir. You shall never lack the blessings of God in your home”.
Two months later, Amina is delivered of triplets; two boys and one girl. Teacher Isah also gets promoted and plans on relocating to Ghana with his family. They named one of the boys Aliyu, the other Abdullahi and the girl they named her Khadija. Their joy is boundless as God continues to bless them beyond human comprehension.
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— THE END (Stay tuned for Another Interesting STORY…
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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