May 20, 2024

Ever since Idris proposed to me, we had been so close to each other like family. Amani would at times spend a day or two with me in Hajiya Siyyamah’s house, she liked being around me and guess what? I had heard that Rumaisah was whom she regarded as her mother but things changed the moment I came into her life. A day wouldn’t pass without us seeing each other, I became her mother in short…

+

“But when are you going to tell your parents about us?” Idris said through the phone. It was night and we were having a very long conversation about our future together.

“I am still thinking…” I said as he cut in.

“Thinking? Me I can’t wait o” He bewailed.

“Hmm, okey I will try and talk to them” I said.

“Thank you, Manal” He said.

“You’re welcome” I said.

“So, any topic?” He asked.

“No topic o, and I think it would be better if I allow you to concentrate on your work” I said.

“Hmm, are you sending me away?” He said.

“No, I want you to work ne” I said.

“Alright, I will call you in the morning In Shaa Allah. Goodnight, my heartthrob!” He uttered.

“Goodnight, my oga” I yawned.

“I love you” He said.

“I love you too” I sighed and ended the call.

Just as I was about putting my phone on flight mode in order to sleep, Ya Salim bounced into my room. I was practically frightened by him.

“Manal, we have to take Hauwa to the hospital” He uttered shivering like he was catching cold.

“Is it the baby?” I asked.

“Yes, please lets go!” He said and bounced out.

I didn’t even know when I withdrew from my bed, put my hijab and ran out of my room. It was indeed the baby for Ya Hauwa already broke the water. We took her to the car and thus drove her to the hospital. While on our way, I had contacted Idris so as soon as we arrived he helped us with a stretcher…

“Let us takeover from here” A midwife said as soon as we reached the entrance of the labour room. Thus, Ya Hauwa was wheeled inside.

That moment, my heart began beating fast. I had to leave the premises because the way Ya Hauwa was screaming, I was really scared. The thought of Idris’ late wife kept lingering in my mind. I didn’t want the same for Ya Hauwa. No, she shouldn’t die this young. Not now and…

“Where are you going to, Manal?” Idris cut in.

“I also don’t know” I sighed and continued. “The thought of Safinah is making me to…”

“Hey, babe” He held my hands. “Everything is gonna be alright, okey? Hauwa is not Safinah”

“Yeah,” I sniffed allowing the tears in my eyes to roll down to my cheeks. “I pray she make it, I also pray to make it after our marriage, Idris”

“You all will make it In Shaa Allah, lets just keep praying to Allah” He said as he gently embraced me warmly. “I love you, Manal”

“I… I love you too, Idris” I sniffed.

Thus, we returned back to where Ya Salim and Hajiya Siyyamah were. And in less than an hour later, a midwife came out of the labour room wearing a smile. “It’s a boy, and both the mother and the baby are fine…” She said

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Today was Thursday, a day to Salim’s baby’s naming ceremony. I was so happy, not only because of the naming ceremony that was fast approaching but also because I would be meeting Manal’s parents soon. She told me her mother would arrive today while her father would come as early as possible tomorrow.

+

I so much wanted to meet Manal’s parents, if I meet them I would definitely talk about her with them. Marrying Manal was all I dreamed of right now, I loved her and my daughter, Amani loved her as well. Could you even imagine ever since Salim’s wife delivered a bouncing baby boy Amani had been living with them in Hajiya’s house? And no matter how I tried bringing her back she wouldn’t agree. I wondered how she ended up being so attached to Manal, she even started calling her her new mother, and Rumaisah became the old one…

“Here it is, Ya Idris” Rumaisah said handing over Amani’s suitcase to me. “Everything she might be needing for the ceremony is inside”

“Everything?” I rose a brow.

“Yeah, she won’t be needing much” She said.

“Alright, thank you” I said about turning to leave when she halted me. “Yes?” I uttered.

“If you come back, I would like to have a talk with you about something serious” She said.

“Why not now?” I gulped.

“No, Ya Idris” She heaved a sigh. “Later dai”

“Okey then” I uttered and turned leaving with Amani’s suitcase. “Come open the gate for me”

“Okey, sir” She said and, thus, followed me outside and hastily opened the gate for me.

“Bye!” I waved at her and drove away.

It was a gentle drive to Hajiya’s house, I pulled over outside the gate and gently walked inside with Amani’s suitcase. The house was already getting crowded, visitors were already coming right from today. Even Hilwah was around…

“Daddy, oh–yo–yo…” Amani ran to me, she was playing with some other kids in the compound.

“Oyoyo, my daughter!” I said embracing her. “Good morning, and how are you my dear?”

“Pyn!” She said.

“And Manal, your mum?” I asked.

“She’s intyd” She responded.

“Inside? Alright then, lets go” I said.

“Dad, are dishh my clochs?” She asked.

“Yes, your cloths and everything” I smiled as we began walking towards the main house.

“Yesh!” She screamed. I wondered when she would learn how to speak fluently, she was 5!

As soon as we were about entering the flat, we began hearing Manal’s voice. She was screaming like someone pissed her off…

“And could you believe Ya Salim refused to buy the cartons of Amstel Malta I listed? With what on earth does he even expect us to serve those that doesn’t like sugary drinks? Ya Hauwa, call your husband fa yanzu yanzun nan!” She said.

I could hear some other voices too. Actually, it seemed like there were lot of people in the flat so I decided to send Amani to call her for me. Thus, she came out after about two minutes…

“Hmm, good morning sir” She said smiling.

“Morning, how was your night?” I uttered.

“Fine, naka fa?” She asked.

“Same” I sighed and gave her the Amani’s suitcase. “Everything she needs is inside”

“Alright” She sniffed and continued. “So, have you eaten at home or should I fetch you food?”

“No, I’ve eaten at home. Thanks” I beamed.

“You are welcome” She sniffed again.

“Influenza?” I wrinkled a brow.

“Yes wallahi, yau na tashi da mura. A cousin sister increased the pace of our fan yesterday in the night, and it was so cold” She sniffed.

“Sorry, my love. Have you started taking any drugs or should I get some for you?” I said.

“I…” She sniffed and continued. “I took some”

“Alright, get well soon my love” I said.

“Thanks” She beamed. “Zaka dawo zuwa anjima ko? Wallahi yanzu aiki ya mun…”

“Eh, zan dawo In Shaa Allah, but where is Salim? Is he inside or…” I was asking when he came out with a friend of his from the flat.

“Hmm, look who’s here!” He said smiling.

“Good morning, baban baby (a nick for the father of a neonate). How are you?” I asked.

“I am fine, Alhamdulillah. How about you?” He uttered and just then I caught the guy he came out with stealing glances at Manal, my my fiancée!

+

“Same fa!” I quickly responded to Salim and thus turned to Manal, “Why not go inside and continue with what you are doing, my love?”

“Okey, sai anjima” She sniffed dragging Amani’s suitcase with her to the flat.

That moment, the guy glared at me before feigning smiling. Thus, Salim introduced us to each other. I learnt that his name was Qasim and he was also Manal’s cousin brother. His mother was six years younger than Manal’s mother and three years younger than Salim’s mother. She was their last born, you know.

“Where are you two going to?” I asked as soon as we were done greeting each other. “Where?”

“Actually, I… I forgot to pick the ram yesterday” He said feeling ashamed of himself. He should!

“What? Are you serious? Why are you this lazy? I should have got it myself!” I bespoke.

“Well, we can go together now” He winked.

“Alright then, lets go!” I said and thus we left.

•••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••

Thank you for reading #InsideArewa

This chapter was the hardest chapter I had written so far in this story. I really suffered!

 

To be continued…

 

Thank you for reading #Insidearewa

 

Written by Mohammed Abubakar KingMoha, Inside Arewa

 

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