May 26, 2024

Last week was tragic, I had a very piercing headache which landed me into the hospital. Actually, it was said to be stress according to the doctors after running so many tests on me. Well, I was glad nothing serious was detected.

“Hajiya, when are we going back home?” I asked my Aunt, so eager to see myself out of the ward. “The doctor said you need enough rest” She said with a smile that can’t be quenched by a dictator. “But I heard Salim’s friend, Idris saying we would be discharged tomorrow or so” She added reminding me of the tall dark guy in white lab coat that had always been around us. I heard Ya Salim met him here. “Is he a doctor too?” I asked.
“No, he’s a pharmacist” She said as she handed a sugarless cup of tea to me. “Take it, please” “Thank you, Hajiya” I said collecting the cup from her. “I want us to go back home because I am tired of seeing us here, plus Ya Hauwa needs to rest.

Seeing her coming over everyday makes me feel somehow. She needs to rest for the sake of her bump, Hajiya” “Yes Manal, just don’t worry. We won’t stay here forever” She beamed at me. “Yes, we won’t stay here forever!” A voice chimed in, it was Ya Salim and he was gently walking over to us. “We’ve just been discharged, Hajiya. Here is the discharge summary” He handed the paper to her. “Hmm” She smiled. “Seems like they are also tired of our presence” “Yeah, they need our space” Ya Salim said. “Well, let’s wait for Manal’s last drip to finish dripping before we go” She said, and that was how we waited until the bag was empty before we returned back home. “Oh My Goodness!”

Ya Hauwa ran over to me and gave me a light hug with her bump in-between us. “Welcome back, Manal!”

“Thank you, Ya Hauwa” I huffed.
“Come, let me escort you to your room” She said as she pulled herself away from me. “You need to rest before lunch” She held my wrist.
“But I am fine already” I protested.
“Says someone who appeared healthy a week ago only to faint in her room later on” She said walking me to the guest room.
“Did my parents knew about it?” I asked.
“No, Hajiya warned us not to tell them because she didn’t want them to be worried” She said. “Great idea” I gulped as we walked into the guest room I was lodging.
“Should I on the fan for you?” She asked.
“Yes, but low pace please” I said walking over to the bed. “Alright” She switched on the fan and just as she was about leaving the room I called her name. “Yes, do you need anything else?” She said. “Not really” I said laying on the bed. “I… I just want to ask about that pharmacist guy, Idris” “Oh, him?” She heaved a sigh with one of her arms akimbo. “What do you want to know about him?” She asked.
“I want to know if…” I was saying when something told me to just forget about it. “Never mind, we will talk about it some other time” “Alright, try and get some rest” She said.
“Okay” I nodded my head.
“Good” She said and left.

“Goddammit!” I muttered a curse under my breath immediately I learnt that Manal was discharged since morning without my prior knowledge. I had, as usual, bought some fruits for her while on my way coming to work only to be baffled by the sudden news, and why didn’t Salim contact me about it? I wondered.

Throughout last week, I was there for them. I was the one providing drips and other medical supplies for them. I thought I was already family but now they proved me wrong. I shouldn’t have wasted my time and resources on them, I remorsed.
It was time for my shift so I quickly went to the pharmacy and signed in.

Aisha was still around, she was always the last person to sign out among the afternoon workers. “Hey, you look disturbed” she said walking over to me.

She was the caring type you know, and she disliked seeing me sad or in a bad mood. Why didn’t I notice she liked me even though she always deny it? Or was she just pretending? Well, whatever the case may be all I wanted was the appropriate mother for my poor little child, not just any woman. “Is everything okay?” She worriedly uttered. “I am fine, just take this nylon with you when you are going” I said handing her the fruits I bought for Manal. “Huh?” Was all she could say, it seemed she was so surprised. She ought to be surprised.

After signing out, she bade me goodnight and left with happiness written allover her face. She was Yoruba from Kwara State but was born and raised in Kano State. Her hausa was fluent and so was her English. She could also speak Nupe but not that fluent. She was lucky to have good ears!

In the morning, after my shift ended I observed my Fajr (morning) prayer, signed out and drove back home. Normally I would return back and meet my breakfast waiting for me in the dining table but since my sister wasn’t back from our family house yet, I had to prepare my breakfast by myself even though I wasn’t good at it.

I changed into another outfit and just as I was about walking out of the room to the kitchen, my phone began ringing. It was Aisha, her name appeared boldly in the screen just the way I saved it as. “Good Morning, Idris” She said immediately I picked the call.
“Morning!” I said wondering why she called.
“Sorry to disturb you, I… I just want to check on you, I’m already by the gate” She stuttered.

“What?” I blurted out. Did she just said she was by my gate already? Why did she even had to come? Just because I gave her some fruits yesterday?

“Yes, I am by your gate and I brought your breakfast along with me” She said rendering me speechless. “It’s rice cake (masa/waina)” She continued. “I once heard you saying it is one of your favourites” “Oh, yeah” I huffed not knowing what else to say. “Just give me a second” “Alright” She said and ended the call.

Thus, I walked out to the gate and opened it for her. She was so happy to see me, her broad smile said it all.

We went inside and ate the rice cake she brought together, it was so delicious and I really loved the soup.

After the breakfast, she helped me with all the house chores. You know Yoruba people loved neat environment, they don’t like dirt at all hence she made sure everything was in order and the house was sparkling clean before she finally left. Was she trying to prove her love for me or what? I wondered.
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Thank you for reading #Insidearewa

Written by Mohammed Abubakar KingMoha, Inside Arewa

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