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Aisha stared at the ceiling, letting the lone tear slide
down her cheeks as she knew the procedure was fully underway. It wasn’t her
first time and probably wouldn’t be her last, her boyfriend of eight years,
pushed her to this each and every time and so far, she had aborted seven
foetuses. She had flushed them out as though they were urine and she knew deep
down that there might be consequences.

“We don’t have a wheelchair to roll you out of the clinic as
a true clinic should. It’s only in big hospitals that such exist.’ The doctor
said and chuckled.
Aisha lay still and nodded, this was the only clinic she
could afford, a dingy hole in one of the rural parts of Abuja. She had heard of
the place from a friend who she had met when she was serving, the lady had told
her about her abortions and where she had had the procedures done at a small
price. For other abortions, Aisha had been to better clinics, but for this one,
she had no money and her boyfriend hadn’t provided her with any to take care of
the pregnancy, he always assumed she had a way of talking care of it.
Aisha was currently searching the labour market for a job and
had for the past three years, she’s combed the nook and cranny of the big city
in search of livelihood but it hadn’t been easy.  It wasn’t as though she hadn’t had job opportunities
but her boyfriend, Chuka, was her sole stumbling block when it came to her and
the jobs. He always quick to tell her that such jobs were either too high, too
low or going to affect their relationship together. He was possessive and very
demanding of her in their relationship together that most times, his attitude
towards her, affected her sanity.
Aisha remembered the first time she had met Chuka. She was
not even in the University then. She had gone to deliver some fabrics for her
mom at the Wuse market, only to bump into the dashing young man who was at the
shop next to the one she was supposed to deliver the fabrics. Since the shop
owner she was to see wasn’t there yet, Chuka had invited her to wait in his
shop till the shop owner she awaited arrived.
There, introductions were made, Aisha learnt that he was a
final year student at the University of Abuja who made frequent visits to his
uncle who lived in Abuja for some pocket money back to school. She also learnt
that his parents were based in Onitsha and that he had spent most of his life
shuffling between Onitsha and Aba. He had been so funny, telling her tales that
cracked her ribs as she laughed and laughed. Back then, she didn’t have a phone
but she gave him her home address since her parents were open to friends
visiting the house. When the shop owner she had been waiting for arrived, she
had quickly delivered the fabrics her mother had asked her to deliver and
collected the money in exchange for the goods and Chuka in his extreme gentleman
nature accompanied her to the gate. He had told her then that, he didn’t want
to take chances of her being chased down by other men who would have been
mesmerized by her beauty.
Aisha had been so flattered by his comments, and she had
been so happy that he had called her beautiful.
Aisha was a very dark skinned beauty.  Blessed with an arresting face and beautiful
facial features, Aisha had the smile of a goddess. She was tall too, measuring
at about five feet ten which was really tall for a lady. She was slender,
graceful and very lithe. Chuka always described her gait as that of a peacock
who knew it had beautiful feathers hence its stride. Chuka wasn’t too tall for
a man, he measured at about five feet six but his lack of height was
compensated with his intelligence. Chuka was a whiz kid, and had been in the
first class position of his class from his 100level days.
Their friendship continued in earnest till he had asked her
out officially when he was set to go back to school at the end of the holidays.
To his delight she had accepted as she was enamoured of him and she liked the
fact that she had caught his fancy.
In Aisha’s family, there were three girls and two boys, all
of whom were as beautiful as the other, they were good practicing Muslims and
very devout too as their father made sure that his family were deeply rooted in
the faith. At first, when Aisha started entertaining Chuka in her family house,
her parents were fine with it but when his visits became too frequent, they
began to get worried. Their first worry was, Chuka didn’t share their faith,
the second was, he wasn’t from their tribe and the third was, their daughter
seemed to have fallen in love with him. Aisha’s father had asked his wife to
speak to their daughter about it and remind her that there might be no future
with the young man but even after the lecturers given by her mother, Aisha paid
a deaf ear. She was intent on continuing her friendship with Chuka. That same
year, she gained admission into Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria to study
bio-chemistry and even though there was distance, Chuka bridged the gap by
visiting her very often. He would take a bus from Abuja to Zaria almost every
weekend and will stay with a friend in Zaria while they kept on seeing each
other. It’s needless to say that their love bloomed. By the time he was through
with school and had to be posted for NYSC he bribed his way through the posting
and made sure he was posted to Kaduna state and while at the camp, he pushed to
be posted to Zaria where he would have access to be with Aisha more often.
The two became quite the pair and were so inseparable,
people envied their love and predicted a life of love and longevity together.
But alas, it wasn’t so. As soon as Chuka finished service, he got a very big
job in Abuja and soon became the Abuja big boy! Every woman wanted him, he
begun partying, hosting friends who brought girls to his house and soon enough,
his well-furnished flat at Wuse was termed the haven for some runs girls. Chuka
stopped showering Aisha with love and affection as his love for her waned, he
stopped being the caring boyfriend and begun dating big girls whose only aim
was to spend his money. Through it all, Aisha persisted, besides, he was her
first love and she loved him with all her heart. He had taken her virginity and
she wasn’t ready to leave him for other women who never knew his start up.
Now, as she lay on the battered bed of the quack hospital
she had visited for D&C, she shut her eyes in pain as she imagined the life
she had flushed away, again. None of her family members knew what she was going
through and she couldn’t share it with them as they would be very disappointed
in her. She had moved out of her father’s house a year ago and moved in with a female
friend who lived at Wuse inorder to be closer to Chuka.
As soon as the D&C was over, she picked up her bag from
the reception, limped out of the clinic, and halted a taxi.
“Madam…where are you going?” The cab driver asked.
Aisha called out Chuka’s home address and as soon as she
entered the taxi, she closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. She was so broke
right now and prayed that Chuka would give her some money which he rarely did.
By the time, she reached Chuka’s house, she climbed up the stairs, clutching
her abdomen as the pain seemed to get worse.
‘What’s happening?’ she thought. ‘The pains are never this
extreme!’
She found her way to the entrance to his apartment and
bringing out the keys she attempted opening the door to the apartment but the
keys didn’t fit in. She tried again and stooped to look at the door knob only
to realize that the knob had been changed. She groaned in frustration and
turned to go down the stairs. As soon as her foot touched the first staircase,
she felt a dizzy spell engulf her and wobbling unsteadily on her feet, she fell
down the stairs and lost consciousness.
*******
Tosin stared at the time and sighed, it was fifteen minutes
to nine pm and she was still holed up at work. She had a lot to do and she also
had a presentation early the next day. Sighing again, she brought out some
files from her desk drawer and sifted through them. There was a knock at the
door but she didn’t bother answering.
“Ma…I’m leaving…” Her secretary, Jumoke said as she
peeked through the slightly open door.
“Have you finished typing what I asked you to type?” Tosin
said icily.
“Yes ma…it’s in my err…my computer.”
“Did you send it to me for a crosscheck?”
“No ma…I’ll do it tomorrow. I am late to catch the BRT and
I live at Apapa…the traffic these days are crippling and I got home yesterday
at almost midnight and…”
“Are you ready to work or not?” Tosin asked.
“Yes ma…I am ready to work.” Jumoke supplied.
“If you don’t send me the files I asked for, then, consider
it that you aren’t ready to work.”
“Please ma…I beg you ma…I’ll be in before everyone else
tomorrow….please ma…”
“Go and open your computer and send me the stuff I asked
for! Now!”  Tosin screamed.
Jumoke scampered off to do her bidding. Tosin muttered under
her breath.
“Lazy girl! What sort of graduates do we have these days?
When I was her age, I didn’t leave the office till two am every day. I know
that I am a perfectionist but duh…that’s what brought me to this position
today!”
She rummaged through the drawer for another file and when
she found it, she opened it and quickly started working on it. Her phone rang
and she checked the caller ID, it was Bode, she quickly ignored it and
continued her work.
Exactly two hours later, she finished her work and headed
out of the office with her secretary in tow. Jumoke’s eyes were already filled
with tears as she wondered how on earth she’ll get a bus at this time of the
night.
“I would have dropped you off but since you are going to the
mainland and I live just around the corner in Lekki, I guess, I’ll see you
tomorrow then…and make sure you come in early because I’ll be in the office
by seven am.” Tosin said and hurried off to her car where her driver was
waiting to drive her home.
Jumoke stamped her feet and left the office building,
wondering how she’ll get home.
“Which kind of boss is this ehn? Other people have human
beings as bosses while I have a robot for a boss! Mtcheww….God punish her…”
Jumoke cursed.
Tosin got into her car, sat comfortably at the back seat and
opening her phone, she checked for updates. Yawning loudly she opened the word
document on her phone and begun typing new ideas she had for tomorrow’s
presentation.
She arrived at her residence at Victoria Ariobeke street in
Lekki phase one at five minutes past eleven pm and she was already so tired.
She quickly alighted from the car and walked to the front door of her house.
She lifted her hand and pressed the bell and in no time, the househelp opened
the door.
“Welcome ma…” The Househelp greeted.
“How are you?”
“I am fine thank you ma.”
“Are my kids asleep yet?”
“Yes ma…they slept late today…they wanted to show you
their school project ma but you didn’t come home early…” The maid said.
“Hmmm…I was held up at work but my husband saw it right?”
“Yes ma…he returned from his trip at six pm today….” The
maid said.
“Okay…I’m hungry…I hope my food is ready…I’ll just
have a bath and come down for dinner.”
“Yes ma…it’s at the dinning…”
“Okay…”
“And…ma…” The maid stuttered.
“What is it?”
“I err….my uncle’s ….my auntie’s husband papa die!”
“What has that got to do with me?” Tosin barked.
“Err…I dey go village first thing tomorrow morning ma…”
“What? If you leave what do you expect me to do? You are the
only maid I have left and you know that the nanny doesn’t sleep over or cook.
What do you want me to do?”
“Na tradition ma…I must to go…”
“When are you coming back…”
“Errr…I nor fit go village for this kain time…come back!
I never marry and my papa say make I come back come marry…”
“Wait! What are you going home for? To get married or to
bury your relation?”
“Madam….na de two I wan go do…”
“I hate hearing such rubbish….I’ll have to call the agent
for a replacement and this is the fifth househelp I’ll be getting this year! I’ll
call the agent and ask for a replacement…” Tosin said and walked towards the
staircase.
She climbed upstairs and walked to the door leading to her
children’s bedroom and opening it, she stepped inside and smiled. Shade was
lying with her head at the foot of the bed and the covers on the floor and Pelu
was sucking his thumb on the adjacent bed. They were both fast asleep. Tosin
quickly went to give them kisses on their foreheads and left the room. As soon
as she left, she entered the room adjacent her children’s room, it was a
nursery and her seven month old son was fast asleep in his crib. Tosin walked
up to the crib and touched his head, smiling tenderly and kissed him on the
cheek, careful not to wake him up. He only woke up whenever he was hungry or
cranky and the househelp was always on hand to take care of him as she didn’t
sleep in the boysquarters but in a room close to the nursery. Her next stop was
the room she shared with her husband. Bode was fast asleep, the television was
on and his socks and shoes were scattered around the room.
“Bode! What is all this now?” She asked aloud.
Bode woke up, rubbed his eyes and sat up.
“Must you come home at this time every night?” Bode asked.
“Good evening to you too…” Tosin greeted, as though
reminding him that he was supposed to greet before asking any questions.
“Honestly Tosin, your job is not as demanding as mine and
the reason you decide to stay so late at work beats me.” Her husband started.
“Are we going to argue tonight?” Tosin said.
“We argue all the time Tosin! When will you stop hiding
behind your desk and face your responsibilities as a wife and a mother?”
“I don’t need you to tell me what to do! I am a very good
wife and a mother but I’m not a perfect one.”
“What rubbish are you spewing? Your job as the head HR of
the firm you work for isn’t tasking! I know a few of your colleagues that leave
the office everyday at five pm. I know that you personally like to stay late in
the office thereby, creating for yourself the illusion that you are a
hardworker! This has to stop, Tosin! It’s because of proximity that we
moved to Lekki, isn’t it? We moved so that you can work closer to home as the
Ikoyi bridge has made the distance from Ikoyi to Lekki just about ten to
fifteen minutes or even less. I wonder what you’ve been doing that makes you
stay up late till eleven pm every night.”
“I am working and I’ve been commended by my bosses over and
over again as they see how hard I work. I am the ideal staff, the best employee
ever.” Tosin shouted back at him.
“But not an indispensible one! If you leave today, they’ll
get a replacement as soon as possible!” Her husband shouted.
“Ohh…leave me alone Bode! If you have nothing to
say…please go to bed.”
“Your family needs you Tosin. I need you. The kids have been
waiting up for mommy to see their projects to no avail, the baby doesn’t even
know you…you didn’t even stay up to three months on your maternity leave
before running back to work. And me, I am starved of your love! We haven’t been
intimate in…like….one year! As soon as you fell pregnant for Ayomide you
cut off our sex life! What are you turning into?”
“I’m not receiving these boring lectures tonight. I need to
have a shower, eat, sleep and get ready for a huge presentation tomorrow.”
Tosin said and hurriedly stripped her clothes and headed to the bathroom.
Bode got up from the bed and followed her to the bathroom.
“Babe…I’m sorry…I know I was harsh but…” Bode started
as he touched her.
“Get your hands off me…if you think I’ll cry in your arms
and …and…we’ll end up having sex, then you are mistaken! I do not mix
business with pleasure as I do not want any sexual thoughts to becloud my
thinking for tomorrow’s presentation!” Tosin said and shoving him out of the
bathroom, she slammed the door shut.
**********
Susan was desperate, she’ll turn thirty in two months and so
far, there were no husbands knocking desperately at her door. Her mother wasn’t
helping matters, she kept reminding her of her age times without number. Just last
week at Sholape’s wedding, she had caught the bouquet and something told her
that she might be the next to get married. She was tired of wearing asoebis,
and of being a bridesmaid over and over again. All her friends were married and
she was beginning to feel as the odd one out.  She slowly began a mental count.
Titi was married and with a child, Tope was married,
Patricia had been the first of her friends to get married and now, Sholape was
married as well. Sholape who everyone called the ugly duckling, she was the
girl with the perpetual pimples on her face and who really didn’t have
boyfriends or even toasters. ‘How come she got married before me? What kind of
life is this?’ She thought to herself.
“There is no way that I am not getting married soon! I must
be married in the next six months whether the devil likes it or not!” She
proclaimed as she picked up her bible, opened to one of the psalms and started
praying. Her prayers started in a low tone and suddenly picked up momentum as
it went into gear two, then three and by the time it was at gear four, she was
already screaming and jumping about the room.
Her sister opened the door and saw her sweating about the
room and said.
“Susan…are you alright?”
“Will you shut up? Don’t you see I’m praying?” Susan said as
she waved the bible about and kept pacing around the room.
“Okay ooo…just don’t break anything…I hope you know that
my things are also in this room as well as yours.” Her sister reminded.
“So what?” Susan spat, still with the bible in her hand.
“So…don’t break them! Abeg!” Vanessa said sharply.
Susan lived with her parents in a small flat, she was the
first of four children, three daughters and a son, and as it stood, she and her
sister were the only ones still with their parents as her brother had moved out
and was working in Gombe state while her youngest sister was serving in the
eastern part of the county. Due to the humble size of their house, there was
little or no space for privacy as everyone had to share a room except her
brother. The house was a three bedroom house with a sitting room, a kitchen and
two toilets and bathrooms. The first room was shared by her parents while the
second was shared by the girls and the third was her brother’s but since he
wasn’t at home, his room was used to store some items and properties.
“Hey watch who you’re talking to…” Susan shouted, her
prayers already forgotten.
“I am not against your prayers but please…I am
begging…as you jump around the room. Do not destroy any of my valuables….I
am begging…” Her sister flashed at her.
“Vanessa! I am warning you oo…mind how you talk to me…I
am not your mate. Anyway I don’t blame you…if I was in my husband’s house,
will you talk to me this way?”
“Well…you aren’t so…get a life and stop groaning about
not being married yet! If you are not married at this time, it means it’s not
God’s time yet. The bible says, ‘He makes all things beautiful in His own time’
so why are you threatening to destroy your sanity over marriage?”
“What did you just say? That it’s not my time to get
married? And that I am destroying my sanity over marriage? Are you cursing me? Vanessa
how dare you?”
“I didn’t mean to be disrespectful but…” Vanessa started.
The loud slap that fell on Vanessa’s cheek was unexpected. Soon
the two ladies had started fighting, the bible was tossed to the ground as the
sisters gnawed at each other,  each determined
to conquer the other.
“What is going on here? Will you stop this immediately?”
Their father barked as he entered the room.
“She started it!” Vanessa cried, running to stand by her dad’s
side. “She slapped me first.”
“Susan! What is the meaning of this? You are the elder one,
why are you doing this?” Her father asked.
“Look dad, I’ve had enough of this rubbish…I guess it’s
time I looked for a place of my own. I am tired of this place and I think, I’m
going to request that my company posts me to one of its offices outside Lagos.
I have had it!” Susan said in tears.
“You know how I feel about my female children living alone
and far from home…”
“No dad…the insult is already getting too much….imagine
Vanessa insulting me, telling me that marriage is at God’s time and blab la
bla…and disturbing my prayers. She even cursed me dad! It’s obvious that she
wants to be the first to get married. If I lived alone, such things would not
happen….I don’t want to live here anymore.” Susan broke down in tears.
“Do whatever you like but when it comes to fighting with
your sister…I do not support it! You are her big sister and you are supposed
to protect her and not fight with her…” Her father said to her, then
addressing Vanessa, he said. “C’mon Vanessa…let’s go…I think it’s better we
leave your sister alone for a while.”
Susan watched as her father and sister left the room. She
backed herself towards the wall and crouched low to the ground in tears.
To be continued tomorrow….

8 COMMENTS

  1. Ok now,this is going to be really interesting,I actually know someone with Tosin's character,she n her hubby r no longer together now,all these things need balancing abeg,well-done babes

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