“I can see that you like enjoyment from the looks on your face,” Zuliya cajoled and Ahmad gave out a low smile exposing his set of white dentition.
“Please don’t mind the way I am using Waheed and Zainab instead of using my father and mother. I don’t want my story to be boring. I want you to fully enjoy and understand the tale of how I became Ahmad the terrorist that is why I am using names in my narration,” Ahmad said to Zuliya and she said, “No problem.”
“My father was very fond of me because I was his last child and the one and only son he and his first wife Zainab. My father had told me how Zainab had waited for a long time before they gave birth to me. My mother was childless for so many years after losing the first child she and my father bore after just three months before God blessed them with me after thirty years of waiting. Just like his ancestor Shaban, my father loved Zainab so much that he refused to take another wife even when she failed to give him another child after the death of their first son. His family members kept on pressurising him to take another wife because to them Zainab had become barren after the loss of her first child. It was even rumoured among them that she was married to a marine spirit who killed their first child and tied her womb out of jealousy. Waheed refused to listen to them because Zainab was his first and only love. He didn’t want to hurt her by taking another wife just because she has not taken in again after the death of their first child. He believes God is going to give them another issue at His own appointed time and always consoled himself with the story of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac. He was adding the story of Shaban to his consolation story too.
My mother became very weary and tired of the fights and pressure from her husband’s family for him to take another wife especially from Waheed’s mother. Waheed had several thought of taking his wife and run away to another home town just like Shaban and Nana Aisha but he always discards that thought whenever they creep to his mind because he was the crown prince of Dadin Kowa. Waheed’s mother always accuses Zainab of having used black magic to blindfold her son so that she can ruin him.
“You don’t want me to see my grandchildren, you witch,” she would always tell her whenever she visits them.
When Zainab saw that her monthly flow kept on coming every month, and she has waited in vain for seven good years to see if an issue will come, she then advised my father to give in to the request of taking another wife.
“What are you saying that I should take another wife?” Waheed asked her in an astonished and angry tone and she nodded in affirmative. “You must be out of your mind. Don’t tell me you have already forgotten our promise to stick to each other and fight this. Zainab, we have promised to live together as one body, one soul and one mind no matter the circumstance, remember? Do I need to remind you again that I am not the type of person that goes back on his word? He asked in agony. He knew the pain that my mother was going through and could feel it too. “We will get over this together,” he said as he hugged her. Zainab collapsed on his body and burst into a fresh cry. She was crying profusely. Her tears soaked my father’s clothes.
“Please take another woman to give us children,” Zainab continued pleading with him tears. Waheed withdrew himself from her grip and placed hands on her shoulder. He asked her to look at him which she did reluctantly with her eyes soaked with tears. Waheed stared directly into her eyes and the tears that had already gathered in his own eyes started falling out like rain drop on a glass window.
“Is this what you really want? He asked her as he was still staring in her eyes and Zainab nodded her head in affirmative.
“Then I am going to do it to make you happy,” Waheed said as he was wiping away her tears with his hands.
“Thank you my husband,” Zainab said with a faint smile and Waheed heart was a little bit relieved because he had just managed to put a smile on her face.
My father took Asabe in as his second wife and Zainab was very happy. When Asabe first came into the house, she was very obedient to her co-wife but after she had given birth to her first three children she became very arrogant and insulting to Zainab calling her a barren woman. Zainab never complained about this attitude to my father because she was the one that finally pushed her husband into taking a second wife. Although she never regretted her actions because Waheed who is the heir apparent to the throne of Dadin Kowa Kingdom as the crown prince of the land now have his own heir too. Another reason she never regretted getting her husband to take another wife was because the troubles from her mother in-law have reduced too but she still calls her a barren woman once in a while.
“I am not barren because I have conceived and given birth once,” Zainab would always say in her heart to console herself whenever her mother in-law or her co-wife calls her a barren woman. She had tried so many times to talk to Asabe but she always gave deaf ears to all her plead for them to have a good rapport like when she first came to the house. Zainab continued to endure all what Asabe was doing to her until one fateful afternoon. She was bathing her fifth child that day and Waheed was saying prayers on his mat just outside Asabe’s hut. On the spur of the moment, one of her son began to cry. Asabe was calling out to Zainab to help her check what was making the little boy cry but there was no response.
“Where has this barren woman gone to this early morning? She asked and gave out a loud hysterical hiss.
“Well I don’t blame her because she will not know the pain and stress of being a mother because she is barren.
Waheed was very disappointed at her comments about a woman who had welcomed and took her into the family as her sister. He confronted Asabe with the issue after he had finished his prayers but Asabe laughed disdainfully at him. It was then that Waheed knew that this was not the first time Asabe had made such comment about Zainab. He knew that Zainab had been enduring all her insult to her because she is a very loving and caring woman who loves peace. He knew that Asabe was taking advantage of Zainab’s kindness and quietness to be insulting her. Waheed did not show to Asabe that he was hurt by her comment and laughter. He just took everything likely because he doesn’t want her and Asabe to exchange words over Zainab.
“Why didn’t you tell me that you have been having issues with your co-wife?” He asked Zainab when she got back from the farm. She had rushed to the farm to harvest some yams for the family to avoid the sunny day ahead of them. She had anticipated that it was going to be very sunny and hot that day as it rained cat and dog yesterday night.
She was surprised at her husband’s question and she tried to pretend that all was well between her and Asabe. Waheed deducted that from her pretence he was indeed right that Asabe had been giving her troubles and insulting her because she is childless. He understood the kind of woman Zainab was. He figured out that Zainab didn’t want to tell him about the troubles because he would end up blaming her for consenting to the ideas of him taking another wife which was actually true. He knew that no matter how hard he tries to make her talk she will not so he decided to let her be. He gave God the glory that they gave him a woman like Zainab who is very understanding to be his wife.
“Waheed made up his mind that he was going to take another wife who will give him children too and by doing that Asabe will eventually know that she is not the only woman on earth who can give birth. He did not tell Zainab of this plan because she would try to dissuade him and he lacked the power to say no to her. It was after she consented for him to take a second wife that he finally agreed to succumb to the pressure from his people.
Both Zainab and Asabe were astounded when Waheed announced to them that he will be taking another wife in the next few weeks. Zainab could not understand the sudden decision by her husband. She knew that they already have five children in the house so the pressure from his people to take additional wife will not be there again.
“What could be the problem?” She kept on asking her already troubled mind.