The Child Bride – Copyright of AryEmber
8 MONTHS AGO
She listened to her and her stomach ached.
“You are to give birth to as many child as your husband want, I only want five but it’s whatever Khalid wants. I think I have been more than generous to you and your family and the only thing I want in return is to be called a grandma soon.”
Ayisat nodded. ”I will try my best ma.”
The woman shook her head. “I don’t want your best, I want grandchildren from you.”
Was she the one giving women babies? Who else would make a mother if not her husband with the help of Allah especially, why was this woman saying it like she could make a baby on her own?
She forced the tears back and said. ”With Allah’s help ma.”
“Ah! I am doomed! What has that wretched thing done to you?!” Mrs Gimba cried.
“I thought you had already concluded she cooked me a powerful fish.”
The woman scowled at him and shook her head in dismay. “The girl I spent a fortune on and her unfortunate family!
And what do I get in return? Nothing! Not even a baby for poor old me and to worsen the situation, she has turned my son a fool who no longer can think! Tell me? do you now wash her undies also?”
Now he couldn’t help the laughter, it seemed to him that all mothers are the same. When he saw the look his mother was giving him, he stopped laughing.
“Nothing like that is happening and don’t worry mom, the doctor assured me that it is not permanent.”
“Oh please! What do you think he’ll say? Why didn’t you tell me before? How could you keep such a big problem to yourself?!”
He sighed.” What different would it make?”
She snapped. ”A lot! I would have ask one of those busybodies coming to my shop every day, for help! There is this particular man one of them talked about, I would have gone to him had you tell me sooner!”
He pretended to be serious. “I don’t think it’s too late.”
“Oh, I am going alright! That girl is a demon and whatever curse she laid on you must be averted, that witch does not wish to bear you children. I think the man’s name is Malim Al-amir, I have to pay him a visit right away.”
Khalid’s heart skipped a beat on hearing the word curse, he was tempted on telling her but held back, that would do no good. He suddenly realised his mother just mentioned a priest’s name and immediately blamed himself for leading her to believe he was serious, he wanted his mother’s attention away from Ayisat.
“I think you should think this through Mother. Ayisat has nothing to gain by cursing me, you are sponsoring her two brother’s education remember? Why would she do a thing that an drive her out of my life? If you ask me, I think Khodijat has more reason to curse me because of how we parted, that makes more sense.”
Her countenance changed, she knew he was right but wouldn’t admit it.
“I am still going anyways, I have to be sure.” She stated firmly.
“Alright but please, just ask for what can be done only.”
She nodded in reluctance and there was silence after, both wrapped up in their thoughts.
For Khalid, he was worried his mother might discovered the truth and blame poor Ayi instead.
If the clergyman is indeed a true seer, he might see everything and tell his mother. Knowing his mother that well, she would put the blame on his wife even if told otherwise. He had to do something to prevent the truth from getting to his mother and protect Ayisat.
For his mother, she was full of regrets, things had not turn out the way she envisioned at all.
She should be expecting a bouncing grandbaby by now! It has been six months for Allah’s sake and now she was just told he had a little problem with impregnating a girl! What did he call it? Temporary low sperm count? She no longer trust those doctors, had they not tell her not to worry when her husband was on the sick bay yet he later died and this girl?
That stupid doctor had assured her nothing was wrong with her yet six months nothing! She had to be the one something was wrong with and not her Khalid, she will visit the popular priest soon.
Khalid finally ended the silence. ” Will you have breakfast with us? Ayi prepared a wonderful meal, stay and eat with us before you leave Mother.”
She hissed. ”I am not tasting that witch’s food ever!”
“Not again, after all I’ve just told you?”
“Listen to me ok, be watchful of that thing! I still don’t trust her and great Allah! Months! I need to get you herbs, it shouldn’t take that long to work.”
He shrugged, with no intention of taking anything but to avoid any further argument, he later nodded and said.
“That is fine by me.”
45 MONTHS AGO
“Easy mom, that hurts!” she cried out.
Her mother, Mrs Katsina, laughed when her husband complained.
“Take it easy with her hair fa. If you can’t plait her hair properly without hurting her, then let me take my angel to a hair salon. There are plenty professionals outside oh.”
“Yes daddy!” Ayisat smirked.
Mrs Katsina intentionally tightened her hold on Ayisat’s hair and she yelped the more, ”serves you right, ask your father if he is paying me and as for you, dear daddy, maybe I should run to my father too.”
“You are not going anywhere and I already paid you everything this morning so be gentle on her please,” her father replied.
Rasak and Musa came out.
“Mommy, take us to a barber’s shop too!” Musa said.
Ayisat frowned and snapped,” silly thing! Who called you both out?”
Rasak defended his twin brother,” leave us oh, if father loves you more us then mother loves us more than you.”
Their father stood up, he walked towards the twins and patted their shoulder each.
“Father loves no one more than another, I love all of you the same okay?”
“But you both are mommy’s boys !” their mother said and they all burst into laughter.
She was sobbing before she could stop herself, her husband had just saw her mother-in-law off after she glared at her and promised her hell if she failed to get pregnant by the time she visit again.
Earlier, she had been so happy but now her joy had turned sour. She was reminded once more why she married Khalid, She knelt down and cried in anguish.
Why had her life turned like this? She was once a member of a small but comfortable family, they were not wealthy but they were content with what they had.
Her father had always joked he would collect a lot of things from her fiancé as her bride price when it was time for her to get married.
He was no more now, taken away cruelly from this world by a drunk driver who is nowhere to be found till date. Her mother followed shortly after series of illness, all their father left was spent to cure her but all this to no avail, she died anyways.
She was purchased for her husband to only bare children for him, whatever bride price her only surviving relative could have collected was been used to send her brothers to school.
What was she going to do? How could she get pregnant when Khalid had just touched her once after days of begging? What if he wasn’t satisfied with her performance of last night and he would not touch her again?
“Oh! What will I do?” she cried harder.
Khalid was surprised when he came and saw that she was no longer in the dining room and also not in the parlour, he went to look for her and found her in his study room. Whatever relief he felt for having found her was replaced by worry when he heard her crying.
“Ayisat, what is the problem?”
She was clearly taken aback and this made her wiped her tears in hurry. ”Nothing,”
He moved nearer and helped her to her feet, he touched her cheeks affectionately.” You are lying, nothing makes you cry or are you going to tell me you were not crying too?”
It was pointless lying to him and unable to so any longer, she burst into the fresh tears.
“She is driving me out, isn’t she?” she asked amidst tears.
He shook his head, “no, that is not happening.”
“But she will stop funding my brothers’ schooling right?”
Again he shook his head and told her she didn’t mention anything like that, he might have told her the truth but he knew deep down in him that it would eventually happen if and when she fault her for his curse.
Ayisat didn’t believe him and she voiced this out, “you are lying! She will and I will be chased out soon!”
He calmed her down, “listen to me Ayi, you are mine and anyone who has a problem with you also has with me. If my mother do as you fear, then I will continue the payment myself just as I plan to pay yours too. All I need you to do is continue to read harder so that you can get into a good institution.”
“She would never agree to it once she learns about all you want to do for me and what about the children I’m to bear you? We have only done it once and I _ _ _”
Khalid smiled at her choice of word and further calmed her down, “let me worry about my mother and as for having babies, we will surely work towards that and if Allah wishes, we will one day have our own.”
She felt relieved a bit and smiled weakly, she was surprised and shocked when he leaned down and kissed her. This made her not to respond at first but she eventually did.
He kissed her passionately longer than he had ever done, he had to stop when it seemed like he was suffocating her. When he embraced her, she felt her trembled but he didn’t let go of her.
If only she knew what he was feeling, he had not even admit it to himself yet but he knew better.
Who could ever thought he would fall in love with her? A girl he was old enough to father!
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