FARIDA (PART 71 – 77)

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FARIDA

PART 71

Iya Farida knew Farida would not tell Wale about the pregnancy but will either abort it or wait for him to find out. She didn’t want that. Now the divorce was final, it was time for Farida to get her life on track. Iya Farida wanted their wedding done quickly before Farida began to show; the talk will be too much. She had planned a lowkey wedding in her head and had plans on what she will do about naysayers. She wanted her daughter to be happy and she knew right from day one Wale would make her happy.

Farida shelved the idea of aborting the babies in her womb. She was back to her old confident self after full recovery. Probably the boost was the way the divorce went without any effort from her. She was very happy she was finally free from Sam and all his troubles. She could bring her children to visit Nigeria now since she had full custody. She had shared the good news with Monica and they celebrated. She was back to finishing the photography studio. Thankfully, the workers continued while she was away.

She was surprised when Hugh told her Monica had travelled unexpectedly. She told him she had to get to Germany. She called Monica but she didn’t pick up. She had lost Papi’s number over the years. She sent her messages but didn’t get any in return. She waited patiently for her return.

Wale arrived Northampton on a Sunday morning. He got to the house and observed the locks had been changed. He rang the bell and Kufre answered it. She was surprised and also happy to see him. He came in, dropped his bags and asked to see Farida. He was told she was in the barn working. He dashed upstairs to see the children. His Morenike had grown bigger from the last time he saw her that it brought tears to his eyes how well she looked. She agreed to hug him because Eni and Dayo ran to meet him. He could see there was no discrimination amongst them. They were treated equally. Only a woman with a good heart can do this. His mother, through his sisters, claimed Farida would be mean to Morenike. He knew it wasn’t their genuine thinking. He took pictures of the children and sent to his siblings to see.

He left his bag downstairs and went to the barn to see Farida. It was beyond his imagination. It was lovely. She was alone working on her laptop when he came. She was shocked to see him. He smiled at her but she didn’t return the smile instead she asked,

“What are you doing here?” Farida asked.

“I came to see you. I felt you have something to tell. Actually, I was in the London and decided to be with my family”

“I don’t believe you. Was it Monica that told you? She swore she wouldn’t so why did she do this?”

“She wouldn’t tell me what? I haven’t been able to reach Monica for a week now. What’s happening Farida? Is something the matter?”

“Nothing is wrong. So nobody told you anything that made you come here?”

“Nobody”

“The divorce has been finalized”

“Are you speaking the truth? The court granted you a divorce from Sam? This is unbelievable! How did it happen?”

“It just happened. I don’t know how. My lawyers called giving me the good news. I didn’t believe it until I got the certificate of dissolution and the divorce decree. I have full custody of the children without visiting rights from Sam. He is to pay me child support which I do not need. I was happy”

“And you didn’t call me to tell me?”

“I have been very busy”

“Farida, we went through tough times together and when joy showed up, you dumped me by the roadside. I have tried for us to hook up but you have been giving excuses. You told me you still loved me. What has changed?”

“I did wrong by not telling you but I had other things on my mind. Where are you staying?”

“Your divorce has been finalized, why can’t I stay with you?”

“Wale, I need time. I gave you time when you needed it. I want to wrap my head around what is going on with me. Just a little time”

“Should I go to a hotel or stay with Hugh then? I took some time off to hang with the kids. I will be out of your hairs if that’s what you want but I wasn’t expecting this from you. I thought you would be excited to see me but instead you were questioning me. I have asked what the problem is but you are not saying anything”

“I am sorry. I doubted your intentions for being here. I thought someone snitched. You can come to the house. The problem is the children are growing and have easy access to my room. I don’t want them to see what …….”

“You are giving excuses. I understand. I will go over to Monica’s house. Hugh will gladly accept me. I have spoken with him. I will just come around to pick the kids. I don’t know what you are hiding but I won’t let it bother me. I am here now and I will make the most of my time”

Farida felt bad. She wasn’t ready to tell him about the pregnancy yet. She missed him but she was scared. There was no way he would stay with her without requesting for sex. Even she had some sensations seeing him. Maybe she could claim to be adding weight when they get down to it. She missed him. Her body missed him and had a mind of its own. As he turned to leave, she stopped him. She apologized for her behavior.

“You took me by surprise. Come to the house, we will manage the children; that’s if you want to…”

“Let’s go to the house”

They went back together walking hand in hand. Kufre saw them from the window and was happy. Since she had been with Farida, she knew her only lover was Wale. She never went out with any other man. Her routine didn’t give room for dating. Wale was a nice guy. She received her monthly payment in Naira for caring for Morenike. Whenever he called, he spoke with all the children and told them he loved them. She believed he is a good man and will make a wonderful father. With the new baby coming it would be more exciting.

That night, as expected, Wale wanted to make out. Farida didn’t really want him to touch her entire body. She was scared he will fill her stomach and know. They kissed and Wale went about doing his magic which he got the desired reaction from her. He noticed her boobs were bigger but then he didn’t mind at all. It excited him when she moaned out loud while he worked with his tongue and his fingers.

When they had finished, they went into the bathroom together. He noticed some blood stain on his penis. He asked her if she was on her period. She said no and asked why, he showed her the blood. Farida screamed and asked him to call the ambulance. He was asking what was wrong but she ignored him and called them herself. She quickly took a shower and noticed some traces of the blood. Wale was transfixed watching the drama until he heard the ambulance. He rushed and took a shower himself. He was dressed as she was headed downstairs. He went with her to the hospital.

At the emergency, they asked what happened. Wale explained to them he noticed she was bleeding after they had intercourse.

‘How many weeks gone are you?” the nurse asked Farida

“20 weeks”

“We will look at the cervix and then we will do a scan. Are you having contractions?”

“Slight pain”

“That’s good. We will stop it from advancing. I think your cervix opened with the intercourse which caused the bleeding since it is not much. But we will investigate”

Wale stood there wondering what was going on. The scan showed the babies were fine. They agreed they had to stitch her cervix as the womb carrying twins was too heavy for it. Wale was still confused when they sedated Farida to sleep and asked him to go home and come back in the morning.

When he got home, Kufre was waiting. She asked what happened but Wale was the one ready for questions.

“Please what happened to Farida?”

“She is fine. She was bleeding”

“Oga, you should have been gentle with her knowing her condition”

“What is her condition?”

“Are you not aware?”

‘Aware of what?”

“Don’t you know she is pregnant and hard sex can remove belle”

Wale was quiet. So, she was pregnant and hid it from him. 20 weeks gone and she kept mute. The only reason she would do that is if he wasn’t responsible. He believed she had another lover that would be the only reason she was hiding it.

“But sir, didn’t she tell you?”

“Maybe I am not the father” Wale blurted out.

Kufre laughed at his words. “Farida doesn’t do waka waka. She does not have any other man except you. Anybody that tells you she has another lover is lying. I live here with her. The only thing she does is work. She is a good woman”

Wale was quiet. It was supposed to be a good testament of her character. But he wondered if Sam lured her again and she didn’t care to mention it. All these were speculations; he would have to wait until she comes home.

Farida stayed in the hospital for a week. Wale never brought up the issue there and Farida was grateful for that. She could see he had questions which needed answers but she was scared to talk him now. She should have told him earlier. He acted normal but knew he would blow up when they get home.

He took her home. He put her in bed as she was on bedrest for the next two weeks after the Shirodkar was fixed. He attended to her but didn’t share a bed with her; he slept on a mattress on the floor so he could take her to the bathroom if she wanted to pee at night. He did this for three days and she couldn’t take the kindness anymore.

“You are the father” Farida finally said to him.

“How come?”

“December. Unprotected crazy sex”

“You didn’t take care of yourself?”

“I have never taken care of myself. I didn’t remember we had unprotected. I just found out just like the case of the twins. I am still seeing my period although it is almost gone. I didn’t plan it and it is all so confusing”

“And I am the last person you can share your problems with?”

“We didn’t plan the pregnancy. I was anaemic initially but I am much better. I wasn’t thinking straight. We are having twins. Are you sure you want this? I thought about the challenges ahead; your mother, your family, society, Sam and his family. How do I explain it? Pregnancy is the evidence of the adultery. I felt you wouldn’t want it. I’m still confused”

“I know you tried to abort this pregnancy. You didn’t want a child with me …..”

“Don’t say that. I didn’t want us to be saddled with something we were not prepared for”

“I know you Farida. You would have secretly flushed out the pregnancy. What happened? What made you change your mind?”

“You. I needed to carry you along. I’m having twins, it is unsafe to abort twins. I was waiting for the right time to tell you. I was ready to take responsibility if you refuse”

“Farida, I wonder what I am still doing with you. I swear you charmed me. You are so childish and self centred. Everything is about what is comfortable or convenient for you. You never make sacrifice. What have you sacrificed for me that was not beneficial to you? You don’t love me; I am just convenient to have around. You didn’t tell me about Eni and Dayo’s pregnancy until I came to visit and found out but I came to tell you about Morenike’s immediately I had the chance. You have done the same with this pregnancy. I think I love you far more than you even like me. How could you find out you were pregnant for me and not tell me? I don’t get it. Is something wrong with you? Do you hate me that much?”

“I love you; I can never hate you. I agree I am self centred but I am only just realizing it. I have made sacrifice for you but I know you have made more. I have offended you once again and I am very sorry I did. I need you. I have just realized that with you by my side I can sleep easy without worries. You do that to me. I just want to be perfect Wale. I have always wanted to be perfect. Sam was a big mistake in my life that disrupted my perfect life. You came along and our relationship was awesome but it was an abomination. In as much as I continued in it, my perfect life was destroyed. When people talk about me, they talk more about my failures than about my achievements. I want to be that Farida parents wanted their children to be. I wish everyday I could turn back the hands of time and make major changes. This is the vulnerable Farida pouring out her heart to you. The day Sam raped me; he broke something in me. He took away my dignity and pride. It died that day. I didn’t care anymore. Monica saw me completely naked for the first time. Strangers saw my privates. What was left? He had taken everything away. It took you leaving too for me to build myself up again. I was doing it. I achieving all my goals until we met December and now this pregnancy came along. I didn’t want to have another child yet. It would mean I have five children to raise. How can I raise five children? Your family would think I want to trap you with pregnancy just like Tomiwa. I didn’t. I honestly have never had unprotected sex that would require me taking any contraceptive except condoms which we had been using. Do you understand my fears? Loving you is not enough. What of your family? What will they say? Will we have their support?”

Wale had calmed down. He could see the strain showing all over her. She had thought about this deeply. He picked his phone and called his father. He put it on speaker for Farida to hear. He picked on the third ring.

“Wale my son, how are doing? How is your break?”

“Dad, I have something to discuss with you”

“This sounds important; go ahead”

“Farida is pregnant”

“Wow! Congratulations son. I want to believe she is pregnant for you”

“Yes dad. What do I do? She is scared the family would believe she wanted to trap me with pregnancy and wants to abort it”

“Do you care what the family has to say? All that matters is her getting a divorce”

“The divorce has come through. She was given full custody of the twins”

“Then what are we waiting for. We should start the marriage preparations”

“Marriage? We are not getting married. We just want to cohabit and have children. We don’t want family having a say in anything we do. She is not under anyone’s control. They do not have a right to come to her house under the guise of their son’s house without prior notice. That’s what we want for now”

“There is no illegitimate child in Yorubaland. Whether you legalise the marriage or not, Farida is recognized as your wife while the children are recognized as your children and will get all their rights”

“She is worried about what people will say. She worried about society”

“She should concentrate on you and the children. She has nothing to worry about. You might need a bigger house though. You family is getting larger. You will have one more child soon”

“Actually two, dad; she’s having twins”

His father was silent for almost five minutes. He kept saying “hello” with no reply. Finally, he said, “I am here. She’s having twins. The first twins in the family. We have never had twins in our lineage. Wale, please marry her. I beg you my son, bring my daughter home. We have waited this long; it is time for her to be fully ours”

“There is no difference between Morenike and the twins. We are not getting married. It is only when Farida wants to get married, she will propose to me. Until then, we are doing it as we have planned. Please dad”

“Please take good care of Farida and the twins. Nothing must happen to them. She will give birth in America. I will take care of everything …..”

“I can take care of her dad. I will take care of everything. You have equipped me to be able to and I will. We still have five months to go”

“Wale, today is my happiest day. Thank Farida for me”

“I will dad. Thank you sir”

“I love you son” Wale was taken aback when he said that. He was never emotional with them.

“I love you too dad” Wale replied.

He turned to look at Farida and saw the tears in her eyes. She was emotional. He laid on the bed and cuddled her as the tears poured from her eyes. He rocked her gently until she finally fell asleep.


FARIDA

PART 72

They still couldn’t reach Monica which necessitated Wale to visit Hugh. Hugh called her in Wale’s presence and asked her to speak to him. Monica sounded very formal on the phone. She didn’t give a tangible reason why she was avoiding their calls. It was Hugh who told Wale her brother suffered a massive stroke and was in hospital when she refused to say anything.

Wale and Farida wondered why Monica was behaving in this manner. Farida was shocked at the news and then called Sam’s father.

“My daughter, Sam got what he deserved”

“What happened?”

“He had a heart attack. If I hadn’t sent Idara to him; he would have died”

“What caused it?”

“He has not been able to tell us. His speech is impaired and he can’t walk well”

“Monica didn’t tell me and has refused to speak with me””

“His mother is sowing a seed of discord. Don’t bother yourself. You are not to blame for what happened. He chose his path and he has to enjoy it”

“Dad, what am I to be blamed for now?”

“Nothing. You did nothing. He did it all. He can’t talk so his mother is promotining the propaganda. I am waiting for them to come back. She has proved her worth. Years ago, I warned her about her behavior; she just wanted to sit at home and answer madam without adding any value. I told her to make something for herself and not depend on me. She refused. I starved her of my wealth and my affection to get her to behave because I loved her so much. She went haywire. She did what I asked her to do and then left the house. She never gave me a good reason for leaving. She travelled abroad and demanded for a divorce. I gave her thinking she would come back to her senses. She didn’t. instead she went to marry a man old enough to father her. I had young children she abandoned when she left. I remarried. My wife had the same attitude; she was lazy and didn’t want to do anything but live off me. Why would any human being with self-worth want to live off another? I began to starve her and separate her from friends leading her astray. She still didn’t change or want to change. That was until you came along. You were what my heart desired. If not that you were Monica’s friend and I could see the impact you had made in her life, I would have made you mine. I didn’t hide it from my wife that was why she was hostile to you. I told her one day, why not learn from this girl instead of fighting her? Use your head and not your heart. She started and now she is someone that can hold her own. She is a good mother, wife, housekeeper, business owner and philanthropist. She has my full attention now and I have hers. This was all I wanted for Sam’s mother but she chose to learn the hard way. Sam has lost something in you and he is aware. He was holding on to strings but sometimes you just have to let go and tow the line of friendship which was what I did with his mother until she began to lead him astray. You have done nothing wrong instead Sam owes you a deep apology. It is sad but this is what it comes to”

Did Monica believe her mother? Monica was aware of all Farida went through in the hands of Sam so why would she take sides with them. Farida was deeply hurt. Wale tried to pacify her but she laid awake most nights just thinking about it. They had been together for so long for Monica not to defend her. She never wished evil upon Sam even though he deserved it after all he did to her. She didn’t want Monica added to those she had to battle with.

Wale stayed back for another month to help Farida open the new studio for kids. The opening attracted people from Northampton and neighouring counties. The lighting and experiences her studio created for both the children and their parents were amazing. They had so much work to do that day. Wale did most of the leg work doing whatsoever Farida wanted done without her being on her feet for more than two minutes. It was also amazing for the children as they were used for the advertisement. It was awesome. The pictures were uploaded on their social media pages and they got amazing responses.

Two day after, Wale got a call. The caller id didn’t look familiar but he still picked up. He was surprised to hear Tomiwa’s voice.

“Hello Wale. I hope I am not disturbing you”

“No, you are not. How are you?”

“I am good. I saw a picture of you and Morenike and I was stunned. She has grown big and looks happy”

“Yes, she has. She is very happy”

“You took the right decision moving her to UK. I saw the picture she took with Farida. They have a bond. That should have been me. Wale I have many regrets but having that child for you is not one”

“You cannot regret having such an angel”

“Kiss her for me. Please tell her about me. And, most importantly, thank Farida for me. She is one of a kind”

“I will. Take care of yourself”

“And you too”

The phone called filled Wale with joy and satisfaction. He was happy everyone was attesting to the fact Morenike looked well taken care of. It couldn’t have been him; it was all Farida. When he told her about the phone call, she was glad. Next time, he would ask whoever to thank her themselves. He knew it would make her day.

Monica came back to the UK a few days before Wale left. She came with Hugh to visit Farida and Wale. She apologized for being incommunicado as the situation on ground warranted it.

“It got messy. My brother was a ghost of himself. I broke down. Mother told me you did this to Sam so you could get your divorce from him and she allowed the divorce to go through. She told me stories I didn’t believe but didn’t have a choice but to listen to. Sam couldn’t talk so I wondered where she got all her information from. She didn’t know half of what was going on. One night, she started her craziness again. I called Idara and asked her what really happened. I begged Idara to confide in us so we can help Sam. She told me we couldn’t help Sam; if we knew what he went through, we would allow him be. I pressed for the information. She explained to us that Sam had stepped on some powerful toes. He had joined forces with a faction to help him win the election. After the election, he was going back on their agreement. He did it to the extent he was creating his own faction. They came after him. he refused to do the rites they had agreed on so they kidnapped his son. It was while looking for Junior father stepped into the matter with pleas from Idara and Sam. They went to see the man who helped Sam. He insisted on the rite. When it was done, Idara knew Sam would never be the same again”

“What did they do to him?”

‘She told me in confidence they did what Sam did to you. Five men; five hefty men raped him”

“Omg!” cried out Farida, “Why? Why would they do that to him?”

“According to Idara, they told him they found out he liked to sodomise women so they decided to do same to him. How did they know what happened? I believed you told someone that decided to take revenge on your behalf”

“How can I tell anyone? How can I share something like that? I didn’t do such” Farida responded.

“Alhaji knew about it. There is nothing he is not aware of. He knew Sam sodomised Farida. If he did that to revenge for Farida, I am not aware of that. All I know is that he was the one stopping the court case in the court. He asked them to grant the divorce and they did. He told me it would be over soon but I didn’t know it was like this” Wale added.

“Farida I was bitter. I believed you did something against Sam. I watched my mother age before my eyes and agonise over her son. Idara asked to relocate to Germany so she could be with Sam while he recuperates. It would also give my mother a breather. I accepted. She couldn’t stay in Papi’s house so I had to get a place for them with my father’s help. He was the one that explained further and deeply what happened. I know why he had the heart attack that led to a stroke. Father assured me neither of you were involved. Idara is there now with her children. Interestingly, she is with Papi. Papi wants the kids with him while she takes care of Sam. We had to cancel her lease. It was a horrific three months plus. Sam is getting better. With therapy, his movement has improved tremendously but his speech is taking time. My stepmother came with Idara to visit Sam. She shed tears for him. she stayed for a week and then left to take care of her husband. Sam was surrounded by love which he never gave. I hope he learns his lesson from this”

“He will always be in our prayers. He is the father of my children so I can’t wish him evil. I have forgiven him for everything he did to me. I hold no grudge against him. I have what I wanted the most and I am happy”

“That is true, have you told him?” Monica asked Farida.

“You won’t believe how he found out. But anyway, he knows” Farida replied.

“How did he find out?” Monica asked very interested. She could see Farida was reluctant to tell her.

“I came around and this pregnant girl allowed me make love to her. You know, I put all my skills into action and it gave the desired effect. The babe was bleeding o. Like play like play we landed in the hospital. That was how I knew. According to Kufre, a pregnant woman is not supposed to have hard sex. Whatever that means”

“Kufre said that?” Farida inquired with her eyes almost bulging in shock.

“You don’t know you are loud. You, Farida, you are loud” Monica replied laughing her head off.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Farida asking visibly upset.

“It’s sensual. It’s interesting. By the way, when you were sneaking around Kaduna and Abuja with Wale, did you tell me?” Monica asked.

“I’m been honest here; that was the best time of my life. The sweetest sex I have ever had was in Kaduna. No other has beat it” Wale confessed to them further embarrassing Farida.

“Why are you shy? The pregnancy is evidence of the do” Monica teased further.

Wale was in the office when he was told he had a visitor. He checked the CCTV but couldn’t see the person clearly. He asked her to come in. He was surprised to see his mother in the company of another lady. He greeted both of them politely and asked them what he could do for them.

“Is dis aw you treat de woman dat gave birt to you?” his mother asked

“Mum, if you came with drama, I am not ready for it. I will leave this office for you” Wale replied her.

The woman with her asked her to calm down. Then she said, “Adewale, I am your mother’s good friend. She complained to me you abandoned her and took her grandchild to your married lover abroad. I was surprised I always want to hear from both sides and I told her. She has been having disturbing dreams that they want to kill you because of your lover. She has gone to church and we have been doing prayer. The pastor said we should bring you to him for prayers so that the evil one will not win over us”

“How much did the pastor ask for?” Wale asked.

“He did not ask for money only for materials. He has finished the prayers and wants you to come” the woman answered.

“I had a dream. I dreamt that my mother will come with a woman to dupe me. The woman will want to kill me to prove what she and her pastor had seen. My mother will be the one to lead me to my death”

“God forbids. Emi, lead you to your deat? I cannot do dat. She’s de one dat take me to er pastor”

“Madam, eat the money my mother gave you; you will not get more. If your pastor was seeing, he would have seen Farida getting her divorce and her ex husband very sick. He is a fake pastor”

“The man worked on the information we gave him. if you come with us we can get all the details”

“Madam please take my mother and leave my office. I am not leaving Farida; I love her. Whatever you say or do, it is Farida or no other person”

“Adewale, why are you insisting on marrying another man’s wife when there are single girls all over. She has sharmed you and we want release you”

“It is no more a dream? Mum if you ever come back here with this woman or your wild stories you will not like me”

“Wat woman turns a son away from is moter? It is honly a wicked and devilish woman dat will do dat. You don’t ask after your mother. You don’t kiare whether I am alive or dead. Because of married woman. Wo, I will continue to pray until God deliver you o. Dat woman must leave you and my Morenike alone”

“Go and pray. Are you tired of using Babalawo? What did your ifa priest tell you? Didn’t he say you should leave us alone? Now you have gone to pastor. Church you did not enter unless it is wedding or burial. Farida is my wife whether you like it or not. If you have to die for her to be mine, get ready”

“Ah! Did you ear dat? My son wants me to die because of is married lover. Wale, she ave sharm you. Ilorin juju is very strong. Ah omo mi ti lo. You want me to die because of dat tin”

“You never liked her. I have always loved her. You know that. Farida and I is until death do us part o. Nothing anybody will say that will separate us. Anybody that tries to separate us will die before they succeed. Anybody that wants to put asunder will be electrocuted by lightening. Anybody that that takes our name or material to any place to separate us both the giver and the received will catch fire. Anybody…”

“O tito. It is enough. Why all this epe? Why are you placing curse like this? It will affect your mother. She is the one running helter-skelter on your case. She wants to help you. She is searching for your deliverance”

‘Did I ask for her help? I ask again, what did the ifa priest tell you that has made you go to pastor? Leave me and my family alone. We are happy the way we are”

“It is dat girl dat made you leave your ineritance to be a slave to an Hausa man. Dey talked and laughed about it. She said you should be a man because we rejected her. Wat kind of woman separates a man from his family? You worked for an Alhaji; wat did you gain? Now you are back to work for the family”

“Mum, please leave. I have tolerated you enough. You stand here to insult me without facts. Go and get your facts before talking to me again. As per my love Farida, she is the best woman ever. Her advice was the best advice I have ever taken and it paid off. Go back and ask your husband and your stepsons why I am back here. In the meantime, take your fake pastor assistant out of my office. I am calling security now”

“To trow me out of my usband’s office?”

“It’s my office and they will throw you out. Security please I need you to escort these two ladies in my office out of the premises…..” They both picked up their bags and left.


FARIDA

PART 73

That was it for Wale. He was fed up with his mother’s bad behavior. He called his father and narrated everything to him. he was obviously angry and was fuming on the phone.

“My son, you lack wisdom” he father said calmly.

“Dad, how can you say that?”

“You have to learn how to handle the different women in your life. From your mother to your wife and to your daughter, there are ways you handle them so they do not cause your downfall”

“My mother has never liked Farida right from time. How do I manage her to like Farida?”

“You will figure that out yourself but first and foremost, call her and apologise to her. Take her out on a date and allow her express her grievances. She is jealous Farida has taken your attention away from her; you know you are her baby. Talk to her and let her know you love her. It doesn’t mean you will visit those places she goes to with her but you will educate her on your achievements so she stops looking for solution. Don’t let her feel Farida is in charge, make her believe you are the one in control”

“What of Farida? How do I get her to like mother?”

“Once you treat your mother right, she will treat her right too. How did you treat Farida’s mother? You made sure she left the slum they lived in and moved them to a comfortable home. You gave her opportunities which made her excel. This was because you knew Farida loved her mother and would do anything for her. Once you begin to value your mother and talk about her in a good light, Farida will follow suit. She is a sensible girl”

“Do I tell mum Farida is pregnant?”

“Don’t tell her yet. She will see it herself. Focus on mending the bridge. Call her and see her alone. Take her to your house to stay a couple of days; she will love it”

“I’m scared. I don’t trust my mother. She is too diabolic. She Can do something against me or Farida”

“She won’t. She will never do anything against you. She loves you. You will also make it clear to her as both of you are working on your relationship, anyone who does evil against the other it will backfire. Just say it; she will be shocked and she will behave. Say it in your home. That way, you have taken authority”

“Ok dad. Thank you so much”

“I have my own grievance. Won’t you marry Farida? Even if it is a small court wedding, do it o. I know what I am saying. Don’t wait for her”

“She has refused. She has said one marriage is enough for a lifetime. She doesn’t want anything to affect our friendship. Even if we break up, we will still remain friends”

“It can happen in marriage too. It is for the twins I am asking this. Please talk to her”

“Let me reconcile the parties first before we think of marriage”

Wale called his mother and asked her to meet him for lunch at a restaurant. She came with the woman. He was angry but decided to keep his cool. He apologized to both of them but reaffirmed his earlier decision; he wasnot seeing any pastor and the woman’s mission had ended. She was to fly back to Lagos while he spent more time with his mother.

“I told you the pastor’s knows work. See what is happening now. Your son is coming to his senses” the woman announced excitedly.

“Madam, your pastor has done nothing for me. His mission was to separate me from the love of my life which will never happen. Tell him I said so. I want my mother to get to know me better. I know she loves me and I love her in return. I want her to understand why I am doing what I am doing and hopefully she will also fall deeply in love like me. Tell your pastor that is what is going to happen no matter what he does. As we leave here, mum, I am taking you to the hotel to pick your things to my house. I will pay for an extra night and also airport shuttle to take you, madam, to the airport tomorrow. Shall we?”

Iya Wale didn’t say a word. She was happy her son wanted her in his house with everything she went through with him.

Sam’s mother decided to play the same card she played on Monica on Idara. She complained bitterly about Farida and all Farida put Sam through just because he loved her. She called Farida a slut who was with another while still legally married. She claimed Farida deserved all Sam put her through and more. She intended to file a case against Farida, Wale and Alhaji. Monica had mentioned Farida was pregnant so she said she would also claim the children in her womb as she was still married to Sam when it happened.

Idara indulged her initially but after sometime she couldn’t take it anymore. She explained to her father-in-law all Sam’s mother was saying and her threat. He told her to forget about the woman and her noise. It was such thinking that kept them where they were right now. To her, Sam was a saint. Her son was everything.

The war began when she transfered some of the blame to Idara. She claimed Idara didn’t fight hard enough to keep Sam. Where was Idara when Sam had the heart attack? Why was she living apart from her son? She claimed Idara was selfish and was only interested in what she would get from Sam’s father than the marriage.

Idara couldn’t take it anymore she responded.
“I have held my peace all this while and I can’t hold it anymore. What kind of human being are you? Everyone is wrong except you and your son. Your son cheated on Farida with me and we had your consent to do it. Was that right? It was obvious Sam loved Farida but you wanted that bond broken by every means possible so you used me. That is what happened; you were not that desperate for a grandchild because there were options that could have been used. Farida moved on but your son couldn’t let go of her. He fought her and drove her into the arms of another man. She wanted a divorce from him; she asked for it before she travelled. She filed after she travelled. You couldn’t convince your son to forget her so she became the devil. He raped her. What did you say? What did you do? So, you want me to fall out with the family because Sam is wicked and unreasonable? You think I am not aware of his womanizing? He wanted to live alone and I wanted my children to be brought up in a loving environment. Their father had been kicked out, they still had rights in the home even if their father didn’t. I am not ashamed of my decision; I was protecting my children. You have led Sam to his doom and I never want to be a mother like you. I will never support any evil my child does. I will always lead my children aright. You and Sam are examples I will never want to be. Stepmother is a billion times better than you. She reset my brain to reason differently. If you will continue to talk down at me or make me feel guilty for something I didn’t do; then I will leave and move on with my life. I will file for a divorce too and you will be saddled with the responsibility of taking care of your son alone. Those people who took Junior threatened to come after all my children because of Sam’s stupidity, that’s why I am here. They are going to continue raping him if he goes back to politics. Was it Farida that made him renege on agreement with his political godfather. Was it Farida who made him step on toes? Is she the one that made him act so stupidly? Please, I did not bargain for what I am going through. I have cut my losses and I am moving on with or without Sam”

Sam’s mother was speechless. She couldn’t believe Idara could confront her in such a manner. Who was she to talk to her like that? Before she could respond Papi entered the room they were in. He looked at both of them and said to his wife,

“Baby, she has spoken the truth. You never really liked Farida because Sam was obsessed with her. Now you are dragging Idara into this. I think you should step back and allow the couple live their lives. I am going to move Sam to the villa and a vehicle will bring him for therapy whenever he needs it. Go about your business. You can’t visit them without giving them adequate notice. That said, Idara, please you need to forgive Sam and take care of him. He will get better; it might not be completely but he would. You have a role to play. You will have to work when Sam can be on his own. You cannot depend on his father, make something for yourself. This is why I always admired Farida; she’s independent. Are you? You have to be. You can start work at home. I will have the kids at weekend. They need to learn the language start their lives here fully. You can do it. No more interference from anyone. You are in charge. Let’s see how well you can handle it”

It was settled. Idara was very happy she could have her life back. They moved to Papi’s villa which was in a local settlement. It was a perfect place to live comfortably and also enjoy cheaper cost of living. She enrolled in a language course to learn German; she enrolled her kids too. The language training also helped Sam with his speech therapy as she got him to listen in on her lessons. Sam was getting overweight and so they began to go on long walks and subtle exercises. She placed them on a diet and ensured he adhered to it. Sam was on the road to recovery.

Wale spent an entire two weeks with his mother. He did exactly what his father advised and there was peace in the home. He took her out every day. She had new experiences. When he spoke with Farida, initially he would excuse himself from her presence to talk to her. He did this several times a day. He did the calling most of the time. He video called the children. Gradually, he began to allow her video call Morenike so he could see her. The twins always joined in. they called him papa and that was what Morenike called him too. The twins began to call Wale’s mother grandma and the first time Morenike called her grandma, she shed tears of joy.

Wale was excited watching the difference in his mother. She was so alive with him and while talking to the children. He gradually began to talk to Farida in her presence.

Iya Wale was surprised the kind of conversations Wale and Farida had. They ran everything through each other. It was hardly a romantic relationship. Or he had that in her absence or when he went to bed.

Before his mother left, Wale explained his decision to leave the family business and face his own. He told her she wasn’t aware of the plotting and planning against him. He left so he could be alive and also give them an opportunity which they all failed woefully. He showed her the new contract
he had with the company and his mother marveled. He also reminded her it was Farida’s idea. He told her about Alhaji and the opportunities he had gotten from him. he was still working for while managing the Mega filling stations. He refused to expose his income but he told her Farida never ask for anything; he pays in a certain amount every month and she manages it with three children. She was also pursuing her dreams and building a name for herself in different industries. He asked his mother to stop meeting babalawos and pastors and just watch out how the relationship will work. If they have been destined to be together, they would, if not, they would go their separate ways. That was all it took. She listened to him and then appealed to him to visit often as she was lonely. She also mentioned Morenike coming to stay with her. He told her Morenike has siblings, so if Morenike is coming, she would be there with her siblings.

Iya Wale couldn’t understand how her son could love so deeply. He didn’t get it from her or her husband. Her husband was not a saint; it was her hard work that stopped him from having more wives. She had to be the last and the favourite. On her way back to Lagos, she began to think back. She remembered the changes that occurred in Wale was when he met this Farida girl. Her son that was a heart breaker entered into his shell and decided to be responsible. She acknowledged it was a good thing but that was how she had a hold on him. he had been obsessed with her ever since. She wasn’t sure if Farida loved him the way he loved and defended her. Maybe she should find out before deciding on what to do.

Hugh popped the question. Monica was shocked when he did. They were having dinner at a restaurant on her birthday when he went on his knees and asked her to marry him. she was in tears; they were tears of joy. They have had an awesome relationship with each of them respecting each other’s space. She hadn’t met his family in all the years they were together but he had met hers. They had spoken on phone and sent holiday wishes but he had never suggested they go visiting. It was time to ask the question she had avoided asking so as not to appear as though she was pressurizing him.

“Have you told your family?”

“I have and they will love to meet you”

“What changed?”

“They wanted to be sure you were not with me for the papers”

“Are you for real?”

‘It had happened a number of times”

“So, when are we going?”

“Very soon. But aren’t there some people you have to tell first?”

Monica called Farida. She screamed and leap for joy. “We are planning a wedding”

“Yes we are”

‘At long last he asked you to marry him”

“I wasn’t expecting it. I expected you will go before me”

“Nah, marriage is out of it for me”

“Because Sam was a lousy husband doesn’t mean all men are. Wale is the man for you; he doesn’t have two sides to him. The guy loves you and has shown it countless times. Look at the way he took care of you even when you were pregnant for the Eni and Dayo. How many men can do that for a woman pregnant for another man? If you ask me, I will say your relationship is signed and sealed in heaven. What is missing?”

“Sam was like Wale before marriage. What happened after?”

“Sam was never and can never be like Wale. You were blinded by love and chose to see what you wanted to see. There is no comparison between the two of them. Infact it very unfair to compare them even though Sam is my brother. I have to go now and let my dad know”

“No problem”

Farida knew she was being too scared but once bitten twice shy. She believed Wale wouldn’t disrespect her and treat her the way Sam did but what if he meets someone else and falls in love with her just like she did? Wouldn’t she be another Sam desperate to keep the family together? She loved Wale with all her heart but he was a man and men couldn’t be trusted wholeheartedly.

Monica’s father was pleased with the news. Her stepmother danced excitedly. Hugh loved Monica and it was obvious when he came. Monica had never ever complained about him; they had a very unique relationship which her father felt was best for her. Her stepmother began to plan for the wedding immediately.

Monica also informed her mother and Papi. Papi had met Hugh and was glad he proposed. Her mother on the other hand refused outrightly. She told her to marry from Ibibio and not from any other tribe or country.

“How many Ibibio men have you introduced me to? You got Idara for Sam, which did you get for me?”

“You were following that useless girl up and down and working against your brother. How do I introduce you to Ibibio eligible bachelors?”

“Well, they would have been a flop like Sam; I’m glad you didn’t. I am marrying a man who loves me for whom I am and appreciates me. He understands me and we have proven we can live comfortably together without quarrel or misunderstanding. I am having an Ibibio traditional wedding because of my father and then I am having an English wedding because of him. If you do not want to be a part of it; my father’s wife is capable of handling everything”

“Have you chosen a date?”

“Not yet; I will keep you posted”
.

Farida was 25 weeks gone. This pregnancy seemed different from the first twins. She was a lot more energetic and the morning sickness ended early. With the wedding plans on the way, she appealed to Monica to choose a date when she would have had her babies. It was not a decision Monica could take alone.

Monica had invited her in-laws for lunch in her house in order to meet them. Hugh had an older brother who was unmarried; he was a writer and popular columnist. And a younger sister who looked out of their league. She was a model and an English actress. Their parents were small business owners who trained their children and allowed them to excel in their chosen professions. Hugh was a rebel and would be the first to get married.

Monica had to get Farida to put her culinary skills she acquired into action. They cooked up a storm making what each family member liked and also some agreeable Nigerian dishes for them to taste. The house was neat and the dinning table set. Farida did all the arrangements while Monica watched with keen interest taking pictures as she placed each item so she could replicate it.

Dinner was wonderful. Everyone let down their hairs. Monica and Farida wore one of their African pieces which caught the sister’s eyes. She was interested in the skirt Monica had on and also wooden decorated hair comb farida had in her beautiful long hair. That was how they introduced her to Sisterz Fashion House online. They gifted her some pieces which she quickly tried on. They took pictures together which she posted on her Instagram page with a post about her soon to be sister-in-law’s craft and directed her over one million followers to patronize them. Their Instagram page and website blew up. They left the food and attended to customers which impressed their guests. The guests also enjoyed all the Nigerian food served.

Hugh’s parents wanted Monica to visit them too. They agreed on a date that would fit everyone’s schedule. It was amazing to Monica and Farida that they practically had to get out their phone and sync the proposed date so everyone was aware. They were a high technology family. Once Hugh was happy with Monica they were too. All that mattered was Hugh’s happiness. And he was obviously happy.

With the orders came more work. Farida couldn’t travel because of her condition which left Monica doing the main work. People from different countries and culture in Africa contacted them to showcase their products and if they met the standard. They did. Each new ‘find’ earned a picture on both their website and Social media pages. It always sold out.

Wale called early one morning. He had a dream which he couldn’t recall but it bothered him. It was about Farida and the twins. He was very worried. He called her that morning and she sounded alright. He asked when her next doctor’s appointment would be and she said it was a few days away. They talked about other things.

He went to work but strange things were happening to him. He wore his button wrong, kicked a stone and nearly fell down. He spilled coffee on his shirt and his laptop. He received phone calls but there was no one on the other end. He thought he saw someone in his office. He called his dad and shared with him.

“What was your dream about?”

“I think I saw Farida. I am not sure but it looked like it”

“Your spirit is connecting with a spirit. Calm down and use your intuition; it will guide you”

Wale was scared but he did what his father said. He calmed down. He closed his eyes for a few minutes and then he knew what he was meant to do. He picked his phone,

“Farida, go to the hospital immediately”

“Why? I am fine. There is nothing wrong with me”

“I said, leave whatever you are doing and get to the hospital. Do not argue with me”

“Ok, let me finish ….”

“Leave now! What is wrong with you? It is not a time to be stubborn” he dropped the phone and called Monica.

“Monica please I don’t want to scare Farida but I am having a bad feeling. Please take her to the hospital. Donot allow her argue”

“You have never spoken like this before. I am on it”

Wale booked a ticket to get to the UK. there was only Emirate Airline flight with a three hours stopover at Dubai. The journey would take fifteen hours. He was told if he could get to Ghana, he could catch a direct BA flight to Heathrow. He went for it. He had to be in the UK as soon as possible.

“Farida, lets go. Why are you wasting time?”

“Wale sounded strange. I hope his mother has not put him up to something”

“It is better same than sorry, let us go. Just pretend and let them examine you”

They came out and Monica drove to the hospital. As they got to the counter, Farida felt a tingle down her leg. Then it was followed by tingles. She observed she had not been able to hold pee for some days now. As it dropped and she moved, an observant nurse who was passing by saw the color of the supposed urine on the floor. It was greenish which meant the babies were in distress. Immediately, Farida was taken to the examination room. truly it came from her. The babies hearts beat dropped. She was rushed to have a scan done. Everything was happening so fast that it looked like a movie.

Wale called Monica as he was about to board the flight from Ghana to UK. All Monica could say was “Everything is happening so fast; how did you know?”

“Know what?”

“She is having the babies today”

‘’I am on my way. Please stay with her. I beg you, do not leave her side. I will be there soon”

The scan showed the was very little amniotic fluid left in the sack and the babies were distressed. What they didn’t tell Farida was that one of them had the cord round his neck that caused the distress for him.

She was wheeled for emergency C section. She wasn’t happy about it but she had no choice as the medical personnel were only interested in saving the babies. Farida asked Monica to call Wale. She told her to relax, Wale was on his way. They put her to sleep for the surgery while Monica watched them from the glass.

They brought out the two babies. They carefully removed the cord from the neck of one of them. Monica cried when she saw him; he looked almost lifeless. The other one had to be suctioned before he could cry. They carried them away to the paedatrics surgeon to attend to them. Once they were taken away, Monica looked at her friend. She had been stitched up but she was still unconscious. They couldn’t risk her watching the birth of her babies and realizing there was a problem; a serious problem.

Farida was wheeled into her room. Monica knew it would take a while for her to wake up so she went after the babies. She saw they were still battling with the baby. His coloured had changed; he looked better unlike before. He didn’t cry still and was placed in an incubator with tubes connected to him. When the doctor came out, Monica asked him “How is he doing?”

“We are hopeful. He seems to be a fighter. He can’t breathe on his own yet but thankfully, his is alive and hopefully will remain so. She came in good time; if she had stayed another day, both of them would have died. We hope there will be no permanent damage to his brain because of the lack of oxygen”

‘What of his twin?”

“He’s a boy also. He is fine. Perfectly ok. This little man protected his brother as best as he could”

Two boys; Farida had two boys. They were not out of the woods yet but they were hopeful. How did Wale know? He was so certain something was wrong. Was Farida right? Did his mother have a hand in this? They almost lost their babies and there was no sign anything was wrong. Wale had a lot of explaining to do.

Wale arrived the hospital straight from the airport. He had tried calling Monica but she wasn’t picking up. He got to the reception and asked after Farida. He was directed to her room. Farida was awake but still drowsy. He rushed to hug her. He was thankful she was ok.

“Where are the babies?”

“They are in the nursery; let me show you”

Monica took Wale out and explained everything to him.

“Nothing will happen to him; it has been averted”

“What do you mean?”

“The plan was to take both mother and the babies but they failed”

“How did you know this?”

“I just know. The children are born for a purpose and they are the first set of twins in my lineage. I had to call my father about my strange dream and occurrences. I wasn’t satisfied, I called Farida’s mum. She was promised to call back. She called me when I landed Ghana and informed me what happened and the outcome”

“You now believe in diabolic things?”

“No, Farida mother and grandmother are Muslims. I know they will not sit back and watch their child being destroyed that’s why I called them and the calm in their voice gave me hope”

“If Farida hears this, she wouldn’t like it”

“It is the truth. The most important thing has been done. She is fine and my babies are fine”

“Your sons you mean? You never asked the sex of the babies”

Wale broke down in tears. He had two boys; wo sons from his loin. He couldn’t believe it. He remembered Iya Agba’s word, “A battle line has been drawn. Face your God squarely and encourage Farida to do same. I know you young people have doubts about religion but from the homes you both come from; there is so much envy and jealousy. Both of you are stars and you will both make it. That is why your union met with a lot of hardship until both of you were determined to be together. Never let anything separate the two of you otherwise you will lose your glory. Her shine will rub off on you to make you shine brighter. Your shine will rub off on her to make her shine brighter. Hold on to each other and build yourself in your faith”

He thought she was just mumbling but it had proved she knew what she was saying.

To Monica’s greatest surprise, Wale asked for the chapel and he was directed to it. He spent an hour there talking to God. He didn’t know how but he found himself being able to confide in him about everything. When he came back, he felt better. He smiled at his Farida and said; everything is going to be alright.


FARIDA

PART 74

Monica was quite stunned at Wale change. Who changes suddenly? Something was amiss but she couldn’t place a finger on it. She sat down with Farida when her healthy son was brought to her. The nurse advised her to wait for the doctor who was on his way to her to hear about the other baby. Farida went into panic mode. Monica assured her all was well but she didn’t believe her until Wale entered the room with the doctor. He was smiling so she calmed down. The doctor explained to her what happened.

“You are a lucky lady. There was no water in the amniotic sac, it had been sipping away without your knowledge. I wonder how that happened. Well, one of your sons tied his cord around his neck and was in distress; you got here in good time. He is still under observation. Thankfully, he wasn’t deprived of too much oxygen before we got him out. He is responding to treatment”

Farida sat up as he spoke. Was that what happened? Were her children at risk? Nobody told her. Was that why Wale insisted she went to the hospital? Was he told something? She had questions that had no answers immediately. Wale saw the doctor out.

Farida had questions. She waited but Wale didn’t return. She asked Monica if she knew where Wale was?

“He is in the chapel praying”

“What?”

“I am serious. Something happened to him”

“Go and check on the second baby, nothing must happen to him”

“I have been there. They have removed some tubes. He is breathing on his own now”

“Are you sure he is fine?”

“Both of them are fine all thanks to God”

“What has come over Wale? When did this start? I can’t even share the news of their birth until I am sure both of them are fine”

“I think so too”

Wale came back to the room and behaved like he normally did. He assured Farida he had checked the boys and they were fine. He was bombarded with questions. How did he know she needed to go to the hospital? He silenced them and shared some of his experience that morning.

“It was so scary at a point. I called my dad and shared with him. He asked me to calm down and connect with whatever was trying to communicate with me. I did and I heard and saw it clearly, Farida should go to the hospital immediately. I didn’t wait for further instructions, I called you”

“Just that? A premonition?”

“It was just that. On my way here, after Monica told me what happened, I called maami; she was with Iya Agba. She advised me and assured me all will be well. And all is well”

“Wale, you went to the chapel”

“I did. I went to talk to my God and he listened to me. Our son is getting better”

Something had changed about Wale. The way he spoke and his countenance reflected a different person. Farida didn’t know if she liked this new Wale or not. He was weird and it freaked her out. What had happened to her carefree and exciting Wale? He was in charge and overly protective of her and the boys.

Farida and one of the boys were discharged. Wale stayed with the second boy while Farida tended to the other. A few days later, their second son joined them at home hale and hearty. Wale would go over to their room and pray over them every night and morning. He hired a retired nurse as a nanny to help with the boys. He made sure they had as little human contact as possible. Eni, Dayo and Morenike fell in love with their baby brothers. They were only allowed to peek at them but not to touch them. They were happy to visit them in their nursery as it was used as a bait to make them behave.

They had decided on a closeknit naming ceremony. Farida gave Wale a list of those she wanted to invite. Wale took up the responsibility of organizing the ceremony. He ordered the food and drinks for the occasion. The decorations were put up the night before. Wale had plans.

The night before the ceremony, Wale had a dream. In the dream he saw himself lifting his sons to God and saying, “Father, these are David and Daniel whom you have found favour in your servant to bless me with. Just as David was the apple of your eyes and Daniel was one who loved and obeyed your commands; may my children find such favour in you. May they be blessed and be a blessing to us all. Amen”. Wale woke up. He switched on the side lamp and wrote down the encounter. He had chosen befitting Yoruba names for them but these were the names given to him to call them.

Farida watched him sit up to write. Wale hardly slept. He behaved like one tormented by a secret. What was wrong? This was how he woke up every night and scribble in his book which he keeps away from her. What was he hiding? She missed her Wale. He was still caring and in charge but the fire between them was no more there. She couldn’t feel his. What was he battling with? What did he get himself into? They never had secrets between them so how come they were now? She knew she had to have the conversation with him after the naming ceremony.

The house was decorated ready for the party. The caterer brought in the food. Farida was wondering why they had so much food. She thought they invited only a few people. Wale had dressed up and was organizing things downstairs. Farida went to get ready and get the children ready. Monica and Hugh were present to help out.

At 10am, people started trooping in. Farida was beside herself when she saw her mother, her grandmother, her brothers and their wives. Wale had ensured her entire family was present. She was so happy and excited that she went to Wale gave him a big hug and kissed him in the presence of everyone at amidst laughter and cheers.

By the time they were through, Wale’s entourage was watching them by the door. Farida couldn’t believe her eyes. Wale’s entire family was in their living room. His father, mother stepmothers, siblings and step siblings were in her sitting room. She unconsciously dropped to her knees to greet them and welcomed them. Wale led them to their seats. Interestingly, they were not aware they would be attending Wale’s baby naming ceremony.

Iya Wale wasn’t happy to be taken by surprise the way she was. She looked at the interior of the house they came into. She was quite impressed by what she saw. This Farida girl had taste or was it her Wale that made this place look special? She looked at Farida; she had refused to age. Who would believe she just had a baby? She looked nice. Maybe that is why Wale is so interested in her. She saw Farida’s mother. The woman was also surprised to see her here. It was Baba Wale that made her, Iya Wale, come. He insisted they all come to the UK on holiday. He never mentioned Wale or Farida having a baby together. She could hear her fellow wives and their children asking silent questions amongst themselves. She overheard one ask who the father was. She and her daughters already suspected it is Wale’s child but wondered why they had to be there. What was so special? After all, they were not legally married.

Other guests came in too. Friends from the university, their clients, their workers, everyone connected to them was invited. Wale even flew in three of his well deserving staff to attend the ceremony. They had never travelled before but he was able to get their visas expediated.

The naming ceremony commenced with an announcement by Wale to all present “Farida and I have been blessed with twin baby boys. I invited you all here because you are both friends and family. We are grateful to God for his blessings upon us. I will be conducting the naming ceremony myself today. As their father, it will be done in a Christian way” There were side comments especially from family members except for maami and Iya Agba. They understood he was taking charge of his family.

“Today before God and man, I present our sons David Eyitomilayo (this is enough for me to rejoice) and Daniel Ebunoluwa (God’s gift). We ask Lord that you bless them. Father we ask for grace to be good parents to these children; that we will be worthy of leading them through the path of life. May they be loved and cherished all the days of their lives. May they make us their parents, their siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, friends and extended family proud of them. Lord, may they be protected from evil. No force working against them will ever succeed. Their lives will never be cut short. Their presence will always cause positivity anywhere they go. They shall excel in all they do. This will ask in Jesus name”

There was a resounding Amen followed by an applause. Wale’s mother was shocked on all levels. First of all, Wale had twin boys with Farida. Secondly, when did Wale become a prayer warrior. She remembered what she was told many years ago about her son. She was told he is very special and when the time comes, he will pick up his mantle. Was this the mantle? She was happy. Her son has the first set of twins in the family. This Farida ended up being a blessing to them because twins are believed to bring goodluck and prosperity to a home.

Iya Wale wasn’t the only one surprised, Farida too was dumbstruck at Wale behavior. The prayer and the names chosen surprised her too. They hadn’t decided on a name together as she asked him to decide. She had seen him write the Yoruba names but the biblical names were unexpected. Something was happening and she wasn’t certain if she liked it or not.

Wale took Farida to meet his parents and other family members.

“Dad, mum, my dear family, this is my wife to be Farida. I beseech you to accept her, love and protect like you would me. She is the mother of my children and has played this role for over a year. I don’t need anything from you except you extend your love to her”

The family accepted her. Iya Wale was happy, she helped Farida stand up and hugged her along with the other wives. They presented the babies to them and they all confessed they were absolutely handsome.

As the party continues, the had some other guests; Farida’s uncle (her father’s brother) AND Alhaji, Wale’s boss. Farida wondered why her uncle was there. Why was her family adequately represented? What was going on? She dragged Wale to the bedroom upstairs and asked what was going on.

‘We have to get married Farida. We can’t continue to live in sin. You are the mother of my children so I can’t leave you but we will no longer be able to have sexual relations until I have married you either customarily or legally”

“What has come over you? You are acting so strangely. Since the day the twins were born, I have seen a different you. What have you gotten yourself into?”

“Farida, nothing is wrong with me. I had an encounter which I am not ready to share yet until I am instructed to. But I love you and you are my heavenly ordained wife. Please, do not let me live in sin. Farida please marry me so I can remove this burden from my heart. This is all I require and request from you. Do it for me”

‘I don’t know you anymore; you have changed. Why would I want to be with someone who I don’t know or understand? Someone who keeps secrets? We could tell each other anything but now you are hiding away to pray in the sitting room at night. You hardly sleep, always scribbling away in that your book and hiding it. I am not convinced all is well”

“Farida, how would I tell you this and you would believe?”

“Tell me; I would believe you”

“The morning I woke up, I had a nasty dream that had to do with you and the babies. I couldn’t remember the details so I shoved it aside. I hit my leg on a very small stone but I almost fell. It was strange. I observed my buttons were not done properly. I always button from the buttom up. then I spilled coffee on my shirt and laptop. All these sound like coincidences right? I felt the same until my door opened by itself, and someone came in. My mahogany door opened without anyone behind it. This was after my phone would ring and no one will speak. I checked the CCTV and saw no one behind the door. I panicked and called my father. he asked me to remain calm. Someone or something wanted to communicate with me. I did and Farida, it communicated with me. He asked me to send you to the hospital immediately. But that’s not all. One the flight London after talking to your grandmother, she advised me to hold my God. Nobody had ever talked to me about God. I closed my eyes and talked to God before I fell asleep. Farida, I had an encounter. It was a trance. I saw myself as a blind man leading people. Many I led either lost their lives or where snatched away or living lives I couldn’t see. I was vexed in my spirit. I cried out and then the blindness was uplifted. I could see clearly. I had led them to the wrong path because of my blindness. When I regained my sight, I retraced my steps, lifting those that ‘fell’ because of my blindness and leading them through the right path. I woke up. I didn’t understand what the dream meant but I have asked my God to interpret it. Farida, my family is my first church. I have not led you aright. I was blind but now I can see. I know what I need to lead us to greater height. Allow me keep discovering myself in the Lord and help me obey his commandments”

Farida dropped on the bed. She was shocked. What was he talking about? This sounded like a mental case. She could see the appeal in his eyes and she just wondered why her life had to be like this. First Sam was a betrayer and a monster and now Wale was a psycho. How would she manage this?

“You don’t believe me? I will prove it to you. Somethings that happened some days back, I knew before they happened. I will give you the book I scribble in for you to read and understand. I love you with all my heart but I have a deep calling to stand up to my responsibilities”

He brought out the book, he dropped it on the bed and left the room. Farida opened the book and she was amazed. He wrote the date and the time he had the encounters or dreams. She saw the day her son was released. He had written that morning, “From a bad situation comes something great. the baby is coming home today. The doctors will marvel at the goodness of God. The twins are for signs and wonders. Never underestimate them. Both of them will stop suckling at six months, they will walk at nine months, but they will only grow their teeth when they are one year three months. There is nothing wrong with them. Their umbilical cord will fall off on the day of their naming. One by 5pm; the other by 10pm. Mark this day. I will reveal more to you. Keep these children safe”

When he came back, she asked, “Are you sure this is from God? Are you sure this is not manipulation? Maybe you have joined a church and now they are sending you these dreams. The umbilical cord of the second twin is still attached by more than half. It will not fall soon. Even the first we are looking at tomorrow or next”

“I joined no church. I had a personal encounter and it is not a calling to found a church but to lead my family. Let us do the introduction here and now. It doesn’t mean we are married. If you believe me, we will have the wedding but know that I would no longer be sharing your bed with you until we do the right thing”

‘Were you told to marry me?”

“How do I continue to live in sin because grace abides? God forbids. I know the right thing to do and I will do it. Let’s do the introduction and take it from there. Think about it and meet me downstairs”

Farida sat down to think about it. She loved Wale but this new Wale was too intense and she wasn’t sure she wanted someone currently obsessed with premonitions. She laid on the bed. She was born a Muslim even though she hardly practiced it. She didn’t want her children brought up in a religion that made a girl feel less than a boy. She is forced to have early marriage and abused severally by her husband. But she had encountered Muslims in the UK and their daughter had some rights. They had right to education and working to earn a living instead of been forced into marriage. There were extremists but she surrounded herself with those who know their rights. Alot had changed.

Now, Wale has brought religion into their lives. She wanted to avoid it so much. She wanted her children to decide the religion they wanted and where they would worship. She believed it should be all them. Wale can’t force his new found love for religion down their throat. She decided she would go ahead with the introduction but it didn’t mean she had married Wale.

She came downstairs and when her eyes locked with Wale’s eyes, she nodded her head. Wale talked to his father and then they did the introduction. They agreed they would wait until the babies were six months before they would have their engagement and then the court wedding.

While entertaining the visitors, the new nurse called Farida and showed her baby’s cord had fallen off. She checked the time and it was a few minutes after 5pm. This was definitely coincidence.

After the guests had left. Farida dragged herself to the bedroom. She had a shower came out into the bedroom. Kufre knocked on the door. She had the second cord in her hand. It was 10:04pm. Farida knew no one could be this precise at something like this. How was it possible?


FARIDA

PART 75

So many other events caused Farida to believe Wale. Wale was no more talkative; he more conservative and mindful with his words. It seemed more like a major issue because it caused him lack of sleep. Every night, he had a revelation of what would happen to people around him. Some of them scared Wale and he refused to share while others made him either happy or sad. In all, Wale was not the same.

Farida was worried. Wale hardly ate; he was very skinny that his clothes hung on his body like a hanger. When he went to work, he spent have of the time praying. Interestingly, his staff were shocked when he knew what they did and how they did it. The company was running on its own; the fear of his discovering your intent or what you did was enough to avoid it. There was no hiding place for him.

Wale kept to his words; as long as they were not married, he refused to share a room or have sex with her. He couldn’t even be romantic with her. She longed for him but she wanted the old Wale. She felt this new one was a weirdo who would mess up their love live with rules. She was ok not going there with him.

Monica’s wedding in the village was fast approaching. Hugh and Monica took more than six months to get everybody that mattered on the schedule. She informed Farida her brother, Sam and Idara would be present. Sam had recovered but was not yet 100%. Staying alone with Idara helped his recovery. It also helped them bond and Idara was able to prove her worth. She wanted to attend the wedding but wouldn’t leave Sam behind. His speech, even though more audile and sensible, was still slow. His walking and use of his hand had improved greatly but he was still dependent on his wife. She couldn’t leave him behind.

Farida decided on what she would wear with Wale. She made the outfits. Wale refused to wear anything uniform with her as they were not a couple. This caused them to have their first big quarrel.

“What is wrong with you? What has come over you? Everything is all about what you want. What about what I want Wale? I do not understand what is going on and would not lay claim to it but why do you want to force me into a union I am not sure of? You have changed. You look unhealthy. I agree most of what you see happens but is it worth the sacrifice? You look sick and unkept. I don’t know the spirit that possessed you but personally I do not think it is God”

“Just because I refused to share a bed with you then I am possessed? Farida, I am on a whole different level. If you feel you cannot be with me just as I am, then we can just be civil with each other as we have children together. Forget my physical appearance, I am comfortable with it. I was at the doctor’s and I am physically healthy. The problem now is that I don’t have excess weight. I eat healthy and so will my kids. Junk food is out. We don’t want them coming down with diseases…..”

“Wale, we were first friends before becoming lovers, we can as well go back to being just friends. This is the reason I never wanted to marry again. Everything has to go your way. I can make my own decisions. Maybe I should move out with the children to my own house and you have rights to be with them whenever you want to. That way we remain friends without this bickering. I can move on with my life and you can too.”

“That is not what God told me. Farida, why don’t you pray to God yourself about this union so you don’t make costly mistakes. You are being ruled by the flesh; your flesh has to die for your spirit man to come alive. I have killed my urges until I am with my wife then they would come alive again”

“You are funny. We won’t dress in uniform. I will make my clothes and you will make yours. We don’t even need to go together. We can be stranger to each for all I care”

“I think you need to request for wisdom. You need it to handle situations and you are lacking it right now”

“I don’t care. I’m through with this conversation”

They went separately for the traditional wedding. Farida went to the village with the children and Kufre. Her mother joined her in Uyo. Farida stayed in her apartment. Monica was there with her. She took all the children to see Monica’s father. he was very happy to see them and prayed for them. Then Idara came down. She was happy to see Farida and the children. She appealed to her to allow the twins see their father. Sam’s father said it was ok.

They went to their apartment. Nothing had changed. It was how she had decorated it. Sam was sitting in the parlour watching television when Idara came in and said to him, ‘Guess who came to say hello?”

Sam turned and was shocked to see Farida and the twins. He was so overwhelmed with emotions that he began to shed tears. Idara took the twins to them and Sam held on to them. He stuttered when he spoke. “How can I thank you for this?” he said very slowly.

“You don’t have to. Once you are not a threat, we can be civil with each other”

“I am sorry. I am so sorry” Sam said with a struggle

“I have forgiven you. Idara, I will leave the children here with you. Bring them back in the evening; let them stay with Sam for now. What of the children?”

“They are in Germany; I didn’t want to take chances’

“Good. Bring them later”

Wale arrived on the morning of the traditional wedding. He came dressed in Yoruba traditional attire. He went to see the children. Since their fight, he hadn’t spoken to Farida. Farida was stubborn and he had to learn to be patient with her. He had tolerated her stubbornness but he couldn’t just allow it slide anymore. He had to settle down to achieve some of the things revealed to him. Farida had to be on the same page with him. He can’t force her to marry him but he could try to help her see reason.

Papi and Monica’s mother came for the wedding. Monica gave them a room in Farida’s apartment. Her mother refused to stay, instead she left for her family house. Papi was glad to stay with Monica. It was also a new experience for him and he was super excited to be a part of Monica’s big day.

Hugh and his family arrived for the traditional wedding. It was an opportunity to showcase their culture to the world. For his first and only daughter, Monica’s father spared no expense on his daughter’s wedding. She wore the best and he made Hugh’s family know she wasn’t a gold digger. They were enormously impressed.

The wedding went smoothly. Monica didn’t want a white wedding but a civil wedding in the UK. There was so much to eat and drink. Hugh’s family and Papi had the time of their lives watching the cultural dance display and tasting delicacies they had never had before Of course most of the pictures and videos were uploaded on social media.

Farida took her children and maami to Ilorin for Iya Agba to see them and also spend some time with her. Farida also knew she needed words of wisdom as Wale had claimed she lacked it. She hated fighting with Wale but she couldn’t help it. She was just tired of how everything was turning out.

Iya Agba was glad to have them with her. She had prepared for their coming. She made the children have purely local delicacies especially the local cheese which she said was very good for their health. She could also see Farida was troubled. She asked her if she wanted the atmosphere energized, Farida needed it. She did what she was good at.

They rested for two days. Farida used those days to make sense of her current predicament. She remembered the conversation she had with Monica on their way from London. Monica asked her to embrace the new Wale and run with it. She told her the change in Wale was positive so she shouldn’t make any fuss about it. The difference was just that it was overwhelming at first. When she told her Wale said no sex until they got married, Monica told her then he is genuine. Many people claim to be of God but use that to get deeply involved in immorality. For him to insist, he was genuine. As far as Monica was concerned, Farida was the one being difficult.

Eventually, Farida had a deep conversation with Iya Agba. She chose for them to talk at 1am. Iya Agba asked her why she was delaying the marriage. Farida shared her fears with her. She told her all she was experiencing with Wale. She told her she didn’t think she would want to settle down with him as he had changed.

“Did he change for good or bad?” Iya Agba asked.

“I don’t know if it is for good or bad but I don’t like the way he is going about his discovery; it is worrisome. Iya Agba, you need to see Wale now, he is so skinny. I don’t know why he has to be like that. He can’t sleep all through the night. He doesn’t eat. I don’t understand what has possessed him”

“But it is because of you he is doing all that”

“How?”

“He wants to do the right thing. He wants to marry you and legitimatise his children. He loves you and wants you as a wife. What is so difficult for you to understand Farida? Have you tried to find out what God’s will is concerning your marriage to Wale?”

“No. How do I do that?”

“By prayers. You have to learn how to pray and believe in Allah. Have you read the Quran? You need to study the word of Allah and learn how to pray. Say your prayers five times a day and be religious about it. Then you can present your petition before Allah and he will answer you. You have to go back to being a devout Muslim and so much will be revealed to you. Apart from your fashion business, I want to hand down the study of roots and herbs to you. I have been instructed to teach you about them. You will also understudy Iya Agba agbo too. You must be a devout Muslim before I can hand it over to you so it won’t be misused. You will transform lives with your knowledge”

Farida sat quietly. She went to Arabic school as a child and she knew how to pray but maami was not religious and didn’t impose it on them. The reason was the way she was treated when she was a child. She didn’t want same for her children. Even though what Iya Agba said made some sense, she still wasn’t convinced that religion was the way. She didn’t want to be like Wale. Another issue was that Wale was a Christian and Iya Agba was talking about Islam. How would they train their children in different religions? She asked Iya Agba.

“Start and Allah will direct. Everything will be revealed to you. I wish you can just trust me and do what I say. Have I ever led you astray? Learn the ways of Allah and follow it and you will live a fulfilled life”

There was no harm in trying. She went back to the UK with her family and began to practice Islam. She met an Islam scholar who helped her understand the Quran better. She started her prayers and researched about her religion. She was back with Iya Agbae after three months for further lessons. She had questions which needed answers. The more she drew closer to Allah the better she felt about herself.

One month with Iya Agba and her life changed completely. She knew exactly what she wanted to do and all she desired to achieve. Iya Agba began to teach her about herbs, roots and spices. She chose a herb and explained to her the uses. It took Farida a month to learn about the herb. The first herb was the one which was burnt as incense which had a relaxing effect and reduces stress. Farida packed some samples and travelled to the UK with them. She gave out some of the samples to their clients and showed them how to use them the local way. They came back with positive reviews but there was a problem, they couldn’t do it the local way. Farida complained to her grandmother. She told her to pray about it and she will know what to do. She did just that. Early the next morning, she woke up, did her first prayers and then went online. The first thing she sees is a censer. She researched some more and asked her Chinese contact if she could have a special shape made for her company. They did and within a week, a sample was sent. Farida sold her herbs with the censers; it was a hit back to back.

The more she went into the Quran the more she discovered herself. Wale had stopped talking to her. When he came around, she was either out of the country or too busy. He stayed in his room and she stayed in hers. She didn’t like their current situation but she needed to know she was making the right decision. her worry was their different beliefs. The more she grew in Islam, the more her faith in Allah grew. What would happen to the children. She had been praying and she knew Wale was the man for her. She was convinced in her spirit he was. Her issue now was the varying beliefs. She talked to Wale about it.

“We can’t force our beliefs on our children. They will experience the two religions and decide which they want to belong to when they are older. I don’t care what religion you practice; it is you I am interested in. think about it and decide”

“If I accept, where are we getting married?”

“In the registry of course. It will be a civil wedding. Let’s not complicate things”

“We will still have an engagement?”

“Whatever you want”

“Let me thing about it further”

Farida went back to Iya Agba to learn about another herb. A few days before she was to leave, at night, Iya Agba gave her a root and asked her to sleep with it under her pillow. She did that and by the next morning, she was in Abuja. She met Wale at home because it was a public holiday.

Wale was shocked to see her. She went straight to the point, “I am ready to get married. How soon can we get it done?”

Wale had to be sure he was the one she was talking to. He looked around to be sure no one was with them. Then he gestured with his hand if she was talking to him. when she nodded he replied calmly in other not to show her how excited he was ,“It depends on your family. Once they give a date we will be there”

‘I want a small engagement ceremony and registry wedding. Your mother would want a small wedding and it will cause a lot of brouhaha. It’s your first wedding. A big celebration will set us back ten years. We will suffer for those ten years before we recover. I don’t want us to experience such. So please let’s keep it lowkey”

“God, you are wonderful. So it was also revealed to you? This couldn’t have been revealed to you by any man but by God. Anything else I should know?”

“Yes. We have to live together. The children and I might have to relocate to Nigeria. We have to live with you in Abuja. This house seems small for our large family”

“I will get a bigger house”

“We can’t share our plans with anyone until we implement them”

‘I agreed”

“I will let my uncle know I am ready for the engagement. I will get you a date soon”

“Is that all?”

“For now”


FARIDA

PART 76

Wale watched with admiration at his soon to be wife. She went into the kitchen to cook after their discussion. He came to give her a hand; it was like old times. He watched her in her element and the fondness he felt for her multiplied. He knew he still loved her, that never changed. He was still very attracted to her; it is the reason he insisted on separate rooms. He just couldn’t trust himself around her and knowing Farida, she could be highly mischievous and would cause him to sin. But he missed their companionship.

They were in the kitchen like two strangers. Farida could feel the distance. She knew she was part of the problem but she just couldn’t help herself, she had to be sure. The whole spiritual thing scared her until she had her own encounter and she understood what Wale experienced. She wanted to know more about what Iya Agba gave her but she refused to teach her anything about the herbs until she begins to obey instructions. She wanted more information about her live but Iya Agba told her it was only one experience with the herb she needed; the rest will flow naturally.

Here she was looking at Wale. He needed to add weight. She was making dinner and then the next day she would cook and pack into the freezer for him like old times. She could see he was skinny because he didn’t eat well. She made egusi soup with pounded yam for him. The egusi soup had meat, assorted meat, kpomo, dry fish, stock fish and bitterleaf. It was rich and tasty. When she served the food, she put enough pounded yam for him. They settled down to eat. Wale ate the pounded yam and soup like someone who hadn’t eaten in days. She was shocked when he finished the pounded yam. She had to stay back in Abuja to fatten him to what she wanted.

Wale left the bedroom for Farida and moved to the guest room. It was a struggle sleeping there for Wale not with Farida behaving better and being in the next room. He was tempted to meet her but he changed his mind knowing it was wrong in the sight of God. He used the time to overcome temptation by calling his father. His father was happy to hear that eventually Farida had come around. Wale told him their agreement about a lowkey wedding with just close family and friends. He bought into the idea especially with this being Farida’s second marriage but he wasn’t sure what his wife’s reaction would be. They both know she had been looking forward to the wedding and would be crashed by the lowkey idea. His father asked him to allow him handle his wife.

Farida was up early the next morning. She cleaned up the room and left for the kitchen. Wale woke up to the smell of sumptuous breakfast. This was the life. He had missed this. Before he came downstairs, Farida was out of the house. His food was on the table with a note telling him she had gone to the market. He left for work but was back home by 5:00pm. He didn’t want Farida to feel lonely.

Farida spent the whole day cooking. She cooked different soups and stews. She packed them in bowl and placed them in the freezer labelling them. Wale had rice that night with chicken and fried plantain. He cleared his plate. Farida could see he wasn’t feeding well and was not taking the responsibility to do so. Her fattening mission will be accomplished.

They discussed further about their plans. Farida had informed maami who had contacted Farida’s uncle. She had explained to him what Farida wanted and he agreed to it completely. Her uncle was willing to work with any date they both choose. Wale’s father asked for the date for the engagement. He assured Wale he would handle his mother. All they had to do was agree on a date. They both checked their calendars and finally agreed for the engagement to hold in three weeks. It would be done in Ilorin on a Thursday. They would fly to London on Thursday evening and then have their registry wedding on Friday afternoon.

“And then we will travel to Greece for our honey. How would you like that?” Wale asked.

“I wouldn’t mind. A short honeymoon; I don’t want to be away for more than a week” Farida replied.

‘Why?”

“I have things to do here. We have to get the house and the kids”

“I agree we need a new house but I donot think we should move the kids. I think we should allow the children remain in Northampton with Kufre while we stay here and visit them. Or at least allow Dayo and Eni to stay back. You know those people that Sam stepped on their toes have pomised to kidnap his son again if Sam doesn’t complete the rite. That’s why Idara fled. I don’t want them to come for Dayo or Eni”

“I don’t think we should separate the children. Let them come back or remain there together. Kufre is supervising and doing a great job. She can take charge of them. As for them coming back here, no harm can befall here. Their targets are Sam and Idara not our children. If you say during school period they stay there and come back during the holiday, I am fine with it. You have to be checking on them as often as possible. But personally, I think they should come back here until they are ready for university”

“Let’s pray about it for direction” Farida concluded

“What did you just say?”

“Why do you want me to always repeat what I said? You heard me. What is wrong with it?”

“I just want to confirm I am not dreaming. You need to share with me. What happened to you?”

“Nothing. I found my roots; I found Allah”

“I know. You pray five times a day?”

“Religiously. I don’t joke with it”

“I am proud of you. Very proud of you. I knew you would find your way. I’m so glad we both are a light in our path our children can follow”

“Not just our children. We have to touch other lives too. We can only do this be being a good example for them to follow. That is the best way to lead others to God and the path of righteousness”

“You are absolutely correct. By my actions people can see a difference in me and they tell me. I have to be careful what I do or say around people so they are not misled by my actions and utterances. It is not an easy task”

“But a lifestyle change will send the message. Monica knows I will never stock very revealing clothes. If you want such, there are stores you can get them but not our brand. I told her we should deviate from clothes and do strictly accessories. She insisted on the clothing promoting our heritage. As long as it is within my standard, who am I to complain?”

“We both agree on the same things which is a solid foundation for our marriage. Farida, I want this marriage to work. Please I need your support. When I am wrong, correct me with love not by ignoring me or nagging at me and I will do same. If I or you do the opposite, the other party will point it out. I promise not to be abusive to you in anyway. I will take care of all my responsibilities and be a support for all you set out to do. I will never be an obstacle in your way or a clog in your wheel. I need you to promise me same. When I have a revelation and share it with you, never ever discard it. I will also not belittle yours. This will save us and our family for unnecessary troubles. Let us decide now what we want in this family and document it so we can show each other where we signed off on our agreement before we went ahead”

“That’s fine by me. We should write out every aspect we can recall now and discuss them and reach an agreement. Is that ok?”

“Yes. One more thing. Farida, please don’t deny me sex and I wouldn’t deny you except when we have agreed to set apart time to pray. I can’t demand sex during Ramadan and you will know when I am fasting and agree to the abstinence for that period. And no holds barred. Our bedroom is a no judgment zone. We shall explore and enjoy this gift which God gave us within marriage. We both enjoy sex with each other; I want it to get even better than what we are experiencing. We wouldn’t need to watch immoral movies to earn; we shall explore on our own and discover what we both enjoy doing”

Farida looked at him in surprise. Wale had taken their discussion into another dimension. She didn’t expect this aspect to come up but she was also glad it did. She had also made up her mind Wale was her last bus stop. Even death won’t separate her from him. She was never going to have another lover after him. They were compatible sexually and she wanted to maintain that. She didn’t want anything to interfere with that.

They both sat down and drew a roadmap for a successful marriage. It took them until almost midnight to conclude. It was very detailed and was written clearly. They covered every aspect including individual responsibilities, extended family and the children. it took forever but now they knew what they wanted, how they would go about it and the final outcome expected. They made room for errors along the way and conflict resolution strategies. They were intentional about getting married and were determined it would work for both of them as they were now operating at the same level

Wale’s mother insisted on a big wedding. She said it was Wale’s choice to marry someone that was married before so he couldn’t deprive her of her celebration. His father tried to explain to her but it hit a brick wall. She was adamant on getting her way by hook or by crook. She called Wale and told him so herself.

Wale expected the opposition but wasn’t prepared for how to handle it. He didn’t want to drag Farida into the matter but his mother did. She called Iya Farida and expressed her desire. Iya Farida expected this battle but unlike Wale she was ready.

“Iya Wale, you want a big engagement so all your friends can attend and wear aso ebi? It is good. You can do that. Get your friends to support your son but then when you bury him in five years let them wear that same aso ebi to the funeral”

“What did you say? God forbids. My Adewale will never die. Five years ke? Who said so?”

“Iya Wale, you are a Yoruba woman that moves around. I know all about you. Why are you so careless in the area of your only son? Why haven’t you made enquiries about your son? You are hellbent on exposing him to the world meanwhile both of them decided to do everything small and very intimate so the wicked will see the work of God. Wake up o! They don’t want crowd and I respect their wishes. Respect it too”

Iya Wale was confused by all she had heard. She had stopped consulting ifa priests and others as she had promised Wale she would. Now she got a message that was very disturbing. Where did they get the message from? She decided to consult and get the right information. When she did, she was warned never to fight or argue with her new wife as she will take their family name to very great heights. She was also advised not to interfere in their marriage and whatever decisions they take. She wasn’t happy at all. She wondered how she was going to entertain her guests without inviting them to the wedding. She had bragged about her son and his upcoming wedding. She had to find a way around it.

Wale made preparations for his wedding. He invited strictly close family and friends. He ensured the entertainment of the guest would be topnotch but he restricted the number to fifty people. His outfit was made by Farida. He allowed her take charge of his dressing as she had successfully fattened him in three weeks. He looked much better. While she handled the wedding preparations, he made arrangements for the honeymoon. He wanted them to have a wonderful time together. They had applied for their registry marriage in the UK.

Iya Farida was glad. Her joy knew no bounds that at last Farida was marrying the man God had ordained for her. He had been right there and Farida missed him the first time. Now it would be forever. She was blessed; her children were blessed. Everyone of them had settled down. Who was she to complain? She was very comfortable now. She wanted to retire and move back to Ilorin to be with her mother. It was Farida the sowed the idea of her starting a school in Ilorin. She mentioned it to her children and the structure was already in process. All her children contributed to her project. She decided to put off retiring until the school was ready. This is definitely be a good legacy she can leave for her children as all of them are members of the board.

Farida’s father had been ill for some days before she travelled to prepare for the engagement. He was hospitalized and finally brought back home as the doctors said there was really nothing they could do for him again. Iya Farida was scared his illness will make them postpone the engagement but her brother-in-law assured her everything will go as planned.

Farida arrived Ilorin two days to her engagement ceremony. She visited her uncle but refused to visit her father. Since her wedding to Sam she hadn’t seen her father. she still bore a lot of animosity towards him. She went to stay with her grandmother who was happy to have her.

Farida’s first night in Ilorin, she had a dream. She watched a man fall into a hole. She quickly caught him and tried to pull him up but he said to her, “This is my fate. All I need from you is your forgiveness. Once you forgive and let me go then I will find eternal rest and Allah will forgive me all my sins”

‘Who am I that I should forgive you your sins? There is no greater forgiveness than that of Allah. Ask him for forgiveness” Farida replied in the dream.

“I have asked him but he said until you forgive me and release me from animosity I will never find rest”

“But I don’t know you. What have you done to offend me?”

“Look at me very well Farida omo mi”

As Farida turned to look, she woke up. She tried to understand the dream but she couldn’t. She got distracted with preparations.

Wale’s mother went back to her husband to discuss the wedding guest list. She asked him to remove family members and include her close friends. Wale’s father refused and told her to hands off the engagement or she would live to regret it. She was confused on what to do. She called Wale and talked to him about challenge. She pleaded with him to allow her friends come in good number; she would entertain them.

“Have you prayed by yourself about this engagement? I mean have you called on God concerning this issue you are raising? If you claim you have, what did he say to you? Mum, I am your only son and last child. Why do you want to expose me to the wicked ones? What have I done to deserve what you have planned for me? I want a small wedding. Farida and I have agreed on it. We shall be blessed immensely if we follow the will of God. Why do you want to stand in the way of our progress? I can’t stop you from coming with your entourage but I will say this, talk to God first before you crash my wedding with your friends. By the way, what are you using to welcome Farida as it is our family custom?”

The words sunk deep into Iya Wale’s heart and truly she sought God. She didn’t hear anything but she had peace and made a decision. Clearly, she saw that she could throw a reception in their honour in Lagos without them being in attendance. She hadn’t thought of anything to welcome Farida with. When she mentioned her idea and for a reception in their absence and also Farida’s gift, he told her he had gotten her a gift, she should do hers. Iya Wale called her lace supplier. She filled two trunk boxes with laces and gele. She bought coral beads to go with the laces. She smiled at all she had accomplished her task.

On the morning of the wedding, Farida woke up to do her prayers. She had a strong conviction to go to her father’s house. She went there. She surprised herself by going into her father’s house. His last wife was with him. He was like a vegetable; he couldn’t move or talk. He peed and pooed in the same spot. Farida went in to see him. for the first time in a long time he smiled. The smile was heartfelt. Farida smiled back and held his hand. The wife was telling her how surprised she was he was smiling when he opened his mouth and said to Farida, “Omo mi”. That was all. He smiled, squeezed her hand tightly then closed his eyes. His hand lost its grip in a few seconds. Farida and the wife were confused until his head dropped to the side. The wife wanted to scream but Farida stopped her. Still holding on to his hand, she called her uncle. He came in and saw the situation. He sent for the doctor who then confirmed him dead.

He called for a meeting with family members. They decided to keep quiet about it until after the engagement and he will be buried immediately after. Only the wives and Farida knew. Farida wondered if she wanted to go ahead with the wedding. She had just witnessed someone die and she was just numb. She couldn’t cry or shout or be said. He called her “Omo mi” just like the dream. Was that his way of asking for forgiveness? Immediately, she prayed forgiving him all he had done to her and her family. She realized she still harboured deep rooted animosity. She blamed him for something sinister. If he wasn’t a monster, how could he, through his actions, have allowed such happen to her? She had forgiven him now. She had another task to perform; she had to tell Wale.

She got to the hotel and went straight to Wale’s room ensuring no family member saw her. Wale wondered what Farida came to see him about. Did she have cold feet at the last minute? She looked troubled and he prayed in his heart it wasn’t bad news.

‘I have something to tell. Something I have been hiding from the world. I have never told anybody”

“What is it Farida?”

“I was raped when I was 9 years old living in abject poverty. If I didn’t work, we couldn’t eat. A neighbor in that compound defiled me but he only did it once. Maami threatened him and he never did it again. Maami made me understand the stigmatization I will face if anyone ever discovered I was raped. I told Sam about after it when our marriage crashed. I am telling you now because I want to us to begin our lives on an honest slate”

“I knew about the rape. I knew you were raped but didn’t have the details. I was just glad Sam wasn’t your first but the beast also didn’t deserve to be your first. Well, many years have gone by since then and you have been blessed with a fresh start in life. Let’s make the best of the rest of our lives”

“My father died this morning” Farida said emotionless.

“What?”

“He held my hand, smiled and called me omo mi before he passed”

“What are we going to do?”

“My uncle said we should go ahead with the engagement and I agree with him. He will be buried in the evening after the ceremony. We are keeping it quiet”

“How are you doing?”

“I am fine. I watched him die. One minute he was smiling the next he was gone. This life has no meaning”

“He is in a better place. I wonder why this wasn’t revealed to me”

“It was revealed to me. I have to go now. Urge your family to be early so we would conclude on time. I want to be present at his burial”

“Not a problem. Tell your family too. Go and get set. I will see you off”

He saw her off to the car she came with. He could see she was distant because of what she experienced early. He squeezed her hand and she looked t him. he smiled and said to her, “Everything is going to be alright”. That was when the tears came down. She let them flow until she got home. She took a bath and got ready for her engagement ceremony. Today was a special day; it was the end of an era and the beginning of another.

The engagement ceremony went well. It was swift. Wale’s father co-operated with his in-laws to ensure it went well. When Farida was presented to Wale’s family, Wale’s father brought out a box. He said to Wale, ‘Do you remember the day that guy Sam gave Farida a bracelet and you were upset about it?”

“Yes sir”

“I made this gold bangles for her. I made one for each year since that year counting down until the day she would be yours. I have fifteen bangles here because it took fifteen years to get to this point. Wale had loved you from the day he met you and he told me so. You transformed his life and made him want to be a better man. He cried when he discovered you wanted to marry Sam. He didn’t eat for days. I believed that in the end love will conquer all and it did. Here you are in our presence. Both of you are way different from where you started; you have grown in every aspect of life. What is left is together forever. Farida please reciprocate this love that began more than fifteen years again and let it be a story people will love to tell; a love the passed the test of time”

Tears were in Farida’s eyes as she took the bangles. They were solid gold plain bangles. They weighed a ton. Farida wore all of them on her wrist went on her knees and hugged her father-in-law. Then she hugged her mother-in-law. She turned to Wale in the presence of everyone and hugged him. he returned the hug. People didn’t have an idea what was going on but Farida and Wale were in a world of their own.

After the engagement, Farida and Wale went to Farida’s father’s grave side with others to pay their last respect to him. Her mother was shocked she knew her father was dead and still went ahead with the engagement. She was also surprised to see Wale’s father and his brothers there. Wale told his father before the engagement and he appreciated the family for not cancelling the ceremony in order to mourn. They were all there, the entire family, to bid him goodbye.

Farida stayed back for the eight day prayers after which she travelled to Northampton with Wale for the registry. Farida wore a simple and pretty peach coloured dress. It was a long cold shoulder fitted dress. It was elegant. She had on her hair a beautifully crafted fascinator which was made with original feathers and flowers. She carried a small bunch of flowers Wale gave her that morning.

Wale wore a nave blue suit with a light blue shirt and a royal blue tie. The combination was sweet and attractive. She paired them with a pair of tan shoes. He looked good and felt even better. The final step to sealing the deal was finally here.

Monica came with the children to the court house to join them. She didn’t attend the engagement because she had to stay back and attend to business and the children. Now she was there as a witness; herself and Hugh were witnesses. Farida brought her mother and grandmother while Wale’s mother and father were also present. They did it quietly and after the pronouncement, they went to the studio to take more pictures. After which they had a sumptuous lunch in their home.

Iya Wale presented her gift to Farida. She showed her the picture of her two trunk boxes filled with laces which had been shipped to Abuja until they come back. she came with three of the laces and a set of coral beads. “Welcome to d family” she announced to Farida. Farida went on her knees to thank her. She was returning to Nigeria that night as she would be having a reception for their wedding in Lagos. They would not be present. They both wished her well.

Alhaji apologized for missing the engagement ceremony. He gave the couple a gift. He gave them a house in Jabi district. It had also been furnished to their taste. This was clearly God at work. I knew the area the house was and expressed his gratitude. They didn’t need to buy a house anymore. Farida asked Wale to put all his houses up for rent while they moved into a better house.

Maami and Iya Agba stayed back to help Kufre while Farida was away on honeymoon. There minds were at rest as long as the two women were around. Monica could travel out for the business while they stayed. It was the best decision they took.


FARIDA

PART 77 ( FINAL)

They arrived Greece and went to the hotel. They got refreshed and went sightseeing. Wale didn’t know how to start; it had been a while they were crazy together. He had come prepared with protection; no more pregnancies. He actually waited for Farida to make the first move and was disappointed she didn’t. He had told God how much he wanted a fulfilling sex life within marriage so he wouldn’t be tempted outside. His main problem was having sex in the confines of what is approved by God. He hadn’t received any revelation concerning it. He knew they had agreed on no holds barred but he also had reservations about certain things but he refused to bring it up.

That night, after dinner, Farida made a special brewed tea for them to help them relax. She then took a shower and prepared for bed. Wale also had a bath and joined her. His mind had been racing since the registry wedding but they agreed to wait until they went on honeymoon. Now they were here together, there was nothing stopping them from consummating their marriage.

Farida could sense Wale was shy. She made the first move. She planted a kiss on his lips and then his neck and slowly she went down leaving a trail of gentle kisses all over his body. It felt so awesome. She helped him take off his pyjamas bottom which was the only thing he had on. He was ready. She went down on him. He wondered how he had stayed without this for this long. He was hungry and eager. At a point he pulled her away and to himself. It went crazy from there. They were lost in their world. He couldn’t understand if it was the same sensation he felt before; this felt different. It was amazing and it drove him crazy. He also craved Farida reaction as he had always imagined it and she didn’t disappoint him. Her moans sounded deeper and louder than ever. It was different and well worth the wait. They were at it for almost an hour. Eventually, they were spent. Wale forgot he came with three packs of condoms in the heat of the moment. “You need to take the morning after pill. We can’t afford to get pregnant”

“There is no need for that. I am on an herb that will prevent conception. How was it?”

“Amazing! It was a billion times better than what I was expecting”

“I just sampled one of my products with you. I have to agree, it gave both of us the satisfaction we wanted and more”

“What was that?”

“I will be launching it soon”

“Farida! You had to use us for your sample?”

“Who is best to use? I can only have sex with you so be prepared, I will use us to test all my products”

“As long as they do not have side effects”

“We use this particular herb but not in the way I have discovered it can be used and be this effective”

Wale cuddled up behind Farida and held her tight. “I can’t believe you are here in my arms. I have missed you. You are my wife; what we just did sealed our fate. I want to be with you forever and ever. I love you and will always love you”

“I love you too Wale. Can I ask a question?”

“Go ahead”

“What your father said about you loving me from that first time you met me was it true? I mean, you told him about us?”

“I did. I told him everything. He knew from the time I changed. When I told him the truth about my WAEC and Jamb, he knew I was being influenced positively. When he met you, he understood why I loved you and he assured me you will be mine; here we are”

“Did you discuss intimate stuff with him?”

“I told him when we first made out. Then I couldn’t help but share with him when we first made love. He was happy for me”

“I feel embarrassed”

“You shouldn’t be”

The rest of the honeymoon was spent exploring both Greece and their bodies. They had so much fun that they wished they could remain like that forever.

After her honeymoon, her mother contacted to let her know she had a share in her father’s property. It was shocking to her he left something to them after disowning them. They received a house and money as their mother’s share. In addition, Farida was given a land. Her father specifically gave her the property. She appreciated him singling her out to bless her but she didn’t know why. Why did he treat her special? Well, he wasn’t there to explain but his decision couldn’t be challenged. The land was in a strategic location and could be put to good use.

Wale and Farida moved the family to Abuja. They decided to live with their children under their care. Wale resumed work while Farida continued her business. She was still under tutelage of Iya Agba while selling some of the herbs she had mastered their usage. She was the Herb Queen. She discovered she didn’t need to export her products outside Nigeria. She gave out some free samples and the orders came in. At a point she couldn’t handle the demand. She hit her first N10million profit in just three months of production. It scared her. Everything was moving too fast and too well.

Monica’s father gave Farida a brand-new Mercedes benz as her wedding gift. Even though he couldn’t make it to the wedding due to his health, he knew he owed Farida a gift and delivered it to her. Farida was ecstatic and very grateful. He cried at losing her as a daughter-in-law but Farida assured him he had gained her as a daughter. She resolved not to be distant from Monica’s family. This family gave her opportunities she could have only dreamt of. Even though things didn’t work out with Sam, she was a part of this family before he came along. She was taking that position back.

Sam had a second stroke. This time around there was no guarantee he would recover. He was a vegetable. Idara was saddled with the responsibility of caring for him. His mother came to see her son and fainted. She was saddled with two people to cater to. She called Papi and asked him to come for them. Idara was tired and fed up with the responsibility bestowed on her. To worsen it, Sam’s mother was making life excessively difficult for her. She blamed her for every damn thing. When she wasn’t blaming her, she was calling Farida. It got so bad that Idara abandoned Sam with his mother, packed her three children and left the country. No one knew where she went to.

Sam’s mother had to take over the responsibility of caring for her son. He wasn’t recovering and his care was costing so much over there. She didn’t have access to Sam’s finance and his father refused to listen to her. She brought Sam back to his house in Uyo, she employed a nurse to take care of him. She also decided to try the local treatment. One month into the treatment, he was able to talk and recognize people. But he still wasn’t able to walk. The treatment was ongoing.

Farida got to know about Sam’s ailment from Monica. She had an herb which would help him. She contacted Monica. Monica encouraged her to go and see Sam and give them the herb. When she got there, Sam’s mother brought down the roof. She accused Farida of charming her son and putting him in the condition he was in. She said without mincing words, “Shove that thing up your arse”. Farida was shocked at her reaction. She threatened Farida and insisted Farida leaves and doesn’t come back. Farida left praying he doesn’t lose his life as his condition was pathetic. Monica couldn’t get her mother to change her mind. She advised Farida to allow her stay with her son and treat him the best way she felt.

Monica announced they were having a baby. She and Hugh were excited about the news. They all shared in Monica’s joy. Farida had to take over flying all over the world to select new pieces while learning the mysteries of herbs. It was tasking as well as fulfilling.

Iya Wale came to visit them in Abuja after they had all settled down. It was decision they took so she could get to know Farida. She was shocked at where they lived and the affluence they enjoyed. At such close contact, she found out who Farida really is. She loved all the children equally and shared a special bond with Morenike as she was the child who will always sneak to sleep with her in her room. Farida did not hide the fact she was a staunch Muslim. She prayed five times a day in the full glare of everyone. The children joined in some of the prayers. They also joined their father for the morning and evening devotion. Farida joined them for moral support. Iya Wale marveled at what she saw. Her son looked happy and fulfilled. He went to work and came in good time every day. He gave the children their night bath every evening. When he was around and they all ate as a family. When he was not at home, the family adjusted. She stayed with them for three months and wondered how people could live in such co-operation, peace and harmony.

It was simple, they had agreed on how they wanted to live as a married couple. They sat down together and prepared a blueprint on how they would go about it. They researched on every aspect of marriage and together decided how they wanted it to work. They operated a mix of traditional and contemporary in their home.

Wale took care of the children as much as Farida did. They had good hands but both of them were involved in everything concerning the children. They had agreed no favourites amongst. Unfortunately, Morenike had chosen hers and it was difficult not to reciprocate the love. School was done by Farida or the nanny with a driver when she is not around. Wale made breakfast on weekends and helps to get them ready for church on Sundays. They had a timetable for all their activities and with Kufre; it worked.

They had an account; a joint account for the family expenses. Every month, quarter as the case maybe, they pay the portion of their agreed contribution into the account. Most of the time they had things in excess as Farida plans way ahead. They never lack anything except fresh vegetables and meat. Bills are sorted by Farida and they were always in credit. Wale didn’t have anything to worry about, she took the load off him as she was an entrepreneur.

They gave individually to support family or for family functions. For special occasions, there is an agreed amount they would spend as gift. For contributions, it is done as a family. Farida’s two brothers were doing very well so they contributed towards their mother’s project on a monthly basis. They would start work immediately they had enough to take the job to a certain stage. Farida’s contribution is known and approved by her husband. During festive period, their individual families receive cows, bags of rice, and others. They get them equally. Farida knew what Wale was giving to his family and Wale knew what Farida was giving to her family. They were open and sincere with each other.

Wale and Farida planned their day together and spoke with each other most of the day. This kept them in each other’s thoughts. Farida couldn’t be away for more than a week at a stretch. They talked like the friends they were and are. Issues are easily resolved between them. They didn’t show openly they were romantically involved but they were kind and caring towards each other. Sex never starts from the bedroom; they build on it from morning until they are together. They talked about their fantasies and the ones that was comfortable to explore they did, others just remained fantasies and they realized not all fantasies become reality.

Farida was called the Herb Queen and Wale asked her to use the name for her products. She registered her products with NAFDAC and also got an export licence. She had registered only three products and still had a lot to learn before she could boast of knowing the efficacy of the herbs. With these three products, she was raking in millions. Wale supported her. 20% of the profit was credited to Iya Agba. She rejected the money. She said knowledge is passed down freely; what Farida does with that knowledge is her gain. She only accepted the things Farida would ordinarily give her.

Wale worked for the family and also for Alhaji. He had started constructing estates for him too. Alhaji tried to convince Wale to join politics but Wale, being aware of the dirty game involved, declined respectfully. He was content with the monies he made doing legitimate business. He was not greedy neither was he interested in humanitarian service such as which were offered by politicians. Alhaji was determined to support Wale. He referred him to many of his friends. Wale had so much on his hands and also had competent hands to handle the various projects. He was very content with what he had.

When Monica had her baby, a girl, they structured their business properly. They brought in a General Manager to oversee the running of the business. This would afford Monica time to enjoy being a new mum. Also, Farida had decided to step back her activities in the company so she could focus on her herb business. It was raking in more than she could have ever imagined. Even Wale was shocked at the acceptance and crazy sales. Distributors flooded their business office in Abuja, they couldn’t even meet demands. Farida was soaring and Wale was right with her.

Iya Wale prepared to leave Wale’s house. She had been thoroughly schooled on how a family should be. She was glad her son chose Farida. Farida was calm, very down to earth and painfully honest. There was no pretence around her. The way she treated Wale with respect was admirable. Wale reciprocated. She had tried to talk to Wale at night or in the evening but she discovered once they enter the room at night, they do not attend to anyone. She had to ask Farida the best time to discuss with her son and she told her Saturday mornings. It worked. They were a good team and they were raising their children right.

As she was leaving, Iya Wale gave Farida a jewelry box filled with jewelries. She told her she loved and appreciated her. Wale had credited her account with a good sum of money from both of them while Farida gave her items from her collections during the three months. She was happy. Her grandchildren were doing very well. There was nothing more to do but pray for the success of the union.

Iya Wale was informed Tomiwa was in Nigeria. She didn’t bother to check on her or even ask after her daughter. She sent word to her to see her immediately. When Tomiwa came to see her; she told her how disappointed she was in her. She didn’t behave like a mother. She advised Tomiwa to visit her daughter as the child would soon forget her. She let her know Farida was doing a great job but one day the child will know Farida is not her mother and she will be told she gave her up for financial gains which was the truth. She should visit her child and let her know she is her mother.

Tomiwa, in her defense, had an agreement with Wale which she didn’t want to flunk. What Iya Wale said made a lot of sense so she decided to try and see her daughter. She called and asked Wale if she could visit her daughter as she was in town. Wale told her to give him a day to discuss with Farida. Tomiwa took offence. Why would he have to discuss with Farida before letting her see her child? It was offensive to her but she held her peace waiting for him to get back. When he did, he told her Farida would like to host her when she comes around so she should discuss with Farida on a convenient day she could come.

“Why do her have to talk to her? I am talking to her father; you should give Farida my date”

“Tomiwa, Farida is Morenike’s mother. She has been her mother since you chose money over her. She determines everything concerning the children with my approval. She has said you are welcome to see your child and she would host you. But I personally would like to give you some ground rules. You are not visiting with Morenike alone, she has three brothers and a sister. You are visiting all of them, don’t single her out. She doesn’t understand the difference for now and I am not ready for her to. If you bring anything specially for Morenike give it to Farida and not to the child. Respect Farida; it is her house and her children”

Tomiwa was shocked at his instructions. He never mentioned anything about being there. Even though she knew he was now married to Farida, she wanted to show him how she looked now. She had improved on everything about herself. She had a Masters’ degree and a very good job. She was dating an Australian, hopefully it would lead to marriage. The man had mentioned not wanting to have kids. It was something they had to talk about if they were tying the knot. She hasn’t confided in him yet about having a child; she had been silent on that.

Tomiwa came to see her daughter. In all honesty, it wasn’t Morenike she came to see. She was at the gate with the security who called in to find out if she was expected. Tomiwa was ushered into a massive compound. There were three cars parked in the compound including a white Mercedes benz. She walked to the door of the house and she was ushered in. She was offered a seat in the sitting room downstairs. They brought an array of drinks and snacks for refreshment. She didn’t believe she was in Wale’s house. How did Wale become this big? How could he afford to live in such a house? As she wondered, Farida came downstairs with her children. There were five of them. Tomiwa saw Morenike, she was different in looks from the others. Farida looked so gorgeous. She was still the same; no one would believe she had two sets of twins. She was beautiful. She saw clearly what Wale saw then and didn’t want to let go.

Farida exchanged pleasantries with Tomiwa and asked if she would like to eat anything but Tomiwa declined. Farida introduced the children to her and asked them to call her Aunt Tomiwa. Tomiwa watched how her daughter clung to Farida. She never wanted her out of her sight. She could feel their bond. She felt like an intruder. Her child looked good, very healthy and loved. What else did she want? She knew she would have to forget Morenike and move on with her new life. Wale was right; Farida was her mother.

Farida got a frantic call from Monica. She picked up still sleepy when she heard, “Farida, Sam and my mum are dead”

Farida jumped out of the bed and screamed, “What?”

“Please fly down and check on my father for me. I was told he didn’t take the news well. He has been hospitalized”

“How did they die?”

“Sam died in his sleep. Immediately he was confirmed dead, mother suffered a massive heart attack and died before she was taken to the hospital”

“This is sad”

“Please, my father is all I have left, go and check on him?”

Early in the morning, Farida left for Lagos. She got to the hospital and Monica’s father was in a terrible condition. His wife explained how it all happened. Farida spoke with the doctor and he assured her he would be fine which she shared with Monica.

He was there for ten days. Some days were better than other days. Eventually, he began to have a reason to live. Sam was not an only child and he had grown up children and grandchildren who loved him. Farida promised to bring her children often to see him so he would be happy. Luckily for him, the stroke did not affect any part of his body.

Farida attended their funerals with Wale, the twins, his two brothers and their mother. It was a sad moment for everyone. It afforded Farida time to reminisce about her relationship with Sam. He did terrible things to her. But he was also good to her sometimes. Why did he have to die so young?

His mother was buried in her family home. Papi attended the funeral, so did Idara. She didn’t seem to be mourning with the way she was behaving during the reception. In her defence, Idara said it was long coming. They had been warned a second heart attack might be fatal. It happened again and then a third one which led to his death. Now that Sam was gone, she was ready to move back to Nigeria and raise her children with all the help she can get. She had survived this long by the grace of God and Papi help. It was time to stop running and start living since Sam is gone.

Sam was given a state burial. People from far and near were present. They read out his biography and people had wonderful things to say about him. Farida was asked to speak and she looked for a way to speak about him without speaking ill of the dead. She prayed about it and asked Wale to pray with her. Finally, she wrote something that she and Wale believed would portray who Sam really was. She mounted the podium in the presence of everyone and said,

“Sam was a go-getter. Sam gets what Sam wants and it becomes a problem if he doesn’t. Sam had served in various capacities at the state level and many can attest to his brilliance. Sam desperately wanted to be in the house of reps and he achieved it even when the odds were against him. Sam gets what Sam wants. Saying Sam was a good man wouldn’t be a lie. There are many here whose lives he touched. There are many he did so much for and without accepting anything in return. He had saved many people from poverty and from bondage.
The downside was that Sam never knew when to stop. He didn’t know when to draw the line. He learnt the hard way. I was divorced from Sam before his demise but I have him to thank for the first set of twins I have. I am grateful for them. Our years together was not a waste. He apologized to me before his death and I hold no grievance against him. I would have preferred he was alive for our twins, for his beautiful wife Idara and their children but all we can do now is celebrate his short but meaningful life filled with lessons for us all. I pray Allah grants him eternal rest”.

The funeral struck a cord on Farida. Farida decided to empty her potentials on planet earth before she dies. Everyone around her was happy. She was living the life she had always dreamt of and better still, she was part of her success story. She had made a good name for herself with the continuous study of the herbs and spices. She built an enviable business from the manufacture and sales of her various herbs and spices. Anything could happen at anytime and so she began to write a memoir of her life for people to know her. She decided to write her story.

Farida was grateful for where she was and where she was going. It was just a matter of time and all she planned would be accomplished. She never envisaged she would be a mother of five children; it never crossed her mind but now she was a mother, a business owner, a wife to a loyal and supportive husband. She had gotten her doctorate degree. Wale’s father was building a university in Abuja and wanted Farida to represent him on the board and also work there. It looked like a good opportunity to share all she had learnt but at the same time, she was still a student under the tutelage of Iya Agba who also asked her to register for Iya Agba agbo’s classes too. She found herself attending local school just to learn and it was worth it. Wale asked her to thing about the offer, the ball was in her court. She loved to impact knowledge and would love to lecture. She would manage her time when the time comes.

Farida had come a long way. She had dreams which initially sounded selfish but as time went on, the dream began to take better for and they became reality. She passed to trials and challenges to get to where she is today. She made mistakes; grave mistakes lived with the consequences. Farida had high morals which she lowered for the one she loved and in return, he didn’t abuse but nurtured it. Their unique friendship and love helped them weather various storms. Many family members admired their relationship and marriage. They consider their partners before doing anything. Having a plan before marriage and drawing up a blueprint of how you want the marriage work is more important than planning a wedding. Farida and Wale knew this and decided to make their marriage work. They are still together.

Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, affirm it daily and work towards it. We can be whoever we decide to be. It is never too late.

The End.🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿

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CIA SUPPORT

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