Uncle Karim’s house is the biggest and only grey building on Euphrates Street. His staff are always busy with work, one can see his housemaids moving around the building in their colourful uniforms from the other houses across the street. His wife, Jemilah works with the Department of State Services. Just like her husband, she is famous for her hard work and dedication to her job.
No one believed they were going to get married. To the surprise of everyone, he married her within two months of their relationship. The marriage has been almost peaceful, except for the fact that they are yet to finally agree on something.
Jemilah: “Yes, yes…yea I can hear you. Ok….thank you, thank you so much Sir” she drops the call. “Faaaaith! She calls one of the maids. “As soon as Mai Gida comes call me, I’ll be in my room”
Housemaid: “Ok, Madam. I fit comot the chicken from freezer?”
Jemilah: “Yes, you can”
Faith returns to the kitchen to continue the domestic chores.
Tears roll down Jemilah’s cheeks as she sits beside the praying mat after praying Maghreb. Uncle Karim comes in and kisses her on the forehead. She quickly wipes her tears and hugs him.
Uncle Karim:”Baby na, how did your day go? This Buhari government will not allow my wife stay at home and take care of her husband.” He smiles
Jemilah: “Haba Mai Gida, I’ve been home. Atleast I got home before you.” She smiles back.” There is something I need us to talk about, I know we have discussed this before but it’s important we talk about it again…”
Uncle Karim: “What is the problem? Can’t it wait? I just got back after a long day.” he asks, folds his arms and leans on the dressing table
Jemilah: “…I want a baby!” she announces
Uncle Karim: “You want what?” he stands upright
Jemilah: “Yes, I want to have my own child. I want to know how it feels to get pregnant, I want to have my own baby just like every other woman” she cries and holds his shirt tight
Uncle Karim: “We cannot have a baby, I mean, not now. You have everything you’ve always wanted; a house that makes you feel you are in paradise, servants at your beck and call, and a job- the type you’ve always wished for…what else do you want?”
Jemilah: “ A child! That is what I want. Can’t you look around you? You think money is everything? How do you even feel with all these wealth and no children? Who are we even making the money for if we don’t have children of our own? I don’t want to die a lonely woman. I insist, Mai Gida, I want children”
Uncle Karim: “We will have children, but not now. Let’s leave this topic for another day. Is dinner ready? I’m starving” he holds her close as he feels her tears drop on his chest.
Jemilah: “I am not getting any younger. Can’t you see? Please, allow me have my own child even if it is only one. Dan Allah, Mai Gida.” she moves away from him to enable him take a proper look at her body.
Uncle Karim: “You are still young and attractive, my Queen. Your car has been fixed. Tell Kadir to see me in my room as soon as he comes…And don’t over work that little brain of yours”
Jemilah: “Mai Gida, is that it? You pay very little attention to something so important…this is our lives, Mai Gida…I am giving you tonight to think about it. Please do not push me.” She warns as he walks out on her.
Jemilah does not fail to observe her husband’s loss of interest in having children. She knows he is hiding something from her. Could he be impotent? ; But he is healthy and good in bed. Could it be that there is someone out there already having kids for her husband? No way! I will kill him, she says to herself.
Jemilah’s agonized thoughts are distracted by the maid,
Housemaid: “Madam, sorry o. I knock but you no talk”
Jemilah: “It’s ok. What do you need?”
Housemaid: “Me, need? Noooo, I no need anything o. Na Oga need something”
Jemilah: “Mai Gida?”
Housemaid: “ Yes, Madam. In say e no dey chop again. In vex go sit don for bancony. In say in no dey sabi chop the kind food wey I serve am”
Jemilah: “What did you serve him?”
Housemaid: “The meat wey you talk say make I comot from freezer. I use am cook correct draw soup, Idoma people dey like the combination ehhn!”, she says confidently
Jemilah: “ You served him the chicken I asked you to take out of the freezer some minutes ago? You must be stupid. How did you even do that? How did you defrost it? And the idea of the draw soup? Who asked you to do that? Call me Bassey! Must I be there to instruct you people? Now get out of my sight before I lay my hands on you.”
The housemaid disappears at once. This is the only time Jemilah has to think about the solution to her matrimonial issues. Within her, she blames her busy work schedule for contributing to this. Thoughts on how to quit her job and remain at home to concentrate on building her home run through her mind, but she is yet to achieve something; right from her primary school days, her teachers have known her to be the kind of child who never gives up on whatever she puts her mind to. Even her parents, while alive, complained about her acting like a man. Sometimes she would pursue a difficult task and refuse to give up until she is satisfied.
Now, she is ready to quit her job to save her family but not until she makes a heroic achievement in the course of her service to her country. She consoles herself that, very soon, she will be that woman she has always wanted to be; the super mom and a patriotic Nigerian. Fully loaded with these thoughts, she goes into the bathroom to perform ablution for the Isha prayer; she knows that without strict adherence to the rules of the Holy Qur’an, her dreams may never come to reality.
Jemilah: “Mai Gida thinks I am that dumb girl he married five years ago. He does not know what I am capable of. Hmmm, I have to do this as soon as possible, I really have to.” She says to herself as she completes her prayers.
Why is Uncle Karim refusing to have children? What could he be hiding from his wife? What are the steps Jemilah is about to take to fix her matrimonial issues? The next Episode will give us a lead…
…SEE Episode 7 Below
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