Today, the weather wasn’t just cold but also perfect. I had the best night with Naziha and I was practically satisfied.
One thing I liked about her these days was; even though she was aloof to me she never for once deprived me of my marital right. Whenever I needed her, she would make herself available…
“D–n!” I muttered as soon as I saw the time in the wall clock. I had overslept today probably because of the perfect moment I had with Naziha. She was still sleeping so I gently pecked her on her shoulder and withdrew from the bed.
The time was 6:40am, meaning I had missed fajr. I disliked missing fajr with the congregation because of the huge reward. Just as I was about performing a spiritual bath (Jannaba), I heard the sound of a horn. It was Faisal, my new driver. He had drove in with Humairah.
She arrived a little bit late. Her normal time was 6:00am to 6:30am (rarely), but reverse was the case today. Could it be that something bad happened to their car while on their way? I should go and ask her! I mulled over as I walked out of the room with just an undershirt and shorts. After all, I was even dehydrated!
The entire sitting room downstairs was saturated with the marvelous aroma of what Humairah had just began cooking. I gulped as I walked into the kitchen without Salaam. I deliberately did that to see how her reaction would be. As soon as she saw me, she quickly turned concentrating on what she was doing.
“Are you waiting for me to greet you?” I blurted out and that made her to jolt.
“Good morning, sir” She greeted.
“Morning” I huffed almost asking about their drive when I changed my mind. If there was anything I needed to know about it I should ask Faisal instead since he was the driver. “Can I get a glass of something please?” I wrinkled a brow.
“Oh, yeah!” She lowered the cooker and took a glass cup from the wall cabinet thus, walked to the freezer and brought out a chilled Zaki Apple Juice for me.
“No!” I quickly rejected it the fact that I was beginning to hate my father. Infact, I shouldn’t be seeing anything that had to do with him or his d–n company in my house henceforth… I mulled over.
“Huh?” She wrinkled her brows.
“I would rather drink water than that thing. Infact, get anything Zaki out of that freezer later, okey?” I ordered.
“Okey, sir” She nodded and quickly changed the Zaki Juice to a Can Coke.
“Now you’re talking, Humairah!” I said as I unhesitatingly grabbed it and left.
Naziha was still sleeping soundly in bed so I gently woke her up after having performed my own spiritual bath (Jannaba).
“My love, please don’t go back to sleep again. You need to go and take your bath, okey?” I said as I walked to the closet with a towel wrapped around my waist and changed into a jalabiya and a blue jeans trouser.
“You do not need to tell me what to do, Ahmad” She said as she lazily withdrew from bed and heeded towards the bathroom. “By the way, I hope you haven’t forgotten about our trip?”
“Actually, no but…” I was saying when Humairah knocked our door gently.
“Food is ready, sir and ma” She said.
“Alright!” I said and, thus, tuned to Naziha and continued. “The thing is…”
“We will talk about it in the dining room” She cut in as she walked into the bathroom. Time wasn’t by her side.
I did my fajr prayer, thus went straight to the dining area. Humairah had already arranged everything, she was the type of girl that does her things perfectly. I loved how she fried the eggs and Irish potatoes, and also how she made the tea so very thick.
My mouth was already watery. I couldn’t even wait for Naziha when I began eating. After all, I was a well known glutton!
“Hey!” Naziha said as she arrived soon later. She was in a unisex bathrobe.
“Hi” I smiled.
“So, what were you saying?” She said as she sipped her tea. “I’m listening to you”
“Actually, it is about our trip to that Mallam’s house. Do you think it is a good idea?” I wrinkled one of my brows.
“Unless if you don’t want us to have children, it is a good idea!” She said.
“Don’t get it wrong, Naziha. I just…”
“Ahmad dan Allah ka barni in huta. If you’re not coming with me I will go alone. After all, it is for the betterment of us and the Zaki family overall. If we can produce a heir for the family, baba will once again be happy with us and the company will be under our watch and control” She said as she wore a mischievous smile on her face.
“Okey” I muttered.
Thus, as soon as we were done eating, Naziha summoned Humairah. The girl appeared suddenly with a smile.
“Humairah, we are going out so try and do the chores and make sure everything is in order before we come back” Naziha said in a command tone.
“Alright ma” Humairah said as she began clearing the dining table.
“And again” Naziha cleared her throat and continued. “These days I really won’t be doing any work in this house so everything is now on you. Cleaning, mopping, cooking, and even washing our cloths. The washing machines are perfectly fine so you won’t have any problem with that. I hope you get it?”
I watched Naziha as she spoke out those words. She had in the past few days told me she was tired of doing even the simplest chore in the house. She was actually changing day by day and I couldn’t stop her. Can you object the woman you outrightly love? I actually couldn’t!
“Yes, ma” Humairah said in what seemed like a whisper. Her smile was gone already. I could tell she didn’t like the new system. I also didn’t like it too but what could I do? I should think!
She packed the table ware and left to the kitchen. Thus, Naziha and I went back to our room upstairs. I changed into my new caftan and wore a marched cap for it. Naziha was still glamouring herself in the mirror so I told her to meet me downstairs whenever she’s done.
While walking downstairs, my mind had concluded that I should look for another house help, someone to assist Humairah in everything. So I went straight to the kitchen to talk to her about it. She was washing the dishes when I salaamed in and leaned on the wall close to the door with my two hands in my pockets. She was surprised to see me even though I salaamed this time around. I loved how she used to drop her jaw in astonishment.
“Hi” I waved at her with a smile.
“Hi” She replied without a wave and turned her face away from me to continue with what she was doing.
“Are you sure you’re okey with what my wife said?” I wrinkled my right brow.
“Yeah!” She said
“Uhmmm!” I huffed and continued. “If you’re not okey with it I can hire someone to come and help you. I know it’s not easy, that’s why I’m saying this”
“Yeah, it’s not easy sir” She heaved a sigh and continued. “Can you hire Sarah?”
“Sarah?” I asked wondering if it was the Sarah I knew but it wasn’t her.
“Yeah, one of Kumbashi’s best chefs” She said as she gave me a glance.
“Alright then, I will do that” I said.
“Thank you, sir” she beamed.
I left the kitchen to the sitting room, and in less than 10mintutes Naziha met me downstairs and thus we embarked on our journey. It was a very long journey to Suleja. I pulled over as soon as we reached our destination which was a mud house. We salaamed inside and a boy ushered us to the Mallam. We amicably greeted him and he asked us to sit down on a white dried ram skin.
“Sannun ku da zuwa” He welcomed us with his kolanut stained teeth. He was wearing a dirty babban riga (known as the northern traditional attire).
“Yawwa, baba…” Naziha was the one that knew him very much so I stayed mute while she talked to him.
“Toh, bari mugani” He said after hearing all her stories. He brought out some beads and threw them on his mat. He asked her to pick one which she quickly did, thus he collected it from her and stared at it.
“I’m sorry” He said while shaking his head. “It is your destiny, Naziha. Nothing can change it…”
“Haba, baba!” Naziha exclaimed. “You’re telling me there is nothing you can do? You’ve done more than this to my friend, Safiyah years back!”
“Yes, that was then. Now, I don’t go beyond my limit. Just continue praying, maybe Allah will…” He was saying when she thundered him.
“Dan Allah yimin shiru! We came all our way from Minna and you’re telling us nonsense? Just help us even if it means going against Allah” She said.
That moment, my heart began beating fast. What had Naziha turned into? A monster or what? She had changed totally and I was already getting scared.
“I can’t go against Allah, Naziha. I had done so much sins in the past just to help people, but now gaskiya I…”
“Ahmad lets go, if he won’t help us someone will!” She exclaimed as she left the room without waiting for me.
Just as I was about standing to follow her, the mallam uttered something that baffled me.
“Ahmad, your wife is really turning evil and you must stop her even if it means divorcing her” He said.