No Blood (12)

They had a long discussion. He told her that his sterility was also an aftermath of the strange illness that caused the erectile dysfunction he had been working on since their marriage. He apologised for keeping such vital information from her and begged her to understand that it was not easy for him to admit his sterility to her.

“That is my story, special one,” he said. “Now you know why I said asking me for children is a tall order. Please, forgive me.”

She regarded him with tender eyes. “Well, my husband, it is not such a tall order as you think. There are ways to go about it.”

“What are you talking about?” he looked confused, “the situation is irredeemable.”

“It is not, my darling husband,” she smiled.

He looked on in confusion as she gave a download of the information she gathered from Aunty Teacher without disclosing the exact source of the information. He was reluctant at first, claiming that it would be a sheer waste of time and resources. However, after much prodding and subtle threats, he agreed.

Several months down the line, she had twin children, a boy and a girl. Everyone rejoiced, her co-wives inclusive. Alaran showered extravagant love on her and the children. She could not have asked for a better life. Time flew by so quickly and before she knew it, her twins were a year old. As expected, Alaran threw a big birthday party for his twin children; the talk of the neighbourhood.

The party went successfully well and everyone was exhausted by the time it came to an end. The twins managed to stay awake for their evening shower and by the time she was done putting them in their nightclothes, they were already half way to dream land. She smiled sweetly as she watched her children sleep, her heart filled with gratitude. After a while, she shut the door gently and went in search of her husband. He deserved some accolades.

She heard voices as she approached Alaran’s lounge. She thought he would be alone, seeing that they both bade the last visitor good bye. She moved closer and heard the third wife’s voice. Oh, of course! How could she forget that she and Alaran were not the only residents around. She laughed at herself. She decided to see Alaran later and was about turning back but the third wife chose that moment to raise her voice.

“You are a joker,” the third wife screamed at Alaran, “if you think you will not do as I say, you lie!”

She knew their quarrel was not her business but she stopped to listen all the same. She noticed earlier in the week that the third wife had been giving their husband attitude. She wondered what it was about and well, she figured that a little busy body would not do much harm or would it? She moved closer to the slightly opened door.

“Woman,” Alaran had no patience for his third wife’s trouble, “I am tired and want to sleep. As you can see, I had a very eventful day celebrating my twins.”

Third wife let out a long hiss. “Your twins indeed. When you stop deceiving yourself, you will let me know, but right now, you will give me the money I asked for.”

That statement caught her attention. What did the third wife mean? She had to hear more.

Alaran ignored third wife’s statement about the twins. “You think I pick money on the floor?”

“Perhaps! After all, you spend lavishly on your so-called twins.”

That reference to her children was there again. What was the third wife insinuating? She seemed to know everything about Alaran. What was she up to this time?

“Watch your tongue,” Alaran bellowed.

Third wife laughed sarcastically. “I am just starting with you. If you want me to watch my tongue, give me what I came for otherwise, my tongue will let loose.”

“Woman, what is your problem? You have been going on and on with this silly attitude all week. When I throw parties for your child, nobody makes the kind of noise you are making now.”

“My child is legitimate,” third wife sneered, “Why should anyone make noise about that?”

Legitimate? Did the third wife just call her children illegitimate? That was the last straw. She needed to put the woman in her place. Alaran jumped up from his seat before she could make a move. She stood transfixed.

“Get out of here,” Alaran wagged his finger at third wife, “get out before I…”

“Before you do what?” she eyed him maliciously. “If you try any nonsense, your secret will be out in a jiffy.”

“What secret are you talking about? I have no secret.”

“Oh yes, you do. You think I do not know those twins are not your children or have you forgotten that you cannot impregnate a woman?”

“Interesting! I can see that you are the gossip monger,” it was Alaran’s turn to laugh sarcastically. “Well, I am pleased to let you know that my special one and I found a medical solution, which produced our twins. Shame on you!”

Contemptuous laughter filled the room. “If I did not know any better, you would also fool me that all your children are medical miracles.”

Confusion registered on Alaran’s face.

“Do not get too confused, Mr. husband. I am well aware that none of your children are biologically yours. In fact, I am sure the twins are not related to you in any way. You need to ask that woman some serious questions about their paternity.”

What???

She could not take it anymore. She would not stand there and allow this woman insult her and her children. Once again, Alaran’s guttural sound stopped her in her tracks.

“You crazy woman! I forbid you to stop referring to my children like that.”

“You forbid nothing,” she jeered. “I am not even holding back anymore. I am spilling everything.”

And the secret came tumbling down.

Alaran had always been sterile. As much of a womanizer as he was back in his heydays, no woman ever turned up pregnant for him. He thought he was lucky. When he married his first wife and conception was not forthcoming after many trials, it dawned on him that there might be fire on his mountain. He decided to confirm, but not from a professional. He believed that once an outsider had that piece of information about him, he could not control the spread, even if an oath of confidentiality was sworn. He could not afford to mar his reputation, especially not with the ladies.

Alaran confided in his younger brother – his only brother. The duo agreed that Alaran would make his wife tipsy and his younger brother would sleep with her in the dark. If she became pregnant, it meant that Alaran was sterile. Indeed, Alaran’s wife became pregnant. They decided to try the ‘experiment’ a second time after Alaran’s trials proved abortive. Alaran’s first wife became pregnant again, and the conspiracy continued with second and third wife.

Alaran could not deny but wondered how his third wife knew so much. He asked her and more was revealed.

Alaran’s third wife happened to be his younger brother’s lover. He asked her to marry Alaran so he could get more money from him through her. She was few weeks pregnant when she got introduced to Alaran, and that was why she convinced him to hasten the marriage process. She also lied that she was a young widow so that there would be no question about her virginity. The plan was to get pregnant as many times as possible because Alaran paid his brother handsomely for every pregnancy. However, she had not been able to conceive after her first and only child, even though she was sleeping with Alaran’s brother on a regular basis.

Alaran staggered. Her words pierced him like dagger.

Fourth wife’s jaw dropped. Apparently, third wife lied to second wife that Alaran shared information about his sterility with her but she had always known, even before she married him. She also lied about not playing ‘away match’, which she had been doing from day one.

Third wife was not done. Alaran looked like he might suffer cardiwc arrest soon but she did not give a hoot. “By the way, I have it on good authority that those twins you are fawning over are not related to you like the rest of your children.”

Her ears perked. “What is this crazy woman talking about,” she wondered. “Alaran and I had fertility treatment!”

“Woman,” Alaran recovered his voice, “you do not know what you are talking about.”

“Oh, trust me, I know what I am talking about. I know because I made your brother promise that he would not touch that woman and we always keep our promises to each other.”

Alaran had no reason to laugh but he found himself laughing. This woman, his third wife, thought she knew everything but he would surprise her.

“Madam know-it-all, nobody keeps promises these days, not even your dear lover?”

Third wife did not like what she heard. Her eyes narrowed. “What does that mean?”

“It means that my brother loves money more than he loves you,” Alaran smirked. “I made him an offer he could not refuse.”

“That is a lie! You just said that to hurt my feelings.”

“I do not care about you nor your feelings, I simply told you the truth. You can ask your lover boy.”

“What about the medical solution?” Third wife did not believe that before but would believe it now just to negate the newly acquired information.

Alaran laughed again. It felt good to see his third wife experience some emotional tumult. “That was a cover up. I played along so my young wife would think we were getting fertility treatment but I manipulated the whole thing. The doctor also smiled to the bank.”

At this point, it felt like she would go deaf if she heard any more revelation from her husband and his third wife. The realization that her life was built on deception hit her right between the eyes. She let out an agonizing scream.

“Ah! You wicked old man,” she cried, “what did I do to deserve this?”

Alaran’s face fell. He had been discovered, again. He reached for her but she turned and ran out. He ran after her, shouting, “I can explain, please let me explain.” Third wife ran after them.

Tears blinded her as she ran towards her suite in the dark. Before Alaran could catch up with her, she tripped and landed hard on the concrete floor.

Everything went black…

© 2020 AyotundeElegbeleye

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