Alaran was not home, he went on a journey, so she had no way of demanding an explanation from him. She needed to talk to someone about what she had just uncovered but it was too late to go back to see her mother. Shock and rage coursed through her. Several questions begged for answers. She did not sleep a wink that night, in fact, she tossed and turned till dawn.
At the crack of dawn, she set out for her father’s house. That morning, her anger was particularly targeted at her parents. If they had not married her off, she would not have become fourth wife to a sterile, impotent old man! She met her father at the door, just about stepping out to the farm.
“What brought you this early? Hope all is well,” her father queried.
She knelt to greet her father. “Good morning, papa.”
“Good morning, daughter. Why did your husband allow you come all the way so early in the morning?”
“My husband is not at home, papa. Besides, I am not a child, I can…”
“Keep quiet,” he reprimanded, “you think you can do as you like because your husband is not at home to watch you?”
“Papa,” she dismissed his comment with a wave of hand, “I am here for something more important, which concerns you and mama.”
“Are you foolish? When did you start growing wings to talk to me like that?”
“What is going on here?” Her mother chose that moment to appear out of the blues, probably from the backyard.
“Ask your daughter,” her father quipped.
She knelt again. “Good morning, mama.”
“Good morning, my daughter. How are you? Did you sleep well?”
“No mama, I did not sleep well.”
Her father bellowed with laughter. “You did not sleep well because your husband is not at home and you came running here first thing in the morning like a child who had a nightmare. I thought you just told me that you are not a child.”
“I am not a child,” she did not find her father’s words amusing, “and that is why I have come to tell you to return what you collected from Alaran because I am no longer interested.”
Her mother recovered first. She rushed to her and covered her mouth. “Keep your mouth shut, this child. What do you think you are saying?”
Her father glared at her angrily. She glared back. Her deviance must have caught him unawares because he became tongue-tied for a moment. When his tongue came loose, he gave her mother a stern warning to reset her brain and send her back to Alaran’s house. “I do not want to see her in this house by the time I return or you will be out of my house,” he snarled and left for the farm.
“What do you think you are doing?” Her mother scolded. “You think you can talk to your father anyhow?”
They entered the house. Her mother scolded her some more.
“What exactly is your problem, this child? You are bent on blaming your parents for not being pregnant as if we tampered with your womb. Did a seer tell you that we are responsible for your predicament? Have I not told you to exercise patience? It is God who gives children.”
“Mama, I do not need a seer to tell me anything. Are you not responsible for marrying me off to an old man?”
“Shut up! You keep whining about being married off to an old man, yet this old man has changed your life in ways you cannot imagine. He gives you everything, what else do you want?”
“Children, mama. I want to have children of my own.”
“Your husband is not too old to make you pregnant. Your father’s uncle welcomed another child last month. You have to be patient. Your anxiety will not even allow pregnancy to stay. You better give yourself peace of mind.”
“Not too old,” she laughed mirthlessly, “but sterile, and it is my parents’ fault that I am married to a man who can never make me pregnant!”
“My ancestors,” her mother’s hands flew up, “may my ears not hear evil.”
She told her mother everything she heard from her husband’s wives. At first, her mother tried to dissuade her from believing what she heard but before anyone could say Jack, she concocted a plan.
“Since he has refused to tell you, you will also pretend like you do not know and look for another way to get pregnant.”
“What other way is there?” She eyed her mother suspiciously.
“Get pregnant by another man.”
“What? You better wake up and stop being naive. Two can play this game, my daughter. Your husband may love you but if you do not have any child for him, you have no part in his inheritance.”
“I do not want children because of inheritance.”
“Keep quiet! Grow up and be wise. You think if anything happens to your husband today, those wives of his would not connive with his family members to throw you out if you do not have any child for him?”
“We need to find a strong young man with good swimmers,” her mother continued, “and before you know it, you are carrying your twins, even triplets.”
“How will I explain pregnancy to my husband who knows fully well that he is no longer fertile?”
“How will he explain his infertility to the whole world? My daughter, you do not know how things work. I can assure you that your husband would rather die with that secret than question your pregnancy.”
“By the way, how is that young man who used to be your lover? He will be a good candidate.”
To be cont’d…
© 2020 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!