"Kaka...can I call you that?" The old woman nodded her head joyfully, Zubaida then continued. "I am on transit. I dont have the time to listen or tell story now but I promise I will come back to you soon In Shaa Allah."
"My daughter, if you think that I will allow you leave this place without you telling me why you are running out of fear or frustration you are making a mistake. And for your children's sake, I will not let you go until your mind is settled because in your confusion, you may put them in trouble. Another day here to unburden your mind and relax, wont hurt you. And before you refused, I will be hard on you by saying, ears that do not listen to advice, accompany the head when it is chopped off."
Zubaida now covered her face and allowed the tears to flow in buckets. She wept and shuddered with worry. The old woman let her be for a while before returning to her side. She gave her a warm hug promising her everything would be alright. Then she began to beg her to stop crying so not to draw the attention of her children. She sighed and washed her face with the water Kaka brought her.
"Let me take some drinks and biscuits to the children. We have prepared food to last us the whole day so we only need break for prayers."
"Thank you Kaka. Your energy is also superb."
"Another characteristic of the jinn, right?"
The two women laughed together. Moments later, she rejoined Zubaida and told her she was all ears. Zubaida cleared her voice and asked, "from where or how do I begin?"
"Start from anywhere, I will understand or to make it easier start from the beginning my grandchild." And Zubaida went down memory lane, taking Kaka with her in her journey of happiness and sorrow.
Zubaida was the second child of Hajiya Zulai, a third and at present the last wife of Alhaji Inuwa, a wealthy and respected individual. Hajiya Zulai lived with her mates and their children. From the three wives, Alhaji Inuwa had twenty children. Zubaida's mother had five and they all lived in one big compound. The wives and children were well properly catered for. But it was obvious to all that Hajiya Zulai was his favourite. She was kind hearted and refused to join the other wives in their intrigues and blackmail against their husband, this earned her the title of ‘hypocrite’. She was always at her best to please her husband. She would never allow any provocation from her mates get the better part of her. She tried to groom and teach her children good manners. Out of the wives, she was tthe only one from a humble background and was always reminded of this fact by her co-wives. Her children were treated with disdain by the other wives and their children. Life was really tough for Zubaida growing in the midst of many siblings. To make it worse for her and her siblings, they had no close maternal relatives. They had only their grandmother who lived in the house with them. Every day, their half sisters and brothers troubled them a lot. They even said her grandmother was a witch.
Their grandmother was a very loving person, she was their consolation. She was always at hand to tell them folktales and sing for them. When others wanted them in a fight, she would convince them that fighting was for fools and those who did not fear Allah. Apart from what they learnt from their Islamic school, their grandmother was there to teach them so many more. Zubaida was particularly close to her grandmother, she slept in her room up to the time she got married. She was the womans close confidant. One thing Zubaida missed her grandmother most for was the way she always woke her up in the morning for prayers. She would come to her bedside and start massaging her back and feet singing to her until Zubaida rose with a smile.
Zubaida and her siblings studied hard to justify the love their father had for them and make their mother proud. They always came home with the best result, of all Alhaji Inuwa's children. This fuelled the rivalry and scorn they received from the house. Zubaida studied Banking and Finance and graduated with a good result. What they went through made her resolve never to allow herself stay in a polygamous home again. She took her time to choose her husband, after faithfully praying hard to God for a man with a simple life who she could please and wouldnt need to think of other women.
Allah answered her prayers by giving her Danjuma. He was a gentle and handsome man with a bright future. He was four years older than her and had a Masters in Architecture. Danjuma came from a not well to do family. He was the star in the family. His mother was the only wife to his father and they were very close knitted. Zubaida and Danjuma got married when she was twenty four years old. Theirs was a true love in full display.
As a wedding gift, her father bought her a blue sports car but for once she never took control of the car even though she could drive. Her husband always took her to the bank where she worked before driving himself to his place of work and back home when it was time for her to go home. This went on until they were able to buy another similar car. Any of them could drive either of the cars. They shared the same bedroom, had a joint bank account, always ate together, paid visits to family and friends together, they were just one spirit and body.