She has sleepless nights with nightmares about her daughter she woke up in cold sweat and soliloqued.
“How is my ‘baby’ doing? I’ve seen callousness and meanness in her husband’ eyes and Jonsaba is flippant and careless about words and her expression. I have to take permission from Baa and visit my daughter in the city and see how she is faring in her matrimonial home.” She approached Baa and asked permission.
“It is sometime since we hear directly from our daughter the only message is third hand from my brother Sorgi who got it from our in-law; even though he sends our monthly allowance I still want to see our daughter and see how she is faring in her matrimonial home and give her motherly advice.”
“I 100% agree with you go to the city and see after our daughter and from firsthand knowledge know how she is faring in her matrimonial home. Go in peace and Allah is with you. I’ve already alerted our in-law who will pick you from the garage.”
In the City
Antu picked Naa from the car park and drove her home she is hesitant and restless and Antu noticed her nervousness.
“Calm down in-law city is different from village and you have to be smart and not naïve. I am not a ritualist be calm with me.”
She felt insulted and has to talk back at Antu.
“Show me some respect I am not a child but your in-law.” She is not happy with his arrogance and vanity.
He is kind and polite as he showed kindness to Naa who is very appreciative.
“Welcome Naa! Feel free to ask me for any favour.” He bowed for her.
“Allah is praised to know that there are also kind, sensitive people in the city.” She posited as she entered the compound into the mansion.
Naa came in time when Antu was about to request for her presence to assist her daughter in her motherhood pangs.
She came and found her daughter in bed as a bed-patient she was very worried about her health.
She soliloqued and cried in the toilet.
“Jonsi is small in physic and definitely not ready for childbirth I only wish my daughter escape from teenage pregnancy. I don’t like this arrangement at all but I am voiceless and defenseless; how can women protect themselves and their daughters under patriarchy?” She wiped her tears and came out to sit by her daughter’s bed to assist and give her courage.
Ola Cole is a qualified Nurse/Midwife who works for a private clinic but also hired to give private services. Antu uses her services for his family. She came to attend to Jonsi early in the morning before she goes to work at the clinic.
“Antu your daughter is very young to get pregnant she is not physically mature to carry on her pregnancy I advised that you take her to the clinic where I can give her professional ante natal care and also for doctor to be checking on her condition, this is a difficult pregnancy which needs utmost care.”
Naa concurred by shaking her head and Antu noticed and became offended as he called Ola outside.
“What was that? Why did I bring her mother from the village? Is it not to take care of her daughter as an experienced woman who has given birth to dozen children but almost lost all of them except three? Do you want to draw a wedge between me and my illiterate mother in law? Are you professional? If you want to advise me why not do it when we are alone? Jonsi is my wife or do you think I cannot be her husband? She is young so? Mind your stupid business; am I not paying for your services? I want home service if I want clinic service I’ll do so. Are you married and do you know anything about the institution?” Antu became insultive.
“I am very sorry for not talking to you in private but am not sorry for telling you the truth; your so called wife is a teenager who is yet to be emotionally, physically and psychologically prepared for motherhood. There are numerous lacerations in her genitalia due to FGM/C and forceful penetration, she is suffering pain and please take her to clinic or hospital for professional nursing care and safe delivery.
Whether I am married or not is not your business, I’ll surely not react to your silliness.” She posited.
“I am terminating our contract I no longer need your services.” He drew a cheque and paid for her services.
“Go away and never show up in my premises again!” He ordered.
Ola hissed and left.
“Good riddance to bad rubbish!” She fought back.
Antu went behind and hired a less qualified nurse Saffie who works in another clinic to come and counteract Ola’s narrative.
“This is Nurse Saffie Savage she is senior to that pompous Ola. Speak out Nurse and give them confidence.” He ordered.
“The home arrangement is more convenient and there is privacy, clinic workers gossip a lot and don’t mind their business. I’ll take good care of her and by Allah’ grace she will give birth to a healthy baby.”
“Thank you I just want my daughter have the best of services as an anxious mother.”
“Didn’t I tell you Ola is lousy and busy body that’s why I sacked her and hired her boss who is very effective and efficient?”
Outside he praised Nurse Saffie and gave her more cash.
“If you stand by me you’ll never lack anything my mother in law is naïve and does not know anything about city life and she can easily be fooled and I would not want anyone to open her eyes.”
She empathized with Jonsi whom she sees as a survivor of child marriage and wants to help her in a small way whenever she can. She came and found her in pain and Naa very worried she questioned her.
“How is your daughter? Is she okay and are you satisfied with the home treatment?”
Naa shook her head and opened her heart to this kind lady.
“Look at my eyes I cannot sleep the whole night as well as my daughter who is in great pain. Nurse Ola gave us a correct picture which Antu dismissed and brought Nurse Saffie who concurred with him he said the latter is the senior of the former but I doubted it; Antu sees me as a fool but he is the fool I kept quiet but I know everything that is happening around me; I went to ‘daara’ (Qu’ranic school) and also the school of life. Please my daughter have said a lot of good things about you, convince Antu to admit my daughter at the hospital for better professional help.” She stooped.
“Get up mama don’t stoop before me, I’ll try my best to help your teenage daughter.” She promised.
To be Cont.