Aisha knew she couldn’t hide it from her dad, why bother? Any man with children would easily recognise the early signs of pregnancy. He had already started asking her questions about her constant tiredness and lack of appetite. For a fleeting moment she thought about an abortion, but quickly remembered how many times Tunde had taunted her over her “bareness” and decided she would carry the baby. She summoned courage to tell her father.
Aisha– Baba I have something to tell you…it’s about …I think I …em em …Baba, I think I am pregnant.
Baba– Alhamdu lilah! Allah be praised! God has answered all our prayers. We must inform your husband at once, if this won’t make him come, nothing will. Have you told your sisters yet? They will be so excited… I am too.
Aisha– Baba it’s not Tunde’s child.
Baba– Kai! Allah what kind of child did you give me? Aisha do you want to kill me, eh? Jamila and Nabila are so peaceful why must you be so wayward? (ponders) You must tell tunde it’s his child, that’s the only way out. Ah! Maman Aisha, she would have known what to do. Enh! Or… I have this friend in the dispensary, maybe he can help us. He is…
Aisha– Baba! How can you suggest such. I will carry this child oh! I swear I would rather die than loose this baby. Besides, John wants to marry me. He is the father!
Baba– Aisha, you must think I am a fool, just because I allowed you marry that bayrabe, you think I will let you marry an Igbo boy? Besides, he is not even a Muslim and Tunde has not divorced you yet. Please Aisha, my chest pain has started again, don’t let me hear that John’s name again. Tunde will come for you.
Eventually Aisha decided to play along with her dad, Tunde was informed and as predicted he rushed to see them in Maiduguri.
Meanwhile, John knew it was his child but what could he do? Aisha denied it and to please her ailing father, she reluctantly went back to Tunde.
What a mistake! Tunde continued to beat her throughout the pregnancy and after one particularly bad episode, Aisha contacted her mums sister in Sapele who agreed to take her in.
She left Tunde a note one early harmattan morning and took a bus at the motor park. She spent the night in Warri and arrived Sapele early the next day. Her aunt mama Akpos had also been rebellious and had eloped with her Urhobo boyfriend. She had never quite reconciled with her family and was now a prosperous stockfish wholesaler in Sapele.
Aisha gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who she named Asma’u after her late mother. She was a splitting image of her father. Life with Mama Akpos and her family was good for Aisha, soon after she gave birth to Asma’u, her aunt made her a major distributor of her stockfish. Her cousins helped with the baby and she soon put her past misfortunes behind her. She kept in touch with her family and before her Dad passed on a few years later, she took Asma’u to meet him.
Asma’u grew up into a lovely young lady and excelled in her studies. She grew up with her cousins and though she knew Tunde Aina was her biological father, as far as she was concerned, Papa Akpos was her daddy. She wrote her “dad” letters but he never replied them, she often wondered why he didn’t want to have any contact with her.
Asma’u– mummy na wa oh! dis ma papa no even send me oh!
Aisha– Ahah, but papa Akpos has been a wonderful father, what else could want from him? The man don try nobody wey no go say.
Asma’u– Mummy you know no be daddy I mean, na ma real papa Tunde… why the man no send me? I wan go meet am.
Aisha– Please don’t be stubborn about it, the man is no good, just let him be
Asma’u eventualy got Tunde’s number and began to call him regularly. He never called her back but Asma’u was just happy to know that she had finally made contact with her real father.
After University, she joined her mum in her business and it wasn’t long before she met and fell in love with Tobore. Asma’u had become more Urhobo than anything and Tobore’s family fell instantly in love with her. She had never taken her Islam seriously and often went to church with her cousins, so becoming a Christian meant nothing to her. Aisha also was elated that Tobore was an eligible young man from a great family.
Asma’u and her mum went to Dubai to shop for the wedding. Months became weeks and preparations were in full gear. However a phone call changed everything.
Aisha– Hello. Ah my in-law, how u dey? How chief?
Tobore’s mum– We are fine darling. You know we just arrived from Chicago and Tobo showed me the invites
Aisha– Yes, they are lovely we picked them in Dubai… very unique
Tobore’s mum– hmm yes, but there’s a problem. You see I noticed that the traditional wedding will take place at your uncle’s (Papa Akpos) house. That won’t do at all. Can’t you get Asma’u’s dad to arrange for it in his house?
Aisha– Ah in-law you know my uncle is more or less her father, I haven’t been in touch with her dad in years; I am not sure it will be appropriate. In fact, Asma’u has only met him once.
Tobore’s mum– Eh you know I have contacts, I hear he is in Abuja. You didn’t even tell me he was an honourable member. Papa Akpos should know better, it an abomination for someone else to give away a child when her father is still alive.
Aisha– My in law, why are you talking like this now eh? Ok, I will try and get Tunde’s number and contact him…
Tobore’s Mum– I have his number
Aisha– oh, you already have the number? Please text it to me. Thank you
Aisha contacted Tunde who, of course, refused to have anything to do with Asma’u wedding and Tobore’s family said that the wedding couldn’t go on. So the wedding was temporarily postponed. Asma’u grew desperate; her and Tobore decided to pay a visit to her Father in Abuja.
Tunde– Eh Asma’u how are you? It’s good you came. How are you young man? Well firstly, I think we need to talk in private so your fiance will have to excuse us. (Tobore goes to wait in the lobby)
Asma’u– (Kneeling down) please sir, I know you and my mum can’t stand each other but for my sake please just do the traditional engagement.
Tunde– I can’t! Dammit! I told your mum to tell you the truth but since she won’t, I will. Asma’u, I am not your father!
PS. Okay, I thought I would finish today but I’ve gotta go do school runs now… I promise to finish on Monday.