Asake and Alabi have been married for 7 years without a child and they were the talk of the town. People can't mind their business, always focusing on other people's problems when they have unsolved problems. Asake prayed fervently for a child but she was sill yet to have one which disturbed her and her husband.
Asake was a trader who sold fruits in the central village market while her husband Alabi was a farmer. Asake was tired of the embarrassment she kept on facing anytime she was out of her house. People were either starring or pointing and it was worse at the market.
The day she realized her situation was worse than what she imagined was when Alabi's mther sat both of them down and spoke about the unimaginable. She has heard people say it around her but she never expected it coming from her mother-in-law's mouth.
Sometimes in the Yoruba culture, when a woman hasn't given birth in years, the husband getting a second wife becomes an option. She thought Alabi's mother will understand her and know that she still has time to give her what she wants.
"You are not getting young. People have been talking and i'm tired of the disgrace. Wura who got married last year has given birth to a boy and she is pregnant again"
"There's still more time. I can still give birth" Asake says on her knees begging her mother-in-law in tears.
"Your womb is probably destroyed. Who knows what you have been doing before you met my son"
"Alabi, you are watching as she's saying all these to me. Can't you say something?"
"She is right. How many men did you sleep with before coming to deceive me?" Asake shouted when she heard what Alabi said. She understood his pain but he is meant to support her.
"Soro (Talk). Talk. See, she can't talk. Your secret is out"
"Alabi, you know i was a virgin when i met you. Why are you saying this?" Asake cried holding Alabi's shirt and he pushed her.
"Mummy ejo (please). Let's wait. God's time is the best"
"God's time? You have been saying God's time for years now, where is the child?"
"Alabi, anytime i'm crying or i'm sad you tell me to wait for God's time. What's happening now? Why are you behaving like this?"
"I'm not here for all this drama. I have said what i want to say. Asake, i give you one month if not, Alabi ma fe iyawo mi (Alabi will marry another wife). Alabi's mother stormed out of the house and Asake laid on the floor crying.
"You have heard her. She wants a grandchild and i want a son" Alabi said walking into the room.
"Alabi, listen to me very well. i'm not leaving this house for any woman. Any woman that wants to break this home will go back to where she is coming from. I will not share this house with anyone, it's me and you together" Asake shouts in front of their room and that was the first time Alabi ever laid his hands on Asake and it didn't stop for weeks.
"I'm tired of it. He is not the person i used to love" Asake cries to her mother.
"Omo mi (my child), it's okay. Stop crying")
Asake's mother has told her numerous times to leave the house that it is not healthy for her but Asake is stubborn just like her father. Asake's mother said it's her father's stubbornness that led to his early grave.
Alabi's mother wasn't joking when she said she will bring a new wife for Alabi. After a month, Alabi's mother came with a young girl which Asake said could not be compared to her. Asake has heard stories about how the younger wife is always disobedient to the first wife and from the look of things, it was going to be like that.
"Ejo e ma se e leyi (please don't do this) Asake begged her mother-in-law.
"When she gives birth, i'm sure your damaged wmb will open"
"You are so beautiful" Alabi said to his new wife, Morenike.
Morenike is 20 years younger than Asake and to Asake,her parents are meant to send her to school and not giving her hand in marriage to an older man who may not be any good to her. She deserves much better.
"Ahh! Alabi! Beautiful?" Asake exclaimed.
Asake remembered how Alabi was always calling her beautiful even before she got married and that broke her heart when she heard him say it to aanother woman.
"Alabi" Asake shouts as he takes Morenike to their matrimonial bed and all Morenike could do was laugh.
For months, things have not been the same for Asake. Alabi hasn't touched her and she seeks his touch, his warmth around her body but he is giving it to Morenike right before her eyes. Alabi was purposely doing it to make her jealous. She was jealous but she couldn't show it.
Leaving the house crossed her mind several times but she couldn't leave the house, that shows how weak she is and she can't deal with someone that is much younger than her.
"Morenike, i understand that getting married is a woman's pride but you don't have to do this. You are young, you have a bright future ahead of you. Alabi can't give you what you want. Are you happy staying here?"
"No i'm not but i'm doing it for my parents. They forced me to do it and sine they don't have enough money to send me to school, this was their best idea"
Morenike stopped going to school at the aage of 13 when she was in jss3. The majority of secondary schools in Ijebu-Ode were public schools and there was only one private school which is expensive. When Morenike was sent out of school for not paying her school fees, she started helping her mother to sell vegetable in the market.
"Do you want to go to school?"
"Yes but i'm too old to go to school"
"Age doesn't matter when it comes to education. Education is important and it will help you later in life. I will help you get the education you need"
Asake was so persistent about Morenike's education because she didn't have the opportunity to go to school and she took her as her child. When Asake has children it's a must they get education because education is the key.
"Ese ma (thank you ma)" Morenike said kneeling down as she cries.
"What's happening here? Morenike! Why are you crying?" Alabi shouted as he entered the house.
"Morenike go outside" Asake said.
"Woman, what have you done to her? I should have listened to my mother and sent you way a long time ago but i was just pitying you. What have you done to Morenike?"
"Alabi, you are a shame to all the men in this village. A big shame. You were never like this, what happened?. Since the day your mother spoke about you getting a second wife, you just changed. This is not the Alabi i know, the Alabi i know prayed with me day and night for a child. You would never agree on a second wife, why the sudden change?"
"Don't bring my mother into this matter. I chose to have another wife and if you are not comfortable with it, you can leave"
Asake finally listened to her mother and left her home to stay with her. Things were difficult for Asake in her marriage, the constant beating was torture and she wished she left earlier but she loved Alabi and hope things will change for the good.
Even though Asake did not have enogh money to take care of herself, she made sure Morenike went back to school. After Asake left, Alabi became more violent and transferred his anger to Morenike. Morenike was 7 months pregnant until she lost the child due to Alabi's violent ways.
Morenike was too scared to go back to her parents because she thought she had failed them. Her parents were really angry but there was nothing much they could do about the situation. Asake was tempted to confront Alabi about Morenike's issue but she knew what was going to come her way.
A miracle happened and it took the village by surprise. Asake got pregnant and everyone who took Asake's lack of pregnancy like it was their problem came to rejoice with her. Those who mocked her came rejoicing and bringing gifts but sake was expecting one person. Even though she hasn't been with Alabi sexually for months she put her faith and trust in God and knew God will do His wonders. It's not man that gives children but God all Mighty.
Even when it feels like everything is falling apart, we just have to be pray, have faith and most especially be patient because God isn't sleeping on your situation but looking for the best time to solve your situation.
"What is it again Asake?" Her mother asked her as she sees her deep in thought.
"It's Alabi. He should have been here to check up on me"
"I have told you to stop worrying about him. Leave him alone, a good man will come your way"
"I'm not seeking for marriage now, all i want is the father of my child to check up on me" Asake walked out of her mother to her room.
It seemed like Alabi didn't care about Asake's pregnancy but he did, he just didn't have any idea on what he wad going to say to her when he meets her. He is sad for what he did to Asake and wished everything could be the way it was.
"Asake is not around" Her mother said to Alabi.
"Mummy, let me take it from here" She said to her mother.
"What are you looking for here?"
"Asake i'm sorry" He said on his knees.
"So because you know i'm pregnant, you came to see me. If i wasn't pregnant would you have come? Alabi you know what you did to me. I have marks on my body because of you and you are telling me you are sorry? You must be joking"
"Asake, jo darijimi (please forgive me). I don't know what came over me. It was the devil's handwork"
"What lies won't you men say. It was the devil's handwork indeed. Alabi, i have not forgiven you and i don't know if i'm coming to the house. You know it's not right to put your hands on a woman. How sure am i that my child an i are safe?"
"Asake jo (Asake please), you are safe in the house with the child. I have changed"
"Alabi, please go. You are stressing the baby and i"
"Asake, please don't do this"
"Alabi o ti gbo ohun ti o so. Jowo lo kuro (Alabi you have heard what she has said. Please leave" Her mother said.
"Asake i love you" He said before he left.
Alabi did not back down on showing his love for Asake, he brought musicians to play songs in front of her mother's house every day, he brought different gifts for her but as the pressure of accepting them and jumping into his arms. she remembered her mother's words.
"Don't be deceived by the gifts he is buying and the love is claiming to have for you. Once a man can touch a woman, the possibility of him touching her again is there. I don't want anything to happen to you, you are the only one i have left. I can't lose you to a man who is not worth your tears. There are godly, honourable, good men out there that will respect you and treat you like a queen. There are men out there that will give you what you deserve. Mo nireti pe o n gbo ohun ti mo n so. Oro kan to fun ologbon (I hope you are listening to what i'm saying. A word is enough for the wise)"
Some months later, Asake gave birth to a girl and that became the happiest day of her life. She never stopped praying to God even after all the things that she went through with her mother-in-law and her husband but the most important thing is that God saw her through. Even when there are hardships and we feel like there is no one to sav us, God is always with us,
"Asake, how are you? Where is the baby?" Alabi asked panting.
Alabi was happy when he heard that Asake has given birth, he ran to the hospital when the news got to him.
"The nurse is cleaning her"
"Can i hold him?" He asked as the nurse brought the child.
"It's a girl" Hearing that changed his mood and he started to think of all the things he had done wrong that could have led to it.
He has always wanted a boy when their marriage was stable, she always said she preferred any gender as long as they have a child.
"Is everything alright?" She asked him.
"Yes. I'm really happy"
Asake's mother was really happy and couldn't stop dancing and singing as they got home from the hospital.
"Have you thought of a name for her?" Her mother asked.
"Yes. Oluwarontimi (God remembered me)"