TRIALS, TEARS AND TRIUMPH [TRIPLE T]
Tired and exhausted, Haneefah, known as Enitan by her family dozed off in front of the pressing iron. Her head was pounding hard and with the pin drop silence in the house, she could hear the heavy breath of her heart. The clock tickled loudly too which made her eyes flickered.
She was sleepy but she dared not go to bed. A glance at the wall clock says 11:15pm, some other kids of her age would have been at the deepest stage of sleep, in fact, her half siblings were already snoring on the comfort of their beds, but here she was still ironing clothes at past 11:00pm. And the most ridiculous thing was that, she had no single clothes among the clothes she was compelled to iron before sleeping.
She was only 11, but the responsibility of the whole house was on her shoulders. She was saddled with the responsibilities of cooking, laundry, cleaning and everything that entails making the house sparkling clean was rested on her little head.
She was always the first to get up in the morning and the last to visit the sleep land at night. This night, she dozed off but opened her eyes intermittently. The heap of clothes in front of her must be pressed before she could sleep else she would feed on her tears the next day.
She’d been working all day without a break. She started the Sunday morning with laundry. After which she went grocery shopping and back home to begin cooking. Just like the rest of her days, that particular day was hectic with no exception.
A bitter history trailed her birth. Her mother died seconds after she was born and her dad gave her the name Enitan [someone of history].
Her dad told her how everything happened before his demise, so she wasn’t really surprised at the ill treatment being melted on her by her step mum. According to her dad, she was born by her father ‘s mistress and the story after her birth was sad and a pathetic one.
The mistress died after birthing her and her dad was left with no choice but to bring her home. Impregnating a mistress was an unforgivable act which her step mum found difficult to forgive her husband. According to her dad, her step mum layed a curse on the mistress that she won’t live to see her child, amongst other curses.
As Muslims, Allah gives and takes life but words are like egg, once it’s smashed, it’s irreversible. The mistress died shortly after birthing a daughter and no one dared point accusing finger at the step mum. A mean, black-hearted and mischievous woman who wouldn’t hesitate to destroy her husband for being unfaithful to her by impregnating his secretary.
Although they were Muslims but she had always ring it in her husband’s ears that if he dared marry another wife, he would kill him, kill the wife and then kill herself. A silent torturer of her husband she was, she was the lord in the house and she always claimed she made him who he was and he wouldn’t dare bring another woman in.
Then the husband found succor in his secretary. The secretary was calm, cool, respectful and alluring. It takes a very conscious Muslim not to eat the forbidden fruit especially when you have a nefarious wife at home.
For Mr Badmus, going home everyday was a bitter pill to swallow. Whenever the office was close for the day, his heart ran a marathon of somersault and his eyes bitter with a frown, he was going home to meet the she –devil again.
His wife bore him five girls and he was contented. He was an enlightened man who knows having a baby is a garbage in, garbage out thing. The sex of a baby is determined by Allah and science has proved that a male is born when a man donates Y chromosome together with the woman’s X, while a female is born when a man donates the X chromosome together with the woman’s X.
His wife always forced words out of his mouth to be sure he was okay with her having girls only and in both words and actions, he had proven beyond doubt that he was contented with his girls but his wife always felt insecure. She wanted to know whatever he was up to. She employed all means to snoop on his activities. She employed an employee of her husband to snoop on him at work and when his affairs started with Enitan’s mum, the snooper delightedly informed Mrs Badmus and hell was let loosed.
The perfect definition of what happened was fire and brimstone. The very day the snooper informed her, she welcomed her husband with a dirty slap.
“How dare you!” She roared at him like a lion and the later was lost. He couldn’t fathom why he was served with a slap upon his return instead of a meal.
Being a good man that he was, he didn’t return the slap but rather asked why he deserved the slap. She wasted no time in revealing his escapade and he was shocked. He made his relationship with Eniola’s mum a top secret, even in the office, he was very careful not to engage in public display of affection with her so he was surprised why his terror of a wife knew about it. He couldn’t hide his surprised countenance and his wife burst into a sarcastic laughter.
“Are you surprised? Wall have ears. You better stop your affairs with that lady or else……………..”
“Or else what?” Mr Badmus flared back, acting up like a man.
“Or else I’ll make this life a living hell for you.” Mrs Badmus retorted.
“You lie! You can do nothing. Maybe your informant forgot to tell you that she’s carrying my child…………….”
She shouted on top of her voice, charged at him and quickly raised her hand to give him another slap but her husband was pro-active. He grabbed her hands and pushed her away. She sprawled to the floor and quickly struggled to get up but she couldn’t on time as she writhed in pains.
While she was still struggling to get up, her husband hissed, rushed upstairs and quickly locked the bedroom door before the terror unleashes her fire again. She watched her husband as he climbed the stairs, she burst into tears and lamentation.
“Haaaaaa, Yusuf has dealt badly with me o, is it because I didn’t have a male child? You cheated on me with your secretary because I didn’t have a male child, that woman will never live to have that child! She will die with the pregnancy. I’ll kill her if I get hold of her. The only condition she can escape death is if I don’t know where she lives because if I do, I’ll kill her with my bare hands. Haaaa, Yusuf has done his worst o, after all I have done for you to become someone in life, you bit the finger that fed you and I’ll show you what happens to an ungrateful person.” Mrs Badmus continued her threat and lamentations in hot tears.
Her husband could hear her from the bedroom upstairs and he was scared for his life and the life of his mistress because he knew his wife was capable of carrying out her threat and more. This made him haad quick salvage thought.
He decided to move Aminah, Enitan’s mum away from her present location to a safer place. The lady had gone through so much in life and he wouldn’t want her to suffer in the hands of his wife. She had been a lonely girl who grew up in an orphanage and Mr Badmus happened to be the only helper she had. He decided to protect her till his last breath with his last drop of blood.
The following morning, he sneaked out before his wife was up and went ahead to fulfill his mission. He relocated Aminah to a safer place and that was the best thing he did because by the time he got home, he didn’t meet his wife. She and the snooper had gone looking for Aminah to probably harm her but unfortunately, they met her absence and were informed by the neighbors that she’d just packed at the early hour of that morning.
Mrs Badmus bit her finger and she knew her husband was responsible. She returned home to unleash some terror. Mr Badmus on the other hand returned home with the intention to plead with his wife, calm her down and seek her forgiveness but no matter what he did, Mrs Badmus swore never to forgive him, she swore to give him war and that she did for the next eight months. And all the while, she never stopped her effort to know where Aminah resides but it seemed her husband outsmarted her this time around because her effort was futile.
Then time flies and Aminah was in labour already. Mr Badmus was beside her bed seconds after she had the baby, it wasn’t a complicated birth but something went wrong after delivery and her life was on the line. Her last wish to the father of her daughter was that he shouldn’t depart from her baby and she wished the baby be in his custody till he hands her over to man. That was her last wish before death snatched her soul.
Mr Badmus cried inconsolably, his succor was gone. Aminah was his shock absorber from the heat of his marriage. He cried bitterly while the medical team consoled him to take heart. Aminah was buried that same day and he decided to take his baby home to fulfill her mother’s wish. He decided to fight all obstacles and man up for her little girl.
He talked with a nurse in the hospital who found him a nanny nurse immediately so he went home with the baby and the nanny.
Immediately he stepped foot into the house, his wife burst into a sarcastic laughter, apparently, information had reached her that Aminah was dead. She laughed so hard, her cheeks hurt.
“Your honorable concubine has passed away ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” She said and laughed mockingly again. “ I said it, she wouldn’t live to mother this child……………..and wait! what’s the sex of the child, don’t tell me she’s a girl………..ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…………..see your life outside, just because I couldn’t give you a girl, you stooped so low to sleep with your secretary, shameless man. And God has vindicated me. obiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!” She mocked with a flash of her eyes.
Her husband ignored her and made to leave but she pulled him back.
“Where do you think you’re going? I won’t leave under the same roof with this bastard you’re carrying so you better take her back.” She flared.
“You lie…………..what did I say………..you lie. I built this house with my hard earned money and I decide who leave or stays. You see this child I’m carrying, she will leave and grow in this house so you better get used to it. And nothing must happen to her, I repeat, nothing must happen to her. If a strand of her hair removes, I’ll kill you in return you devil!” Mr Badmus threatened and made to leave but paused to tell his wife something.
“Lest I forget, this is nurse Kike, she is the nanny I employed for the baby. She would be living here with us. And please she doesn’t need your assistance as regards the baby, she’s capable…………………”
“Who’s ready to render assistance to a bastard before!” Mrs Badmus interrupted sharply and continued. “I won’t let her bastard blood contaminate my pure blood, nonsense. And please nurse Kike or what is your name, please maintain the room you’re given. I don’t want to see either you or this bastard lurking around the house else………………..”
“Else what? Please Kike don’t mind her, she didn’t contribute a penny to this house, this is my house and you’re free to tread wherever you wish. Please come along!” Mr Badmus summoned the nurse to follow him.
“Ha Yusuf, you’re playing with a cobra’s tail. I will so deal with you. I made you who you are. I started with you when you had nothing, I drank garri with you, I suffered with you, I endured with you. I sold my clothes to give you money to go job hunting now you’re biting me. Is this how you’ll pay me back? Ha you’ll regret ever doing this to me.” Mrs Badmus lamented non stopped but her husband ignored her.
He assisted the Nurse to settle down. The baby was fed and was laid to sleep. A hard life started for an innocent baby who her step mum was ready to take out her parents misdeed on.
The nanny did her best to care for the baby, and she protected her from Mrs Badmus as instructed but it wasn’t long when the nurse announced her intention to resign. Her reason being that the house was unbearable for her. During the period a nanny left till the period he was able to get another, Mr Badmus sat home to baby sit Enitan. He kept changing nannies like baby diaper with the same reason coming from all of them, ‘The house was unbearable’.
Like a soldier barrack, Nannies came and left with none of them exceeding three months. This went on till Enitan was three and Mr Badmus decided not to hire a nanny again. His wife’s last daughter was just three months older than Enitan and he thought they could play together. At least a three year old child could report an ill treatment, that was what he thought but he was wrong.
The other side of life was shown to Enitan since she was three. As little as she was, she knew she was living with toxic people because Mrs Badmus made her life a living hell. She also poisoned her daughters’ minds against Enitan and they all joined hands to deal with her. Naturally, children have beautiful hearts and could mingle, love and play with anyone but it is adults who put a blemish on their hearts by telling them who to love or hate, who to play with and who to take as enemy. All Mrs Badmus’ daughters followed her instruction except her third daughter.
It seemed she took after her father’s heart. It is said that, a bad woman gives birth to bad children but Allah might just be merciful to the man, especially if he’s good and make him have a good one at least. Even when others didn’t play with her, Halimah, the third daughter would. The rest would call her a bastard but Halimah would tell them ‘Dad says she’s our sister’. The rest would deprave her but Halimah would embrace her. Her mum would beat her for associating with a bastard but she was undaunted.
Since three years, Enitan was exposed to the life of a slave. Her step mum being a chameleon, would be a little bit nice to her whenever her dad was around but in the absence of the dad, she wears back her true garment.
She started house chores at the age of three and by the time she was eight, she could do all the work that an adult does, cooking, laundry, cleaning and others. Any deficiency on her part comes with serious beating. Her work would have been easier if it was a division of labor but no, the other daughters, who are of course legitimately born according to their mum would sit comfortably in front of the TV while Enitan does all the chores. She even cooked and served them all.
She dared not complain to her father, that would be opening another can of worm, and it would be a dooms day for her. On little occasions when the father returns and met Enitan doing all the chores, the reason the step mum gave was that she was the youngest who should do everything. The man was not pleased and he ruled that the chores be shared amongst them but his order didn’t hold any water.
This went on till Enitan was nine and the unexpected happened. A fatal accident claimed the life of her dear father and the only shield she had. Life became harder with the step mum intensifying her ill treatment upon her. She was exposed to a hell of a life at a very tender age. If it was the chores alone, it would have been better but her body had worn scars due to numerous beatings and severe punishment. She was mocked, bullied by mother and daughters and deprived of food most times.
She felt like running away but she had nowhere to run to. Her late mother had no traceable family as she grew up in an orphanage and none of her father’s relative was ready to take her in as her step mum threatened to wage war against whoever does.
Haneefah, who was still dozing in front of the pressing table, was jolted to the present by a slap at the back of her neck. It was her step mum. She quickly got up and began to iron the clothes.
“You this useless girl, so you’ve not pressed a single clothe since. My daughters’ uniforms and my office wears are still here unironed, if you want to be unfortunate by going to join your useless dead mother in hell, don’t press these clothes before I get back.” Mrs Badmus threatened harshly and rushed inside the house.
Enitan quickly plugged the iron and began to press but it wasn’t long when she dozed off again. She was dead tired. The heavy duty on her head was far beyond her age and nature couldn’t be cheated, she needed sleep. Her eyes were tired and her hands were weak. She dozed off again while the iron was on Madam’s office skirt.
It was the stench of the burnt skirt that woke her, she screamed ‘I’m dead’ as she saw the shape of the iron vividly drawn on the skirt while the fabric was glued to the iron. She immediately unplugged the iron but her scream had already alerted her step mum. She rushed to the laundry and upon seeing the damage on her cloth, she landed a hot slap on Enitan’s face and while she was still groaning in pains and tears, she landed her another one.
“You’re truly dead today.” She retorted as she panted heavily because of the energy she emitted in slapping Enitan. “The same shape you left on my skirt, I’ll leave it on your body you bastard!” She said and plugged the iron.
She waited for it to get very hot while Enitan begged for mercy and compassion.
“I won’t do that again, please don’t harm me ma.” Enitan begged in hot tears.
“I’ll harm you and even kill you if I have the means. I will so make your life a living hell so that if your useless mother could look back from the pit of hell that she is, she would never sleep with another woman’s husband again.” Mrs Badmus said angrily and before Enitan could open her mouth to beg again, she unplugged the iron and pressed it so hard on the upper thigh of her left leg.
Enitan screamed very hard and the woman didn’t remove the iron until her skin peeled unto the iron’s surface. She laughed mischievously and mocked her again.
“This is very good for you, next time, when you’re pressing my clothes, you would be extra careful. You daughter of a harlot!, I won’t hesitate to kill you and feed your bones to the dogs.” Mrs Badmus expressed with disdain and walked out angrily leaving Enitan in the pool of her tears while writhing in unbearable pains.
The only crime she committed was being birthed by a mistress.
[How hard is your life? Maybe harder with sickness? Poverty? Failure? Lost of loved ones? Caring for a sick one or a child with special need? Etc Whether this hard or harder than this please, suicide is never an option………………Follow this story and see how this child lived a very hard life and how Allah made her triumph the hard times.
‘Do men think they will be left alone on saying, we believe, and not tried? And certainly We tried those before them, so Allah will certainly know those who are true and He will certainly know the liars.” Suratul Ankaboot verse 2-3
“Surely after difficulty comes ease. With difficulty come ease.” Surah Al-Inshirah verse 5-6
Lets continue after Sallah, the mercy of the last ten days must not elude us, may Allah spare our lives beyond Ramadhan.