TRASH AND TREASURE
At the hospital.
The plan was for Iman to become a fake patient in the small clinic that Mrs Hamzah owns but before Friday morning which they planned to execute their plan, she fell ill for real.
Iman was with Mrs Hamzah till Thursday evening. She left for her place shortly before magrib. After the ishai prayer that night she went straight to bed without eating but she couldn’t sleep a wink.
She turned and tossed around the bed with her phone tightly held to her hands. She tried her husband’s number over and over again without success. She cried bitterly and sighed persistently.
She tried to force some sleep but her head was pounding heavily. And before morning, she developed a severe fever and she practically crawled to Mrs Hamzah’s apartment at dawn for salvation.
“Sorry my dear, you’ve truly missed your husband. I guess we don’t have to lie again. You’re sick now for real. Let me quickly get dressed and take you to the clinic.” Mrs Hamzah said and rushed into her bedroom.
She returned after some minutes and assisted Iman to the car. By the time they got to the hospital, Iman was shivering terribly and Mrs Hamzah wasted no time in placing her on admission. They commenced treatment immediately while Mrs Hamzah went through Iman’s phone to get Ilysa’s number.
A call was put through to him but his line was switched off as usual. It seemed he deliberately switched off his phone to totally disconnect his wife from reaching him.
Mrs Hamzah rushed home to inform her husband and the latter promised to help them by going over to Ilysa’s place of work. Mrs Hamzah thanked her husband and then returned to the clinic with some food for Iman.
She opened the door of the ward gently but Iman was still sleeping. Beside Iman’s bed was another female patient who had put to bed four days ago. She’d been discharged since three days ago but none of her relative showed up.
Mrs Hamzah called upon a nurse to ask why the woman was still there.
“Matron, her bill hasn’t been settled. Besides none of her relative showed up not even her husband.” The nurse replied Mrs Hamzah who moved closer to the woman’s bed to hear from the horse’s mouth.
“Madam, is that true?” Mrs Hamzah asked the woman who instead of replying started raining curses on her husband.
“Don’t mind that unfortunate husband of mine. He’s really mad. In fact, it will never be well with him. Everything he lay his hand on will never prosper……………. ”
“Enough!” Mrs Hamzah interruped the woman with a scream. “I asked you a simple question, you started raining curses on the father of your children, who does that? Why has your husband not come? Please give me a straight answer.” Mrs Hamzah said sternly.
“Don’t mind the good for nothing man……… ”
“Gosh! Again!! Please don’t bother to answer my question again.” Mrs Hamzah said and then turned to the nurse.
“Please give me her case file let me check her husband’s number.” Mrs Hamzah said to the nurse and just then a gentleman walked into the ward.
Immediately the patient sighted the man, she ran fiercely towards him and before anyone could say Jack, she locked his shirt and gave him a dirty slap.
“What!!!!” Mrs Hamzah and the nurse exclaimed in one voice while the gentleman who happens to be the woman’s husband spoke with a trembling voice.
“This is what I’ve been going through. She hit me at will and I have never experienced joy since I married her.” The man explained with a red eye while his wife gave a sharp response to everyone’s amazement.
“And you’ll never experience joy in your life for abandoning me in the hospital after giving birth to your child since four days ago.” The woman cursed again.
“Keep quiet woman! Don’t be a shrew!” Mrs Hamzah cautioned but the woman’s husband has a bitter revelation.
“She’s worse than a shrew. She’s a devil. I cursed the day my path crossed with yours. You’ve given me nothing but sorrow.” The man lamented with teary eyes while his wife responded sharply as usual.
“And I’ll continue to give you sorrow until you stopped taking sides with your family.”
“How did I take sides with my family? You pushed my mother to the floor and expect me to pat you on the head and tell you Weldone?”
“Did you ask what your mother did before I pushed her old ass to the floor? I am your wife, the mother of your children, you should take sides with me no matter what because I left my family to come be with you. Since I married you, I haven’t known any other man and you should worship me because you married me as a dignified virgin. I deserve to be treated like a queen and since you’ve refused to treat me like one, I’ll make your life so unbearable.”
“Before you kill me you devil! I’ll show you the way out. I won’t hesitate to discard you like a piece of trash. And did I hear you say I should worship you because I married you as a virgin? Tueh! I would have been grateful if I had married a repented prostitute with a good character instead of shrew virgin. I deliberately abandoned you here since you put to bed for you to learn some lessons but since you’ve proven to be incorrigible, this marriage is over.” The man said angrily at the top of his voice.
Iman groaned in her sleep. Apparently disturbed by the noise. The noise woke her and she heard every of the conversation. Mrs Hamzah knew it was time to dismiss the troublesome couple to allow some peace in the clinic.
“Please settle the bill first then go home to settle your grievances. This is a hospital and the noise is getting too much. We have patients here whose condition is allergic to noise.” Mrs Hamzah cautioned.
“I’m so sorry matron. Please where do I make the payment.” The husband asked bitterly.
“Please see the accountant.” Mrs Hamzah replied while the husband walked out with a hiss.
After the man walked out, Mrs Hamzah turned to the wife.
“Madam you need to take it easy……..” Mrs Hamzah was trying to say but the woman interrupted rudely.
“Please matron mind your business. You don’t know what happened. You don’t know the kind of man he is so don’t even put your mouth.”
“I’m sorry, please carry your baby and go wait at the reception. Even if your husband didn’t make payment, I’ll discharge you free of charge. I need peace in my clinic.” Mrs Hamzah said and waited for her to pack her few things.
She led her outside and shut the door of the ward.
The atmosphere was quiet and Iman resumed a peaceful sleep. She woke up at early noon and saw Mrs Hamzah beside her bed. Mrs Hamzah smiled at her while she also returned a force smile. Iman looked around before speaking.
“Where is my husband?” She queried eagerly.
“How are you feeling now. Has your headache gone?” Mrs Hamzah tried to dodge her question.
“Please answer my question, where is my husband?
“Try and eat something first. Then I’ll tell you.”
“No I won’t eat until you tell me where my husband is.”
“Okay….if you insist. He has returned to Lagos. Apparently he shouldn’t be on rig for the next two weeks and he just went there to hurt you. And now he’s returned to Lagos.” Mrs Hamzah explained while Iman burst into tears.
“Please don’t cry. He’ll surely come back. He can’t forsake his job simply because he’s angry with you. He’ll be back don’t worry.” Mrs Hamzah tried to placate her but she wouldn’t stop crying.
“This is too much for me to bear. Why is he tormenting me like this?The Ilyas I fell in love with is not a wicked man so what happened all of a sudden. I have to go to Lagos as well.” Iman said amidst hot tears.
“Not until you’re better. I can’t allow you go in this condition.” Mrs Hamzah dissuaded.
“No, I am leaving for Lagos right away. What should I be doing here when the one who brought me here has returned to Lagos. There’s no point staying back in warri. Let me go to Lagos and seek family intervention. As it is now I can’t handle it all alone. I don’t want to lose my husband, I love him so much.” Iman lamented with teary eyes.
“I understand you perfectly but you have to get better first. And please stop crying, it will only make your headache worse.”
“Nooooo.” Iman screamed loudly. “please disconnect my drip. I want to go. I can’t wait for another second.” Iman pleaded.
“I am sorry I can’t discharge an unwell patient. It’s against my professional ethics………” Mrs Hamzah was trying to explain but Iman forcefully disconnected the drip and blood gushed out of her hands but she didn’t budge.
Mrs Hamzah ran to her rescue but she pushed her away with all her might. She picked her phone on the bed and headed out. She hadn’t taken three steps when she felt lightheaded. She slumped to the floor and fainted.
Mrs Hamzah ran to her and also called upon some nurses for assistance. Together they got her back on the bed and the drip was connected again. She slept off in no time and Mrs Hamzah heaved a sigh of relief.
Iman woke up the next morning and felt a little relieved. She looked around and discovered there was a new patient in her ward.
A nurse walked in and came over to Iman. She examined her temperature and wrote something down.
“You’re responding to treatment but we still have to observe you for two more days. I’ll tell a nurse to bring your food.” The nurse said to Iman.
“Please where’s Mrs Hamzah……hmmm I mean the matron.
“She’ll resume duty in the afternoon but she’s been here this morning to check on you.” The nurse replied.
“I see……. Please I want to go home. I need to see my husband.”
“You’ll go home when you’re discharged.” The nurse responded.
“Please I need to go home now.” Iman said stubbornly and got out of bed.
She felt her body as light as a feather and staggered backward. The nurse quickly held her and scolded her harshly.
“If you die your husband will continue living. Why are you so stubborn. You want to endanger your health because of a man who hasn’t reached you for days. I don’t object to you going to see your husband but please get well first…….hian…. Ruth.” The nurse said while rolling her eyes at Iman.
Iman broke into tears but the nurse ignored and walked out. Minutes later, another nurse walked in with her food and met her crying.
“Please stop crying and eat your food.” The nurse said and walked out.
Iman sat on the bed and cried instead of eating. She had been calling her mum and siblings everyday but she dare not tell them the predicament she’s in. She continued crying till her noise woke the new patient in the ward. She said sorry to the woman and quickly dried her tears.
Then a man walked in and ran to embrace the new patient. The man who apparently must be her husband hugged her tightly while Iman watched on.
“Sorry sweetheart. How are you feeling now.” The man asked.
“Much better.” His wife responded.
“You got me so worried yesterday when you fainted. I think you should take a break from work and home duty. After you’re discharged from here, I’ll take you out of the country for a vacation. You and I alone. ”
“Where will the kids be?” The woman asked worriedly.
“You see…. You worry alot and that’s why you’re stressed up. You need a break. A good woman like you deserve nothing but the best. You’ve done a lot of sacrifices for the kids and I and I really appreciate you. You’re overwhelmed with too much burden which is why you must take a break.” The man said affectionately while his wife objected.
“Let’s go with the kids. I can’t survive without them for a day.”
“That’s a lie, you’ve been away from them since yesterday and nothing has happened to you. Since our wedding we’ve not heard a lone time together. Let’s go on a vacay. Only you and I. I want to experience that first night again. I want that old feelings to usher in again. That first night, that beautiful first night……..
“You can’t have that first night back. It’s not possible. So let’s just go with the kids.” The wife interrupted sharply.
“Please don’t be stubborn, the kids were not there during our first night…….
“But that first night produced the kids…….”
“Indisputably true but I still need to feel that first night when the hymen was broken…….”
“Shhhh……. It’s not only us here……” The wife cautioned while pointing to Iman who looked away immediately.
“I don’t mind if there are ten thousand people here, I’ll still say what I want to say for whoever cares to listen. I love my wife. She’s brought me nothing but joy. She’s the perfect example of immaculate. She’s an epitome of good virtues and she’s my wife, the woman that kept herself for me only…… ”
“You’re too loud.” The wife said shyly.
“Not loud enough my dear, maybe I need a megaphone. Allow me continue pleaseeeeeee……..My wife is an obedient wife to the last letter and I’ll choose her over and over again. Please my dear, let’s go alone. I want to feel the beautiful first night again. Alone with only you and I. Will you grant my request please.” The husband pleaded again and this time the wife said yes just to shut him up.
He is a braggart who always tell anyone who cares to listen that his wife kept her body for him alone and he wouldn’t stop saying how much of a good woman she is.
Iman couldn’t stop looking at them. After the husband was able to convince his wife, he brought out the food he brought for her and insisted on feeding her.
Iman sobbed quietly as she watched them with great admiration. This is exactly how a marriage should be. She thought with tears filled eyes. Has she made a wrong choice or was life just teaching her a lesson? Why would she marry a man like Ilyas? No Ilyas is a good man, he’s just angry but for how long? She heaved a sigh and tried to forget her problems for a moment but her tears wouldn’t stop.
She forced herself to eat some food as her tummy had started rumbling.
She lied down after eating and her mind flashed back to what happened the previous day. The shrew and her husband. She remembered how the woman slapped her husband and her eyes blinked. She also remembered how the woman demanded for a queen’s treatment from her husband because he met her as a virgin but her behavior doesn’t merit the husband’s goodness.
Iman looked beside her and saw the couple still loved up. They apparently love each other and they’re living their best life. Apparently as the man had stated too, he met his wife as a virgin and the wife wasn’t intoxicated by that but allowed her good character arrest the man’s heart instead.
Iman heaved a long sigh as tears of anguish trickled down her face. If only Ilyas could give her a chance to prove to him that she was raised well then she would have been happier.
Her heart longed to see him but for how long would she endure the emotional torture he’s giving her. If only he knew how much she loved him he wouldn’t treat her like a trash.
She was still in this thought when a nurse walked in, she was given some drug which she took immediately and slept off.
She woke up to see Mrs Hamzah beside her bed and another woman. She screamed at the sight of her mother.
Iman hugged her mother immediately and asked why she came down from Lagos.
“I missed you. ” Her mom replied.
“Please tell me the truth mother.” Iman pleaded but her mom didn’t tell her anything instead she lied to her that Mrs Hamzah informed her about her sickness and since she was aware that her husband wasn’t around but went to rig, she had to come take care of her.
That morning when Iman was still sleeping, her phone rang in the presence of Mrs Hamzah who picked the call. She introduced herself as Iman’s neighbor and Iman’s mother asked why she answered the call instead of Iman.
Mrs Hamzah informed Iman’s mum about her sickness and the woman screamed from the other end.
“What is happening Ya Allah!” Iman’s mother screamed and continued “I called to inform her that her husband was involved in an accident on his way to Lagos only to be informed that she’s sick too!” Iman’s mom lamented.
“Subhan’Allah! Ilyas had an accident! Please we can’t inform Iman now. Can you please come over to warri ma? Iman need you now now more than ever. ” Mrs Hamzah urged Iman’s mother.
“Of course I will. Why won’t I.” Iman’s mother responded and took the next available flight to warri to come be with her daughter.
Iman’s mother kept mute till Iman was better and discharged. Then she told her they were returning to Lagos. She eventually opened up to her daughter that Ilyas was involved in an accident on his way to Lagos. Iman screamed loudly but her mom quickly held her.
“Mummy please tell me my Ilyas isn’t dead.” She screamed.
“No, he just broke his legs and the doctors said he’s gonna be fine and walk again.
Iman wept bitterly while her mom comforted her. They returned to Lagos and headed straight to Gbobi where Ilyas was admitted. They weren’t allowed in until the visiting time. They were allowed in eventually at visiting hour and Iman sighted Ilyas on the bed. Both his legs were wrapped in bandage and hung up.
Iman ran to him and hugged him tightly.
“Don’t worry, we’re in this together. I’ll never leave you.” Iman said while hugging him tightly as her tears trickled on his body.
“I’m sorry my darling Iman. I’m so sorry, I’m sorry, I’m deeply sorry.” Ilyas reteirated while snugging tightly unto her as well.
To be continued.
Marriage is not a child’s play, it’s not for the feeble mind who thinks the success of a marriage is tied to virginity…And you see, a good woman is one who stays by you in times of sorrows, trials and tribulations. A good woman might be one you meet as a virgin or one you meet as a non virgin. Goodnees has nothing to do with virginity and this is not to underestimate the virtues of remaining chaste till marriage.
If you’ve got a good woman, please hold her tightly with your molar and thank me later.
LATEEFAH ADEWUNMI JUMAH