TWINS OF INIQUITY
A SHORT STORY
The heavy rain washed Taiwo’s tears away as she ran non stopped under the rain. She continued running without a destination in mind. After minutes of continuous running, she ran out of breath and paused under a tree while grasping for breath.
Her clothes were wet and she shivers as the heavy rain had earlier dealt several strokes on her body. The tree was not a safe refuge because the leaves showers water on her body which makes no difference from when she was directly under the rain. She however waited under the tree till the rain subsides.
After the heavy rain stopped, she decided to continue, yet her destination was unknown. She left home unannounced, not even a note to inform her family of her disappearance. She wanted to disappear to where no one would ever find her. She equally left her phone at home. It was a deliberate action because she thought her family wouldn’t bother calling her if they get to know she wasn’t with her phone.
Taiwo continued to wander around the city of Lagos. She left home around past 7:00am and she was still wandering at half past 6:00pm. She left home with nothing except the clothes and the slipper she had on. There was no money on her as well, so she had no option of transportation. She trekked briskly along the road and wouldn’t look back as if she feared someone might be trailing her. After trekking a long distance without pausing, she became very tired, weak, thirsty and hungry and then decided to rest.
She paused beside a mama put joint and sat on a big stone lying on the floor. She rested her back on the fence as she looked like an unkempt refugee. She breathed heavily out of tiredness as her eyes were beginning to see images in double. The aroma of the food emanating from the mama put joint blew into her nose and she desperately craved for food. Her legs were weak but she managed to get up and walked slowly to the mama put joint. The owner of the joint sighted her and quickly reached for a broom. She mistook her for a mad woman because she looked like one due to her unkempt appearance.
“Ale le! On your mark, get ready go!” The owner of the joint shouted while sweeping her legs with the broom but she pleaded for mercy.
“Please I need food and water.” She begged weakly.
“I said you should leave you mad woman!” The woman shouted again.
“I am not mad please I need food and water.” Taiwo pleaded again.
“Leave now before I beat you to death.” The woman shouted again and this time one of the customers eating asked her to give Taiwo some food and put the bill on her.
The eatery woman hissed loudly as she dished some food and gave it to her. Taiwo collected the food hurriedly and was about to sit when the woman pushed her not to sit in her shop. She hit her head against the wall and because she was already weak and pale, she sprawled to the floor and passed out.
There was commotion as everyone in the canteen fled except some few who tried to resuscitate her. After the failed resuscitation attempt, the woman who earlier paid for her food suggested that she should be taken to a hospital. The owner of the canteen objected with the excuse that she doesn’t want police problem plus she has no money for medical bills.
“Really! You don’t have money for medical bills yet you pushed a vulnerable person as hard as that?” The good Samaritan woman whom they all referred to as Hajia scolded.
“You can’t blame me o. Can’t you see that she’s mad? If customers sees a mad woman eating in my shop, will they enter?”
“I don’t think she’s mad. She doesn’t smell bad at all. She might just need some help. Don’t worry, I’ll pay for the medical bill but you need to come along as well because you caused it.” Hajia expressed while the joint owner had no choice but to tag along.
At the hospital, Taiwo was attended to immediately after Hajia identified her as her niece. She was given some drip injection and after some hours in the hospital, she came back to life.
She opened her eyes slowly and what she saw at first was blurred images after which her vision became clearer. She saw Hajia and stared strangely at her. The time had been fast spent. It was past 9:00pm. The joint owner had left after taking permission to go close her shop but Hajia couldn’t leave her alone in the hospital. She had phoned her home to inform her family of the development and they understood.
“Please where am I?” Taiwo asked as she tried to get up but Hajia pulled her back to sleep.
“Oh, my head hurt!” She said weakly again.
“You see why you can’t get up yet. This is a hospital. We brought you here after you fainted earlier today.” Hajia explained and this time Taiwo went in trance as she tried to recollect.
She was able to remember what happened before she was unconscious and then burst into tears.
“Please don’t cry. Who are you? Who are your parents? Can you give me the contact of any of your family member?” Hajia bombarded her with questions but she didn’t reply, instead she continued crying while Hajia rose to her feet.
“I wanted to help you but with this silence, I don’t think I can again. I’ve paid for all your medical bills. You can leave the hospital when you’re discharged. Bye bye.” Hajia said and made to leave but Taiwo screamed.
“Please don’t leave me here!” Taiwo pleaded while Hajia turned back.
“Are you ready to talk now? If you are, I’m ready to listen and help you but if you are not, I better take my leave before my goodness is misconstrued.” Hajia expressed while still on her feet.
“I’ll tell you about myself.” Taiwo said weakly.
“Okay, I’m all ears.” Hajia replied while taking a seat in front of her and ready to listen to her story.
Taiwo Hassanat and kehinde Hassan are identical twins. Taiwo is the twin girl while Kehinde is the twin boy. They were born on the same day after spending eight months in the same abode together. They shared the same placenta, and the difference between their birth timing was not up to five minutes.
They were the third of their parents and as expected, they changed the name of their parents to ‘mama and baba ibeji. Their mum who had always loved twins welcomed them with great excitement and showered a greater love on them. While they were still babies, she buys uniform dresses for them and even as little kids, the story was still the same. Their mother dresses them beautifully and elegantly to the envy and admiration of people. As babies, the burden on their mum was lesser as people assisted her to carry the twins and equally showered gifts on them.
The twins became the cynosure of all eyes wherever they go and all parents tapped into mama ibeji’s blessings and wished for twins. Their mom created a strong bond between them owing to the uniform clothes, shoes, school bag, food flask and even under wears, everything she buys for them were always uniformed.
As years passed by, the bond between the twins increased to the admiration of all. They eats together, goes to school together and always in the same class together. Whenever the school decided to separate their classes, their mom wouldn’t agree and they’ll be back together in the same class.
The family lived in a four bedroom apartment where the male and female kids had separate rooms but this does not stop Taiwo and Kehinde from sleeping in the same room as kids because they don’t want to be separated. This however changed when they became adults but it doesn’t change the strong bond that existed between them. They does everything together till they become full grown adults.
One day, their mom was in the living room with a guest. Taiwo walked out of her room half dressed. She was already wearing a skirt and was holding a blouse on her hand. She wore her bra half way but hadn’t fastened the hook. She walked out of her room while shouting her twin brother’s name at the top of her voice.
“I sent Kehinde on an errand. Come here let me fasten the hook for you.” Their mom who knew what she wanted from her twin brother offered to help but she declined.
“No I want Kehinde to fasten it for me.” Taiwo declined.
“Okay, wait for him to get back that’s if you’re not in a hurry to go out.” Their mom replied and continued to gist with her friend.
“Ehn I’ll wait for him.” Taiwo grumbled as she walked back to her room but her mom’s voice called her back.
“Tawo! Kehinde is back o.” Their mom shouted and she turned back immediately.
Right there in front of their mom and her friend, Kehinde assisted Taiwo to fasten the hook of her bra. After he was done, she hugged him happily while he planted a kiss on her forehead.
Their mother smiled and started to eulogize them proudly.
“Ejire Oyila, edunjobi omo agborigi reterete. Okan n babi, eyin lo wo le tomiwa. Wininini loju orogun, eji woro loju iya e, o’wo ile alakise o’so alakise di onigba aso……………….” Their mother eulogized them while they smiled brightly.
All this while, their mother’s friend was watching the scenario with dismay and mouth agape. She wasn’t comfortable to say the least. After kehinde and Taiwo exited, she couldn’t keep quiet. She thought it wise to admonish mama ibeji, she might really not know that she was playing with fire.
“Mama ibeji.” Mrs Oni called her friend who was still engrossed with the happiness of the bond and love between her twins.
“Ehn ore mi.” She answered with smiles. She was really too happy.
“I don’t think this is right.” Mrs Oni expressed her worry.
“What is not right?” Mama Ibeji asked her friend.
“The closeness between your twins is not appropriate. Why should Kehinde be the one fastening bra hook for Taiwo? And you don’t seem to see anything wrong in it? No one needs assistance to clasp bra hook for crying out loud. Clasping of bra hook is an unlearnt skill every woman has. If you don’t clasp from the front, you clasp from the back. If they are the same sex I wouldn’t have been worried but they are different sex which makes it worrisome. Please caution them, it is not right. They shouldn’t be too close for sanity to prevail.” Mrs Oni warned but Mama ibeji waved away her worry with smiles.
“You worry too much my friend. These children are twins for God’s sake. I gave birth to them same day. They stayed in my womb together for months and came out the same day nakedly. I don’t see anything in them sharing bonds. In fact I am proud of the love and closeness they share. No one can separate them and they got each other’s back any day anytime.” Mama ibeji expressed discarding her friend’s worry.
“You don’t get my point mama Ibeji. I am not saying that they shouldn’t share bonds. Of course they should share bonds because they are siblings, they are blood and blood can’t be cheated. All I’m saying is that they shouldn’t be too close because they are of different sex. There should be some boundary between them. The boundary that should exist between siblings of different sex should also exist between them. We can’t say because they are twins and born nakedly on the same day, they should now be bathing together and seeing each other’s nakedness. We can’t say because they’re twins, they have the license to touch each other’s body without decorum. No my friend, they are no longer babies but grown up adults which is why we have to be careful. We must not give the devil a chance…………………….” Mrs Oni was saying but Mama Ibeji interrupted her sharply.
“Hold it right there! I understand you perfectly. I even understand your unspoken words. Why are people like this for God’s sake! Why do you have dirty minds? Why do you like putting bitterness wherever you see sweetness? Why do like projecting your fear on others. What is wrong in twin siblings showing love to each other? Don’t try to cause problem where there’s none. My twins love each other purely and there’s nothing illicit about their closeness so don’t project negativity on them please!” Mama ibeji replied her friend harshly and the latter was embarrassed and had to apologize.
“I’m sorry if my advice sounds odd to you. Please ignore it.” Mrs Oni expressed and got up to leave.
“Are you leaving?” Mama Ibeji asked sarcastically.
“Hmm yes I am. I want to go pick my kids from school.”
“Alright bye bye.” Mama Ibeji remarked while raising her nose at her.
The woman exited and immediately she left, mama Ibeji began to vituperate.
“Eeri nkan naa. Olokan didoti. They are always projecting their evil thoughts on people’s affairs. A thousand of you cannot separate my twins, nonsense!” Mama Ibeji vituperated and hissed loudly.
Years passed by and the twins’ closeness increased. They both gained admission into the same university to study same course. They were in the same department which further strengthened their bond. They became more and more inseparable and always together like the snail and its shell. Everyone knew about the strong bond that existed between them and no one dare came in between them. They would fight every intruder tooth and nail. Kehinde was well known in Taiwo’s hostel as he was a regular visitor. The male hostel occupants also knew Kehinde the same way money is known to all.
Taiwo was with her friends on a Tuesday mid-day when Kehinde came around. There were four of them together. Two were in the same department with her while the other one was a friend from another department. She left her friends immediately and ran into her twin brother’s waiting arms.
Kehinde grabbed her waist and drew her nearer to him while kissing her neck. They exchanged a straight stare into each other’s eyeballs and then burst into laughter. They cuddled like couple for some minutes while whispering into each other’s ears. They giggled and chuckled intermittently and all the while, Kehinde’s hands were firmly around Taiwo’s waist. After a while, he brought out some chocolates from his pocket and handed it to her. She collected it and gave him a peck on his chin.
Taiwo’s friends were watching them display as usual. The two who were in her department were already used to their weird closeness while the one who weren’t in the same department with them thought they were couple and started tapping into their blessing.
“Awwwwwwwn, what a sweet couple! I tap into this blessing o. I pray to have a man as romantic as this.” Biola from another department expressed with emotions.
“Wake up from your dreams girlfriend! They ain’t couple but Twins so stop tapping into nonsense.” Anat who’s in Taiwo’s department replied to the amazement of Biola.
“Unbelievable! You’re lying jooor! How can they be twins and not couple. I don’t believe you jare.” Biola expressed her doubt.
“Why should I lie? Believe me they are twins and not couple.” Anat reverberated.
“In that case, that closeness is not appropriate. Haba! How can they engage in public display of affection like couple. Even bashful couples don’t engage in public display of affection how much more of twins. The grabbing and holding of waist, the kissing of neck, the direct stare into each other’s eyes, the cuddle and the tight hug is too extreme haba! Why are they behaving like this?” Biola expressed her worry.
“I have always told Taiwo that her closeness with her twin brother is weird and inappropriate but she always argued that their affection is pure plus Tomiwa here is always supporting her with the line that there’s nothing wrong with their dispositions.” Anat remarked bitterly while Biola turned to face Tomiwa.
“Tomiwa is that true, you don’t see anything wrong in what these twins are doing?” Biola asked Tomiwa.
“What is wrong in twins showing love and affection to each other? You ladies should stop worrying for nothing. They are twins, born on the same day and came out of their mother’s womb connected. No one can separate them. Do you want to blame God for making them same sex? God knows they’ll relate with each other and He still made them same sex please stop making mountain out of morehills.” Tomiwa argued while Anat argued back.
“You don’t understand. No one says they shouldn’t show love to each other as twins but there should be decorum because they are not same sex and equally not babies. They are grown up adults and this extreme closeness can cause temptation. Islam teaches us to separate our children’s beddings once they are ten. This separation of beddings cut across all aspects of siblings relationship. No unnecessary intermingling and closeness to avoid temptation or haven’t you heard of siblings who sleeps with each other?” Anat was saying when Taiwo appeared upon them from nowhere and she’d apparently overheard them because she quickly charged fiercely at Anat.
“If that is what you wish for me then may it be your portion in ten folds. What kind of a friend are you Anat? How could you say such about me uhn?” Taiwo said angrily.
“I don’t understand your outburst.” Anat said in dismay.
“How will you understand? I heard everything you guys have been saying. If to sleep with my twin brother is what you wish for me then I return it back to you. Back to sender you betrayer!” Taiwo shouted but Anat was silent. She decided not to get even with her. But Biola tried to salvage the situation.
“Please take it easy Taiwo. Anat meant no harm or evil. She was just trying to say that you should be careful so as not to make mistake. There should be some barricade between siblings of different sex. Your closeness with your twins is on the extreme and inappropriate……………..” Biola was saying but Taiwo interrupted her sharply too.
“Enough of the gibberish you are spewing. I don’t need you guys to poke your nose into my affairs. It is none of your business how I relate with my twin brother. The bond we share is as pure as the morning dew so carry your negativity elsewhere I don’t need it.” Taiwo replied with a loud hiss while Tomiwa seconded.
“I told them that there’s no big deal in the way you guys relates but they’re too holier than Muhammad. Awon sunnatic sisters, everything is always odd to them. They always find fault in almost everything and everything is haram to them. And they are always judging people, oga o.” Tomiwa expressed sarcastically.
“Don’t mind them jare. Let’s get out of here before they stained us with their negativity.” Taiwo said while Tomiwa got up and they both walked away leaving Anat and Biola behind.
Anat and Biola exchanged glances and shrugged.
The twins continued a relationship of Romeo and Juliet all in the name of keeping bond. They fought anyone who tried to get between them with the same argument they always come up with ‘pure love and affection’ They never took to correction and everyone correcting them is judging them and wishing them bad. Their parents ain’t helping matters as well as they saw no big deal and weirdness in the way their twins relates. In fact, they love their closeness and wouldn’t stop thanking God for making their Twins friends and not enemies. This went on until………………….
One Sunday morning, the family was going to attend a function. Their parents and other siblings had gone ahead of the twins. Taiwo dressed half way and as usual needed her twin brother to help her out with the finishing. She had managed to clasp her bra herself but needed Kehinde to put up her zipper for her.
She called on him and as usual, he came running to hasten her call.
“Please zip up my dress!” She requested him after he entered her room.
“Okay!” He replied and went behind her to do the job.
He zipped up her dress and then zipped it down slowly again.
“What are you doing? Why are you zipping down again?” She asked sharply.
“You didn’t call me to fasten your bra hook so I wanted to see if you did it rightly.” He replied.
“Okay, I managed to do it myself. Please zip up my dress, we’re running late for the function.” She said but instead of him to comply and do as she requested, he started rubbing her back tenderly while she quickly moved away.
“What are you doing?” She asked in dismay.
“Nothing, just admiring your beautiful skin.” He said as he moved closer and grabbed her waist.
“Stop!” She said and tried to push him away but he scooped her so tightly and then bent to kiss her lips.
“Kenny please stop!” She said again as she moved her mouth away swiftly.
“Please.” He pleaded hungrily as he overpowered her with a burning sensation.
He locked his mouth in hers and she couldn’t say anything again. He pushed her slightly to the bed and she could only whisper a no.
“No Kenny, this is not right. We’re siblings.” She whispered in a low tone.
“No one is at home. No one is seeing us.”
“God………….God is seeing us…………” She was saying but he locked her mouth with a kiss.
He ended up getting her down and that was it. They committed an abomination. A filthy incest was committed by two siblings.
After the shameful act, she burst into uncontrollable tears and started hitting him.
“What have you done? Kehinde what have you done? What have we done?” She shouted as she cried loudly and hit him at the same time.
He got up immediately as if nothing happened and exited the room. He paused by the door and said to her:
“Go have a shower and get dressed for the function. The family is waiting for us.” He said to her while she casted him a scornful look.
She remained on the bed and continued crying profusely. He came to check her later but she wouldn’t stop crying or talk to him. He sat beside her on the bed and tried to console her but she pushed him away. He got up and left the room for the function without her.
Since that day, she avoided him like a plague. They both made the incidence a top secret kept between them. Taiwo became withdrawn and talked less. She avoided any form of contact with Kehinde till they returned to school the following week after the incidence.
In school too she turned her back at him. No more cuddling and nonsense display of affection, she had learnt her lesson the hard way but it seemed Kehinde wanted the rubbish to continue.
They went home for the semester break and he had his way with her again after sneaking into her room in the middle of the night. And because she doesn’t want to alert the family, she allowed him.
Then he formed the habit of sneaking into her room every other night to do the despicable till he put her in the family way.
Her mom was the first to know of her pregnancy. She took her for a test and it was confirmed she was actually pregnant. Hell was let loosed as her mother landed her series of hot slaps right from the hospital till they reached home. She was only 21 and in three hundred level, how on earth did she came across a shameful pregnancy because she wasn’t known with a boyfriend’ her mum marveled.
Then the next question on Mama Ibeji’s lips was ‘Who got you pregnant’ And each time this question was asked, she would cry uncontrollably. While the question was being asked, Kehinde would make a pleading signal for her not to divulge their little secret and she would keep quiet and cried instead. She received lots of beatings from her parents yet she didn’t disclose the owner of her shameful pregnancy. Even if Kehinde didn’t beg her not to tell, with what mouth would she tell the world that her twin brother impregnated her.
One morning, when the pressure to disclose the father of the baby inside her was getting too much, she decided to run away from home. She left home immediately her parents left for work with nothing. She wanted to disappear not to appear forever. So she started trekking from home since morning till evening to an unknown destination. She was beaten by both sun and rain till she looked so unkempt like a beggar.
She rested beside an eatery and because she couldn’t bear the pangs of hunger that was dealing terribly with her, she decided to beg for food and that was the last thing she remembered before she opened her eyes on the hospital bed.
She concluded her story with tears streaming her face and Hajia, her benefactor heaved a deep sigh.
“This is very pathetic indeed. But at the same time, you can’t run away from home. Your parents and twin brother were part of this doom so you shouldn’t carry this cross alone by punishing yourself. Your family would have been worried by now please give me your parents contact.” Hajia requested.
“No ma, I don’t want to go back home.” She replied with hot tears.
“Come on don’t be naughty. Don’t let me regret helping you please give me your parents contact so that I can get through to them before I leave.” Hajia requested again and this time, Taiwo gave a sharp moan.
Hajia quickly pressed the alarm switch and two nurses came running. By the time the nurses arrived, Taiwo was already bleeding. The nurses exchanged glances and one of them turned to Hajia to ask question.
“Is she pregnant?” The nurse asked while Hajia replied with a nod.
“This looks like a miscarriage. Anyway, we’ll carry out some test to be sure.”
Taiwo was treated and it was actually a miscarriage. Hajia couldn’t leave that night. She called her family to inform them of the development and that she wouldn’t be coming home.
The next morning, Taiwo woke up and Hajia was the first person she saw.
“How are you feeling now?” Hajia asked.
“I’m very much better. Thank you so much for standing by me. I really appreciate. You don’t know me from Adam yet you extended a helping hand. May Allah never leave you to yourself even for a blink of an eye. May He ease your affairs and lighten your burden……………
“Aamin. And I really thank God for you as well. Allah has granted you respite in order for you to mend your ways and live uprightly. He, in his infinite mercy has given you a second chance by allowing the baby to drop. If that didn’t happen, what a big shame your family would have encountered. You have really learnt your lesson and I’m sure you’ll never repeat such mistake again. Now give me your parents contact. They must have gone through a lot of stress since yesterday that you left home unannounced.
Hajia put a call through to Taiwo’s parents and they screamed at the other end. They promised to locate the hospital immediately which they did and Hajia explained everything to them. The incest, the pregnancy and the miscarriage were all explained without leaving anything unsaid.
Mama Ibeji burst into tears while her husband couldn’t believe all he heard. Hajia admonished them to be more vigilant and upright in parenting their children. They learnt their lessons in the hard way. The commandment of lowering the gaze also applies to siblings of different gender. The etiquette of bashfulness also applies to siblings of different gender. The prohibition of intermingling of sexes also applies to siblings of different gender. The only difference is that relationship among siblings isn’t as strict as that of non Mahram but there should be barricade all the same. Male siblings are Mahram no doubt but that shouldn’t give room for unnecessary touch, look or any form of extreme affection that can cause fitnah. Islam is a complete religion that touches all aspects of human life. Human being is fallible and prone to error. Only Allah is infallible. So why shouldn’t we be careful and be upright in everything we do?
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old and smack them if they do not do so when they are ten years old, and separate them in their beds.”
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! God is Aware of what they do” “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their chests, and not to reveal their adornment.” (An-Noor verse 30 and 31)
“O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them; that is better for you, in order that you may remember” (This also applies to entering upon people, because we’re siblings doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be privacy)
[an-Noor verse 27]
May Allah rectify our affairs and safe us from fitnah. Please share as widely as possible.
LATEEFAH ADEWUNMI JUMAH