By Amie Sillah
They gossip about the Bagayohors questioning why Bangaly can be a Millionaire and yet leave his parents to live in penury?
“This does not make sense! There must be a mystery behind it! Is he part of a cult which forbids him to take care of his parents? Is it the gossip that the wife has got a ‘juju’ that makes him to do everything for his in-laws (wife’s parents) and abandon his own parents? Whatever the case, this is just absurd!” posited Mbayang, a neighbour to the parents.
“I learnt that he built a mansion in his in-laws village while his parents live in a 3 room mud block house. His wife is very mean and wicked as she is also very pompous. I pity those mothers who only have male children. What happens if your son should marry a wife who is mean and wicked determined to deprive you of support from your son?”
“God forbid! If any daughter in law should do that to me I’ll give her rat poison without a blink! Look at me a struggling widow! What will happen if Allah helps me with blessed children and a ‘silly, opportunistic woman’ marries him and deprived me of my rights as a mother’? I just don’t want to think about that absurdity! My daughter-in-law has to be under my control, period!”
She came to her brother to get money for her upkeep; Ify welcomed her with open arms as she waited for her brother.
“How are papa and mama? Hope they are fine?”
“They are struggling with life but they have faith that one day they will be fine.”
He gave her the upkeep money but warned her sternly.
“This is for your term upkeep money, tuition, rent and other essentials and if you ever gave my hard earned money to those ‘old stupid fools’ I’ll never give you any support again, do you understand?” Abi is sad and disappointed.
“This is absurd! How can you refer to your parents in such a derogatory tone? Especially mama who gave birth to you through thick and thin? She disclosed to me that you are their only surviving son and your sister being their ‘chaat’ last born! How could you be this mean?” She posited still unable to figure out why such hatred for his parents.
“What is your own? Are they your parents? Do you know the sins they have committed in the past? Mind your business and save your stupid life!” He asserted to Ify’s disgust.
He is very sickly due to poor diet and always suffer poverty related ailments but he is lucky to have a dutiful, caring wife who always look after him. He went to their backyard garden to dig out some cassava tubers but in the process collapsed and Hadja rushed to help him get up.
“Do you want to add to my problems? Why should you go to the garden when you feel feverish?” Hadja asked as she helped him get back into the house. She prepared a leafy soup with dry fish which was available plus ‘findi’ and encouraged Alhajj to eat it.
“There is no meat or fresh fish! Who can believe this with a ‘Millionaire’ son? ” Alhajj grumbled.
“Yes there is no fresh fish or meat but there is groundnut, smoke and dry fish, eat and get strong and please don’t dampen my appetite! We have a daughter and not a son so far I am concerned and definitely when she graduates which will be very soon she will have our empathy and help us get out of penury Insha Allah!”
She came home to her parents and brought them provisions and they were very happy as they prayed for her.
“Didn’t I tell you? We have a daughter and not a son whenever she graduates she will help us out let us keep praying for her as she knows we are her parents who brought her into this world with Allah’s blessing.”
Alhajj concurred and said;
“You’ll be blessed as you honour your parents! You’ll graduate, marry the man of your choice and live in bounty. Amen!” “Amen!” the duo chorused.
“Badara is possessed, do you know what he told me? That I should not buy anything for you using his hard earned money, I’ll not do it let him do his worse as I’ll never forsake my parents as he is doing.”
“My son is possessed but prayers can change everything on earth as long as you believe. Whoever is deceiving him Allah will expose some fine day.” Hadja posited.
He came to inform his parents about his traditional marriage rites which has been already concluded by his in laws.
“Is this how you inform us about your traditional marriage rites? Why do you despise us this much? What have we done to you? How can we attend to meet our in-laws when we have nothing, no money, and good, decent clothes to wear? Do you want us to appear as beggars?” Mama broke down emotionally.
“I have informed you and do as you wish, you can attend or not attend, this is entirely my in-laws show, the Muslim traditional wedding was done in our village and you were central, don’t expect any money from me because I have nothing for you period!” He marched out entered his car and drove away to their dismay.
“Satan is a liar whatever a hand does another hand can undo it!” Mama posited through sobs.
Through Abi Ify sent them some money for their necessities which enabled them to attend and participated fully.
Badara was stunned he did not know where they could have got money to attend to the ceremony; he suspected Abi must have taken from her allowance to give to their parents and he was ready to pounce on her whenever he set eyes upon her.
Abi was on assignment to the countryside for her dissertation and was unable to attend the ‘Jayballeh’ (traditional marriage rite) she came down and went straight to congratulate the couple.
He verbally lashed upon her before she concluded her congratulatory message;
“How could you disobey me? What have I done to deserve such disrespect? Didn’t I warn you never to give my hard earned money to those old fools? Because of such wrath I’ll suspend your second term allowance until further notice to make you suffer for your intransigence.”
To be Cont.