I didn't blame Maryam Sanda when she was found guilty of stabbing her darling. I wish I had her courage. I am in shackles. They used to have roses growing on them before now but all have finally become rusty old chains around my neck, arms, and feet. I cry all the...
A Leap of Faith
I scrolled through Facebook reading posts to keep myself away from boredom, reacting to funny posts and commenting on some. "I will take a leap of faith and settle down!" These were the exact words written on the post. The man who made that statement had found his...
I Am a Female Drug Addict and No One Knows
One night, the whole family was watching the television after dinner. As usual, I was with my phone as Telenovelas were not as interesting as Kamal, my new boyfriend. My dad had walked in. My brothers had whined in protest before my dad even held the remote. We knew...
I Almost Slept with My Sister
There I was in front of Umaima's house, waiting for her to come outside. I have been coming to see her for a month now. I hoped to make my intentions known to my parents as soon as possible. Little did I know that Umaima would be getting married soon. She sent her...
“What do you mean you can’t find her?!” Suraiya asked, panic written all over her face.
Her aunt, Zainab rocked the baby trying to pacify him as they thought about where his mother had disappeared to.
“I came in after praying Subh to check up on her and I met the room empty with the baby sleeping on the bed, I thought she was in the bathroom but after waiting several minutes and knocking without any answer, I opened the door and she wasn’t inside.”
Suraiya listened to her aunt, her brain trying to pick up where her sister had gone to.
“Maybe she went for a walk? have you tried call…” Suraiya paused when she noticed her sister’s phone lying carelessly on the bed.
How were they going to find her now???
“Your sister is very unserious. how would you leave your baby unattended and go somewhere else?? kai Allah Ya shirya, this is a result of ……”
“Anty Zeeeeee.” Suraiya cut her off before she went into full-blown ‘aunty mode’ “now is not the time for all this, let’s worry about finding her first okay?”
Her aunt scoffed, muttering some words under her breath.
Suraiya didn’t care to listen as she stalked off to find her brother-in-law.
Suraiya was not surprised about Muraiya missing ever since she noticed the kind of atmosphere at her sister’s house.
The look of excitement, glee and happiness that normally accompanied the faces of new mothers was nowhere to be found on her sister’s, Muraiya.
Her mother, aunts and everyone were oblivious to it but she knew her sister, more than anyone.
Something was up.
She didn’t miss the blank expressions as aunt after aunt fussed over what and what should be done.
“Don’t sit like that”
“You don’t hold a baby that way?”
“Have you fed him?”
Muraiya shrugged or nodded to the instructions and didn’t say a word.
It was strange, Muraiya was a chatterbox, hardly ever kept shut no matter what.
Taking advantage of the now almost-empty room when everyone left to let the mother take a nap, Suraiya moved closer to her sister.
“Are you alright?” She asked, her voice laced with concern.
“Yes Adda, I’m fine,” Muraiya replied, pulling the blanket up to her chin. “Just want to close my eyes for a bit.”
Suraiya sensed she was trying to avoid a conversation so she let her be and exited the room.
Sleep was the last thing on Muraiya’s mind as the tears dropped, she could not describe the feeling in her heart at the moment.
She knew no one would understand her; heck even she did not understand what was going on with her.
The knock on the door made her hold her breath, she didn’t want anyone to see her like this so she pretended to be asleep.
The rasasi perfume was enough to tell her who it was, and he was the last person she wanted to see.
He put her in this predicament.
Aliyu walked in, his expression suddenly turned into that of disappointment when he called her name and she didn’t answer.
He could see right through her pretence; Muraiya was a light sleeper, a whisper from him was enough for her to wake up.
Sitting down on the couch beside the bed, he let out a sigh.
These past few days was one he fought to understand, his wife had gone from yay to meh, he could count how many times he had seen her smile or laugh.
At first, he dismissed it as pregnancy stress but then even after the baby had arrived, nothing changed.
In fact, she had gotten worse.
He had asked her several times about it but all she gave him was “nothing, I’m fine.”
Any discussion about the baby was met with monosyllabic responses; she wouldn’t even decide on a name, instead, she told him to go with whatever he wanted.
That was not how their marriage had been, it was always teamwork, a “we” thing.
As he watched the two most important people in his life, his heart filled with worry but most of all, he was afraid, he was losing his wife and he had no idea what to do.
Three hours later and still Muraiya was nowhere to be found, everyone was now in a state of worry.
“But where would she have gone to?” one of her aunts asked no one in particular.
“What do you expect from these new generation kids?!” another aunt cut in, “they think the whole world revolves around them and they just act anyhow.”
Suraiya rolled her eyes, all she cared about now as if her sister was okay, there was more to this.
Just then, a location popped up in her head and she immediately got up, making some excuse about going to the bathroom.
If her hunch was correct, she wanted to speak to her sister alone first before anyone, the last thing Muraiya needed was everyone’s scolding.
And just like she predicted, she found her in the storage closet, sitting with her back against the wall and a blank expression on her face.
“Murrsss.” she called softly.
She didn’t answer and just hugged her knees to her chest.
Suraiya rushed to her side and held her, “Mursss habibty. What’s wrong? why are you sitting here?”
“Adda, i-i…” Muraiya couldn’t hold it in any longer and she burst into tears.
She had cried so much, her head hurt. There was this overwhelming feeling in her heart she couldn’t control as she held her sister.
“You’ll be fine, Murss, you’ll be fine. cry it out, I’m here for you okay?”
Suraiya wanted to know what had gotten her sister this way so she dialled her brother-in-law.
His wife needed help ASAP.
Aliyu and Suraiya managed to get Muraiya safely to the hospital with the help of their mother who came up with a story to disperse the crowd.
There was this air of relief when the doctor told them it was not a major issue.
“Your wife is going through Postpartum Depression.” he explained, “also known as Postnatal Depression or Baby Blues. These are feelings of sadness that you may have in the first few days after having a baby and it can last for at least up to two weeks and doesn’t require any medical treatment. All that’s required of her right now is lots of rest and assurance.” he turned to face Aliyu, “Most especially from you her partner, let her know she’s not alone in all of this, she needs all emotional support she can get.”
“In sha Allah, I’ll do that. thank you, doctor,” he said stretching his hand out for a handshake.
“No problem. she can go home, and you can keep me updated on any other thing,” he said and left the room.
“I had a feeling that was what was going on,” Suraiya said. “I just wanted to be sure.”
“Well at least, we know what’s wrong now and I’m going to try my best to make her feel better. In sha Allah.”
Suraiya smiled. She knew he meant every word he said. Aliyu loved her sister so much and it was evident, in his eyes, the way he treated her, it was lovely to watch.
She was happy her sister had a supportive spouse and she said a little prayer for them.
“I think I should head home now,” she suggested.
“So I can inform them about what’s going on and also check on the baby before you guys get back?”
“Thank you so much, I appreciate it.”
“Anything for you both, just take care of my Murrs.” she opened the door to leave and then paused. “I’ll clear everyone out before you get back.”
He nodded, as she closed the door and moved closer to his wife.
His poor baby, she looked so tired even while asleep.
Just as he touched her face, she stirred and opened her eyes.
“What happened?” she croaked, struggling to get up.
He gently put his hands on her shoulder, holding her down, “Relax babes. you’re okay, you just blacked out.”
“I’m sorry Al. I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I don’t even know how to describe how I feel, I’m just physically and mentally exhausted, everything is just…”
He reached out for her hands, “Babes. you don’t need to apologize okay? it’s not your fault you feel this way. Your feelings are valid, you just had a baby and it’s taking a toll on you, you’re new to this so it’s bound to happen, what I need from you right now is to trust me, we’re in this together, whatever it is, it’s we thing, we’ll go through it together, hundred per cent.”
Muraiya gave him the biggest grin she could afford at the moment, thanking the lord silently for giving her a husband as wonderful as Aliyu.
He made everything better and right now all she wanted was to be in his warm embrace so she pulled him towards her and he held her tight, his signature Rasasi perfume greeting her nose.
“Let’s go home,” she whispered in his ear and he kissed her cheek, knowing home was nothing without her.
Back home, Aliyu was grateful to Suraiya as she had kept her word about clearing everyone out.
The house was now quiet, the scent of bakhoor all over.
Suraiya handed the baby to Aliyu and moved to her sister.
“I’ve explained everything to mama, you don’t need to come back home for any 40 days of wahala, just stay here and take care of yourself, Anty Safiyya would be coming here tomorrow to help with the bathing and all, she doesn’t have any issues, Alhamdullilah. Promise me you’ll get lots of rest, and listen to Aliyu and Anty Safiyya.”
“Thank you, Adda Am.”
“You’re welcome, lil sis. Now I have to go, Khalid is waiting outside for me. bye.” She blew her a kiss and left.
Muraiya sat down on the bed as Aliyu placed the baby in her arms.
She looked at their bundle of joy and a tear escaped her eye.
He was a beautiful baby, a product of their love and she was going to fight those feelings just for him.
“Ahmad.” She said looking up at Aliyu. “It’s the perfect pick.”
“Then Ahmad it is, milady,” Aliyu replied with a mock salute and Muraiya burst into fits of laughter.
That was what she had always prayed for.
Happiness, love and laughter.
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