This episode is For you, Ruqayah: A Brilliant Friend, Who Pushes for Excellence in Everything….
The drive home is pretty effortless; no traffic, except for the light shower coming from above. As the wiper swooshes away the strokes on the windscreen, he imagines how his life would be if he were to venture into the novel world of polygyny. It would be challenging, but there would be excitement as well. The mere thought of courting another woman and marrying her brings a sudden intoxicating rush to his mind. He had flat out told the matchmaker that he was married. And to his consternation, she had responded that his marital status was not a problem as there were several Muslim women and even Christian women who had no qualms becoming co-wives.
But that thought takes a backseat when he gets home and sees only his wife, not his daughter, Rodiya. The sizzling and aroma enter the Livingroom and call Raheem over into the kitchen. He asks about Rodiya, and Sofiya says she is staying with her mother for the weekend. The grandmother had just visited and decided to take her for the weekend.
“Go on and freshen up,” she tells him. “I’m cooking your favorite food.” She leans in and gives him a kiss on the cheek.
As warm water oozing of the shower nozzle massages his body, thoughts of the potential woman who might become his second wife fill up his mind. Would he be matched with someone who physically looks different from Sofiya? And would she be more reserved? Someone who is not as outspoken as his wife? Then another thoughts came to his mind, would they all be living together? And this was the frightening one: he knew there’s no way Sofiya would share her apartment with someone else, and he can’t quite picture himself commuting between two houses all his life.
They ate dinner. He loved the meal. Soft, hot amala with seven hearted efo stewed in well seasoned spice. During the dinner, they spoke and reminisce of their first year of marriage, and with it floods of emotion overcome him, and he falls deeper in love with Sofiya right there. When he comes back from Isha, just as he opens the door, he finds the lights off in the living room, although their neighbors have electricity. There are lit candles and petals all over the floor, and the house smell of his favorite cologne. Blues song is playing from the home theater speakers. Then right beside the TV shelf, Sofiya is standing in a crimson negligee, from the looks of it, it is new. Her lips painted red and her dreadlocks are touching her ear lobes and the back of her neck: “Welcome, Ustaz…” in a seductive tone, she says.
Later that night, after rounds of love making, Raheem starts to think how stupid it is of him to be looking for a second wife when he has everything he could ever wanted in a woman. Here’s a smart, intelligent, beautiful and sexy wife. She’s a great mother too to Rodiya. Of course, he is attracted to other women, but that’s when he should focus on self-discipline and practice restraint. But as he is thinking of this, he unknowingly speaks out his thought and Sofiya hears it.
“What did you say now?”
“I didn’t say anything.” He replies.
“I swear you said what would happen if I married a second wife.”
“Don’t try it.”
“Mary a second wife.”
“I wasn’t planning. I don’t even know how I said that out.”
“Good. Because if you do, I will leave you and take my child with me.”
Months later, Raheem would think back on this night and wish he had not slip up. When Monday comes, he chats with the Matchmaker and tells her that he is not interested in her services anymore, but she responded that it was a little bit too late. She had set up a meeting with a sister for that Friday. Raheem says there’s no problem. He doesn’t like to disappoint. He would meet the sister and that would be all. Again, months later he would wish he had just disappointed and not go through with the meeting.
When he gets home that evening, Sofiya tells him she has a women’s empowerment summit she must attend in Abuja that weekend. Raheem asks why she’s just telling him four days before the summit, and she responded that she had forgotten.
“It’s not a big deal, stop making it one.” She says.
Raheem starts to get livid. Sofiya is using her top voice. And one remains silent, while the other spits words.