From The Cradle To The Grave – 4th Decade – Rahmat Abubakar

From The Cradle To The Grave – 4th Decade – Rahmat Abubakar

Catch Up On Previous Introduction Here

 

In exactly 13 days, a new chapter of life begins for me.

I’m going to say goodbye to my past and pave the way for the future.

Full of happy anecdotes, a new story will unfold.

I will smile

I will cry

I will love

I will laugh

I will be carefree and bold.

With a successful real estate business, 3 beautiful children – 2 boys and a girl doing excellently well, a body that betrays my age, peace of mind and good health, I have more than enough reason to be thankful and indeed I am.

But there’s one thing missing, one thing I’ve yearned for for 25 years, one thing that I’m finally going after in 13 days.

 

 

 

 

 

“Mama, amma ina ma matasa”, I cried pleading with my mother.

 

“Rahmat, your father has the final say, there’s not much I can do. Yi hakuri na yaro.”

 

 

And with that, my mum got up and left me to my fate. I cried for hours, there was no one to comfort me or give me any form of hope. I began to think of a way out. I thought about running away. But who and where would I run to?, I cried some more. It was such a hopeless situation.

 

 

“Rahmat… Rahmat, can I come in?” It was my younger sister.

 

“Rahmat, I know you’re sad about this, but look on the bright side, you get to go to

university if you marry him. You get to achieve your dreams.” Aishat was 3 years younger than I was but the wisest girl I knew. Very soft spoken and intelligent, I was lucky to have her in my life. I held on to her in a tight hug and cried some more, we cried together and then I started to mentally prepare myself.

 

 

 

 

 

That was 25 years ago. I was in my final year at Queens College, Yaba, Lagos. I had always been a straight A student. Then I didn’t really know what I wanted to become in life but I knew I wasn’t going to live a mediocre life. I knew I was going to be successful and I also knew I was going to be an excellent mother and wife.

 

 

 

 

I grew up in a polygamous setting. My father, Alhaji Aminu had 4 wives, my mother being the last of them. As a father, he gave us all the basics and that was it. Once you got into the university, you become independent and face life as it were. He had no personal relationship with us and treated us just like his staff. He wasn’t mean but he also wasn’t friendly.

 

 

 

 

Getting into Senior Secondary 3, his import business ran into major trouble and he lost a lot of money and would eventually go bankrupt if there was no immediate intervention. And so it was he went to the Comptroller General of customs, Alhaji Tanko Abubakar.

 

 

 

I was unfortunate to have been in my father’s car that day. Abubakar had walked him to the car park and saw me sitting at the passenger side, reading a book.

 

 

 

“Rahmat, come and greet Alhaji Abubakar” , my father called out to me.

 

 

“Barka Da Rana, Alhaji”, I curtsied politely.

 

 

“Yaya Dai, such a beautiful girl” Alhaji Abubakar said looking me over lustfully.

 

 

“Ina Lafia” I replied with a straight face.

 

 

“And very intelligent too”, my father added grinning from ear to ear.

 

 

 

 

I walked back to the car and waited another 30 mins while they talked some more. As soon as my father got into the car, he said to me,

“If you’re serious about going to the university , you’re going to marry Abubakar”

 

 

“Papa, I don’t understand”, I closed the book I was reading and turned to face him.

 

 

“I’d explain to you then, you’re very intelligent, so you’d get it. You see, my business is dying and if I don’t do anything about it, you won’t have a roof over your head not to talk of seeing the four walls of a higher institution. Abubakar here is the only one that can rescue me and he’s willing to help me if I give you to him in marriage, kada ka fahimta?” He finished as he turned to get on the highway.

 

 

 

 

Tears filled my eyes, this had to be a sick joke. There was no way this could happen, but it could happen, one of my step sisters had been sold into marriage the same way when I was a lot younger. Fear gripped me at the thought of being married to the old man. I couldn’t wait to tell my mum, she would rescue me out of the situation. She’d talk him out of it.

 

 

 

Unfortunately for me, nothing could be done, my greedy, insensitive father had made up his mind and a few days shy of my 16th birthday and graduation from Queens College, I was given away to Alhaji Abubakar as his 6th wife. It was the worst day of my life, I felt so alone and unwanted, I couldn’t look my mother in the eyes, I hated her for not fighting for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alhaji, however kept his end of the bargain, he facilitated my admission into one of the top Federal Universities in the country where I studied Architecture. He waited till I turned 18 before he got me pregnant and I had my first Son Ibrahim in my 3rd year at the age of 19. Rekiya, my daughter came in my final year at the age of 21 while I had Farouk during my service year at the age of 23.

 

 

 

 

Abubakar gave me everything I wanted, he liked me specially and after resenting him for so long, I started to develop some form of respect for him, he was a kind and caring man, disciplined and set in his ways. His only weakness was women, he had married another young girl after me saying I was too ambitious and he needed someone that’d be at his beck and call.

 

 

 

 

I had no intimate feelings for him and he knew it, but he liked me, mostly because he could discuss intelligently with me. We stopped having sex after I had Farouk and I was glad he didn’t make a case out of it. Having sex with him was torture. I preferred my sex toys and I had a collection far away from prying eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

He never allowed me work a 9 – 5 job but supported every business venture I ever got into and when it was that I bought my first property and told him about my plan to build an estate, he gave me all the support that I required. I wasn’t sure how the other wives felt about me and I really didn’t care. My relationship with them was cordial and we all respected our respective boundaries. I made sure my children developed relationships with their other siblings and step moms, I just taught them to be wise and sensitive enough. For most of the time, we all lived peaceably under one roof.

 

 

 

 

I had not been able to fully forgive my parents in all of 25 years. I cut my father off completely, not like he cared anyway. I hardly communicated with my mother but I’d send her money, food and clothes at the end of every month. My younger sister Aishat moved in with me shortly after I gave birth to Ibrahim and stayed with me up until she rounded up her NYSC. I trained her through school and gave her the best of everything I could afford. She is married now with 4 Children to a Yoruba man and they live in the UAE where her husband works.

 

 

 

I had no friends because I had gotten married so early. I carried the shame with me for years. I withdrew from everyone and kept to myself all through uni. My sister and my children were the only friends I had, except for the acquaintances I made in the cause of business.

 

 

 

 

 

About 4 years ago, I bumped into an old classmate from Secondary School, Belema Opreh, at an investors meeting. She had been standing in for one her clients. We met up for drinks later that week and she came with another old class mate Simisola. It was such a happy moment for me seeing these faces after over 20 years. Just as we were about to leave the restaurant that evening, I recognized the face that walked past me but I couldn’t remember her name. It was Simi who remembered her as Amanda Obiwuru and called out to her, but all she got was a cold response as she scurried off.

 

 

 

 

Belema, Simi and I bonded immediately, we kept in touch and became very close. We had lunch frequently, visited each others homes and supported our respective businesses. Belema was an investment banker and on the side she owned a fashion retail store. Simisola had taken over her mothers footwear production business and their brand was one of the biggest in the whole of Africa. We shared the details of our lives and with every revelation, we bonded even more.

 

 

 

Image result for illustration of girlfriends peniel enchill

 

 

 

Plans were underway for my 40th birthday party, Abubakar had insisted on throwing a big party for me. The children will be coming home from the United States and the girls and I had chosen a Moulin Rouge themed party. We wanted to be wild and free.

 

 

 

My name is Rahmat Abubakar Nee Aminu, in 13 days, I’d be 40 years old. I am a Real Estate Developer and as a hobby I am a Fashion Icon for modest fashion. I’m grateful to be alive, grateful for all I have and grateful for all that is to come. A few people may be disappointed in me after I make my plans known, but at the end of the day, it’s my life and my happiness comes first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The last of the characters has been unveiled and you can see in the last few paragraphs how they all linked up. We’d get into the story proper from here, going back in time to see what happened at each stage of their lives and what their present is like.

 

 

 

I hope you all are as excited as I am. Remember to share after reading, someone may just be able to relate with one of the girls and find the relief they need from reading.

 

 

 

Love, light and shine

It’s your girl,

Jay.

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