DECEPTION IS WRITTEN BY ISAACOLA A.A.THE WRITER IS @newnaija ON TWITTER AND BLOGS AT http://www.isaacolanewnaija.com
Read Episode 6 on https://oscarpoems.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/deception-6/
It had been a physically and emotionally demanding day that had both Safiyat and Shehu acting out different scripts. They both had to save each other the shame associated with the unique situation they found themselves. Her non-virgin state that would ordinarily have caused serious furore had been tampered by his erectile dysfunction. Both were level as they maneuvered through the potentially controversial issue without any event. That would not last them however; they knew they had to find a way.
The issue of her virginity had been addressed with the display of the customary white handkerchief but the result of that exercise had to follow. How that would happen was not clear to them both. They knew it had to but they were just not sure of how to get it done. Each of the two was in thoughts as they lay side by side but one had to broach the subject. It was Shehu’s responsibility to do that but he was mapping out strategies in his head till sleep came. He turned and opened his eyes to find Safiyat looking straight into his’. Taking that as a cue, he sat up.
“Hello Safiya”, he started with something between a smile and a straight face. That did not change her expression, she was neither smiling nor frowning but the look on her face gave a lot away.
“We will get out of this my wife. I have reached out to a friend who knows a specialist that will get on my case as soon as possible. There was no way I would start treatment before wedding ne. He told me I will be good enough to satisfy you and make babies within a week of treatment, he mentioned five days actually but I don’t believe that”.
Shehu knew he was lying but he needed to put her mind at rest. She was fidgety when they eventually went into the Emir’s Chamber for the mandatory prayer and he noticed. He wondered how no one else would notice if he did. Once Safiyat calmed down and trusted him to let things get done according to him, he knew how to hatch plans.
She looked into his eyes as if to ask if he was sure of what he was saying. He rubbed her shoulders lightly and she sat up.
“I did not bargain for all of this. I know I did not come to you intact but I appreciate the fact that you did not shame me when you discovered. I know that would not be the case if you do not have a medical challenge with impregnating me. You could also have still shamed me to the whole world that way but you did not”. Safiyat found her voice and spoke from the deepest part of her heart.
“That you have not stripped me naked in public and let me be ridiculed means I owe you the needed support as you start the treatment to get your manhood functional again. It is to my benefit too for no one will believe that it is your fault if I do not get pregnant. I shall stand by you and Insha Allah*, the treatment will work for you my Lord”.
He loved how she said every word that came out of her mouth – the delivery, the language, the exact words she used. He loved as he saw her doubts dissolve as she spoke like someone who was giving a formal speech. Shehu however wished the assurance was real. He wished the saga was at its end, that he would live with her in all honesty and without having issue of infertility to confront. That was a pipe dream however and he had to face it.
He held her close and she put her head on his shoulder as they both savoured the moment, the kind that has been rare since they got away from every prying eye, the kind they should have had, the kind they desired to be their lot as they confronted all challenges together. It was in that sitting position that sleep came for her. She readjusted, putting her head on his laps and surrendered to the journey to dreamland. He kept looking at her beautiful facial features, admiring her innocence as he also drifted.
The Emir was pacing in his room, unable to stomach the news, one he wished will be nothing but a rumour. Experience however taught him that more often than not, whatever Audu hears on the Palace grounds has a bigger chance of being true than nothing else. He could count the information that turned out to be false on the fingers of his hand.
In as much as he wanted to not believe, steeling himself against that feeling. The trust in Audu was too much to dismiss such a very sensitive disclosure with a wave of his hand. He knew he had to act, with all responsibility and utmost care too. He treaded carefully where Shehu was concerned.
What made it worse was that the guards and servants would be spreading that news among themselves within a very short period of time. He had to make sure that did not happen. Sleep had deserted the monarch and he set to work immediately.
He walked out of the inner chamber and was met by the guards at the entrance. Sending for Audu, he took a seat in his private sitting room while he waited for Audu to arrive. After what looked like the turn of a year, the ever reliable Audu came into sight and dispersed the other guards. They discussed the implication of the two guards’ discovery and the Emir told Audu to give the guards a stern warning that there should be no rumours about the Crown Prince infertility. Giving the needed instruction to Audu set his racing pulse aright and he retired for the night
The duo was shocked when confronted with the discovery. The denied vehemently to knowing anything of such. Audu however told them the implication of any rumours flying about Shehu. Fear washed down the spine of the two for they had heard news of Audu’s mercilessness when it came to carrying out certain orders. They knew they would simply disappear from the Palace grounds. More cause for concern was the fact that the one who was confided in had also told another, and there was the likelihood that the one who was told would have done the same.
They agreed on a way to water down the effect of the fast spreading information by assembling all the guards at dawn. That meant all had to wake before the normal working hours. Audu told them to do it anyhow they could, reminding them what penalty the spread of the news carried.
The last thing she remembered as she was cooed into fitful sleep filled with flying phantoms was Shehu’s reassuring touch on her shoulder. The sleep had been her most peaceful in a fortnight. They were however awoken by the Emir’s summon with the break of dawn.
He took a look at Safiyat who did not even move despite the disturbance. She looked peaceful in her sleep, just stirring a little as he got out of bed to make dress himself and make his way to his father’s chambers. He was not expected to be disturbed by anyone. It was customary that he be left till he wakes and comes out to greet the Emir alone first, while later going in to come back with his wife and sit in the Throne Room to be greeted by visitors and all other well-wishers.
The early summon was therefore a little surprising to him but he was not bothered by anything. He had closeness with his father that went beyond customs and tradition so he had no cause to suspect anything was wrong as he walked into the Emir’s study. As he entered, Audu stooped in obeisance and took his leave from the study, making sure to close the door and standing with his back to the door to prevent any passage. This was not strange to him but Audu looked ill at ease with his arrival. Shehu waved it aside and stooped to greet his father.
“Ina kwana Baba”**, Shehu said in greeting. The Emir looked at him, barely nodded to acknowledging his presence as he continued picking the pieces of his tesbir*** one by one, muttering Arabic words.
Shehu stood up and took a seat waiting for his father to be done. His mind darted to the sleeping beauty that adorned his bed and had become a permanent feature in his life “till death do us part” when from nowhere he heard his father speak.
“Let me be frank with you Shehu. Since you deem it fit for me to be kept in the dark about your health condition, I will pretend as if I know nothing but you must give me a heir without fail within the next one year”.
Shehu felt cold and hot at the same time. He stood immediately and tried to compose himself but his stomach was in a knot and his mouth seemed as if it had been blessed with a handful of sand. He was simply tongue-tied.
“Don’t try to be funny my son, you know the implications of bringing a bastard into the Palace. Please leave”, The Emir concluded with a wave of hand.
Shehu was a total mess and he walked out of the study in a haze-like daze, unable to speak a single word.
Insha Allah (Hausa) – By God’s grace
Ina kwana Baba (Hausa) – Good morning father
Tesbir – Rosary