I always dreamt of getting married one day as a little girl like in the fairy tales. A thought that gradually faded as reality set in with each passing year. I could say age caught up with me fast because my childhood wasn’t like that of normal kids. I basically had to see myself through school selling anything I could find and working my ass off until I gained admission to the university. I was the only child of my parents when they passed away in a terrible accident when at 6 years. I grew up living with relatives until the maltreatment was too much and I felt I was no longer needed.
God was so good I didn’t look like what I had gone through while growing up. Life shaped me into a more beautiful, strong and mature lady.
In my first year, I met one man who would later turn out to be my destiny helper. We started hanging out but honestly, I didn’t like the idea of entertaining someone twice my age. I felt like I was on the harsh end of society’s judgement all the time. I couldn’t break it off because he had been the one renting for me, paying my school fees and catering for every need of mine.
Aside from the obvious reason Mr Yarhaya had to help a poor girl like myself, he was really a caring person. Our little secret relationship had gotten very serious when I got to my final year. All this while I had no idea where he stayed as he discouraged the idea of me visiting him every time I brought it up.
I later found out he was a married man with not just one wife but 3 wives and 6 children. I found out when a good friend of mine told me about a program he attended where she saw Mr Yarhaya chairing. He was introduced by the MC together with his youngest wife.
I felt sad and disappointed, confronting him took a lot of courage but I eventually did. I threatened to leave him because I couldn’t date a married man. He apologized but forgiving him was the difficult part.
I had fallen in love with him and it hurt me so. I would give him every excuse under the sun just to avoid seeing him. But he being a persistent person as he is I had to let down my guard for a while at least to get some answers as to why he would do this to me. That was when he explained everything to me.
Yarhaya wasn’t just a business mogul he was also a chief in his home town and as custom demands, he needs a male heir to the throne. He wasn’t even interested in the throne when his father died but he had to ascend the throne anyway in order to keep it in his family line.
He had been trying for a male heir ever since he got married to his first wife but to no avail. He remarried when the pressure from his family became unbearable. The second wife also couldn’t bear him a male child. He went in for a third wife and he still couldn’t call himself the father of a son.
He lost hope along the line. He wasn’t taking any more advice from his kinsmen and family. But somehow faith brought us together.
Yarhaya proposed marriage to me which would make me his fourth wife. It was the most terrible idea. I refused but he pleaded with me to agree. Went as far as using gifts to coerce me. He bought me a car, secured me a good job paying after Uni and promised to gift one of his mansions to me if I agreed to marry him. It worked. However, I agreed under one condition and that was for him to put a stop to marrying another woman if it happens I can’t give him a male child. He happily promised.
We immediately made plans to marry and I didn’t even care what society would think of me. All I cared about was living a good life in my husband’s home. The wedding was the biggest and the talk of the town. I was the happiest ever because even though it wasn’t as I had always wanted.
All of Yarhaya’s other wives lived on the same street but in different mansions with their children, all owned by my husband. I was the only one that shared a home with him. I was also his favourite wife. Surprisingly the other wives were very hospitable toward me and treated me like their younger sister. There were times we even went shopping together and talked more often. Cooking was a shared responsibility amongst us and peace rained in the Yarhaya household.
A year into the marriage and there was no child to show for, not even a miscarriage. I was beginning to get very worried as the other wives had children, all girls to call their own. The problem must be coming from my end. Sometimes I could hear the disappointment in my husband’s voice when he talks about the other children of his wives.
I began going for fertility checkups without my husband’s knowledge just so I can put a smile on his face when I get pregnant. All the doctors I saw assured me that there was nothing wrong with me.
I spent days, weeks and months thinking of how I would convince a father of six into going for a fertility test. Meanwhile, time was fast running out for me and friendly faces that smiled at me all turned into judgemental looks.
Pressure from Yarhaya’s family was just unbearable. Painfully, I was the one put in charge of looking after the kids at family gatherings, because his people believed that spending more time with children as a woman increases your chances of getting pregnant. I was beginning to become a laughing stock. I lost all the benefits that come with being the youngest and favourite wife. Aside from the comfortable life I had, I wasn’t so happy inside.
The friendship and bond between myself and Dinah, the third wife of Yarhaya had developed into a very strong one. We were just like sisters. Perhaps this bond stems from the fact that we had a lot in common. As years passed, she had become the only shoulder I could lean on. She coupled as my number one motivator and cheerer. She was the most highly-spirited amongst all the wives.
Memuna being the first wife was the one tasked with running all the queenly duties in our small kingdom. Due to the weight of her responsibilities, and level of maturity she barely had time for anything else. The second wife, Sekina, was rather the quiet one. She barely attended functions unless her presence was very much needed.
On one faithful weekend, my sister in the Yarhaya household proposed a weekend ladies’ night out. I initially wanted to back out for fear of being mocked as the barren one but Dinah assured me that it wouldn’t be the case.
The D-day finally came, we hijacked a restaurant not very far. That night was unlike any other night. We had too much to talk about and it was a perfect time for bonding. As wives to the chief, it was against traditions to be drunk in public, but on that faithful night, the rebelliousness in us was too much.
We all took it a bit too much and I honestly think we needed that. I sobered up rather quickly due to the tolerance to alcohol I had built from my nights of partying back on campus. My girls were almost out and talking gibberish. I watched them have a nice time. who said being the fourth wife to a wealthy man was that bad?.
Everything was going on great until Sekina moved her seat closer to mine. She whispered in my ear “Don’t worry, we all had to go through it to have children of our own” I was a bit confused because she spoke out of context. The partying went on until almost 12 midnight. Sekina was first to sober up after me, then Memuna and finally Dinah.
The conversation that followed was about the children. That was when Sekina prompted the first wife to tell me the secret to having a child to call my own. I was so eager to hear what she had to say.
Episode 2 Drops On Sunday. Stay tuned.