Sisterhood episode 55




As Zainab was moving out of the house, Mistura was moving too. She tried to be chatty with Zainab but she wasn’t interested. Zainab wondered how her life came to this point. She genuinely loved Bashir after they got married. Why then did he subject her to this? It was obvious he didn’t love her. What did she do to deserve to be treated like this? She couldn’t see where or how she had wronged Bashir. She was chaste unto the marriage. Another man had never seen her nakedness. She had never desired another. She respected him and wanted him to be successful. What did she do wrong? The tears flowed as she packed her things.

She brought her boxes and bags into the sitting room. She went to the kitchen to pack the special pots, pans, serving dishes and plates her mother gave her. Her mother-in-law was upset about that. She had just come back in from seeing her brother off. “Why are you taking these things? They were given to you in marriage. Do you think you will get a better man than Bashir? He has his shortcomings but he is a good man. He will learn from his mistakes. You can move out for a while but not permanently. You are still married to Bashir.”

Mistura interrupted at this point, “Excuse me maami, if she comes back here she will be the biggest fool ever. If she forgives him, he will kill her. I know what he told me. Zainab, pack everything that belongs to you and run for your life. That man is obsessed with you and he will kill you if given the opportunity.”

Iya Bashir was angry. She bellowed at Mistura, “Who are you to interrupt me while I am speaking? You want her to leave so you can move in? She is not leaving. You can get out. Silly girl. You moved into a man’s house with his wife. Where is your family? You have no shame.”

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“I don’t have shame, I agree. He wanted me to move in so he can belittle his wife. He wanted me to get pregnant but didn’t want his wife to have a child for him. I asked why and he said he wanted her to remain the way she was for his pleasure. I am the one that desires to disfigure myself to have children for him, it makes no sense. The guy is psycho. All he talks about is how he would humiliate and disgrace his wife. Hope you know he has your nudes. He showed me and he told me how he obtained them. Only a sick mind would do that. He wants to use it to disgrace you, get ready.”

Iya Bashir shouted down at Mistura, “Shut up! Do you want to make the matter worse? How would he take nudes of his wife and blackmail her with it? If he exposes it, he is exposing himself. Zainab, I asked you to get pregnant, what stopped you?”

“He didn’t want to procreate with me. He told me he would have children with other women. I tried harassing him, calling him sterile but he insisted he would get another woman pregnant to prove me wrong. He is my first and only lover. I have done numerous tests and I am fine but Bashir is not interested in testing. What am I to do? I want to leave. This marriage has been tiring from the beginning.”

“Are you going back to your family? You can’t go now while the scars are still showing. Move to the house my brother offered you. I still want you as my daughter-in-law. I will ensure Bashir goes for evaluation and therapy. I need to know what is wrong with him. Give him time to get treatment before you move on. Don’t rush into anything, Bashir loves you. I know he does. Each time I threaten to tell your parents to come to get you, he becomes sober.”

Mistura jumped in, “Zainab, this beating is small compared to what he will do next time. He said he should have killed you than allow you to embarrass him like this. I heard him loud and clear when he said it on the phone. He wants to own you, misuse you and still keep you. You are not her daughter that is why she is talking like this. Talk to your mother and hear what she will say. There are more dishes and plates in the kitchen, let me pack them for you. What of the new microwave you bought? There are still things in the store. Should I make food for us to eat before we leave?”

“Leave it. When he comes back, he will need to eat. Maami, I have to leave. Bashir has shown me a tip of what he is capable of. I need to talk to my parents, they need to know what I passed through. I honestly didn’t want to be divorced but I can’t continue in a marriage that will lead to my death. Bashir doesn’t love me. He slept with my cousin. He sleeps with different women and would come back to have sex with me. I don’t know what my offence is. On our first night together, he was brutal. Why, maami? What wrong did I do? Why does Bashir hate me?” she broke down in tears. Iya Bashir had no response. She didn’t understand her son too.

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Zainab left with some of her things. Bashir’s uncle had the flat cleaned and furnished for her use. She was happy. The man was very generous to her. She moved in with her other belongings. She went back to the house to pack the gift items given to them by her family. They were precious to her. She signed over the house to the uncle and received the block of four flats at Oregun in exchange. She went to register it.

Bashir was away for three weeks. When he got back home, he met an empty house. He walked into Zainab’s bedroom and it was empty. She had left. She had the effrontery to leave him. He was angry. As he came out of the room, he saw his mother.

“What are you doing inside there? Looking for her? She has taken your uncle’s advice and left you. Why are you looking for her? How could you beat your wife like that? Bashir, you need help. What exactly is wrong? That girl would have worshipped the ground you walk on if you had treated her right. Even before you married her, you treated her badly. Is it because she is a good girl? Do you hate good girls? I have been with her and seen nothing wrong she could have done to you. Bashir, you need help.”

Bashir walked out on his mother. He was upset Zainab left and now his mother decided to annoy him. He went into his bedroom and saw, as expected, Mistura had moved out too. “Bitch!” he said under his breath. She wasn’t worth it. It was how he was going to get Zainab back that bothered him. He called her number but it didn’t connect. He decided to see her in her office. She hadn’t told her family since his mother was still in his home. It was best he reconciled with her before it became a problem.

The next day, Bashir went to Zainab’s office but he wasn’t allowed into the building. He couldn’t believe it. She had told the security not to allow him in. Was she serious? Did she think she could stay away from him? As he was walking back to his car, he received a phone call. His uncle called him and asked him to leave the premises unless he wanted to be picked up and locked up for six months. He left. She had the right people supporting her. It was time to restrategise.

Zainab went home to see her family. She called her parents into her room and undressed for them to see the marks on her body. Her father didn’t want to look at her semi-nude body but the scars made him look. She showed him pictures and videos of when it happened. They were taken by Mistura. She took many pictures and videos even in the hospital. She sent them to Zainab when she was certain she had left the house.

Zainab’s mother broke down. She cried and her body shook. Zainab told them how her mother-in-law nursed her to health. She asked them not to react yet. She stated clearly she wanted a divorce and she wanted it quietly done. She was ready to wait until Bashir got out before they proceed. She also asked them to contact Bashir’s uncle instead of Bashir’s father. She did this because of her mother-in-law. She wanted the woman to have a soft landing. She had always been good to Zainab.

After Bashir visited her office, Zainab contacted her family to begin the procedure of divorce. When Bashir found out, he went crazy. He swore he would never divorce Zainab, she belonged to him. When no one was listening, he claimed he caught her in adultery. He set her up and she fell. He sent her nude pictures to her parents and his. He didn’t realise Mistura had exposed him to Zainab and his mother.

Zainab’s parents asked her about the nude picture. She looked at the picture and she couldn’t recognise the place but she knew she had seen it before. She went to Bashir’s Facebook page. She went back several years and she found a picture of him in the same room. She showed it to her parents. She remembered now. She told them what happened.

Zainab’s parents sat with Bashir and his family. Her father acknowledged he had seen the picture and his daughter had told him what happened but he wasn’t willing to share with them. He stated categorically their son knows how he got those pictures and that his conscience will forever judge him. “That said, this is a good ground for your son to divorce my daughter but he is refusing. Why would you want to be with a woman who has exposed her body to another man? She is insisting on the divorce, especially with this stunt your son pulled. He threatened to kill her if she leaves him. Tell him to kill himself as well because I will haunt him down and kill him if harm ever comes to my child. I love my daughter the same way you love your son. Advise him to agree to the divorce and stay away from her.”

Bashir’s father agreed to the divorce on behalf of his son and said they would initiate it. Zainab didn’t want to stay under the same roof with him for the three months trial period. She knew what would happen. When the Imam saw what Bashir did to Zainab, he waved it. She could live anywhere and wait for three months.

Bashir was upset. He knew his rights and they were being trampled on. His mother was more worried about his obsession with Zainab. Zainab was beautiful but she had seen more beautiful girls and he had dated some of them. Why was this girl driving him nuts? She had to allow her husband to do the needful. He flew Bashir back to the UK, took him for psychiatric treatment and then took his international passport away so he couldn’t return to Nigeria to harass Zainab.


Zainab was glad when the divorce was finally granted. She breathed a sigh of relief when she received the document. It was time to celebrate. She invited her three friends out. Nkem came from Abuja to spend the weekend. They all knew Bashir was bad news and were glad she was out of the hell she was in. What they didn’t know was what brought her to that point. She was so ashamed to share her experience with them. She made up her mind she wouldn’t be weak anymore.

She had suitors almost immediately. Zainab just wanted to breathe and enjoy living by herself. They still came. In six months she looked very different, she was glowing. She didn’t want to rush into anything and tried to keep them at bay but they kept coming. Many of them were super rich, some were married, some were not Muslims but they wanted to marry her, some were from a different tribe and so on. The attention was good because she was flooded with gifts but she wasn’t the deceptive type. She made it known to all of them that she wasn’t ready for a relationship or marriage. She just wanted to live. They had no idea the hell she was coming out of. All she wanted to do was breathe.