Her lifeless body lay in the white cloth, its edges lined with gold.

Baba Sidi had insisted they dressed her in all white apparel; white shoes and matching white gloves.

She must arrive heaven pure; her garment without any spot or wrinkle.

But no-one understood why Iya Sidi had died.

In fact, her younger sister, Tolagbe was certain that Mama Andy had something to do with it; the small Igbo woman had sworn to deal with Iya Sidi if she hadn’t refunded the 50,000 naira she lent her. Her voodoo must have caused Iya Sidi to bleed to death.

The priest said the necessary prayers; Basit and Kolade started to lower the coffin; by then, the voices of her wailing children doubled, even aunty Tosin whom we all knew to have a heart of steel could not conceal the stream of tears.

The deceased was a good woman who didn’t deserve to die.

‘How would Baba Sidi take care of the six children she left behind?’, those were the thoughts of the women present.

More perplexing was the issue of how well the new wife would care for them all, including her own four children.

No one had known.

That night she miscalculated her safe period; the contraceptive failed and a little after forty-five days, she discovered there was a new life in her.

She couldn’t even imagine having another child; it was difficult enough with six kids. ‘Was her 40,000 naira salary as a store attendant enough to even feed her?’

Baba Sidi was already struggling to put food on the table, Tife and Toun had been sent home from school because their fees had not been paid.

Baba Sidi shouldn’t have taken a second wife.

She had to do something to help herself.

She discussed with an “agbebi”-local midwife who lived a stone throw away and they arranged a dilation and curettage (D&C) session with a “self acclaimed” doctor.

‘Don’t worry, the cramps will go away, just take the analgesics I gave you, you might bleed a little too but it’s nothing, you will be fine.’

But she didn’t get better, neither did the pains go away and the bleeding got even worse but she couldn’t afford any more hospital bills.

No one knew.

No one knew Iya Sidi had died from sepsis due to incomplete evacuation of the fetus.

Alas! the doctor was not whom he claimed to be.


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