Hauwa Part 2
Gloria stood there, stunned and mystified at the scene before her. She had heard Hauwa’s voice in the hallway leading into the room, but seeing her standing there in her towel and pointing a broken glass at Edward was beyond comprehension.
Hauwa became dog-smacked seeing aunty Gloria looking bewildered at the scene. She saw the look from the broken glass back to her, and saw the horrific look on her face.
Edward smiled profoundly. “Now, you were saying,”
His voice jolted her.
“Why don’t you do what you had in mind?” He jeered at her.
“Gloria!” he called out rudely, “Kindly tell this slave and slut who I am in this house.” Edward said in utter contempt.
Hauwa could see the irritating look on Aunty Gloria’s face; she was definitely repulsed by his attitude.
When he saw she was quiet, he looked sharply back at Hauwa, “In this house, I am the boss; I can ask you to do anything,” he looked hard at her. “You can do nothing to me.” He said arrogantly.
Gloria became more irritated than before; she hissed and walked out of the room.
Hauwa smiled at herself, she had watched him go on and on about himself and feeling so pompous. She wanted to burst into laughter seeing the shock on his face when Aunty Gloria left the room without uttering a word. She smiled once again to herself, and changed back to the angry look she had before Aunty Gloria interrupted. It was her turn to jeer at him.
She walked towards him. “Now listen and listen well; I don’t care who you are, and what you have. I actually don’t give a damn about you.”
Edward swallowed hard.
“You can do all you want in this house for all I care but the next time I catch you peeping at me in the bathroom or anywhere else for that matter, I will so make sure you don’t see again with those eyes of yours.” She stared into his eyes. “Now, Mr. Edward, could you kindly leave my room
Edward looked at her in utter confusion; he was dazed at her confidence. At first, his impression of her was that of an illiterate, but the girl standing in front of him was different. She had something in her, something that commanded respect. He took his face away, gathered his things quickly, and walked hastily out of the room.
Hauwa inhaled deeply in triumph, closed the door and went back into the bathroom.
It’s been few months now, Hauwa had been studying hard for her entrance exams and thanks to Aunty Gloria; she’s been helping her achieve her dreams.
She was glad madam was always on one trip or another since she started her plans for Edward to travel abroad to further his education. Hauwa always cuss under her breath each time she madam talks to some agents about her son’s travelling. She felt she was only wasting money on him since he does nothing but watch despicable videos and plays video games all day.
During these trips out of the house, Hauwa would sneak up to Mr. William’s room and watch him while he sleeps. Since Aunty Gloria told her about his accident, she felt so sorry for him and wished good things for him.
On this particular day, everyone was out of the house including Aunty Gloria who had gone to the market. Hauwa went into Mr. William’s room; she found him lying helplessly on his bed, staring away into the thin air.
“Hello,” she greeted him while Mr. Williams only stared at her. Hauwa moved closer to him.
“I’m sorry to bother you sir, but I was just alone in the house and thought you might need some company.” She smiled at him but his face was still blank of any expression.
“I’m not sure if we have been introduced but my name is Hauwa, she smiled at him. “I am working here as a maid.” She paused for a second wondering if he understood what she was saying. “Let me share a secret with you,” she whispered. “I know I’m only a maid but I’m planning to go to the University, I want to study to be a physiotherapist.” Her face lilted up in joy as she shared her dream with him.
“love to work with people; you see, I have seen so many lives wasted away in illness because of lack of care; I want to do something about it, I want to change lives, give them a new purpose, a hope to look forward to.” She went on and on about her aspiration.
“Now Mr. Williams, I think I should make a deal with you.” She straightened as she looked straight into his eyes. “I’m going to help you and you are going to help me. I will make sure you walk with your two legs someday,” she smiled profoundly at him. “I know I’m only a child but watch what I will do when I have all the knowledge I need, but you will have to do something for me too.”
She looked into his eyes. Part of her knew he could understand her, somewhere in his heart was still alive and he knew what she was saying. All of her life, she’d seen people treating disable or helpless people as if they aren’t there, she wanted to make him feel alive again, relate to him as if nothing was wrong with him. Her first plan is to lift up his spirit, make him come out of the depression that had settled upon him.
“So, what do you say, are you interested?”
“I’m sure Mr. Williams would like you to pass your entrance exams first before you talk of a deal.” Aunty Gloria walked up to them.
Hauwa froze as she saw her come in, but relaxed after seeing her smile. Aunty Gloria always has a way of sneaking on people.
“Now, off you go young lady and let Mr. Williams have his rest.” She said to her. Without hesitation, Hauwa took to her heels out of the room.
She really doesn’t understand the relationship between Mr. Williams and Aunty Gloria; her devotion and care for him is effortless. Despite Madam’s bad attitude to her, she never stopped helping Mr. Williams; she still respects him as if he was well; never for one day felt discouraged at her duties towards him. She wished she could learn from her; never to treat people as they deserve but with respect and dignity.
It was the day of the entrance examination. After studying so hard, Hauwa was satisfied she had answered all the questions completely so she went ahead to submit her papers. She realized she’s been gone for a long time and didn’t want madam to get back home before her. A few minutes to get home, her heart started to pound so fast, the anxiety of just taking an examination and the fear of being caught settled on her.
Entering the compound, she found madam’s car parked inside, there, she became more agitated than ever. She held the loaf of bread she had bought tightly to her chest; that was the plan just in case madam got home before her. They had planned that she had just stepped out to buy some bread.
She decided to go through the back door that led to the kitchen, but to her surprise madam was waiting in the kitchen and it looked like she was actually waiting for her.
The angry look on her face scared her to death.
“Where are you coming from?” She raised her voice at her.
Edward had walked into the kitchen with the smirk look on his face.
“Have you gone deaf? She slapped her in the back. “I have been in this house for almost thirty minutes; where were you? Is this how you go out on endless journeys when I’m not at home?” She hit her again. “You go around with those useless boys on the street, is that it, harlot?” She shouted at her.
Hauwa shivered in fear; madam hitting her made her more scared than ever. She went on her knees, trying to shield her face from the hands that were furiously attacking her.
“I will not have this kind of behaviour in my house.”
Gloria had been pacing in the hallway since madam came into the house and asked after Hauwa. She lied to her that she just stepped out to buy some bread but madam knew she was lying so she waited patiently in the kitchen for her return. She couldn’t bear to hear the soft scream and begging from Hauwa, so she ran into the kitchen.
“Please madam,” Gloria stood between them, going on her knees. “Please madam, she will never do that again, please.” She begged while madam stood breathing heavily.
“It’s my fault ma, I shouldn’t have sent her out.” She had tears running down her own cheeks.
Madam looked angrily at both of them and scoffed. “I don’t know what you two have got going on but I will find out.” She looked widely at them, “and if any of this repeats itself,” she pointed at Hauwa, “you are out of this house.” She hissed and walked out of the kitchen with Edward smiling after her.
Hauwa wept bitterly on her knees. Madam has always slapped her once in a while but never had she received such a beating before in her life.
“Look at me.” Aunty Gloria took her into her arms. “Look at me.” She brought her weeping face up. “You are not going to give up on me Hauwa; you will not let this put you down, ok.” She looked into her eyes. Hauwa sobbed quietly as she listened to her. “These are tough times dear and it will pass; I promise you, it will pass.” She took her into her embrace and patted her back whilst she continued to cry on her shoulder.
Hauwa stayed in the kitchen until she was certain madam and Edward were off to bed. She was so sad but had comfort and peace in the words of Aunty Gloria. She was determined to fight on and never allow anything or anyone to stop her from achieving her dreams. She wanted to be able to throw it all at their face, especially Edward that she did made it. She wasn’t about to give up.
It’s been few months since she took the examination; Hauwa would always go outside to check if they had any letter; she had instructed the security man to let her know if any mail comes in for her, in fact, she specifically wrote her full name on a paper for him to compare with any letter that comes in and keep it for her. During this time, Edward had travelled to the United State of America to continue his studies and Madam had gone with him for a few months to help him settle in. This time away gave Hauwa enough time to brush up on her studies; fortunately for her, Edward left his laptop at home so she practiced on it day and night, and taught herself everything that will help her achieve her dreams.
She was in the living room one day when she heard the door bell, she went quickly to answer it and found the security man standing there with a brown envelop in his hands. She knew instantly what it was, without any word; she took it from him and went back inside to find Aunty Gloria.
“It’s here!” She gave the sealed envelope to her. Aunty Gloria knew what it was since she’d been so anxious for several days about the result.
“You should open it.” Aunty Gloria passed it back to her, but she folded her hands in hesitation. “Take it Hauwa.” She said.
“No please, open it, my hands are already trembling.” She whimpered in fear.
“Alright then,” Aunty Gloria inhaled deeply. She was trying not to show any sign of fear, but her heart was pounding so fast. She brought out the paper and read it for few seconds.
“What does it say?” Hauwa was trying read the expression on her face.
“I think you should read it yourself.” Aunty Gloria passed it to her.
She took it whilst her face was still fixed on Aunty Gloria.
“You made it girl!” Aunty Gloria broke into a big smile.
“What!” Hauwa gasped. She read the score and immediately screamed out in joy. “I made it!” She threw herself on Aunty Gloria. “I made it! I made it!! I made it!!!” She continued to scream. “Thank you Aunty, thank you, thank you.” She hugged her and then, ran out of the room down to the basement.
“I made it Mr. Williams.” She shouted in joy. “I made the score, I made it.” She put the paper forward to his face. She noticed a smile on his face but she wasn’t so sure. “I am so happy Mr. Williams, I am so very happy. I am on my way to the University and of course, on my way to helping you get better.” She smiled at him. “I made it!”
The excitement and joy lasted for only a week and then, the thought of actually going to school while Madam is in the house, without her finding out became the problem. Another issue was the funding, she had no idea where the money would come from; her monthly salary was out of the question since madam paid mallam Abu who gives it to her parents. Aunty Gloria kept assuring her that all will be well and that God will provide all of their needs. Another thing Hauwa is yet to understand is the issue of ‘God’ in their lives; Aunty Gloria had tried to explain about the existence of God but she never considered it. Although, she had been a Muslim from birth but even as that, she wasn’t a practicing muslim but the thought of another God was something she wasn’t about to consider.
A few weeks later, another letter came in for Hauwa, she wasn’t sure what to make of it since she had already received her scores but was astonished when she read the content of the letter. It was a full scholarship to study Physiotherapy at a prestigious University in Lagos. She was shocked for several minutes when she read the letter. Although, she knew her score was very high but she had not expected to receive any scholarship, in fact, she had no idea such was given. Aunty Gloria was so overjoyed and excited when she read the letter; she knew it was God’s answers to her prayer believe if Hauwa believes it or not. Things were looking brighter now; with this new information, Hauwa was determined that nothing would stop her from achieving her dreams, not even madam.
Days were turning into weeks and weeks turning into months and months were almost a year. Hauwa had started University; Madam’s travelling’s to the United States made it easier for her and when she was home, Hauwa would either wait for her to leave for the day or not go to class for that day and that meant she would have to study extra hard to meet up. Things were looking good for her.
Towards the end of the first year, she realized she would have nothing much to do during the holidays so she made a plan. She searched every local hospital in the town, anyone who is willing to offer her some form of internship job, in fact, she had told them she wasn’t interested in the pay if they are not willing to pay her but she would like some experience to help with her studies. Being an intelligent student in school, her lecturers were more than willing to support her application with some recommendation and her progress in school spoke of itself. Finally, after weeks of searching and applying, the Lagos state teaching hospital was willing to give her a three months trial. She would come in three days in a week to work in the Physiotherapy department.
Hauwa wanted to be the best in all she does so she continued to work very hard. Everything she learnt back in school and in the hospital, she would come home and relate it back to Mr. Williams. Gradually, she was gaining his attention, she found him more responsive to her and one particular day, she heard him call her name. Hauwa was taken aback when she heard her name, she wasn’t sure she heard right but when he stammered again, trying to pronounce her name, she knew definitely, he was talking to her.
Hauwa watched carefully as the doctors worked with the stroke and accident patients in the hospital. Then, she would come back home and with the help of Aunty Gloria, they would put Mr. Williams on his wheelchair and massage his legs. After weeks of trying this, Hauwa was becoming weary when she couldn’t see any result, so one day; she spoke to one of the doctors who had taken her under his wings. She asked him if he could attend to someone on her behalf, just to do some general check-up and x-ray to determine the extent of his injury. Doctor Emmanuel was more than willing to perform this check and luckily, madam was on her usual trip so they hired a bus where they took Mr. Williams on his wheel chair down to the hospital.
Doctor Emmanuel diagnoses- he is definitely suffering from stroke- an illness in which part of the brain is suddenly severely damaged or destroyed. This results in loss of function of the affected part of the brain. It usually causes weakness, paralysis of the arm and leg on either the left or right side of the body, twisting of the face, and in some cases other effects which may include loss of balance, and difficulty in swallowing. He stated that if he had been taken good care of after the incident, he would have gotten better, so he advised he be admitted to some rehabilitation programs so that proper activities such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and recreational therapy can be administered to him. Hauwa knew this was not possible but she is willing to do everything possible to get him better, which was her deal with him.
Hauwa took him back home and started her research on helping him; she decided to focus on learning more about occupational therapist, which would provide exercises and proactive to help him do things he could do before the accident such as eating, bathing, dressing, writing and walking. Also to help in speech language skills.
She devoted her time and attention to this, the more she read and learnt at the hospital, and the more she was determined to help Mr. Williams. Something should have been done a long time ago but Madam just left him to die; a heartless and wicked woman. Maybe because she knew her husband is an only child and his parents have passed away which meant no one would be coming to check on him. She just wanted him useless. Hauwa couldnâ€™t understand why she would just leave him all alone without proper help. She knew there was more to this but her main concern now is to get Mr. William better.
A year later; there has been a tremendous change with Mr. Williams’s health and well-being; he’d able to stand on his own with an aide of walking stick. His speech had improved and his confidence was returning. During this time, Hauwa laid strict guidelines for his daily exercise and Aunty Gloria helped and supported her when she wasn’t not home. The relationship between the three were distinct and unique especially with the fact that they had to keep all these away from madam at Mr. Williams’s request. He said he wasn’t ready for her to find out. Aunty Gloria and Hauwa respected his wishes and hid this from Madam when she was home; not that she’d really cared enough about him to notice any changes in her husband’s recovery. She goes into his room once in a while and sees him just lying on his bed; she would look around the room and find something to complain about to Aunty Gloria. The room was never cleaned enough; she would see crumbs on the floor or the bed is not properly washed.
Aunty Gloria had learnt to ignore any of her outburst, she knew she was somewhat frustrated about life and the only way she could survive is to moan and complain at everyone.
Hauwa had been working very hard to be the best that she could. She would always throw extra hours at school and at the hospital to learn and work better. She was dedicated and determined to be the best she could. Things were working better at home; every success and improvement she saw in Mr. Williams was an indication of how far she’d come and she was determined to do better.
During this time, Hauwa was struggling with some personal issues. She felt she needed something better, more like a void in her that needed to be filled. She wasn’t so much interested in material things; all she did wanted in life was coming into place, but that was not enough. She knew something was needed to fill the void in her life, and she knew she wouldn’t rest until she found it. Sometimes she wakes up very happy and other times, she’d feel terribly sad for no reason; a kind of uneasiness settled on her and the search has been unending with nothing to come out of it.
One day she was working a Saturday shift at the hospital; she had received a message from one of the nurses that Doctor Emmanuel would like to see her.
She knocked on his door before opening the door.
“Oh Yes, Hauwa,” Doctor Emmanuel said to her, “Come sit.”
Hauwa smiled shyly and sat in front of him. Doctor Emmanuel had taken so much likeness to her dedication and commitment to her career. After working with them for almost one year with no pay but had remained steadfast and hardworking, the administrator in the hospital decided to give her some money every month for welfare and transportation. Over the months, she had become a valuable asset to the hospital and all the patients took likeness to her. She had her way of getting them on track and her encouragement was always near to anyone that needed it. She made them believed in themselves and lifted up their spirit when they are down or discouraged.
Hauwa stared back at Doctor Emmanuel, she felt something was wrong.
“Hauwa.” He called out.
Hauwa jolted at the sound of her name.
“I have something I have been willing to tell you dear,” The expression confirmed this was quite serious.
“Firstly, I will like to ask you a question.”
“Do you believe in God?”
At that question, Hauwa relaxed a little, she let out a sigh.
“Well, I think I do.” She answered, unsure of what to say.
“Hmmm, you think you do.” he smiled. “My dear, it’s either you do or you don’t. You see, I have been watching you for quite sometime, you are intelligent, brilliant, lovable; You have everything you need to soar high in this world but you are missing something.” His face was fixed on her for a few seconds.
Hauwa felt uneasy about the conversation. She’d heard stories and talks about God but never considered thinking about it; after all, all that she is now had been her own doing. She’d made it this far without any God in her life.
“I don’t think I need God sir, I am definitely fine without any God in my life.”
“You are missing the point Hauwa. No matter the success you have in life, no matter how great, wealthy or comfortable you think you are and have no God in your life, you are nothing! He looked straight at her.
“Now dear, I’m not talking about any religion; I am talking about accepting Jesus Christ into your life, I am talking about the Saviour who died for you and me. There is a void in your life, you need God to fill that, you need his peace in your life. Listen girl, he has brought you this far; all that you have or you are, is not your own doing. Before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb, he knew you, he called you by name.
Hauwa straightened in her seat; every word he spoke was piercing through her. It’s like a knife cutting through every bone in her.
“There is more to life than what we see here; there’s eternity; that is where you and me will spend the remaining part of our lives when we die. Have you ever considered what will happen to you after this world? Do you know where you will go?” He searched her face for few seconds. “I’m sure you’ve heard of heaven and hell before, the question is where will go after this earth, heaven or hell?” He paused again to search her face for answers.
“Except a man is born-again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; except you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, you will not see his Kingdom. You know, most times when I see you at work, you look so happy, there’s something about you that even makes everyone around you happy but I don’t see peace in you, I see someone struggling to live everyday, someone trying so hard to be accepted. But with Christ, you don’t have to struggle- there’s a peace that is beyond comprehension. A peace you cannot fathom, a joy in your heart that he gives freely to you. My dear, you have nothing to fear when you are in Christ, your future is secured with him. He will take the pain and hurt away from your life and give you so much joy you can never imagine.”
Hauwa tried hard to stop the tears bunching in her eyes. She looked away from him for a moment.
“Grace is unprompted by man and undeserved by man.” Doctor Emmanuel said. “All that you have and all that you are and all that you are going to be, God had given it freely for you. It is called, Grace.”
Just then, Hauwa busted into tears, every word he spoke pierced more into her. She needed God in her life; all her life, she had thought everything she did or have had been as a result of her handwork and intelligence but no, it was all the Master’s plan. God had been watching over her even when she didn’t know him; he loved and cared for her. Although, she had her own share of tough times in life but God had helped her through every one of them, standing here today is as a result of his love for her. She continued to cry as she felt an opening all over her, like she was seeing things as she ought to have seen them; the void in her life needed to be filled with God, she needed to know this God who had been so gracious to her. She’d been abused but here she is today, she’d been looked down upon and here she is today, she’d been beaten and told she wouldn’t amount to anything but here she is today; she’d been broken but he mended her back together. He had watched over all her these years, and here she is today.
Doctor Emmanuel told her more about Christ and led her to him. He prayed with her and asked her to speak to God as she would talk to a friend. Hauwa knew she has so much to learn and she was definitely going to learn more about God. After the prayer, she felt a peace within her, she knew something was different; a kind of feeling you know it’s there within you but can’t explain with words, she knew God is present in her life.
David Williams watched quietly as Gloria helped him with his activities; Hauwa has given instructions on the exercise to be done daily. She was so strict to these guidelines that sometimes she would forget Mr. Williams was her boss. Since she was out today, Gloria was in the basement.
“I think we’ve done enough for today.” David stressed out the words as he gently made his way back to his bed with the aid of his walking stick. His speech has greatly improved these past few months, although he sometimes stammered.
“Oh no, we still have a few minutes to go.” Gloria warned.
“I am… tired.”
“You know how Hauwa gets when you don’t finish you laps.” She dropped the laundry she was folding and walked to him.
David smiled at her. “Hauwa…is not here.” He smiled. He knew he could get away with anything when it comes to Gloria.
“Help me please,” he said as he carefully lifted his legs onto the bed which Gloria gave him a hand to.
She placed his legs properly in bed and tucked him in. David looked at her; he tried to hide the uneasiness as his heart raced. He had been thinking a lot about Gloria for months now and he knew the feeling wasn’t going anyway. He was gradually falling in love with her, a love that filled his heart, a love he could not question but his fear was if she felt the same way.
Gloria felt tingling feelings within her, coupled with the way he looked at her. The power of a simple touch is amazing; goosebumps rising, nerves tingling and the heart racing. She wanted to stay like that forever, but something in her held her back.
A few seconds later that seems like eternity, she turned to walk back to her laundry when he held her hands.
“Gloria.” His voice was soothing and that drove right into her. She turned to look at him, but David became tongue-tied.
The eyes staring back at him made it impossible to utter any word. He swallowed hard. He stared into her eyes as she did for several seconds; he wanted to pull her into his embrace and thank her over and over again for all she did for him. He wanted something greater; the feeling in his heart was becoming difficult to tame.
“Thank you.” He stammered.
Gloria blushed and nodded.
“Really…. thank you for everything.” their two eyes locked together. “You have done so much for me Gloria,” his hands were trembling, Gloria covered his trembling hands with her other hand.
“God!” he flushed, and felt his heart pounding to the base of his pores. “I wish I can tell you every..thing in my heart; you have done so much for me….”
“You don’t have to thank me sir, you were there for me when I needed you, you are a good man, and you deserve every good thing in life.”
“You are the good thing for me.” He whispered. “I love you Gloria.” He looked straight into her eyes.
Gloria was taken aback at his words; she stared into his eyes, unable to utter any word.
“I am in love with you.” He uttered.
Just then, the door opened.
To be continued.
© Circlesoflove 2013
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