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Part 31 of 33 in the Series Our Friendship by Fadimafayau

Usman’s grip on The Doctor’s neck was relentless, his desperation pouring out in his words, “You need to save my wife. She isn’t dead. She just spoke to me moments ago, and now you’re telling me she’s gone. That can’t be.”

The Doctor, sensing the urgency, gently tapped Usman’s hand and said, “Alright, let me recheck. You can untie me.”

Ummi, with tears still glistening on her cheeks, walked over to her father. She touched his shoulder from behind and whispered, “Dad, please, let go of him.” Without hesitation, Usman released his hold on The Doctor.

The Doctor was bewildered, a mixture of confusion and fear growing in him as he stared at the lifeless figure on the bed. He decided not to voice his doubts again, fearing Usman’s reaction, and began to search for a way out.

He turned to the nurse standing nearby and requested, “Sister, can you please call Doctor Bashir for me?”

“Of course, sir,” the nurse replied, before hurrying out of the room.

Dr. Bashir requested that Usman and everyone else step out to give them some space. Before leaving, Usman firmly grasped Dr. Bashir’s hand, pleading for his wife’s life. The doctor reassured him, “Don’t worry, we’ll do our best.”

“Sir, can you please help me check? I believe she’s dead. With all my experience, all I see is death, but that man keeps insisting she’s alive,” he gestured towards Usman.

Dr. Bashir responded, “Alright, don’t worry.” He approached the bed and began examining her vital signs.

After several tense minutes, Dr. Bashir let out an audible breath and announced, “It was a heart attack. Thankfully, she’s alive, but there are certain measures we need to take immediately.”

“Tell me what to do, sir,” the other doctor said.

Dr. Bashir explained the necessary steps to him and the nurse, and they got to work. It took them several anxious minutes, but eventually, Abu’s breathing returned to normal.

The doctors advised everyone to stay away from Abu, but Usman’s love for his wife refused to comply. In the end, the doctors conceded, allowing him to sit by her side, urging him to remain quiet until she woke up.

Usman stayed vigilant throughout the night, never straying from her side, fearing that she might slip away in his absence.

The following evening, Usman sat in a chair by Abu’s bedside, lost in thought. When Abu woke up, she couldn’t help but smile at the sight of him, reminiscent of their happier days.

As Abu stirred, Usman awoke to her attempting to remove the IV drip from her hand. Anxious, he inquired, “What are you trying to do? Is something wrong?”

“Where are my babies, my twins? Where are they?” she asked urgently.

He regarded her with a puzzled expression, “Calm down, dear. We don’t have twins. It’s Ummi and Amira. Have you forgotten?”

“I want to see my babies now,” she exclaimed.

“Alright, let me go and bring them,” Usman agreed.

“No, we have to go together. I can’t wait,” she insisted.

Usman helped her out of bed, and they made their way to find the children.

Meanwhile, Zainab hurriedly approached Hajiya, Ayatullah’s grandmother, and inquired, “Where are my babies?” Hajiya smiled, realizing that Khairiyya, or rather, Zainab, had finally returned.

“You should return to your room. I will have Bala, the driver, bring them here. They are at home, safe and sound,” Hajiya assured her.

Everyone, including Abu’s parents, was taken aback by the revelation of the twins Abu had, and Hajiya narrated everything that had transpired when Abu was with them.

Sa’ada was consumed by shame and guilt, barely speaking to anyone and constantly trying to isolate herself. She blamed herself for all that had happened to Abu.

Every day since they had arrived at the hospital, she sat under a tree on a bench, watching people pass by. On this day, Usman passed by on his way back from the mosque, and Sa’ada called out his name.

He stopped and turned to look at her for a moment before walking over and sitting beside her without a word.

After a moment of silence, she finally spoke. “I have a request, Usman. I hope you’ll grant my wish.”

“Alright, what is it that you want?” he inquired tersely.

“I want a divorce,” she simply replied.

“Divorce!?” he exclaimed, curiosity and surprise in his wide-open eyes.

“Yes, a divorce, please. It’s the only way for me to forgive myself,” she pleaded.

“I can’t do that,” Usman replied, standing up. She gripped his hand, saying, “The one you desire isn’t me, Usman. But Sa’ada…”

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