I’d just managed to put my feet up on the bed, feeling very tired after the stress of the journey and the endless airport rituals, when I turned to my left and immediately became breathless. I could not believe the break-taking view at the sliding doors where Tahir had just drawn the curtains apart.
Back home the creek isn’t a place you look forward to seeing. Indeed it’s synonymous with a lot that’s dirty, rundown and negative, even though what lies beneath it is our nation’s cash cow. So when I heard that the hotel we were headed for had the creek in its name, I wasn’t the least impressed. Yet here I am, confronted with a sight that’s so beautiful it has left me spellbound. Tahir must have noticed my speechless state because he suddenly said:
‘Lovely, isn’t it?’
‘Lovely is an understatement Hubby dearest, this is the grandest view I’ve seen in my life.’ I replied, dreamily.
‘I’ve forgotten that you have a thing about grand views. If a view is worth its name, then it has to be grand to earn it.’ He responded. ‘I still remember the first time I heard you use that phrase, it was after our wedding when we were driving to Abuja for our honeymoon. I suggested that we stop for a meal at Tiga dam, which you’d never been to but which I knew from years past. We went into the hotel only to find out that no meals were being cooked and no guests were staying at the place. I requested to look around the rooms and the moment we stepped into one that overlooked the lake, you said ‘Oh what a grand view.’ Tahir reminisced.
‘Yes, I remember that moment too, as if it was yesterday. Being the ‘homeless’ newlyweds that’s we were, we were driving to Abuja for our honeymoon because there was no ‘Gidan Amarya’ to host friends and relatives, who kept asking about our new address. We were due to travel abroad, where you were working then in about a fortnight, and you saw no need to set up a home when we won’t be around to use it. Meanwhile, you had given up the home you used in Lagos because you were going for the work-trip abroad.
I remember you telling me how an elder from your side scolded you for saying you didn’t have a place to take your bride that was why we were travelling out of town. He reminded you that there were enough rooms in your father’s house for us to use before we travelled, you needed not to act like you were a homeless orphan. Anyway, personally I think you’d have escaped being scolded if you had just said you wanted to get away for a honeymoon.
Except that maybe you wouldn’t know how to explain the concept of a honeymoon without offending some sensibilities. It’s hard to believe all this happened over 25 years ago. How time flies.’ I observed.
‘Yes, indeed times flies whether you are using it wisely or not.’ he agreed moving over to the bed to sit on the edge of it. ‘I mean look at us, we are returning from Ummi’s graduation. It’s almost hard to believe that our little girl is now a medical doctor, trained to save lives and treat illnesses. I have to remind myself of the years she spent going through the rigours of training and practice, to realise that she really deserves to be the smiling young lady, in flowing abaya and graduation gown, who went up the dais to collect her award. May Almighty Allah bless her more.’ Tahir prayed.
‘Amin ya Rabbil aalamin. I remember how I felt too, after she collected her award and turned to walk our way with her broad smile. She immediately reminded me of the first time I saw her. A tiny little bundle which was brought to me by a nurse while you followed behind. You explained to me that the little plaster on her forehead was caused by the doctor’s being in a haste to deliver her. It had been an emergency Caeserean section caused by what they called foetal distress. The cut left her a tiny little scar that’s barely visible on her forehead today. But 24 years ago when I first saw it, it broke my heart to know that someone had injured my adorable angel.’ I recalled, nostalgically.
‘Let’s hope she wouldn’t leave any tiny scars on other people’s children when her time comes to offer the same services.’ Tahir joked.
‘In Sha Allah, she won’t.’ I answered, rising from the bed to walk towards the giant sliding doors that serve as windows from our 11th-floor hotel room.
‘Yes I’d seen a few grand views in my time’ I said looking at the numerous cruises on the creek that ferry tourist in this beautiful bustling city ‘but today’s view certainly takes the cake.’ I concluded.