Varsha (Monsoon) 2021 Stories - Ubaidullahi Umar Muhammad


What my Father Taught me
By Ubaidullahi Umar Muhammad



It happens..., a minute and more, and at night, I stand by the door. Two, three...five, ten...sixty...and more, I only stare at it. Whatsoever, how to go about it? There is no clue.


I Step in, I back off in Pain; I reflect the deadly tricks of this bane. Our people say, but works not, “brain finds lost head”. The devil rules her but she is my house head. Surplus stuff earns me no spoon, shelter same. And her word, "bastard" seems my proper name.


When drum storms my heart and my pressure highs, it does extremely above the sky, I imagine myself in an unadaptive world, but not Joseph Conrald's own view of "the other world". Nor "an unknown earth". Maybe George Orwell's "room 101", although this room belongs to me, or it belongs to us: the woman and I together is a togetherness that forces me to the other world.



There comes a night for her to her to heal my pain. There comes a dream for her to treat me fain. That she dreams “angel chasing “her to “Hell”.
That “for what you maltreat your husband dwel.l”


“I love you,” widely grins my dame.


“I love you too,” I say, I find her tame.


This late noon, on Monday, we sit for lunch. For her I become the pick of the bunch.


"My life, he walked to me and you walked beside him".


"Subhanal Lah"!


"He said 'this house does not deserve people like you'".

"Which house"?


"I was standing before the gate of Paradise".




"So he meant Paradise did not deserve me", her voice softens. Her eyes waters...


"Sorry soul mate".


I move to her and embrace her, her head lies between my shoulders.


"Forgive me".


"You are forgiven".


With my shirt, I make sure her water is absorbed.


"The last word of his is hopeful, my life".


I listen.


"You shall have only one way back to this house and it is under this man's feet".


"Forgive me", lowering her voice, slowly, and she waters again.




Like fluorine most reactive tendency, as a man, I do earn the valence. My eyes stare at her, at her rolling balls. She must have made me in this lunch some calls. Night after, for fruitful world, this world we leave; slake the thirst with its fruits, but not its leaves...

She cuts!


From under, she cuts what?


She cuts down the supreme throne.


“Go and marry"! She makes my plan forlorn. My previous plan if not because she changed.




I, being driven by an inexplicable force, let me narrate for you my tragic source. A year ago, left-siding my room door, a night ago, right-siding my bed or, a chore ago, right-siding the room door, a go along, north to south length at four, a come and go in life with width at core, in bore I had been walking down the floor.


“No answer“answering my “redial”, the room was too small for my whole; the world was tiny for my soul. I had pressed the button, one more trial, but answered an incoming call. Was she? No, her father, rather. Never had he called me, neither days when I married his daughter, nor in pre-love days or later. My first wife was then in labor.


A week before, "rest my love. You are heavy now. I will cook", I said.


"My love, you can only cook if the last breath already secured its way".


"My love, there is nothing you can do. Today I shall cook".


“My love, there is nothing you can do. Today I already cooked".






“Why not war-war"?


"I had to hurry so that it would be ready before you are back".


“Either so or you had to be worry so would not cook".


"Because I love you".


Ok, in case you forget, instead for calling, I received a call and it is from father-in-law.


“Sorry,” he said I remember.


God called you, my wife you answered sooner. I rue I had maltreated you Husna. I regret! My wife you had passed away.


Ubaidullahi Umar Muhammad is from Jos, Nigeria. A teacher, a poet and a prose writer. His works appear in NASSELS Publications and others. He is a 300level student of English Education in University of Jos.


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