P.S: The names and images are all fiction.
It was meant to be the best day of Alhaja Fatima’s life as she turned 50, superseding the expectations of the doctors.

She had always been known to be a sickly child, and each day of her existence was a miracle.

She recalled how often her friends mocked at her unusual eating habits and walking step. She tried effortlessly to fit in doing menial jobs, engaging in sporting activities and the rest; but they almost always landed her in the hospital.

She managed to pull through adolescence and adulthood, especially with the kind of wealth and influence her family had.

Today is her birthday, she is supposed to have alot of things to be grateful for. After all, Allah had spared her life and she was comfortable.

Her three children were all fairing well. Amina was married to Dr. Ahmed with four beautiful children, resident in England.

Mohammed was done with his PhD program in Ahmadu Bello University, and has been retained as a senior lecturer in History.

Hauwa, her last daughter is now blessed with a beautiful child as she embraces the joy of motherhood in Lagos.

For residents in Kano, her life was the dream. But to herself, she wasn’t so sure anymore. She couldn’t describe who she was, especially since Suleiman had left her for a younger woman.

“Maybe I didn’t even know myself to start with, and marriage was my excuse and escape route” she reflected in thoughts.

The phone lines had been buzzing all morning, and she was sure it would be so for the rest of the day. It seemed like everyone knew it was her birthday.

Well, that’s what you get for being the top dealer in gold and fabric. Your business becomes everyone else’.

Walking had always been a great way for Fatimah to clear her head.

As she strolled about her garden, she stopped to inhale the fragrance of the flowers that always brought momentary satisfaction to her soul.

Just then, she saw something or maybe someone move past her. She stopped dead in her tracks.

A man has been shot! In her garden!
He must still be alive. After all, he just moved; she thought.

She wasn’t sure it was appropriate to touch him or not, but she moved past common sense and attempted to stop the bleeding.

As his breath became more shallow, his face turned pale and she watched life leave him…

The last thing she remembered was a scream she wasn’t sure she made.
To be continued…