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Amadou, Amadou (4): Mariétou, the savior, by Ladyba

21 July 2020, Ladyba

Mariétou hadn't believed a word of what uncle had said. She promised herself to try to get Amadou out of this sort life.

Amadou was sick, he felt very bad but could not lie down. For the past 2 days, he had been unable to bring back the 700 FCFA day laborers with the torrential rains that fell on Dakar, it was much more difficult. He had received blows from his uncle; if he did not bring back the 700 FCFA today he would “kill” him.

So he left with a hesitant gait this afternoon. It was very very hot and he had been walking for minutes when he no longer felt his legs, he leaned against a tree to rest a little. At one point he fell down onto the sand.

A few minutes later, a lady who was passing by came towards him, she thought he had just fallen asleep and wanted to wake him up to ask him to come to her house to rest, his house being just at opposite side of the street. She shook him but Amadou did not move, the lady was a nurse and saw immediately that something was wrong. She asked for help from a few passers-by, stopped a taxi which took her to the hospital where she worked.

Amadou woke up in a white room, he was on a small bed and beside him was a lady who was looking at him.

- Young boy, are you awake?
- Amadou:....
The lady: are you okay? Do you feel anything?
Amadou: He shook his head while looking with wide eyes at the place. He wondered what was happening to him again
The lady: Don’t be afraid? What’s your name?
Amadou: Amadou, where am I?
The lady: My name is Mariétou and here you are in a hospital. I found you passed out under a tree and brought you here. You were having a Malaria attack and luckily I discovered you in time
Amadou: Mother, what time is it?
Mariétou: 8:30 p.m.

Amadou jumped from his bed, and tried to tear off the drip on his right hand.

Amadou: this time it’s for sure I’m dead; he’s going to kill me I had to go back since…
Mariétou: calm down, calm down and stop you are going to hurt yourself with the infusion, wait sit down, you are sick, give me his number I call him
Amadou: I don't know his number, but I really have to go home. He was crying just thinking about the punishment he will receive today.
Mariétou: Amadou you cannot leave now, you must spend the night here; I can't let you go it's too risky
Amadou: mother he will really kill me, you don't know my uncle.
Mariétou: Rest, I stay here with you and tomorrow morning. I will accompany you to his house, he will not kill you since I will be with you.
Mariétou: in any case I will not let you leave, in addition I am going to spend the night here. I you try to leave, I will be the one who will kil you. (Said Marietou in a mocking tone which made Amadou laugh).
Amadou: OK, but you definitely should go with me tomorrow.
Mariétou: I will go with you at your uncle’s. Now rest. I bought you food while you were sleeping.

She gave him a burger and opened up his drink for him.

Amadou: Thank you very much mother. This is good. I have never eaten it (He said as he was eating his sandwich…)
Mariétou: loool, it’s called hamburger. Now eat, and when you are done, you can enjoy your drink.

She asked him a few questions about his life and Mariétou was surprised by what Amadou told him. The latter had not spoken about his parents since his father left him here and he had not heard from them since. If for some Talibés of the daara, their parents came, sometimes, to see if they were well; neither his father nor his mother, let alone his brothers, had come to see him and he had been in Dakar for two years. He felt good with this lady, she was so nice. After dinner, he went back to sleep.

Mariétou watched him sleep, she felt so sorry for this little angel; he was so innocent, so adorable.

Mariétou was the 2nd wife of a wealthy businessman; she had been married for 8 years now but was sterile and suffered from the mockery of her family-in-law and her co-wife who had had 4 children. Even though her husband loved her and cared for her very well, she resented the fact that she could not give him children. Currently, her husband was traveling in the sub-region and had been touched when Mariétou called him to tell him about this little boy, he told him to stay with him all night. She used to stay overnight in this hospital anyway and was happy to take care of this child who seemed to need a lot of affection and love.

The next day, as planned, she took him to her uncle's house. On the way, she bought him her medicine, food and some clothes. They found Amadou's uncle in the yard, Amadou was surprised that he hadn't even yelled at him as soon as they arrived.

Mariétou: “Salam Aleykum” papa
Uncle: “Wa Aleykum Salam” my lady, how are you doing? Sit, sit here...
Mariétou: I am doing well,
Uncle: Amadou, how are you?

He hadn't heard someone ask him how he was for centuries; he was so surprised that he didn't even answer

Mariétou: Papa… my apologies… sorry to tell you, yesterday I found Amadou in front of my house, I thought he was just sleeping since it was too hot. But I'm a nurse and I saw that he was sick right away, I brought him to the hospital
Uncle: Oh my lord, Amadou. Why you did not tell me you were sick? My lady thank you very much. Children don’t talk that much…

Amadou had told him in the morning that he was not feeling well and he had told him that he was tired…

Mariétou: Papa sorry for that, I wanted to call you to inform you, but Amadou did not have your number
Uncle: May the Lord bless you, what you have done you really did for me… because Amadou’s father and I share the same blood…
Mariétou: It’s my pleasure… I am going to leave now. Please, take care of the children.

She gave him bundles of bills… lots of money.

Uncle: Oh my lady, you did not have too… Thank you.
Mariétou: I wish I could’ve given you more. Maybe I will come by again to see Amadou… I got attached to him the moment I saw him
Uncle: Of course, it would be a pleasure (he had found a new source of money). This is your home. And from now on, consider Amadou your son.
Mariétou: Thank you, bye bye. Amadou, stay strong and keep working hard. Don’t forget to take your medecine. Bye Papa…
Uncle: Thank you Madam, may god protect you…
Mariétou: Amadou, come walk with me…

Mariétou, while leaving, said to Amadou: Look, now you know my house. You can drop by as you wish. And if you have any problem, let me know.
Amadou: OK, thank you very much aunt…

Mariétou hadn't believed a word of what uncle had said. She promised herself to try to get Amadou out of this sort life. This child had really moved her but for the moment it was necessary to make this uncle her ally...
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