June 29, 2022

Ismail tries to dial back the number but Kamal keeps ignoring his call. “Who could the caller be? Does it mean that Amina is cheating on me?” he asks himself.

Amina comes out of the bathroom with Ismail’s towel on her and she observes that his look is different from what it was when she left him to go to the bathroom.

Amina: “You okay, baby?

Ismail: “Yes, your boyfriend called threatening to kill me and your sugar daddy if you don’t send him your house address”.

Amina: “My boyfriend?” she picks the phone from the bed and goes through her received call list. “Oh my God, it’s Kamal, the bastard!”

Ismail: “Who is Kamal and what was he talking about you having a sugar daddy? Are you cheating on me?”

Amina: “No, I am not. Kamal is my ex and the sugar daddy he is lying about is my former landlord.” Amina narrates everything that happened between her and Kamal to Ismail and also tells him about the landlord and all that transpired between her and him. Ismail listens attentively and hugs her after she stops talking.

Ismail: “its okay, sweetheart. You don’t have to hide anything from me, hoarding sensitive information doesn’t help any relationship. You should have told me everything about your past, it won’t have been surprising now that Kamal called”.

Amina: “I am sorry, baby. I was afraid you won’t want to marry me anymore if I tell you. I didn’t want to lose you”.

Ismail: “I love you and when love is involved, things about your past do not matter. So, wipe your tears, from what you told me, this Kamal boy can be desperate and he may put you in trouble one day or he may even end up hurting you. So, we are taking no chances, we will go to the police and alert them of all that he has said. That way, you will be on the safe side incase anything happens”.

Amina: “Thank you, baby. You are simply the best, what could I have done without you? You are perfect, just as your name suggests”, she throws herself on him, hugging him.

Ismail: “Anything for my wifie. Now, get dressed, we need to hurry to the police station so that we can continue with our marriage shopping”, he says playfully smacking her buttocks.

—————————

Kamal on realizing that Amina has gone for good begins to contemplate on going back to the village because he has nowhere to stay in Abuja. “But I left the village in anger and I didn’t even talk to my parents when I left. If I go back now, I will be a laughing stock. What should I do now o, chai, I miss Amina, she’s the only girl I can control anyhow I want. Okay, I know what to do, let me call Fatima”.

Fatima: “Hello, who is this?”

Kamal: “Na wa o, every time I call, you are always asking who is this? Don’t you ever save my number?”

Fatima: “Which kind talk be that one now? Why will I have your number saved in my phone, na you buy the phone for me?”

Kamal: “Fatima baby, you too dey vex. Anyway its Kamal, I thought we could hangout, where are you?”

Fatima: “I am in my house and I can’t go to hangout anywhere with you. Last time we went out, I was the one who paid the bills because you had no money on you.”

Kamal: “Okay, I will be in your house shortly”.

Kamal arrives Fatima’s house and he meets her eating jollof rice and chicken, the worms in his stomach moves, reminding him of the fact that he hadn’t eaten all day because he cannot afford to buy anything.

Kamal: “Hello, sexy mama. I miss you die”, he hugs her, and attempts to take a bite out of the chicken.

Fatima: “Wetin na, you no eat from where you commot from? Who is your mama?”

Kamal: “Common, sexy. What are lovers for if not to share things? It’s just a bite I want to take, I won’t finish all”.

Fatima: “Ehn,  just a bite ke. Don’t you know that there is nothing free in this recession? You must work hard before you eat, food is very expensive these days”.

Kamal: “What do you mean by that?’

Fatima: “Sweetheart, I have some dirty clothes that need washing. Can you help me do that?”

Kamal: “Me, wash your clothes? Why? I mean I am the man here, it should be the other way round”.

Fatima: “Well, as the man, bring money before you can eat out of my food. Men give women money to cook for them. Its either you help with the laundry so that I can get you something to eat or you bring money so that I can go to the market and cook for you because you look very hungry and famished”.

Kamal conscious of the fact that he has no money to feed and nowhere to sleep agrees to do the laundry. Fatima brings out her clothes and Kamal is taken aback.

Kamal: “All these clothes are dirty? Shuu! E be like say you never wash since the beginning of this year o. Ah-ah, even your undies? I mean you don’t expect me to wash your panties and bra, common, I am a man, doing that is degrading”.

Fatima: “Abeg, abeg, no dey call yourself man where I dey. What makes you a man? Do you think the fact that you have something daggling in between your thighs makes you a man? A man that depends on women to survive, what sort of a man is that? If them say make men commot, so you seff go follow commot? You no fit wash pant and bra but you fit touch the things wey pant and bra they cover. Mtcheww”.

————————

A week to their wedding, everything is set and Amina begins countdown to her big day. Amina, her sister Jalila and Ismail travels to Dubai and Paris to shop for their wedding attire and when they came back, Ismail insists on them stopping over in his house at Wuse 2, Abuja so that she can get to know his house and place orders for the things she would need in her kitchen and her bedroom when they get married.

Amina: “Baby, is it necessary? Our wedding is just a week away and we will go and live there after the wedding. So, why go there now?”

Ismail: “Ah, you need to go and see my apartment o. What if I stay in a one room apartment in the outskirts of Abuja and I am here lying to you? Won’t you be disappointed when we get married? “

Amina: “Common, I trust you and you have never lied to me. You know I need to rush back home to make sure that everything is ready for next week”.

Ismail: “Of course, everything is ready. You don’t have to stress yourself; my dad has people working day and night to ensure that the marriage is a success. That’s the advantage of being a politician in Nigeria; you have people who are willing to do anything for you.”

They arrive at his house and Amina is amazed at the edifice that he has as a house. The interior of his room is decorated with the best of everything ranging from his furniture to his electronics. His bedroom painted in pure white has a big bed that sends ideas running through Amina’s head. “I can’t wait to be his wife”, she thinks. After showing her around, Ismail excuses himself to go and see a friend across the street. Amina gets herself busy with going through the things in her new home. She opens a drawer and finds a file containing all his documents. She takes her time going through his certificates, bank statements etc. “This guy is very rich o”, she says aloud.

“Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajiun!” she screams as she begins to read a particular document. “Ismail has less than two months to live? Why did he keep this away from me? So they want to make me a widow in prime? I said it that this marriage thing is too good to be true. Is it not me Amina again, do things ever go well for me? God I am finished, I am doomed!” she screams, tears flowing down her cheeks. Quickly, she gets up and begins to grab her things to run away.

==

Amina makes for the door and she collides with Ismail, who is just coming in, in her confusion, she didn’t even hear him drive into the compound.

Ismail: “Hey, sweetheart. Are you missing me so much that you had to rush out to meet me?”

Amina: “Stay away from me, you liar!”

Ismail is taken aback and momentarily loses his speech. “What did you just say?” He manages to ask.

Amina: “I said you should stay out of my way, you pathetic liar”.

Ismail: “Sweetheart, me a liar? I can’t remember lying to you. What is wrong? What did you hear, I mean, what happened while I was away?”

Amina: “I don’t even know what to tell you, just leave me alone, I am going to my parents place and I don’t ever want to see you again, just stay away from me!” She grabs her bag and makes for the door but Ismail quickly grabs her arm and stops her and drags her back into the room.

Ismail: “What on earth is wrong with you? How can you just walk away barely a week to our marriage? What have I done to you that you want to break my heart and turn me into an object of ridicule? You cannot just walk in and out of my life as you wish, I demand explanations”.

Amina: “Explanations, you say? I am the one who needs explanation here”.

Ismail: “What are you talking about?”

Amina: “Oh, so you are still feigning ignorance right? Okay, just hold on”.

She dashes in to the bedroom leaving Ismail to wonder what she is up to.

“Here! What explanation do you have for this?” She flings the medical report at him.

Ismail grabs the paper from her hand and sinks on the chair. “How did you get this?”

Amina: “Is that what you have to say? She picks up her bag and attempts to leave again but he stops her. “Okay, sit down let’s talk like two matured adults.”

Ismail: “Yes, the doctors have given me less than two months to live, I know I am going to die and there is nothing that anybody can do about it and that is why I have decided to enjoy the last days of my life with you”.

Amina: “You are still not talking; you better go straight to the point before I walk out on you”

Ismail: “Can’t you see that I am dying? I have been fighting Leukaemia for a long time now and the doctors say I will die soon. My parents have spent fortunes trying to find a solution to it but nothing can be done about it. I have travelled to different countries of the world, met different specialists and they have told me there is no solution to my predicament. I wanted to die without getting married but my parents insisted that I get a wife to enjoy my last days on earth with and get married to her so that I can impregnate her before I die, that way I will have a child to replace me and I will have a woman to mourn me when I am no more. At first, I refused but after putting me through so much pressure, I had no option but to grant their request because I cannot forgive myself if I die without fulfilling my parents’ wishes. Why do you think my parents are okay with you sleeping with me before marriage? They want us to try and get a child now. They stood so much by me during all my crises”, he says with tears flowing from his eyes.

Amina: “I am sorry about that”.

Ismail: “Please forgive me, I didn’t want to tell you because I was afraid that you won’t agree to marry me should you find out. I am sorry, baby. I love you with all my heart and I wish I had met you earlier”.

Amina: “Forgive you? After you and your parents connived to make me a widow even before my honeymoon period is over? What did I do wrong to offend you? I’m I the one who caused the illness? Because you know that I am desperate for a husband, you capitalized on it and you lied to me and now you say I should forgive you? I am hurting and there’s nothing you can do to make me change my mind. I am sorry, this marriage thing is over!”

She runs out of the house, leaving Ismail in the sitting room, crying.

Question: Is it true that Ismail has less than two months to live? Could it be that Ismail is testing her love for him? Will Amina call off the marriage? Do you think Amina should call off the marriage considering her age and after all she went through before getting a suitor

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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