Teacher Isah: “Okay. I understand how very impatient you can be. All I am saying is”, I want you to give me permission to send my people to your house to ask your hand in marriage. “My Meeno, the only flower in my garden, want you to be my wife? I promise to love and cherish you, in sickness and in health, riches and poverty, till death do us part”.
Amina: “Oh please, stand up, you are embarrassing me. How can you look at a very beautiful girl like me and expect me to marry you? I’m I cursed that I will marry a teacher? Who recognizes teachers in the society? How much is your salary? Are you looking for someone to drag to your poverty stricKamal and lack infested family?”
Teacher Isah: “Teachers are extraordinary people. Our reward is in heaven and…”
Amina: “Ah tsaya A nan Mallam. Which heaven? How sure are you that you will get to heaven? Look at you, poverty is written all over you, starting from your old smelly brother-dash me shoes, to your faded trousers and your oversized shirts. Oh, I can’t even talk about your belt whose skin is peeling off.
What do you have to offer me if I marry you if not pains and regrets? Your monthly salary cannot even buy my shower gel talk more of my cream and others. Oh, so because you see a beautiful and educated girl, you want to rush me into marriage, ko bah aka ba? It won’t work. I am still young and many men will still come my way for marriage. I will end up marrying a billionaire or the son of a big politician. See you, upon say you no get money, you no still fine. Tall, you no tall, fine nose, you no get. Mtcheww”.
Teacher Isah: “What nonsense! All these insults simply because I asked you to marry me? I don’t blame you, it’s one thing to go to school, another thing to be educated. I will leave you with your ignorance”.
Amina: “Good riddance to bad rubbish!” she walks away, chewing her gum and making an ear splitting sound with it.
“Hey you, come out here!” the police man points at her, cutting short her thoughts”.
She comes out after he opens the door to the cell and he leads her to the interrogation room where another police man is waiting.
As she takes a sit because she is too weak to stand, the strong-faced policeman bangs his hands on the table startling her.
Policeman: “Young woman, will you confess to this crime or do you want me to force the truth out of you?” he barked.
Amina: “I have told you what I know, I didn’t steal her money, I didn’t even see it. How could I have stolen what I didn’t see?”
Policeman: “Are you asking me questions or you are answering my questions? I’m I the one who is accused of stealing? By the time I am through with you, you will answer all the questions that you are asking me yourself”.
Amina ignores him and continues to stare into space as one who cannot comprehend all that she heard.
Policeman: “You don’t want to talk right? My friend will you tell me where your accomplice of a boyfriend is hiding?”
Amina: “I do not know what you are talking about. I already told you that my boyfriend didn’t steal the money and I do not know his where about. I am not saying anything until I see a lawyer”.
Policeman: “Oh, you are playing smart, I know your type. By the time I am through with you, you will beg me to listen to your confession.”
Kamaluddeen wakes up after the long afternoon nap feeling sad. Ever since he received Amina’s message, he hasn’t returned to her house; he has been staying at Fatima’s house making love to her who has a huge appetite for sex. Tired and exhausted, he makes to get out of the bed but Fatima holds him down.
Fatima: “Where are you going? It’s so sunny out there and I am not satisfied yet”.
Kamal: “We have been making love all day long and you are still not satisfied? Well, I am tired, I need fresh air”.
Fatima: “What do you need fresh air for when I am here? Isn’t my body fresh enough? Come, let me show you one style I watched online yesterday”.
Kamal: “I can’t continue this anymore. My fiancee is in cell and I am here making love to you when people are out there earning a living. I have to go see Amina, she doesn’t deserve to suffer.”
Fatima: “What the hell are you talking about? You think you can use me and dump me? You must be a joker. After using me for two days none stop you just want to talk away? Do you know how much I get paid to make love to people for few hours? If you dare walk out on me, I will make sure you and Amina regret it for the rest of your lives”.
Confused, Kamal stands staring at her, unable to take a decision.
Madam Shine is sitting in her shop contemplating what to do concerning Amina and Wasiu after the police told her they refused to confess when Jummai walks-in in bandages and holding a clutch.
Madam Shine: “Jummai, where have you been for the past two days?”
Jummai: “Madam, help me thank God o. I for don die and my body for don start to dey rotten”.
Madam Shine: “My friend will you stop philosophizing and tell me what happened”.
Jummai: “As we finish clean shop and arrange kaya that morning, na im I say make I go Iya Basira place go buy breakfast. As I reach that junction wey road branch into three, na so I hear people for my back dey shout ‘hey, heez, a you girl’, I no know say na me dem dey call because my name no be hey…”
Madam Shine: “Jummai, I do not have time for silly narrations today. Just go straight to the point!”
Jummai: “Okay, ma. As they shout wey I no hear, the next thing, I just see bike from nowhere, voom! E clear me for road. I wake up yesterday see myself for hospital bed, but I no know as I take reach there. Them discharge me this morning na im I say I must come to the shop and tell you wetin happen. Madam, abeg where is Amina and Wassy?”
Madam Shine: “Really? Anyway, what happened to you is none of my business. Did you see my N100,000?”
Jummai’s eye balls pooped out. “Where I wan see that kind money, madam?”
Madam Shine: “You better tell me the truth before I send you to join Amina and Wasiu in the police cell. Your own torture there will even be worst after disappearing for two days. Did you steal my money? “
Jummai: “I swear I didn’t steal your money. I no even see am. Why I go steal your money na? My mama no train thief.”
Madam Shine: “You won’t confess right?”
Jummai throws herself on the ground, at the madam’s feet. “Madam abeg…”
Question: “Is Jummai saying the truth about being involved in an accident? Is she using the accident to cover up for stealing the money? Why did she kneel before the madam, does she intend to confess? Will Kamal go to see Amina in the cell? Should he ignore Fatima’s threats?
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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