April 16, 2024

Last week I called Manal in the evening, and as soon as I introduced myself to her she hanged off the call. I thought it wasn’t intentional until I tried again and she refused to pick the call, that was when I knew it was intentional. Thus, I decided to just stay away from her before I ended up hurting myself further more. Maybe she had a reason for whatever she was doing, maybe she didn’t love me at all. Maybe she…

“Goodnight, Idris” Pharmacist Aisha’s voice interrupted my thought. She had signed out for the day already and was about leaving.
“Alright,” I cleared my throat. “Goodnight”
“Okey” She said looking at me fixedly.
“What?” I muttered.
“Nothing” She smiled. “You look tired, I can help you with your work if you don’t mind”
“Really?” I smiled at her.
“Yes” She said sitting on my desk. “You can go home my dear, I… I will take over your work”
“Hmm, you’ve been here since afternoon and you want to work throughout the night again because of me? No, Aisha” I said not buying it.
“Watch me and see” She said as she quickly dropped her bag and put back her lab coat. “Is either you go home and rest or we work here together, but I’m not going back home, dear”
“Why are you doing this?” I said as if I didn’t know she one way or the other cherished me.
“Do you want to know why I am doing this?” She said in a low tone while wearing a smile.
“Yes, tell me” I said.
“Okey, let me tell you in your ear” She uttered drawing closer to me when my phone buzzed.
“Excuse me, let me check my phone” I said.
“Okey, dear” she drew herself back.
Thus, I picked the phone and found out it was a text message from Manal which reads, “You practically don’t have a heart wallahi Idris”.
I didn’t even know when I smiled at the text. So, Manal wanted me to keep pushing myself into her like I was a slave or something, right?
“What’s that?” Aisha queried.

“It’s… a friend of mine, Bello, he has gotten another wife” I lied to her gritting my teeth.

“Oh, nice” She huffed. “Remaining you”
“I’m still waiting for the right woman” I said withdrawing from my swivel chair. “I want a very good mother to my daughter, Amani…”
“Huh? And you are implying you haven’t found her yet?” She huffed and continued. “Just look around you Idris, the person that truly loves you will also love Amani if you don’t know”
“Yeah, maybe” I said about taking off my lab coat. “Are you sure you want me to go home?”
“Yes,” She said and continued. “I want you to rest, I don’t really want you to fall sick again”
“Alright then, thanks” I said taking off the coat.
“You’re welcome” She said.
Hence, I signed out and took my bag. “Goodnight, Aisha” I bade her smiling.
“Goodnight” She managed to smile back.
“Okey” I said about going when she halted me.
“I am doing this for Amani” She said.
“Thank you” I smiled again and left.
I might have sounded cruel but it wasn’t my fault, right? She offered to help and I accepted it, after all I needed to rest just like she said.
As soon as I walked into my car, I texted Manal back with; “You pushed me away, I was so sad!”
“I thought you would not reply me” She texted.
“Sorry, I was busy” I texted back.
“Whatever!” She texted.
“Still angry for no reason?” I texted back.
“I had my reasons and don’t ask about it” She texted, and re-texted again; “I am not angry with you anymore but just pray nothing happens to Hilwah again in your brother’s house if not I won’t forgive you wallahi”
“Nothing bad will happen again In Shaa Allah, I promise you” I texted back heaving a sigh.
“Okey, goodnight” She texted.
“Sweet dreams” I texted back.
“Okey.” She texted with a fullstop.
That moment, I didn’t know when I screamed “YES!” And hit the steering wheel. This could be the beginning of what I had been waiting for. She also seemed interested in me, isn’t it?
I drove home, slept peacefully and guess what? I had a wonderful dream that Manal and I got married. When I woke up, I smiled with a sigh and prayed that Allah should make the dream come true. “…Manal is all I need, Ya Allah” I said remembering the US I saw in the dream.

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Written by Mohammed Abubakar KingMoha, Inside Arewa

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

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