I LIKED HIS MOM, SHE and his sisters took me in pretty well, I mean mothers and sisters-in-law are supposed to be wicked and unfriendly on your first meeting, they test your patience or something but his mom even complained when I called her Hajia or Mrs Abubakar I’m to call her Mom just as her children do, and since her child I should follow suit.
She came and took me for lunch then forced me to go shopping with her, I’ve never met his dad but I bet he was going to be friendly as much. What bothered me were the threatening messages I received almost everytime, the most disturbing one was the phone call I had from Jessica calling me all sort of names then promising to make my life a living hell. I knew not to take her threats lightly, I had my defense moves but that wasn’t enough.
With only a week to the wedding granny forced me not to attend work so I took an early Leave, we had to postpone the premiering of the show till after the wedding, I liked how Ahmad defended me the other day, which was so not needed but the bastard needed to be put in his place, I’ve not talked to him after that incident.
My nightmares were now more frequent and the worst part is when my molester’s face turned into Ahmad’s, I kept it all to myself, but I was frightened of this next big step of my life, what would marriage life be like, I rolled on my side and pulled my blanket tighter over me, my mind drifted to the dream I just had it was so surreal I could have sworn it was true, my fear was overcoming me and it was kind of late to see a therapist now, we were just a few days from the wedding and my granny would have a fit if I decide to go out now, I covered my head with the blanket I preferred this darkness than meeting the outside world.
I heard a continuous thud and turned to my side, it didn’t stop my eyes felt heavy to open, I groaned and touched my forehead my hand felt numb, maybe from lying on it for such a long time, “Are you alright?” I heard mom’s concerned voice ask. I struggled out of the bed my body felt like I had crashed into a truckload, I held the door for sometime trying to fight the dizziness, I turned the key and then the knob, “Subhanallah Fatima what happened to you?” mom asked in a worried voice making me cringe a bit she held me and helped me to the bed “Sit here I’ll get you some aspirin before calling the doctor” she said rushing to my bathroom for the pills, “Lean on the pillow and open your mouth” she cooed in a soft voice I inhaled sharply and opened my mouth I squeezed my eye shut as I swallowed it down. She laid me back on the bed and went to the bathroom again I felt a cold object on my forehead “That should deal with your temperature before the doctor arrives”.
She closed the door gently behind her and I drifted off again.
“She will be fine I think it’s fever and stress, she might be over thinking or something just let her rest, that’s all she really needs” “Thanks doctor, I’ll tell her to take things more easier” “That will be much better”. I could tell they were walking out when their voice was barely above a whisper, the door was opened again, I heard a screech of something being pulled probably the chair I hissed in pain and turned, “I wish I could ease your pain” he uttered in a broken voice, I wanted to open my eye but I could only look at him from under my lashes, I hated to be seen when I’m vulnerable I like having the upper hand always, I forced myself to sleep “I love you” I heard as I drifted off.
I remembered all that happened that day, I didn’t want myself to believe his words he was after all “The Great Casanova” alias Ahmad Abubakar who had women at his beck and call, Jessie’s calls had subsided but I needed to have a talk to him before the ceremony starts, my Ghanaian relatives will be arriving during the weekend, granny wants the ceremony to be a complete Kanuri affair, Aunty Hawa (my mom’s older sister) and Aunt Khadija (her younger sis) along with my cousins and a few of her extended family members will be coming, I really needed to talk some sense into Ahmad before this whole thing happens.
I closed my eyes and touched the dial pad before I lost the courage to do so, I started doing breath exercises as the call went through “Hello ” I was tongue tied, and swallowed a little “Who’s this?” “I want us to meet up somewhere secretive” I whispered even though I was the only one in my room. “Fatima?” he asked quite surprised “I’ve been warned not to come close to you, you know” he said with a hint of smile in his voice, I don’t know but I had a smile on my face. “But this is also important can’t we just find a way to meet”. “Why don’t you tell me right now” I heaved a sigh trying to find the courage to say it “I don’t know how to start this but marrying me will be the worst mistake you’ll ever make” I blurted in a hurried whisper, he laughed shortly, did he think I was joking “it’s a joke right?” he asked when he sobered up, did he think I’d joke about something like this “I’m serious Ahmad I’m messed up, more confusing than a puzzle you wouldn’t want to deal with” I added my voice getting groggy. “Then newsflash my dear to be WIFE, be ready to be the wife of AHMAD ABUBAKAR cos I never joke with things like this, you’re a puzzle I’ll be proud to solve, don’t even bother calling me again I want to savor every bit of you, from your soronious voice to that pretty face of yours on the day you’ll be brought to your MARITAL HOME, my house as my WIFE goodbye wifey”, I looked at the screen totally baffled by what just happened, did he not hear what I said, I blinked countless times like the phone was an alien object he should have listened though.
I NEARLY HAD A HEART ATTACK WHEN I WAS TOLD, SHE WAS SICK, maybe it was wedding fright but she still looked good we’ve been kind of playing hide and seek since the camera man affair so seeing her now was a little haven itself. “I love you” I found myself uttering, that was what she did to me she could make me do anything without knowing. My phone rang and it was mom calling to enquire about Fatima’s health she was quite disappointed she couldn’t talk to her daughter. I stayed a little longer and left when she didn’t seem to wake up and it was past 5:30 pm. I looked her room over and it was nothing like I expected, I could tell she was a neat freak, but the painting was somehow funny it was painted white then, there were this design patches in almost every colour painted on the white wall, I looked at her once more and stood up from my chair.
“So you finally come, to visit after decades?” she asked with a smile on her face, I smiled and greeted her “You know I can never neglect you my wife, I was busy but here I am now” I replied, she was with two other ladies in the living room I squated and greeted them, the other lady was a carbon copy of Hajiya “So you are the young man who has Saleem and Sameer so intent on coming back even after school has reopened” I looked down “May Allah bless this unoin” she prayed “Aameen” we said in unison “I’ll take my leave now Hajia” I said rising up. “I thought you would stay for dinner” “No I have some little matters to attend to” she nodded “Extend my greetings to Hajiya and Alhaji”.
I liked her family, I think hospitality is a Kanuri thing.
The next few days passed in a daze, I was pretty amazed when I had a call from her asking me not to go through with the wedding. I thought it was some kind of joke but her voice suggested otherwise “I don’t even know how to start this but marrying me will be the worst mistake you’ll ever make” she said when I asked her to tell me what was so important we had to meet. She was having cold feet but I did not cave in, I want the wedding to be done with already.
I trotted down the stairs and joined them for dinner “Ahmad I was just telling your dad you’ll live here with your bride before leaving for your house ” my face literally dropped “Please Mom I -” she shook her head vehemently “No Ahmad it’s not up for discussion, do you think I’ll leave you with that innocent girl?, so you can flaunt your lovers to her” she asked rhetorically with a hint of anger in her voice. I quietly sat next to her, I won’t have dad’s support so there was no need to even ask for his intervention. We ate in silence with only mom and dad talking occasionally, how could mom do this to me.
“Hello Aunty how are you and my nephews?” I greeted politely “We’re all doing good but why are you asking so politely. She just knew me too well, Zainab is my craziest sister, just a year and a month older than me she demanded we call her Aunty, but I never gave in even when dad forced my younger siblings and I to do so. I sometimes called her by her name to irritate her. “Zee I need you to do me a favor” “I just knew you had a hidden agenda, so what have you done wrong this time Mama’s boy” she teased “Please I want you to convince mom to let me take my bride home after the wedding, she wants us to stay at home not that I hate the idea” I said hurriedly added so I won’t worsen my case “I just want to start this new life with my wife alone” she sighed “I don’t know what you did to Mama but she has been talking about that for quite some time now and you know how she never goes back on her words when she already makes up her mind. I wiped unseen perspiration from my forehead and licked my lips “okay I’ll just do as she says, give the phone to my boys?” I listened on as the boys ranted gibberishly about Captain America and the Avengers. I ended the call after promising them a trip to the Children’s Park when they come to visit.
I was getting anxious as the day kept pushing forward and the phone calls from Vida were not helping, I’m one push to my breaking point, I could only take so much, first it was messages but now they were objects I looked at the ragged red painted doll and the letter attached to it.
*She will die before having you* it simply stated, Vida really needed to be put in her place the ceremony will start tomorrow and I needed to have a peaceful life, no one threatens my wife and goes scot free. I called my head security guard to investigate into the matter since it could be anyone, I hated myself for ever getting involved with a girl as crazy as her.
Dedicated to Fatima Kaka