* AHMAD*

“YES  I DON’T WANT TO DISCLOSE THE NAME OF THE DONOR,  JUST CONTACT ME IF THE PROJECT NEEDS MORE FUNDING”  I felt more in love with her every day especially with this initiative she was putting up,  I’m so proud of her fighting  her demons and looking out for those kids,  she didn’t know I knew about the project she was doing,  she blurted it when I was consoling her the other day,but  I knew about it a few days after she had began. 

 I was losing touch with my siblings Maria is pregnant and I didn’t even call to ask her how she was doing, I dialled the number and held the phone to my ear.   *Hey bro long time* his voice blasted from the other end of the line  “How are you doing  Maruf,  how’s school?”  I asked my voice matching his cheerful one “I’m coping,  so how’s my lovely wife?” I laughed heartily at his question.  We talked for almost an hour before I ended the call.  

I called Zainab afterwards “Do you know you are the most neglectful  brother ever?” she asked in a mockery voice.  I widened my eyes and held my hands up in a surrender gesture “What did I do now Zee, I don’t remember mishandling anything you’ve given me” I retorted frowning a bit.  “You went on that God forsaken trip and didn’t call, not even once did you call your wife after going on that trip,  and left  us with a moping wife,  then you come back from this trip and don’t even ask about me or your nephews who have been filling you in about the said wife’s welfare”  I knew I was at fault,  she’s my personal person and I’ve not even filled her in about any of  the events of the past week,  I didn’t feel like telling her it was between My bae and I, “I’m sorry Zee and tell the boys I’ll be seeing them soon” I said as I ended the call.  I called Maria afterwards,  I didn’t have the best of relationships with her, I was  soon off after a few minutes of exchanging pleasantries and asking about her well being. 

My phone pinged immediately I ended the call. 
*Fatima : I’m very grateful to Allah for giving me you as a husband, you’re my morning star,  I love you My Oga at the top 👆❤.

I smiled * Me : You are a blessing to me AZ-ZAHRA,  you  lightened away the darkness that was surrounding me,  I love you my LIGHT”.

SHE did not reply, I checked a few of my files and email I couldn’t keep the smile off my face this is the second time she’s said she loves me,  and in two consecutive days,  I feel like telling the whole world how lucky I was to have the most prettiest, compassionate and the most loving lady ever to be my wife. I loved the pet name she called me. 

I called my MD and asked about the progress of the building in Borno, things were running smoothly much faster than I had anticipated,  the contractor was estimating for things to be done within the next three months,  I still had lots of time to plan on the next project,  we were thinking of extending our company to other African countries,  anglophone and francophone countries, I sighed I hope dad will be proud of me this time around. 


I SMILED AT THE MESSAGE I HAD RECEIVED FROM HIM, AZ-ZAHRA,  I loved the name,  he’s my morning  star(Adekye Nsroma) that was how I saved his name,  I was not completely lost when I saw him but,  he helped me,  mend my broken pieces, he lit up the little hope that was dying inside me. 

Lola barged into the room excitedly “Ma’am  a donation has been made,  and you won’t believe this” she said excitedly seating herself on the chair opposite mine, “It can cover for the whole project,  and I mean all if our estimated cost  doesn’t shoot up” I had a huge grin on my face “Who’s this person?” I asked excitedly,  she had a gleam in her eyes “the person did not disclose his name” she uttered with a grin on her face. 
“You know that means we can complete this thing in the next two months,  I’m very happy for the kids” I said fanning my eyes to prevent the tears which had gathered from falling.  
I was cheerful when   we were driving home,  my world felt right.

3 weeks later….. 

I was scared of the unknown,  I didn’t know what was going to happen,  but I could feel that everything was wrong,  I made breakfast but was silent throughout the meal. 

“What’s wrong babe?” Ahmad asked entwining our hands as he drove us to the office, “I don’t know,  I just don’t feel good, I’ve not been feeling well lately” I replied placing my head on the head rest, he nodded and seemed far in thought himself. We drove silently to work, I was not oblivious to the weird looks, and strained smiles we received as we made our entrance,  I felt a hand tug at my bottom lip” You know you might hurt your lips one day,  from gnawing on it” I smiled and delayed a step behind him but he pulled me to his sides. “I like it when you fall into steps with me, that’s where you belong by my side,  not behind me”. he said circling his hands around my waist. 
Even Lola was not as cheerful as she’s,  she greeted us and went back to what she was doing I frowned but shunned it, I’ll ask for an explanation later maybe she might  not be feeling well, he seated me on my chair and kissed my lips “I love you OK,  don’t ever doubt that” I nodded and forced a smile for some reason I felt like I really needed the  words. 

My phone rang and I answered without looking at the ID “I told you to leave him we belong together, and what’s in the papers is prove  enough about the love we have for each other” . she said laughing synically and ending the call. I was confused I’ve not seen the papers today and dad was not home he’s the only person who reads newspapers in the house mom,  preferred reading from the net.
I powered up my laptop and opened my twitter app,  a news about a recent bombing in Aleppo was what I first saw,  I blinked back my tears when I saw a little boy who had been saved after the airstrikes,   “May Allah bring an end to this tyrant rule” I commented and  scrolled down, 

My vision blurred when I saw  “EXPLICIT PICS AND VIDEOS OF AHMAD ABUBAKAR WITH LOVER” written in one of the Nigerian news sites. “BUSINESS MOGUL EXPOSED BY EX-LOVER” a pic of them was below the headline,  I died a still death when I saw the pics, I forced myself to rise from the chair and walked outside,  “Do you think she knows about it,  I mean they came in like there was nothing wrong” I heard as I headed out of the office. I opened the door quietly and  walked out without sparing them a look, I walked out of the building ignoring the looks I was receiving. 

“What will you do about your husband’s infidelity ma’am” “Will you leave him” “Did you  know your husband  was cheating on you?” I was bombarded with these questions immediately I set foot outside  the building,  I blinked and continued walking,  I couldn’t go back inside, I don’t think I can face him.  I stopped a taxi,  and hurriedly entered,  with some of the reporters  trailing behind the car and snapping pics. 

I felt numb all over,  I didn’t feel anything in my heart “Why would he make me feel like the most important woman,  then do this to me the next minute”, I hurriedly wiped the lone tear that was trickling down my face. I have never wanted to fall for anyone,  but he made me trust and broke me the next minute.

“Where will you alight ma’am?” I gave him, Faiza’s hospital address, I kept my head down as I  hurriedly entered the hospital
“I hate myself Dabs,  I don’t know why I ever let my walls down, he played me big time, I’ve always known not to trust men, especially him,  did I tell you I received threatening messages prior to our wedding”. She listened on as I blabbed about how wicked Ahmad was. 

I fluttered my eye open and welcomed the familiar scent that invaded my senses,  I smiled at him and touched his cheek. He smiled back “I love you,  Zahra never doubt it ok” he uttered planting a kiss on my forehead, I smiled but flinched from his touch when I remembered what brought me here in the first place.  He shook his head, his face tightening with a painful expression. “I want you to believe one thing Zahra,  I’ve never loved a woman like I love you and I already told you before our marriage that I was no saint,  I’m sorry my past wasn’t the best,  but that’s where it will always be in the past you are my present and future, please don’t push me away because of this” he says sniffing. 
I closed my eyes making the tears I was holding to fall, I loved him so much it frightens me,  how can anyone fall for someone in such a short period of time, 

 “I love you Mostar but it hurts seeing pictures of you with another woman,  I know I’m not the perfect wife but I still gave you my all,  how can I know these pictures were not taken after our wedding,  I hate that I doubt you even for a nanosecond but all this makes you look guilty” I wanted to say but I couldn’t make myself say it,  it was like I was robbed of my voice.

I was a bit annoyed at Dabs for making him come near me,  she smiled and hugged me tightly “I think you should forgive him” she whispered into my ears.  I nodded but couldn’t utter a word.

The drive home was very quiet, how was I going to face mom and dad. The hall was very quiet, he held my hand as we walked upstairs “Let me go see mom,  I’ll join you later” he said going up the third floor where mom and dad’s room was, I locked the door to my room and prayed, then cried myself to sleep. 

Dedicated to Fatima Kaka 


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