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Here is the first episode of the romance blog series #MyCrony. Enjoy, Cheers..!
IT WAS ALREADY FOUR O’ CLOCK IN THE MORNING, Aishat glared at the wall clock and reached for her mobile phone. It had been a sleepless night for her, why wouldn’t it be? She also expected the night to turn out the way it was but she never knew it would be up to that. At first, she thought she should just switch off her mobile phone but she was also enjoying how the phone was beeping anytime she received a text message.
She hissed aloud and picked up her phone and read through her recent messages. Suddenly, she just chuckled and hissed again. That was one major thing about her – hissing. She was looking doleful and indignant. She seemed like one who didn’t know what to do at that point in time. She couldn’t get herself well. She sat up on the bed and dropped the mobile phone.
She had received a lot of text messages and calls already but it seemed she was expecting one major call or text message which seemed she would never receive, or maybe it was too late. She was still in her night gown as she arose from the bed and picked up her mobile phone. As she tried to glimpse at the wall clock again, her mobile phone rang.
She gazed at the screen and saw the name she never expected, or maybe she expected or never knew she could still come across that morning. Ideas flashed her unsettled mind, should she just end the call or just leave it till it ends? Or better still, pick up the call and make trouble? She shook her head and just dropped the mobile phone on the bed as she walked out of the room.
** ** **
Hakeem walked briskly as he hopped into his vehicle. He drove his car into the compound and ran back to lock up the gate again. As he finished locking up the gate, he pulled the collar of his shirt and pressed his lips together, staring at the building. He walked back to his vehicle, looking sober and got a cake from his backseat and some gifts.
He wasn’t looking so cheerful, maybe because he knew he must have gotten himself into trouble with Aishat. It wasn’t his own fault too, but Aishat wouldn’t give him an audience! He was sure. He had honked outside the gate severally, hoping she would come down to open the gate for her, or if the gatekeeper would open the gate.
He could see the gatekeeper on his seat, staring at him. He didn’t come to get the gate when he was hooting. He couldn’t blame him, he knew that would be as a result of whatever Aishat might have ordered him to do. But, he was just wondering if Jomiloju was around. If she was around, he knew she would have come to get the gate for him.
He took a deep breath before he began to ascend the stairs till he got to the door. He paused for a while before he finally knocked and the door was opened by Jomiloju. He smiled. At least, the first face he saw was welcoming, he knew Aishat’s face would almost scare him back, he was really sure!
“Hakeem, how are you doing?” She smiled, trying to help him with the gifts he was carrying.
“Ooh.. don’t worry about this one, Jomi. Thanks. By the way, I’m good, you?” He raised his brows, expecting the usual answer.- ‘I am fine.’
“Sure, I’m fine.” She beamed. “Come inside.” She drew the door more and let him in.
“Thanks.” Hakeem walked inside slowly. A part of him was felicitous Aishat wasn’t in the living room as he entered, he was quite sure the pretty lady would be really mad with him that time.
“Hakeem, why didn’t you wish Aishat a happy birthday in the midnight? From all indications, it seems she’s really umbrageous.” Jomiloju whispered to him.
Hakeem beamed. He knew it! As if Jomiloju was reading his heart, that was what he wanted to ask before she spoke up. “It is not a funny thing, Jomi. One thing is that I can always wish her a happy birthday even now, why does she like one always wishing her a happy birthday in the midnight? Especially, she always expect me to be the first to wish her a happy birthday by sending her text message by twelve am on dot. I know that’s what she likes and I have always done that every year, but something uncontrollable happened last night that didn’t make it possible.”
“Something stopped you from not waking up in the midnight to at least wish me a happy birthday, right?” Aishat stormed out.
Hakeem was shocked. He raised his head and looked at her and was downcast again. “Aishat, I had an attack last night and I woke up in the hospital. It was immediately I even woke up I called to wish you a happy birthday. I know you do like it when I be the first to wish you a happy birthday, but the..”
“Just hold it!” She interrupted, looking blue in face. “That is a flimsy excuse, Hakeem. I knew you’d tie everything up against asthmatic attack, I knew it!”
“I’m being serious, Aishat.” He quickly chimed in.
Aishat stood akimbo. “How many times will I tell you to always let me be through with whatever I am saying before you talk? Is this how a good guy behaves? Interrupting his wife? That’s the height of it, Hakeem.”
Hakeem was fed up. He kept a straight gaze on Aishat, wondering what he had gotten himself into. “Aishat, listen! It’s your birthday and I can always call you in the morning to even greet you! I don’t know where you got the mentality of calling you in the midnight or being the first to wish you a happy birthday from. I was in the hospital, you aren’t even moved by that, you can’t even ask me how I’m fairing, you are just here, telling me all these! I have always told you to be nice, be reserved, be slow to anger!” Hakeem blasted out of anger.
Aishat chuckled aggressively, clapping her hands together. “Hakeem, this is really the height of it! You can still say all these after all you have done? Walk out of my house!” She pointed at the door, sounding so annoyed.
Jomiloju who had been leaning against the wall, watching the couple stood on her feet then. “Aishat, take it easy! I have always told you to always learn to manage your anger and your ego! For crying out loud, this is your husband-to-be!”
Aishat flashed her angry face at Jomiloju and eyed her. She suddenly hissed aloud and returned her gazed at Hakeem. “You won’t let me repeat myself, will you? Hakeem, walk out!”
Hakeem smiled. “I know you are still annoyed, please don’t be.” He took some steps forward with the cake he was carrying. “I am actually here for us to celebrate. Happy birthday, my love.” He stretched the cake forward, smiling.
Jomiloju smiled. If there was anything she liked about Hakeem, it would be his humility and wisdom. He was always gentle and ready to apologize every time he fought with Aishat, even though he was always not at fault. Everyone knew Aishat to be a very aggressive and bossy lady. She had never agreed that she was at fault whenever she had argument with Hakeem or any other person.
“I warned you already!” She slammed the cake against Hakeem’s face and walked inside. Jomiloju was shocked. She quickly moved away from where she was closer to Hakeem and saw that he was already messed up by the cake. “I’m deeply sorry.” She begged, looking so sober as if she was the one who had done it.
Hakeem was already looking so messed up by the cake that had stained him all over his face and part of his shirt. He just smiled. “Thanks.” He replied and turned back.
Jomiloju was short of words. She stretched forth her hand to stop him but she didn’t even know what to say exactly. She just stood there, speechless as she watched Hakeem walk out of the house. She turned around as quick as she could and hurried inside the room to go and chide Aishat for her attitude toward Hakeem.
** ** **
Hakeem was also annoyed as he was driving on in his car. He was already on the busy road that lead to his house when he started thinking about Aishat again. She had been a great problem to him even when they were not yet married. His friends who knew Aishat well had already warned him to keep away from her because she was not a lady a man could marry.
He had never listened to them. Even whenever he was down due to his asthmatic attack, his heart would think of no one else but Aishat! He loved her with passion but it seemed she never loved him at all. He could remember an incident like the one that just happened, he was with her while they were drinking and was trying to cheer her up because she wasn’t lively. Then she became livid and poured the drink on him, walking out.
For a year now that he had been in relationship with her, he hadn’t been able to place his hands on what exactly was wrong with her. Maybe her temper or because of her bossy and aggressive nature. He had never given up on her but she was already getting it to the extremes! Hakeem was getting tired already. He knew his friends would just chide him when he got home and they found out Aishat did that to him.
He just shook his head and drove on, trying to get home as quick as possible. He prayed all would just subside because his father – Alhaji must not know the lady he’s been in a relationship with had been doing all that to him, he would get mad!
** ** **
Jomiloju pushed the door to Aishat’s room open and stormed in, looking so resentful. “Aishat!” She exclaimed as she glared at her on the bed which she was lying on, pressing her mobile phone. “What was the meaning of that rubbish you performed? What exactly is your problem?”
Aishat had been expecting her too, she knew her friend would definitely come around to castigate her but she had made up her mind that she wouldn’t even reply her till she would just walk out of her sight. After the brief silence, Jomi already knew what she was up to and took some steps closer to her, snatching her mobile phone from her.
Aishat gasped. “Jomiloju!” She spluttered suddenly. Jomiloju had made her speak at last.
“I was talking to you and you were doing as if I have been speaking to myself.”
Aishat brushed to her feet. “Yes, you have. This is my own life, Jomi. Why don’t you just go on and mind yours? You have your own problem with Larry, remember!”
“Leave Larry out of this issue now! We are talking about Hakeem and you here. What exactly do you want me to tell you again about your anger and your aggressiveness? You are so lucky you have this guy, what if it were to be Larry?”
“I can’t be connected to that annoying guy, you know.”
Jomiloju was getting tired of her too. She had always been stubborn and rude. Jomiloju knew if it were to be her own fiancé – Larry who wouldn’t take any rubbish, he might have slapped her as she slammed the cake on her. Hakeem had always been gentle with her but she would never soften her pedal even with that!
For nearly two years that they have been together in that house, she had never taken to corrections. Jomiloju who was left with her as her friend had thought she would just try all her best to change her like she had been trying to change Larry too but all had been proving abortive.
“You are really lucky to have Hakeem and if you ever let that guy leave you, know that you can never get anyone as good as he is.” Jomiloju said and cloistered out of the room.
Aishat swallowed and sprawled on the bed. She still never took the blame and wasn’t ready to even beg Hakeem.
** ** **
Hakeem drove into his compound and hurried down from the car. He was glad he was not staying with his parents, what would he tell them about the cake that was all over him? He would definitely tell them what happened because he hated to lie. In all that happened now, he was yet to know what he had done wrong.
He fast-tracked inside the living room, trying to clean up the stains on his shirt when he raised his head and saw his father on seat. He froze immediately he saw him, opening his eyes wider. As he turned his head to the left, he saw his mother also on seat, staring at him. His heart almost skipped a beat as he continued looking at the two. He knew they would ask him what happened and he wouldn’t want to lie.
At last, he released his breath and prostrated, giving a sham smile. “I’m really surprised to see you here.” He grinned.
His father stared at him for a moment before he clenched his fists together. “Welcome, Son. I was about giving you a call when you came in. How are you?”
Thank God he didn’t ask me what has happened to me! He thought happily, denuding his teeth. “I am really good. Alhaja, how are you doing?” He raised his brows.
“Why are you like this? What happened?” Alhaja threw the question he never wanted at first.
He couldn’t close up his mouth, his eyes popped more open as he stared at Alhaja. Just then, his friend came out carrying a tray in his hands. He looked his direction and back at Alhaja who had been staring at him and expecting a response.
“Here it is, Sir.” Uthman, Hakeem’s friend broke the silence as he served Alhaji.
Hakeem glimpsed at Uthman again as Uthman also looked at him, instituting a coherent facial locution, Hakeem winked in reply. They both comprehended all they were passing across through their facial expressions. Why wouldn’t they know? They have been old in the business of trying to pass information to one another through their facial expressions. Uthman already knew Aishat did all that to Hakeem already. He had been thinking of how he could cover up for him because he knew he would tell Alhaji the truth and that might implicate Aishat also.
He had been Hakeem’s closest friend since they were in school till they came to the verge of living together because they felt they were old enough to leave their parents’ houses. Uthman knew Hakeem was confounded already but he didn’t know what to say to hush-up for him too.
Her mother’s voice brought him back to life again. “Hakeem, won’t you answer me?”
He turned and could see the expectant look on his father’s face also and tilted his head after. “Em.. It’s cake.” He grinned.
“How did you now splash cake all over your body?” Alhaji intervened.
“Cake? Did she throw your cake at you this time?” Jubril walked out of the house. Just like him, he was a fast speaker that usually disrupt flows every time. Hakeem had gotten tired of him already! He had always caused him nothing but trouble since he moved into that house. Hakeem and Uthman had just helped him move into their place when he was homeless and he had been a wave in that house since he came around. Though, they were all friends who attended the same University but the formers were not so close to him when they were in school till they helped him move into the house.
Hakeem swallowed hard.
“Who is the she?” Alhaja faced Jubril.
“Aishat. She had always caused him trouble, Alhaja. He took cake along with him when he was going out to present to her because today is her birthday but now, he’s been finished with his cake.” He chuckled.
Hakeem’s head dropped down. He never saw his father’s car outside the house or even inside the compound, if he had known they were around, he would have made a way to get himself out of the mess. This Jubril! He rolled up his fist with energy as he imagined himself punching his ugly face.
“Is that true, Hakeem?” Alhaji asked.
He raised his head slowly and looked at his father before he nodded nimbly. “Yes, Sir.”
“That girl? Alhamdullilah that you are not married already. How could she have slammed cake on you? That means that girl has a bad temper and you are going you still wish to go on with her?” Alhaja raised her voice.
Uthman was really annoyed as he stood by the sofa and looked at Jubril with grimace. “Idiot!” He thought within his mind and quickly looked at Hakeem who was already in disarray.
“She will change, Mum. I annoyed her, that’s why she did that.” Hakeem found his voice again.
“What!” Jubril exclaimed from where he was. He knew Hakeem was telling a lie. “That’s her normal behavior and we have always told you to leave this girl but you always say she will change. See, Mum, the girl has a very bad temper!” Jubril added to all he caused already.
Hakeem got more infuriated.
“So, you have been enduring instead of enjoying, Son. See, marriage is a life contract and I don’t think I want you to spend the rest of your life with a demon that will see you in asthmatic attack and will be holding on to your inhaler. I don’t want her! We only came to check on your health when we were told you had an attack yesterday…” There was a car honk outside.
Alhaji stood up. “I sent the driver to get me something before you came, he is back now. I really don’t want a girl that can pour hot water on me whenever I wish to see my son.” He said and tapped his shoulder twice before he walked out with his wife.
Hakeem raised his head slowly and hurtled a gaze at Jubril. He was dead already!
** ** **