This update of Fifehanmi is dedicated to a dear friend. Her name is Oyindamola. Kindly comment and wish her a happy birthday.
Also, enjoy your reading.
Read previous update HERE.
** ** **
It was as though a bucket of cold water was poured on Fifehanmi as Ben spoke. He was just as quiet as the graveyard, either short of words or sad that his friend might leave him anytime soon. Though difficult, it is very true that twenty children cannot play for twenty years. He knew one day, they’d still have to go their various ways after getting married, but he never knew Ben’s would be this fast.
Was it fast? They were old enough! They were age mates, of which Fifehanmi was two months older. Fifehanmi would clock twenty eight in few months’ time, wasn’t he old enough? Though, every man has his own definition of something. Some people believe a man’s life begins at that age, so what on earth is he looking for in marriage at that time! A time to roll with babes, drink and enjoy the winters and summers with fine chic. On the other hand, some spiritual ones will think this is a time to get more serious with God! You cannot afford to let one lady somewhere distract your attention! You’ve got to be focused on God and not any lady!
Each man with his own perspective. But Fifehanmi knew beyond all reasonable doubts, it’s essential and important for a guy to settle down very early, have his beautiful home, kids and enjoy God more in his marriage. He wouldn’t even have time for drinking not to talk of one babe somewhere. She must be wasting her time!
He heaved a sigh. “You are getting married soon.” He repeated.
Ben nodded. His voice was now very low too, knowing he would definitely hurt someone here. “Damilola have been telling me about what her parents had been saying. She’ll be twenty seven by next month, Fifehanmi. You also know we are not getting any younger, we have savings and if we want to marry this year, it is very possible.”
Fifehanmi sighed again.
“Your sigh is making me feel bad, Fifehanmi. Let me tell you something, man. We have joked, quarreled and abused ourselves on Adebisi’s issue. If you tell her what you have on your mind, you are not going to die. Okay, let’s look at it from this aspect, what if she agrees and she gives you a positive answer, don’t you know it’ll still take time before you get married? Like…. A year or even more.” He paused as he hit his pen on his head languidly. “Do you know if that is the case, you are probably going to get married at the age of thirty, Fifehanmi. Now, this is just an assumption, I hope you understand me?”
Fifehanmi nodded. “Continue, I’m with you.”
“Good. Do you know how much time I have spent calculating some stuffs on my own? If a man should get married at the age of thirty and he gives birth to a baby at probably thirty-one. Do you know it takes a child an average of between twenty and twenty-two years to complete his or her studies?”
“Let’s assume he is twenty-one, he gets to do his masters, you can’t predict if he would love to do his PhD, and remember he is even going to serve his country!” He hit his table. “So, the child will also be on his own probably like twenty-five. The man will be fifty-five at this age, man. Are you getting me?” He asked again so he would know if he wasn’t speaking into the thin air while Fifehanmi was gone into another world.
“I’m with you, Ben.”
“I trust African women, Fife.” Ben chuckled. “You might end up having three children with two years interval between each. Do you know by the time your last born is at this stage, you’ll be sixty-one. You are getting closer to your grave daily, Fifehanmi. I hope you remember our assumptions are based on a thirty year old man? Now, what if Adebisi gives you a ‘NO’ and you are delayed till thirty-five years? You will be almost seventy before you cease from spending so much on your children. I begin to wonder how many grandchildren you will see before you die.”
Fifehanmi sighed. “I have never thought this way.”
“Some things are best done early, Fifehanmi. Whatever is worth doing is not only worth doing well, it worth doing early.”
** ** **
Adebisi shook her head as Tricia walked into her office. She knew she was done for another story that morning. She dropped the folder she was holding and stared at Tricia as she gleamed to a seat before her. “You have no choice, I am here.”
Adebisi laughed. What would she do? Not even now that she didn’t know Pelz had proposed. She had a gist for her too. “What’s up?” She asked, trying to put on an attitude of a busy person.
Tricia smiled as her eyes suddenly caught the ring in Adebisi’s hand. She would definitely see it! Her eyes wouldn’t scan for something different. “Are you serious?” She grabbed her hand in awe.
Adebisi grinned. “He proposed on…. Friday?”
“Friday? I never knew Bisi! This is beautiful, dear. Congratulations.”
Adebisi shrugged. “How would you have known? I heard it was published on one of these popular online blogs.”
“That’s sweet. E no easy make Pelumi Makinwa be person husband nah.”
Adebisi chuckled. “You are not serious, Tricia.”
“I’m very happy for you, Adebisi. Now, you’ll leave this place very soon.” She frowned.
Adebisi shrugged. “What makes you think I will leave this place very soon? I definitely cannot be a full housewife, girl.”
Tricia laughed. “I was not talking about that also, Adebisi. I was thinking you’d also be working with Pelz in one of his big companies.”
She shook her head. “I wouldn’t really want that, dear. I think I want us to run our schedule differently. I wish to set up my own company too and not work with Pelz companies.”
“What of that friend of yours who usually chat with you?”
“He’s good. We had lunch together yesterday.”
“Does he know you are now engaged?”
“Yes, I told him.”
** ** **
Words could truly carry fire! It seemed the words of Ben had sent fire into Fifehanmi’s bone marrows. He pulled his shirt downward as he hopped into the vehicle and drove out of the gate. Ben was outside watching him as he drove out. He had talked to him again that he shouldn’t hesitate to tell Adebisi about what he had in mind that day.
It was Saturday already and he knew that day would definitely be his day. At least, Adebisi wouldn’t kill him. The worst that could happen was for her to decline and give him a strong negative response. He had to do this so he could move forward. He had been standing on her case for months now and there was no progress in his life.
Every time he remembered the analysis Ben gave him during the week, he knew he had to act very fast. Ben had told him he would go with him to greet Damilola’s parents the following day so they could know him better and probably talk about date for their wedding plans. He was going very soon! It was so real.
Gone were those days Fifehanmi had to stand before the mirror to rehearse how he would talk to a lady. This time, it was as if he had no other aim of going to Adebisi’s place than for him to pour out his mind. He was so determined as his eyes were fixed on the road. He glimpsed at his wrist watch and it was some minutes past eleven that morning. He was almost where he was going to.
He applied the brakes suddenly and alighted. He crossed to the other side of the road as he saw a lady struggling with her car. She was beautifully dressed as though she was going for a ceremony but her car had fucked up. “Good morning.” He greeted her.
“Good morning.” She greeted him, just glimpsing as she focused back on her car.
Fifehanmi shrugged. “Can I be of help?”
“Erm… The battery of the car is weak.” She replied.
“Really?” He stepped closer as he touched one of the terminals of the battery. “Has it happened before?” He questioned.
“Yes. I just have to hurry to somewhere now and it has fucked up again. I thought the battery charger did a good work but it kicked this morning and now it stopped here and it has refused to work.”
Fifehanmi smiled. “I am always moved when I see a lady stranded somewhere. Do you have a jump starter in your car?”
She faced him and shook her head. “No. What is that?” She squinted her face, wondering.
Fife smiled. “Give me a minute.” He said and hopped into his car, making a turn to where her car was. He picked his jump starter from his trunk and helped her ignite the car.
“Thank you very much.” She grinned.
“It’s nothing. Take this.” He handed the jump starter to her. “It’s essential for this to be in the vehicle because a car can misbehave some times.”
“You don’t need to.” She refused.
“I insist.” He stretched it to her, smiling.”
“Thank you very much… but do you stay around here?” She asked.
Fifehanmi shook his head. “No, I came to check on someone here. I’m Fifehanmi.”
“I am Nifemi.”
“I’m grateful, thank you so much.” She smiled.
Fifehanmi nodded as he waved and drove off.
** ** **
Adebisi stood by the dining, smiling as she stared at her sister. “So, you are doing all these because of someone you haven’t met before, right?”
Abigail shrugged. She knew her sister would definitely pass such comment. She had asked herself questions earlier to know if she wasn’t actually doing too much. Did she love him? Yes! As someone she wanted for her sister and not herself. She wished her sister could just leave Pelz alone and cling to Fifehanmi. But what if his mind was even pure?
“He’s here.” Adebisi announced as she picked her call and stepped aside.
“Really?” Abigail walked to her room.
Adebisi stood by the balcony as she ordered the gatekeeper to open the gate and let Fifehanmi drive in. He drove in and admired the building as he alighted from his car. “Welcome, Fife.” Adebisi’s greeted from upstairs.
He smiled. “Yeah, how are you?”
“I’m good. Just come this way.” Adebisi said as she pointed to the stairs.
“Okay.” He motioned upstairs and shook Adebisi. “I hope Mum is not at home?” He whispered.
Adebisi chuckled. “Are you afraid to meet her?”
He shook his head. “No, I’m just asking.” He replied.
She laughed. “I do wonder why guys do ask if ones mum is around.”
He shrugged. “Perhaps so they can feel free.” He grinned.
“She’s in and she is a very free woman, Fife.”
“Sure, I know. Someone who could give birth to someone like you must be very free too.”
“Yeah, we’ve been awarded the contract, Adebisi.” He remembered.
“Really? That’s great!”
“Exactly. I was very happy because it is now a plus for me.”
She squinted her eyes, grinning. “Expecting a promotion soon?”
“Certainly, Adebisi. My boss is now very fond of me that he now discusses issues I don’t even consider relevant with me.”
“Issues like what?”
He shrugged. “My relationship life.”
Adebisi winked. “That’s cool. That means you guys are close.”
“I guess I made us close.” He grinned.
“That’s how a reasonable staff works.”
“He likes asking me the Queen in the palace of the King.”
“When will the Queen also enter, Fife, so the Princess can be expected.”
He grinned. “I’ve got to shake my shyness away, Adebisi…”
“Don’t tell me you have been shy to talk to the lady, Fife!”
He shrugged again. “That I love her, I wish to spend the rest of my life with her, I want her to be the mother of my children. I just learnt one proposal line now, Adebisi.”
She crossed her legs, grinning. “Tell me.”
“I love you so much that I can’t even sleep. I wouldn’t want my son to pass through this with your daughter, so let’s make them siblings.”
Adebisi grinned. “Where did you learn that?”
“You know we walk in realms and they usually deliver it to us.”
Adebisi laughed. “You are not serious. Tell me, Fife. Who’s she?”
“You are the one, Adebisi.” He drawled and paused. “Sincerely, my main aim of coming here today is to tell you the reality at the back of my mind. I love you and… I see you complementing my world, I see you adding colours to my life and I want you to spend the rest of your life with me as I wish to spend mine with you…”
Adebisi was dumbfounded. She didn’t know what to say. She just kept looking at Fifehanmi the way he was staring at her too. “Em.. Fifehanmi. I’m truly engaged, in fact, engaged to Pelumi Makinwa of Pelz Companies.” Her voice was as low as the sea.
Fifehanmi’ face fell.
** ** **
An undefined sadness seemed to have fallen about Fifehanmi like a cloud. His legs couldn’t even wait after Adebisi replied him. He was too heavy to wait to hear another word and silence like poultice had come to heal the blows of sound. He drove out of the building not knowing what to even say or do again. As he was driving, he was as quiet as a nun’s face, just reflecting on everything they said.
Pelumi Makinwa, he had thought within himself as he couldn’t even help his lips but mutter it out. He sighed again as he strolled into the valley of another set of thoughts. “Why did this happen again? Why is it that whoever I perceive to be the one would either be taken or wouldn’t want me? Do I have a problem or the problem has me?” He just kept lamenting as he tried to force himself to be strong.
It wasn’t easy! He never expected it since Ben already assured him she was joking about her engagement. Why did I believe Ben as if he was there when I went out with her? He blamed himself as he turned the steering. He was even tired about life and the people living in it. Was he the only one? It had turned to an every time thing for him! More reason he was trying so hard not to tell Adebisi about his mind, but he just had to finally let the cat out of the bag!
He was still lost in thought till he drove home. As he saw Ben smiling, he just shook his head. “Bad news, bro.” He said as he sat beside him.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t tell her again!” Ben stared at him.
He chuckled. “She’s engaged to Pelumi Makinwa.” He replied.
Ben rushed to his feet as he closed one of his eyes as if he was being injected. “Common! That is heavy.”
“And you guessed so before.” He smiled, still feeling down.
“Was her sister there when she was telling you?” Ben asked, feeling disturbed.
“I didn’t even get to meet her, Ben. I just stood up after and left immediately. I was dumbfounded and didn’t think I would perform any better there again.”
Ben rolled his fist as he hit the sofa. “You should have waited till after your play and discussion before telling her.”
Fifehanmi shrugged. “I just felt I should let the cat out of the bag so the heat wouldn’t kill it at the end.”
“The heat that didn’t kill it right from the scratch couldn’t have killed it then! But, I was just saying my own when I mentioned Pelumi Makinwa! I never knew it could be true.”
Fife smiled. “I know.”
“I’m sorry about this, man. I feel so bad that I pushed you into it again.”
“But I could feel it that she… she liked me. Like.. Pelz was an obstruction, if not she might have given me a chance.” He spoke slowly as his face was soaked in worry.
“You should have met her sister, who knows if she could have been of help.”
Help? To someone who is engaged?”
Ben scratched his head.
** ** **
“What!” Abigail stood in shock as Adebisi broke the news to her. She truly wanted that but didn’t see it coming. “Has he gone?” She asked, peeping outside.
“Sure, he has gone.” She replied with her voice still low and gravely. She was shocked beyond her description. She didn’t know how to describe how she felt, whether she should not have given him a negative answer or something. But what could she do? She was still staring at Abigail when her phone buzzed. “Hey Pelz.” She tried to mask her emotions well.
Abigail just sat down and dropped her head. She wished Pelumi was out of the equation. Only God knew how he even met her sister! She had thought as she heard her sister tell him I love you too.
“Pelz said we are going to see his parents this evening.” Adebisi told Abigail.
Abigail nodded after contemplating between answering her and just ignoring the news on Pelz. “Sister, em…” She paused abruptly. She didn’t know the exact way to express herself but she wished she could just tell her to leave Pelz.
“What is it?” Adebisi asked.
“I feel bad for Fifehanmi. I don’t know why this Pelz came.”
Adebisi was quiet for a moment before she wondered why she couldn’t counter her. Do I like him already? She asked herself as she watched her sister. “But what do I do?”
Abigail hissed. “Leave Pelz alone jare”
Adebisi was quiet for a moment. “That’s not an option, dear.”
Abigail whisked to her feet. “That’s all my head can think of.” She walked inside.
Adebisi hung her head in thought.
** ** **
Fifehanmi didn’t know what was driving him. He had never resolved to this before but he couldn’t control himself as he sat down heavily and ordered for a bottle of beer. Before he knew it, he had taken four bottles! What! He never planned to do that… he doesn’t drink! How did he end up in something he couldn’t even explain by himself too?
His eyes turned as he licked his lips. He had always tried to be as modest as possible, but how did he enter this? He had watched Ben with shock whenever he explained how he passed through masturbation and pornography and he had always told him an average teenager and young adult was into it. But he was still intact! Never self-serviced himself and didn’t even have interest in pornography! So, drinking was even far from what he had always felt his mind could think about. Was Adebisi’s love different from all other he had gone through or was it that he was tired of trying love?
He stood heavily with his blurry eyes and walked to the bar tender and paid him. “Thank you.” He waved, looking okay, but he was sure he was in any way normal. He hopped into his vehicle and glimpsed at the time by his dashboard and closed his eyes for moment and looked again. It was just 7:30pm. He drove off, forcing his eyes open as he drove on.
He could see traffic building up as he almost got to Moore Road. He hissed and turned to his left to pass another road. He was already feeling sleepy and he knew it would be better to pass a longer route than for him to be in the traffic for hours. He drove on when his eyes shut a little. Alas! He either crashed into a lady going on her own or she crashed into him.
** ** **
No one needed to open Fifehanmi’s eyes immediately he heard the crash. He halted at once and looked around. He thanked God everywhere was quiet as quickly walked to her and looked at her. He could see blood flowing out of her mouth. He carried her and placed her at the back seat of his car as he drove off to the nearby hospital he could think of.
Soon, she was admitted and he stayed at the reception with blood stain all over. He bowed his head in thought, for hours, and then he saw some officers walk inside the hospital, looking around. He was startled as he saw them and shivered. Suddenly, one of them pointed at him and they walked to him. “Hello, we heard about the case of an accident, were you the one?” An officer asked him.
He stuttered. “Em.. Yes. There was a brake failure.”
“He’s the one.” One of them announced to the remaining as if they couldn’t hear him.
“What happened, young man? We were alerted by someone who said a guy crashed into a lady and here is he.” The officer pointed to a young man who was standing by the door. “Come here.” He called him.
I’m done for! Fifehanmi muttered under his breath as he stood up.
“I saw him when he hit the lady and took her into his car. I called you because I thought he was going to dump her in a bush and run away. That’s why I also followed him, I did not know he would come to the hospital.”
An officer moved closer to him. “You are drunk.” He said.
Fifehanmi shook his head. “Drunk? No. I don’t drink.” He stuttered.
“Really? Why are you stuttering?”
He summoned courage. “I keep wondering why these allegations are piling up? The lady is my fiancé and we were coming back from somewhere when we had the minor accident.”
“Really? Do you think we are fools?”
Fifehanmi shrugged. “I also have some internal wounds.”
The officers laughed. “But the vehicle we saw outside was not damaged to an extent of this accident scene you are painting for us.”
“He is lying! I saw him with my two eyes.” The witness spoke.
Fifehanmi chuckled. “You have no evidence against me.”
“But young man, you are drunk!” An officer repeated.
Just then, the Doctor walked out of the ward and Fifehanmi knew he was dead.
** ** **
Adebisi pulled out the chair of the dining and sat beside Abigail. She didn’t know how she was feeling. She wasn’t really happy, perhaps because of Fifehanmi. Abigail was not even making the issue get softer at all! She had been awkwardly quiet. But what would she have done? Should she have given him a YES even when Pelumi came first?
Truly, even though Fifehanmi might be better than Pelz, he came after him! So, why should she be feeling bad? Or do I love Fifehanmi? She said unknowingly as she kept wondering beside her sister.
“Exactly! You do! And I don’t even like Pelz. By the way, how was your outing with him?”
“His Dad is a very nice man. Even his Mum was so nice too. They liked me.” She replied.
“What can you say about them?”
She shrugged. “They are okay. He’s serious about marrying me, Abigail. If not, he wouldn’t have taken me home. And I felt loved, but you are making me feeling somehow.”
“They said they’d want our wedding to be as quick as possible.” She added as she remembered.
Abigail smiled. “I truly don’t have anything against this guy, Adebisi. Perhaps I just like Fifehanmi better. You know I have been telling you I know what he had in mind. I don’t know why he didn’t talk earlier. By the way, you were also in a relationship with Pelz too. See, I wish you the best, Adebisi.”
** ** **
“Hello.” The Doctor greeted.
“Good evening, Doctor.” The officers chorused.
“Please what’s going on here?” He asked.
The officers began their explanation while Fifehanmi just kept quiet and watched them as they spoke.
“The lady is already responding to treatment. It was not a serious accident.” The Doctor said.
“What are you insinuating?” An officer asked.
The Doctor shrugged. “The man might be right. Normally, if it were to be a serious accident, she might be paralyzed by now.”
Fifehanmi remembered how the accident happened again. He didn’t really hit her! He marched on the brake as soon as his eyes opened and it was as though it was a soft collision. “Can we see the lady now?” The officers asked.
“No, in a jiffy.” The Doctor replied them and faced Fifehanmi. “Please let’s meet in my office right away.”
“Okay.” He nodded and followed the Doctor.
As he entered the office and sat down on the seat offered, he wondered if he was not in a serious trouble. “The lady in question is six weeks pregnant, don’t you know?” The Doctor asked him.
He constrained his eyes as he wondered how the Doctor got to know that within how many hours? “How did you know?”
The Doctor smiled. “Don’t you know the reason why tests are carried out a patient before he or she is been treated well and drugs are being prescribed is to know if he wouldn’t react to certain drugs or means of treatment? By the way, she looked pale and ill, so we had to confirm before we started proper treatment.”
“How is she now?”
“She is better. But did you hit her too or were you in the car together?”
He was quiet for a moment. “See, Doctor, I have told you the truth. She is my fiancé and we were coming back from somewhere when it all happened.”
“Okay then. Congratulations.” He stretched his hand for a shake.
“For what?” Fifehanmi frowned.
“ooh.. thank you.” He smiled and shook the Doctor. “Please can I see her now?”
“Sure.” He stood up. “Let me also see tell the officers.” He added.
Fifehanmi shook his head. “No. Let me see her first!”
The Doctor shrugged. “Okay then.”
** ** **
Fifehanmi stood beside the bed and looked at the lady. He gave a deep breath and cleared his throat to create his presence because it seemed the lady was absent even though he eyes were open. “I’m sorry.” He said softly.
The lady looked at him and took her eyes off.
“Hello, can you talk?” Fifehanmi asked.
She was quiet.
“If you can hear me, please know that police officers are around. I lied to them that you are my fiancé… wait, what is your name?” He asked.
She was quiet.
Fifehanmi swallowed as he looked like a dummy. “I wrote Ogechi in the card I was given to fill for you. I don’t know your name, but please tell them you are Ogechi and we were in the car together. Just lie to them too..” He kept looking back as he spoke to know if there was nobody entering. “Please. My name is Fifehanmi. Tell them we were coming back from somewhere and you are my fiancé. Just cook up the lies as they ask, I will pay you, I’m very serious.” He stated.
She was still quiet, staring at Fifehanmi.
I’m in trouble. Fifehanmi muttered.
“Can we come in now?” He heard the voice of one the officers.
“Yes.. No.. wait.. Yes.” He kept stammering till they entered.
“How is she?”
“I’m fine.” The lady spoke before Fifehanmi could speak.
“That’s good. Do you know him at all?” An officer asked.
“You cannot be questioning her now. She is just getting better and you want her to keep talking?” Fifehanmi raised his voice.
“He is my fiancée.” The lady replied.
Fifehanmi froze as he heard that.
“Really? How did the accident happen?”
“We were coming back from somewhere when.. I don’t even know.”
“What is your name?” Another officer asked.
“Ogechi.” She replied.
The officers faced themselves. “Is it Ogechi that was written on her card?”
“Yes.” Another replied.
“Okay then, we are sorry. You should know we are doing our work.”
Fifehanmi stood akimbo. “Better.”
“But he is drunk!” Another officer reminded.
“I am not drunk..I..” He was still speaking when the lady cut in. “The drink he took has a little percentage of alcohol. He doesn’t drink.” She said.
“I think they are fine.” One of the officers who looked uninterested spoke.
“Yes, let’s go.”
** ** **
Fifehanmi stared at the lady after the departure of the officers. “I didn’t know you heard all what I told you… why did you help me?” He asked, wondering if he was still dreaming.
“I was going, lost in thought when the accident happened. I was confirmed pregnant earlier today and my boyfriend has disappeared. I cannot face my Dad at home, he will kill me! He already told me not to come back home without the guy. He’s a retired soldier and he is very crazy.”
“That’s too bad.”
“You have to follow me home and stand as the person who impregnated me. You have to keep playing along till all will really be well.”
Fifehanmi vibrated. “What! How.. how do you.. em.. wait.. do you expect me to do that for you? Your Dad… Soldier! I’m sorry.” He stammered.
“The officers haven’t gone far too.” She said.
“Huh? Wait. I will.”
** ** **
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