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** ** **
Following the police should be better than this nonsense, Fifehanmi had thought. He only lied so he wouldn’t be bothered and it seemed his lie was coming to reality! How would he follow a lady whom he didn’t know? He didn’t even know the best thing to do. Should he run away or what? She looked rather innocent and was afraid of going home without her so-called lover.
He brought out his phone and stared at it for a moment. He was wondering why it didn’t ring all along too. He never knew the battery was already dead until he brought it out. He knew Ben would be so worried at home and would have called him a million times. It wasn’t him; it was the problem he had landed into.
He switched the phone on and kept wondering on what to do. He shrugged as he felt running away would be better than the nonsense the lady was trying to perform with him. As he stood up from his seat, he felt a touch and halted. “Do you want to run away?” The lady asked him.
“No. I just want to ease myself.” He tried to cover up, scratching his head.
“Please, help me out of this problem also. You know how I also helped you from the police.”
He felt touched by her words. At least she helped him too, but who knows if she did it for her own betterment? She might not be as nice as she acted in real life. “What is your real name?” He asked her.
“Tosin.” She replied.
“So you are even a Yoruba lady.” He sat down and swallowed. “Tell me about yourself, how did this happen and who’s the guy responsible for this?” He questioned.
She groaned slightly as he eyes became wet instantly. “I have been in a relationship with him for four months now and he has promised to marry me. It was his promise that made me give in when he had been disturbing me for sex and it resulted in this. Knowing fully well that my dad is a retired soldier made him run away after I told him I was pregnant.” She explained.
Fifehanmi sighed. “So you mean they know you are pregnant now at home?” He asked.
Fifehanmi clenched his fists. “If a guy could run away because your Dad is a retired soldier, do you want me to be free from police and fall into the hands of soldiers now?”
“Please, help me.”
“Sorry, how old are you and did you even go to school?”
“Your questions are getting too much.” She frowned.
Fifehanmi gapped as he clapped his hands together. “Common see the person I’m trying to help out.”
“This is like a sword with two edges. I will only take it soft with you if you decide to take it soft with me. I can as well shout now and you will be in trouble.”
Fife swallowed. “Don’t be like this, Tosin. See, I am willing to help you but forget the issue of police. Don’t you know it is not easy falling from the hands of police into the hands of soldier? I also want to know you more so I can know if I won’t get myself into a greater trouble by helping you out.”
“What is your name again?”
“I’m Fifehanmi.” He replied.
“My dad is very wicked and he takes no nonsense, Fifehanmi.”
His eyes widened. “What are you insinuating, Tosin?”
“I can’t tell exactly what he is going to do to you when he sees you. He was really boiling when he heard I was pregnant.”
Fifehanmi placed his hands on his head. “Following the police should be better than this. I have heard a lot about soldiers.”
“In fact, he was not an ordinary soldier. He was a boss at work and could command as many men as possible to pick you up and deal with you tomorrow morning.”
“You are even putting more petrol in fire!” Fifehanmi shouted.
“I want you to really know what you are going to get involved in, Fifehanmi. But, since you didn’t rape me, it happened as my free will to you, he shouldn’t deal with you that much.”
He frowned. “As if I was the one that slept with you.” He hissed dryly.
“So, are we in?” She asked.
“The way you are even talking on this bed as if you are one boss from somewhere.”
“I have your head in my pocket as much as I am begging you to do this, that’s why.”
Fifehanmi stood up and walked to the other side of the mattress as he leaned against the wall. “What do you think your dad will do to me exactly?”
She smiled. “I don’t know. At the same time, he is unpredictable. He might be nice.”
I pray so! He muttered as he hissed again. “If I had followed the police, all I would have done was to pay them and I would be freed. This is heavy!”
“Forget the police now, Fifehanmi. Let’s talk about ‘us’”
He raised his head. “Where are the ‘us’?”
“You and Ogechi.”
He shook his head. “I am very afraid.”
“What have I entered for God’s sake!” He complained.
** ** **
Fifehanmi had called Ben twice now. He knew he must have slept off after he had tried to call him many times. It was finally morning and his phone buzzed again. He picked up the call and begged Ben. “I’ll come home this morning, just wait for me.” He had told him over the phone.
The Doctor walked inside the ward and met him as he sat beside the bed. “I thought I heard you said you had internal pains yesterday.” The Doctor faced Fifehanmi.
“Yes. Don’t worry about me. Can she be discharged now?” He asked the Doctor.
“No, but if you want her discharged you just have to sign some documents.”
“Do you wish to leave now? I have to go home.”
“Yes, let us go.” She sat up, groaning.
“By the way, how are you now, madam?”
She nodded. “I’m getting better.” She replied.
Fifehanmi reflected on her comment again, let us go. When did she suddenly attach herself to him? It seemed she was using the ‘us’ word too much already. “Can I sign the documents now?” He asked.
“Sure, let me just check her.” The Doctor adjusted his stethoscope as he stood before her and felt her heartbeat and body temperature. “Has the pain reduced?”
“Yes, I feel better.” She replied.
“Are you sure you want to be discharged now or you wish to still be taken care of?”
“I’m really okay.” She replied.
“Okay then, come and sign the documents.” He faced Fifehanmi and walked on to his office.
** ** **
Fifehanmi halted in front of the building. He glimpsed at his ‘Ogechi’ and swallowed. He wondered the problem he had driven himself into. “Let’s go in.” He said to her as he alighted and walked to the other side to help her with the door. She had come down before he could even help her. “Is this where you stay?” She asked him.
He stared at her without responding.
“I’m talking to you, is this where you stay and do you stay here alone?”
He didn’t respond. He just stood before her and kept staring at her.
“Fifehanmi.” She snapped her finger.
Fifehanmi laughed. “So you still remember my name.”
“Why not? Why didn’t you answer me before?”
He shrugged. “Why didn’t you answer me too when I was telling you all what you’d tell the officers.”
She didn’t respond. She shut the door and took a step forward. She still had a little pain by her legs.
“Today is Sunday and my schedule is very tight, Tosin. Let’s go inside.”
“Don’t tell me you go to church.” She said as she followed him.
She’s even outspoken. Fifehanmi thought as he walked on. “I am a Christian. Are you not one?”
She shrugged. “My Dad’s a muslim.”
He looked back and contorted his face. “I asked about you, not your Dad.”
“Do I really belong anywhere? See, I don’t like any religion.” She replied.
“You seem outspoken.” He opened the gate and they entered.
“Ooh.. I’m supposed to look like one shy girl, right?” She smiled.
Fifehanmi wondered who she was. “I thought you’d be quiet and just be wondering if I am not here to even harm you.”
She laughed. “You are too cool to do that. By the way, you seem depressed about something, what is it?”
He shook his head. “Nothing.”
She was about to counter his reply when Ben opened the door. “Fife, how far you na? You could not even call!”
Fifehanmi swallowed as he looked back and waved at Tosin to walk faster and enter the living room. “Calm down.” He said as he held his hand and the entered. He waited for Tosin to enter before he shut the door. “Please sit down, Tosin. I will be right back.” He said, dragging Ben inside the room to explain the matter to him.
** ** **
Ben watched his friend as he hurried back to the living room after their discussion. He didn’t even know what to say to the issue on ground. Fifehanmi’s life was turning to something else to him. “I’m sorry, just had to clarify some things.” He told Tosin as he sat down.
“Good morning.” Tosin greeted Ben.
Ben bowed his head. “Good morning. I am Ben, Fife’s friend.”
“I’m Tosin… Em..”
“He has explained to me.” Ben sat down.
“Are you not going to church, Ben?” Fifehanmi asked.
“My mind has not been at rest because I haven’t seen you. Let me get dressed now.” He brushed to his feet again. “But what of the place you want to follow me to, Fife?”
Fife remembered he already promised to follow him to Damilola’s parents. He scratched his head. “Let’s see how it goes.” He replied.
“Okay.” Ben entered.
Fifehanmi faced Tosin. “I’m sorry for what happened yesterday, I was totally out.”
She hummed. “You look too modest to drink, and you said you go to church?”
Fife dropped his head. “You are too outspoken.” He forced it out as he spurted air out of his mouth.
She smiled. “I want to get familiar with you so we won’t look like total strangers before my Dad. He can kill me.”
Fifehanmi gazed at her. “You scare me anytime you talk about your Dad.”
“I’m sorry, it’s part of getting familiar with everything on ground.”
“But, why did you drink? You don’t look like one who usually drink.”
Fifehanmi scratched his head. “When are we going to your place?” He asked.
She stared at him for a moment. Fifehanmi couldn’t describe the facial expression, whether she was surprised, shocked or afraid. She took her eyes off him and relaxed her head by the chair. “When you are ready.” She replied.
Fifehanmi’s heart raced as she replied. “Let me get dressed.” He got up and walked inside.
** ** **
Fifehanmi knew one of the things he had been thinking on would definitely happen to him that morning. He finally came down after few minutes that he got to the front of Tosin’s place. He knew either he would be taken away by soldiers to be brutally beaten, or he would be dealt with inside the house there. He knew visiting a retired soldier whom his daughter already described as ‘crazy’ would be disastrous.
As if I impregnated her! He closed his eyes for a moment as he watched Tosin knock the gate.
“Yes.” A voice said from inside the house and Fifehanmi’s eyes opened at once! That should be her father! He had thought as he dipped his car key into his pocket and folded his arms. The door was opened and he saw that it was the gate keeper.
He walked inside with Tosin, admiring the building. He never knew Tosin came out of such a beautiful home. She didn’t look like it. He wondered why she would be walking around like that at night. Her father was wealthy. He could see three good cars parked in the building already. “Let’s go in.” Tosin tapped him.
Fifehanmi vibrated as he jacked forward. He was shocked as she touched him. It was as if an electric material hit him. “i.. inside? Oo.. ok.. okay.” He kept stuttering till Tosin opened the door and told him to go in.
He entered and met the blazing eyes of Alhaji Abubakar.
** ** **
Abigail felt like meeting Fifehanmi. Thank God it was Sunday, she didn’t know if there was avenue she could just meet him so they could talk. She knew she could be a blessing to him by letting him know more about what he didn’t know. She didn’t like the association of her sister and Pelz and was looking forward to when it’d scatter.
She was still in church when her attention was diverted again as she remembered. She could remember how Pelumi called her that morning to greet her and remind her on what his parents had said. Adebisi had also made up her mind she would discuss it with her Mother and possibly, they could start the wedding preparations very soon. He had also told her to visit him in one of his hotels that day so they could discuss and play.
Abigail just prayed lines would be in pleasant places, because Pelumi was not trustworthy at all. What would Adebisi do? She certainly loved Fifehanmi too, but would she leave Pelumi? She also loved Pelumi because even though he might not be trustworthy, he hadn’t played with her emotions. He looked so real to doubt and he didn’t look like one who would betray her anytime soon.
May the better man win.
** ** **
Even the daughter of the man shivered as she saw her father, howbeit Fifehanmi himself? He glued himself to the door as he watched the man who raised his head from the newspaper he was reading. “I’m surely dead today.” He muttered.
Alhaji cleared his throat and dropped the newspaper. “It’s good to know you left this house since yesterday just because you want to bring this thing!”
Tosin was quiet.
“Halima, where did you sleep?” He brushed to his feet.
“Em.. Dad, I slept in.. his house.”
“What!” Fifehanmi almost shouted when he realized he had to face whatever thing he met. This man is crazier than what was described to me.. He had thought as his heartbeat increased.
“Ooh.. you slept in his house again, so you guys can top up the rubbish you have performed, right?”
“No.. em.. No, Sir.” Fifehanmi found his voice as he tried to defend himself. He saw the fierce eyes turn towards him as he spoke and Alhaji motioned towards him. In no time, his cheeks could testify that there was something called fire.
Fifehanmi held on to his cheeks after he was slapped. “Are you crazy? I don’t have time to talk to you yet. Do you think because you have impregnated her, you have the right to speak to me?”
Fifehanmi almost entered into the door. He became dumb instantly.
“So, you think I’m a fool, right? Or who will sleep in the house of a guy and nothing will happen?”
“Dad.. nothing happened..”
“If I slap you!” He shouted.
He faced Fifehanmi. “So you are the pregnancy distributor, right?”
He shivered as her father stared at him. He removed his hand from his cheek and his eyes were red already. The slap of a retired soldier! It had weight and he knew what met his face. He just hoped that the man in his anger wouldn’t destroy his handsomeness. Before it would even get to that, he surely would have run away.
His eyes widened as he gapped when he remembered he saw some guys in the compound. He never concentrated on them when he saw them! Could they be Alhaji’s men? He had been thinking of running away when they going becomes tough, but now that it seemed there were men in the compound, wouldn’t they just grab him and beat his destiny flat? He didn’t know what to do. He had entered from frying pan to fire now. “What is your name!”
Fifehanmi’s brain cells have been activated as they run series of thoughts as he wanted to opn his mouth. He surely shouldn’t mention his name to this man! “I am Dayo.” He finally dropped the latest version of his lie.
“Are you a Christian or Muslim?”
It seemed his brain wouldn’t be able to help him with that. If he lies that he is a Muslim and he tells him to start quoting Arabic words, would he be able to? It seemed he would have to face the hotness of the fire here. “Christian, Sir.”
He clapped his hands together. “Didn’t she tell you that she was a Muslim?”
He swallowed as he kept shut. Tosin glimpsed at Fifehanmi and pitied him too. But what would she do? His father could tear her apart.
“Can’t you talk?” He screamed.
“Em.. we thought.. em..” He stammered.
“Do you plan marrying my daughter before?” He threw the bombshell.
Fifehanmi was quiet. What if this man starts wedding preparation? If he gives a negative answer, he would be dead! If positive, it’s also death! He looked at Tosin for a moment and returned the gaze at her father.
“Your silence means no, right? If this is what you have been thinking, it wouldn’t take you long before you even answer me with joy.” He clenched his fist. “Adamu!” he shouted, looking indignant. Fifehanmi or rather Dayo’s silence had fanned his flame of anger to start shinning.
“YES SIR!” He shouted when he saw the so-called Adamu surface. What! His biceps were as big as his own head! If this one should just slap a man, he will surely be forever deaf!
Tosin opened her mouth in shock. She didn’t even know what to do or say. She wouldn’t even dare interrupt him.
“What have you been thinking of before?” He hissed and faced Adamu. “Just stay there, I can need you at anytime.”
“Okay, Sir.” The husky voiced guy replied.
“So, come and sit here.” Alhaji pointed his finger at the couch adjacent to where he was seated and sat down too.
Fifehanmi obeyed immediately. Not even now that uncle Adamu was already around.
** ** **
“Get him something cold to drink.” Alhaji told Tosin.
Fifehanmi shook his head. “Sir, I am alright.”
“So you don’t want to drink after everything!” His voice got thicker again.
“I.. I will drink, Sir.” He replied.
“Good. So Halima, get him what to drink.” He had always called his daughter by her Muslim name. That was his only daughter though and he really loved her. He never knew she would get pregnant before her wedding and that had gotten him so umbrageous! He had proposed in his mind that he was going to make live miserable for the guy, but it seemed he was already changing his mind. “I want us to talk as in-laws now. Don’t be scared of me, Dayo. You’d have done the same if you were in my shoes.”
Fifehanmi nodded obediently. What would he say? Just be so meek enough to leave that place so he wouldn’t return again.
“I find it hard to trust you boys of nowadays. Your aim is always to hit and run!” He hit his hand on the flare of the sofa. “Or is that not your aim?”
Did I hit anything before? He wondered as he shook his head. “No, Sir. My own is hit and stay.”
Alhaji nodded. “Not everyone of them is like you. But that does not mean I still trust you. I already mapped out how you will be dealt with before, but I just feel there’s no need since you are already my daughter’s husband.”
He formed the fake smile quickly.
“Like I said, l I still don’t trust you. So, Adamu will follow you to your house to know the place. We must know where you stay and work! You cannot commit a crime with her and think you will just escape like that.”
“So, you plan running away before.”
He closed his mouth. “No, Sir. Where shall I hide before you?”
Tosin dropped the cup of juice before Fifehanmi and stepped aside.
“I want the wedding to be very soon. I don’t want her stomach to protrude before we join you together. So, we will pick a date from our end here and I will make sure you get to know as early as possible.”
“Take your drink.”
** ** **
Fifehanmi walked into his living room and locked the door. He retired to a seat and wiped his sweat. Adamu had turned back from the gate when he confirmed where he was staying. He didn’t even have Tosin’s details at all, how would he contact her? It seemed it was hotter than backing out now because he had bitten more than he could chew.
Fifehanmi had been on the sofa for almost fourty-five minutes when Ben arrived. He had been hoping Ben would have a better option for him than all that was on ground. “Fife, how far?” Ben shut the door and paced towards him.
“Ben, I suffered.” He paused as he sat upright. “And I am now in confirm trouble.” He stated.
Ben pulled a stool and sat before Fife. “What did the man do?”
“He first slapped me… see, the end of the whole matter is that I must marry his daughter.”
“Which stupid marriage is that? When it is not that you are the father of the unborn child. I wonder why you just have to do this for that girl, Fifehanmi.”
“I didn’t see this coming.”
“You should have known when she called her father a retired soldier! They really do not have straight heads there.”
“In fact, the man told one of his guys to follow me here, Ben. They now know where I stay.”
“You just have to confess, Fifehanmi.”
“He will just strangle me, Ben.”
“He cannot kill you! He’s not God.”
Fife shook his head. “If he kills me, no one would know.”
“So I won’t know, right?”
“But I will be dead by then.”
Ben laughed. “Please cheer up, man. You know we still have where we are going to now.”
Fifehanmi smiled. “I’m even fed up of life.”
“Baba, calm down.”
** ** **
Tofunmi and Pelumi laughed as they took ate stake meat and wine. Adebisi had just finished calling that she would be on her way to the hotel and they couldn’t help their laughter. The two were laughing that she must probably be seeing herself as a wife already when she was nothing close to being one. “Foolish girl.” Tofunmi said as he chewed his meat.
“Man, we are talking about my wife-to-be here, what’s your problem?” Pelumi grinned.
Tofunmi laughed. “I see, husband-to-be.”
“It’s not easy.”
“I wonder how Dad just fell for everything, Pelz.”
Pelumi shrugged. “Why won’t he fall for it? Why? At least we have someone who thinks it’s true here, so she acted so well as if she’d truly be the wife.”
“Girls of nowadays! Who have time to marry? Not even anytime soon, Pelz.”
“Same here, Tofunmi. Once I am able to get what I need, I discard what I thought I needed.” He laughed.
“Have you gone to see her own parents?” He asked, sipping from his cup.
“Fifehanmi shook his head. “Her useless father is dead. Maybe I will discuss meeting with her Mum with her today.” He replied.
There was a brief silence as the two stared at the television set, seeing a football match before Tofunmi broke the silence again. “Guy, how far? So you never hit this girl before?”
Pelumi chuckled. “She be all these kind ‘wedding night’ mentality girl. But no lele, Tofunmi. At least, wedding night go reach and we go know see the behind the scenes.”
“You dey dull yourself too much, Pelz. How you go dey date person and you never…” Tofunmi hissed.
“It’s a very slow case. If you really want to have what you want, you go slowly like you don’t know what you are doing.” He laughed.
“I have always known you to be sniper, no fall my hand o.”
** ** **
Adebisi pulled back to the track and wiped her tears. She rolled down the glass because the air conditioner was too hot to cool her fire down. She kept driving very slow as she continued wiping her tears. She couldn’t just control how the tears were flowing. She was pained! Really pained! She didn’t even feel like driving, but what would she do? She had to drive back home. She felt worthless and useless! Did she just hear what Pelumi and his friends were saying? Yes she did! She wanted to doubt but she knew she would have to swallow it no matter how hard it was.
Common! It was heavy in her ears. Does it mean God wanted her to know the truth that’s why she lied to Pelumi in a bid to surprise him? She had only lied to him that she was just leaving the house so she could know his room number and surprise him. But she heard a lot she couldn’t help! She had thought of opening the door and barging inside at first, but it seemed that’d make him know that she already knew everything about the case. Guys! They are not to be trusted! She hit the steering rack as she tried to force back more tears.
She felt so stupid! So she would have married Pelz without knowing what he had in mind! She had always pictured a glorious wedding, but it seemed Pelz just wanted to use her to get what he needed from his own father. She didn’t even know how she would tell Abigail. Abigail would take it up with her instantly. She had always warned her but she had never listened. So all the decorations of flowers and lightening when he wanted to propose were all lies!
She couldn’t help herself but get lost in her thought world.
** ** **
Adebisi waited in her car for a while. She was trying to see if she could hide it, but she wasn’t up to the task. It was too heavy for her to bear. She really loved Pelumi despite all Abigail had been saying to her. She regretted not barging inside the room to let him know she heard all he said with Tofunmi. She tried to check her face as she flipped the visor and opened the little mirror. She was looking so bad! Her tears had mixed with the make-up she wore. She finally stepped down of the vehicle when she couldn’t stay there to patch herself up anymore. She just hoped her mother would not be in the living room.
She got to the front of the door and Pelumi’s word echoed in her ears again. Was she sure she heard him right? But he proposed! In fact, beautifully! She sighed and opened the door, trying to pace to her room without raising her head to see whoever was sitting.
“Adebisi.” She heard her name. That was Fifehanmi’s voice.
** ** **
Story continues next week. Please drop your comments below and follow the blog to get latest updates.