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Adebisi raised her head as she struggled in pain and saw Fifehanmi. What is he doing here? She wondered, trying to stand up but she couldn’t. Fifehanmi was already as fierce as Lion, approaching Pelz without pity. He had been in the car downstairs for a moment and had been hearing the shouts. He didn’t want to believe it could be Pelumi Makinwa that would be there, causing trouble. He had followed Abigail home to try his luck again if Adebisi would get to see him.He drove his car behind Abigail while he parked outside and entered the house via Abigail’s car. He hoped Adebisi would give him an avenue to talk with her, and if she wouldn’t, it would be better to start making her know he existed early. The words of Ben had re-echoed in his ears again and he knew whatever worth doing should be done early. He knew far beyond thoughts that Pelz had lost her forever, but before another guy surfaces, he must quickly make his moves! He had learnt his lessons already.
“What happened here?” He asked as he walked closer to Adebisi to pull her up. as he stretched his hand, he saw that Pelz was about to stand again. He dropped Adebisi’s hand and fast-tracked to his side again and kicked him down. He was already mad with him that he could do play Adebisi, now he was hurting the ladies? Fifehanmi wouldn’t take that. Never! He crossed his legs over him and punched his mouth again. “You are crazy!” He said, not even thinking of whatever the repercussion could be.
He walked to Abigail who looked motionless on the ground and touched her. “Abigail.” He pulled her hand as his head still turned to check if Pelz was still down. He couldn’t be so strong to stand again after he already punched him heavily. “How are you?” He faced Abigail, seeing that Pelz was already grounded.
“I’m fine.” She managed to say.
He picked her second hand and pulled her up. She staggered before she could stand on her own. “Thank you.”
Fifehanmi pulled Adebisi up too and stared at her for a moment. “Are you okay?” He looked really concerned.
She didn’t respond.
Fifehanmi walked to Pelz and pulled him up. “Stand up, bro.” He said as helped him to his feet. Pelumi was already bleeding from his mouth, nose and left hand. Fifehanmi was somehow heavy too. “Please leave now and never return.” Fifehanmi ordered him.
“I will really deal with you!” Pelz said as he grinned with his bloodstained set of teeth and staggered out of the living room.
“Are you guys okay?” Fifehanmi asked again.
“Yes!” Adebisi was very sharp and resistant.
Abigail glanced at her and back at Fifehanmi. “Please, sit.” She told him.
Fifehanmi looked at his stained hands and the droplets of blood on the floor. “I’m sorry I had to hit him, I couldn’t just bear to see him harass you ladies.” He said.
“I never asked you.” Adebisi replied, rolling her eyes.
Abeg, wetin I go do again wey this babe go know say I too care? Fifehanmi shook his head as he took a step backward to sit on the sofa.
“Wait!” Adebisi stretched her hand. “Please leave now.”
“Adebisi I won’t take that! I really won’t! He has tried his best, what do you want him to do again? What?”
“Abbie, just shut up! Please leave now, Fifehanmi.”
“Okay.” Fifehanmi smiled and left the living room. He saw Pelz downstairs massaging his lips before his side mirror and smiled. He could also see that Abigail’s car had obstructed Pelz from also driving out and he called her to pull out so Pelz could get out.
** ** **
“Nice one, bro!” Ben grinned as Fifehanmi broke the news to him.
Fifehanmi was not even bothered by that, his focus was how Adebisi would calm down with him. At least he didn’t do anything bad, so why did she now turn him to the subject of the formula? He even thought that saving her and Abigail would make her feel loved and let her guards down but that didn’t work. Would he now stand before Dangote’s moving trailer before she’d know he cared? “Bro, I’m truly getting tired.” Fifehanmi said.
“Tired? It’s a very simple thing, Fife. We haven’t even started and we are tired, what if we start?”
Fifehanmi hissed. “Who are you guys? When will Adebisi see my face again, Ben? I am getting tired of all these chasing out every time, man! I don’t know what else to do.”
Ben swallowed as he sat beside him, crossing his arm around his neck. “Listen, bro. You’ve got to prove to her that she can trust again, Fife. She’s seriously hurt and I understand that. Can you imagine how much a lady involves emotion in a relationship? Not to even talk about this one that the idiot already proposed! She must have felt so bad and worse, so time will heal the wound.”
Fifehanmi was quiet.
“You cannot be tired now, bro. You must keep keeping on! You’ve got to show her that Fifehanmi Daniel is up to the task and not all guys are bad.”
“She’s really difficult. I thought that would even soften her mind, it turned out to freeze it more.”
Ben chuckled. “It’s normal. It is not easy.”
Fifehanmi wiped his sweat. “I can’t give up, though. By the way, can’t be tired of who I want to spend the rest of my life with, man.”
“Exactly!” He paused and started laughing.
“Ben, what is it this time?”
“I just remembered that you probably didn’t remember that this guy in question has awarded our company the contract, bro. I am sure that’s canceled.”
“Does he recognize me?” Fifehanmi hissed.
“He’s coming after you, man.”
Fifehanmi frowned. “I hope I am not dead like this? How many people are after me? Alhaji Abubakar is also in his den, shouting.”
Ben laughed. “You’ve got to fight for your love, bro.”
** ** **
Abigail has been annoyed since she came back upstairs. She was fed up already, not knowing what her sister wanted again apart from what Fifehanmi has been trying his best to do. She seemed adamant that she didn’t want to have anything to do with any guy again. It was very glaring that Fifehanmi loved her, by the way he wasn’t the one who ate the fruit, why should he feel the sour taste?
She stared at the television screen, emotionless. Her mind was not even in what she was seeing. Her sister’s reaction kept flashing back every moment and it was really annoying. She hissed and looked away from the screen and her glance caught her sister’s gaze.
“What’s up with you?” Adebisi asked her.
“I don’t like the way you addressed that guy after all he did here, Bisi! I don’t like it at all!” She hit the sofa and walked away.
Adebisi was quiet as she began to wonder if she was doing too much. It wasn’t her fault, she was hurt. She had thought.
** ** **
Fifehanmi rolled to the end of the mattress. He sat up on the bed and said some prayers before he picked up his laptop and started typing. He didn’t know what exactly he had in mind to type, but he wanted to write something. At least, he wouldn’t go to work that day, so, it’d be okay to lay his hands on something worthwhile. His mind drifted back to what he could write on. He wasn’t a writer, but Adebisi’s literary work had inspired him and he wished to write on something too.
I could write on FIFEHANMI, he had thought as he tasked his brain. “Perhaps, my story.” He shrugged as he started putting things together. He would make sure he poured out his mind and if possible, communicate to the public what they ought to know.
He had started typing when Ben knocked and opened the door. “Good morning, man.” He greeted him.
“Ben, how far?”
“I just dey o, bro.” He entered and shut the door. “Are you already clicking buttons to get another contract?” Ben grinned, joking.
Fifehanmi chuckled. “I don’t have time for that now, Ben. I just feel like writing a story.” He replied.
Ben’s eyes widened. “Story? When did you become a story writer? Or is this as a result of joblessness or as a result of love for Adebisi?”
“The two.” He laughed.
“I’m already getting set, bro. We’ll see in the evening.”
“No qualms, Ben.”
“I might branch at Dami’s place, so I might come back late.”
Fifehanmi nodded. “Just pick the keys, I might go to see my bae today, so if you notice it looks as if I am missing, please do find me.”
Ben laughed. “Which bae?”
“Halima.” He replied.
Ben was surprised. “You really want to go to her father’s house?”
Fifehanmi nodded. “I just want to check up on her, Ben. It’s been days now and that man might suspect.”
“Are you sure you will be safe?”
He shrugged. “Not really, bro. They cannot be trusted there.” He replied, picking a book beside him and he wrote some things on it. He tore a sheet and gave it to Ben. “That’s the address of their house, in case that man hooks me down, abeg, come find me.”
Ben laughed. “Okay.”
“Greet bae for me too.” He winked.
“Okay, bro.” Ben stood up and waked out of the room.
** ** **
Pelz massaged his lips as he swiveled his chair in his office. Just as he was busy doing that, Tofunmi entered, laughing as he saw Pelz. He couldn’t hold his laughter because Pelumi’s lips had swollen already and even a side of his mouth. “Are you nuts?” He was annoyed as he saw Tofunmi laughing at him.
“Guy, this is hilarious!” He sat down, still laughing.
“I don’t know what looks funny to you, guy. Do I look like I am joking here? I am really vexed.”
Tofunmi suppressed his laughter and drifted forward on the chair. “I’m sorry. It must be really paining you, right?” He burst into laughter again.
“Get out, Tofunmi!” He pointed at the door angrily.
“But who’s the guy?”
“One unfortunate idiot that just barged in! I don’t know the stupid guy; he just barged in and did this to me.” He replied indignantly.
Tofunmi tried to swallow his laughter. “Really? So you don’t even know his name?”
“It seems he was called Ife or something.” He replied.
“Ife?” Tofunmi scrutinized. “Has she ever told you anything about someone that bears Ife?”
He shook his head. “Dumb! She heard all we were discussing in the hotel that day, were you deaf?
“I heard all what you said over the phone. I’m just wondering if you ever talked up to that point.”
“I think that guy likes her.” He said.
“This Ife guy?”
“Which other guy?” Pelz yelled.
“Guy, calm down! No be me make your lips big pass your head na.”
Tofunmi laughed. “What do you want us to do?”
“He cannot go scot free, Tofunmi. We have to know him and accord the right punishments into his path.”
Tofunmi stroke his beard. “So, where do we start from?”
“Where he works, how often he talks to Adebisi, and….” He was quiet, thinking.
“Let’s start from there, man.”
“If he truly loves Adebisi, we can make her hate him so much. Perhaps, we set him up and destroy his image.”
“Or even kill him?” Tofunmi asked.
“No. Some punishments are more horrible than death, bro. He must pass through that.”
“So that’s out of the equation, right?”
** ** **
Fifehanmi yawned as he stood from the chair. He had typed a long way since morning and was tired of sitting down. He glanced at what the time was on his screen and clenched his fists. It was just past four in the evening and he had been typing since morning. He walked to the bathroom to take his bath so he could visit Halima. He wouldn’t want to just leave her that way, considering her condition her father also.
He stood before the mirror and admired himself for a moment. It’s been a moment he did that kind of a thing. These days, just dress up and walk out of the room. Adebisi had placed him in such a tight corner that he didn’t even have time to check himself out. He set out and the story he had been writing kept flashing back to his mind. He was trying his best to make it look nice so he could get the audience online to read his work.
He alighted from the car and stood before the building for a moment before he finally knocked. That was always normal for him. He would think twice before knocking when he knew what he might face. “Good evening.” He greeted the gate keeper as he opened the gate.
“Welcome, sir. Come in.”
The soldier seemed to recognize his face. He just smiled and nodded as he entered. “Is Halima..”
“Yes.” He replied, knowing what he wanted to ask.
Fifehanmi smiled. “Okay, thanks.”
He knocked at the main door and his heart raced as he wondered who will open the door. The father or daughter? “Good evening, ma.” He greeted the woman who opened the door for him. She was dressed in a native attire and had the Muslim hijab on. She had a striking resemblance with Halima, he felt she should be her mother.
“Good evening. Come in.” She opened the door wider and Fifehanmi walked in.
“Fifehanmi.” She completed for him.
Fifehanmi was shocked. She didn’t even know she knew him, not to talk of the name. He didn’t know what to say again as he just smiled and nodded.
“Have your seat here, or would you like to join her in her room?”
His eyes widened. Join her? He shook his head in disagreement. “I will stay here, ma.”
The woman smiled. “Okay, have you seat.” She turned to fetch Halima.
“Em… Is Alhaji in?” He quickly asked so he could know if he would sit comfortably or sit with a half of his buttocks.
“He went out.” She replied, smiling. She was obviously expecting the question. She seemed to know something about him, maybe Halima already told her.
“Thank you, ma.” He sat comfortably and rested his back, watching the Islamic channel that was displayed.
Not quite long after, Halima walked out. She was shocked to see that Fifehanmi had come to visit her. Wasn’t he scared or why was he around despite her father? “Hey, Fifehanmi.” She smiled.
Fifehanmi grinned. “Hello, compulsory wife.”
She chortled. “What if Alhaji is standing there?” She asked, pointing to the dark corner of the bar.
He laughed. “Mum already said he went out.”
She sat down. “No wonder you seem too free.”
He shrugged. “Not completely free because I don’t know what will happen if he meets me here.”
“No problem. Can we go to my room?” She asked him.
“Room? What’s wrong with us here?”
“Alhaji will soon be back and I want us to discuss some things. Who knows if his men are hanging around?”
He was quiet for a moment. “What if he comes back and finds me in your room.”
She laughed. “My supposed husband.”
He laughed. “So you think that will chill him out, right? Why does it seem as if I know him more than his daughter?”
“Will you let’s go?”
He reluctantly agreed.
** ** **
Abigail walked inside the house dropping her head. She looked by her left and greeted Adebisi on her walk to her room. She didn’t even look cheerful or ready to discuss anything with her sister. She wore the attitude immediately she parked her car because she didn’t want to be free with her.
Adebisi stared at Abigail as she just walked inside her room and wondered what she did wrong. She already got her message, knowing that she must have done something wrong. Was she the one who told Pelz to punch her? By the way, she already apologized. Was it Fifehanmi? She hung her head for a moment before she stood up and followed her.
“Babe, what’s up nah?” She asked holding on to her door.
“That?” She questioned, dropping her bag and taking off her shoes.
“Is everything alright?”
“I don’t understand your question.” She threw her hands into the air.
“I know you are up to something, Abbie. Why have you been acting this way?”
“Which way? I have been cool, Adebisi.” She replied, not even giving her attention as she did her own thing.
“Common, Abigail! What’s your problem!” She exclaimed as she hit the door.
Abigail turned. “Common! What exactly is it?”
“Do you wish to frustrate me or what’s the meaning of this?”
“So you know this attitude can frustrate one, right?”
“What exactly is it?”
“Just imagine Fifehanmi in this scenario now!” She hissed as she picked up her bag to hang it.
Adebisi was dumbfounded.
** ** **
“Sit there.” Halima pointed to the chair beside her bed to Fifehanmi as she sat by the edge of her mattress.
Fifehanmi’s eyes darted round the room. He couldn’t find any Islamic picture of calligraphy in the room. He shrugged, remembering that she wasn’t a religious kind of person. The room was big and spacious, beautifully painted with pink and decorated with some kind of Hannah Montana pictures.
“Your room is beautiful.”
She smiled. “Thank you.”
“You are welcome.”
“Sorry I brought you here, Fifehanmi. I just don’t trust those guys Dad have around here, I would have talked in the living room.”
Fifehanmi nodded. “I do understand.”
“I am sorry for all you passed through that day, I am indeed sorry.” She repeated.
“I deserve it, don’t I?” He chuckled.
“Why you? Are you Charles?”
Fifehanmi squinted his eyes. “Wow, so he is Charles, right?”
“Yes. I am very sorry.”
“I understand, Tosin. That one is gone, so let’s learn to bury the past.”
“Em.. I am really concerned about you and your safety… and most especially, how do you plan to escape from this issue?”
He sighed. “You know your Dad actually told that Adamu guy to know where I stay, right?”
“I overheard all what you guys were saying that day.”
Fifehanmi scratched his head. “It is under control, don’t worry.”
She frowned, looking uneasy. “Fifehanmi, I am thinking of aborting this thing.”
Fifehanmi shot a gaze at her. “Kill the unborn child? What are you saying, girl? You cannot do that!” He hit the pillow beside him.
“Dad is already planning this wedding big time, Fifehanmi. He already called some families and even some clerics that will take care of that day.”
“What!” Fifehanmi whisked to his feet.
** ** **
“Is that why you have been acting this way?” Adebisi found her voice after a while.
“Why won’t I? Have you even thought for a second that Fifehanmi might be in danger presently? Don’t you know the kind of person Pelz is? For someone to have such a plan for you, Adebisi, he must be planning something for Fifehanmi now.”
Adebisi shut the door quickly as she paced inside the room. “That can be true.”
“You never even thought of his safety and what he even did for us… what if that idiot has hurt us more than that? He risked his life, didn’t he? I know this is very hard for you dear, but you are letting your hurt control your future already!” She exclaimed.
“It’s hard for me, Abbie!”
“You know the problem of humans? When we fall, we want to remain there as if that will solve the problem, but it will add more stains to your cloth! To be pure and clean again, you have got to stand up, dust your cloth and take off. Have you forgotten time is ticking even while you are on that floor? Whatever cannot solve your issue should not take your time, dear.”
That sunk into her head.
** ** **
Halima adjusted herself on the mattress. “He is getting obsessed with it, big time. I know if he meets you here, he will ask you if you’ve informed your parents.”
Fifehanmi gapped. “What am I now going to do?”
“That’s why I said abortion will be better, Fifehanmi. I will just act as if I had a miscarriage. It will make the issue die down.”
Fifehanmi shook his head. “Even if it will take me to marry you, you cannot abort this baby.”
Her eyes widened. “Marry?”
Fifehanmi dropped back to the chair as he bowed his head and started thinking. “There should be a better option that murder, Tosin.”
“It’s still blood, Fifehanmi. It’s not yet a baby.”
“Who told you? The life of every man is in his blood! I have seen a woman who once had a miscarriage and when I saw the blood, it had life… like it was moving as though there was a heartbeat.”
Halima was quiet for a moment.
“What if we tell him the truth?” He asked.
“We are dead! Not even now that he has called a lot of people.”
“What about running away?” Fifehanmi asked her.
“So you are going to leave everything behind here? That is not possible.”
He was quiet, thinking. He was so confused that he wished he never met her. But thank God he met her, she might abort the baby, thinking it’s still blood. He really hated it! Why would she kill an innocent child?
“Where do you think Charles can be?” He asked her.
She gazed at him for a moment, thinking. “I have searched everywhere I think he can be, Fifehanmi. I don’t know.”
“Will you take me to his place?” He asked.
She thought for a moment again. “Okay.”
“Charles is the solution to this problem.” He stated.
“There is no but, Tosin. He is the solution to this problem.”
** ** **
“I’m sorry, Abbie.” Adebisi said after some minutes the word found the right place to lie in her.
Abigail walked to her side. “I understand everything, dear. I am just very concerned. I don’t want to continue seeing you hurt, sis. It won’t solve the issue. I am not saying you should give Fifehanmi a try right away, but don’t harden your heart.”
“I think I have to call him now to know how far with him.”
Abigail smiled. “That’s the spirit.”
Adebisi chuckled. “Let me get my phone.” She walked out of the room.
Abigail was very happy.
** ** **
“You still haven’t told me why you were drunk that day. I still see that you are masking something, Fifehanmi.”
He smiled. “The way you speak… it’s as if we’ve known each other for a while now.”
“I love it.”
“Don’t use that to block my question, Sir. What is wrong?”
“Just worried about something, Tosin.”
“About her?” She came out straight.
He laughed. “Who is she?”
She chuckled. “You can’t tell me that is not the problem.”
“Actually…” He drawled.
“You better talk, Fifehanmi. I can be of help.”
He began the story, staring at the pillow as he spoke. Halima listened, smiling along as Fifehanmi spoke. His story was funny anyways. “Alhaji would never know this Fifehanmi in question has even fallen for another person that he wants him to marry his daughter by force.”
Fifehanmi laughed. “If he knows, I’m dead.”
“He will eventually know the reality, so prepare to die.”
He scratched his head. “I think you said you will be of help?”
Halima grinned. “She will call you herself.”
“Call?” Fifehanmi laughed and his mobile phone buzzed just then. He gazed at Halima as he saw the caller. “Adebisi”
** ** **