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FIFEHANMI sat down as he was offered. His head rotated as he admired the living room. It was painted cream and pink with a ceiling fan on a high speed. Spacious, sweet scented and beautiful. Fifehanmi began to wonder if she was staying there alone, considering the arrangements in the living room, he knew it had a female touch.

“I don’t stay here alone.” Her voice jolted him back to life. It was as if she knew what he was thinking of. She walked to the sofa adjacent him and sat down. “My parents travel a lot and I’m always left in this big place.” She explained. 

Fifehanmi nodded. “That’s nice.” He didn’t know what to say and wouldn’t want to be boring.

“So, what would you like to eat?” She asked, about to stand up.

“Eat? I’m alright.” He declined.

“I never expected you to say you were not.” She gave a soft chuckle. “But, that courteous man mentality is not allowed here. I am a very free person and I love it when someone is also free around me. So, please talk.”

Fifehanmi dropped his head for some seconds and jacked up again. “I’m sincerely full. I just had a lunch with a friend.” He replied.

She hummed. “Girlfriend, right?” She winked.

Fifehanmi almost hissed, he just smiled. He knew what she was trying to do, just trying to get words from his mouth to know if therr was any girl. I won’t answer, he thought, feeling uncomfortable. 

Nifemi stood up and switched on the television set. “Should I get you juice, at least?”

Fifehanmi sighed. “Okay.” He finally agreed. 

She smiled as she walked inside.

Fifehanmi began to wonder the kind of lady Nifemi could be. She didn’t look pure to him and he felt she had started flirting. He wasn’t even moved to an inch, Adebisi was his focus, all other ladies looked like trees to him. What would he do? Just finish the juice and disappear. He couldn’t even tell how he got to that road that led to Adebisi’s place, not to talk of meeting Nifemi again. He sighed. What if she’s not like that? She might be struggling to make me feel at ease and perhaps that’s her best way of doing it, he had thought as his eyes continued darting round the living room. 

Nifemi walked out with a tray of juice and a glass cup. She served him and raised her index finger as if she was taking an excuse. “Please excuse me for some minutes.” 

“Okay.” 

“Please enjoy your drink.” She said as she walked inside the room.

Fifehanmi opened the drink and poured a little quantity in the glass cup. He was attracted by the movie that was being shown amd sipped his drink as he enjoyed the movie. He hardly lasted five minutes before his eyes went blurry and he dropped the glass cup. What’s up with me? He managed to mutter the words as he was struggling to keep the eyes open. He was still battling when Nifemi walked out in a towel. Yes, towel! He couldn’t even see her well but he knew Nifemi was around. He just dozed off.
** ** ** 
It was really a perfect weather for two. The breeze was as cold as ice, slamming windows and distributing dirts around. The clouds were pregnant with rain and the earth ready to recieve the abundance. Adebisi and her sister drove into the house and rushed upstairs so the rain wouldn’t drench them.

“Did you notice the car I saw in front of Nifemi’s place?” Adebisi asked as they stepped into the living room.

Abigail turned and shook her head. It was already past six that evening, so they left her place of work together. “Which car?” Abigail asked.

The two sighted their mother and greeted her. “Bawo ni day yin?” (How was your day?)

“Fine, Mum.” They chorused.

“Adebisi, we need to talk.” She said as she saw her legs moving swiftly inside the house.

“Now?” She turned back.

“Whenever you are ready.” She replied her.

“Let us freshen up, we are coming.” She said.

“It’s you alone.” Her mother removed her glasses as she addressed her. 

Adebisi prayed another sermon wasn’t coming up that evening. “Okay, Mum.” She walked on with Abigail. 

“You didn’t see Fifehanmi’s car there?” Adebisi asked Abigail. 

Abigail shook her head. “The rain was making us rush, I couldn’t even check things around till I got home.”

Abigail followed Adebisi to her room. “I’m sure I saw his car.”

“Are you bothered?”

She shrugged. “Not at all, just wondering where they got to know each other.”

“Will you call him?” Abigail asked.

Adebisi shook her head. “No. Why should I?”
“And it might not be his car.” 

“I saw it very well, Abbie. It’s Fifehanmi’s own.”

Abigail hummed. “I’m going to my room.”

“Only God knows what Mum wants to see someone for.” Adebisi hissed.

Abigail laughed. “Prepare for the sermon of your dreams.”

“Ko jo!” (Impossible!)
** ** ** 

Fifehanmi opened his heavy eyes and turned on the mattress. His vision was still blurry but he couldn’t perceive the scent of his room. His eyes widened as he noticed someone lying beside him. Nifemi! He sat up as he pulled the duvet up and saw that he was on his boxers and Nifemi was apparently nude. “Jesus!” He shouted.

“Is Lord.” Nifemi completed as she turned around on the mattress and faced him.

“What’s this?” Fifehanmi was mad.

“What exactly?” She took of the duvet from her body and Fifehanmi closed his eyes. “Are you crazy? Who are you?”

“You are really a novice, Fifehanmi. I was just laughing all along as we played last night.” Nifemi said.

“Please cover your body, I want to open my eyes.” He affirmed. 

“Are you scared of what you’ve seen before or what you want to see again? Don’t worry, everything is still the same as yesterday.” She laughed.

Fifehanmi turned to the other side and opened his eyes as he reached for his trouser and quickly tucked his legs in. He was tightening his belt when he noticed Nifemi’s hand caressing his back. “Are you crazy?” He shook her hand off, not planning to look at her nakedness. He picked his shirt and slipped in, his eyes darting right and left but still not planning to look back. “Wait, did you just say yesterday?” 

“Yes.” She replied behind him.

“Okay, please cover yourself.” He said calmly.

“I have.” Nifemi replied.

“Are you serious?”

“Yes.”

Fifehanmi turned and met her wrapped up in the duvet. “Why did you do this? Em.. who are you exactly? Like.. I don’t understand.”

“I am Nifemi, you know that.” She was sharp.

“So?” Fifehanmi shrugged, worry was written all over his face.

“I was married.” She added.

Fifehanmi spurted air out of his mouth. “Are you crazy!” He couldn’t even hold back his anger again. 

“You better calm down before you blow!” Nifemi hissed.

Fifehanmi didn’t even know what to say or do to express the depth of his anger. “Em…” He hissed dryly, feeling so disappointed at himself. “I never knew you could be this type of person, I never knew. I thought.. I helped you that day and this happened?”

She hissed again.

Fifehanmi left the room angrily as he slammed the door and made his way downstairs. He was too annoyed to even mention another word and wouldn’t want to beat her up. He had read books and seen movies on how someone was beaten and the fellow would just collapse. He didn’t want her to be the reason for his total downfall. 

Fifehanmi held the steering as he almost shed tears. He glimpsed at the house and shook his head. How did he let his guard down? How on earth? He didn’t even know if he could muster the courage to tell anyone what happened to him. It looked stupid that he was raped by a lady. A lady! He hit the steering rack and kicked the engine as he drove slowly on the road. He had to rake it off himself, he wouldn’t want anyone to know about it, not even Ben.
** ** ** 
Ben opened the door and crossed his hand over the way. He stared at Fifehanmi for a while before he heaved a sigh. “But courtesy demands that if someone is not coming home, the person at home is meant to know!” He hit the wall and walked to the sofa. 

What would Fifehanmi say? What would even make sense? He didn’t want him to know about Nifemi and his head hadn’t booted to give him a packaged lie that he could present. “I’m sorry, man.” He walked inside.

“Fifehanmi, it really doesn’t make sense. You left me here, worried. Why is your mobile number always off whenever you decide to stay out at night?”

He scratched his head aa he pressed his pockets. He just remembered he even had a mobile phone all along. He brought it out and switched it on. “I never knew it was switched off, Ben. See, I don’t have an excuse.”

Ben hummed. “Where were you? Or have you hit another lady?”

He shook his head. He was sad. Really sad, but wouldn’t want it to be written boldly that Ben would pester him to talk. “I.. I was just around, Ben. See, it is well.”

“Around? Where exactly?”

Will it be nice to tell Ben? He stroke his beard as he thought. He shook his head in disagreement as he looked at Ben. “See, I’m confused.”

“You really are, bro. I see no reason why you should turn yourself to this at mere suspension. At least you did it for an important reason and thanks to God that lines are falling in pleasant places already.”

Fife hummed. Were lines really falling in pleasant places already? He was truly confused. He wished Ben could just leave for office so he could be alone and think. “Can I rest?”

“Not until you tell me where you went to.”

Fifehanmi swallowed. “I’ll tell you when you’re back from work.” He stood up.

“So you can disappear before them, right?”

He shook his head. “No.” He replied. “I think I need to rest.” He walked inside as Ben watched him.
** ** **
It was past nine when Fifehanmi was trying to sleep. He had checked Adebisi’s pictures over and again as he shed little tears. It was a huge bad news for him. He nwvee imagined it and it was still shocking to him. Could it be that she was sent by Pelz? No! He disagreed instantly as he has been doing whenever the thought surfaced. He already helped Nifemi even before he told Adebisi what was on his mind, so they didn’t even go together. 

He was srill engrossed when he heard some knocks at the door. He jumped off the bed, wondering who it could be. He opened the door and met Halima. “Good morning.” She greeted him.

He was surprised. “Good morning.” He managed to smile.

“Fake smile.” Halima detected instantly. “Anyways, are you shocked to see me?”

He nodded. “Oh.. come in.” He opened the door and stepped aside.

“Are you okay?” She asked Fifehanmi as she entered, staring at him.

Fifehanmi nodded. Was it so written over his face that he wasn’t okay? “Sure, I’m good,”

“You don’t look like it, Fifehanmi. I know you very well.”

Fifehanmi gave her a long stare as she spoke. How could she know him very well? “Just have your seat, ma’am.” He tried to form a true smile. He hoped that would convinced her to an extent.

“That laughter was not yours, Fifehanmi.” She said as she sat down. “Are you sure you’re good?”

He nodded again. “Sure. But how did you I’d be at home?”

“You told me you took a week off, so I tried my luck.”

“Ooh…” He dropped his phone on the sofa and sat down. “So, what would you like to eat?”

“You don’t look cheerful, so, how can I eat?”

Fifehanmi scratched his head. “I don’t know if you’re seeing from the spirit realm, but I’m good. Ooh… I’ve been trying to sleep.” He grinned.

She shook her head, frowning. “You need to upgrade yourself on lying. You’re not good at all.”

Fifehanmi looked away. “I’m really good.”

Halima sighed. 

“Let me get you something to drink.” He stood up and walked to the kitchen. He hardly got to the kitchen when he phoned vibrated on the sofa and Halima picked it up. He just got some messages and she opened to check. They were pictures of Fifehanmi and Nifemi. She widened her eyes with shock as she shivered. She dropped the phone quickly and started thinking on what could have happened. 

Fifehanmi walked out with a tray of juice and dropped it before Halima. “Enjoy.” He smiled as he sat down.

“Fifehanmi.” She called his name, dropping her head.

“Yes?”

She didn’t know if she should be as raw as possible. She shrugged, thinking she’d try her best. “Were you drugged?” She let out the cat.

Fifehanmi drifted forward on the sofa. “What do you mean?”

“Were you drugged?” She faced him this time, looking into his eyes.

“It’s not as if the question is different from the former one, Tosin. I still don’t understand.”

She wasn’t sure about the questions but she felt they could be on point. “Did you sleep here last night?” She asked.

Fifehanmi looked away for a moment. “No.”

“Where were you?” 

Does she know? He tilted his head as he thought. “Is there any problem?” 

“Fife, will you answer me?”

“Like… I don’t understand.” He shrugged.

She passed his phone to him. “Check your phone.”

He collected the phone, constraining his eyes as he checked it out. “What!” He exclaimed. “Is this girl mad?” He shivered. 

Halima shrugged. “Who’s she?”

Fifehanmi almost shed tears as he dropped his phone. “I met her sometimes back when I helped her with her car and we met again yesterday when I left the office… see, let me cut the long story short, she drugged me.”

Halima was quiet for a moment before she sighed. “Just yesterday?”

“Yes!” He picked up his phone again and read the message attached to the pictures. “What’s this?”

“What did she write?”

Fifehanmi passed the phone to Halima. “What have I gotten myself into now, Halima?”

“Just calm down.” She collected the phone and read through, smiling. “She wants you to marry her?”

“I don’t understand why some people have chicken brain in their heads, Halima. How is that one possible?”

“We have to handle this gently, Fifehanmi. Who else knows about this?”

“Nobody.”

“Will you tell Adebisi about this?”

He shook his head quickly. “Never.”

She smiled. “You’ve got to tell her.”

“You know she just got out of the problem of heartbreak, I can’t just throw this to her again.”

“What can make you really fight this is to let her know. If she knows from another source, it’ll be a problem.”

Fifehanmi’s head dropped. 

** ** **

 
Adebisi dropped her phone and looked at Abigail. “I’ve just been wondering if Fifehanmi knows that lady.” She suddenly said.

Abigail moved her chair to the back and walked to the sofa Adebisi was seated on. They were both at Abbie’s place of work together again. “Why are you bothered?”

“Who doesn’t know that girl?” 

Abigail chuckled. “Does it mean that you’re falling for him already?”

She chuckled. “Is that what we are talking about?”

She shrugged. “It’s obvious already.”

“That’s your headache.”

Abigail laughed. “Are you really sure about the car?”

“Sure.”

“I don’t even know what to say now.” Abigail said. “But I trust him, though.”

“I now find it hard to trust those guys, Abbie.”

“No.. don’t be like that.”

Adebisi was silent. 

“He will tell you about whatever thing it is, Adebisi.”

She chuckled. “Let’s see.”

** ** **

Just as Fifehanmi was about to speak again, his phone buzzed and he quickly reached for it. “Hello?” He heard a female voice. “Nifemi? What exactly is the problem with your destiny?”

“I just want to advice you to cooperate, if not, you’re really gone.” He heard.

“What exactly do you want?”

“I have told you before, haven’t I?”

“You should know that’s an impossible nut to crack. Please, do your worst.” He ended the call angrily and dropped his mobile phone. 

“What did she say?”

“She said the same thing.” He replied.

“You told her to do her worst, Fifehanmi? What if she tells Adebisi?”

“She doesn’t know her.” He replied, hissing.

“Really? How did she get your mobile number?” 

Fifehanmi was quiet, thinking. “That’s true, I didn’t give her.”

“She must have checked your phone.”

Fifehanmi placed his hands on his head.

** ** ** 

Tofunmi clenched his fist before Pelz as he sat down. “The job is finally done.” He announced.

“Ife’s case?” He asked to be sure.

Tofunmi shook his head. “His name is Fife, not Ife.” 

Pelz shrugged. “Whatever thing his name is, what I want to hear is that he has been sacked.”

“Actually not sacked, but suspended. According to what the lady I asked told me, she said that he’s a very great backbone of that company and she wasn’t sure if he would be sacked just like that.”

Pelz hissed. “What nonesense! Anyways, that’s just like the beginning of his issues, he will get the complete episode as it goes on.” He grinned.

Tofunmi laughed. “I trust you nah, I know say you go do wetin you talk say you wan do.”

“That one na small thing, Tofunmi. How far the Belgium guys, when are you visiting them?”

“I should be going by the end of this week.”

“Okay”

** ** **

Fifehanmi was too confused to even mention a word again. He kept staring at Halima as he wondered if metaphysical powers weren’t involved with his case already. He had een getting bad news from ladies since he was born! Adebisi’s case was once a hard nut to crack, but now, it looked as if the road was getting free but still an obstruction has shown her face. 

“But how will she know Adebisi is the lady?” He asked Halima as the question dropped in his mind.

Halima laughed. “We are talking of a desperate lady here, don’t forget.”

Fifehanmi shrugged. “Even though she’s desperate, it doesn’t turn her to an omniscient.”

“I know what I am saying. We haven’t even talked about the reason wy I’m here, Fifehanmi.”

He scratched his head. “That’s true. What’s up?”

“Are you sure you can even hear me now?” She squinted her eyes.

He nodded. “Just speak.”

“Alhaji is planning to see you.” She stopped abruptly and continued. “I don’t know if the meeting of Charles could be quick.”

“What does he want to see me for?” His eyes widened.

“What else? You impregenated his daughter, have you forgotten?”

He chuckled. “I’m serious, Halima.”

“It’s based on the wedding, I guess.”

He almost laughed. “I hope I haven’t gotten into any problem now. I guess the next thing will be for me to get my parents.”

She nodded. “Yeah, I also presume.”

“Do you now think if Charles is known now, I won’t be as good as dead?”

Halima was quiet for a moment. “I am even afraid.”

“If the daughter can be scared, what should happen to a mere me then?”

“All I know verily is just that he cannot kill you.”

“Chai! But I can be near the death, right? Do you think Charles will be at home by now?”

She shrugged. “Who knows?”

“Should we give it a try then?”

“Okay.”

** ** **

Adebisi had been trying to find various excuses for Fifehanmi before she finally thought of a reasonable one. She faced Abigail with confidence as she spoke. “What if they actually set Fife up?”

Abigail chuckled. “Setup in what sense?”

“You know Pelz is after him.” She stopped abruptly. 

“That’s true!” Abigail reasoned. “It might be because they knew we’d pass the place while going back home.”

Adebisi hit the table. “Exactly my point!”

“What would happen now? Who knows if he’s even safe?”

“Should I call him now?”

“Sure, you can.” Abigail supported.

Adebisi picked up her phone. “I even have a message.”

“Who’s that?”

“Let me check.” Adebisi said as she unlocked her phone.

** ** ** 

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