WRITTEN BY: OGECHI ALABI
When Bashir asked when she was coming to visit, Zainab lied to him that her mother declined. He was upset. Why would her parents not allow her to visit her fiance? He didn’t shout at her but he decided he would do something about it.
He told his mother what had happened. The mother explained to him as she had done before that Zainab is from a good Muslim home and her parents wouldn’t want her defiled. They are guarding her.
“But she is my betrothed. She is my wife. If they will release her to me now to marry, I will. They are making it extremely difficult for me to be close to her. She talked about a chaperone; what does she need that for in this day and age?”
“They are traditional people. Are your intentions for seeing Zainab pure? If they are, I will ask her mother to allow her to come over. But if they are not, I would rather you wait until after marriage.”
“They are pure. I want to get to know her better. Why is it so difficult for you old folks to understand?”
“Because we know what can happen. Ok, if I have an assurance from you, Zainab will visit tomorrow.”
“You have my word.”
True to her words, Zainab visited the following day. She came with her cousin. She looked amazing in her trouser and top. It was the first time he was seeing her look so modern and he found it sexy. Her cousin dressed in a ‘worldly’ manner so he suspected she encouraged this look which he liked.
Aisha made Zainab dress up more modern. She had come to visit her cousins. When she was asked to chaperone Zainab, she helped her get dressed. She asked for a picture of Bashir. When she saw what he looked like, she refused her dressing in her long shapeless gowns and instead made her wear trousers and a top which didn’t cover up her backside completely. She still looked decent but it was a far cry from what Zainab would wear on a good day.
The smile on Bashir’s face revealed he liked how she looked. Her fair skin glowed against her black hijab. She was beautiful. He thanked Aisha specially for coming with her. Aisha was equally beautiful but his Zainab outshone her. Aisha was taller, darker and slimmer. Bashir decided to get Zainab’s attention by ignoring her and focusing his attention on Aisha. He knew how to lure ladies and from what he could see, Aisha didn’t share Zainab beliefs completely.
“So Aisha what do you do?” Bashir asked.
“I just graduated from the university. Waiting for call up.”
“That’s nice. What will you be doing while waiting?”
“I’m home and it is so boring. I wish I could go someplace.”
“You can come to England, it is fun there.”
“I don’t have a visa and by the time I get one, it will be about the time I will be going for service.”
“With my mother’s help, it won’t take that long. We can do Dubai instead if you like.”
“Will my cousin be coming too?” Aisha asked.
“No. She isn’t comfortable around me and her folks won’t allow her to be alone with me.”
“She doesn’t need to tell them.”
“She is pious, she will tell them,” he said as he looked straight at Zainab. She was visibly upset but he didn’t care. If she couldn’t spend time with him alone, he could as well have some fun with her cousin.
“She is. She will make an awesome wife. She will soon graduate and then you can have her all to yourself.”
“She is afraid of me. She’s scared I will bite her. She can’t be alone with me. There is nothing I can do about that. Would you like to go with me to get ice cream and some snacks?” he asked no one in particular.
“We will” Aisha replied and she dragged Zainab to go with them.
Zainab was upset with Bashir. Why would he be hitting on her cousin? She didn’t want to sit in the front of the vehicle beside him but Aisha insisted.
When they got to the ice cream parlour, Bashir excitedly asked Aisha what she would like. She made her choice. He asked Zainab, but she declined. She wanted to sit back in the car but they both wouldn’t let her. He bought extra ice cream and then went to get some snacks.
Aisha noticed Zainab was cold towards them. She understood the game Bashir was playing but Zainab was so naive that she didn’t know how to handle her emotions. She played into Bashir’s hands with her childish reaction. She knew Bashir wanted to be alone with her and with her reaction, he would have his way. She liked Bashir but she knew he had eyes only for Zainab. He couldn’t hide his feelings either.
Bashir asked Zainab if she was ok. She said she was fine. He took some of the ice cream and snacks to his apartment. He came downstairs a bit later and asked if Zainab would like to talk to him alone. Initially, she declined but later on, she went to meet him. He led her to his sitting area. The ice cream and snacks were there.
Read –Esther my landlord’s daughter episode 1 – 2
“I have been waiting to be alone with you.”
“Waiting? You were hitting on my cousin.”
“You came with her, I thought she was part of the package. You look good. Beautiful! She made you dress up more modern. I like her. I will take her to Dubai.”
“She will make great company.”
“What are you driving at? Are you trying to embarrass me?”
“Your parents would not allow you to travel alone with me because they are scared I will take what is mine. They will allow you to go chaperoned. We will go with her. Is that ok?”
“I don’t want to go.”
“Have some ice cream, you have a lot to learn from your cousin. I like her. I’m sure she knows how to keep a man interested in her.”
“Stop this. Why are you doing this? Why do you want to embarrass me?”
“Are you jealous? Is my beautiful bride jealous of the attention her cousin is getting from her groom? Look at me when talking to me. I want to see your eyes. Stop biting your lips, don’t do it. You will make me kiss them. Zainab, you are driving me raving mad. Let me kiss you, just one. Let me feel your lips,” Bashir walked closer to Zainab as he said this. She had a panicked look on her face and before he could reach her, she had fled from his sitting area. She was by the stairs when he caught up with her. He pulled her to himself and then pushed her to the wall. He asked her, “where are you going? Did I do anything to you?” he came very close to her that she could feel his breath on her face and neck. She turned her face away but he forcefully brought it back to face him. “I can kiss you here and now but I won’t. I want you but I will make do with someone else tonight. If you allow me to kiss you, I won’t be with another person.”
“I don’t care what you do. I will only be bothered if I become your wife,” Zainab replied as she tried to push him away from her.
“If? What do you mean by if? I am asking a question, answer me”
“I want to go home now. Please allow me to go.”
“Go where? I asked a question godamn it and you must answer me,” Bashir punched the wall as he was talking. He was angry. What did ‘if’ mean? Was she backing out because he paid too much attention to her cousin? She sounded confident.
Zainab replied as loudly as she could, “Please let me go. I want to go home.”
Her loud voice drew the attention of others in the house to her. They followed her voice to the stairs and saw her with Bashir still pinned to the wall.
His mother said to him loudly, “What is wrong with you? Leave her alone. Let her go.”
“She made a comment I wanted her to explain. Ask her what she meant by that comment,” Basir replied.
“Please, let her go. Come to me, Zainab. What did you say to provoke your husband?”
“I didn’t say anything. He was the one that pinned me to the wall,” Zainab replied. “I want to go home now.”
“Yes, dear. I will send my driver to take you home. If Bashir misbehaved with you, I am sorry. It won’t happen again.”
“Thank you ma.”
The comment made by Zainab haunted Bashir. He went to get a girl for the night. She was close, in terms of looks, to Zainab. As he satisfied his lust, all he could think of was Zainab and her subtle threat. He smiled after he ejaculated. She wouldn’t get rid of him so easily.
A few days after the episode at his house, he came to the house to see Zainab. She was surprised to see him at her home. She expected he would have requested for the relationship to end but he wanted to see her privately. She wondered what for. She felt safe in her home but she didn’t still trust Bashir.
She remembered the shocked look on his face when she left the house. She didn’t want to talk to her cousin about the embarrassing visit but her cousin made her understand Bashir was in love with her and since she was proving difficult, he was taunting her to give in to his advances. She said she had no interest in him since he had only eyes for Zainab. If it was supposed to make her feel good, it worked.
Here he was again in her bedroom. She offered him a sit while she sat on the bed. He looked at her. She was still as beautiful as ever, young and succulent. She exposed some of her skin and he would have loved to feel it. There was no hurry, he will get his way. His biggest fear was her calling off the marriage. Her father will pay a very heavy fine if she did and she could be punished for disobeying the family’s decision.
“I have missed you,” Bashir started the conversation.
“I don’t think that is what you came all the way here to discuss with me. How may I help you?”
Read – The ultimate v-rginator episode 15 – 17
“What is up with you? I thought we had passed a certain stage. I have expressed my feelings towards you but you keep making it difficult for us to bond with your many rules. You and your family are making our relationship stressful. I came back to Nigeria to see you. We had never met but now we can claim to know each other to an extent. The extent is where you want it to be.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about and the accusation makes no sense. We practise the same religion and even though I observed you are not a practising Muslim, you should respect how I feel. I only have a year and a half to round up my education but you are trying to enjoy the rights of a husband while being betrothed; it is wrong. I would rather call off the relationship and suffer the consequences than be violated by you.”
Bashir looked at Zainab feeling hurt. “Is that what you think of me? Do you believe I will violate you? Why would I do that? Because I expressed my desire for you, have you now labelled me a rapist? Why will I rape you when I can have you for the rest of your life and mine? Think about it. I am not going to give you the freedom to marry another man. I love you and you will be my wife. If I have said or done anything to hurt you, I apologise.”
Zainab wondered why he came back to her. Was the threat of leaving him so significant to him? What was the story? He changed personalities so quickly that Zainab couldn’t catch up with who he was. She listened to him talk. He had a way with words. He was quick to apologise and he blamed her. He asked her to see him on the 31st of December night so they could enter the new year together. Zainab was confused. She wondered if he was also as confused as she was.
Bashir knew the game he was playing. She was smarter than he thought. Smarter than her cousin who secretly gave him her phone number. They were to meet before he went back to England. Zainab had mentioned she didn’t use her cousin as bait. She knew he wanted to be with her cousin. He was baffled at her accuracy but openly laughed at her and said her jealousy was making her imaginations run wild.
They spent new year’s eve and new year’s day together. She visited his family home and spent all day. She also spent some time with him in his apartment. He didn’t make any advances toward her. She was tired and wanted to sleep. She laid on his bed and fell asleep. Bashir smiled. It was the same bed he had her cousin in the night before, she left that morning before Zainab got there. The cousin was like every other girl, eager to please. He used her and paid her for her services. He didn’t care if she told Zainab because she had more to lose if she found out.
Zainab went back to school after the new year celebrations. Bashir brought her back to school and went back to Ilorin to paint it red.