AUTHOR: OGECHI ALABI
Zainab was posted to Lagos for her NYSC. She was excited and had planned to stay with Funke after orientation camp. She had her life pined out. Lagos was favourable to her. She found a place to serve in the Lagos state government. It was all thanks to Funke’s mother.
After being in Lagos for a couple of months, her family summoned her back home. She was worried as she went back. Her parents were well and it didn’t seem like there was a problem. She waited for the conversation on why she was summoned. Her parents hadn’t said anything to her.
Later that evening, her father sent her to her prospective mother-in-law’s house. She went there with a message. The woman was very happy to see her. She took her into her bedroom. On the bed were different outfits. She wondered what it was for. There were pieces of jewellery everywhere. She sat down in wonder.
“My dear, I would like you to try some of these clothes. I got them for you.”
Zainab, still confused, went into the bathroom to try them. She tried about seven outfits and pieces of jewellery. They were packaged for her to take back home with her. Then, there was a knock on the door. Bashir walked into the room. Zainab couldn’t believe her eyes. She had spoken with him that morning and he had never mentioned being back in Nigeria. Why the suspense?
“I can see you are not excited to see me,” Bashir said as he walked closer to her.
“It is not that, I am just surprised to see you. We spoke this morning and you never mentioned you were back in the country.”
Read – Sxy house maid and the Dons episode 14
“Come here,” he said to her as he opened his arms for an embrace. Zainab’s eyes went to his mother who was busy packaging the things on her bed and pretended not to listen in on their conversation. She shook her head. “Come here. You are my wife and I can hug you. What’s wrong with that? Mum, is anything wrong with that?”
His mother laughed and said, “Pretend I am not here or you take her to your living area so I can work. Let me see you before you leave, Zainab.”
She walked with him. She kept stealing glances at her and smiling. She felt embarrassed. Why would he come back without telling her? She had questions and needed the answers.
When he entered his living room, he opened the door wider for her to come in. The place had a new look. She wondered what was going on. He embraced her from behind while she struggled to be freed.
“I missed you. I missed you so much,” Bashir said to her.
“You didn’t mention to me you were coming back. What did you come back for?”
“You are not aware? Our wedding.”
“Wedding? Nobody told me about it. How do you plan a wedding without the bride knowing?”
“Your parents have to inform you.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I wanted to surprise you. Aren’t you happy to see me?”
“When is the wedding?”
“Next weekend. Both engagement and Nikkai will be done at once. Then I can bring you home here.”
“Why so soon? What’s the rush?”
“Is there something else you are doing apart from showing up for the wedding? The important guests have been invited.”
“I have three friends that must attend. I need to take time off work to plan the wedding. Our parents cannot plan the wedding for us alone, I want my input. So, where would we live after the wedding?”
“Why? I am serving in Lagos so how will I manage it?”
“Request for a redeployment to join me here.”
“I thought the plan was for us to start our lives in Lagos. That was why I decided to be posted to Lagos so we can be together. I don’t understand your request for me to redeploy to Kwara.”
“Let us get married first then we can decide where we would stay.”
“I was going to tell you, they are registering companies to give contracts from some multinationals. I was going to discuss that with you. You can register with them, I have the link. He will ensure you get contracts. We can start with that.”
It made sense to Bashir but he didn’t want it to come through Zainab. He didn’t want to owe her anything. But coming through her contact would go a long way. He realised, he had to go back to Lagos after the wedding, get a place and furnish it before they moved there. Was it something he could achieve in a short period?
While he was thinking, Zainab was wondering what was going on. She knew he wouldn’t want her to return to Lagos but she needed to. She had to invite her friends to her wedding, it was impromptu but she had no choice. Her colleagues too were an issue. She had to tell them and also ask for time off to get married and spend time with her husband. She had an uneasy feeling about the whole thing. She wasn’t happy. Why was it hidden from her?
They were both lost in thought when a knock on the door brought them back. Food, snacks and drinks had been brought to them. They were set down and they both sat to eat. They talked for some time. The thoughts when he saw her had evaporated with her suggestion of moving to Lagos and getting contracts. He didn’t want to piss her off.
Eventually, it was time for her to go. Bashir pulled her to himself for a hug which she accepted shyly. “Can I kiss you? I have tried not to do it since you have been here.”
“By next weekend you can do with me whatever you will. I think we should wait.”
“I had the room renovated because of you. I wanted you to be comfortable. I removed the bed and got a new one with a mattress. I wanted to start on a clean slate.”
“Why change the bed and the mattress?”
“Because I am not a saint like you.”
Zainab was appalled at his words that she quickly made her exit. Bashir laughed when she left. He knew she would think about it for a long time. Now she knows he has options.
“Baba, you should have told me you were tired of me in the house. How can you fix my marriage without telling me?”
“Your husband wanted it to be a surprise and I agreed. We have made all the arrangements. It is for you to be here before the wedding.”
“Did you ask him where he would live with me? What work will he do to take care of me? I don’t understand what the rush is, I am serving already.”
“We had agreed and he has shown himself to be responsible. The father has assured me you will be well taken care of. He will get a job or handle the family business. You will never lack.”
“But what if he doesn’t allow me to work? He has asked me to redeploy to Kwara to serve and I won’t return to Lagos after the marriage. If I don’t have an NYSC certificate I can’t get a job. What do you say about this?”
“You will round up your service in Lagos, don’t worry. I will discuss this with my contact in the Lagos state government so you can spend at least two weeks with your husband before resuming work. I expect you back for the wedding on Thursday. You will serve and even get a well-paying job. Don’t worry about it.”
Based on the promise, Zainab went back to Lagos. She got the permission she needed to be absent from work for a month to get married She had told her friends and appealed to them to be there for her.
She travelled back to Ilorin on Thursday. Her friends arrived on Friday and it gave her so much joy. They lodged in a hotel and three of them stayed in an apartment courtesy of Esther. Zainab came to join them there. She was excited to see her friends. She stayed until she was called to come back home.
When she got home, she received a call from Bashir. He asked her where she was coming from. Zainab was surprised at the question. She told him she was coming from seeing her friends.
“Where did you go to see them?” he asked.
‘At the hotel they are lodging.”
“You went to a hotel on the eve of your wedding? What nonsense? You used them as a cover to meet with your lover.”
Zainab was shocked. She couldn’t believe her ears. She didn’t utter a word to him. When he didn’t get a response, he vented. He called her derogatory names and said she was no different from her harlot cousin. Zainab allowed him to vent. When he was through she said to him, “Only money has been spent and I can spend the rest of my life refunding what has been expensed on this charade of a wedding. Why would you want to marry a girl that has all the terrible traits you have mentioned? Why? I have given up on marrying you. If you believe I will meet a man just before I marry you, then we are not meant to be. Call it off,” and she ended the call.
Bashir couldn’t believe Zainab spoke back at him. When did that start? He was furious. He grabbed his car keys and left the house. He wanted to see her and put her in her place. He couldn’t stand the disrespect. She needed to be taught a lesson.
As he drove to her house, he began to rethink. She and her family might call off the wedding if he reacted right now. He didn’t want that. He wanted her in his house, his room and his bed. He wanted her so bad. He wanted to control her. He wanted her to do only his bidding. He didn’t want anything to go wrong with his plans.
When he got to her house, he asked if he could see her. Her father suspected there was an issue and he allowed him to go to her room. After all, in less than 24 hours, she will be his. Bashir went to her room. He knocked on her door. He heard, “Come in.” he went in. There were ladies in the room with Zainab. When they saw him, some of them left. Aisha was in the room too. She didn’t leave and she wasn’t friendly with him. He was worried she had said something to Zainab that made her hot-headed. They exchanged greetings. He requested to speak with Zainab in private. Aisha left with the other lady.
“Why are you angry at me? Why would you go to the hotel just before you get married? Don’t you know people will see you? They called me to tell me. Did you tell me you were going there?”
“I don’t need to tell you, I told my parents and they were aware I took my guests there. What warranted all the nasty things you said to me? We didn’t have a misunderstanding. When you asked you should have waited for me to reply.”
“I am sorry. I had to come here to apologise to you. It was a fact that people saw my wife at the hotel. It annoyed me. I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
Zainab smiled at him. He opened his arms and she walked into it. He told her he had missed her and she told him the same. He knew Aisha had not said anything to her if not, she would have brought down the roof. He left a fell minutes later. She had turned him on from the hug and he needed some relief. She wasn’t the one. It was seeing Aisha with her in the same room.
As he drove out of her compound, he called Aisha. She picked after the fourth ring. He parked the car outside and talked to her.
“You didn’t tell me you were in town. Come let’s have a good time.”
“You haven’t changed. You are marrying my cousin tomorrow, I will advise you to conserve all your energy to satisfy her. Our women and very active in bed. That I allow your mediocre performance is because of the money you spend. If not, I wouldn’t have allowed a second performance. You are looking for who to have sex with this night, you are a joke. Zainab is marrying a joke. She will regret it. Her good girl moves have landed her a philandering husband.” She ended the call.
Bashir was speechless. He started his car and drove back home in shame. What Aisha said hit a raw nerve. Indeed when he picked these ladies up it was purely for his enjoyment. He believed he was a good lover and intended to use sex as a weapon against Zainab. But if her cousin’s claim is right, she would be insatiable. It was both exciting and terrifying. He had to wait and see.