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It was a cold windy night and Aneesah was struggling to stay warm. The blankets have proved incapable, she was sitting on her bed wrapped in the blue huge beddings working on her laptop. Since she’d returned, she’d been trying to perfect her story, make videos and edit it, the suspense was high and she wants her followers to appreciate what she had in store for them.
Earlier when she had gone to the market to buy some foodstuffs, a young man followed her declaring his interest to court her. He’d been extremely funny and jovial, and Aneesah was mesmerized. She’d simply told him she was married and he’d abruptly turned back. As she thought about it now, a laugh built up behind her throat. Who would have thought that she could still attract attention?
The thought that she was still married gnawed behind her head. She and her mum had been trying to garner her entire family and Faisal’s family to discuss the next necessary action. Aneesah was sure it would be a divorce. She wouldn’t agree to anything else.
When she first heard the knock, Aneesah was surprised that she jumped a bit. It was just 7:19 pm, but for her, that was late for any caller. She remembered Petra’s advice. “Do not open the door for anyone”. The knock came again.
“Who’s there?”. Aneesah called out deciding to be brave.
There was a pause before the reply came.
“Neesah it’s me”.
Aneesah knew who it was, there was no way she could ever get that voice out of her head. The old fear she usually felt rose, but this time she was able to subdue it. Faisal wouldn’t hurt her.
“Neesah, it’s your husband. Faisal. I just want to talk to you”.
Aneesah was glad her door was locked, besides there was no way he could knock down a door like that. So she was safe.
“I’ve missed you Neesah. I’ve missed you so much. I want us to be together”. His deep voice echoed from behind the door.
She was standing alert and her laptop was on her table. His words amused her. Faisal was definitely nuts. He would go to any length to bring his puppet back.
“Aneesah please, I’m sorry for all I did to you. It was all a mistake and I’m now a changed man. Please just accept me and we can make this work between us”.
Aneesah was almost laughing. He thought she was the fool he considered her to be. Well, he was in for a surprise. After some few minutes, she heard him walk away. She hissed as she sat on the bed and grabbed her laptop. He could go to hell for all she cared.
The next morning, Faisal accosted her on her way to work. She was driving carefully listening to the early morning news in her car, it was a very short drive from her residence to the hospital, so she was slow. Instantly when the car swerved in her front, she recognized it as Faisal. She was forced to park. Aneesah was frightened, what if he decided to kill her right here on the street?
She got out of the car deciding not to reveal her fear.
“Faisal what’s the meaning of this? I need to get to work”. She was surprised her voice was calm.
“Aneesah I want to talk to you. I don’t know how else to reach you. I was at your place yesterday but you decided to ignore me the whole time. Look, please can we start all over again?” He began, to Aneesah’s surprise, there was no trace of regret or emotion on his face. She was sure he didn’t mean it. He was trying to get her back so he could control her.
“Faisal I don’t know what you’re talking about. What I know is that you and I, we’re done. Just look at me now, I can wear my red lipstick with no fear. Please remove your car from my path”.
A bit of amazement showed on his face. Faisal was visibly shocked. When did Aneesah become like this? He was sure the stupid housekeeper orchestrated this.
“Faisal take off your car, I need to go. You’re blocking other commuters”.
He came closer to her in one desperate attempt to cajole her. “Aneesah let’s both be reasonable please. I want us to call off the meeting at your house in Kano on Saturday please. The entire family doesn’t have to know about this”.
“Yes, they do,” Aneesah replied calmly getting back into her car. If he wasn’t moving his car, then she would take an alternative road even if it meant a longer route to work. She reversed back and drove off. And that was how it began, that was the last time he stopped to talk to her, but he would send her countless messages explaining how it was a mistake all he did to her. Aneesah made sure she always cleared off her inbox.
Faisal was going crazy. He was furious. Without any hesitation, he pounded his fist against the walls. Somehow, the pain gave him a bit of relief. If he couldn’t control his stupid wife, perhaps he could control what emotions he felt, and right now he wasn’t interested in feeling shame and guilt.
How could one lady give him the chills? He recognized the fire in Aneesah’s eyes, it was the same in the housekeeper’s eyes when she’d come to the hotel room. It was contagious. But Aneesah had forgotten what he was capable of. He would rather die than give up on his wife. His colleagues had said he was a psychopath, and unstable, but what did they know? They couldn’t know how it felt to be in control, to have someone bend to your will, to have someone do what you said. The feeling was exhilarating, but how could they know when all they did was love their wives and allow themselves to be controlled?
Well, he wasn’t that soft. He would get his wife back, and if she refused, then no one else could have her. The drive to Kano was uneventful, it was Saturday already and he was expected to be at Aneesah’s family house to talk things out. A meeting he considered a waste of time. He could already decipher what they would conclude. Aneesah would demand a divorce and they would be asked him to grant it. Well, he would all surprise them. When he got to the large house, a few cars were parked in front. Great. They’d dragged the entire family in. It had been ages since Faisal was fazed by a crowd, but the moment he stepped into the room, he grew self-conscious.
Both his parents and uncle were in the room and Aneesah’s mum and brother were there. Aneesah’s mother threw daggers at him with her eyes alone. This wasn’t going to be an easy conversation.
“Faisal you’re late. You were not supposed to keep us waiting”. His mum started visibly annoyed.
“I know. I’m sorry. I know you wouldn’t have started without me anyway”. He replied with smug arrogance sitting down beside his dad, who hissed and looked the other side.
Aneesah’s mother and her brother both laughed loudly. “You’re a fool”. The latter said amidst the laugh. “We’ve concluded everything already. You’re going to divorce Aneesah soonest. You’ve disrespected her, beaten her, and humiliated us; her family. We don’t want you as an in-law.”
Faisal stared wide-eyed.
“Yes”. His father reiterated. “No religion permits you to treat your wife the way you did. What you did was inhumane. This isn’t up for discussion. You’re going to divorce her. That’s what she wants.”
Faisal was shocked. He couldn’t believe his parents wouldn’t side with him. He couldn’t take this, No, he couldn’t tolerate their empty words. Aneesah was his wife, not theirs. He stormed out of the house without saying a word to them. It was time for action.
He remembered where he kept the white porcelain jar. Furiously he drove out.
Aneesah was coming back from Petra’s after spending the entire day there. They’d gone shopping for baby clothes earlier in the day. Aneesah hadn’t disclosed to her friend that she was pregnant, but she knew Petra would notice soon. Her mum had called to inform her about Faisal’s disrespectful attitude, and how he had walked out of them. Aneesah didn’t care, all she was concerned about was the nullification of their marriage. She parked her car beside her apartment. It was nearly 5 pm and she was in a hurry to say her la’asar prayers.
She was trying to retrieve her bag and laptop from the car when she felt footsteps behind her. Instincts told her it was someone with a bad motive and Aneesah suddenly had a premonition that something bad would happen. Quickly without turning, she moved away from the car but tripped and fell on the ground. At that instant, Faisal poured a colorless liquid on her car just exactly where she had been standing. The liquid began to burn the car’s paint.
Aneesah gasped. Fear clouded her mind and blinded her.