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Looking at Petra now, no one would believe she was from Abia state. The young beautiful lady was dressed in a Fuschia pink lace with a matching veil with henna abundantly decorated on her hands. They were having a good time at their friend’s Kamu event. The sight was indeed beautiful and culture was at its peak. Hausa love songs blasted from the loudspeakers that were positioned everywhere. The heavy smell of fragrance filled the entire hall.
Aneesah and Petra had been dancing for a while now decided to go out and have some fresh air. They were making small talks while Aneesah’s phone buzzed. The light from the screen shone brightly on Aneesah’s beautiful face as she checked her phone. After a while, she hissed and dropped the phone.
“Why? What’s that?”. Petra asked
“It’s Faisal, he’s asking to come and take us home after the Kamu.”
“Wow”. Petra squealed excitedly. “This Faisal is serious”.
“Yeah, he is. I like him, he’s a nice and quiet guy actually. You know, but he likes to be in charge and all that.”
“In charge? What do you mean?” Petra sipped her drink.
Aneesah paused. “I don’t know how to explain it, but he just likes to dictate what needs to be done.”
“Whoa, that sounds intense. Just be careful before you make any decisions about the guy”. Petra advised.
“Yeah. Of course. So what do you think I should tell him? No? Yes?”.
“Tell him to come, I would like to meet him.”
“Okay”. Aneesah turned towards her phone and quickly typed something. Petra dragged her. “Come let’s go back before Farida get mad at us.” And so the two girls practically ran back into the hall.
Faisal was a bit disappointed to find Petra with Aneesah. Somehow, he didn’t like this inquisitive friend of hers. He had never met her, but in their discussions, Aneesah had mentioned her several times. He was going to have to be careful with this Petra.
“Come in Ladies.” He opened the car doors for the. Aneesah sat at the front while her friend went to sit at the back.
“How was the Kamu?”. Faisal asked as he started to drive away.
“Oh, it was fine. Thanks.” Petra answered from the back even though the question was directed to Aneesah.
Faisal nodded and concentrated on his driving. They arrived at the gate of the huge hostel that was situated outside the school premises.
“Thanks for the ride Faisal. It was nice meeting you”. She got out of the car and waved at Aneesah.
“It’s alright. Nice meeting you too.” He quietly replied and turned his attention back to Aneesah. So beautiful a lady.
However, he looked at the red lipstick she wore with contempt. He would have preferred a pink color.
“So, when am I going to see you again?”. He started.
“Oh well, I don’t know. I’m just going to be busy and all that. Lectures have begun fully and most lecturers have begun to mention tests. It seems we’re writing exams early this semester.”
“I guess that’s a no right?”
Aneesah was quiet for a minute. “I just can’t promise anything.”
Faisal sighed. He wished she was less of an academic girl. She practically spent her entire time studying. Girls flocked in and out of the hostel.
“Neesah, we have to define this feeling between us. I want to get to know you better, but you’re building a barricade around you. I want to have a relationship with you and hopefully see where it leads. I would like you to be my wife.”
A sudden stillness descended on the car. Aneesah was shocked. Was he talking about marriage already even when she didn’t really know him? She turned to see Petra waiting patiently for her besides the hostel gate.
“Alright then, we’ll talk about that.” Aneesah promptly replied. “I don’t want to keep my friend waiting.” With that, she subtly left and went to meet her friend.
Querah has finished scrubbing the living room and was humming beneath her breath when Faisal entered. They greeted cordially while he proceeded to his room. Since last year, they both lived in different rooms.
“Where’s Aneesah?” He asked after a minute. Querah saw that he had taken a shower.
“I didn’t meet her when I came.”
Faisal nodded and went back to his room. Querah looked at the gigantic wall clock placed very high above the curtains, it was almost 6 pm. Why was Aneesah late from work today? Just on cue, she heard Aneesah coming in through the gate with her car.
“Aneesah, welcome.” Querah promptly greeted her as she came into the living room.
“Thanks, Querah, how was your day?” Aneesah replied completely tired and she was also tensed up. She saw Faisal’s car parked outside.
“It was fine. Merci.” Querah turned back to her chore.
Aneesah avoided going to her room to avoiding bumping into Faisal, instead, she went straight to the kitchen and started to cook dinner.
Ms. Querah had already gone for the day before her dinner of fried rice was ready. Aneesah cracked her head and fingers and sighed deeply. She felt emotionally drained. From the conversation with Petra, the trip to Zaria, Aneesah would have preferred to take a shower and go to sleep, but she knew that was fairly impossible with Faisal.
She set the dishes and went to take a shower. Coming out she saw that Faisal had taken his place on the dining and was eating already. Aneesah gingerly sat down too.
“Where have you been?”
Aneesah felt a knife thrust between her heart. When did she start to feel so much fear for this man?
“I went to Kaduna.”
“How has work been going?” He asked again after few mouthfuls.
“Oh just fine. How about yours?” Faisal was a civil engineer and his own contract firm.
“Fine. I’ve told you repeatedly not to wear red lipstick. It looks stupid on you”
Aneesah kept quiet and continued to fiddle with her plate.
“You’re just so dumb and local. How did I even end up marrying you?” Faisal said with contempt in his voice, hissed, and continued to eat.
Aneesah was hurt beyond words. “Don’t ever call me dumb. Besides, you manipulated me into marrying you. Remember?”
Faisal stopped dead in chewing his food. He looked up to her and swallowed. His expression had changed and he looked like a monster. Aneesah could hear the faint chirping of the wall clock.
“What did you say? How dare you talk to me like that?”
Somehow the little courage she had felt deserted her. The old familiar fear was slowly creeping in.
“What did you say to me?” He repeated only loudly, getting up.
Aneesah knew what would come next. He would smack her heavily with his hands. This time, however, she was wrong. Deftly, Faisal removed the black expensive belt he used to hold up his jeans trousers and folded it into two. From the opposite side of the table, he struck her heavily. Aneesah bent back quickly and fell off the chair in the process, hitting her head on the cold tiles. Before she could recover, Faisal’s strong firm hands grabbed her tightly around the neck.
“You’ll learn how to talk to me today.” He shouted, choking her heavily.
Aneesah felt hot liquid sliding down her forehead. She realized his belt had grazed her badly. Her thoughts evaded her as his hands got tighter. All her efforts to pull his hands proved futile, he was far stronger than her. Her breath caught as she kicked her legs furiously.
Banda cin mutunci, Kuma ban da yin butulci, mu Kula da hakin mu Mata.
Fati Nigers track blasted loudly from Aneesah’s phone, immediately Faisal let her go and kicked the door furiously on his way out. Coupled with the blood on her head, Aneesah cried bitter tears.
Petra was dismayed when Aneesah didn’t pick her call for the umpteenth time. Perhaps she was still sad from their earlier conversation. Petra only wanted to apologize for pushing her friend. She knew Aneesah so well to understand that she hated to be queried persistently. However, Petra was also worried about her friend. Why the pills? Had she changed her mind about getting pregnant? Did Faisal even know she was taking these pills? This and many more random thoughts ran through her mind.
“What is it again?”.
She turned to look at Dave standing beside the kitchen door, handsome and full of strength. She smiled at him to dismiss his question.
“Petra, I don’t like it when you think too much. Do you want our baby to be mad?” He came closer and hugged her from behind.
Petra laughed and proceeded with chopping the carrots. She was in the kitchen cooking before she got lost in the thought of her friend.
“Our baby won’t be mad. I’m just worried about Aneesah. We kind of had a bit of a falling out earlier. It wasn’t an argument sort of, but she lost her cool and walked out of me”.
Dave pulled his hands away from her and sighed. ” Petra, for the last time, I’m asking you to leave your friend alone. Baby, she might not want you to know what’s going on, or there might be nothing and you’re just worrying yourself and my baby for nothing”
Petra thought about the purple patch on Aneesah’s face and was further convinced that something was wrong. She didn’t tell her husband that, instead she continued to cut the carrots which were now at the mercy of her emotions.
“Petra, I’m not asking you not to care about your friend. I’m just saying you might be taking this too far. You’re just making issues where there is none, you know, making a mountain out of a molehill.”
“It’s okay. I understand your point. I’ll let her be”. Petra quietly muttered.
“That’s better”. Dave said.
But Petra knew it wasn’t better. She and Aneesah had come a long way. There must be something she could do. Her thoughts were interrupted by the feel of Dave’s lips on her nape.
The cold hard tiles were what motivated Aneesah to get up, otherwise, she would have been there for a long time. She felt dizzy and grabbed the table to steady herself up. To say she was tired of life was an understatement. But for her thousands of followers on her blog, Aneesah would have committed suicide tonight. She shook her head as memories of the first days of their marriage resurfaced in her mind. Fresh tears began to trickle down her cheeks. She was sure Faisal would have killed her if her phone hadn’t rung and this would have turned into a case of domestic murder. Aneesah walked to her bathroom and took a good look at the mirror. She saw a hypocrite staring back at her. She saw a woman who put everyone else before herself. A woman who would fight for others. A woman who would take the dirt for other women, but lacked the strength to help her own self. Was this nobility or sheer foolishness?
Aneesah rolled out a huge piece of toilet paper and dabbed it on her forehead, causing her to wince. She was sure no amount of foundation or concealer could cover this up.
Even if they could what about the pain in her heart. Who could nurture it?
Hot bitter emotions welled up in her heart as she thought about her friend. Petra, the only true friend she had. This would be the right time to reach out and seek help from her. Petra was full of wisdom, she would know what to do. And before she could change her mind, Aneesah grabbed her phone and placed a call across to her friend.
Petra and Dave were busy on their matrimonial bed giving no heed to the phone that kept ringing.
What do you think Aneesah will do? Do you think she will stay and keep getting abused? Or do you think suicide is the answer? Tell us in the comments section.