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BIRTHMARK: #22

BIRTHMARK IMAGEFatihat turned her car and drove towards Tunde’s house in magodo, seething with anger. His house came into view immediately she entered the street. She was surprised to see the gate opened which was rather unusual. She slowed down as her anger drained away to be replaced by anxiety and drove past the house into the next street.

The house was flooded with light which means he was around but why should his gate be left opened?, She asked herself as she turned off the engine and sat in the darkness for a moment, thoughtful.

She saw a car parked about three houses from his house. There was nothing unusual about it except her instinct was telling her something was not right. She got out of the car, locked up and strolled towards his house. She looked around very briefly, watching the immobile car in particular before slipping into the compound. She went straight to the gateman’s house.

“Mallam Musa, are you there?”She asked in a whisper. There was no response but she heard movement and gently eased the door inward. On the floor was Musa with his hands and legs tied with a rope and his mouth was gagged with a rag. He made sounds in his throat to attract Fatihat’s attention. She turned on the torchlight on her phone and pointed it towards the direction of the sound.

“What happened to you?”She went to his tiny kitchen to get a knife and cut the ropes. The man sputtered loudly and she covered his mouth quickly as she looked towards the door apprehensively.

“A man and a woman came in immediately oga drove in and asked for him. I opened the gate for them only for the man to knock me over and I woke up to find myself like this.”The man narrated in Hausa, touching the back of his head gingerly. She felt dread raced up her spine.

“So where are they now?”She nearly shakes him in her haste to get answers.

“Well….the woman was already moving towards the house when I was knocked down, so I guess they may be with oga right now and…..”His voice trailed off as he realized the implication of his words and his eyes widened in horror.

“Yes, it is possible. If anything happens to him, it will mark the end of your job here.”Her voice sharpened as panic rose up her throat. She beat it down determinedly.

“What should I do?”He vaulted to his feet and swayed heavily when dizziness threatened to engulf him.

“Don’t faint away on me, Musa. I need you to be vigilant for me.”She caught him and shakes him lightly.

“I’m fine now, madam. I should call the police?”He asked in a whisper.

“Don’t call police yet but be vigilant. If you see any suspicion, just whistle softly between your fingers like this.” She demonstrated to him. He grinned with understanding. ‘If you don’t see me after whistling, call this number.’ She collected his phone and typed the number on it.

“I need to check now if Oga dey alright, okay?” and to know if I’m not too late, she thought to herself as she slipped out on legs that were threatening to fold beneath her and she locked them in place as she disappeared into the darkness.

*****

“Is the thought of marrying me so horribly?’ Her eyes seemed to gleam with unshed tears, even as she picked the knife and rubbed the Knife blade on her jean Trouser. His eyes alternate between her eyes and the weapon she was holding like babies.

Something is very wrong. He thought with a slight frown. If memory served him right, Tolani was level-headed and she rarely got angry or had mood swings which were the reason she was the one who lasted among his numerous girlfriends back in his undergraduate days.

‘It is not that, Tola. I have two kids and getting married to their mother is the best way I can give them a good home.’ His voice was persuasive but it was obviously the wrong thing to say because her eyes flashed and she got abruptly to her feet.

‘How dare you throw them in my face? You are nothing but an irresponsible male harlot. Do you remember the day I find a g-string in your bathroom?’ Her voice was low again. He bowed his head in shame. ‘Or is it the day I saw the bra strap tangled among your boxers? Or the day I met that big-breasted woman who was looking at me like she would kill me but your friend said she belonged to him. I loved you with my life. I hoped and prayed you will change but you eventually tossed me away just  the way you did the others.’ Her voice was tired as she stared at him.

He raised his hand in a plea as he went on his knees. ‘I knew I messed up big time. Forgive me, Tola. I wish I can undo the past but I can’t. Killing me will not solve the problem.’

‘No, it won’t solve my problem but we are going to be together either here on earth or in heaven or hell. I will kill myself as well.’ She smiled at him.

*****

Her eyes burned with tears and her heart grew heavy with pain. She rubbed at her chest as she huddled behind the seat. The woman was hurt beyond redemption and insanity is already knocking on her door.

Her blood ran cold when she heard the ominous click of the gun. She got up and stepped out of her hiding place. Tunde’s heart simply stopped as he stared at her. He got to his feet abruptly.

‘Are you stupid? What are you doing here?’ He screamed at her, his voice was shaking with fear.

Tolani turned to stare at her. Their gaze met and held for several humming seconds. His muscle trembled and his legs threatened to fold under him. His hands closed into fists and he could have cheerfully wrapped them around her slender neck.

‘You are beautiful. No wonder he is crazy about you.’ Her words surprised her.

‘He wasn’t always crazy about me. I was just another pussy for him back then, long before he met you and the others.’ Her smile was tinged with irony. Tunde felt as if the ground should open and swallowed him.

‘I know your history with him. I made it my business to know about all the women in his life after he left me. I pitied the young girl he raped and applauded the young woman who gave birth to his children. I should have done the same.’ Her voice was filled with regret but her fingers didn’t waver on the gun.

‘I would have aborted them if I knew how. I gave birth because it was the only option I know. Don’t envy others when you don’t know their story. Regret does nothing but eats the soul.’ Her gaze didn’t waver from her steady own. Tolani swallowed hard.

‘You disappoint me, Delilah. I thought you are going to deal with him. Instead, you went ahead and fall in love with him.’ She clucked her tongue as if she was talking to a recalcitrant child. Fatihat smiled.

‘Aren’t we all in love with him? It is not easy to resist a bad boy with gentleman manner. Why did you want us dead? Neither I nor my daughter offended you. You should have dealt with the culprit directly.’ Her cold gaze raked over him, briefly. His blood ran cold. Another battle is brewing already if he survived this one.

‘I have no issue with you. It is the best way to hurt him plus he denied me the ability to become a mother. I begged you to let me keep the last pregnancy but you said No and promised to be back. If the mountain didn’t go to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain. I was married but my marriage ended when I couldn’t bear a child.’ She looked at him as she smiled. He swallowed hard.

‘Are you going to kill him in my presence, Miss Tolani?’

‘It is your choice. You weren’t invited in the first place. It is either you bear witness at our wedding or we all go together. Move over, Delilah.’ She stepped back as she waved the gun at her.

‘Killing someone turned you into a murderer. Why will you like to kill yourself when there is more to life than marriage and kids? Why will you like to be tied to a man who doesn’t give a fuck about you? I think you should ask yourself those questions before you let bitterness ruin your life.’ Her voice was quiet. Tolani’s gaze locked on hers. ‘Your case may not be entirely hopeless. I can help if you will allow me.’

‘I want my own children. Do you want to import another womb for me?’ Her voice was bitter.

‘There are so many ways to have a baby without carrying them in your womb, Tolani. Live again. We will explore all options and leave no stone unturned until you have your own children. You are a beautiful woman. Don’t let the thirst for revenge and hatred rubbed you the joy of living. Hell, I have been there. It consumed me until I could think of nothing except the vengeance I wanted to extract on this idiot.’ She gestured absently at Tunde who hadn’t moved an inch. ‘Motherhood doesn’t define who you are neither does marriage. Live for yourself first and any man who is worth you will stay, irrespective of the situation on the ground Please, there is more to life than this. Let me help, let me in and I will try to be the best that ever happened to you.’ She pleaded desperately.

Their gazes locked again and she could almost see the wheels turning in her head as she made the walk back from the brink of insanity.

She lowered the gun slowly.

‘How am I so sure you aren’t setting me up?’ Her voice was unsure.

‘If I do, come back and kill me. We both know I have more to lose if I deceive you. I will rather be a friend than an enemy.  Can we leave for my home? Please?’ Fatihat held out her hands, palm up.

Tolani stared at it for a moment before she grasped her hands and hugged her fiercely.

A soft whistle in the air startled them all.

‘That should be Musa. I will see him before he calls the police on us.’ Fatihat squeezed her hand briefly before she went out.

Tolani turned to Tunde and he held his breath as he stared at her.

*****

‘You know I can still kill you before she comes back.’ Her voice was solemn.

‘I know.’

She opened her purse and put her weapon in it. ‘You are one lucky bastard. You don’t even deserve her.’ She spat and then, smiled. ‘On second thought, I think you do. You molded her into what she is today by taking her innocence. If you mess up, I don’t want to think about what she will do to you.’ She chuckled softly. He grimaced.

There was a soft knock on the door and Musa came in on the invitation.

‘Madam is waiting for you at the gate.’ Musa refused to meet her gaze.

‘Thank you, Musa.’ She turned to Tunde again. ‘It will be fun watching you try to get into her good book again. I intend to stay close.’ She was laughing as she left the sitting room.

His legs folded beneath him with relieve and he sank to the floor. He knew Fatihat has just saved his life and he doesn’t even deserve it. He also knew he is in a deep shit of trouble. There is only one person who can save his ass right now.

*****

‘Demola, get out. I need to speak to Fatihat in private.’ Yetunde pushed her husband towards the bedroom door as they both heard Fatiddyhat, playing with the kids downstairs.

‘Woman, this is my bedroom for God’s sake. Can’t you find another spot for your aproko gist?’ He grumbled as he dug in his heels. Her lips twitched with amusement at the petulant look on his face.

‘No problem. We will go out and find a nice place to hang out but the kids will stay home. There is everything you need to take care of them in the house.’ She moved towards the wardrobe and missed the look of horror on his face.

‘I’m going. I’m going. One can’t even rest with his wife again in his bedroom. Haba!’ He grumbled as he walked out and slammed the door.

She collapsed on the bed in a peal of laughter and was still laughing when Fatihat came in, holding her back.

‘Why are you laughing? What did you do to Uncle Demola?’ She grinned at her.

‘He doesn’t want to leave the bedroom and doesn’t to stay with the kids either.’

‘Those kids are mini terrorists. They nearly break my back. Lekan wants another ride on my back. Gift wants Funmi’s teddy bear and was sulking because she refused to give her. I don’t blame him jawe.’ She flipped onto the love seat in the room and picked a piece of chocolate from the plates on the glass table.

‘Life is about choices. Nothing comes free. So how is your new friend, Tolani?’ Yetunde sat up in bed.

‘She is getting back on track. She is a teacher but she resigned and spent her life trying to get even with Tunde. Her finance is zero and her love life is non-existence.’ She concentrated on breaking the chocolate and popping it into her mouth.

‘It reminded me of someone I know.’ Yetunde smiled indulgingly at her.

‘The difference is that I have enough money to pursue my vengeance. She doesn’t. She is up to her neck in debts and the bad guys would have come after her if she didn’t kill herself. So I guess she wanted to use a stone to kill two birds.’

‘I am sure you will sort her out. You are just a soft heart beneath the hard shell. Come here, girl.’ Yetunde opened her arms. She went into them and almost crushed her as her arms tightened around the older woman.

‘When I heard the ominous click of the gun, my heart literarily stopped. I died ten times and nearly pissed in my pants. Tunde is a complete bastard!’ Her voice was in a whisper. Yetunde heard the anger in them and then, the love and the feeling as well.

‘You love him.’ It was a statement. She moved away in anger and got to her feet.

‘I need a cigarette.’ Yetunde raised her eyebrow at her and she felt the disapproval like a physical slap. ‘I am sorry. I withdraw that.’ She raised her hand to her forehead.

‘I have never been so confused in my life. Tunde is a natural flirt. Is that the man I am going to spend the rest of my life with? How long will I continue fighting women from his past?’ Tears filled her eyes.

‘Why don’t we cross that bridge when we get there, Fatihat? Have you considered the fact that he might have changed for better? We all have a past. You do too, baby sister. If those men during your street-walking days start coming up, what will you do?’

‘That was business, Aunt Yetunde. They gave me money and I give them the best nights or moments of their lives. No hard feelings. Rub my back and I rub yours. I didn’t break anybody’s heart.’ She glanced at her and then, they both laughed, hard.

‘Dirty Ol’ days.’ She grimaced with distaste.

‘You have come a long way, Fatihat. I admire your strength. You have touched lives and still doing so, despite your rough childhood. You took in your siblings, even though their mother didn’t treat you well. You deserve some happiness, dear. Forgive him and bury the past.’ Yetunde took her hand and pulled her down beside her.

‘Give me a few days to think over it and know if it is a risk worth taking.’ She shrugged.

‘That is fair enough. Let’s go and see the triplets. They are growing like a weed.’ Yetunde got to her feet. She laughed.

‘They are just so cute. I have ordered for the baby formula online. They should be delivered latest by tomorrow. Don’t let them suck you dry please.’ She followed her out of the room and into the corridor that leads to the colorful nursery.

*****

“Hello, Madam.”Somebody was calling frantically. Yetunde and Fatihat had gone to visit Tolani in the hospital where she was undergoing a series of fertility tests. They were already at the car park when they heard the voice. They both turned around and frowned when they saw an old woman hurrying towards them. They exchanged glances.

“How may we help you ma?” It was Fatihat who asked a bit snappishly. She earned a reproving glance from Yetunde.

“I’m sorry for disturbing you but you look like someone I used to know. Her name is Fatihat Ali. Are you the one?”The woman’s voice ended in a whisper as she turned to her.

“Everybody always knows you from somewhere. It is so interesting to be popular.” Yetunde teased lightly. It made her angry for a reason she couldn’t explain.

“Who are you?”She asked rudely as she stared intently at the woman.

“I’m Amina Ali, Usman Ali’s second wife.” Her voice was pleading, desperate. Fatiha’s gaze raked over her in cold appraisal, noting her frail sickly figure and dismissed her.

“I see. Mama T, please get in the car and let’s go.” She opened the car door and got behind the wheel.

“But you do know the woman, don’t you?”Yetunde got in beside her and pulled the car door closed as she turned to her.

“Fati, I’m so sorry. I know I wasn’t very nice to you back then but I am a sick woman now and I need your help desperately.” Amina hurried to her side and tried to cling to the car door.

“Listen to what she has to say please. It doesn’t cost you anything.”Yetunde pleaded on the older woman’s behalf, feeling sympathy for the wrinkled and thin face.

“If you don’t leave my car door, I won’t hesitate to run you over.” She warned coldly as she turned the ignition key. The Car engine purred to life.

“I’m begging you with the body of your late father. Please have mercy on me and listen to what I have to say.”Amina begged as tears filled her eyes and ran down the weathered skin.

“He can rot in hell for all I care and you can join him there. Please step back or I will end the rest of your miserable life right away.” Her voice was calm.

Amina stepped back as she put the car into reverse. She watched with silent tear as Fatiha drove out of the hospital premises at breakneck speed. She shakes her head in self-pity as she returned to the work that was fast taking its toll on her already weak immune system.

*****

“That was Delilah Smith in action. I thought she is dead and buried.”Yetunde’s voice was filled with sarcasm.

“You can say anything you want, Mama T, I don’t give a damn.” Her shoulders lifted in a shrug as she stared ahead.

“Her kids are with you for God’s sake. If you are still this much angry about the past, it means you care and you should just confront the source of your anger.” She tried to reason with her and gave up when she didn’t receive any response from Fatiha except another shrug.

P.S

TWISTS OF FATE is available on OKADABOOKS on this link: https://okadabooks.com/search?term=TWISTS+OF+FATE

Alternatively , you can chat me up for the pdf copy or send a mail to obolaji2002@yahoo.com for the details.

A copy is #500.

Thank you.

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Posted by on July 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

BIRTHMARK: #21

BIRTHMARK IMAGE“Those are one lousy set of people you moved with. How did they know about me?”Tunde asked curiously as he got behind the wheels and she slipped in beside him. “They are lousy by nature, which is why they were able to hold individual positions in the student union government. My life has always been a public book anyway, so I’m not surprised they know about you.”
‘How did you get to school today?”He asked curiously as he guided the car out of the school premises among jubilating students.
“I came on my power bike and gave it to one of my classmate who has always loved the bike.” Her voice vibrated with a quiet laugh as she turned to him. “Why did you want to see me?”
“I was told you were attacked again on your way from the kid’s school and you didn’t bother to tell me.” His voice was accusing.
“If I had told you, what did you intend to do about it?’
“But you could have told me or it is not important enough to mention in our discussion?”He drove out of the school premises and then, pulled up beside the road before facing her properly.
“Come off it. The attack has come and gone. We are still alive. What is the big deal about it?” Her voice heated up with anger. He gave her a moody look.
“I think I have to come up with another plan.”He gave her a speculative glance which raised her antennae instantly.
‘Don’t even go there, Tunde. You can hire bodyguards for your kids and whatever else you want but don’t try that with me, I’m not your woman and I can take good care of myself.”She was furious.
“You are not my woman yet. You will soon be and we both know it.”He met her gaze squarely and she returned it.
“You are so full of yourself, Tunde Abeeb. What gives you the idea that I even fancy you?” She was angry at the fact that he was right and he knew it.
“Look at me in the eye. Tell me I mean nothing to you and I will gladly let you go.’ He told her softly, quietly, holding her gaze. She looked away after a moment.
“That will be stupid of me.’ She murmured after a moment and looked out through her side of the window.
“You mean everything to me, Fatihat Ali. You are the only thing in my life I can never give up except the kids we made together.” His voice was full of sincerity. She realized with horror that he must have heard the statement she made to Tosin. “I heard what you said to Tosin quite alright and it made up my mind finally. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, baby.”He tipped her face towards him and covered her lips in a slow, thorough kiss that rocked her to the soul of her feet. She moaned helplessly as her heart picked up speed and responded to his kiss for a while until common sense intruded.
“I’m not ready to give up my freedom. I’m not even sure how I feel about you.” Her voice was pleading.
“I will give you as much time as you want but I don’t give up easily and I will keep asking you to marry me until you accept.”He promised her as he turned on the ignition key and moved out unto the road.
“Give me a break, will you?” She snapped angrily at him. He grinned as he flipped a finger down her small nose.
*****
Yetunde’s pregnancy was in the ninth month. She was due for birth at any moment. It was Sunday. She was feeling bored and lonely.
Funmi and Lekan have gone to spend the weekend at Fatihat’s house which was Fatihat’s idea to relieve her of their troubles. Ademola was out of town on a business trip and was supposed to be back yesterday but he called the previous night to tell her he won’t be able to get back as initially planned.
She was still seething from the call and decided to occupy herself by cleaning up the whole house. As she grew heavier and less agile with time, Fatihat has been helping her to run her business. She has become a close friend and sister, rather than someone she has met and known in a rather bitter and trickish circumstance.
She was busy washing the bathroom tiles when she felt water trickling down her thigh. A scream rose up her throat. She was scared as she moved slowly out of the bathroom when she heard a sound of a car driving into her compound.
Any company would be welcome right now, she thought gratefully as she hurried to the front door and threw it open in time to see fatihat getting out of the car.
*****
“You are so welcome, fatihat.” She went to hug her.
‘Hey, what is the hug all about? I was here yesterday.”She pushed her away as gently as possible and looked down at her. “Have you taken a recent shower?’ Fatihat asked curiously, looking at the trace of water at the back of her legs.
‘I don’t know what happens. I just felt the water trickling down my legs. I was so scared.”Yetunde said in a whisper and watched Fatihat’s face dissolved into smiles.
“Your water just broke, big sister. Let’s get going to the hospital before you go into labor. Go and sit in the car. I will get your hospital bag.”Fatihat ordered as she marched words with action and ran into the house to get her baby things.
Yetunde was sitting in the front seat by the time she came back, so she dropped the bag in the car boot and got behind the wheels. ‘I’m so glad you came today. What are those at the back of the car?”Yetunde asked curiously.
“They are baby things. I bought them during my last trip to England a few weeks ago and they are in threes.” She grinned as she expertly maneuvered the car out of their estate and unto the main road.
“You better stop that useless prophecy of yours. You can go and throw your three, three into the dustbin.”Yetunde glared angrily at her and she burst into laughter.
‘You look pensive. Is there any problem?”Yetunde asked after a moment and she sighed out loud.
“Am I so obvious?” She gave a weak laugh and stared at the road in front of her thoughtfully.
“What are you thinking about?”Yetunde probed gently.
‘Tunde has been asking me to marry him ever since the day I wrote my last paper. He wouldn’t let me be.” She burst out worriedly.
“What is stopping you from accepting his proposal? You don’t love him enough?”Yetunde raised an eyebrow at her.
“Honestly, it is not that. Damn it, I’m just twenty-six and I still valued my freedom.” She muttered almost to herself.
“Marriage doesn’t mean imprisonment. If you think it is with him, something is wrong somewhere. Is he still staying in his family house?’She asked curiously.
“He just bought himself one big fancy house in Magodo and spent millions furnishing it to perfection. That guy is crazy!” She laughed out loud as she remembered her surprise and admiration when she saw the house.
‘That guy will get the world for you if you want it. Please don’t throw this opportunity away. I even heard his company is one of the fastest growing companies in the country now. How true is that?”Yetunde looked at her.
“Tunde is the best man to run that company. I have never doubt that for a moment. You won’t believe how much I gained on the shares I sold to him. He is a damn genius!”She shakes her head with reluctant admiration.
“You admire him so much. You trust in his judgment and yet, you don’t want to marry him. This guy is rolling in money and he is inviting you to spend it with him. What else do you want? You want the moon?”Yetunde asked with heavy sarcasm. She winced mentally. “There are so many sharks out there; baby and they are ready to snatch him away if you don’t make up your mind on time.” She added as she felt a dull pain began in her lower stomach.
“We are in the hospital already. Just hold on a moment longer.” She drove into the hospital premises.
“I will if I have to.” Yetunde said through gritted teeth and stifled a scream as a blinding pain racked her body.
“Wait right there. I will be right back.’ She pulled up in hurry and jumped out to call the nurses.
Moments later, Yetunde was wheeled directly into the labor room. Fatihat sat in the waiting room, murmuring prayers under her breath. Her phone rang suddenly and she jumped out of her skin.
‘Hi, Fatihat. It is Demola speaking. Can you tell me where Yetunde is? I just got home now and I called her number but I realized the phone is ringing from the bedroom.”He sounded worried and scared.
“She is in the labor room. You can join me in the hospital….Uncle Demola?”The line has gone off. She stared at it for a moment, and then gave a rueful shrug before putting her phone in her back pocket and resumed her pacing.
Barely ten minutes later, Ademola joined her in the waiting room and hugged her gratefully. “Thank you, fatihat. I know I shouldn’t have traveled but she persuaded me to go. How is she? Have you seen her since she was taken into the labor room?”He asked anxiously.
“She is doing great, Uncle Ademola. Just pray for her and it will soon be over.”
He watched nurses and some patients entering and exiting the waiting room unseeingly. “Tell me about your birth labor when the twins came knocking.”He turned to her abruptly. She smiled with memory.
“I was scared and terribly lonely but at the same time, I was very angry at God for putting me in that condition. I was still angry at HIM for a very long time.” Her voice turned quiet.
“Which hospital did you use and who stayed with you? I guess you were rather too young then.”His voice was laced with genuine curiosity now. She laughed out loud.
“I was just sixteen or seventeen and I have nobody to call my own. I lived in an uncompleted house. It was Aunty Yetunde’s house, the one in Denro area on your way to acute. I have never been to the hospital before. Where would I get the money when I could barely feed myself and the unborn baby?”She smiled as she looked at the posters on the wall one after the other.
“So where was the bastard who impregnated you when you were giving birth to those babies alone?”He asked coldly, feeling his anger rising at the injustice of it all. She shrugged.
“I guess he was in school. He lit out immediately after the deed was done. His mother thought I have been sleeping around and threw me out of the house. Everything is in the past now and I guess everybody has paid one way or the other.” She grinned at him. “What an irony life is! Yet, you are going to end up marrying the bastard anyway.”His voice vibrated with undisguised anger. She paused her lips thoughtfully.
“I will leave that to fate once again. After all, it has played havoc with my life already.” She shrugged and changed the subject.
It seemed like ages but in actual fact was seven and a half hours later, the doctor came out of the labor room and asked for Fatihat but they both moved forward anyway.
*****
“Doctor, this is Mr. Badmus. He is the expecting dad.” She introduced them as she pushed him forward.
“How is she, Doctor?”Ademola‘s hand shoot out and gave the doctor a firm handshake, even though he was sweating from every pore in his body.
“She is very brave for a first timer. Congratulations Mr. Badmus! Your wife just gives birth to a set of triplets!”The doctor returned the firm hand-shake as he beamed at the new father.
“What!!!”Ademola screamed as he dropped the doctor’s hand abruptly. She gave a shout of laughter as she jumped up and down in joy.
“I said it!” She laughed again. Everyone within earshot laughed with her, and then congratulated her. Ademola moved to a seat and sat down in absolute shock which sent Fatihat and the doctor into laughter again.
“How is she? Can we see her now?” She asked anxiously.
‘Yes, you can. She is back in the private ward.’ The doctor nodded in the affirmative, then walked out of the waiting room to attend to other patients.
“Move your butt, Uncle Demola. Let’s go and see mama triplet.” She pulled him up by his arm and dragged him into Yetunde’s private ward.
“I still can’t believe it until I see them myself. ’He shakes his head in disbelieve. Yetunde was sitting in bed while the nurse arranged her pillows and bedspread to make her comfortable. “You witch, so you said it.” Her smile was tired as she turned towards the door. Fatihat went to hug her gently.
“How are you?” She kissed her on both cheeks and stepped back to watch her face.
“I’m fine. I’m just so tired and happy. He is back.”Yetunde’s gaze followed Ademola as he went straight to the baby cot set opposite his wife. He let out a loud gasp when he saw three tiny pink babies sleeping peacefully there.
“He doesn’t believe it when the Doctor told him you gave birth to triplets. He is still reeling from the shock.” She told his wife through peals of laughter. Yetunde and the nurse started laughing too, even as she held her stomach in pain.
“Honestly, it is not very funny. Do you know how much trouble we have with those set of battalions in the house, not to talk of three little rascals you can’t bring yourself to spank even when they deserve it?”He shakes his head in self-pity as he turned towards his wife and tried not to join in the laughter.
“Common, Demola, they are not even a day old and you are already complaining.” Yetunde wiped tears from her eyes as she sat back. Fatihat sat on the only chair in the room, holding her stomach.
“Prophetess Fatihat, will you excuse us, please? I want to speak privately to my wife.”He said sternly, even as his lips twitched in amusement and he slipped in beside his wife, cuddling her close.
“I will gladly do so. You can’t kill me before my time.” She was on her way out but noticed the couple has lost interest in her. They were engrossed with each other.
*****
Tunde just got into town after a short business trip to Port Harcourt with his new personal assistance, Joan Ogbu, a very lively and hard-working Ibo girl. He had just dropped her off at her apartment where she lived with two other ladies before he headed home.
He stared at his big, dark empty house before getting out of the car with a sigh. He retrieved his suitcase and outer jacket before locking up properly for the night. He opened the door and walked into the dark hallway.
He reached for the switch and light flooded everywhere. He went straight to his bedroom, changed into shorts and t-shirt and headed out again for the kitchen when he saw movement in the sitting room. His heart skipped a bit when he saw a figure rose to her feet in his sitting room. It was Tolani Allison, his long-time girlfriend during his undergraduate days at the University of Port-Harcourt.
“Hi. It has been a while, dear.”She smiled at him from where she stood behind one of the biggest sofas in his sitting room.
“What are you doing here? How did you get in?”His voice was unfriendly, even as memories of their last time together flooded into his mind.
“What a way to greet your old buddy! I came in through the door of course.” She came around and sat cross-legged with her purse on her lap.
“You have not answered my first question.”He reminded and watched her closely all the while.
*****
‘Tunde, I am really scared. I don’t think I should go through this abortion. You know this is the third time I am doing this for you. Can’t we keep this baby please?’ Tolani pleaded as tears filled her eyes.
‘I understand your fear, Love. How do we take care of the kid? You are still a student while I just wrote my final papers. Don’t you think the kid will curse us both? Moreover, you should remember how disciplined your parents are. After killing you, they will come after me. We both know that. That is apart from the fact that my parents will disown me if they find out. I don’t have the means to feed you and the baby. Where does that leave us?’ He took her hands and kissed the knuckles gently. It brought a watery smile to her face.
He has always known the button to press when it comes to her. He was her weakness and addiction ever since they met at a Jambite party during her first year in school. He has pursued her with a single-mindedness that never failed to amaze her until she toppled into love with him and ultimately into his bed. He was her first boyfriend and was the one who took her virginity.
She suspected he has other babes by the side from her friend’s hearsays and what she heard on the campus but she has never caught him red-handed. She didn’t mind so much as long as she is the main chick and everyone knows it. She sighed heavily as she turned unto her back.
‘I will do it then but promise me this will be the last time. If I get pregnant again for you, we are getting married.’ She glared at him.
‘Of course, we are getting married. I love you, babe. Thank you for doing this for me.’ He rolled over her as he pulled at her lower lips and bit lightly. She moaned quietly.
‘I am going to miss you dreadfully.’ His voice was husky as he slipped his hand into the tank top and caressed her hard nipples lightly while his fingers gently kneaded her generous flesh.
She bucked urgently. He always knew the right button to press. Even when she was furious with him, she still came back for more.
He slipped his hand under her short skirt, pulled her pants aside and dipped into her moist depth. She was already dripping for him. He smiled smugly to himself as he hiked up her skirt and spread her legs.
‘No need to use protection tonight. We have already scored.’ He teased lightly as he settled between her thighs and drove into her in one thrust. He hit her g-spot and she screamed with ecstasy. She clung to him as he thrust over and over until they both reached a climax.
‘I will miss you too, Tunde. I am missing you already. Please don’t disappoint me. I love you. I will kill myself if you don’t keep your promise.’ She clung to him with a desperation which unnerved him.
‘I promise, baby. I have never failed you before. I will not this time around.’ He hugged her tightly as they wrapped around each other.
That was the last time they saw each other until now.
*****
Meanwhile, Fatihat was in Josephine’s house, bitching about the trip she just made to Port-Harcourt.
“Can you imagine that idiot was in the same hotel I lodged in with another woman? She is one skinny Ibo girl like that” She paced the floor in front of her sister who was busy eating an apple in slices.
Josephine was pregnant. Her husband was spoiling her silly with anything eatable and edible.
“Why didn’t you confront him when you saw him?”
“I couldn’t. I was on my way to a business meeting when I saw them in the same cab. By the time I came back from my meeting, they have already checked out. God! I was so mad!”
“You are still mad and I can’t see why. The guy asked you to marry him so many times but you refused. So why shouldn’t he go for someone else who is willing, young and beautiful?”Josephine raised an eyebrow to her. She hissed viciously.
“Is that what you are supposed to say? A hell of a sister you are.” She spat as she picked up her purse and matched out of her house, closely followed by Josephine’s ringing laughter.
*****
“You have really done well for yourself. This is such a beautiful house.’ She looked around with open admiration.
‘I am sure you are not here to admire my house, Tola. There is a reason for your action. If you can go to the extent of laying an ambush for me in my house, you definitely have a purpose. Can you please save us the mystery?’ Her gaze swung to meet his. He watched as the smile drained from her eyes and it becomes blank with a coldness he felt in his bone. He tried not to let her see his fear but it was difficult.
‘I will spill it at my own fucking time. You are a bastard, Tunde. So you really want to make a home with your whore and bastards after you ruin my life, right?’ Her voice was soft and quiet but the venom in it was obvious. She opened her purse casually and brought out a knife and a gun. He took an involuntary step back.
‘Are you scared? I thought you are a macho man whose dick was a gift to every woman you come across.’ She laughed lightly but it was devoid of amusement. The saliva in his mouth ran dry and he swallowed hard.
‘Tolani, please don’t do anything rash. We were both young and foolish back then. I am sure we can come to a kind of arrangement between us. Just put those weapons away.’ His voice came out in a croak as he gestured to the weapons on his new settee.
‘Really? What kind of arrangement? Can you import a new womb for me so I will be able to give birth in future? Kindly add a husband as well because no man wants to marry a barren woman.’ She cocked her head to a side as she stared at him. He sighed heavily.
‘I am sorry, Tola. Kindly forgive me.’
‘Forgiveness belong to our creator. You didn’t keep your promise. You even have the nerve to come back into town with a new woman. You have got nerves, Tunde Abeebs. I always admire that about you.’ She laughed harshly.
‘What can I do to make it up to you?’ Desperation made his voice thick. Sweat beaded on his pores and trickled down the middle of his back.
‘That is a great question. I am spending the night in this house. We will find our way to the court tomorrow and get married.’
‘What!’ His voice reverberated throughout the house.

P.S

Have you gotten a copy of your TWISTS OF FATE yet?

It is available on https://okadabooks.com/search?term=TWISTS+OF+FATE

Alternatively, you can chat me up or order for the pdf copy by sending mail to obolaji2002@yahoo.com.

A copy is #500 only.

Enjoy the read!

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

BIRTHMARK: #20

BIRTHMARK IMAGE“I have met Yetunde Badmus formally again. I like her a lot.”Tunde said quietly as he looked down at her face.

“She is a good woman. She has been so supportive throughout this whole ordeal. I never expected this much from her, considering the circumstances surrounding our meeting but then I have met just a few nice people in my journey through life so far.”She said with a smile but he didn’t smile back.

“Things will start changing from now on. That is a promise.”He licked the top of her nose and made her giggle.

“Stop it! I have a lot of things to do this morning.”She pushed at him again.

“Of course, we have things to do.”He winked outrageously at her and traced the seam of her lips with his tongue. Her eyes fluttered closed and she relaxed against him as he sucked at her lower lips, nibbling gently.

She tugged at his casual shirt until it came out of the waistband of his jeans and slide her hands up his bare back caressingly. He groaned deep in his throat and took full possession of her mouth, making her moan softly against his mouth.

His buttons came undone one after the other and she pressed her fingers to his bare chest. He broke the kiss, angled his head and kissed her again, thoroughly and deeply until she felt her toes curling with desire. He moved both of them slowly, systematically until she felt the back of her knees touched the edge of the bed and lowered both of them to the bed.

*****

“Fatihat, I need to use your bathroom. The guest toilet is seriously messed up and I’m pressed right now.”Yetunde’s voice proceeded her into the room as she opened Fatihat’s bedroom door and waddled in. “Excuse me.” she took in the scene at a glance and beat a hasty retreat.

Fatihat broke the kiss and stared at the closed door for a moment.

“She is gone already.”His voice was husky as he turned onto his back, carrying her with him.

“I really need to get up and dressed.”She began but had barely finished the sentence when he kissed her again.

Once again, she was lost in the passion engulfing them both. He caressed her through the house robe before finally tugging at the sash to run his fingers over her bare shoulder, pulling the robe down her arms inch by inch.

“I want you so much it hurts!”He groaned against her lips and followed the path he had exposed with his lips. She moaned out loud and threw back her head in invitation.

The door opened again in the distance. Josephine’s voice penetrated through the blood rushing through her head.

“Sleepyhead wake up! Your colleagues at work are here to for a visit.”Josephine was saying as she rubbed her palms down the front of the apron covering her clothe and gaped, slack-jawed at the scene before her eyes.

“Why can’t one have a moment of privacy in this room?”He mumbled to himself, buried his head in the curve of her neck for a moment to get his equilibrium back before releasing her with obvious reluctance and got to his feet. He scowled at Josephine.

“If eyes can kill, I would have been dead by now.”Josephine laughed at him. He walked out with a hiss, even as a reluctant smile tugged at his lips.

Fatihat rolled onto her stomach and buried her head in the pillow for a moment.

“No comment, baby sister. I will just wait for you to dress up and we can go downstairs together.”Josephine sat down at her dressing table and stretched out her aching legs.

“I don’t need your comment but I will give you mine. You are a royal pain in the ass.” she went back to her open wardrobe.

“Tell me, please. Would you guys have made love while we are downstairs, waiting for you?”Josephine asked curiously.

“How am I supposed to know when you barged in on us?”Fatihat hissed again as she threw out jean and t-shirt and slammed the wardrobe door closed.

“Don’t tell me you are so horny, dearie.” Josephine raised an eyebrow at her. They both burst into laughter.

“What is going on between you guys?’Her sister asked after a moment. She shrugged with a nonchalance she was not feeling.

“I don’t know. Please don’t ask me that question again because I don’t know the answer.” Her sister saw the confusion in her eyes.

“I know you will work it out eventually. No wonder you have not been moving with your crew lately. Is it because of him?”Josephine got to her feet as her sister pulled on her jeans and dropped the robe.

“I am a mother. None of my friends has a kid. They don’t understand that no matter how much I value their friendship, my kid will always come first.” She shrugged as she pulled on her t-shirt.

“That is right. You may also decide to settle down at any time. I am sure none of them is at that stage yet. Life is not always about catching fun with parties and booze always.”Josephine pulled off her apron and threw it around her neck.

“Don’t even go there, Jose. I didn’t tell you I am ready to settle down.’ She scowled at her sister. ‘That reminds me. Who was that man sitting beside mum in the sitting room? I have never seen him before.” Her voice was curious she opened the door and stepped out, closely followed by her sister.

“His name is Kayode Okunola. He works in Muritala Mohammed International Airport but he also has other businesses elsewhere. He is a widower with grown-up kids who stayed in the United Kingdom. Mum met him during one of her business trip out of the country and they have been friends since then.” Josephine rattled off with a mischievous smile.

Fatihat stopped abruptly and her sister almost ran into her back. She turned around to face her. “How come you know so much about him? What kind of friendship exists between man and woman?”

“It is the kind of friendship that is running through your head right now. Don’t tell me you are getting worked up at the thought of your mother dating a man?”

“Are you telling me she is actually dating that man? I can’t believe that!”She felt the panic rise up in her throat.

‘Yes. You should get used to it. Get out of my way please!” Josephine pushed past her and went down the staircase.

She stared after her for a moment and stormed down the staircase as well.

*****

Her siblings have moved to the swimming pool terrace while the younger kids have moved to Gift’s room to play with her games but her mother was still sitting where she was with the same man when she got to the sitting room.

She seethed with anger as she entertained her company staffs with the help of Yetunde and Josephine.

She couldn’t bear it any longer. She marched to where her mother was sitting and requested to see her privately in the kitchen. She didn’t spare Kayode a glance.

“That is my daughter, Kayode. I’m sorry she was so rude to you but she is a very nice girl.” Chenille’s voice was full of apology as she got to her feet.

“I’ve noted the resemblance. I also understand her reaction as well. She has every right to her feelings.”He gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. She gave him a grateful smile. “Thank you. I will be right back.” She squeezed his hand right back and went to meet her daughter where she was waiting impatiently in the kitchen.

*****

“Who is he, mom?”

“His name is Kayode. He is my friend. Do you have a problem with that?”She raised an eyebrow at her daughter as she sat down on a kitchen stool.

“When do you start having man friends? I think that should be my ball game.” Her voice was full of sarcasm.

“I have a life to live and I won’t spend it defending it to you, Elizabeth. I’m sorry this is coming as a shock to you but Kayode is the second man I’m dating in my entire life. I’m willing to take the risk of being hurt again if it is worth it.”

“In other words, you are telling me you are willing to marry him if it works out, right?”She felt what she recognized as fear rising up her throat like bile. Chenille nodded. “Don’t you ever learn from your past mistake, mum?”

“I learn from it, love but I don’t have to live in the past. The fear of being let down should not stop me from reaching out and loving again. It is a risk worth taking, my dear daughter.” She saw Yetunde hovering in the kitchen doorway, about to turn around and motioned for her to come in.

“Don’t you know men are nothing but snakes and I think by now you should know that?”Fatihat turned round in frustration and blushed when she saw Yetunde.

“It is okay, fatihat. I think your mum is right. Not all men are snakes and I’m a living testimony to that.” Yetunde told her with a gentle smile. She turned to stare out of the window, trying to come to terms with her feelings. “I know you once persuaded Olalekan to accept his step-father. Yes, I know about it.”She added when Fatihat gave her a surprised look. “He told me about the conversation he had with you but I didn’t know it was you he was talking about. I warned him not to talk to strangers again.”Yetunde’s smile was rueful.

“How are you so sure he is going to make you happy? How are you sure he won’t hurt you the way dad did?”She felt as if she was losing her mother again when she just found her.

“I am not sure but I am ready to find out. No law stated that I should marry him; I’m just giving him a chance in my life. I need a companion, Elizabeth, you can’t provide everything for me.”Chenille got to her feet and took her hands in hers.

“If he messes up, she can always opt out. It is not a do or die affair. It doesn’t mean her love for you will diminish.’ Yetunde’s smile was reassuring.

“You are my only baby, Lizzy. I love you so much. Nobody can ever take your place in my heart.’ Chenille enveloped her in a warm, sweet hug. Fatihat felt tears fill her eyes. “I hope so.”Her voice ended in a whisper but her mother heard her and drew back.

“That is a promise, baby and I intend to keep it.” She kissed her cheeks and watched her for a moment as she struggled to accept it all at once.

“No problem.” She turned towards Yetunde who was busy at the sink now. “Mama Triplet, don’t you think it is right time you get off your feet?”Yetunde laughed.

“She is right. You have done enough for a day.” Chenille seconded firmly and pushed her away from the sink gently.

“Don’t start on me, please. Ademola has been shooting me daggers with his eyes but I’m as strong as a horse, I swear.’ She grinned but she sank into the kitchen stool when fatihat pushed her into one.

“Mum, go and attend to your visitor. I will sort this out.”Fatihat pushed her mother out of the kitchen and went to the sink to wash up the dirty dishes.

*****

“Do you think I am being childish by feeling scared?” She asked after a moment of companionable silence.

“No. You are just being human. You are the bravest woman I have ever come across.”

“I just felt as if I’m losing everybody that means something to me.’ She laughed nervously. “I mean Josephine is getting married to wale next month and mum’s relationship may eventually work out.”Her voice ended in a whisper.

“Common, Fatihat, you are braver than this. You are not losing them simply because they are involved in a relationship that makes them happy. You should be happy for them and learn to accept the happy change that is happening in their lives. Yoruba people will say twenty kids cannot play for twenty years, it is simply impossible.”The older woman told her wisely. She listened while she sorted through her feelings. “Moreover, I think you are a very lucky woman.” she added. Fatihat turned to give her full attention.

“How?” Her look was confused.

“You are young, beautiful and rich which cannot be said for a lot of women. You have kids that adore you, siblings, a mother, and best of all a man who adores you unless I am misinterpreting something.”Yetunde met her gaze. She turned away.

‘Please don’t go there. I don’t know the answer to that myself.” She murmured to herself.

Yetunde smiled at her back. She is in love and she doesn’t even know it yet, the older woman thought amusingly but wisely kept her comment to herself.

*****

It was her last semester in school. The final exam was ongoing but she didn’t have any paper to write that day. She was in school for tutorial classes and was about to leave when her phone rang. It was Yetunde.

“Hi fatihat, Can you get Lekan and Funmi in school today while you pick up Gift and Aisha? I’m feeling a bit sick and I can’t get hold of my driver.”Yetunde said in a strained voice.

Fatihat had been a quite busy mapping out her sibling’s future. She had enrolled Bilqis in a private lesson to help her catch up with her secondary school education while she enrolled the twins in the college section of her children’s school, so they were in the same school with Yetunde’s step-daughter, Funmi.

She had never bothered to find out how they got mixed up with the ruthless gang because she had an idea of how already.

Aisha had started out at pre-nursery but the little girl’s smartness, despite her poor educational background had shocked them all. She was promoted to grade classes a few weeks later.

She decided to hasten up her progress by hiring private tutors for her and she wasn’t disappointed. She felt it was her greatest investment so far and one she was enjoying.

“I will pick them up and get them home for you but please try and see your doctor. I don’t want any complications.”Fatihat warned her.

“God forbids bad thing! Thank you fatihat, I really appreciate this.”Yetunde said with a laugh and hang up.

*****

Fatihat was driving towards Yetunde’s place in Lekki with Aisha sitting beside her in the front while the other three kids sat behind her in the back seat, gisting about their day in school when a bullet entered the car. It missed fatihat by a hair’s breath and went out through the other window.

“That was a gunshot.”Funmi announced in shock while the other kids simply stared on in horror. Fatihat was shocked for just a moment before her finger jabbed on a button and all the windows went up.

“The windows are bullet-proof but I want you to keep your heads down and away from the window.”She ordered as she scanned the rearview mirror to know where her assailant was. Her foot pressed down on the accelerator. The car shot forward and the kids clung to each other.

“Oh god! What is all this again?”Gift began to cry as she re-lived the horror of her days during the kidnap.

“Will you shut your mouth and let me concentrate?”Fatihat shouted at her with a brief glance backward.

“It is okay, Gift. I’m sure Aunty Lilah will handle this perfectly.”Lekan patted his sister’s back comfortingly.

“That is right. She is a super-hero. Let’s keep praying. We will get home safely by God’s Grace.”Funmi seconded. Gift nodded without conviction.

Fatihat listened with half an ear to the children’s conversation and would have been amused if not because it was a life and death situation. She watched her side-mirror and noted her assailant was n a dark blue heavily tinted Honda accord but she couldn’t see their faces.

More shots rang out and the bullet sting her windows but it held.

Suddenly, the traffic on the road cleared and the road becomes deserted. She knew they could puncture her tire which would be suicidal with all the kids in the car. She regretted not having her gun with her.

Regret she quickly dismissed when she remembered she couldn’t kill in front of the kids, not when Lekan was already regarding her as some sort of superwoman. Frustration ate deep into her system but it didn’t stop her from thinking of how to get them out of this alive.

She sat back in a show of relaxation and steadily increased her speed. Funmi glanced at the speedometer and away again and stifled a scream. She swerved right, then left and overtook the few cars on the road as they started aiming at her car tires. She was damned if she would lead them to Yetunde’s house, so she led them out of Lagos via Epe road, lost them along the way. She came back into Lagos as it was getting dark.

*****

“I was worried sick when you didn’t pick your calls. What is going on for God’s sake? Who is behind all these attacks?”Yetunde asked in horror when she heard their ordeal.

“I don’t know. Tunde’s detective has been working on it but so far so good, he has come up with nothing. This time around, I’m the target and they are in for a big fight because I’m not my daughter.” Her voice was grim.

“You are the mother of his daughter. He or She is aware of this.”Yetunde’s voice was quiet.

“They should go after his mother and his brothers. They should leave me in peace with my kid.” Her voice rang with open frustration as she got to her feet.

“It will soon be over but please be careful and watch your back always.” Yetunde reached for her hand and squeezed reassuringly.

“I will. I have to start going home. I have papers to write tomorrow.”She looked at her daughter who was huddled in an oversized sofa in a corner of the sitting room and dozing fitfully. Her heart went to her.

“Hey, baby. Should we go home now?”She scooped her up and sat down with her on her lap.

“Can’t we stay in mama triplet’s house? Those bad men can come after us again.”Gift burrowed into mother’s body and clung to her in obvious fear. Yetunde raised an eyebrow at the name the little girl had used to refer to her, knowing it was Fatihat’s handwork. Fatihat tried not to laugh out loud.

“Mama Triplet, can we spend the night here”Fatihat grinned at her.

“You are welcome with your battalions. Let’s have dinner and go to bed please.”Yetunde got to her feet and moved towards the kitchen.

*****

It was Saturday. It was her last day in school. She just finished her last paper and was standing among her favorite’s classmates, mostly guys, listening to their heated argument.

It had been a very busy week in which she had attended almost all the send-off parties given to her and all the executives almost every night throughout the past few weeks. She was presidents of many of the social clubs in the school. She also held a post of vice-president at the student union government level. She was an active member known by virtually everybody on the campus.

She was still reeling from the praises and gifts showered on her by both individual and students body and was reluctant to say her final goodbye when Tunde appeared beside her.

“Good afternoon sir.”The students chorused. They caught both of them by surprise. “Good afternoon, guys. Congrats! I guessed today is your last day in school?”Tunde grinned at them as he shakes them one after the other.

‘Yes, sir. Can I serve in your company, sir?”Kola, the lousiest among them said quite seriously. Tunde exchanged a glance with fatihat who gave a rueful shrug.

“You are all welcome if you are posted to my company. I’m open to any assistance I can render you guys. I’m also wishing you luck in your various Endeavors’

“Lilah, you have always been one lucky babe! I envy you seriously.”The only other female among them, who happened to be deputy president of their department, Tosin said with undisguised admiration as she eyed Tunde and nodded her approval. Fatihat rolled her eyes in exasperation.

“You have always been one lousy bitch. I’m still going to miss you.”Fatihat scowled at her but her smile broke through.

“I wouldn’t mind that hunk of your man if that is the only thing you will give me.”Tosin whispered into her ear and hugged her tight.

“He is the only thing I can’t give you and my baby, of course, you rat!” Fatihat whispered back as she pinched and hugged her at the same time.

“I can’t blame you. We will keep in touch, right? I have one last meeting at the department.”

“We will see in town.”Fatihat nodded to her.

“It is really nice meeting you in person, Mr. Abeeb. Hope to see you some other time.” She saluted him and went away on a jog.

The guys collected Tunde’s number for future purpose. Fatihat said her final goodbye with hugs and promises to keep in touch and finally walked away from her campus life without a backward glance.

 

P.S

My sincere apologies for the prolonged silence on this series. It was due to circumstances beyond my control.

I am excited to tell you i am about to launch my first e-book, TWISTS OF FATE. Yes, it is happening.

Launch date will be 20th June 2018. It is my son’s birthday. So the date is very significant to me.

Thank you as i expect your support and your purchase as well. The book will cost shikini money. Lol!

Enjoy the read!

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

BIRTHMARK: #19

ItBIRTHMARK IMAGE was Fatihat. She was just disembarking from the bike when he came out. He raised an eyebrow at her dressing.

“Are you going to the devil’s den?”He asked in a humorless voice. She grinned quickly. “I had a phone call this morning. I’m going to get my kid.”She gave him a summary of her phone call conversation with the early morning anonymous caller. The hair on his neck stood up in alarm.

“Are you crazy? What if it is a false alarm and the call was made to lure you out into danger? Don’t you ever think at all?” Bone-deep fear made his voice sharper than he had intended as he shook her by the shoulder violently.

“Stop it!”She ordered sharply as she shrugged off his hands. “I’m not stupid and I’m aware of the danger I am walking into but I’m willing to risk my life to save my daughter’s. “She ended in a gentler voice. He stared at her bleakly. “I’m willing to offer myself as bait and take the risk if it is worth it but I won’t sit at home and do nothing. It is not my nature and you know it. “

‘You don’t think you should let the police handled this?’

‘They have been handling it for more than 2 days. Are you expecting me to sit down until they called me to come and identify my daughter’s body? I lose her once. I won’t lose her again.’ She vowed quietly. He sighed out loudly.

“They are not out to get you, Fatihat. Whoever is behind this kidnap is aiming for me. Please don’t add to the burden on my conscience. Come to your sense and stop acting the macho woman.” He pleaded as he took her hands and she gave it a reassuring squeeze. “That is the more reason I have to rescue my kid. She is just a baby. She shouldn’t be hurt for the mistake you made in the past. I intend to come back but if anything happens just in case, that was why I came to your house before leaving for my destination. Please take good care of my kids; thank God they are yours too. Lekan has finally accepted me into his life, thanks to the crisis on the ground. “She gave a quick grin which tore at his heart. He turned away.

“I hope you have backup plans?”Tayo came out of the house, not bothering to hide the fact that he has been eavesdropping on their conversation. His siblings joined him on the front porch, leaving their mother in the sitting room where the tears never stopped flowing, especially since she heard the bravery in Fatihat’s words.

Motherhood could be a curse at times, she thought forlornly.

“I will be very stupid not to have one plus it is a territory I’m familiar with. I’ve been there before. How are you, Tayo?”

‘I’m good. I could see you are too.”He gave her a boyish grin and she returned it.

“Damn it. I don’t want to lose you, no matter how stubborn and frustrating a woman you are.”He caught her to him and kissed her desperately. Her body relaxed against him. She kissed him back with equal fervor. The kiss continued on and on for a moment until he finally released her and looked down at her face.

“I’ve not succeeded in changing your mind, right?”

“Just wish me luck if you believe in it, I’m running behind schedule. See you!”She glanced at her wrist-watch and bounced down the front porch, then straddled her bike and rode into the night without a backward glance.

*****

Tunde ran into the house and snatched up his car key.

“Are you going to tail her?’ Wale asked curiously.

“Yes. Tayo, please stay at home and get in contact with my Private detectives. Call him on my behalf and tell him what is happening.”He gave his younger brother the card. He didn’t raise an eyebrow when his two other siblings joined him in the car.

“Please be careful.”Tayo cautioned as Tunde drove out of the house at a neck-breaking speed. They spotted fatihat in the distance immediately he drove unto the expressway and he kept behind her at a safe distance.

“I’m wondering if we are going to Oyo state at this time of the night.”Ayo’s voice was solemn. The other two burst into nervous laughter.

She rode on without reducing speed on the now-deserted road until they left Lagos far behind them and turned suddenly into an untarred road.

“Do you know where she is going?”Wale turned to his younger brother. He shakes his head in the negative.

“I’m not sure of the exact address but I have a rough idea. It is not a palatable place to be.”Tunde shrugged.

“I just hope we are not too late.”Ayo voiced out the fear on everybody’s mind but none of his brothers answered him as they watched fatihat snapped off her headlight and rode on in the dark.

“She is so brave!”Tunde murmured to himself as he turned off his own headlight. They drove on in the enveloping darkness.

“She is not Delilah Smith for nothing, guys. I used to hear about her escapades for years from my friends for a long time, not knowing she is the same woman as Fatihat Ali.”Ayo’s voice resonates with reluctant admiration.

“She reigned in Lagos social circle. There were rumors that she deals in shady business, that it was how she made her money so fast. God knows how true that is.”Wale added conversationally.

“She is still reigning till now. It is just that she has been lying low since she met her kids. I don’t care how shady her deals were. The woman is just too smart and cool to be true.” Tunde grinned at that.

“I should have been warned about the new Fatihat Ali but I was out of the country mostly when she was making waves and I must admit she is still making it. Half of the damn board of directors and company is half in love with her. One moment, she would be unselfishly generous, only God knows how many youths she was sending to school and practically supporting the family. The next moment, she would be so ruthless you could have strangled the life out her body. She is a highly contradicting woman.”Tunde’s smile was rueful as he kept his unwavering glance on the figure in the distance.

“And you like her that way, don’t you? You like every damn frustrating thing about the woman.”Ayo said with a perspective which shocked his two elder brothers.

“I like her alright but I don’t want to inspect the depth of my feelings for her until all this mess is sorted out first and I make my peace with Nike.”He said soberly which brought them back to the situation on the ground.

“I hope you are not still planning to get married to Nike, even if she forgives you because it will be unfair to both of you when it is obvious you have strong feelings for the mother of your kids?”Wale voiced out Ayo’s fear as he glanced at his brother’s unreadable profile.

“Time will tell.” was all Tunde said. They let the subject dropped as they saw fatihat turned into another untarred road and they lost sight of her for a moment.

“I’m fairly sure she is aware we are behind her. She is too smart not to be aware of the fact that she was being tailed especially since it seems as if we are the only two automobiles in the whole world.”Ayo broke the tense silence once again.

Tunde nodded as he turned into the same road, coming into view of the lone rider again. On both sides of the road were tall bushes and the air becomes chilly.

“I’m wondering if our journey is ever going to end. “Wale rubbed the chill out of his arms.

Just then, Fatihat pulled up by the bush and jumped off the bike. Tunde came to a stop by the bush too and turned off the engine. They watched her dropped the bike into the bush and headed for a tall fence they noticed for the first time.

“How could anybody build a house in this kind of place?”Ayo wondered aloud in pure awe and horror.

“Well, it is built by those who have evil plans to carry out and things to hide from the normal society”Wale answered coldly.

“I have a feeling that my daughter is somewhere in that fucking building and I’m feeling damn helpless watching her mother go in there to rescue her on her own.”Tunde said with gritted teeth.

“But that is the wisest thing to do. Both of you cannot put yourself at the same time. That is apart from the part that she is more experienced in handling things like this than you do. So be content with being a backup plan.”Wale told him with a casualness he wasn’t feeling.

“God! This girl is a born rascal! Look at the way she just vaulted over that tall fence!”Ayo gave a long slow whistle of admiration as they watched Fatihat reached up to the fence with her two hands. She swung her legs over and disappeared into the building. That was the last they saw of her until they heard a gunshots moments later.

Fear tightened Tunde’s stomach into knots as he stared at his brothers in horror. Ayo squeezed his shoulder from the back seat in assurance.

“It will be alright by God’s grace.” He nodded tensely as he brought out his phone to make calls.

****

“Hands up!”A cold voice ordered immediately she dropped unto the other side of the fence. Shivers of dread ran down her spine but she didn’t move from her bent position. “Are you deaf?”The voice snapped angrily as the figure of a tall, bulky man moved into view, obviously holding a gun.

She dismissed the idea of tackling him physically because he was far bigger than she was but when she finally straightened up seconds later, she was holding her gun. She shot him without aim in a blink of an eye.

The gunshot mingled with an ear-splitting scream of pain from the bulky man whose gun has dropped in the process. It was then she realized she has forgotten to put the silencer on her gun. She stood back and shot the man in the forehead. He went down without a sound.

She moved back in the shadows, knowing she has already announced her presence with that scream. She waited in the corner of the backyard where the shadow of a palm tree hides her presence. She held her breath as she watched the shadow of a man moved out cautiously from the back entrance of the house. He looked around for the source of the sound and saw the body of his colleague.

“Ray, are you okay?”He whispered as he turned the man over and saw the wound on his head. She frowned. The voice sounded like the voice she had heard earlier on the phone but this is a boy, not a man, she thought in confusion and decided to take her chance.

A bullet flew by the boy’s ear, barely missing him. He jerked back in horror, looking towards the direction of the shot. She stretched out her hand as she came out of the shadow.

“Don’t bother with it. We both know I would have killed you a moment ago if I want to, so let me have that gun now.’ Her voice was quiet but he recognized the menace in it. To her surprise, his hardened face dissolved into smiles and he handed over his gun without qualms.

“Ah!! Sister Fatihat, I’m not disappointed in you. You really impressed me today.”His voice was low but she heard him clearly and stared intently at his face.

“You are the one who called me this morning, right? I seem to remember the voice.’ Her face was devoid of any expression.

“Yes, I am the one who called you. I saw your name and phone number on the interview you had with the press immediately you came back from Abuja. My name is Isiak Ali and my twin brother, Ismail Ali is inside the building. Can you remember those names? We were just kids when you left Kaduna.”He held her gaze without moving an inch from where he stood and watched her, watching him with the help of the light coming from the moonlight that just appeared briefly, searching for family resemblance, then she grinned suddenly.

“The daredevil twins! Both of you eventually ended up in the devil’s den!”She gave out a low laugh, soft and infectious as she remembered her old nick-name for them, behind their mother’s back of course. He found himself grinning back.

“It wasn’t a palatable journey. I know you will be wondering how I was able to recognize you. Apart from the picture in the paper, your kid is the spitting image of what you look like as a child and I still have that picture in my head till now. We were moved here today. Only God knows what that means.”He watched as the smile drained out of her eyes.

“I hope I’m not too late? How is she?”

“She is okay. My bosses are inside with her now. They asked me to check the source of the noise. I’m sure they will be wondering what is taking me so long.”He glanced towards the house with apprehension and then, back at her.

“What kind of vehicle brought them to this place? How many are they?” She asked as she reloaded her gun with the shells in her boot.

“There are just two from Lagos with Ismail making three; he has a long scar on his right cheek sustained from a street fight.”He gave a rueful shrug when she raised an eyebrow at him. “They brought a black 504 Peugeot car.”He answered rather puzzle.

“That is the car they used in kidnapping my baby. Take your gun and punctured their four tyres with bullets. Get water and poured it into their petrol tank. I will deal with those sons of bitches.”

“That is a piece of cake. We are three against their two. I’m sure we will conquer them.” He moved away and blended into the darkness.

*****

Fatihat noticed that only one room was lit in the whole house. She assumed that was where the party was taking place. She walked in through the back door with the help of a thin torchlight and found herself in what must be a long, unlit corridor.

She picked her way slowly, progressively, keeping to the side of the wall until she came to a room where she heard voices and proceeded to try her hand on the doorknob. The air on her nape stood up instinctively before she was grabbed by two powerful hands abruptly from the back. Her torchlight dropped as she was propelled into the room. She noted the boy with the scar almost immediately as their eyes connected briefly. In that brief moment, she saw the fear and terror in his eyes.

The other man, Raymond, popularly called Jack Daniels (J.D for short), chuckled to himself in delight as she was brought in.

*****

“Mummy!!!”Gift screamed from where she was seated on the ground, still clad in her filthy school uniform.

“It is so good to meet you in person, Delilah Smith. I have no business with you. What are you doing here?”J.D asked with a smile.

“That is my kid you have with you. I intend to have her back, alive!”The two men laughed at her outburst. The sound sent a chill down her spine.

“You know what, Delilah Smith? You have nerves. I have always hated you for it. I guess this is my opportunity to deal with you after finishing  my first assignment.”He glanced significantly at her daughter. Her heart freezes in terror but her face was a complete blank.

“Please don’t kill my mummy.”Gift cried out, tears filling her eyes. The two men laughed again. The man behind Fatihat, known simply as Canon among the gang, jerked her arms back forcefully and she stifled a cry of pain, even as tears filled her eyes.

“Let me give the iron lady a dose of her own medicine before we get going.” J.D moved towards her with a wicked grin. He raised his fist to punch her nose.

She jerked backward forcefully to both men’s surprise and brought her foot down on the J.D’s face.

Ismail chose that moment to strike out at his bosses. He reached for a metal rod standing against the wall and hit Canon on the back. Cries of pain from both men filled the room. She was released so abruptly that she stumbled forward. She took a deep breath to regain her balance and then proceeded to attack Canon.

“You bloody traitor! Why the hell are you fighting on her behalf? You think you can find favor with her. I will teach you a lesson you will never forget in your miserable life.’ J.D rounded on Ismail.

They were engaged in a fierce struggle while his accomplice lay on the floor, still writhing from the blow from the metal rod. J.D disengaged abruptly as a knife appeared in his hand and proceeded to stab the younger boy. Fatihat turned around in time and shot him in the head.

The next moment, she would have been a dead woman because Canon whom she thought was helpless had gotten to his feet with a gun and was aiming it at the back of her head with trembling fingers.

‘Mum, look out!”Gift screamed out a late warning. Fatihat swirled round abruptly. Isiak came in at that precise moment and shot him in the head. He went down without a sound and suddenly all was quiet.

*****

She took the knife from Ismail and cut the rope that was used to bind her daughter’s hands and legs. She then scooped the little girl up in a tight, fierce hug.

“Thanks for coming to my rescue, mum. I love you so much.”Gift clung to her. The twins looked on in obvious envy and admiration.

“I will do anything for my precious baby. I think I saw Tunde’s car behind me on my way here. It was very foolish of him if indeed he was the one, though’ She backed her daughter. She was secretly glad of the moral support, no matter how stupid the act was.

They made their way out of the house. A car’s headlight flashed in the distance. She released a warning shot into the air. The car moved closer and she stood in front of her family, her finger on the trigger.

“It is me, Tunde. Please put that gun away. It looks scary and deadly.”Tunde called out in the darkness. They all burst into laughter.

“It is my daddy.”Gift cried excitedly as she scrambled down. Tunde pulled over and got out of the car in time to catch his daughter as she lurched against him.

“That is my baby. I hope you were really brave in there?”He swallowed a lump in his throat as he smiled bravely at his daughter. She giggled as she clung to his neck.

“Well done! You are a courageous woman.’ Tunde’s brother hugged her one after the other.

“But you guys are not supposed to be here tonight. What if the gang came around and saw you loitering around their territory. It is deadly.” Her voice was chiding.

“It is a risk worth taking.”Wale hugged her once again and ushered father and daughter into the car.

“This place gives me the creeps.”Ayo grabbed Isiak’s hand and pulled him into the car with him.

“See you guys in town. Let’s go, Ismail.”She climbed her bike. He got behind her, and she sped into the night, closely followed by Tunde’s car.

*****

The sun was already peeping through the window when Fatihat opened her eyes and stretched out her body luxuriously. It was her first sound sleep since she came back from Abuja and learned about her daughter’s kidnap.

Her eyes went to the wall clock and she shot upright in bed, her mouth dropping open in absolute shock. It was eleven’ o clock on the dot.

She walked into the bathroom for a cold shower, changed into a short house robe and sauntered out of the room. She was half-way down the staircase when the sound of voices hit her and she leaned over the banister to see what was going on in her sitting room.

The sight she beholds gave her the second shock of the day but this time around, it was a pleasant shock!

*****

Both the Badmus and the Abeebs were around including Yemi Abeeb who was seated beside her mother and listening intently to what she was saying.

All her siblings were standing together, gisting and laughing in a happy reunion. Her kids were sitting separately in a corner of the room, already bathed and looking fresh in a pair of jean trouser and white vest.

Breakfast was ready on the Dining table. They all helped themselves to it one after the other.

Funmi took her plate and joined the younger twins on the rug. Aisha did the same, even though she didn’t understand half of what they were saying but she knew she was welcomed all the same.

Chenille was sitting between Yemi and a ruggedly handsome gentleman in his late forties. Yetunde was busy helping Josephine with breakfast in the kitchen and getting it to the sitting room while her husband was engrossed in a heated argument over football with Ayo, even as he wolfed down his breakfast.

It was an amusing sight and one which filled Fatihat’s heart with happiness. She moved away and leaned against the wall as tears filled her eyes.

So I have finally created a home. You are a truly wonderful God, she thought as she lifted her eyes skyward and thanked her creator with all her heart and soul.  I guess it is time to give up the past and move on with my life, she thought with a smile and turned around to go upstairs.

*****

“Is there any problem?”Tunde called from the foot of the staircase. She turned back with a smile.

“Everything is fine. I’m just so happy.”She hugged herself and grinned at him.

“You deserve it and more. Thank you.”He said simply as he came slowly up the staircase. “You are welcome. I want to show you something.”She took his wrist and led him into her bedroom. He sat down on her bed while she went o her chest drawer and pulled it out. ‘I don’t like the way you came after me last night. It is very dangerous. She could have lost both of us at the same time.”She rounded on him as she remembered the scene.

‘I am not sorry I come after you, Fatihat. It was my battle to fight and I intend to get to the bottom of it all.”His voice was firm with determination. She gave a shrug before she turned to her wardrobe.

“Who do you think could be behind the kidnap?”She asked curiously as she faced him with a file.

“I have my suspicion but I want it confirmed. What is that?”He asked curiously.

“I want to sell my share of the Abeebs group of companies back to you. Are you interested?”She asked with a raised eyebrow. He stared at her for a long moment with a blank expression.

‘If I am not interested, what will you do with it?”He asked softly with a dare.

“I will sell it out to interested buyers. I want to face my other businesses. Apart from that, I have to admit you are better off running your papa’s business without any interference from me, so what do you say?”She threw back the dare. He laughed out loud.

“No wonder I have grown very fond of you. You are such a contradicting woman. I am interested but I don’t have ready cash or asset now. We can work something out when I get back to work. Right?”He asked as he gave her a solemn look.

“I don’t have any problem with that. There is enough time to do that.’ She dropped the file on her dressing table.

“Does that mean you are going to resign or will you still work for the company?”He asked curiously. She looked down her nose at him.

‘I can’t work for anybody, not even a company. I will hand in my official resignation letter by next week Monday. I have even forgotten today is a weekday. I have never had so many visitors in my entire lifetime at once.”She grinned as she crossed to her wardrobe to get a more presentable clothing to meet her visitors.

“I’m sure you are unaware of your own worth. Trust me, you will receive more visitor today than you will ever do in your entire lifetime because you were a hero.”He grinned and got to his feet.

“A hero indeed!”She gave a dismissing laugh as she opened her wardrobe door and started sorting through her clothes. He came up behind her and circled her waist with his arms. She turned in his embrace and pushed at his chest in vain.

P.S

Do you want to study, work and live in Australia? We offer free education consultancy, assist with Admission processing and student visa application.  We also do flight reservation and ticketing to any destination outside Nigeria.  Chat me up if you are interested. I can be reached at @obolaji on twitter and https://web.facebook.com/olanrewaju.mobolaji on facebook.  You may also inbox me at obolaji2002@yahoo.com…… 

 

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Posted by on May 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

BIRTHMARK: 18

BIRTHMARK IMAGETunde was coming out of the restaurant with his daughter when he spotted Nike in the distance, locking up her car. He approached her before she left for the restaurant.

“Hello, Nike” He called to her. She turned around to look at him.

“Hi.”She looked at the little girl who bowed slightly in greeting.

“Good afternoon ma” Gift greeted politely.

“How are you?”Nike nodded to her. “This is Fatihat Ali’s daughter, I presume? In addition to cheating on me, you also have grown –up kid with her, who you never told me about. What other secret did you hide from me? ”She asked coldly.

“She is my daughter, Nike. You are right about that but you need to listen to what I have to say. Can I give birth to a daughter this old in a matter of few years?”He asked with a resigned sigh.

“But you never find it in your heart to tell me all the time we were together, right? If you think you can go scot-free with cheating on me, you are highly mistaken.”Tears filled her eyes. She walked away before she made a fool of herself. He watched her with a  heavy sigh.

*****

“Who is she?”Gift asked curiously on their way home.

“She is or was my girlfriend until your mum came along and turned my affair upside down. I intended to marry her.”His voice was faintly accusingly.

“I see. Do you still love her? You still want to marry her?”She asked curiously as she looked at her father. He frowned thoughtfully as he stared at the road ahead.

“Well, I don’t love her as much as I used to but I want us to be friends, instead of this bitter enmity.”He shrugged.

“If you don’t love her as much as you used to, it is better you stop disturbing her. Maybe you are not meant to be.”The little girl said philosophically.

He grinned to himself. Like mother, like daughter, he thought with reluctant admiration. “Dad, I thought you are dating my mum?’She asked after a moment.

He laughed out loud. “You are your mother’s daughter.”He ruffled her hair affectionately and she smiled with a shrug.

*****

It was the annual general meeting for Abeebs Groups. It took place in Abuja. Fatihat got a short notice of the meeting because she has been out of office due to her school programs.

The meeting took two days but the return flight was canceled and rescheduled to the next morning. Fatihat checked back into her hotel room which was still available and changed into a casual wear to go for stroll.

“Hey, where are you going?’ She heard Tunde called out to her as she walked out of the hotel premises and she turned to see him talking to one of the local boys who work in the hotel. The boy laughed at something he said, greeted fatihat in Hausa and walked away. “So you can still speak your language so fluently. I’m surprised.”He walked up to her. They moved out of the hotel premises together and went into the town.

“Why won’t I be able to communicate in my native tongue? I was born and bred in the north.”She shrugged.

“What do you think of the AGM?”He asked after a moment.

“Well, I’m impressed. The company has improved and it is growing every day. You are doing an excellent job.”She said with undisguised admiration.

“You are also a blessing in disguise, you virtually rescued the company.”His voice was full of gratitude. She raised an eyebrow at him.

“So I am a blessing in disguise now? I can’t believe I heard that right.’ She grinned. He pushed her unto the road and pulled her right back, playfully.

“Look at your tribes’ people. I’m sure that is the way you used to dress when you were little.”Tunde pointed to a little girl, sitting beside a tray of biscuits and sweets in a mini market just beside one of the modern parks in the capital city. She was dressed in faded Ankara blouse and skirt which had seen better days.

“You are right. I have lots of that when I was small.”She moved over to the little girl and picked up some chewing gums. “Kuna da canji?(Do you have change?)”She asked in Hausa as she held out an N200 note to the girl.

“Bani da canji amma zan gaya wa ‘yar’uwata don taimaka mini neman canji(I don’t have change but I will tell my sister to help me find change.)”The little girl looked at her quietly.

“Ina ‘yar uwarsa? (Where is your sister?)”Fatihat asked curiously. The little girl pointed towards a group of young men selling different petty things. There was a young lady standing among them. The lady was dressed more or less like her younger sister but it was obvious she was selling more than the plantain chips on her head to the men from the nature of their conversation. “Ku je ku samu ta. zan jira ka (Go and get her. I will wait for you.)” Fatihat sat down on the bench and signaled to Tunde to do the same while the little girl skipped away.

“What is the problem?”He asked quietly. She was explaining when the little girl came back with her big sister.

*****

“Good evening madam.”The young lady greeted cheerfully in the English language heavily tinged with Hausa accent.

“Evening, Young lady. Can you get my change now, please? I don’t have all day to waste.”Fatihat got to her feet. The young lady frowned slightly.

“Is there a problem?”Tunde asked in a puzzled voice.

“She looks like someone I know in my past. Her name is Fatihat Ali and she is my half-sister.”She replied as she stared intently at her. Fatihat frowned as she stared back.

“Who are you?”Fatihat asked coldly.

“I’m Bilqis Ali and this is my baby sister, Aisha Ali. We have three other brothers, Yusuf is the eldest and the twins, Isiak and Ismail came after me.”She touched her chest and touched her sister’s shoulder.

“Oh my God!”Fatihat covered her mouth in horror as she stared at the little girl who stared back at her without recognition. “She was just a baby when I left home.”Fatihat said to her companion who was just looking on as the drama unfolded before his eyes and turned to back to the young lady standing before her. “I thought Yusuf left you, guys in Kaduna. How did you get to Abuja? How did you escape the war?”Fatihat lifted the little girl and hugged her warmly.

“I escaped with my boyfriend in the middle of the night with Aisha. I’m not sure how the twins escaped though. It was so painful how we lose contact with each other. It is really you, Aunty Fatihat? You look so beautiful.” Bilqis hopped from one foot to another in unbridled excitement.

“Where is your mother?” She asked curiously. Bilqis uttered a string of very dirty; raw Hausa language which made Fatihat covered her ears in horror. “Tunde, meet my younger sisters, Bilqis, and Aisha, the baby of the house. Yusuf is in my house, we met in Lagos. Can we go back to my hotel now or you have things you want to pack at home?”Fatihat asked. She shook her head vigorously.

“We don’t have anything to pack except ourselves. Is Uncle Tunde your husband?’ Bilkis asked with undisguised curiosity. The two adults burst into laughter.

“I guess the leopard never changes its skin. You have always been a curious kid. Let’s go back to our hotel then, it is getting late.”Fatihat held on to the little girl’s hand while her sister poured their wares into a big nylon bag.

“Don’t worry, Bilqis, I will soon be part of your family because I intend to marry your sister. “He teased but Fatihat ignored his comments.

*****

It was closing hour at CTC international school. Everywhere was milling with cars owned by parents who came to pick their kids in school or by drivers that were sent to pick their kids.

Lekan was in his mother’s car, sitting beside the driver but the car could not move because a company’s car was blocking their way. The company car belongs to Abeebs group of company and the driver came to pick Gift Abeeb.

She was standing on the owner’s side of the car, waiting for the driver to unlock the door from the inside when a jet black 504 saloon car came out of nowhere and sped towards the unmoving car.

Before she could open the door to get in, a door on the driver’s side of the saloon car popped opened and the little girl was snatched up like a piece of cotton wool, then it was speeding away.

The driver came out of the car and stared after the fast disappearing car in absolute shock. Sweat trickled down his body.

“Are you still standing there? My sister has just been kidnapped.”Lekan screamed at the driver, jutting him out of his shock.

Pandemonium broke out in front of the school.

“I’m in soup.’ The elderly man ran into the school premises to report the kidnap event to the school authority, closely followed by Lekan who was fighting to hold back tears. The school informed Yetunde who in turned informed Chenille and Josephine.

The police authority was informed as well but since they were expecting her parent back that day, they didn’t bother to call and informed them of the tragedy.

*****

Tunde hired a cab immediately they were out of the arrival lodge of Muritala Mohammed local Airport.

Bilqis sat in the front beside the driver while Aisha sat between Fatihat and Tunde as they were driven out of the Airport premises.

“So where is your boyfriend? You said you came to Abuja with him.”Fatihat signaled to the driver to slow down so that she could buy a newspaper from the roadside vendor.

“He left me for another girl who doesn’t have much responsibility the way I do. He wants me to choose between my sister and himself.” Her sister shrugged.

“You chose right.”Tunde patted her shoulder reassuringly.

“Tunde is right, baby girl. You are in Lagos now and for good. What do you want to do with your life?” She asked as she paid the vendor for the paper and rolled up the Car window.

“I want to go back to school. I have always wanted to be a nurse.”

“Look here, baby girl, it is easier said than done. I know you guys were pretty good when you were in school but if you want to succeed in anything, you have to hands off men for now and sit real tight for your studies.”

“I’m not a flirt. I did what I have to do to keep us from starving.”Tears filled her eyes. “It is okay, Bilqis.”Tunde gave Fatihat a reproachful glance. She shrugged unapologetically.

“Aisha, Ina fatan kuna jin dadin ku (I hope you are enjoying yourself)?’Fatihat spoke to the little girl who did not understand a word in English language and she nodded shyly.

Fatihat straightened up the paper to start reading and froze in absolute shock.

Boldly written in the Guardian newspaper was the headline was: THE YOUNG FEMALE CEO, FATIHAT ALI A.K.A DELILAH SMITH’S ONLY DAUGHTER, GIFT ABEEB WAS KIDNAPPED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!!!!”

It was followed by the full detail of the incidence as narrated by Lekan and the Driver. Fatihat and Gift’s pictures were posted boldly on the front page.

“Somebody is toying with the head of a cobra. “She stated with a harsh laugh. Tunde took the paper from her trembling fingers and read through it in shock and fear.

“What is the problem?”Bilqis turned to look at both adults.

“My daughter was kidnapped yesterday.  and nobody could call and tell me what happened.”Fatihat was obviously looking for whom to lay the blame on. Her heart ached and she tasted fear at the back of her throat.

“You have a daughter?”Bilqis turned to stare at her incredulously.

“I’m sure everybody is doing what they can at the moment. They thought we will fly in yesterday. There is no sense scaring us before we get back since there was nothing we could do from there.”Tunde’s voice was reasonable.

“Damn, she is not everybody’s daughter, she is mine. Someone could have said something. Anything could have happened between yesterday and today, damn it!’ she shouted at him. He gave her an angry look.

“If not for the circumstances on the ground, I would have known what to say to you, Mama Gift.”His voice was cold.

“Is this the right time for you to start fighting with each other? She belongs to both of you, right?” Bilqis asked quietly, directing the question to both of them but it was Tunde who answered her.

“She does belong to both of us but she has always acted as the power woman who knows it all.’ He said with obvious anger. She hissed viciously.

*****

The Badmus family were already in the house when they got home. The Abeebs came in shortly afterward.

Yusuf was the only person who recognized and acknowledged the presence of his sisters, albeit absently.

The police were obviously doing their best but nobody knew Gift’s whereabouts or has any clue to where she could be found. They do not know the reason behind the abduction. Fatihat walked into her study room, closely followed by Lekan who was talking non-stopped about how it all happened.

She was grateful that the little boy actually remembered the plate number of the saloon car because she was determined to prove to the world that she hadn’t moved with the men of the underworld for nothing!

*****

Tunde’s phone vibrated. It was a message alert. He brought out the phone and stared at the text message. He notched his brother in the side and showed him the text message. “Your baby is innocent but she will pay dearly for her father’s sins. May her soul rest in perfect peace!” Wale whispered out the message as cold chills ran down his spine.

“What did you do again, Tunde? Who is it this time around?” He whispered furiously.

“I didn’t offend anybody, not intentionally anyway.’ He whispered back, feeling sick with fear and horror.

Wale got to his feet, snatched his wrist and practically dragged him out of the house into the open compound. “I’m sincerely getting tired of you and your problem. Now an innocent kid is going to pay for an offense she knew nothing about, can’t you think of anybody, a business associate or jilted girlfriend?”His elder brother shook his shoulder in frustration. “I can’t think of anybody except maybe Nike.  I’m sure she can’t do anything as horrorful as kidnapping and killing an innocent kid simply because things didn’t work out for us.”He tried to sound convincing.

“Are you sure? Does she know about Gift?” Tunde nodded miserably.

“We met in an eatery a few weeks ago. She guessed that she was my daughter from Gift’s striking resemblance to her mother but she can’t do that, can she?’ Tunde stared at his brother with growing horror.

“I don’t know. You knew her better than I do. Maybe you should try and get hold of her before it is too late.”

“Please don’t tell Fatihat about the latest development. She will skin me alive. I have caused her nothing but trouble in her entire lifetime.”He fished his car key out of his pocket, and then put it back when he remembered his car was not there.

“As if I could, please get away and salvage what you can before it is too late.”He watched Tunde left the compound at a run, and then went back inside to know how far fatihat had gone with her series of phone calls.

*****

A young boy walked towards the public phone booth and glanced furtively around him before he slipped in. He was a fifteen-year-old boy but his face portrayed the hardship, sense, and experience of a man in his twenties.

He was clad in dirty black trouser and an equally dirty black coat whose collar was turned up to cover his neck. A cap also covered his cap and he looked like a moving shadow whose identity was not known to anybody who met him on the way.

The phone booth was empty at that hour as he had expected.

*****

Fatihat was dressed up and ready to leave the house by 8 pm. She was tucking a loaded gun into the ankle holster in her jeans and rolls of bullets as well when she heard a knock on her door. She quickly pulled down her trousers and straightened up in time to see the door opened and Lekan came in. It was the first time he was spending the night in her house and she desperately wished the situation was different from this.

“You look like Superman.”He gave a quick grin as he took in her dressing at a glance. She was dressed in black T-shirt and black boot-cut jean which effectively covered the solid heel ankle –length stilettos boot she wore. She had pinned her mane of hair on her head and covered it with a black scarf.

“I’m a superman in a real-life game which involves your sister’s life.’ She told him quietly. That sobered him up instantly.

“Today’s the third day. I hope she is still alive?”His voice ended in a teary whisper. She enveloped him in a tight hug.

“I hope so too. Josephine knew where I am going in case anything happened but if mum asks about me, tell her I’m asleep because I don’t want her to worry about me.”She folded his palm over a piece of paper.

”What is this?”He straightened out the paper and looked down at it.

‘That is where I am going.’ She bent in front of him and held his face in her two hands. “I wish this were a different circumstance but whatever happens, I’m glad you gave me this little chance to know you. Always remember I love you so much, baby.”

‘Are you going to die?’He asked, his eyes widening in fear. She laughed softly.

“Not if I can help it, I’m a born survivor. See you soon, baby.”She gave him a swift hug and dashed out of the room, then took the back door and ran into the night.

*****

“Are you saying you didn’t see her yesterday?”Wale asked incredulously. His other siblings stared at him in horror.

“Her number was switched off. When I got to her house, I was told she has traveled out of the country a few days ago.’ His voice was resigned as he glanced at his mother. Her eyeballs were red and swollen from tears. She also refused to talk to Tunde since she heard  the obscene text message. ‘I tried to see her best friend but she won’t even see me, talkless of taking to me.”He added with a shrug.’

‘She could have given the order before she leaves the country. My instinct is rarely wrong.”

“You are just so unlucky with women. Tunde, why do you always end up with the revengeful type? First, it was Fatihat. Now, it is Nike. Na wa’o” Tayo, the baby of the house said ruefully.

‘How will he not end up with the revengeful type when he himself is a bad specimen of men who had no regard for womanhood?”Yemi said coldly from where she had been concentrating on her bible. Tunde sighed inwardly.

“Have you received another text message since yesterday?”Wale asked after a moment. Tunde passed him his phone.

“But you are not sure she is the one behind the attack, are you? It is just an assumption because she felt jilted by what happens between you and Fatihat.”Tunde shrugged with a nonchalance he was far from feeling.

“What is it, bros? Is there another message from the vampire?”Tayo asked when he saw the shock on his eldest brother’s face as his gaze scanned the message in the inbox. He nodded and then proceeded to read out the message.

“Painful, isn’t it? This is just the beginning of the game between us. You will learn not to trample on other people’s feelings. Cheers!”Wale ended with a sigh.

The noise of a power bike coming up the driveway broke the pensive silence in the room. The brothers exchanged glances but it was Tunde who went to find out who was paying them a visit at that hour.

P.S

Do you want to study, work and live in Australia? We offer free education consultancy, assist with Admission processing and student visa application.  We also do flight reservation and ticketing to any destination outside Nigeria.  Chat me up if you are interested. I can be reached at @obolaji on twitter and https://web.facebook.com/olanrewaju.mobolaji on facebook.  You may also inbox me at obolaji2002@yahoo.com…… 

Kindly drop your feedback.

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Posted by on May 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

BIRTHMARK: #15

BIRTHMARK IMAGETunde was watching a movie titled ‘Lord of the ring’ with his younger brothers in the big sitting room when fatihat paid him a surprise visit. She was on her way from school, the school just resumed another session and she was in her final year.

His brothers gave her a polite greeting and disappeared one after the other, leaving both of them alone in the sitting room.

“Why did you resign?” She asked bluntly as she looked down at him where he lounged on the sofa carelessly.

“I resigned because I feel like doing so.” His gaze didn’t waver from the screen. She picked up the remote control before he guessed her intention and switched off the television. “Are you okay, fatihat? What is the meaning of that?”

“At least I have your full attention now.”

“What do you want? How may I help you, Miss Delilah Smith?”

“All I want is for you to pick up your lazy butt and get back to work. I just reject your resignation letter.” She brought it out of her slim black bag, tore it into pieces and dropped it on him.

“I don’t give a damn about what you want or don’t want. I still own part of the company and I can do what I want without your permission.”

“I also learned that you are planning to sell your shares, is that right?” She went to sit directly opposite him. He gave a nonchalant shrug.

“So?” He raised an eyebrow.

She gave an amused laugh. “I need you in that company, Tunde. You are not going anywhere. I won’t buy the shares and no one else will. Don’t bother trying to apply for jobs elsewhere because I will always be ahead of you.” She said with quiet confidence which stunned him. He was momentarily speechless. “I may dislike the fact that you are my daughter’s father but I can’t change it and I want a father who my daughter can be proud of. Your office is waiting for you.” She got to her feet.

“Not so fast, Mrs. high and mighty Delilah Smith.” He stopped her with his icily cold voice as he got to his feet too.

“I’m listening, Mr. Abeeb.”She raised her eyebrow at him.

“You have nerves, Fatihat Ali. You have the gut to come to my house and threaten me with your supreme power and connection. Who the hell did you think you are by the way?” His eyes narrowed on to a slit as he rocked on his heels.

“You can try me and find out what exactly I am capable of doing. Stop wasting your time and get back to work. See you on Monday.” She turned on her heels and walked out of the sitting room. Tunde watched her go and didn’t bother to stop her because he wasn’t sure of what he would do if he tried.

*****

“She is only working on your emotional attachment to that company. Why not take her up on the offer and just go back, instead of wasting your time at home? You have a kid to support, you know?” Wale told him from behind. He swore under his breath as he turned to face his elder brother. “You love that company and she is begging you back in her own crude way. Go back and continue what you’ve been doing. You can’t survive in another company, take my word for it.” Wale patted his shoulder and moved towards the door. “Can you imagine the nerves of her?” He muttered under his breath.

“You have plans, kid brother, go ahead and execute it. You are the best for the job. Delilah Smith knows it as well as you do.” Wale grinned. He found himself grinning back in absolute relief.

*****

It was an open day in CTC international school, Ikeja. Gift was on the queue with her mother. She moved forward when it was her turn.

“Good afternoon, Miss Molara. Please meet my mum. Mum, this is my class teacher, Miss Molara.”

“You are Gift Abeeb’s mum?” Miss Molara, a dark complexion attractive woman in her late-twenties tried not to stare in disbelieve. Fatihat was casually dressed in sky blue trousers and white long sleeve silky blouse. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and low heel blue sandal adorned her small feet. Her face was devoid of makeup and she looked like an eighteen- year-old, instead of twenty-five. She smiled and held out her hand.

“I’m glad to meet you, Miss Molara. I have heard so much about her wonderful class teacher.” She smiled as they shake hands warmly.

“It is my pleasure, Mrs. Abeeb. Your daughter is very intelligent and smart. She even got a gift for the best hand-work in the class.” Miss Molara paused as she brought out her report sheet and hand-works.

“But?”Fatihat prompted because she sensed it in the hanging sentence. She didn’t miss the fact that she has been addressed as ‘Mrs. Abeeb’. That will be over my dead body, she thought to herself in annoyance.

“But she could get an award for the noisiest and naughtiest girl in the class. She usually led the class when it comes to causing trouble. She plays a lot too but there is room for improvement.” She continued with a rueful smile.

Fatihat gave her daughter a questioning look and the little girl stepped back from her, unconsciously. “Thank you very much, Miss Molara. As long as she is in your class, please feel free to punish her when she deserves it. That is a direct order from me.” She ordered as they exchanged another warm handshake and a sealed bulky envelope before moving away for the next parent to be attended to.

*****

“Aunty Delilah!” A boy’s voice called urgently as she was about to get into her car. She turned around in time as the little boy launched himself against her.

“Hello, Olalekan. What a pleasant surprise!” Fatihat grinned as she caught him and hugged him affectionately.

“So you are Gift’s mom? She is the new girl in my class and you said you don’t have a kid like me.” His voice was faintly accusingly.

“What I remember saying is that I haven’t got a boy like you. So you guys have met then?” She looked from one to the other and her daughter shrugged.

“I don’t like him. He plays too rough.” She murmured under her breath but Lekan heard her and glared at her.

“I know what you and your dummy friends used to say about me. I don’t like you either. You act like miss high and mighty.” He told her pompously. Her daughter looked down at him over her tiny pointed nose.

“Wow! What is this? Do you guys have a crush on each other?” She said with an amused laugh at both of them. Gift turned and got into the car with a hiss.

“Hello” Yetunde approached the group cautiously. Fatihat turned around slowly and frowned slightly as she looked at the moderately tall plumpy woman who was dressed in expensive lace native attire.

“This is my mum, Aunty Delilah. Mum, meet Aunty Delilah. She was the lady that chose my bicycle for me at the store.” He held his mother’s fingers with pride and the latter squeezed it affectionately.

“It is nice to meet and know you, Lekan’s mum.” She was smiling as she held out her hand and the older woman shakes it warmly, politely.

“It is my pleasure, Aunty Delilah.” Yetunde returned the smile before she stepped back. “Lekan, have a nice day” Fatihat waved at them briefly before she turned and got into her car.

*****

Fatihat sat on Josephine’s bed while the latter took her evening bath and came out to meet her glancing pensively through a file.

“What is that?” Josephine’s voice was muffled as she rubbed  her wet hair.

“It is the report of the findings on Yetunde Kolawole, the owner of that building where I gave birth to my babies. I think I met her today.” She looked up at her sister.

The latter lowered the towel from her wet head slowly. “How do you mean?” she asked in a puzzled voice.

“There was this little boy I met sometimes ago in a departmental store. His name is Olalekan Kolawole. I met him again in Gift’s school today and his mother. Her two pictures that are here did not do her any justice but I’m quite sure it is the same woman.” She glanced down at the grimy picture that was taken at a distance and back up again. Josephine moved and sat down on the sofa, facing her.

“What else did you find out about her? Does she have other kids apart from this little boy?” She asked curiously.

“No. She is divorced and her medical record shows that she has never been pregnant, talk less of giving birth but she is quite rich, I must tell you.”Fatihat gave a faint smile. “What does she do?” Josephine robbed moisture off her long smooth leg.

“She sells clothes, pieces of jewelry and accessories in Balogun market. I think that boy is the center of her life.” Her voice ended with a heavy sigh.

“What does the little boy looks like?”

“The day I met him, he was arguing heatedly with another boy over a bicycle and I stepped in to settle the dispute. We got talking and there was this expression of stubbornness on his face which was so familiar. Thinking back now, I realized Tunde always wore the same expression on his face when he is convinced he is right about something. “She took a deep breath. “I think he is Tunde’s spitting image but wait till you see him.” She shrugged.

“This is going to be trickish and quite difficult. Assuming she is married with kids now, it would be easier but she is not even married, not to talk about having kids. I don’t know what to say about it, Lilah.” Josephine’s voice was quiet.

Fatihat shot off the bed to pace the room. “At least I’m not still sure he is mine but it is too much of a coincidence if he is not. If you don’t ask the answer is always No.” She was thinking aloud.

“So what do you intend to do? Approach her for your kid? I will come with you if you want me to.”

She gave a short bitter laugh. “It is so funny actually. The kids I don’t want years ago have suddenly become the center of my life and I seem to want them by all means. Is that not insane?” She looked worriedly at her sister.

“You convinced yourself back then that you don’t want them because you know you don’t have the means to take care of them but you do now and you want them back. There is nothing wrong with that, Lilah, stop beating yourself silly.” Josephine chided her and she swallowed hard.

“I’m going to fight for him, Josephine and I’m taking Tunde with me on this because we made him together.” Her voice was grim.

“It is going to be a bitter fight, Lilah. Please know when to step back when it gets too bitter. We can’t have everything we ever wanted in life; we just try our best and leave the rest.” Josephine said in a cautious voice.

“I will give it my best shot, Jose but I understand what you mean though. I will try to tread as softly as possible.”

“That is better. Is Tunde back at work?”

“Yeah, he is but I’ve not been going to work that much because of my Schooling, and assignment so we barely see each other.” She shrugged as picked up the file from the bed. “Are you guys making a head way?”Fatihat asked in concern and saw a blissful smile spread over her sister’s face which answered her question before she did. “Everything is under her control except for the iron woman he called a mother. We will soon pick a wedding date. Keep your fingers crossed.” She grinned at her.

“Hmn…..I don’t envy you but I’m happy for you anyway. It is good to know.”Fatihat smiled as she headed for the door.

“Thanks. So what is happening with you and Tunde?”Josephine asked as she stepped out.  “There is nothing going on between us. I’m not a lovesick puppy likes you, darling, so please keep your romantic dream to yourself.” She shouted back and heard her rich and hearty laugh behind her.

*****

Fatihat needed to see Tunde urgently but she has been so busy at school and knew the only way she could see him would be to go to his house. She finally had a chance on Sunday and drove to the Abeeb’s residence in the evening. She locked up her car and moved to the main house where she pressed the doorbell and waited. The door opened after a moment and Yemi peeped out.

“Good evening ma.”She bowed slightly with a blank look and walked past her into the corridor which led to the sitting room.

“Good evening, Fatihat. I hope there is no problem?”Yemi locked up the door and turned around to follow the young woman walking in front of her. She was dressed in a baggy combat knee-length shorts and a black tank top that barely covered her navel. Her feet were tucked in a fluffy black house slipper and a black hair band secured her jet black hair from her youthful face. She looked nothing like the mother of a 7yr old girl, Yemi thought grimly to herself.

“Evening, Fatihat.”Ayo, Tunde’s immediate younger brother said from where he lounged on the sofa.

“Evening, Ayo. Where is Tunde?”She rocked on her heels as she dangled her car key.

“I guess he should be in his room.He was down with slight fever since yesterday.” He picked up the remote control and changed channels.

“Thanks.” She took the staircase two at a time.

“She doesn’t look like a mother at all. I really wish to see my granddaughter.”Yemi said with quiet longing as she sat down beside her son.

“I doubt if she will look like a mother, even after six kids. She has always been a beautiful girl even back then when all she wore were rags. You can talk to Tunde if you want to see his daughter but I doubt if he sees enough of her himself.” He shrugged. She sighed heavily.

*****

“Hi, Fatihat.”Tunde closed the business journal he was reading as his bedroom door opened and she came in without knocking.

“Hello. How are you? Ayo said you had a fever.” She notched the door closed and leaned against it.

“I was stressed out at work these past weeks but I’m feeling better now. Why were you not at work all these days?” He asked accusingly.

“I’ve been busy going to school, running my other business and taking care of your daughter.” She told him coolly.

“I see. You must have been very busy indeed.” His voice was heavy with sarcasm. Her gaze narrowed with rising temper.

“You are quite right. I want to claim my son back and I need you to be there with me all the way because he is yours too.” Her voice was blunt and watched his face go blank. “What son? Do you have another kid beside Gift?” He asked in obvious confusion.

“I told you I gave birth to a set of twins, a boy , and a girl. The girl is Gift and I’ve found a woman I could attach to my son. I’ve been investigating the whole issue and I think I’ve met my son.”

‘How did you come to that conclusion, fatihat?”He asked in shock. He has to admit he was a bit scared to be suddenly saddled with two grown kids he hasn’t known existed all because of a stupid mistake he made in the past.

Fatihat paced the room as she explained the whole issue to him and stopped directly in front of him when she was through. “So what do you think? Are you in or out?” she asked bluntly and he took a deep breath.

“It is going to be a very tricky situation. That woman doesn’t have any other kid apart from our boy and we want to snatch her only source of happiness. Moreover, if she takes it to court, we can’t win because a couple who needs custody of a child needs to be married and we are not married. I’m not even sure if we are friends.”

Her brows knitted together in thought as she considered his words. “I guess you are right.” She nodded as she moved to lean against the door again.

He got out of bed and she was surprised to realize he was clad in only his boxers’ shorts. “Fatihat, do you want this kid because he is yours or you are actually ready for motherhood?” He asked quietly, watching her steadily.

“What is that suppose to mean? Are you telling me I’m not capable of taking care of my own children?” She snapped in anger and her jaw dropped in surprise when his hands settled on her bare waist.

“What is it?” He grinned at her stunned expression and dropped a kiss on her open mouth.

“Tunde, get away from me this instance before I do something you won’t like.” She glared furiously at him as she struggled to move away but his arm only went around her and held her against him effortlessly.

“Look at me in the eyes and tell me you don’t want my kisses. Tell me with all sincerity that you are not as attracted to me as I am to you.” He said quietly, solemnly, trapping her against the door with his two hands on both sides of her head. His gaze was locked on hers and the denial which rose swiftly to her tongue died there as she stared back at him.

“That is ridiculous!” She forced a smile and tried to look away but he held her chin with his fingers.

“You are so lovely!” He murmured against her mouth before tugging on her lower lips with his teeth. He nipped softly.

“Tunde……..”She began in protest which died in her throat when he kissed her fully on the mouth as he swept her into his arms and headed straight for his bed. The kiss deepened even as he laid her gently in the middle of his bed and settled between her legs.

Fatihat moaned softly as her arms went around his neck and passion threatened to consume them both. He rolled onto his back, carrying her with him and his palms caressed her smooth back lightly. His fingers came into contact with the clip of her bra and undid it rather easily, and then he had easy access to the back of her neck.

Blood pounded vigorously in his veins and his body was sleek with sweat but he was not near getting satisfied. He broke the kiss and reached for the tank top which he yanked away from her head. Her skimpy pink bra followed immediately and he dived for her lips again while running his fingers up and down her back, then to the side of her breast. She broke the kiss with a shudder and stared at him through eyes, hooded with desire. She moved slowly, sensuously, rubbing the tips of her breasts against his naked chest and he groaned out loud. He rolled her beneath him again and stared down at her kiss-swollen red lips.

“I want to make love to you. I need to…”He paused slightly, his voice husky with passion and he trailed a finger from her navel up to to her flat Tommy and stopped beneath one-rosy tipped breast. She caught her breath and he could feel her trembling with desire. “When I do, I don’t intend to use any protection. Are you on pills?” He asked softly. “I’ve stopped using pills since last month because …….”She stopped abruptly and glared at him.

“You are not seeing any man at the moment.” He stated matter of factly, watching her steadily and traced a finger very lightly over her nipple. She shuddered violently and slapped his hand away.

“Stop that and let me think. Why don’t you want to use protection? You don’t have any in your room or what?” She asked puzzled voice.

“I don’t have any at the moment. Believe it or not, it is a long time since I’ve slept with any woman and even if I have one, I won’t use it for you.” He told her firmly.

“That is crazy. What if I get pregnant? I’m off pills and I’m not in a safe period for now.” Her voice was blunt.

“I would love it so much to have another baby from you, in fact, it would be the best thing that ever happens to my life.” He grinned down at her shocked face as he patted her flat stomach.

“You are crazy. I am just confirming that now” She raised her hands to push him away but he caught them easily and silenced her effectively with a deep kiss which rocked her to the bottom of her soul.

“Do you still smoke?” He asked huskily when he broke the kiss and tugged at the strings on her shorts.

“Hmn……once in a while. Gift is always around and I have to be careful of what I do in her presence.”She tried to clear her voice.

“It would be nice to have this second baby on the way. It will keep you quite busy and away from those naughty friends of yours.” He gave the short a final tug and got it out of the way.

“You are one dumb ass.”She hissed viciously as she rolled away but he caught her easily and held her beneath him again. The next moment they were lost in their own world of passion and rising desires, oblivious to the outside world until a knock was heard on his bedroom door which at first did not penetrate the fog of passion until it came again, louder and stronger.

*****

Tunde raised his head and stared at the door for a moment.

“Tunde, please remember to lock the door when fatihat is leaving or is she staying the night so that I can lock up now?”Ayo’s voice came through the door. She bolted upright. “Will you stay the night? Please?”He asked quietly as he glanced at the wall clock and could see it was an hour to midnight. Her gaze followed his and her jaw dropped in horror.

“Oh my God!” She catapulted off the bed and started putting on her clothes one after the other.

“It is late already, Fatihat. Don’t be a stubborn idiot. Why can’t you spend the night?” He asked in exasperation as he watched her dress up in a hurry but she only glared at him and started looking for her car key. “It is almost midnight. You can use the guest room then and I promise I won’t disturb you.” He added solemnly.

“I must be out of my mind if I believe what you are saying. I’ve driven at 2 am-midnight before in this same Lagos city and nothing happened to me.” She spotted the key under the bed and retrieved it. “Tell your brother to leave the doorway.” she told him quietly.

“What!” He asked with a blank look and realized with a shock that she was embarrassed. Ayo moved away from the doorway, laughing quietly to himself. He heard their conversation as he turned up at the door and had an idea of what was going on before his appearance at the door.

“I can’t believe this! Fatihat Ali aka Delilah Smith embarrassed?”Tunde grinned to himself as he opened the door and saw his brother’s retreating back. “The coast is clear.” She shot out from behind him before he finished the sentence and bounded down the staircase two at a time.

 

P.S

Do you want to study, work and live in Australia? We offer free education consultancy, assist with Admission processing and student visa application.  We also do flight reservation and ticketing to any destination outside Nigeria.  Chat me up if you are interested. I can be reached at @obolaji on twitter and https://web.facebook.com/olanrewaju.mobolaji on facebook.  You may also inbox me at obolaji2002@yahoo.com…… 

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Posted by on May 7, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

BIRTHMARK: #14

BIRTHMARK IMAGE“Lilah, Let me have my cash back please.” It was the next morning. She was still struggling from the remnants of the few hours’ sleep she was able to snatch when she heard Michael’s cold voice.

Her body tensed as danger signals went off in her head. She cracked her eyelids open to see he was actually holding a gun to her, her gun! He had obviously searched her purse for the cash but saw the gun instead. The cash was in her boot which she never removes whenever she was out on a job.

She remained still, her mind calculating her next move because there was no way she was going to part with the money she had worked very hard for.

He was standing beside the bed on her side when her stiletto-clad foot shot out abruptly. It caught his arm and the gun clattered to the floor.

In the split second, before he recovered from the shock, she was out of the bed like lightning and diving straight for the gun. His arm caught her in the rib when he reached for it as well but she ignored the sharp pain. Her hand touched the gun and she came up with it a few distances away from him. He backed up immediately and lifted his hand in peace at the dangerous glint in her eyes.

“Wow! You are as smart as you are beautiful.” He grinned at her.

“I don’t play games with my life, Cross. Drop your wallet and the cash on you at my feet.” She told him coldly.

“Common, Lilah. I just want to know if I can work out a deal with you. I have a job and it is only a woman who can do it.” His voice grew persuasive. She pulled the trigger. The bullet missed his leg by an air’s breath and drilled a hole into the soft wood of the bed. He stared at her in horror.

“I’ve never taken a life in my life, Cross but I’ve never missed my target either. Do as I say or you will regret ever meeting me.” She said in a coolly detached voice. Reluctantly, he bought out his wallet and emptied it at her feet. “Now I want to hear what the deal is all about.” The gun did not waver as she stared unflinchingly at him.

He couldn’t help mentally saluting her courage. It seemed as if he has just come across the right woman for the job if he played his game well, he laid his card carefully on the table and watched her consider it.

“I will think about it and get back to you. Drop your card on the bed and get the fuck out of here. I don’t trust you.” She shrugged.

“I’m giving you just three days to get back to me or else I will haunt you down and you know what that means.” Their gazes met and locked and she felt the first shiver of fear crept down her spine. “Just get out.” she indicated with her head and he did without another word.

*****

“That was how I become the only woman in the notorious cross gang. Josephine was shocked and scared when I told her about it on getting home later in the day. I’ve already made up my mind on the way home because I knew I can’t back out, even if I want to but I was thrilled and scared as at the same time. Life took a different turning for me and Jose. Money rolled in and we moved out of her dingy one-room apartment into a tastefully furnished mini flat in the heart of surulere but I wanted more. I have scores to settle and I need money and connections to do it. Of course, I’m getting the connections from our profession. I can still remember the first time I met the whole gang, the shock,and disapproval that gradually changed into reluctant admiration. Michael had told them tentatively about me but they were all bucking at the thought of a woman in their gang and were actually arguing about it when I walked in on them.” She grinned at him.

“Were you not scared?”Yusuf asked intrigued.

“I was scared and excited at the same time but my inner confidence kicked in like it always did in situations like that.” She gave him a steady look.

*****

“Are you sure you are doing the right thing? I think we can pull through without a woman.” Dapo’s voice was full of doubt. He was the second in command and popularly known as ‘Stone’ among the gang.

“No organization can survive without information. She is our best bet if we want to pull through that deal. Wait till you meet her and reach your own conclusions then.” Michael’s voice was laced with a hint of annoyance as he picked a wrapped paper from the bowl that was being round.

They had been on the issue for the past two days and it was getting on his nerves. They were sitting in their hide-out with their boys waiting for them to address them and he hated the fact that they had to bring that particular argument to their presence. As if on cue, a roll of shots went into the air and they all freeze in their different postures. There was just a thought moving through their mind: they had just being discovered by the police! The boys were about to scatter in different directions when Fatihat walked in, clad in black jean trouser and t-shirt with a baseball cap. Her voice was devoid of make-up and she was holding a .45 automatic pistol that wasn’t hers!

“Oh, boy! You sure made an appearance.” Stone said with reluctant admiration.

“I did. Good evening to you all.” She bowed slightly, looking from one to the other until her gaze clashed with Michael’s own. He winked at her, even though he wasn’t smiling. “That is not your gun, bad girl.”Michael nodded at the weapon she was carrying, practically echoing the other’s thoughts.

“It wasn’t. It actually belonged to the guy watching out for this place. I figured I can’t tackle him physically and he may have the inclination to embarrass me. I knocked him out with the butt of my gun before he knew what hit him and picked up his gun on my way in. I’m sorry about that.” She smiled ruefully at him. Reluctant admiration turned to respect in their eyes. “So can we start this right away please?” she pulled a chair and sat astride it. She put the gun into the holster in her other booth and pulled out her pack of cigarette as she listened to Michael cross addressed them.

*****

“Our modes of operations were mostly high-way and bank robberies. Being a woman is also an attribute I used to the gang’s advantage to filter out information from unsuspecting men of high classes and positions. In short, we were a highly successful gang and I become a millionaire almost overnight. I bought cars and a huge house in Omole where I rarely stayed anyway but Josephine lived there. As with every other field, there were male chauvinists, men who hated me simply because I’m a woman. They want to put me where I belonged as a woman. To their sick mind, a woman belonged to a man’s bed and nowhere else. I was Michael’s woman and they all knew it.Micheal loved women but I think he simply fell for me. I was his weak point and I knew it as well as he did. He gave me the key to his heart, his apartment and bought so many things in my name. I was also a signatory to his account and he had the naivety to tell his lawyer to transfer everything to me in the event of his death. I guess a few of them thought they could get to him by hurting me and they tried one night. Michael had traveled to his hometown and I was alone in his apartment when my two visitors came in, uninvited.” She paused as she got to her feet and poured herself a glass of wine from fridge that was in the corner of the study room. She took a deep sip and turned to her brother who sat, staring at her as if he was in a trance.

“I knew they were armed but the nearest weapon I had, was in Mike’s bedroom. I was coming out of the kitchen in a robe that covered just my pant and bra.”

“What did you do? How did you escape, unhurt?” He asked anxiously as he imagined the scene in his mind.

“I caught them unaware. I went straight to the sitting room where they were and they looked surprised for a moment.” she could almost see it again as if it happened the previous day.

*****

“Well, see the bad girl herself. Where is our boss?” The taller of the two, known as Scalpel regained his composure faster than the other one. He smiled at her as he rubbed his palms together.

“That is a silly question. You all know he is not around. What do you want?” She watched in disgust as their eyes roamed her body in the short silky robe she wore.

“You are a big girl and we don’t need to tell you why we are here.” The second man, known as John told her with a malicious grin, gesturing to her body.

“If I don’t cooperate, what will you do?” She asked with a blank look.

“By the time we finish with you, you will be begging us to have you, bad girl. We are going to strip you naked and tie you to the bedpost where you have been fucking the boss. We will taste Oga’s honey pot and be gone before you know what is happening.” Scalpel’s smile turned malicious.

Fatihat pretended to weigh her options before she shrugged and dropped her robe without warning. Their eyes bulged, nearly popping out of its socket at the sight of her body in skimpy bra and pants. John clutched his crotch with a groan.

“Who is coming first?” Her voice was lowered in a seductive whisper as she glided towards Scalpel who was watching her, mesmerized and wrapped her arms around his body. He held her waist as if he was in a dream and stared down at her boobs pressed against him. Her hands moved down his back to the back of his jeans trouser where she had seen the butt of the gun peeping out when she came into the sitting room.

She pulled out the gun and stepped back to their amazement. John tried to reach for his weapon when he realized what had happened and she shot his ankle. He screamed with pain as he held on to his foot and scalpel calmly stepped away.

“You, two get out before I decide to damage something that will be irreparable.”

“I will personally make sure you regret this.” Scalpel threatened as he helped his colleague out of the apartment.

*****

Eventually, they realized that if Fatihat reported the incidence to Michael, they would be in deep trouble. It was with bated breath that they awaited his return and an alternative plan to disappear immediately if he knew about the incidence. However, Michael returned a few days later and was casually curious about John’s bandaged ankle.

“I got injured during a fight in our neighborhood, boss. A guy shot me in my ankle.” He lied glibly as he avoided his gaze.

“You had better be more careful in future before you lose a leg to senseless fight.” Michael cautioned casually as he moved away and walked into the meeting room.

John released a sigh of relieving and exchanged a glance with Scalpel who was hovering nearby. “I have to give it to that girl. She is a matured brood.” Scalpel said with reluctant admiration as he walked over to join him.

“My admiration for that beautiful woman just went up a notch but I will try not to remember her in that skinny bra and pant.” John grinned as he limped forward, supporting his weight on his good leg.

“Don’t drool too much, boy-o before you get into further trouble than this.” Scalpel teased as he followed him into the building.

*****

“So you didn’t report them to Michael?” Yusuf raised an eyebrow at her.

“No, I didn’t report them because I know I can defend myself if they come back. If the time comes when I can no longer defend myself against randy men, then I deserved to be raped again.’ She smiled faintly. ‘Michael loved me and he was very possessive. He was also a ruthless man who has no respect for lives. He would have wasted their lives for crossing his boundary. I didn’t see any sense in that.” She shook her head from side to side and paced the room, obviously disturbed by the memory of her past.

“Were you not scared when you were leaving with a man like that?” He asked with something close to awe.

“I wasn’t really scared because I believe I have nothing to lose but I was scared for Josephine because she believed I will either be killed by Michael in a flare of one of his rotten temper or in one of our outings. It was part of the reason I was faithful to him throughout the duration of our relationship but Josephine will hear none of It.” she grinned to herself.

“So how did you rid yourself of him or you are still part of the gang? Please tell me you are not.” He practically pleaded with her. There was a pregnant pause as she poured herself another drink.

“I killed him.” She stared straight into his eyes. He thought he would vomit his lunch as he stared back.

“You did what?” He croaked in disbelieve, feeling faint.

“You heard me alright.”She took a long sip of her drink and put down the wine glass. She paced back and forth with her hands clamped together. “I never regretted killing him. I was with the gang for more than two years. Apart from my share of the looted treasures, Michael took very good care of me so much so much that I barely touched my money. Like every other thing in life, I know the good time will end someday and I was mentally preparing for that day. He thought he knew everything about me but he didn’t know jack except for the fact that I’m orphaned and I have nobody except him. He even thought my house was locked up but Josephine was living there and he didn’t know about her. The gang knew even lesser except that they called me ‘bad girl’ and I’m their boss’s woman. Our last operation was very bloody.” She took a deep breath and faced him.

“I didn’t know what happened or what went wrong but before we realize it, the police were after us and half of the gang was killed. I usually dressed like a man whenever we go on operations, so the police did not even know that there was a woman among the gang. It was at that operation that I realized that a good warrior lived to tell the story only if he knows when to flee the war zone. I made my escape before it got worse and we met  in his house.”

*****

Fatihat was nursing a glass of strong drink when Michael barged in, covered in a mix of blood and dust. He went straight to the drink cabinet and poured himself a strong drink as well. Then they sat in silence for a while.

“Are you okay, Lilah?”He asked in concern after a moment.

“I’m fine.” she nodded curtly.

“I’m truly sorry for putting you through this. I guessed something went wrong somewhere and I will find out what it was.” He swore to himself.

“Don’t make excuses for me. I knew what I was walking into when I joined The Cross and I think you should quit when you are still ahead.” she told him firmly.

“What is the meaning of that statement? I don’t give up that easily, girlfriend.”He snarled at her.

“Why don’t you channel your talent into something else? We can get out and cool off till the heat dies down, then start an honest business with what you have. This is a good and fresh opportunity for you, Michael.” She told him passionately.

“When did you become a pastor, Lilah Smith? Spear me the sermon please, It is the only life I know and it is what I will do again and again. You are either in or out.” He stared frostily at her.

“What about the lives of those who are gone? Do they mean anything to you at all?”

“It is their lives and their time to go. A good warrior should know when to quit and run for his life.” He shrugged nonchalantly.

“Other people’s lives matter a lot to me and I won’t join you in your second round of craziness. I am not in at all.” She got to her feet and dropped her wine glass.

“That is always the case of women. You developed cold feet when the going gets tough and looked for the next pot of soup.” He snarled. Her palm connected with his cheek in a resounding slap.

“Don’t you dare categorize me with all the bad things women do. You are worse than most men.” She spat at him.

His eyes saw shining stars and his temper climbed into a very dangerous level. It was the first time he was this mad at her and it happened to be the last. “You bitch. I can do without you.” He came towards her menacingly. She reached down and came up very swiftly with her .45 auto pistol in her hand. “You won’t dare kill me, will you?” He said with open disbelieve.

“I will if you won’t listen to what I’m telling you. You deserve to rot in hell, you fucking idiot. All those people do not deserve to die and you still want to go ahead with your stupid plans to rob more people. Don’t you have a conscience at all? It is either you do my wish or I will gladly kill you to spare the world of your rotten presence.”She told him very coldly.

“Will my conscience buy you fine clothes and shoes and cars and houses, you ungrateful bitch?”He came towards her with a furious snarl.

She kept retreating until she had no choice than to defend herself against him. She shot him in the head. He fell backward, dead on the spot. She wiped the gun clean, broke it into pieces and flushed it down the toilet. She pulled off her dirty, soiled clothes and burnt it in the backyard. She went to take her bath in a hurry and changed into a dark, green combat and a t-shirt. She picked up Michael’s gun and cartridges and tucked it away in her tote bag. She packed everything that belonged to her and every feminine article in the house and dumped it in her car. She went back for the last check and bent over the rapidly cooling corpse for a hard, quick kiss on the cold lips.

“When next you come back to this earth, avoid women and stay clear of crimes. Both will kill you over and over again.” She hit the body with her booth and got out of the house, then, she disappeared off the surface of the earth for nearly twelve months.

*****

“I learned that the remaining members of the gang were eventually rounded up and Michael’s apartment was ransacked with a toothpick but they only found his corpse. None of the other members knew my real name and I was gone until the investigation finally died down like any typical Nigerian investigation. Most of the properties he acquired during our time together were in my name. Those ones that had belonged to both of us, I sold them as discreetly as possible. Money makes things work in this country and when you have loads of it, you can get away with anything. I did!” She said with a triumphant smile and he sighed with little envy.

“You are a lucky woman, fatihat. Many aren’t that lucky.” He said quietly.

“I know I am. I could have died in that last operation or could be rotting in jail by now. Josephine was the happiest when I came back home finally, free of the dreadful gang forever.” She grinned openly. The door to the study room opened and her sister came in. “I was scared to death when I heard about the downfall of the gang but she called me that night and assured me she is safe. I’ve always regretted introducing her to that kind of life in the first place but we have to survive.” Josephine picked up the bottle of wine and poured herself a drink.

“You, guys have come a long way and you have done well for yourselves.”Yusuf said with a little tinge of envy.

“Your sister is the one with the armed robber money but I will help her spend it sha.Are you game?” Josephine asked solemnly and they all burst into laughter.

“So our admission came through a few weeks later and we are back in school as old mamas.”Fatihat said quietly.

“We should be through by next year, so I guess it is never too late to be what you want to be, no matter how rough the road is.” Josephine gave the young man a solemn look and he nodded in absolute agreement.

“Please come out. My dinner is getting cold.” Chenille called through the open door.

“I didn’t even realize we’ve spent hours in here.”Fatihat glanced at her slim, gold wrist watch and whistled softly under her breath. They filed out of the room.

P.S

Do you want to study, work and live in Australia? We offer free education consultancy, assist with Admission processing and student visa application.  We also do flight reservation and ticketing to any destination outside Nigeria.  Chat me up if you are interested. I can be reached at @obolaji on twitter and https://web.facebook.com/olanrewaju.mobolaji on facebook.  You may also inbox me at obolaji2002@yahoo.com…… 

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

 
 
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