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Thursday, January 30, 2014

ALL FUN AND GAMES - EPISODE 5

 


 
Hi guys. In case you missed episode 4 of  #AllFunAndGames, http://tommyslav-island.blogspot.com/2014/01/all-fun-and-games-episode-4.html

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EPISODE 5
 
 
Aisha paced around Craig’s living room. “Give a mansion to a pig and he’ll still make it a sty. Why is this place a mess?” She asked. Craig rolled his eyes as he flung his shorts from a corner on the sofa to another corner in the living room in a bid to make space for Aisha and Moira to take their seats.

            “It’s a big deal with the guys here.” He replied lazily as he slumped into a seat.

Aisha clenched her teeth in anger as she took a gaze at the living room. One would find it hard to believe that Craig emanated from such an environment once he stepped out of the house. He had dashing looks and well-ironed clothes like every other smart-looking man, but, his house??? Shirts lying around the parlour as though they owned it. Underwears and stockings graced the small alley that led to the room. Alcohol bottles and cans stashed in corners of the house. This made Aisha sick. She could not believe what Craig had made out of one of her best properties.

            “This is just disgusting.” Aisha said.

Craig nodded. “I know. But you really should call next time you want to visit. I got a cleaner for the house, she only comes during the weekends.”

            “Do you need a nanny too?! It’s been barely a week since you moved in here.” Aisha protested as she hurled a dangling shirt at him. “What are you trying to do, Craig?”

He took a deep breath. “Look, I am not the only one who lives here. I have friends here too, together we can take the credit for the mess, but you’ll just have to wait for them to arrive before you continue lashing me. Trust me, they are a bunch, about six or seven?”

            “I am not marrying all your dumb friends, you are the one I have a business with. This is unacceptable.” She said, standing up.

Moira cleared her throat. “Aisha-”

“Don’t Aisha me! Have you seen what this guy has turned this place into? Suppose you are caught unawares by the press and they decide to see what your crib looks like, is this what you are going to show them?” Aisha asked.

            Craig shrugged. “Yes, mom.”

                        “What?!” Aisha gasped.

            Moira couldn’t hold it. She burst into an awkward laugh. It however took a cold eye from Aisha to curb her laugh.

                        “This is one big joke to you, right?” Aisha asked staring at Craig.

He nodded. “I mean what do you call being forced to marry a woman? It has to be a joke. Look Aisha, you can’t come here telling me how to lead my life, okay? I am going to marry you, you are going to accept me however I am.” He said smiling. “I mean, it’s all fun and games, right?”

Aisha took her seat slowly. “Wow. It’s all fun and games, right? Craig, I am getting you a P.A, you will have an agenda. You will follow the agenda. You will stick to my rules. Number one is, kick those friends out.”

            “No, mom. I can’t do that.” He replied. “I mean, it is sick enough that I have to get married soon. Can’t I at least have friends while I wait for you to set the date?”

Aisha took a deep breath. “Rule number two: The next time you call me mom, you are going to regret it.”

            “What’s the worst that can happen? Look Aisha, I get the drill. I know what you want. I am going to help you achieve it. I have my methods and I always win, so stop getting in my way.” He said as he grabbed the controller to the television. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to watch TV, or would you decide when I watch that too? Oh…you might as well set parental locks on the decoder.”

Aisha felt sweat trickle down her back. She was nervous. She had never been this nervous. She had never had it this tough with anyone. To take on Craig, she had to be well-fortified. She really needed plans. This might have looked like a simple agreement, but Craig appeared to going overboard, at least to her.

Aisha picked her bag, standing up and Moira immediately rose to her feet. “Take care of this mess, Craig. I mean it.”

            “I will, mom.” He replied grinning.

 

++++****++++

 

Aisha kicked her car tyre hard as soon as they left Craig’s house. “I swear I could break that guy’s balls.”

            “Good! I heard it right this time.” Moira said with a smile.

Aisha swallowed. “He has so much gut. Who is he to talk to me anyhow?”

            “He is the man who is going to marry you so you can claim your inheritance before your father decides to will it to an orphanage.”

Aisha scoffed. “He dare not mess with me.”

            “You know he can do it and that’s why you are so desperate.”

Aisha shook her head in disagreement. “I am desperate because I don’t want Hakeem to keep bothering me. If I can convince father of Craig and I, and we quickly pull that marriage stunt, dad would understand my decision to stay single. I mean, I would be a divorcee by then. He’ll feel sorry for me.”

            “Don’t be too certain. Alhaji is well-respected, he won’t let you have a divorce that easily.” Moira said as she opened the door of the car. “We should get going.”

Aisha nodded. “Yeah, I need to plan that guy’s life; I won’t let him mess me up. For starters, this weekend, he is going with me to the Tennis club.”

            “What if he can’t play tennis?” Moira asked.

            “Oh well, that’s his luck! That will make the headline.” Aisha said starting the car.

Moira stared at her. “Aisha, I really think there is still time for you to fire this guy and open your heart to real love.”

            “Moira, what have you been drinking?” Aisha asked. “It is too early to be drunk.”

Moira rolled her eyes. “You are always evasive of the truth, I just think that this guy might be too much to handle.”

Aisha smiled. “Good. I am not going easy either.” She said as she drove off.

 

 

++++****++++

 

Aisha picked up the TV controller and tuned away from Fashion TV. “Don’t you have anything to do with your life, Moira?” she asked.

            “I was just doing something before you decided to ruin the moment for me.” Moira replied. “Ah, and you consider tuning to a Sport channel as something better?”

Aisha nodded as she stopped at a football game. “My brain is so tired of work that I need to unwind.”

            “If you want to unwind, you should be sleeping, or go to a club, the night is still young, just seven pm.” Moira replied.

            “I’ll pass on your offer.” She replied.

Moira hissed. “Do you have to subject me to this torture of watching grown men kicking balls into the net?”

            “Look on the bright side, you can admire the players while I admire the sport.” Aisha replied.

Moira grinned. “Why do I get the feeling that you are actually doing that when you say you are watching football? I mean, some of these guys are actually cute, maybe that’s what you come here to view, not actually the game.”

            “I don’t care what you think.” Aisha replied.

The doorbell chimed. “You have been saved by the bell, I am coming back for you.” Moira said as she walked over to the door. She returned to the living room with Craig. “Look who we have here, it is your dear future husband.”

Aisha turned off the TV. “What do you want? I don’t remember sending for you.” She said and paused to take a look at his dressing. “No one can guess the type of filth you’ve come out from when you are dressed like this.”

            “Get dressed. We are going to see your father.” Craig said as he took his seat.

Aisha stared at Moira and then back at Craig. “Look here man-”

            “-Get dressed woman. I have my methods, it is time we try my style.”

Moira grinned. “Of course, this is going to be fun.” She said as she dragged Aisha upstairs.

 

 

++++****++++

 

            “I am begging you not to go overboard.” Aisha said as they drove into Alhaji’s compound. “He is very intelligent and he can spot a fake when he sees one, so you had better be careful.”

Craig turned off the engine and stared at her. “As long as you play the dutiful woman, we have no problem impressing him.”

            “Try not to mention too many exotic places. I know you have goggled up places and towns, don’t go acting like you know them.” She added.

Craig nodded and stepped out of the car. He walked over to her side and opened the door for her. “Shall we?”

            “I am going to kill you if this is messed up.” Aisha said as they walked into the house.

            “Whoa!” Craig said as they walked through the hallway. “Is your father a king or something?”

Aisha shook her head. “You’ve started failing already. I know you’ve never seen anything as beautiful as this, please pretend as if you have.”

Alhaji Ibrahim met them in the hallway. “Aisha dear.” He said as he pecked her. “Craig, right?”

Craig nodded as he stretched out his hand. “Nice to meet you, sir.”

            “So, where did she fish you from?” Alhaji asked as they walked into the house.

Craig stared at Aisha with a surprised look and then back at Alhaji. “Fish me?”

Alhaji nodded as he ushered them to their seats. “Aisha has never brought a man home and for reasons best known to Aisha and myself, it is a beauty to have you here.”

            “I…I was the one who wanted to come.” Craig said.

Alhaji Ibrahim relaxed in his seat. “Really? And why is that?”

Craig smiled. “For obvious reasons. She’s always bragged about your home.”

Aisha gasped.

            “Aisha? Brag? My Home? Does it sound like my girl?” Alhaji Ibrahim replied.

Aisha immediately grabbed a glass of champagne from the maid and started to drink. The maid set the remaining drinks and walked away.

            “A lot of things about Aisha that you probably don’t know, sir. No offence.” Craig replied.

Alhaji Ibrahim nodded. “You may be right, son. So, did you guys attend university together?”

Craig nodded in agreement. “Yes sir, although we were not very good friends back then, but I said hi a lot. I did humiliate myself around her.”

            “Finally! A good lie!” Aisha said almost inaudibly through her clenched teeth.

Alhaji nodded. “I won’t be surprised.”

            “Nonetheless, she is really special and her love for you has made me really interested in knowing my competition.”

Aisha rolled her eyes. “Dad, Craig is a really troublesome man. He’s all about going out with me and he is troubled that I won’t go out with him, and that is the truth. He insisted that I bring him to see the man that has my heart and that’s why we are here.”

Alhaji Ibrahim smiled. “Am I that special to you?” he asked with a smile.

Aisha nodded. “Dad, can we keep our differences aside?” she asked with a smile. “This guy is a stranger and he is trying to take your place in my life.”

Alhaji Ibrahim nodded. “With all pleasure.”

Craig smiled as he stared at Aisha. “So, I’ll keep pestering you.”

Alhaji Ibrahim cleared his throat. “We should have dinner together. The three of us. Let’s go to the table.”

 

 

++++****++++

 

            “Still staying locked up?” Bolu asked as he walked into Daniel’s room. “There’s space for you in Craig’s house.”

Daniel hissed. “I just don’t want to be around that guy anymore. Why does he always get the good things?”

            “Are we still on this Vicky issue?” Bolu asked, taking a seat. “Guy, get over it. It is not Craig’s fault that the babe doesn’t like you.”

Daniel nodded. “I see. What about this Aisha’s case, it was my stand and she chose him.”

            “GUY! Wetin you dey talk nau? (What are you saying?) You are acting crazy, man. It sucks to be Craig right now in case you don’t know.”

Daniel hissed as he downed his drink. “Money, Car, House, Clothes, and Aisha? Why won’t I want to be him?”

            “Daniel, I can’t believe you are talking like this. Is this because of Vicky? Craig is not responsible for Vicky’s feelings. If you want to take it out on someone, talk to Vicky.”

Daniel nodded. “Easy for you to say, you are eating from his rich girlfriend’s plate now.”

Bolu shook his head. “Man, you are pathetic.”

            “Get out! I am done with you guys!”

            “For real?”

Daniel nodded. “For real.”

 

 

++++****++++

 

            “You should come over to the tennis club this weekend.” Alhaji Ibrahim said as he walked Craig and Aisha over to the car.

Craig shrugged. “I think I have a less hectic weekend, I might make it.”

 “Do you play tennis, Craig?” Aisha asked.

He smiled. “I’ll bring my racket.” He said as he walked over to the driver’s side.

Alhaji Ibrahim pulled Aisha aside gently. “I like him.” He said with a smile. “Very confident lad. You guys might do well together.”

            “I don’t like him, Dad.” Aisha replied. “I brought him here so he’ll stop bugging me.” She added. The gate opened and Hakeem’s car rode in. “Hakeem?”

Alhaji Ibrahim nodded. “Yes. Good thing you haven’t left.”

Hakeem approached them. “Good evening, Alhaji.” He said.

Alhaji nodded with a smile. “How are you, Hakeem?”

            “Very well, sir.” He replied and turned in Aisha’s direction. “Aisha, how are you?”

She smiled back. “Fine, thank you.”

Craig joined them. “Shall we, Aisha?”

Hakeem turned in his direction. “Hello?”

            “Hakeem, meet my friend, Craig. Craig, meet Hakeem.”

Craig stretched out a hand to him. “Good evening.”

Hakeem stared at him and took the hand firmly. “Good evening.”

Craig turned in Alhaji Ibrahim’s direction. “Good night, sir. It’s been a real pleasure.”

            “For me too. Have a good evening. Hakeem, you are here to see me, right?”

Hakeem swallowed as he watched Craig usher Aisha into the car. “Yes sir.” He replied and followed Alhaji Ibrahim.

 

 

++++****++++

 

            “I don’t get it, Alhaji, how is he Aisha’s boyfriend?” Hakeem asked perturbed.

Alhaji took a deep breath. “I have not said that he is her boyfriend. All I am saying is that, they seem very intimate as friends.”

            “Intimate? That means something is going on between them. Little wonder Aisha is softer these days.”

Alhaji stared at him. “What do you mean?”

Hakeem resisted the urge to tell Alhaji about the incident at his house. “It’s nothing, Alhaji. Sir, I really need your help to win her heart. She listens to you.”

Alhaji shook his head sadly. “You don’t get it, son. We have no right over some things, the only thing I can tell you is that Aisha told me that she doesn’t like him. Perhaps, you can use that in your favour and see if you might be able to win her over.”

Hakeem nodded. “I’ll do everything in my power to make her mine.”

            “I advise you to just take it easy.” Alhaji replied. “So, what do I offer you?”

Hakeem waved it off. “I am fine, sir.”

 

 

++++****++++

 

            “Seems you would need more action from me.” Craig said as he pulled up in Aisha’s garage.

Aisha took off the seat belt. “I don’t understand what you mean.”

            “That guy back at your father’s. He seemed ruffled by me. Who is he?” he asked.

She rolled her eyes. “Hakeem means nothing.”

            “I can guess he leads the line of your suitors.” Craig replied as he turned in her direction. “We should make this acting more intense.”

She stared at him. “What do you mean? My father already likes you, which wins it for me.”

            “He might like me, but I am sure that he would not be very comfortable yet. Hakeem as you call him is Muslim and I am Christian.”

Aisha stared at him with shock all over her face. “Are you suggesting that my father is going to be judgemental?”

He shook his head in disagreement. “I am not saying that, but, it is a possibility.”

            “I think you should keep it out of the picture for now.” She replied as she placed her hand on the lock trying to open the door. “What is wrong with the door?” she asked as she turned in his direction.

He stared at her. “You are beautiful. I should have said that earlier.”

She scoffed. “Is that part of the deal?”

            “No. I…I just thought I should say it.” He replied.

She nodded. “Henceforth, I suggest that you keep such impulses to yourself, are we clear?”

He nodded. “Have a good night.”

 

 

++++****++++

 

            “You don’t give up, do you?” Vicky asked as Daniel approached her.

He shook his head. “Vicky, I care a lot about you, Craig doesn’t.”

            “If you cared so much, you won’t be telling me that Craig doesn’t care about me.”

He took a deep breath. “I am trying to be realistic here. Look, Vicky, when a man loves a woman, he’ll do anything to make her happy.”

            “How’s it going for you? I am obviously not happy and you want to worsen it for me.”

            “Are you ever going to love me?”

She shrugged. “I don’t think so, but, you can do me a favour by telling me where to find Craig, I have been searching for him? I’ll appreciate you for that.”

He swallowed. “I…I don’t know.”

She smiled. “Typical you! I didn’t expect you to be of help. Good luck loving me.”

He took a deep breath. “I am being honest. He’s moved out of the house.”

            “Why?”

Daniel rubbed his palms against his pocket. “I…I don’t know why.”

            “You are lying, Daniel. I have been to the mall, I haven’t seen him. He’s not been to the cafeteria or bar in days, no one has seen him around this hood. Where is he? Where is Bolu?”

Daniel stared at her. “I hate to tell you but Craig is getting married.”

Vicky stared at him confusingly. “Married?”

            “Yes. Craig is getting married and pretty soon.”

Vicky took a seat and Daniel took his beside her. “Is this how desperate you are? Daniel, you are loser. You were a loser. You are a loser and you will always be a loser.” She replied.

 

 

++++****++++

           

“So, you think Alhaji is convinced?” Moira asked.

Aisha nodded. “He looked it, but Craig brought up an issue that has me slightly concerned.”

            “What might that be? Religion?” Moira asked as she sipped her drink.

Aisha nodded. “Exactly. Do you think Alhaji will give us problems with that? I mean, I can’t even start looking for a Muslim right now.”

            “Hakeem is not far away.” Moira replied. Aisha ignored her. “Look Aisha, I think we should look for a quick alternative.”

Aisha shot at her. “I am not investing in another man.”

            “I totally understand you, but you have to do something about this, else, Alhaji might actually spring up the religion thing soon.”

Aisha smiled. “Or I could convert to a Christian, right? It’s not like I don’t attend more church services than I go to the mosque.”

            “The right question is when last did you go to the mosque?” Moira retorted. Aisha shrugged in response. “I really don’t think that’s the solution. Alhaji won’t be buoyed. I think you should step this drama up.”

Aisha stared at her. “Like make it intense?”

            “Exactly! That’s the word. Give it some intensity. Add some life to it.”

Aisha nodded. “Craig was saying the same thing too. But how?” Moira shrugged and continued drinking. “Hey!” Aisha shouted at her. “Think! You are the genius in things like this.”

            “Really? For once, you actually concede that I am actually better than you at something.” Moira said with a smile.

Aisha rolled her eyes. “In this case, I’d love being second to you.”

            “That’s subtle for saying I don’t think of smart things, right?”

Aisha smiled. “I never said so, but since you have implied it, I might as well agree with you.”

            “Well, let’s see where being cocky gets you. I am not helping out anymore.” Moira replied as she turned her nose up.

Aisha smiled. “I am sorry, love. Please help me.”

            “On one condition.”

Aisha nodded. “Ask.”

            “You won’t make fun of my boyfriend again?”

Aisha smiled. “The one on the internet?”

            “I have met him once.”

Aisha nodded. “Yes, via Skype of course.”

Moira ignored her.

            “Okay, fine. I promise never to talk about him in such tone again. Would you now come up with an idea?”

Moira smiled. “Well, I have always had the idea and it just became clearer.”

            “Spill!”

Moira nodded. “Your next line of action is to move in with Craig.”

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ALL FUN AND GAMES - EPISODE 4

 

 
 Hi guys. Hope you all are having a nice week. Please take a few moments to like my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/moradeadesina and also follow @tomi_adesina and @tommyslavisland on twitter. Please share to your families, friends and colleagues and retweet and don’t forget to comment. Thank you.

 
EPISODE 4

Aisha and Moira walked into Hakeem’s villa. Clearly they looked different from the others in their saris which Aisha had chosen for ‘her reasons’. The others wore hip dresses. Even Hakeem wore a polo shirt. Moira had been stunned by Aisha’s decision back home and she didn’t hide her feelings.

            “Aisha, why do we have to wear Saris? This is the only one you have; shouldn’t you be saving it up for more important events?”

Aisha ignored her as she applied her eyeliner.

            “Aisha, I don’t like this.” Moira continued.

Aisha nodded in agreement. “Me neither, but, have you stopped to think that Hakeem invited us to embarrass us? I gave what you said about me trusting Hakeem so easily a second thought and I feel we should be well prepared.”

            “But Aisha, does a Sari solve that?” Moira asked looking angry.

“Yes, it does, Moira. We would look like the traditional ladies that they never thought we could be. Besides, Hakeem would be wearing a Kaftan as usual and I am sure that his friends won’t be any better.” She concluded.

Sadly, Hakeem wasn’t wearing a Kaftan. The only traditionally dressed ones were Aisha and Moira. Moira giggled softly. “Aisha, you should see your face right now.”

The others started to take pictures of Aisha and Moira as they came to greet them. “I love your dress, Aisha. You look stunning.”

            “Yeah right! Stunning my a#s!” Aisha replied in her mind as she smiled towards the lady who had complimented her. “How are you?” she asked.

The lady nodded. “I am fine, do you remember me? We used to seat in the same row during the prayers when we were little.”

If there was anything Aisha couldn’t remember, it had to involve prayers. She stopped going to the mosque before her teens. She smiled at the lady as she tried using her memory. “Fatima?”

Fatima jumped on Aisha in excitement. “We were like sisters.”

Moira cleared her throat and held Aisha’s hand. “Don’t get too ahead of yourself, Fatima.”

Fatima nodded in smiles. “Honestly, I am really a fan of you ladies and your achievement and a lot of us look up to you.”

            “Obviously.” Aisha replied.

Hakeem joined them. “Hello Ladies.”

            “Hi, Hakeem.” Moira said.

He bowed as he took her hand. He then turned in Aisha’s direction. “You are beautiful, Aisha.”

Aisha nodded. “I know that, Hakeem.”

He smiled. “Come with me, let me show you around.”

            “Easy man, I am not here for any introduction. I only came to fulfil my own side of the deal.”

He nodded. “I know, but, since you are here, why not have fun? Moira is already having fun with Fatima, you all used to be close.”

Aisha stared in Moira and Fatima’s direction and the pair looked to be chatting away in excitement. “What do you say?”

            “Should I get you a drink?” Hakeem asked.

She shook her head in disagreement. “I don’t take alcohol.”

They all took their seats round a large table as food was served. “Before we start to eat, I want to tell us the real reason why I thought we should come together.”

Moira stared at Aisha. “Here it comes.”

            “I wanted us to catch up on old times and what others have missed about us. We’ll take turns to talk about families, vacations and all.”

Aisha murmured underneath her breath. “Let’s go now, Moira.”

            “Don’t be such a killjoy, we are just about to be let in on juicy gossip.” She whispered.

            “You are so dumb, Moira.” She said through clenched teeth. “We are about to be embarrassed here.”

Moira grinned. “Not me, baby. It’s you. I have a lover.”

A coin dropped beside Fatima. Aisha jolted as Fatima sat close to Moira. Hakeem smiled. “Fatima, you are up. You will toss the bottle and the next will speak.”

Moira stared at Aisha. “Get ready.” She said with a grin.

 

++++****++++

Daniel approached Vicky as soon as she walked out of the coffee shop.

            “We are closed for the day.”

He smiled as he walked along. “I know, but I thought I could walk you home.”

She stopped and stared at him. “Daniel, I am going to try to be as explicit as possible. I don’t love you.”

He nodded. “I know.”

            “And I will never love you.” She added.

He swallowed. “You don’t know about that.” He replied.

            “Why?” she asked.

He folded his arms. “Let’s just say because you don’t choose who you love.”

She rolled her eyes. “I may not be able to choose who I love and you are right, I didn’t choose to love Craig. Now leave me alone.” She said and walked off into the night.

 

++++****++++

Craig closed his box. “Where is that idiot, Daniel?”

Bolu shrugged. “I don’t know, I guess he went out for a stroll.”

            “If he doesn’t return in good time, he’ll miss the taxi.” Craig said as he checked his phone. “We have about thirty minutes.”

Bolu took a deep breath. “Do you feel comfortable about this?”

            “Who feels comfortable about anything? I got a message from my future wife that I have to get my stuffs and move to a new place; all we have to do is wait for her cab man and go with him.”

            “Craig, what if you…I mean we are unable to survive this thing?” Bolu asked.

Craig shook his head. “You are not in this with me, I am in it alone. Coming with me to live in the new house is just to make sure that I am not bored there since I can’t work at the mall anymore.”

The door opened and Daniel staggered in, eyes blood shot. “You are a piece of thrash, Craig. You are a worthless man!”

Craig shook his head. “That’s what excessive drinking does to a man. Be warned.” He said in response to Bolu.

            “Vicky doesn’t want me, she only wants you. You don’t deserve her. You don’t.” Daniel shouted as he tried to make it to Craig but he bumped into a seat.

Bolu helped him to a seat. “Take it easy, bro. You have had too many.”

            “I have had nothing. Craig has had it all. Get out of here, Craig. Don’t live in my house anymore. Go away!”

 

++++****++++

Aisha smiled as the bottle top tilted slightly away from her at the next turn. An excited chatterbox took up the mantle and started to talk. “Right now, my husband and I are saving up to get money to buy our own house. We have a little boy and he is so adorable. He wants to go to a new school but we can’t afford to change his school yet but when we afford it, we would take him there.”

            “So why are you putting the house ahead of your son?” Aisha asked, cutting in. “Ridiculous.”

Moira stared at Aisha. “Aisha.” She said, through clenched teeth.

            “Don’t ‘Aisha’ me. She wants a house for status sake, and her son is unable to go to a good school, isn’t that just dumb?” Aisha said.

The woman took a deep breath. “It is not dumb, Aisha. My son wants a new school and a better one, but he needs a roof over his head first. We have had to patch the roof of our house times without number because water keeps coming into it and you may think that we all seated here are as privileged as you are, but we are not all like that. Not all of us made it. Some of us are still looking up to God for the day we would be better.”

Aisha swallowed.

            “But until that day, we would continue to do what we can to take care of our families in the best way we can. It’s my apologies that my son wasn’t born in one of the best hospitals in this world or that my son has not been privileged to have a scholarship like I did which brought me into the same environment as kids like yourself back then in our elementary days.” She continued as she stared into Aisha’s eyes. Aisha slowly started to blink and pant. The woman, unfazed continued as the others were silent. “I will get better education for my son, but first, I will get a roof for his head, so that he doesn’t have to read with the rain dropping on his forehead or sleep in a breeding stream of mosquito made from the rain.”

Aisha’s palms were wet and she looked nervous as the woman continued. “Please stop.” Aisha muttered.

            “One day my son would be able to afford the good things of life, but until that day, don’t tell me that I have dumb plans for him.”

Aisha grabbed her bag and ran out of the meeting with Moira and Hakeem chasing immediately.

            “Aisha wait!” Hakeem said as he caught up with her pulling her hand.

Aisha yanked out of his grip. “Is that why you brought me here?” she screamed as tears streamed down her eyes. “You wanted me to see other people’s sufferings?”

            “Aish-”

            “-Don’t!” Aisha yelled. “Don’t say anything to me.”

Moira swallowed as she saw her friend in tears for the first time in a long time, the last time Aisha had to shed a tear was when her mother passed away. She was only thirteen then and her mother had been killed brutally by armed robbers. Alhaja was returning with the girls from a charity event when they were attacked by robbers who made away with her money and car leaving Aisha and Moira in tears. Moira screamed and cried so much while Aisha had hugged her best friend as she sobbed silently. One would have thought that it was Moira’s mother who passed away, not Aisha’s. Aisha always knew how to keep the emotions in, but not in this case. She was in tears as she yelled at Hakeem.

            “Aisha, this…this-”

Aisha yelled. “Just leave me alone, Hakeem. I have honoured my own side, stick to yours.” She said and walked out with Moira following her.

Aisha didn’t drive home. She parked the car at a water front and gave the keys to Moira. “You can go home.” She said and walked away.

Moira followed her like a bee. “I can’t leave you alone.”

Aisha took her seat on the sand. “I really want to be left alone, Moira.”

Moira took her seat beside Aisha and wrapped her hand around her. “It’s been a long time.”

            “Since we were together here?”

Moira nodded. “Yeah, and since I have seen you cry.” She chuckled. “I miss Alhaja.”

Aisha took a deep breath. “It’s been a while, right?”

            “You know Aisha, you are allowed to really cry about it.” Moira said.

            “No, I am not allowed.” Aisha said.

Moira took Aisha’s hand. “We can go and see her.”

            “I don’t want to, Moira. It’s too hard for me.” Aisha replied. “I wish I was able to defend her that day.”

Moira smiled faintly. “We couldn’t do anything, Aisha. We were just girls.”

            “Yes. Weak, Useless and Feeble.”’

Moira’s face fell. “Please Aisha, we can talk about happier things.”

            “Like the woman whose son has a poor sleeping and studying condition? The woman who would let her son grow up with the notion that the society robbed him of everything and maybe someday, he will attack someone else like those bastards did to my mother?”

Moira took a deep breath. “Don’t beat yourself up, Aisha.”

            “Are you not afraid that this boy might grow up to be like one of those hoodlums if he continues in those conditions?” Aisha asked.

Moira nodded. “What are you trying to say?” she asked with a smile.

Aisha shrugged. “I am going to have someone investigate her family and I’ll see what I can do about it.”

            “Are you trying to say that you want to help her?” Moira asked, grinning.

Aisha took a deep breath. “Do I need to speak Mandarin for you to understand?”

Moira smiled.

 

++++****++++

            “Wake up man.” Craig said as the pulled the sheets from Bolu.

Bolu groaned as he dragged himself from the comfortable bed. “I have not slept this well in ages.” He said.

Craig looked outside the window. “I’d get ready for work if I were you.”

            “And you?” Bolu asked as he started to get into his trousers. “Are you not coming?”

Craig shrugged. “Very much later. I can’t be working at that place with this new job of mine.”

            “Oh…I see.” Bolu said as he picked his toothbrush and reached for the paste.

Craig passed it to him. “What about the bathroom?”

            “I’ll be late if I take a bath, can’t afford to be fired. I don’t have a cougar yet.”

Craig hissed. “She is not a cougar and you don’t need me to remind you that this is confidential.”

Bolu nodded. “I am not your problem.” He said.

 

++++****++++

            “So, we have located her family and we would be sending anonymous aid to them today.” Moira said as she placed her iPad on the table.

Aisha nodded as she took a view from the large window.

Moira wondered what her friend was up to that drew her mind so far away. “Anything that I should know?”

Aisha turned in her direction. “Moira, I need to take that guy to see my father soon.”

            “Eh, why the rush?” Moira asked taking a seat. She poured herself a glass of water as Aisha took her seat. “What is going on?”

Aisha drummed on the table nervously. “I know Alhaji, when he sets a deadline, he is set to make you fail, now, if I don’t let him know I am serious, I might just be in trouble.”

            “No, I’ll say we should wait. If you take Craig to him now, he’ll smell it. Let Craig be the one to come to him.”

            “What are you suggesting? That I tell Craig to go and see him?” Aisha asked.

The intercom rang and Aisha pushed the loudspeaker button. “Yes?”

            “Alhaji is coming up to your office.”

            “Thank you.” Aisha said as she ended the call.

The door opened and Alhaji Ibrahim walked in. “Good morning, ladies.”

            “Good morning, sir.” Aisha and Moira replied in unison.

He smiled at them as he took a seat. “I hope you know why I am here, Aisha.” He started.

            “We cut more deals yesterday?” she asked feigning ignorance.

He smiled. “Funny? Look Aisha, we had a deal, I am already scouting your replacement.”

            “Dad, love comes softly.”

He laughed. “Good to hear you say a correct line about love.”

            “You’d be surprised about a lot of things that I know.”

Alhaji nodded as he stared at the pulsing intercom. “You have a call, aren’t you going to take it?”

Aisha waved it off. “It must be something work related, we can handle it later.”

            “Good to see you put work aside for family, I am undoubtedly impressed…even if it is for now.” He said.

There was a light tap as the door opened. Craig walked in a black tuxedo. He had the look of one of those ‘Hollywood stars’ and with the dashing smile that he posed, Aisha smiled back. Moira too smiled.

            “Good morning everyone.” He cowed in his manly tone.

Aisha immediately rose to make the introduction. “Dad, this is Craig. He is a friend and Craig, this is my Dad, Alhaji Ibrahim Bello.”

Alhaji Ibrahim stared at him as Craig stretched out his hand. “Good day, sir. I am Craig Adegboye.” He introduced.

Alhaji took the hand firmly. “Alhaji Ibrahim Bello.”

            “It is an honour to meet you, sir.” Craig said.

Alhaji nodded. “Are you from around here?”

Aisha immediately jumped in. “Oh Dad-”

Craig cut her off. “Easy, babe. Alhaji is not a tiger.” He said and smiled in Alhaji’s direction. “Sir, I am new in town. I have been in Dubai for a while now.”

UBAI???????????? Aisha’s head went into a shock. Of all places to choose??? Her father could be called an aficionado in matters of Dubai and her people. She prayed silently that Alhaji didn’t ask any further questions.

            “Good to meet you, son. See you around.” Alhaji said, patting Craig on his shoulder. “Have a nice time. Moira, come with me.” He said as he walked out.

Aisha waited for Moira to shut the door after them before she started her outburst. “I am not paying for you to wear a tux that costs five thousand dollars.”

Craig took a seat. “I didn’t know that there was a price tag on your definition of ‘standard’. ‘Next time you come here, wear a tux’. Remember that?”

Aisha took a deep breath. “I am not funding that credit card once it runs out.”

            “I see you put a Range Rover SUV in the house. I am not a fan of that car.”

She scoffed. “I didn’t expect you’d be. It is difficult to buy class, but that is what you are going to ride in.”

            “I was thinking I could get a Porsche Panamera, I checked out the details of that car and it is hot. Or maybe a Ferrari?”

She hissed. “Listen to me, I know it is difficult for a man like you to have some pride of his own, but I advise you get some soon. I am not about to allow you ruin my life.”

            “You need me and remember you bought me, you need to pet me and take good care of me.”

She nodded. “Where do you want to work?”

            “Work?”

            “Yes, work. Or what are you going to tell my father next? That you run shipments and I am sure you don’t even know what a wharf looks like.”

He smiled. “I know you have a personal ship, you could give it to me. Or what do you think?”

            “You are a fool. That’s what I think. What else can you do with your brain, that is, apart from stealing? I need to complete your profile; my Dad would run a background check on you soon. I can’t be caught napping.”

He took a deep breath. “I studied computer science.”

            “Okay then. I can find something for you. You have to head a tech group to make your resume good. Who can I call?” she said, thinking aloud and then dialled from her phone. “Hey man, what’s up? I need a big favour from you man…”

 

++++****++++

Aisha ushered Craig into her house with Moira following behind. “This tour is for you to be up-to-date with everything here, I don’t want Alhaji surprising any of us.” She said as they walked.

            “You live in this place alone?” he asked with a great deal of surprise.

Moira cleared her throat. “I live here too.”

            “There must be a pool somewhere here.” He said.

Moira nodded. “Yes. There is one in the backyard where we have the barbecue stand and all.”

“The rooms are upstairs.” Aisha said. Craig motioned to the stairs. “Where do you think you are going?” she asked.

“To see the rooms. This is a tour, please make it complete.”

            Aisha shrugged and led him upstairs to the rooms. “Satisfied?” she asked as they left her bedroom.

                He nodded. “Beautiful room you have there.” He said as he approached a door.

Aisha stepped ahead of him. “You can’t go in there.”

            “Why is that?”

            “You just can’t.” Moira echoed.

Aisha pointed to the stairs. “Shall we?”

He nodded and followed them.

Aisha knew what she was getting herself into and what mattered the most to her was her money. She would be ready to do anything to get it and her investment in Craig looked like it might be a wise one after all. She had gotten him a job and a new life but he didn’t need to know her little secret, the only thing she could really call ‘her’.