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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Press Release for Dear Future Husband (The eBook)


       Young and Talented Fiction Writer Tomi Adesina to Release "Dear Future Husband" Ebook in March

Creative writer, Tomi Adesina has announced that she will release the ebook for her popular fiction series "Dear Future Husband" (#DFH) on the 1st of March.

"Dear Future Husband" will be available for FREE download on OKADABOOKS and dropbox downloads
says Tomi.

The 29-episode series was published on her blog Tommyslav's Island., 360nobs.com, oyamag.com, Let's Talk About Relationship with Kemmystry and other popular sites.

#DearFutureHusband tells a story of Kimberly Bankole and her friends, Ini and Tola, as they find their way around life, career and love. We see the story through Kim's eye.

Tomi, a Microbiology graduate of Bowen University is an award winning fiction writer. Her blog was crowned Best Writing Blog (Judges' Choice) in 2013 by the Nigerian Blog Award. Tomi is also a Screenwriter and she wrote the Debut season of the hit TV drama series, Deadline which premiered on Ebony Life TV. She also Co-wrote for Broadway, a Ghanian TV series. She is currently working on other TV Productions.

ALL FUN AND GAMES – EPISODE 8


 
Hello Everybody,

Here’s to remind you that the e-book for #DearFutureHusband would be out soon by God's grace, in a few days precisely. Now you can have Kim and Tola and Ini as well as all others in the comfort of your pockets. Anywhere, everywhere, all the time.
 

 

 Take a few moments to like my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/moradeadesina and 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.

Please take a few seconds of your time to subscribe to the blog for updates on new posts and comments too. Once u do, a message will be sent to your email address for activation. please click the link in the mail to activate your subscription. Alternatively, you can follow the blog @tommyslavisland and send us your email address and we will add you to the mailing list. 
             Thanks guys.

In case you missed Episode 7, click here http://tommyslav-island.blogspot.com/2014/02/all-fun-and-games-episode-7.html
 
 
 
 
 
   
 EPISODE 8

            Aisha leaned against the door as she folded her arms, creating an imposing figure against the door with her yet petite frame. “Craig!” she called in her best feminine asset. “Craig!”

            Vicky stared at her carefully. “I can’t believe this.”

                        “I know you can’t. Do you want an autograph? Last chance.” Aisha said with a cynical smile.

            Vicky swallowed as she watched Craig approach from inside. He was topless and this sent ideas into her head.

            Craig took a deep breath as he saw Vicky. “Hey.” He said.
           Aisha turned as she stared at him and returned into the house. Craig pulled Vicky outside and shut the door as soon as he watched Aisha leave for the bedroom. “What is this, Vicky? What are you doing here?”

            “Craig…I…I love you.”
Craig swallowed. “And I don’t!”

          Vicky took a deep breath. “Craig, I know…I know it’s not every day that a lady summons courage to tell a man that she is in love with him and I swear it is not easy for me to bottle my feelings like they don’t exist when they do, but…but I just want you to know that I love you for who you are and would never stop loving you.”

Craig rubbed his forehead. “I…I don’t know what to say. I…I am with someone else.”

            “Her?”

Craig nodded. “Yes. Her. Aisha. Her name is Aisha.”

            “Do you love her?” Vicky asked. “I mean, where did she spring out from? We only knew Aisha from the TV and spotlight, but, you and Aisha? I mean, was it coded and stuff? When did you guys fall in love?

Craig blinked. “Look, my relationship with Aisha is very important to me and to her too. I can’t discuss our affair with you, but all I can tell you is that we have something.”

            “Tell me, Craig. Please.” Vicky said desperately. “Look, Craig, I have loved you ever since we have been friends and yes, I find it hard not to fight for it.”

Craig took a deep breath. “Vicky, I thought we had discussed this before.”

            “I own my feelings, Craig.”

He nodded. “Fine. I can’t deprive you of the right to be in love, but, this love won’t be reciprocated.”

            “Craig, I just want you to be aware of what I feel for you and I want you to know that I am not going to stop loving you.”

            “Vicky, you are a good woman. I am sure that there are men lined up to love you if you let them. You don’t have to tie yourself down to me. I am with someone else.”

Vicky shook her head sadly. “Why did you choose her?”

            “I have no control over my heart, do I?” he asked.

She stared at him. “Do you love her?”

He swallowed. “Vicky…”

            “Just answer the question, Craig. Be honest with me, for once, please. Do you love her?”
          Craig stared at Vicky’s eyes. They were full of hurt and desperation. He didn’t know what else to say to her that would send her away from him. For him, he couldn’t give her love, he knew that. He had never loved anyone like himself. Feelings and emotions were for the weak. He could deal with casual sex but not commitments. Vicky seemed like commitment, Aisha was business. He didn’t need Vicky. Aisha was his pot of gold. He could mess around with that. And even if it meant him lying to a desperate woman, he would. Lying wouldn’t hurt him, after all, he already lied to a desperate father. Why couldn’t he lie to Vicky?
         
           He took a deep breath. “I am in love with Aisha. I have always been and we have had our relationship under wraps for a long time now, just to keep it out of the press’ prowling eyes. I am sorry if I have never told you about it. I really apologise for hurting you, Vicky. I love my girlfriend. I’d do anything for her. She loves me too. I can’t hurt her.”

           Vicky wiped a tear drop as it rolled down from her eyes. “Craig, I love you. I am sorry you love someone else.”

            “Vicky…”
           She tiptoed and pecked his cheek. “Bye. I would never show up in your life again.” She said as she walked away.
           
            Craig took a deep breath as he watched her walk away. He buried his head in his hand and returned into the house. Now he had to face the bigger venom.

            Aisha lay on the chaise lounge in the living room as she watched from the TV. Craig rubbed his palm against his trouser as he stared at her. “I can explain.”

           Aisha stared at him with a smile. “What? The TV program is nice, you should watch it. Should I get you some ice-cream?”

            “I…I am talking about what just happened.” He replied as he approached her.
          She shrugged. “I thought the scene was funny too, but you know how these actors can be, they can be very annoying.” She replied, feigning ignorance as she focused on the TV. “Are you sure you don’t want any Ice-cream?”

            “Aisha, I…I don’t love Vicky.” Craig said.

Aisha stared at him. “Who is Vicky?”

            “Come on, Aisha. You know who Vicky is. She just left.” He replied as he squatted beside her. “Look, Vicky is…is just a lady who is in love with me, but I assure you I am not in love with her.”
             Aisha stared at him. “Craig, I don’t know what you are blabbing about. Here I am, trying to enjoy some TV and take a break from work and you are talking to me about love and Vicky. I don’t understand. I really want to enjoy this program. Would you let me?” she asked with a smile.

            “Damn!” Craig shouted and rose to his feet. “I am off to bed.”

She smiled. “Have a nice night.” She said and focused on the TV.

Craig kicked the chair angrily and left for the bedroom.

 

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

            “So you are telling me that Craig’s girlfriend showed up at your house last night?”
             Aisha nodded as she punched the elevator button to the top floor. “Exactly, Moira. That doesn’t worry me as much as I think my plans might be foiled if I keep getting ugly surprises like that. Who is next to visit? Hakeem?”

Moira smiled. “That won’t be cool, my friend.”

            “You know I actually think Craig’s bases are not as covered as they should be. Come to think of it, I picked this guy from the slum; people are going to wonder how his profile jumped this high in no time. I should have thought of this more before choosing that scumbag.”
             Moira shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. We would just have to come up with something. Like how he enjoyed frolicking with the needy and all. I’ll find something, don’t worry. I think what we need to do is to speed up the wedding plans, so you can get the inheritance, divorce him and get your life back on track. Maybe by then, you’d be in love with Hakeem.” Moira replied, snickering.

            “Very funny, Moira. Very funny.” Aisha replied as they stepped out to the main floor.

 “How has living with Craig been?”

            Aisha stared at her as she pushed her office door open. “How is it supposed to be? We stay out of each other’s way as much as possible.”

                        “Nothing unites you both?” Moira asked, taking her seat with a smile.

            Aisha raised an eyebrow. “Out with it, you idiot. What are you insinuating?”

            Moira shrugged. “Nothing that hasn’t been heard before. I am just saying that, how is that you both haven’t found a common ground to co-exist in that house?” She asked, grinning.

                        “Look, if what you are trying to say is what I think, NO. I have respect for myself, unlike you.”

            Moira hissed. “I respect myself too. But I am just saying. You guys can be friends with benefits.”

“Moira, are you alright? What has come over you?” Aisha asked as she turned on her laptop. “Fact check, I am Aisha Bello. I don’t have time for frivolities, so the next time you forget who you are and start imagining foolish things, always remember who I am and keep me out of your silly thoughts.” She replied.                   

Moira grinned.

            “What? Wipe that smirk off your face.” Aisha ordered.
            Moira smiled. “I won’t. And you know why? It means in that holy heart of yours, you have actually given dirty thoughts a chance. Why would you even think that I was thinking that?”

            “It’s logic. Common sense, Moira. That’s something I have too.”

Moira nodded. “Okay.”

            “Good. Now, we must get back to work. Alhaji won’t be here today and I don’t know why, but he said for a few days, he’ll also be away. But while he is away, we have some deals to shut down and I am talking big money here.” Aisha started.

Moira smiled. “You love making money, don’t you?”

Aisha nodded in agreement. “Yes, I do. It’s all I live for.”

            “Do you know why your father won’t be here today?”

Aisha shrugged. “I don’t know and I don’t think I really want to know.”

            “That’s because you have decided to ignore this day. It’s been many years, Aisha.”

Aisha stared at her. “I don’t remember what today is and I don’t need you to remind me.”
            Moira took a deep breath. “I’ll be going over there by lunch. If you change your mind, we can go together. It won’t hurt so much.”

            “Please leave, Moira. I have to work.”

Moira nodded and walked out.

Tears rolled down Aisha’s eyes as she remembered her mother.

 

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

            “How did Vicky get your address?” Daniel asked.

Craig stared at him. “Don’t give me that, I can swear on anything that you gave it to her.”

            “No, bro. I don’t break bro codes.”

            “What code? How did she know my house?”

            “Aisha’s house, you mean?” Bolu asked, smiling.

Craig shot at him. “Whatever, Man.”

            “But seriously, I’d give anything to see Aisha’s expression when she met Vicky.” Bolu said smiling.

Craig stared at him. “Did you give Vicky my address, Bolu?”

Bolu laughed. “You know I can’t do that, brother.”

            “What I know is that Vicky didn’t just show up at my house. One of you gave her the address and I don’t think it’s you, Bolu. I know it is you, Daniel.”
              Daniel smiled. “What do I have to gain by pushing her closer to you? I love her too, remember?”

            “Exactly. Because you love like a dumb man, you think that by sending her my way, she would realise and then start to fall for you. I have news for you, she doesn’t love you, she loves me.”

Daniel swallowed. “Shame. You don’t deserve her love.”

            “Neither do you. You are a selfish bastard, Daniel.”

Bolu stepped in. “Easy, boys! Craig, you can’t start accusing Daniel without proof.”

            “Oh, let him continue. You’ll come back to apologise, Craig. I know it.” Daniel replied.

            “Are you saying he didn’t give her my address? Who did?” Craig shouted.
            Bolu took a deep breath. “We both know that Vicky is madly in love with you, a woman in love can do anything for her man. Maybe she tailed you or something, but Daniel has returned to us, he won’t betray you, bro. We are like family, right?”

            “I won’t betray you, bro.” Daniel said with a smile. “I am better than that.”

Craig swallowed. “I don’t believe him.”

            “I know you don’t trust me too much, Craig. But even though I love her and she doesn’t love me, I won’t use that as an avenue to destroy you.” Daniel replied.
            Bolu took a deep breath. “Believe him, Craig. We have been brothers for a very long time, don’t let a woman tear us apart.”

            “This is a woman’s love we are talking about. I might not love her, but I appreciate the fact that someone loves me. I can’t love her back, but I respect her and I won’t go about taunting her for it. I advise you respect her, Daniel. Be careful with what you tell her. You don’t have to hurt her.” Craig said and grabbed his car key.

            “Where are you going? You just got here.” Bolu said.

Craig shrugged. “I am going back to work. I have to be there, at least.” He replied and walked away.

Bolu stared at Daniel. “Why did you tell Vicky?”

            “Why did you defend me if you thought I told her?” Daniel asked.

Bolu took a deep breath. “I…I thought that our friendship meant something to you, bro.”

            “It does, Bolu. I didn’t tell her anything. Maybe she tailed him just like you said.”

Bolu smiled. “Do you even believe that?”

            “I am innocent. Whatever is happening to Craig is thanks to his greed. He can’t eat his cake and have it. Aisha is going to give him something he has never had. The Spotlight.”

            “And she is taking away from him the opportunity to learn to love Vicky back.”

Daniel swallowed. “Learn to Love?”

            “I still believe Craig can like Vicky more. Craig is a good guy.”

Daniel clenched his teeth. “She is mine.”

            “No. She’s not yours. Get over yourself.” Bolu replied. “I am going back to work.” He added and walked away.

 

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

            “Mrs. Bello, how are you?” Moira asked as she knelt before Aisha’s mother’s grave. “It’s been years. Aisha still won’t come to visit. I know I haven’t been a right friend by helping Aisha with getting her inheritance by finding a man for her, but Aisha is sad and drunk with power. This is the only thing that is really helping her to interact with someone else, I know I might be wrong with this decision, but, I actually believe that Aisha might find herself in the process. Ma’am, she still plays your favorite tune on the piano but she won’t be playing the piano for a while, she’s moved in with the new guy and she decided not to take it there. She still gives to the orphanages, she hasn’t lost her value. The only thing she hasn’t found is love, so she decided to play games. It might be fun for a while, but I think it might hurt too. I would be here for her no matter what happens. I miss you, you are also my mother. We would close up major deals in the coming days and Aisha would make more money. Aisha enjoys viewing the world from the window like we used to do as little girls when we did visit.” Moira paused to wipe a tear drop. “Aisha is in the office distracting her as usual from thoughts of today, but, I know she would eventually be able to come here one day.”

Moira took a deep breath as rose to her feet. “We miss you, ma.”

 

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

            “Ma’am, we have been here for five hours and have closed six deals already. Let’s give it a break.” An officer suggested.

Aisha stared at them. “Oh really? We have?”

He nodded. “Ms. Bello, this is nine pm already. I think we should go home.”

            “I don’t think so, I think I want to close all deals today. I think we should make all the money we can now. The day is still young, it’s just 9pm.”
              Moira stared at them and then back at Aisha. “Aisha, I think we can let them go. We can finish it up.”

            “Challenging my authority?” Aisha asked.

Moira stared at her. “Aisha, please.”

Aisha stared at the others. “Get out.”

The others gathered their documents and walked out.

            “It’s my money, you know.” Aisha said as she took a seat.

Moira nodded as she approached her. “Let’s go home. You are spent.”

            “I am not. I am not leaving here until I tie up all the deals.”

Moira took a deep breath. “Don’t do this today, Aisha.”

Aisha buried her head in her palms. “I just want to get this work done.”

            “You don’t have to get it done today. Tomorrow is another day.”

Aisha shook her head. “Tomorrow never comes. My mom didn’t live to see tomorrow.”

Moira swallowed. “I know. God knows best.”

            “Bye, Moira.” Aisha said as she picked up her phone.

            “Stay with me tonight. You are not doing fine.”

Aisha smiled. “I can handle it.” She replied and walked out.
             Moira watched her friend leave the office. Aisha couldn’t handle many things, she only tried to do it. It did work well for her most times, and when her world came crashing down, you almost could not recognise Aisha. Today seemed like one of those days, Moira hoped for her friend’s sake that it would not get worse at night.


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

            “Hey!” Craig said as soon as Aisha walked into the house.

Aisha stared at him. “Hi.” She replied.

            “So, I…I was thinking that we could talk about this business today.” Craig started.
            She stared at him. “What is there to talk about? Are you broke? I’ll reimburse your credit card tomorrow.” She said, stepping away from him.

            “Was it always this easy for you?” Craig asked.

She stopped and stared at him. “Excuse me?”

            “Do you actually buy everybody?”

She dropped her handbag on the chair and folded her arms. “I don’t understand.”

            “I’ll reimburse your credit card. That’s all. No discussions, no relations. You don’t even care if I hold a party in your house in your absence? You don’t care if I sleep with someone?”

Aisha shrugged. “Why should I care? I just need you to help me get something, that’s all.”

            “Where did the good girl go?”

Aisha looked around. “Are you talking to me?”

He nodded. “Yes. I mean, you…you are more than this, Aisha.”

            “Shut up!” she replied and picked up her bag.
              He swallowed. “I won’t. Why are you bent on making everyone see this monster? You…you don’t have to like me to live with me. But, as long as we are living together, we can tolerate each other.”

            “I am tolerating you, right now.” She replied.

He nodded. “Good. I want us to talk. I want us to talk about yesterday.”

            “Is this about yesterday? The entire dumb sermon was about yesterday?” she asked.

            “Look, Aisha, Vicky is a woman who loves me.”
              Aisha smiled. “Good for you. When our deal is over, you can go back to her. Today is not a good day to have an argument with you. Please, let me be.”

            “Is there ever a good day with you?” he asked. “Aisha, you can’t go on like this. When you hurt, spit it out. When you are happy, let everyone know. This is not life.”

Aisha stared at him with her mouth agape. “What do you care?”

            “I don’t have to care about you, but I do. You are human; we live in the same house. Just look at your face, it is obvious. You have been crying. What is it about? Tell me. Let me help.”
             She scoffed. “Now you want to help me? Look, your job here is simple, we step out together, and you smile at the camera. Shutter left…Shutter right…Click. The press has us in the magazine; we go home, case closed. There is nothing else, try not to get too close to me. You are pissing me off.”

            “You piss me off too. But, I won’t give up on you. You need saving. I’ll help you.”
             Aisha stared at him. “You know someone who needed saving?” she shouted. “My mother!” she screamed. “There was no one that day, I couldn’t save her, and Moira couldn’t. The driver couldn’t. They killed her as though she didn’t matter. That was someone who needed saving. You want to save someone, get me back my mother.” She shouted. “Don’t ever talk to me about saving me, I am fine.” She said as she wiped teardrops from her eyes.  

            “Aisha…” Craig said as he took a deep breath. “I am sorry.”
             She nodded. “It’s normal to be sorry. It is the typical pitiful state of the mind. My father was sorry. The cops were sorry. Moira was sorry. Even my dead Mom would have been sorry. I am sorry too. So, it is okay if you are sorry. Can I go in peace now?”

            “Aisha…” Craig said as he stood before her. “It’s okay to cry, you don’t have to fight it.”

She swallowed.

            “Look, I know it hurts, but, when you should cry, you should cry. Just cry, breathe, let it go. Please…” he said as he stared at her eyes. “You don’t have to go through it alone, just let it go, Aisha.”
             Tears began to stream down her face. The more she fought back, the more her weak eyes betrayed her. The tears flowed freely and she crashed into Craig’s arms in tears.

 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

ALL FUN AND GAMES - EPISODE 7


Hello Everybody,
      Sorry for not posting last week. It was due to reasons beyond my control.
here's to inform you that the e-book for #DearFutureHusband would be out soon by God's grace. Below is the cover page of the book. Now you can have Kim and Tola and Ini as well as all others in the comfort of your pockets.
 
 
Please take a few moments to like my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/moradeadesina and 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.

Please take a few seconds of your time  to subscribe to the blog for updates on new posts and comments too. Once u do, a message will be sent to your email address for activation. please click the link in the mail to activate your subscription. Alternatively, you can follow the blog @tommyslavisland and send us your email address and we will add you to the mailing list. 

             Thanks guys.

  In case you missed Episode 6, click here http://tommyslav-island.blogspot.com/2014/02/all-fun-and-games-episode-6.html
 
EPISODE 7

 
Aisha stared at her wristwatch as another hour had passed since she sent Craig a message to meet her at the restaurant. She dialled his number for the third time. “Where could this guy be?” she thought aloud. “Or is he bailing on me?” she thought. It’s a good thing she had decided to wait in the VIP room, waiting that long seemed really embarrassing and with Val’s day lurking, the press wouldn’t mind smearing her name by saying things like: ‘Desperate Spinster, Aisha Bello, looks for attention in Lagos Restaurant.’ She wasn’t willing to take that chance so she decided to wait in the VIP room. She only hoped Craig won’t keep her any longer.

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

Craig stared at his phone as it rang again. He took a deep breath and ignored the call. Alhaji’s visit had left him confused. How could he love a woman that didn’t need love? How could he fool a father that needed help? Thoughts raced through his mind as he tried to find answers to the questions lingering in his heart. Aisha had sent him a message asking him to meet her but he just couldn’t bring himself to go and see her after what had happened with her father. Everything seemed really confusing at the moment.

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

A man in black approached Alhaji Ibrahim. His heart raced fast as he was about to find out the import of his action. If going over to Craig to do what a real father would have done was a mistake, he’d figure out soon.

“Everything is in here, Alhaji.” The man said as he placed an envelope before Alhaji Ibrahim.

            Alhaji swallowed. “Is he worth it?”

            The man blinked. “I’d rather you see for yourself.”

                        “I can take it, it is bad enough that I am having a man investigated without a just cause. Just let me know if I am right about my suspicions?”

            The man took his seat opposite Alhaji. “From our investigations on Craig, he is really clean.”

Alhaji smiled. “Thank you, Kola. Thank you.”

Kola nodded with a smile.

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

Aisha’s phone beeped and a message popped up.

“It’s done. You owe me big time – Kola.”

            She took a deep breath as she wondered why Craig had not shown up yet. This was beginning to worry her. She stared at her wristwatch and then finished her drink.

            Craig approached her. “Aisha, I am sorry.”

                        “Is this one of your many talents? Standing me up?” she queered as she folded her arms.

            He took his seat. “You may not believe it but I am really sorry about it. I promise you, this won’t happen again.”

“It better not, Craig.” She replied as she took a deep breath. “Look, Craig, I think we have to be really careful, my father would want to see a great deal of seriousness in this relationship and I am in no mood to be the loser here, so I think we have to-“”

                        “-Move in with me.” Craig cut in.

            Aisha stared at him and relaxed in her seat. “Move in with you?” she asked with an eyebrow raised. She smiled. “You have some nerve, don’t you?”       

He wiped his forehead. “I know it sounds crazy and not like what we would want. In fact, I doubt if the both of us can coexist under the same roof, but I just feel that for this thing that we want to do to be real and be done quickly, we have to take desperate measures.”

                        “You are right. Moving in with you is really desperate.” She replied.

He nodded. “Look, the house would be clean if that is what you are scared of.” He said staring at her. Aisha remained silent. “That is what you are scared of, right?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. “Oh come on, Aisha. I am not going to force you to go to bed with me.” He said through clenched teeth. “That would be your choice to make in the end.”

            “Just shut up, Craig.” Aisha replied. She ran her finger through her hair. “I think I should sleep over it. Even though this is a necessity, we still have to ensure that we are making the right decision.” She replied.

Craig nodded. “Okay, take your time. Should I send a cab over to pick you?” he asked with a smile.

            “Don’t start assuming roles that are not yours, Craig.” She replied as she clutched her bag to her waist. “I’ll call you in the morning.”

He smiled faintly. “I’ll have the house set up properly for you.”

She scoffed and walked out.

 

            ++++****++++

                        “Cheers to my destruction.” Craig said as he raised his glass.

            Daniel stared at Bolu. “Is he actually expecting us to reply?”

            Bolu shrugged. “Look, Craig, it’s not over for you…at least not yet.”

            Craig smiled. “Exactly. I am scared of Alhaji to be honest.”

                        “You don’t have to be scared of him, Craig.” Daniel replied. “You are the master when it comes to games like this. You shouldn’t get emotionally roped in. Remember, this is business.”

            Craig stared at Daniel. “You didn’t see the man’s eyes when he came over to my place. He is a father who wants the best for his child. It is unfortunate that she is that type of woman.”

                        “And that you are who you are.” Bolu chipped in.

            Craig stared at him. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“Man, you don’t have to bother about what the old man says. He is only looking for his daughter’s interest, but she doesn’t need it. All you need to do is stay focused and ensure that in the end you are the one who comes out tops.” Daniel replied.

            Craig stared at him carefully. “I don’t get it. Some hours without our company and you are already so cold, Daniel? Bolu and I should take the credit for keeping you in check all this while.”

            Daniel smiled. “I guess I was just being realistic. No man should let any lady play him.”

                        “Aisha is not playing me. We have a goal.” Craig replied with a smile.

            Bolu cleared his throat. “Guy, what about the plan to clear her cash?” He asked laughing.

            Daniel gasped as he laughed. “Bad guy! You are one step ahead.”

            Craig shot at Bolu. “Must you talk?”

                        “Guy, how far nau? We are cool, right?” Daniel asked. “I no be busy body nau”

            Craig nodded. “I haven’t said that is who you are, but, I didn’t expect him to be so loquacious.”

                        Na so! All join! So, today na our last day for here, abi?” Daniel asked as he finished his drink. “So, do we a need a schedule to visit you now that Aisha would be moving in?”

            Craig stared at Bolu. “Why is this guy being unnecessarily annoying? I thought you said that he wanted to make amends.” 

            Daniel relaxed in his seat. “I am just trying to be funny here.”

                        “Well, you have so much work to do on your sense of humour.” Craig replied and walked away.

           

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

                        “Do you have to pack everything away from here?” Moira asked as she watched Aisha pack her boxes.

            Aisha stared at her. “You don’t want me coming back here every time I need my underwear, do you?”

Moira nodded. “Oh well…you are right, but, I think you are packing as though you were moving out of here finally so as to be his wife. Anyway, since you guys will still have to be married for a while, you can use some tutorials on how to tolerate one another.”

            “Moira, there is only one thing that bothers me. Why did Craig ask me to move in with him?” Aisha asked as she dropped took a seat.

Moira smiled as she focused on her phone. “I wonder why we are visiting a topic that we should have started with. You came home all excited moving out that you have not even stopped to wonder why he wants you to move in with him. Isn’t it strange?”

Aisha stared at her. “Why should it be strange? I was going to ask him the same.”

            “But he asked you first. And that, my friend, is what should bother you.” Moira replied with more seriousness.

Aisha swallowed. “Are you saying he has ulterior motives?”

Moira nodded in agreement. “Exactly! He must have a hidden reason why he wants you to move in.”

            “What if he asked because he knows that it is one of the logical things and I might feel embarrassed to ask him about it?” Aisha asked.

Moira nodded in agreement. “You might be right about that, but what if I am right too?”

Aisha relaxed in her seat. “Moira, we can’t be thinking about all the bad things now. There is a lot to be done and we have to be really optimistic.”

            “Optimism is good, but caution is also very important.” Moira replied.

            “Well, I am going there tomorrow. Also, I have to prepare for this weekend’s tennis game.”

Moira smiled. “Good thing it falls on Val’s day.”

            “What makes it a good thing?”

Moira grinned. “That would be your own Val’s day special and it would really seem nice.”

            “What if Craig has a girlfriend?” Aisha asked.

Moira nods. “True…what if he has a girlfriend? He’ll be spending all your money on her.”

Aisha stared at Moira. “I don’t care.  As long as he keeps his sheets tidy and out of the public view, we are good.”

 

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

            “Craig, it is good to see you.” Alhaji Ibrahim said as Craig approached with Aisha. He exchanged handshakes with Craig and then hugged his daughter. “Little one.”

Aisha stared at her father with a smile. “Come on, Dad. I am not a little girl anymore.”

            “You are still my little girl.” He replied. “Happy Valentine’s day, Aisha.” He said as he handed her a small tiffany box.

Aisha stared at the box. “You still give me gifts every year, Dad. Thank you.” She said and kept his gift in her bag. “I got you something too, Dad.” She said as she handed him a gift pack. “I know you’ll love it.”

He smiled. “Thank you.” He said. Alhaji stared at Craig who seemed a bit lost and was looking at the members of the club. “Hey Craig, you should go and mingle. I’ll show you around.”

            “No!” Aisha protested as she grabbed Craig’s hand. “We are going over to the tennis court.” She said hastily.

Alhaji Ibrahim nodded. “Okay. Enjoy.” He said and walked away.

            “Relax, Aisha. Your father might begin to suspect with your attitude.”

She rolled her eyes. “Do you know what would have happened if my Dad had taken you to meet his friends? You’d have to tell them about your Dubai escapades, your budding company, your short term and long term goals? And I tell you, believe me when I say those men would ask you questions, drill you in and out till there is nothing left in you or in that lying skull of yours and then, you would really wish that I didn’t choose you.”

            “I am very convincing, Aisha.” He replied as they started to approach the tennis court.

She nodded. “I know you are, but sometimes, it is never good enough. Your trail will always be found.”

            “Happy Valentine’s Day, Aisha.” Craig said.

She shrugged. “Is there really something to celebrate on this day?” she asked as they approached the change room.

He smiled. “Love? Everyone is doing that.”

            “We are not everyone, and remember what we have is business. So, we don’t have to bother what others are caring about.”

Craig grinned as he saw some men with PRESS tags approach them. “Are you so sure?” he asked smiling in Aisha’s direction.

She took a deep breath as they smiled at the Press Officials.

            “Happy Valentine’s day to you both.” One of the press men greeted.

Aisha and Craig smiled and echoed a “Thank you” as though they had rehearsed it. Craig smiled at Aisha and then back at the Press.

            “Ms. Aisha, We don’t see Ms. Moira today with you. Is this the gentleman in your life that you have been hiding from the world? ” The Press Officer asked.

Aisha stared at Craig and then back at the Pressmen. “Like I have always said, my personal life stays personal. When the need arises, I will make an official announcement.”

Craig smiled and placed his hand behind Aisha. “Please, excuse us.”

            “By now, I am sure those rats have a picture of us and are thinking of how best they can come up with a headline for their magazine.” Aisha said as she entered the change room.

Craig folded his arms as he leaned against the wall. “As expected.”

            “Why were they allowed in here in the first place? This is not just any place. It’s exquisite.”

Craig nodded. “It is Valentine’s day. This is a good time to get good gist and I am sure they have paid good money for it. Besides, it’s not like you weren’t expecting to see them here.” He said as he took off his shirt.

            “Heyyy!!! What are you doing?” Aisha asked.

He stared at her. “Getting a change of clothes into my sportswear.”

            “In case you haven’t noticed, this is the female section and just because you aren’t seeing any lady here except me doesn’t mean that the front door doesn’t bear LADIES ONLY.”

He took a deep breath. “Fine! Where is the Male section?”

            “Down the hall.” She replied. “Meet me out front in ten minutes.”

He nodded and walked out with his bag. He located the Male section and walked into the room.

            “Hey!”

Craig stared at who had called him and his face seemed familiar, just that he couldn’t place the face.

The guy approached Craig. “I am Hakeem. We met at Alhaji Bello’s.”

Craig stared at him. “Oh…how are you?”

Hakeem ignored him. “So I am guessing Aisha is here?”

Craig nodded in agreement. “Yes, she is.”

            “So, how did you guys meet? I have never known you before.” Hakeem asked sternly.

Craig smiled. “If you want to know about me and Aisha, why not ask her?”

            “Because I think you are a man and you should be able to speak for yourself.” Hakeem retorted.

Craig rubbed his chin. “That’s the point. I think you should be a man and not be interested in other people’s affairs.”

            “Don’t get me wrong. Aisha and I have been friends since we were kids and we know all the friends in our circles, but we never knew you and your name doesn’t sound like ours.” Hakeem replied.

Craig nodded. “There are a lot of things you don’t know about Aisha then or would you rather I bear Mohammed?”

            “I have nothing against your religion. Who is your father?” he asked.

Craig shook his head pitifully and started to change into his clothes. “I am my own man, Hakeem.”

            “I am not against who you are, I just want to know about you.”

Craig stared hard at him. “Why are you attacking me?”

            “I love Aisha. You just came out of the blues and stole her from me.” Hakeem protested.

Craig grabbed his racket. “She is my woman now. What would you do about it?”

            “I can’t do anything about it but I…I just want to love her.” Hakeem said.

Craig swallowed. “Do you realize that you are talking to her man? You can love her silently. Don’t tell me about it.” He replied.

Hakeem nodded as he took a breath. “I am sorry, it was rude of me.” He said, turning away.

            “It’s okay. You want to play tennis?”

 

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

            “Happy Valentine’s Day, Vicky.” Daniel said, holding out a Rose flower.

Vicky took off her earphones and stared at him. “You don’t give up, do you?”

He held the flower out at her. “It’s just Valentine. Please accept it.”

She nodded and collected the flower.

            “So, would you go out with me tonight? I got two tickets to see this new movie.” Daniel said as he walked by her side.

She shook her head with a smile. “I just knew you were up to no good with the early morning flower and disturbing my morning exercise.”

            “I love to keep fit too. Please…Could you please just go with me to the movies tonight?” he asked.

She shook her in disagreement. “I am sorry, but I have plans. I am hanging out with my girls tonight.”

            “Vicky, I just think you should really give me a chance. I really do love you.” Daniel said.

She took a deep breath. “I understand that you love me, but you have to also understand that I don’t love you.”

            “And you love Craig? Look, for the record, Craig doesn’t love you. He is spending today with Aisha Bello. That is the woman that he is in a relationship with, that’s the woman he will marry. That’s the woman that he wants.” Daniel said and took a deep breath. “Please Vicky, stop punishing yourself. As we speak, Craig and Aisha are in one of the best facilities in the country, playing together, and you are here, drowning for him. It’s not fair on you.”

Vicky nodded. “Yes, I love him. Yes, I know he doesn’t love me. But, I don’t, I won’t and I can never love you. Are we clear?”

            “And why is that? I am the one who is trying to get you out of your misery, I am trying to make you see reasons, why is it so hard?” Daniel asked.

She shrugged. “You are very selfish. You are doing everything for your own good, and for the record, stop spreading lies about Craig and that woman, it’s getting pretty lame.” She replied and started to walk away.

            “What if I give you evidence?”

Vicky stopped and stared at him.

 

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

Craig held his racket in one hand and used his towel to wipe off the sweat on his face. “Mighty Serves, Hakeem.”

Hakeem smiled. “I am still a learner. Your strokes are massive, bro.”

BRO??? AISHA’S HEAD SPUN. She stared at Craig and Hakeem as they spoke about the game. “Hey!!! I played that game too. Nothing to say about my strokes?”

Hakeem stared at her. “I thought they were amazing.”

            “Weak.” Craig replied.

Aisha raised an eyebrow. “Weak? I thought I did well.”

            “I see you like being hyped out of talent. Wait till you allow the little thing you think you have in you grow before you think you did close to well.”

Hakeem stared at Craig. “Very funny, bro.”

            “No. It wasn’t meant to be.” Craig replied.

Aisha swallowed. “Okay guys, break it up.”

            “That’s the problem with you females; does it look like we are having a go at each other?”

Hakeem smiled. “Yeah, we are good.”

Aisha stared at them. “I think we should go and have something to eat.”

                        “I can’t join you guys.” Hakeem replied.

Craig stared at him. “Why not? It’s just food – Good for the body.”

Hakeem smiled faintly. “I know. It’s just that there are many things to be done.” He replied.

Aisha nodded. “Okay. See you around.”

Hakeem smiled and walked away.

Aisha shot at Craig. “What were you doing?”

            “I don’t understand.” Craig replied. “I was just making a conversation.”

She scoffed. “Some conversation that is! You know how Hakeem feels about me, you don’t have to make him feel so horrible.”

Craig smiled. “I am shocked.”

            “Why?”

He shrugged. “For the first time in your life, it seems like you actually care about another person’s well-being other than yourself. That’s impeccable. It’s a good day in history.”

            “Watch your words, Craig.” She replied and picked up her towel. “We are leaving. Ensure you smile as we walk out.”

He nodded. “So, we are just to keep smiling or are there hidden cameras?”

            “You know what I mean.” She replied.

He shrugged. “So, you just packed into my house yesterday and you decided not to sleep over, why?”

            “That’s my business, isn’t it?” she retorted.

He nodded in agreement. “I know that it is your call, but, the house looked brand new, didn’t it? I had it well scrubbed just for you.”

            “We’ll see about that.” She said and walked away.

Craig smiled.

 

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

            “Good evening, Hakeem. What do you want here?” Alhaji Bello asked as Hakeem walked into the living room.

Hakeem bowed. “Good evening, Alhaji. It’s about Aisha.”

            “What about her?” Alhaji asked.

Hakeem took a deep breath. “I don’t trust that guy that she is with. I want to have him investigated.”

            “Investigated?”

Hakeem nodded. “Yes sir. I just want your support so that I won’t be offending you.”

            “Well, you have offended me already.”

Hakeem sighed. “Alhaji, it’s…it’s just that I don’t like him.”

Alhaji nodded. “I understand how you feel, Hakeem. But Aisha chose him and we have to respect her wishes. He is the man that she wants to be with, we can’t do anything about it. I want my daughter to be happy.”

            “I don’t think he’ll make her happy. He was really rude to her today at the tennis court. It got me upset and what worried me more was Aisha’s silence. She didn’t react as she would do normally.”

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

            “I thought his tenses and words were not appropriate for Aisha.” Hakeem replied.

Alhaji relaxed in his seat. “Maybe Aisha is learning the art of submission. People become submissive when they are in love.”

Hakeem blinked. “Sir…”

            “Hakeem, I know how you feel about Aisha, but, I can’t allow you get in the way of my daughter’s happiness.”

Hakeem swallowed. “I love her.”

            “She loves someone else and he loves her too. Let them be, please.”

Hakeem buried his head in his hand.

            “I am going to advise you against investigating Craig. I won’t take it easy with you if you defy me.”

 

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

Aisha focused on her laptop as she worked. Her phone rang and she smiled at seeing ‘MOIRA’ on the Caller ID. “Hey babe.”

            “Aisha…when are you coming home?” Moira sulked on the other end of the line.

Aisha smiled. “Missing me so soon?”

            “Just come home. This place is really boring without you.”

Aisha smiled. “I thought I was boring.”

            “Oh well. Not exactly. You are boring in a good way.”

Aisha nodded. “Good to hear you speaking highly of me in my absence. A prophet is never respected in his hometown.”

Moira laughed hard. “Have you been reading the Bible? Because I know you don’t even know what the Quran looks like.”

            “Cut me some slack. I try with these things. Anyway, it is almost midnight, why are you calling? You should be asleep by now.” Aisha asked.

            “I am bored. I think I miss you. If you don’t come for me, I am coming over there right now.”

Aisha stared at Craig as he dropped a mug beside her. “Moira, I am gonna have to call you back.” She said and hung up. “What is this?” she asked looking at the mug.

He smiled. “Black Coffee. Low fat. I know you’ll like that.”

She fetched her coffee cup from behind her laptop. “I got my bases covered. Thank you.” She replied as she sipped some of the coffee.

            “It’s late. You should go to bed.” Craig advised.

She shrugged. “I have to make money. That’s the only way we can sustain this fa├žade of a relationship. You are broke, remember?”

He nodded and handed her a friendship bracelet from his pocket. “Here, Happy Valentine’s day.”

Aisha laughed. “What is this? You could have just gotten me good jewellery if you wanted to play Mr. Perfect so bad. After all, it is my money.”

            “No. It is not your money.” He replied. “I got you this from my first earned salary.”

Aisha swallowed as she stared at him. “Do you have a girlfriend? Or someone you kick it with?”

Craig smiled. “Of course not. I am single.”

            “That’s good.”

He stared at her. “Why is it good?”

            “I don’t enjoy surprises. I won’t want any tiger tearing at me when I go to make my hair or something.” She replied as she focused on the laptop.

            “Is that all?” Craig asked, staring at the bracelet.

She nodded, “Of course, do you think I care if you love someone. You just have to play the part I hired you for and that doesn’t include buying me gifts from your first salary to impress me. I am not impressed.”

He nodded and placed the bracelet beside her. “I think you should have it anyway. I am going to bed.”

            “You don’t have to tell me. I don’t care.” She replied as she continued to type.

Craig took a deep breath and returned inside the house.

Aisha stared at him as he walked away and focused on her system. The doorbell chimed shortly. “Damn! Moira came!” Aisha thought aloud as she sprang to her feet. “That girl is such a pain.” She added as she dragged herself to the door.

Aisha stared at her visitor as she opened the door.

            “So it is true?”

Aisha blinked. “Excuse me? Who are you?”

            “My name is Vicky. Where is Craig?”