One evening, Asad and I went for dinner with his friends, I was pleased to see their startled expression when they saw me, my face had that effect on people, the men looked at me lustily and the women with great envy. I was used to it, getting all the attention. They talked on frivolous issues, whenever I felt what they were saying was out of place, I made them know perhaps not too subtlety because many hearts were broken, a girl named Sasha was all over my hair and face, I could see tension lines on Asad’s face as I tried avoiding her.
‘What’s the secret, you must tell me.’ She said over and over again.
‘There’s no secret.’ I said.
‘ there must be.’ She insisted.
‘Well its genetic.’ I said trying to put her off.
There must be some cream or enhancing vitamins.’ She said, waving her hands.
‘Why don’t you visit a drug store then.’ I said.
‘May be I might.’ She added dismissively, but I was not the person you dismissed, I always have the last word.
‘You know, no matter the amount of polish, a sow’s skin can never be turned to silk.’ I said with a sly smile.
‘What’s a sow?’ She asked, with a confused look.
A female pig.’
Her face turned to stone, I felt Asad’s grip tightened on my arm and when I looked at him his handsome face was contorted, and had about 36 shades of red. He excused us and we left.
While driving me home in his silver Cadillac, silence engulfed us, he concentrated so much on the steering wheel his knuckles were showing. When he got into the driveway, he turned off the ignition and looked at me.
‘Did you have to compare her to a pig.’ He asked.
‘Excuse me!.’I said truly surprised because I was not used to being questioned.
Did you have to be so rude to them.’
I was stunned beyond words that Asad was talking to me like that, I just stared.
‘Well they had it coming.’ I finally said, turning away from his piercing gaze.
‘And the lady, she asked for it and what I told her was the truth.’
Asad sighed got out of the car walked over around and opened the door for me, he accompanied me the door said good night and left like everything was alright.
Since Asad and I began dating, he’d send me a good morning text and a prayer reminder then later he’d call around 12pm when I was fully awake. But since the the day of the incident, he had neither called nor texted, and I was getting anxious, I’d gaze at my phone expectantly, but he never called.
After 2 days my phone rang, it was him but of course I didn’t pick until after a hundred missed calls, he gave up and sent a text instead, still I didn’t reply, he sent many more asking what he did. Later that night he came over, with artificial flowers and an apology note
After some days our wedding was fixed, Mama traveled to Germany, UK and US to shop for herself for my wedding.
Sarah and Nadia my friend accompanied me to Dubai, UK, France and South Africa to shop.
Soon the day arrived and I had already done my body cleansing, waxing and every possible treatment, my mother invited “Dillaliya” a lady that was to teach me many ways to please a man that he would make him lose his mind. Indeed it was like a private tutoring, she said and demonstrated such obscene things I was terrified. she gave me substances and instructions on how to use them. I wondered why I had to use it, I was beautiful, educated and very sensual. My gaze alone can send any man into reverie.
After the makeover my hands and feet were decorated with henna. My things and the things I bought were moved from Baba’s 30 Bedroom, 3 storey mansion in Maitama to Asad’s 10 bedroom duplex in Jabi. Mama complained that it was too small, it was ironical as Mama herself must have lived in cramped flat before getting married to Baba.
‘Only ten rooms, where will the workers stay, we are sending her with 10 servants.’ She said to Asad when she went for inspection together with me.
‘There is a servant’s quarters downstairs.’ He answered.
What about when you have kids.’ She asked again.
We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.’ Asad said icily. She kept on criticizing everything from the kitchen cabinet to the Jacuzzi even the window panes.
Soon the day arrived and Asad and I got married gallantly in the city of Abuja, it was an extravagant and lavish wedding, Asad paid a dowry of 2 million cash on my head and gold and diamond worth over 5 million was also given. Baba cried when I was leaving, it was so emotional I had to cry too, I received many hugs as I entered the limousine that conveyed me, my train and lots of my Family members to Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, where a chartered plane took us to kano Asad’s hometown. There more festivities followed. We were splashed on the cover of every magazine and featured on many news and entertainment channels.
Nadia was my maid of honor, am rest assured she made a fortune as weeks later she bought a car.
After the wedding Asad and I left for our honeymoon, I took ladi with me, we visited 5 countries UK, US, India, Japan I read a book on Kyoto in Japan so I added it to our list. And finally we ended up in Dubai, Baba had booked a 2 night stay in Burj al Arab the only seven star hotel in the world on its own man made island.On this trip I fell in love with Asad all over again.
After 6 six weeks we returned back to Nigeria, Asad resumed work immediately and I was left alone in the house, the servants stayed their quaters. for the first time I noticed how big the house was in contrast to what Mama said. I walked into As ad’s walking closet, it was a marvelous sight, it was color and design sensitive, shirts with strips were on a roll different from plain ones, colors started from dull to bright, his shoes were aranged in a manner I was left guessing. I checked out his book shelf, it was marvelous, I was stunned to see it in DDS only, I have that only in libraries. later Asad added my books and a rack for my magazine collections. I roamed around the house and noticed a left wing, we hadn’t explored that area with mama. I called one of the maids I met there and she told me no ever uses there.
My life comprised of attending parties or throwing them, dressing up and following dillaliya’s advice both day and night, I avoided the substances though but her tricks worked magic even with a newbie like me.
Most times I left the room scattered and Asad would arrange it, he’d warn me severally to stop messing things up, but I took no correction, I always relied on ladi for my personal chores.
Asad was super romantic despite my shortcomings, he brought home artificial flowers, perfumes, sexy lingerie and occasionally jewelry, but it never occurred to me to give a return gift. Once Asad bought me a set of emerald jewelry. The emeralds were so small compared to the one Baba gifted me. So I said.
‘The design is beautiful.’ He smiled and came to help me fasten it on my neck.
‘But the stones are so tiny you’ve to squint your eyes to see them.’
His hands paused, then continued to fasten. He gave no compliments that day.
My love for Asad grew more every time I saw him, he was just so handsome, courteous and loving, what ever I wanted Asad gave. I never knew he had violence in him until I had a tiff with his sister.
Sanam is Asad’s step sister, but he adored her very much and the feeling was mutual. When she returned from Cepu from studying medicine as a full fledged doctor her beloved brother was the one she wanted to share her happiness with, that resulted in her coming to stay at our place, I didn’t have a problem with that, I actually felt lonely most times.
As far as Sanam stayed in her room and didn’t come to me everything will be alright, but she kept troubling me, I didn’t know how to tolerate insolence.
Sanam worked, that was a bit strange to me as no lady in my family worked, we were all educated but never worked, the men in our family worked.
I was going to attend my friend Aliyah’s welcome party, I saw Sanam taking pictures posing on my Ferrari, I could not believe what my eyes were seeing.
‘What are you doing?’ I asked furiously.
‘Taking pictures.’ She said honestly.
‘Do you want to scratch my car.’
I was crazy, ‘don’t ever do that again, is that what you were taught in your in your med school, to sit on Ferrari’s you don’t own take pictures.’I hissed got into my car, and drove off.
That night Asad asked why I insulted his sister because of a car,
‘It’s not just a car, its a Ferrari.’ I said.
‘why are you so uptight, why are you so arrogant?’ He asked looking at me with disgust.
‘And why are you a freakish fag, always cleaning, are you gay?’ I said back looking back at him with contempt.
He slapped me hard, his fingers made a mark on my face, he tried leaving the room to sleep elsewhere.
But I grabbed at him an called him names for slapping me, he got angry and gave me a good bashing.
That night when he left the room, I called Ladi to pack my things and I left for my father’s house.
When I got home, I did’nt see Mama, Najma or Baba, so I headed straight to my room, it was very much the same as I had left it, only that the furnitures were covered with clothes, Ladi got to cleaning right away, that’s the thing about Ladi she always knows what to do, and she never asked questions nor made any suggestions, she would just do what she was expected to do. At times I find her boring but most times she’s more than useful.
I woke up to the smell of Gharoud, Baba’s signature perfume it was mixed with Mama’s AL Farakhti oud, I was wandering where I was then I remembered going home. The smell mixed together was not pleasant and I ran to the toilet and started puking. When I came out of the toilet, I met Baba’s stern face and Mama’s cultured expression.
‘You left your husband’s house without his permission.’ Baba bellowed.
‘Baa ba.’ I stuttered, I was surprise to see him, when I didn’t see him the night before I anticipated he was at Nana’s place since he alternated days, Mama usually got more days. Baba was angry, I needed to do something fast, Gharoud smell hit again and I ran to the toilet, this time I retched loudly so they would hear, I opened the tap as I examined my face in the mirror, the black eye Asad gave me was fading, but it’ll still do.
I went out and deliberately fell on the floor and shut my eyes. Baba ran to my side and tried lifting me up but he couldn’t. ‘Help me,’ he screamed at Mama. Together they struggled to put me on the bed, Baba dialed the doctor’s number and he came in no time. All the while I kept my eyes shut and my body limp.
He examined me,I still kept up the pretense.
‘I’ll have to inject her with…..,,’ I couldn’t catch what he said next.
What was I hearing, I hated injections, oh my, I needed to stop pretending immediately. So I coughed and opened my eyes gradually.
‘She has come back.’Baba said relieved. I saw him looking at my black eye crucially.
‘The first trimester is very critical, so try to avoid accidents.’ Dr Abu said, as he picked up his stuff to leave.
Baba went to see Dr Abu off, obviously to ask the meaning of first trimester, I could see his blank expression when Dr Abu said that. Soon he was back.
‘How are you feeling?’
‘Better Baba.’ I said faintly.
‘Why did you leave, without permission?’ It was just his version of saying why did you run away, he had said that to Halima and Noora before.
I burst into tears, ‘Asad was beating me, I was afraid he’d kill me, I did not want to loose my baby.’ I sobbed. When I didn’t even know I was pregnant until Dr Abu told me. My father got up and left, Mama left too. I was alone till Ladi came with breakfast.
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