FARIDA : Episode 61 – 70


Episode 65

Idara was glad to be a witness. She was already tired of Sam’s antics. He won the election and she could not rejoice with her husband. Sam’s name must be mentioned in the house. She felt she should move in with her husband but Sam asked her to remain with him so they could have some benefits. Was he going to attend his swearing in without his family? Without her and the children? This was the opportunity she was waiting.

“Thank you for coming” Sam said to his stepmother. “I need your help that’s why I called you. My swearing-in-ceremony is very soon. I haven’t finished my house in the village. I want you appeal to dad on my behalf so he would allow me use the compound for my reception. Please”

“Aren’t you ashamed? You want me to talk to your father. What do I say to him? Your son you disowned wants to come back home. What do you think he will say? It is best you do your reception in the town or put canopies in front of your uncompleted building in the village to entertain your guests”

“So, you are in support of what he is doing to me”

“How can I be for or against; I was married into the family, I have no say. Your father suffered a stroke because of you, have you apologized to your father? When the elders called on you to come back so the issue could be resolved, did you come? You started your own house to prove a point to your father. Prove the point now, you can’t because the reality is different. Until you drop your shoulders and ask for forgiveness from all you have hurt, there is no going back”

“He doesn’t want to talk to me. I wanted to use his house as a mark of respect but, if he declines, I will use an events centre for the reception”

Idara looked at the man she married. He was a young man with so much determination but completely misguided. He doesn’t use his sense. She could see he didn’t know how to manage his success except to brag. His father knew how to put him in his place but Sam was oblivious of that. She had assessed the situation and talked to people; their advice was for Sam to publicly apologise to his father and acknowledge him in everything he does whether the father accepts or not. Sam listened but has refused to do what he was asked to do. He had so much pride.

The party chairman also advised him to make peace with his father as Alhaji had insisted on that but Sam told them to stay away from his family matter. He refused to listen to anyone. This was a major sign which they had overlooked.

Sam knew his father would have insisted he divorced Farida immediately and he didn’t want that. She had gotten an additional lawyer who seemed to know his onions. He refused to show up in court giving flimsy reasons. He will wear them out until they change the judge. He had asked Alhaji to help him with the judge but Alhaji told him it was a family matter and he was not dabbling into it.

The swearing in went very well and the reception was held in a field. He used a massive tent as the hall. It was quite impressive and his people had never seen anything like it before. It was the talk of the village for a long time.

Farida was home when Monica came to share the news with her. Sam had won the election in a landslide. How did that happen? How did he win? This victory wasn’t funny; it was as though God was mocking her. Now he would use his new position to oppress her the more.

Monica called her father in Farida’s presence and put it on speaker.

“Forget about the election, just pray for your brother that’s all”

‘Father, won’t he torment me even more?” Farida asked.

“He will be fighting with his demons to torment you. Trust me; it is not a victory”

They heard the sadness in his voice. There was something he wasn’t telling them. As long as he says Sam wouldn’t torment Farida, they were fine. Whatever Sam had gotten himself into did not concern them.

Wale also heard about Sam’s victory. He ran into him a couple of times at Alhaji’s house. He knew Alhaji was a kingmaker but what was he doing with someone like Sam? Sam wasn’t worth his attention. They never spoke when they saw each other.

Wale’s life felt cold and empty after he separated from Farida. He threw himself into his work but it didn’t take the ache away. He was angry all the time. He had changed and snapped at his workers. Akram had to draw his attention to his attitude. He asked him if he was having woman problems. It sounded funny when he said it. He didn’t want anyone to know about his issues with Farida. He missed her. He missed talking to her. He never failed to pay in the amount he had always paid in for their upkeep. He just didn’t want to communicate with her. He tried not to think about her but at night it was very difficult. He tried being with other girls but it was not the same. He didn’t want just s*x; he craved companionship. He had that with Farida. She was like his wife. They shared everything. He told her about his day and she told him about hers every night before they slept. She was the first person he talked to when he woke up. Knowing she was his made him feel good. He worked hard so he could be a man a keep his family. Farida and the children were his family. Why did she have to spoil everything by not confiding in him? How Sam gained entrance into her room was still a mystery to him. His greatest hurt was her deception. Telling him she was on when she wasn’t. He couldn’t stop himself from thinking about it and it made him mad.

Another major issue was his imagination going wild on him. He imagined Farida and Sam doing it. It never happened when they began to date but it was happening now. Farida had tried to take the lead during s*x but his orientation makes him take the lead and to always satisfy her. It gives him much pleasure when he hears her moan out of control. Farida claimed she took the lead with Sam. He imagined her doing stuff to Sam he was ashamed of saying out. He couldn’t get the images out of his head. Why it bothered him so much was he felt she enjoyed it. He understood Sam coming back for her; he enjoyed being with her. He knew Sam was selfish and wanted her to himself which was understandable but he didn’t treat her right; he was acting like she was a property. Until the divorce spells everything out, he didn’t want Farida to get hurt.

Farida came to Nigeria for the divorce case without mentioning it to anyone. She appeared in court on the day the case was called. As usual, Sam wasn’t present. The judge told his lawyer that if he is not in court during the next hearing, she will give a judgement against him.

“But they have not been separated for upto two years” Sam’s judge insisted.

“They mustn’t. From the evidence before me, I can see the man married another woman and had children with her while still legally married to his wife. I have another case of s*xual assault and sodomy against your client. I have asked that the bigamy and s*xual as$ault case be taken to the police and investigation started on it. I will have to wait for the ruling to help me make judgement here. Hopefully, he won’t play the same stunt. He will be in contempt of court”

From every indication, the case was going to take longer than they anticipated. Farida felt down. Why would she have to suffer like this? She didn’t want a criminal case but a civil case to allow her go on her way. It hurt her. She wasted her time and resources coming.

She lodged in a hotel. She didn’t want anyone to know where she was. The lawyer must have mentioned it to Sam so he sent Monica a message.

“Tell Farida I am in Lagos; I will join her in her hotel room soon”

Lagos? What was he talking about? He called Farida’s UK mobile line but she cut off and called Monica on WhatsApp video call.

“Where are you?” Monica asked.

“I am in Lagos. I came for the case”

“And you didn’t tell me or father so we will ensure you are protected?”

“I am leaving tomorrow. The case took a twist I am not happy about”

“We can talk about that when you come back. Sam sent me a message. He said he will be joining you in your hotel room soon”

“He should come now. I am waiting for him”

“Farida! Aren’t you afraid? I will call daddy now so he will get you out of there”

“That’s exactly what he wants so he will know where I am. I am sure he doesn’t know where I am. I changed in the court into a Muslim attire, I wore a hijab to compliment it. They didn’t see me. Even our lawyers were looking for me when I passed them. I will be back tomorrow. Don’t worry about me”

Monica was worried. She wanted to tell her father but changed her mind. She called Wale instead and told him everything. “I agree with Farida, he doesn’t know where she is. He wants her to panic and he will find her. Don’t bother yourself”

“Call her and make sure she is ok”

“I won’t call her. She is fine. Don’t worry about her; she’s smart”

“Wale please forgive Farida. She is not the same again. Her glow has disappeared. I feel for her. You were what she looked forward to in the morning and her night pill at night. Why are you so unforgiving? She couldn’t open her mouth to tell you what Sam did to her. He didn’t tell me; it was at the hospital I found out. She has that blank look again. She’s just living each day as it comes. I am sure that was why she took the risk to come to Lagos. How can the love you have for her die like this?”

“It’s not dead but she is hurting and hasn’t healed. Your brother is going to continue being a pain in our butts. He has quickly contacted you to frighten her. How long will this continue? I am beginning to think; even if the divorce comes through, he will continue his threats. He needs to be stopped”

‘I agree with you but it is only via legal means we can do it. The first step is to divorce him then we will know what next to do”

“No problem”

Farida arrived UK safely. She could no longer be threatened by anyone. She was tired; tired of constantly living in fear. She had lost even more weight that a strong breeze will push her down. She knew Sam would wonder at her bravery. She was tired of being afraid. She decided she had to live again. Sam was having the time of his life as a member of the house of reps. She was here wallowing in fear and self-pity. She missed her man but she didn’t want him to meet the same Farida when they reconcile. She decided to do new things she had never tried before.

Her plan was simple, she would achieve a new feat each month. Doing this will distract her from all her problems. She wrote a list of things she could do. She could lecture, try her hands at modelling, learn how to cook British food perfectly, learn a new language every six months, learn to dance, understand Islam which she had never done before, understand different religions, explore new places, start a business and so many other ideas she had which she wrote down.

Six months after the decision, Farida’s life changed. Everything she set out to do, she did excellently. She made the children learn English, Yoruba and Spanish at the same time. Kufre thought them Ibibio which Farida didn’t mind. She had just started to mouth word but she knew if they started early, they would be genius when they get older.

She had started a business too. She noticed the boutiques in Northampton didn’t have fashion pieces from African countries. She researched and found adorable pieces. She bought a few for starters. She dropped them in most of the boutiques in the malls, it sold out. She ordered some more from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and other countries. They sold out. The demand was much. She had a Doctorate she was working on, she had the modelling she had started and she took some students private lectures. She didn’t know how to fit in the business into her current schedule. She invited Monica in. they discussed it. Monica cold see the potentials. Her job could be done anywhere there was internet. Sisterz was revived. They registered the company in the UK and then Monica went to meet with the suppliers. They began to produce for Sisterz brand. It was a lot of work but the benefits were enormous. Monica had to leave her online job and focus on the business. Farida had good eyes for designs so they worked together while Farida continues to learn something new each week.

She also discovered the power of palm kernel oil. Her Nigerian friend who is from Igbo descent gave her some. The only problem she had with it was the smell. It did wonders to her skin. She decided to also explore African natural skincare product such as the palm kernel oil and look for a way to mask the smell. A student in her university helped her with fragrance that neutralized the smell. She was able to rock it and her skin glowed. Monica began to use it too. They sold the products themselves until they get approval.

Akram invited Farida for his wedding in Kaduna. He was marrying a girl he met there during the course of his work. The wedding was in December, before Christmas. Farida and Monica agreed to attend. The family decided to wear lace but Farida wasn’t interested in their outfit of choice. She bought the aso ebi and decided to make a gown. The fabric was sent to their tailors in China who made a lovely dress for her and Monica. Farida’s dress was a fitted, off the shoulder gown high-low gown. The helm of the dress had several frills. The back of the dress had a tail with the frills all over it. It was a slightly off the shoulder dress. Monica went for a long straight skirt and simple blouse.

They arrived Abuja and from there a vehicle took them to Kaduna. Monica’s father lodged them in a 5 star hotel away from everyone else. No one knew they were around. On the day of the wedding, they dressed and went to the venue. They were all very happy to see her. Akram was marrying a Christian lady. The family was at the church. After the joining, they went to the reception for the traditional wedding. It was a lovely and simple wedding. The girl’s father was a political leader so he had his friends around.

Wale saw a lady looking all dashing and beautiful. Each time to tried to take a glance at her face, she would another way. She looked familiar so he was determined to see her. He saw a lady seating opposite her. The lady too looked familiar. When the lady turned fully, he realized it was Monica. He knew Farida was the lady he was admiring. He wanted to walk up to them but he stopped and instead admired Farida from a distance. He watched as the guys stared at her and tried to get her attention but she paid no heed. That was Farida for you; she hadn’t changed.

His opportunity came when the bride and groom stood up to dance. She dragged Monica and they joined the couple on the dance floor. Ahmad joined them. They danced with him as they spread the couple. It was obvious Farida was having a great time. She looked different. She was very assertive. The assertiveness overshadowed her beauty. The combination was so attractive he couldn’t resist. He could see people preparing to join them on the dance floor so he rushed there. As they were dancing and making jest, Wale stood behind Farida. He could see Monica making a sign to her but Farida didn’t understand. When more people came to the dance floor, Farida turned to leave and bumped into Wale. She couldn’t believe it. She smiled. Her smile was so broad and warm that it destroyed all his defenses. He held her hand and escorted her from the now crowded dance floor. He wanted them to talk outside but he didn’t want to make it obvious.

He observed that Farida didn’t look out for him at all. She was all over her mother and grandmother. Wale had greeted them when they came. He felt awkward when maami introduced Wale to her mother as Farida’s husband Wale. It was possible Farida didn’t tell her anything and he was not going to spoil their happy mood. Now he was glad she didn’t. Farida joined in sharing the souvenirs around the hall. Men tried to talk to her but she smiled at them and moved on. Some offered their complimentary cards; she collected them but they never made it to the table she was on.

Immediately the wedding was over, he waited outside for Farida and Monica. As he was waiting, Alhaji arrived the venue of the wedding. Wale took him to see Akram and his bride. He introduced him to maami, Iya Agba, Ahmad, Monica and then Farida. He was immediately smitten by Farida. But he was also an observant man. He noticed the closeness between the two of them although they didn’t say anything to each other. He dropped his gift and apologized for coming late. He left with Wale seeing him off.

“Who is that lady?”

“Which of them?”

‘You know the one”

“You mean Akram’s sister?”

“Who is she to you?”

“We dated a while ago”

“Isn’t she Sam’s first wife? I recognized her although she looks different. Very beautiful”

“She was. They are going through the divorce process”

“Sam is frustrating it. Are you still together?”

“No we are not. We are just friends”

“After the incident at my house?”

“Something like that”

“Sam will be happy to hear that”

‘I don’t want him to know”

“I won’t tell him. She looks happy without him. He told me she has kids; she doesn’t look it”

“She has a set of twins”

“Go back to her”

“No sir, I am good”

“Go to her, there are hungry wolves in there”

Farida was outside the hall with maami and Iya Agba. The older women got into their vehicle and left. Wale caught them in time. How did Alhaji know they were about to leave?

“Where are you going from here?”

“To our hotel. Is there any fun place in Kaduna?”

“There are but they are local joints. Would you mind? We could just hang out there”

Monica replied, “We have to change our outfits before we go out”

“That’s fine. Which hotel are you in?”

They told him where they were lodged, he promised to pick them up in an hour. Farida didn’t really feel like going out but Monica insisted. She took a shower and dressed up. The weather was cold especially in the evenings and night. She wore a pair of jeans trousers and a top and joined Monica in her room. Monica realised she wasn’t making any effort to look nice. She gave her a chiffon top to wear instead of the tee shirt and gave her leggings instead of the jeans. It was like old times.

Wale came for them. They went to a joint which was a bit loud but they served very delicious cow tail pepper soup. They ate and cracked jokes. Farida looked at Wale without being seen. He had missed him. It was always fun hanging out with them. They talked about many things and caught up with what they had missed. Wale was shocked they had started their business again. They both seemed excited. He couldn’t stop staring at Farida. She was driving him crazy with her demeanor. She talked about other things she was doing excitedly; it was alluring.

It was quite late when they decided to call it a day. He saw them to their hotel and escorted them to their room. They said their good byes and entered their rooms.

Five minutes later, Farida heard a knock on her door. She looked through the peep hole and recognized the tee shirt Wale wore during their outing. Why was he back? She opened her door and he said to her, “I need to talk to you”. She let him come in.

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