Jasmine looked down into the water, and then she thought back to her life before now. She hadn’t always been a rich woman. She was from an average home and after her final exams and giving birth, she had left Calabar to go stay with her parents in Akwa ibom. There she battled with depression for one year, and was at the point of committing suicide when her parents bundled her to a private therapist who took her through hypnosis. She was able to fight back depression, and then she went after life with vengefulness. She was determined to succeed at any cost. So she started writing as a freelance writer. She made meager income, being that Nigeria had not developed a reading culture. Sometimes she sold her gadgets to enroll in literary classes, go on tours with other writers. Aside writing, she had passion for fashion, and she had always wanted to own a cloth label or a boutique, but lack of funds kept her down.
Then one day, she went into a high end boutique in Lagos, on one of her writing tours. She didn’t have money to buy any of the expensive clothes on display, but she just took the clothes she liked, tried them on and took pictures in them. When she came out of the fitting room, one of the customers, a well dressed lady asked her for her opinion. She told the customer that the dress she has chosen was not flattering to her body shape, and went ahead and picked out a dress and complementing accessories. The customer was so pleased that she introduced Jasmine to her big friends, and Jasmine became their personal shopper. She relocated from Akwaibom to Lagos, and was introduced to the elite circle of women. Every celebrity wanted Jasmine to be her stylist. Before long, she had capital and investors to open a high end boutique in the heart of Lagos, and the rest they say is history. She knew people thought she made money lying on her back, it was the idiotic stereotype Nigerian men were used to; any girl who was succeeding was being kept by a rich, old man.
A voice in her subconscious asked her if she toiled all those years, to make fame and fortune, just to end it under the sea. She looked at the waters inviting her in and at that moment, she realized that she could not just give up on life because of a woman like herself. She heard movements behind her, and turned to see a mad man smiling weirdly at her.
Mad man: “You want to jump, go ahead and jump. Look at you, you have a home, you are pregnant, but you don’t see the blessings, all you see is the problem. Oh ungrateful soul, go ahead and jump, but I tell you, your soul will burn in hell tonight!” the mad man said and let out a shrill laughter. Then he went ahead, laughing and talking to himself. Fear came over Jasmine, most especially, as she looked and didn’t see the mad man again. She held the railing and made to climb over, but her leg slipped, and she found herself falling.
She gripped the pavement with her fingers and held on for dear life. It was ironic that just a few moments ago, she was willing to end her life, but now, she was scared of dying. She cried out for help, but nobody was near, it was late and the road was deserted.
Jasmine: “Haliru!” she cried just as her fingers began to slip away.
Haliru had been home for over an hour and no sign of Jasmine, he began to worry. What was she even doing outside by this time; she was supposed to be in bed, he pondered. His mother was already shouting down on him.
Haliru’s mother: “Just know that if anything happens to her, both the blood of your wife and child is on your head. We trained you better than this, cheating on your wife just months after your wedding? I have been with your father for years and not once have I doubted him” she said pointing her finger into his face.
Haliru: “Mother, I am not cheating on my wife”
Haliru’s mother: “Do I look like a child to you? Who was the bracelet for?”
Haliru: “Mother, I really don’t know why you left your husband’s house to come camp here. I am no longer a child ma, I am a man” he said and walked away.
Haliru’s mother: “Then act like one, go look for your wife” She said, he turned to give a reply, but stopped. He heard his name, like someone was calling him from far away.
Haliru: “Did you hear that?” he asked looking around.
Haliru’s mother: “Heard what, for goodness sake”
Haliru: “Someone called my name” he said looking into the distance. His mother shook her head in resignation and went upstairs. She had to notify the police of a missing person. Haliru took his car keys from the bowl in the foyer and went out to look for his wife.
Just when Jasmine had given up on life and resigned herself to death, a hand gripped hers and began to pull her up.
Man: “Come on, pull yourself up, I will help you” he said and pulled her up with all his might. He was on his night run, he had internal issues and running helped him. He had heard a cry for help and come running towards the sound. There was no time to wonder what the woman was doing till she climbed over the railing. But when she climbed over to the road, with his help, he realized he knew this woman. The one face that had pervaded his thoughts, since he stumbled into her at the hospital.
Jasmine was so overwhelmed that she hugged him, he had saved her, she would have been in the water now drowning if he hadn’t heard her.
Doctor Ugbonna: “I know you, from the hospital. Do you remember me?” he asked as he pulled her away from him gently.
Jasmine: “You are that gorgeous doctor from the hospital. I am grateful to you for saving my life” she said with a grateful smile.
Doctor Ugbonna: “Thank God, He saved you, I am just His instrument” he replied her and began to lead her to her car.
Jasmine: “I should take you out for lunch sometime, as a way of appreciating you, for being a willing instrument” she said and they burst out laughing. They both heard a car door slam, and turned to see Haliru walking towards them. When he got to where they were, he threw a punch, which connected with Ugbonna’s lips, they broke and spurted blood.
Haliru: “Are you Bali, if you couldn’t do without her, why didn’t you just marry her, why make her be my wife and cheat with her?” He asked rhetorically, as he prepared to throw another punch. Jasmine went between them, and held Haliru.
Jasmine: “What nonsense are you talking about? Bali is dead! This here is a stranger who saved my life”
Haliru: “Shut up your lying mouth, I regret marrying you!” he said and walked away from her.
Doctor Ugbonna: “I don’t know what problems you guys have, but your wife just tried committing suicide, if you don’t work on this issues, you will have a dead wife on your hands, and trust me that is worse than a cheating wife” he said and jogged away. Haliru paused and looked at his wife, really looked at her. He noticed her feet were bare, and her face was tear stained.
Haliru: “Why would you go and take your own life? Did you think of our child while coming to this decision?” he asked. Jasmine broke down in tears; she slowly went down on the tar road and began to weep. While she wept, her mind was pondering, why would Haliru call Bali’s name, did the blackmailer tell him something, did he know she cheated on him with Bali?
She felt Haliru’s hand encircle her and carry her in his arms ton his car. He opened the door and put her inside on the seat beside the driver’s seat.
Haliru: “We are going home”
They drove in silence right to their driveway. But as soon as he drove into his house, he cut off the ignition, and ran to the other side. He opened the car door and carried Jasmine in his arms to the house. His mother was waiting, so were Jasmine’s parents, and Haliru’s father. Even Ella and Nengi was present, Jasmine’s mother had called them. But Haliru paid none of them heed and took his wife up the stairs to their bedroom. He undressed her and carried her in his arms to the bathroom, where he ran a warm bath. They both held each other as they soaked in the warm foamy water.
Haliru: “Everything that happened is my fault, I am so sorry. I shouldn’t have hurt you like that. It won’t happen again, my darling wife” he said and they made love right there in the bathtub.
While everyone was busy talking downstairs, Nengi sneaked up the stairs, and tiptoed to the master bedroom. The door was ajar so she went in, and heard the husband and wife making love in the big steamy bathroom.
Haliru: “I love you Jas, I will always love you. Don’t ever try to take your life, always think of me and our child” she heard Haliru say as he pounded into his wife, while Jasmine moaned.
Nengi: “Oh my God, they made up. She tried to commit suicide? Did she really, or it was a calculated venture to snare Haliru. Don’t worry, I know what to do.” She said and went down the stairs angrily.
Ella: “What were you doing up there, is Jas alright?” she asked, but Nengi flung her hand away and marched out of the house.
Ella: “Hmmn, strange” she mused.
Question: What is Nengi up to, what will she do to destroy her friend?
… See Episode 16 Below (You don’t wanna Miss this!) … AdeLove Stories … Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!
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