“Wale, I have lost almost everyone that matter to me. I cannot lose you too. Fight for me, claw your way back to me. Please” Nene whispered into Wale’s ears. In her voice was her desperation, she couldn’t imagine fighting without Wale’s help.
Wale laid on the wooden bed covered with a white cloth. The bullet had been removed, but Wale had not regained consciousness. His face was pale, and his hands were cold.
“He needs blood, oh God, how do we get blood, except in a hospital where we would probably get caught” she thought as she paced the room where he was laid. The villagers, who had helped remove the bullet using crude methods, were standing at the doorway watching the couple.
They told Nene in Hausa language that Wale needed to be taken to the hospital, that they did not want him to die in their village, as it was a bad omen. In other words, they were telling her to leave. Nene told them to help her put Wale in the gun riddled car, so that she could drive to the hospital.
While Wale was fighting for his life, Nabila was fighting to marry Najim. The later was reluctant to marry someone as evil as her, but she had threatened him, using Nene’s life as her bargaining chip.
Najim: “But everyone thinks I am dead, how can we get married?” he asked
Nabila: “We will get married in secret. An Imam will marry us in a private ceremony” she said. Najim’s face fell as he saw the excuse to get out of the marriage, squashed. However, a bright idea entered his mind, if he could not resist Nabila concerning the marriage, perhaps he could use the marriage to right the wrong he had done to Nene.
Najim: “Alright, Let’s get married” he said in a melancholic voice.
Nabila: “You use to love me, before Nene came on the scene. Why don’t you love me now?” she asked, her lips in a pout.
Najim: “I never loved you. I liked you a lot like a sister. But now, all you are, is a disgusting person to me” he sneered in reply.
Nabila: “It is all Nene’s fault. If only she had not laid her eyes on you” she mused.
Najim: “Nene has nothing to do with what is going on. You are helping someone push the country to war with your propaganda, and God knows what else you have been doing” he retorted.
Nabila: “You better be careful, you do not want to be on my bad side” she said and walked away.
Nene drove away from the village and parked the car by the side of a deserted road. She didn’t know what to do and she needed help. She decided to check Wale’s Phone for any contacts in Kano, but what was in Wale’s pocket was her phone.
“What was Wale doing with my phone?” She wondered. Nene took out her phone and was about tucking into the her abaya pocket, when it chirmed with the tone of an incoming message. It was from a number she could even recognize in her dreams. She stared at the phone and then she opened the message, wondering what she was going to find in it.
“Nene, I have no right to say I have missed you because I have been nothing but a coward. Like Wale rightly said, I do not deserve a brave heart such as you, but at least, I can right my wrongs. In two days, I will be getting married to Nabila in a secret ceremony. This is what you need to clear your name. I know you have found rest in Wale’s arms, but I will always love you. The wedding will be at Ansarudeen Mosque, Old city road” The message read.
Nene realized that she had been crying while reading the text message. She realized that Wale had her phone because he was chatting with Najim. She couldn’t get angry at him because he was not in a good condition. Then a thought came to her, she reasoned that she could ask Najim for help, if he was truly repentant, he would help her and Wale.
“What if it is bait to get you?” a voice inside her asked. But Nene was desperate. She was desperate enough to try any plan. She texted Najim, telling him that Wale was shot and had lost so much blood that he was in coma, he needed a hospital and she could not get him to one because of the search for her.
Immediately Najim texted back, asking for their location. Nene stared at the message and contemplated whether to tell him where she was. What if he turns out to be baiting her? She reasoned that there was only one way to find out on whose side Najim really was. She texted him back, telling him that she was at their former place.
Unfortunately for Nene, Nabila was suspicious of the way Najim had agreed to the marriage and was watching him, by placing a spy close to his house. So, when she was told that Najim was on his way to the other part of town where the non-indigenes lived, she set men to go after him. She also gave them instructions to abduct Nene if they found her there. Nabila was sure that Najim was going to see Nene.
“So, he has been playing me, he is still in contact with her. I wonder how he explained the death news. I hate you Nene, and when I get you, I will take your life in the cruelest way” she mused as she waited for news from those she had sent after Najim.
Nene took a vantage point in the debris that was once their house and peeked at the street from where she was standing, she could see anyone coming towards the house. When she saw Najim’s car approach, her heart literally flew into her mouth. She didn’t know how she was going to act in his presence. She had missed him, and the memories they had made, taunted her. However, she was not prepared for what she saw. Najim was emaciated and he looked Forlorn. Her heart went out to him, and when he came close to her, it took all her willpower, not to rush into his arms and hold him.
Nene: “Hi, thanks for helping” she said. Najim saw Wale lying unconscious inside the car and then he turned his head abruptly to Nene. His eyes roamed her body, looking for any sign of injuries. But the injuries were on Nene’s heart, and her soul.
Nene: “I am not hurt” she answered the questions in his eyes. Najim and Nene carried Wale into Najim’s car and they drove off.
On the way, neither of them spoke, they were both occupied with their thoughts. Najim felt guilty for allowing things to get so bad. Nene was still fighting, even though she was not fighting for them, but he, had allowed Nabila to have her way. When they got to the hospital, Wale was taken to the Intensive care unit, while Najim and Nene waited outside.
However, what she wanted to do, but couldn’t, Najim did. He pulled her into his arms and began to cry.
Najim: “I am so sorry Nene, I am so sorry. I have hurt you so much. I allowed things deteriorate to this level.” he cried like a baby. It brought back memories of when Najim was under-appreciated at his place of work. He was fast falling into depression, but with Nene’s help, he could bounce back and start his own business. Nene knew that being an only child did not give Najim the grit he needed. He was a weak man.
Nene: “We were not meant to be, if we were, nothing would have separated us. I cannot tell you happy married life because you are getting married to a terrorist” she said pulling away from him.
Najim: “Like everything else, I am doing this for you” he replied sadly, trying to keep her for a bit longer in his arms.
Nene: “Stop. . . just stop” she said and stood up from the bench that they were both sitting on. Najim decided to go to the cafeteria of the hospital and get something eatable, he couldn’t tell when last Nene ate, but she looked like she needed food. He had barely gone a minute when a man wearing a face cap walked into the corridor facing the ICU where Nene was standing. Nene did not notice his presence because she was thinking of what Najim had said. She realized too late that danger was near when the man was already in front of her. Her eyes widened as he grabbed her and closed her nose with a handkerchief that he had in his hand. Nene went limp in his arms and carried her so lovingly, like she was his lover. He went through the gate and nobody stopped him, nobody cared anymore.
Outside the gate he deposited Nene in the backseat with his fellow thugs and they drove off When they were on a deserted road, they gagged Nene, tied her hands and legs, then they transferred her to the boot of the car. While they drove, one of them took out his phone and dialed a number.
“We have her now. Where do we bring her?” he said into the phone.
Question: Nabila intends to kill Nene, will she succeed, or will Najim realize she is gone early enough to save her?
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