51 years old Alhaji Alhaji Abdul brought out a box containing an engagement ring and flashed it before his 23 years old lover, who was ten years younger than his eldest son, begotten by the first of all his 3 wives.
Alhaji Abdul: “Fatimah, will you marry me? Will you spend the rest of your beautiful life with me in my paradise?” he asked sitting comfortably on the chair in the posh restaurant that they had visited in Armani hotel, located in the heart of Dubai.
Fatimah couldn’t believe her eyes. The rich and famous Alhaji Abdul asking her to marry him? No, that was too much for her young heart to contain.
Alhaji Abdul: “I am waiting for your reply, sarauniyyar mata (Queen of all women)” he said flashing her his sparkling white teeth.
Fatimah: “are you serious about this, alhaji” she asked afraid that he may be pulling a stunt on her.
Alhaji Abdul: “I have told you several times not to call me alhaji. Leave that for my domestic staff and outsiders. You are my girl and there is no need for protocol”
Fatimah: “I am sorry, I keep forgetting”
Alhaji Abdul: “It is okay, pretty one. So, is it a yes to my proposal?” as he said that, he opened the red box wrapped in pink ribbons. He brought out the ring and Fatimah’s eyes popped out when she beheld the most beautiful engagement ring she had seen in reality and movies. He removed the ring and stretched it forth to her. She obliged and gave him her finger.
Fatimah: “yes, I will marry you, alhaji” she said excitedly. He wore the ring on her finger and kissed it, she shrieked at the feeling of his beard on her finger but then she didn’t mind. Alhaji was rich and influential and that was all that mattered. Age afterall was just a number.
Alhaji: “now that we are done with this, the next step is to tell your people about us and then tell me when I will come to see them. I want the marriage ceremony to be done not later than 3 months time. Is that okay my dear?”
Fatimah: “yes, I will talk to my parents as soon as we get back to Nigeria” she grinned at the prospect of her getting married into such a rich and enviable family.
Fatimah: “but alhaji, sorry Abdul. How about your other wives? Will they welcome me as their co wives?” she asked suddenly afraid.
Alhaji Abdul: “of course they will. I have told you that my wives are very friendly. As a matter of fact, the holy book permits any man who has the will and capacity to marry up to four wives. I am only following that order”
Fatimah: “I understand but then the book says a man should only marry four wives if he can love and carter for them equally” she added.
Alhaji Abdul: “that is what I intend to do. Money is not my problem and you know that. Find out from all my 3 wives if I have ever denied them anything that they have ever wanted. They are living better than other women whose husband’s have only one wife so relax”
Fatimah: “okay, my mind is at rest now” she heaved a sigh of relief.
“my friends will die of envy”, she thought and smiled to herself.
After their dinner, they walked to their room, holding hands like young people who had fallen in love for the first time. As they walked, Fatimah’s mind drove her back to how she had meet alhaji Alhaji Abdul and how their relationship started two months ago.
It was on a Tuesday morning after their passing out parade from NYSC, she and other friends whose parents could not afford to pick them with their cars as the parents of other ex corp members were doing left the stadium were the parade had taken place and were trekking to Kano road where she would take a bus to her lodge before travelling to see her parents the next day. When they got to Kano road, there were lots of passengers waiting to board the buses that were not coming. Soon the weather changed and it was obvious that there was going to be a heavy downpour. A bus painted in yellow and green, typical of all commercial buses in Kaduna pulled over and before Fatimah could enter, her friends and other passengers had gone in, the bus was filled beyond capacity and there was no way she could perch in it, not even on the engine. The buss zoomed off, leaving her frustrated.
Soon it began to drizzle and people began to run helter skelter. She stood under the rain, her discharge certificate in hand, not knowing where to go. It was this time that Alhaji Abdul pulled behind her with his clean ash coloured Lexus jeep.
Alhaji Abdul: “hop in, before the rain begins to fall heavily” he said but she ignored him and attempted to walk away but he called out to her.
Alhaji Abdul: “are you okay at all? Can’t you see that I am old enough to be your father and just want to help you? Look, I am not one of those men who go about picking little girls on the street. I am a married man and I just had pity on you because I can imagine the havoc that this rain will do to your discharge certificate. I was once a corps member just like you and so I know what I am talking about” without a word she entered the car and they drove off. He took her to her house and drove away after giving her his complimentary card in case she needed any help about securing a job.
That night, she couldn’t sleep as the image of his handsome face and his exiotic car, phones and wrist watch kept on flashing through her head. She knew that he was way older than her but infatuation didn’t care about all that, she already had a crush on him.
The next day she called him and that was how their friendship which later graduated to relationship started.
Alhaji Abdul was unlike other men although he was strikingly rich. Many times he would take her out to restaurants and boutique for shopping and at the end of it all, he would take her back to Zaria to her parents house although he never entered the compound, where she relocated to after her service year without even mentioning sex or any form of intimacy.
She had thought that with time he would reveal his true colour and ask for sex but that didn’t happen. He kept spending on her, buying her designer things that she never thought she would buy in her life. To crown it all, he placed her on a monthly salary after their first month of dating and he also promised to get her a job as soon as the budget for that year was passed, that was the time government ministries would start recruiting.
Their relationship was pure and simple, they were in love with each other but sex was not involved. They were contended with each other’s company. It was as a result of the trust she had for him that she agreed to follow him to Dubai when he told her he was going for a two days seminar and invited her to join him. At first, she had declined, afraid of what he may do to her there and considering the fact that she had never travelled out of the country but he had assured her that he meant no harm and she had followed after lying to her parents that she was travelling for a job interview in another town with him helping her secure all the necessary travel documents. She didn’t know that he had planned to come and propose to her.
Alhaji Abdul: “are you okay? You appear so far away” he said touching her slightly and bringing her back from her trip to memory lane. ‘
Fatimah: “yes, I am fine. I was only thinking of how we met, you know. This whole thing is too good to be true” she opened up to him.
Alhaji Abdul: “you are right. The truth is that I never set out to fall in love with you. In fact, I never knew that I would get married to another woman again, but then who can predict love? Love takes you to a place you do not want to go and then brings you back when you don’t want to leave there” he said philosophically.
Fatimah: “you are correct”
That night, Fatimah could barely sleep as she thought that alhaji would attempt to make love to her since they were already engaged. To her surprise, he slept without evening extending his hand to hold her.
Their return flight to Nigeria was scheduled for 9:30am the next morning. Fatimah’s heart began to pound furiously when she thought of her parents reaction when she informs them that she was engaged to a man who had 3 wives already and who was older than her own father even though they had never met him. She knew it would not go down well with her disciplinarian and strict father. Trouble times were surely ahead for her, that she knew only too well.
Question: Is this one love abi what? Is there anything wrong with Fatimah marrying a man older than her father? Will the other wives accept her as Alhaji Abdul has assured her?
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