ONE: How it all started
I just got admission into the university and I’m overwhelmed.
What if I get withdrawn during my first year due to poor performance
I’m now a big girl
I can’t wait to see my first result
I’m a tall slender girl with so many dreams but my top dream is to marry my dream man.
You’d want to know why a girl of 18 who just got admission into the university would be thinking of marriage. Well, I’m Fulani and we don’t spend too much time under the same roof with our parents.
My dream man? I already have him as a friend. Haidar is tall, fair and a bit chubby. He’s friendly, jovial and fun to be with. He’s what I call a gentleman. Many people think he looks like a player but I think he’s cute. What I love most about him? his soft voice, how he chuckles when we talk over the phone. No, I love his growing beards, and his moderate shiny afro. It’s everything about him that I love.
I have so many photos of him in my phone gallery. Yes, that’s how I know his looks, if that’s what you’re thinking.
Okay, we met online and it’s been two years since when we became friends. Unknown to everyone, I applied to this university because he’s a student here. We live in different states so this is the first time we’ll meet.
I have concluded my registration processes and tomorrow, I’ll begin attending lectures.
Earlier, I called him to ask when he was going to resume school and he told me he was on his way already.
It’s been a semester and everyone’s going for a break, just the few bookworms will stay behind to study ahead. Ugh! I hate to study
We’ve met, Haidar and I. He’s helped me with so many things, like assignments and projects. He’s in his finals so it’s no big deal for him. He’s studying building engineering while I’m studying architecture but he’s brains. I like him, but he never gets the hint. Whenever we meet, I feel happy and hyper. I love to stroll with him by my side.
Today, we’re on our way to a motor park where I’ll board a car to take me home, an hour drive. And he’s going to leave tomorrow.
After I have gotten into the car, we wave each other goodbye and he goes back into the school while the car moves me further away.
While at home, I live my normal life and from time to time, I’ll call Haidar to say hi but he hardly does the same. It hurts but I can’t stop being attached.
Now that I’m about to resume school for my second semester, I can’t wait. I’ve got a lot of things to share with Haidar. He loves popcorn and I got a giant pack for him. I bought chocolates too.
I’ve used two-third of my allowance to these stuff and I’m left with just a little.
He buys things for me too
In a bus of twenty including the driver, we’re on our way to Zaria and just as we’ve been welcomed by the small sign board which says “Welcome to Zaria”, a giant petrol tanker tries to overtake us and our driver swerves quickly to avoid the foreseen danger.
Maybe it is too late, maybe it’s meant to happen, maybe I’m the cause because right now I’m on the phone with
I distracted the driver
Everyone becomes alarmed and the hyperactive ones begin pouring out supplications as our bus falls out of the road and into a nearby bush.
Darkness..that’s all I see and nothing more. I can’t even hear any sounds.
“I really have something to tell you. Can we meet now?” Haidar says from the other end
We’re on a phone call while I’m in class, doing an assignment.
“But you just left here. Why didn’t you tell me before leaving?” I ask
Okay, since after I got discharged from the hospital, the school’s teaching hospital, since after that horrible road accident which I probably caused, Haidar has been behaving strangely.
Could he have fallen for me too?
“Yeah babe. Uhm.. I forgot.” He stutters
Did..I hear him right
I mean he just addressed me as babe
It’s not normal….
“Okay. If I’m able to finish my assignments before Maghreb, I’ll call you.” I manage to say
There’s a lot on my mind now. I can’t think of anything else, anything aside Haidar. This assignment can wait.
I text him to meet in my department and he replies an okay.
I brace up for what’s coming. I know he’s going to ask me out.
My lips suddenly feel dry so I suck it in a little, while I wait for the sweetest moment of my life.
He comes in with a crooked smile but he seems worried
Maybe he thinks I won’t accept him
As he sits opposite me, my heart begins to drum.
“Salma” He calls as he looks directly into my eyes
I look back into his eyes too, not replying
“Sorry? Why?” I ask, a little puzzled
“I married you..without your consent.” He blurts
I can’t move, I can’t utter a word. This is a joke, right? Is this his way of asking a lady out? Well, it’s so lame. This is the lamest thing I’ve ever experienced. He’s so unromantic. He’s so..
“It was during your stay at the hospital, when you were unconscious and..” He keeps on telling me about it. He says I needed to be married to get well. How’s that possible? He says my parents persuaded him into it. What nonsense!
I have so many questions but nothing is coming out. My lips are dry again but I can’t suck them. He’s sitting there, waiting for me to say something but what can I say? I’m paralysed. He’s, after telling me we’re married, told me my parents were there, it was with there consent.
“Shut up.” I breathe out and he sighs
“What do you mean by everything you just said, because I don’t understand a word.”
“Salma..” He calls
“You needed me…to recover.” He adds
I’m so done here
I pick up my mini backpack and begin to make exit but what, he seizes me by the wrist and just when I turn to face him, he locks our lips.
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