Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 42
The way I reacted that day after Professor Marwan asked about Yusuf, also the way I stuttered and told him Yusuf was fine, the professor knew something was totally not right. He knew about my relationship with Yusuf right from our old school days; so he expected a big explanation, not pretence.
“What happened, Fatimah?” He had asked.
“Nothing, sir” I had lied fidgeting my finger.
“No, something isn’t right” He had said and thence persuaded me to tell him what was wrong and I reluctantly told him what had happened without making up false stories. “You know what, Fatimah?” He had asked, after hearing everything. “Meet me in my residence on 20th. V-Estate, House No. 15”
For what? I wanted asking but promptly changed my mind. He probably must be thinking about settling both Yusuf and I.
“That 20th falls on Saturday, right?” I had wrinkled a brow and he nodded. “Ok, sir”
“I will inform Yusuf as well” He had said.
“But why, sir?” I had queried. Of course I needed to know what he truly was up to.
“Until you come, Fatimah. And please don’t come with your car, ok?” He had said and quickly hopped into his car. He didn’t even allow me to say another word as he ignited the engine of his car and then drove away.
Few days later, it was already time for me to visit Professor Marwan. I didn’t spend much time putting on makeup because it would be of no use since Yusuf and I were not dating anymore. He might have even gotten a new girlfriend already, who knows? Well, what does that even had to do with me? After all, we were now like strangers to one another!
“Mum, inazuwa” I said to my mother as soon as I Salaamed into her room. “I want to stroll”
“Stroll?” She moved her laptop aside and stared at me. “Ok, from where to where?”
“Around the Estate, can I?” I uttered.
“Well, since it is around the Estate…” I didn’t allow her to finish talking when I ran over to her and gave her a warm hug from the back.
“Thank you, mum!” I pecked her cheek.
“Hmm, toh… but becareful” She said.
“I will, mum” I averted from her.
“Also, don’t stay long!” She said.
“In Shaa Allah, mum” I said and left.
I had lied to her about where I was actually going to because… she would never ever let even my shadow visit a male lecturer talk more of my body. I was her only child, thus she didn’t like me being around men alone. But what if I wasn’t her only child, would it make any difference? No, and that’s because I’m a female child and ought to be protected.
When I boarded a taxi to Professor Marwan’s house, I knocked the gate and a lady around my age came out. She must be the professor’s daughter, she looked so much like him. After having greeted her, I told her I came to visit her father. And as polite as she appeared, she asked me to come in. Thus, she ushered me to his chamber. A very big and breathtaking place. Indeed professors are something else.
“Dad, you have a visitor!” She uttered as she knocked the door of a – Personal Office? – I stared at the nameplate on the wooden door.
Immediately he told her to bring me in, she opened the door for me and I gently walked into the place. Thus, she left. Truth be told, I loved the place. It was more beautiful than his office at college. This one had the best…
“Fatimah, is everything ok?” His sudden utterance pulled me out of my trance. It seemed he’d been summoning my name.
“Sir? Sorry sir” I said as I gulped hard.
“Hmm… you are amazed, huh?” He said.
“Yes, sir!” I huffed. “Good afternoon”
“Afternoon, have a seat” He beamed.
“Thanks, sir!” I pulled one of the visitors’ chairs and unhesitatingly sat down in it.
Professor Marwan and I started discussing about my relationship with Yusuf after the greetings and in some minutes, Yusuf came. “AsSalama Alaykum” He said as he walked into the office with his eyes fixed at me. He practically didn’t seem surprised, he must have probably known everything already.
“Wa’alaykumus Salam, Yusuf. Welcome!”
“Thank you, sir!” Yusuf said as he walked towards me and pulled the other visitor’s chair close to me and then sat down. One surprising thing was that, he still had the wristwatch I gifted him some years back.
“How was the drive?”
I remained silent as they kept talking untill Professor Marwan called my name. “Let me introduce you both to each other again, can I?” He asked and I slightly nodded my head. “Okey” He cleared his throat and continued. “Fatimah Bulama, this is Yusuf Abba Dolari, once your senior in Zulu College” He huffed and then turned towards Yusuf. “Yusuf, this is…” He was saying when Yusuf thus cut in.
“Fatimah Aliyu Bulama, I know!” He said.
That moment, my heart began beating fast with his scent dominating the atmosphere. Talking about his scent, his mood was as if something wasn’t right with him. I thought he’d act with his right senses, but he didn’t. Maybe he was still angry with the choice I made, it was the best choice I’d ever made!
“Let me give you both some space, I would return in a jiff” Professor Marwan uttered.
“Thank you, sir” Yusuf said
Thus, the professor left…
Leaving the two of us alone!
Actually, Yusuf looked amazing today – like always. I’d only glanced at him the moment he arrived but I could still vividly see him in my mind. Also, I could still feel the jerk deep inside my heart… I really still loved Yusuf. If only our families were not rivals, if only he had not arrest my father back then perhaps we would have married long ago with kids.
“I am sorry for what I did” Yusuf said, ending the silence that had crept upon us. “But it… it wasn’t my faut, Fatimah. Imagine losing both parents at a time, and then finding a way to the culprit. Wouldn’t you do everything I did?”
I so much wanted replying him with NO, but then I reasoned. If – God forbid – someone in this cruel world tried that with my parents, I would definitely not take it likely. Not when…
“Both of them were brutally murdered” He uttered and continued. “And you, Fatimah knew all that I went through. But yet… well, I wouldn’t blame you because every person loves his parents one way or the other, and the love we have for them is what makes us to think whatever they do is perfectly okey, no matter how bad it is. We wouldn’t like to suspect them or ask them of things they do”
“I’m sorry, but I knew my father was clean”
“We knew that too, but babe what could we do? After all the culprit shielded himself in your father’s company, so your father was arrested for interrogation. It’d took longer than I expected though but nobody wished your father harm. Ask him if he had been touched… or manhandled. I asked them to please approach him gently and also carry their investigation with sense” He uttered.
“He wasn’t touched”
“Good! Then why are you angry with me, Fatimah Bulama? Please talk” He uttered.
Seeing that I didn’t reply, he continued.
“I still love you, do you know that? And if you’re doubting then…” He said as I cut in.
“I am not doubting, but our relationship would not work because my parents…”
“Don’t like me?” He cut in, and I nodded.
Just then, Professor Marwan returned back smiling. “My wife wants you to have this…”
It was pizza and some drinks for both me and Yusuf. Wow, what a pleasant surprise it was!
“Thank you!” We chorused.
“You’re welcome” He said. And although I trusted him but still I didn’t take anything except the drink which I knew couldn’t be drugged without I getting a sign… PDMM!
“This is… super delicious! Are you sure you don’t wanna eat it?” Yusuf wrinkled a brow.
“No, I ate a lot before coming” I lied.
“Well, you’re missing a lot here” He said.
While Yusuf was eating, Professor Marwan cleared his throat and told us a so fantastic and amazing story about the adventure of some lovers, Bulamati and Doralina whom were prohibited from marrying each other.
“Doralina loved Bulamati a lot, she’s a very beautiful lady and she had been his friend since their days in school. But… her family didn’t like him. So, what Doralina did was consult his old school teacher for help. The teacher thus went to Bulamati’s parents…”
“And what?” I was so curious to know.
“And talked to her parents. Hopefully, they agreed after being convinced” He uttered.
Sorry I cut the story short!
“Hmm, thanks for the story sir” Yusuf said.
Just then, we began hearing the rumbling of thunder. “Is it rain?” I bewilderedly queried.
“Yes, about to fall” Professor Marwan said.
“Then I think I should be going” I stood up.
“Me too” Yusuf stood up as well.
Hence, Professor Marwan bade us goodbye after having encouraged us to not to ever forget his story. Well, the story was superb.
Only that he was indirectly referring to us!