by Daisy Yawson
Four girls followed Mimi to the washroom, laughing and speaking in hush tones.
“Soooo..who was that man that dropped you off. He looked so serious. M. Is he your brother?“
Mimi knew it would come to that if she made friends but it seemed the girls chose her since she first started class the last few days.
“Akua, don’t tell me you like him?” a skinny but tall girl asked.
“Oh no. I’m only curious since she’s our friend. Don’t act like I don’t know everything about you. It’s only proper she reveals to us secrets or some things about her life.”
“Mimi, don’t mind them erh,” another girl with chubby cheeks jumped in.
“But guys, don’t you see Mimi is glowing. See her face..her body…like guys I’m jealous o.”
“What’s your secret? Is it one of these things they use on their body?”
“A facial scrub?”
“Yes…is it that one?” Being attacked with questions didn’t help as those questions would reveal that part of her. What would they think of her if they found out she was a married girl living with a grown-ass man.
Till she asked Ibrahim what he thought of it, she wouldn’t utter a word. She’d wish she had kept to herself the first day she joined the school.
“Tsw…what has that got to do with you? We need proper information ah you’re asking what she uses on her skin. I think you should check the questions you ask.” Her words shut the big girl who they all called Lizzy.
Hands around Mimi’s shoulder, another girl in their midst, asked.
“If he’s your brother you have to hook me up o. I don’t mind being his lover.”
“That’s disgusting, Ro. Do you even know his age and besides he’s too old for you..” Akua retorted.
“C.mon, he’s handsome and looks cool though I wouldn’t say the same for guys my age and I just turned 18.”
The girls laughed, suddenly becoming more interested in who that mysterious guy was.
“Guys, guys, it’s something I would have to think about first before telling you else I would feel guilty. I promise you will know by tomorrow alright?”
Rodha sighed in disappointment.
“If you say so…but don’t keep us waiting o. Tomorrow same time here girls or what do you think?”
They all nod in agreement. Somehow a new idea seemed to have popped up in her head. Instead of going through the pain of talking about it with Ibrahim, she decided to ask for advice from the principal. The only person who knew about her relationship with Ibrahim.
She sat in class, scribbling on her book till the bell rang for recess.
She slipped into the principal’s office, knocking on her door first.
She looked up from the pile of papers that were scattered on the table.
“Mimi, what brings you to my office?”
“Good afternoon, Madam.”
“I guess you have something to tell me?” she asked when Mimi had her lips pursed for close to 10 seconds.
“It’s okay dear. Relax and tell me everything.”
Signing deeply, she talked.
“It’s about some friends I made. You know he dropped me off at school this morning.”
“You mean Mr Ibrahim? Your husband?”
Nodding, she smiled knowing very well what her problem was. Girls her age are curious about everything they see under the sun so it wasn’t surprising she’d come to see her.
“Yes…my hus… husband.”
“It’s okay.. you can just say Ibrahim since he’s your husband..I’m sure he wouldn’t mind you calling him that.”
“Yes, madam… actually, he dropped me off this morning and now my friends want to know who he is. I decided against going home to tell him about it but now I don’t know if I did the right thing,” she voiced out her concern.
“Hmmm,” she thought briefly about it before addressing the issue.
“My dear, will advise you to keep quiet about it for fear of it spreading among your classmates or you can say, you’re betrothed to him. That’s the advice I will give to you.”
The idea sounded perfect. Although being betrothed was equal to being married, it didn’t carry such heaviness as being married did.
She could say she was betrothed to him recently and they plan to get married after she’s completed school. It will shut them up from asking further questions. She thought.
“Thank you, Maa… I really appreciate it.”
Meanwhile, Ibrahim had received a visit from Prince that afternoon. Talking and laughing while sipping at a glass of cold beer.
“So I’m not telling you anything about her. She’s out of bounds in our conversations.”
“C mon…why?… What makes it easier to talk about Eyram and not this one.”
“This one,…. is a child.”
“A child that warms your bed?..c.mon ma guy..she’s not a kid like that… you said she will turn 18 soon, right.”
“Yes… and I will advise you not to convince me. My mind is already made up.”
He took a sip at his drink, dragging his car keys back and forth on the table.
“So, what do you say about tonight? All the boys are coming with their women..trust me..it will be fun..get out small and stop leaving the life of a boring man.”
Chuckling, he poured a bit of drink into his glass.
“It seems you’ve forgotten my motive for getting married. My son…”
“Yes, yes, I know..your son. Don’t use him as an excuse when the girl is not even pregnant yet… okay? So come… It will be fun, I promise.”
He nodded, taking a sip at the drink.
“So, when are you bringing her along to join us?”
Prince asked, sitting upright in his seat.
He glared at him with his sharp eyes, shaking his head in disbelief.
He raised his hands jokingly in surrender.
“Let me pay for the drinks and take my leave. I’m almost late for the seminar.”
“Don’t worry about it..it’s on me today. This is my office…alright let’s talk more at a convenient place.”
He sent him out and looked at the expensive watch on his wrist.
Countless times he’d decided against going for Mimi in school. Going back again to the school would mean he cared for her when he had convinced himself severally it was nothing of the sort.
A third call came in just when he was about taking his leave.
His lips formed into a smile.
“Am I calling you at the wrong time?”
“No..I just closed from work.“
“I called you last night.”
The silence confirmed what she dreaded would be.
“You slept with her, didn’t you?“
Nothing could have stopped him from telling the truth.
“My cara, it’s supposed to happen, you know that,” he said, using the Italian slang for ‘my dear’.
“Did you like it?”
He recognized the anger and bitterness in her voice.
“Gosh, Eyram! How am I supposed to answer something like this?“
Ignoring his question, she uttered in a stern voice.
“Your son was sick with a fever last night and I called to tell you but It seems you were busy giving yourself pleasure.”
Clenching the side of his desk, he tried to calm the raging anger that rose from the words she uttered.
“I’m doing this for you! For our son. Do you know how disgusted I feel touching someone who is not you? Do you know, Eyram? answer me!“ he barked.
That was what she got for denying his love for her. To him, sleeping with Mimi was like violating a little girl except, they were married before God. So why did he find it extremely difficult touching her like how she would like to be touched.
“I don’t think you want to see your son again.”
She hanged up before he could come to terms with what she had said. Her words had stung him that he tried calling her number multiple times which was to no avail.
He’d known Eyram as a tough young woman with a mind of her own. Doing what she liked and seemed fit but still, he loved her as she loved him. But threatening him with their son was a bit too much.
Borrowing a phone from one of his colleagues at the workplace, he called Eyram’s number which she immediately picked.
“Eyram… I really don’t think using our son as bait is a good idea.”
“Maybe you want me to hang up again.”
“Alright…. what do you want?” his voice was a bit shaky but stern.
Two years ago, she’d taken the decision to get rid of the unborn child but with constant persuasion from him, she’d kept it. Breastfeeding the child was a problem he had to deal with because the child’s mother didn’t want to feed him by her own breast.
Now, it was obvious she was capable of keeping his child away from him. There was nothing he could do, leaving him with just one option. To do what she wanted. It wasn’t always like that. She’d been calm most of the time but sometimes, she felt the need to use the child to her advantage.
“I will need a place to live with my son..and I opt for yours.”
She had thought he would neglect the girl after he had tied the knot but she was proven wrong. He rarely called her and even when he did, it was for a brief moment making her think of all the possibilities that could have happened between them.
“Even when I’m living with Mimi? You can’t be serious,” he retorted sharply feeling used by her especially at this crucial time when their son was getting Ill most of the time. Despite all these, he still loved her.
Reasoning that he will have to accept her request till he saw his son.
“Request granted.. when am I seeing my son?”
“Don’t go against your words.. you’re a Christian man.”
“Sure..sure. When is your flight due?”
“Tuesday, next month.”
“Great… should I pick you up?“
“Yes…” she hesitated.
“Alright love. I will see you soon.”
Feeling satisfied, she felt herself warming up to him.
“Let’s talk later. cara. I love you.”
“Love you too.”
Making a decision to talk to Mimi, he got off from work early. Taking the shortest route to the house and made his way to Mimi’s room.
Mimi having returned from school early, sat on the floor, solving past questions from a textbook she’d borrowed from a friend. Final exams (WASSCE) was due in 6 months and she’d taken the step to study hard so she can pass.
Fortunately, her friends learnt as much as she did, leaving no book unturned.
Ibrahim’s voice could be heard behind her door.
“Please come in.”
Seeing the pile of books on the floor, he decided against telling her anything at all.
“No.. continue with what you’re doing,” he said, seeing her in an attempt to pack away the books.
“Can I help you out?” her struggle to solve some maths questions propelled him to ask.
“I enjoyed solving maths questions way back in school.”
His expression was sincere. He’d studied a lot during his final exams. Passing and getting into the University of Ghana with good grades. It had been such a tough journey, nevertheless, he was living the life he’d wanted.
With a straight face, she invited him to help her out. Surprisingly, he plopped down beside her, opening up books he was familiar with. They solved questions upon questions till they were interrupted by a knock at the door.
“Sir, your food is ready…madam too,” Adisa said behind the closed door.
“Bring it in here.”
Mimi looked at him questioningly.
“I thought you preferred we ate anywhere else but here.”
They heard another knock before he could answer.
Adisa set the tray filled with food on the tiled floor and left them to attend to her duties.
“Let’s talk. I have something to share with you.”
Sitting next to her was only a kind gesture he did for Adisa’s eyes since she reported everything she saw to his mother. It had nothing to do with caring for her and on the other hand, he hated the idea of his mum visiting to create any problems for them. Thus, he had to be nice to her while he could.
For Mimi, the hope that had kindled in her heart has been shut down again by what he’d said afterwards. Elated that he’d dropped by her room, she felt he was beginning to like her but all was for nothing.
“I will have my girlfriend over on Tuesday, next month. Cope with her for just a night and she will leave the next morning without any problems,” he casually stated as he got up on his feet after wiping his lips with a tissue.
Seeing the look on her face, he felt for the first time in his life, genuine concern for her.
Mimi had no clue how indifferent Eyram could treat people especially when she felt threatened. It was a cause to worry that he decided to share a room with Eyram to prevent anything drastic from happening.
“You don’t have to worry at all. Nothing bad will happen to you.”
Suddenly finding her voice, she walked briskly to his side to face him, her hips swaying in the act. The part of her he liked to kiss and caress during foreplay.
“What do you think you’re doing?” he said with his eyebrows raised.
“Don’t you see this is insulting?” Mimi questioned, with her arms folded, her lips quivering as she spoke.
He laughed in his head. Suddenly finding it fascinating that she’d muster up the courage to speak to him like that.
“I think what is more insulting, young lady, is the fact that your Dad sold you off just for my pleasure. When I think about it, I’m disgusted. Don’t make the mistake of having to say anything without having thought about it.”
Bending down to her level because of his huge stature, he placed a kiss on her forehead. The kiss was longer than it should have been, sending another wrong message across to her. His intoxicating scent filled her nostrils as he departed from her.
Moments after he was gone, she was left frozen on the same spot. Recovering from the brief conversation, she sat dejectedly on the side of the bed staring into the ceiling. In fact, it was more of an announcement than a conversation recalling it. The words about her father hunted her however, she stayed quiet about it. In truth, she’d missed her family greatly, sometimes calling her brother just to speak to him.
As busy as he was, he always found time to talk to her. The little he did make her feel wanted otherwise she would have had negative thoughts of her family.
She managed to fall asleep after tossing and turning on the bed.
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