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Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 8:52pm On Feb 07
Rafiah hates her life; her love life is a mess and her job cripples her with anxiety. Her younger sister is set to walk down the aisle. The love of her life is also getting married to someone else…and she has to see them at work every day!

Surprising events occur as Rafiah searches for the one. She must also search for her sister, who goes missing a week to her wedding.

A new web series will commence next week. Grab your bowl of popcorn!

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Re: Life And Everything In Between by daddio(m): 9:53pm On Feb 07
Popcorn is ready please bring juice for us when you are coming

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Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 6:32pm On Feb 08
LOL!
Re: Life And Everything In Between by xaviercasmir(m): 6:43pm On Feb 08
Following
Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 8:11pm On Feb 14
Life and Everything in Between (Episode One)

A smile spread over my face as I watched Rasheedah talk about her wedding day; how she planned on putting on a glamorous blue gown and stealing the gaze of her guests. How the wedding would be the talk of the town and how she yearned for such a memorable moment. Dinner was practically about Rasheedah’s wedding. We couldn’t talk about anything else.

“You will be the happiest woman on your wedding day,” Mom stared at her with a bright face. “You’re getting married to Khalid…and he loves you,” she smiled at him.

Khalid, who was cutting a slice of meat, whipped his head up and grinned at her. “I love Rasheedah more than you can ever imagine,” he said with certainty.

Three months and five days ago, my younger sister, Rasheedah, said yes to spending the rest of her life with Khalid. The house had bubbled with excitement when she revealed the news. We had drunk glasses of fruity wine and ate bowls of seasoned chicken to celebrate the engagement.

Khalid was not only a sweet person who had fallen head over heels with my sister, but he was also the son of Honourable Suleiman Olalekan, the commissioner for works in Lagos State. And Rafiah, the twenty-seven-year-old elder sister, was still jumping buses to work every day…with no plan of getting married soon. Yes, me.

Continue reading https://www.maryamnittywall.com/2021/02/life-and-everything-in-between_14.html
Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 9:07pm On Feb 21
Episode Two
I flashed my brightest smile as I walked into Fulaan’s building. Adjusting my black maxi skirt and confirming that my white blazer was well-fitted, I raised my shoulders high and walked graciously. That was the best way to appear after the news of a breakup. And the report of your ex getting engaged to someone else.

Nothing could spoil this week. Not the marriage talk Mom had engaged me with this morning or the dreadful I received last night (Tolu getting engaged to Najeebah!). The week would be great. I could feel it!

“Hey, Rose! I greeted the receptionist with a bright tone as I unlocked my phone and went through the new notifications. My eyes widened in surprise as my phone buzzed with a million messages. When did I become an overnight celebrity?

‘Why are my colleagues sending swarms of messages? Did I get promoted?’ I wondered as I wrote my name on the register.

“Sorry oo, Rafiah,” Rose responded with a croaky voice.

I whipped my head to see her staring at me with sympathetic eyes.

I chuckled with creased brows. “Sorry for what?”

“Tolu got engaged to Najeebah. We’ve all heard the news. And…I’m wondering how devastating that must be. How would you cope…seeing them every day at work?” she said in a mockery tone. I could tell that she was trying her best not to smile.

I glanced around and realized that everyone had received the news. They were all staring at me. Oh my gosh! Wasn’t this the best moment to call in sick? I could just bring up an excuse and head home…but face Mom?

“Have a nice day,” I muttered as I dropped the pen and crept to my office, trying hard to ignore the pairs of eyes that were fixed on me.

I wondered why I had to go through such a traumatic experience. Home was a disaster…and now, I wouldn’t be able to breathe at my workplace. When Tolu had called our relationship quits, I thought it was the worst thing that could happen to me. I never knew what was yet to come- that Tolu would start a new relationship with someone from our department!

Fulaan’s office space was such that each department was apportioned to a room. So, I had to work in the same space with all of my colleagues…including Tolu and Najeebah.

Settling on my seat and placing my bag on my desk, I lowered my head and glanced through my unread WhatsApp messages.

Hi Rafiah. I heard about Tolu and Najeebah’s engagement last night. What can I say? Please be strong. It happens, and the lady is always the one to blame. Don’t let anyone’s mockery get past you. Be strong.
- Nkechi.
Rafiah! I heard oo! Men are not worth it. Imagine what Tolu did. After breaking your heart, he went for someone else in your department. Ah, men are wicked. That’s why I’ve decided not to get married. One yeye guy also broke my heart. Let’s be friends. I owe you lunch.
- Eugenia.

‘Eugenia, the tomboy? No way! I’d pass.’ I muttered as I ignored other messages and started to arrange my desk. I sighed deeply as I caught sight of Faith walking towards where I sat. Wrong decision; I could have just called in sick.

“Hello, Rafiah!” she greeted.

Faith was dressed in a red-fitted shirt and black mini skirt. She also painted her lips with red-bold lipstick. Late last year, news had it that Faith was having an affair with the company’s co-founder. And she has been promoted twice since the rumour broke out.

“Hi,” I smiled in return as I continued arranging my desk.

“I heard about what happened last night. The news is everywhere…”

“Good morning, Faith. Please, can I have a word with Rafiah? Mr. Kolapo sent me.” Asmau said as she appeared in front of us.

Nkechi grinned, displaying her bold red lips. “Okay. I’ll see you during lunchtime. Take care, Rafiah.”

I heaved a sigh of relief as I stared at Asmau. “Thanks for bailing me out. These people have been bugging me since I entered this office. Tolu this…Tolu that. It is frustrating,” I sighed deeply as I stared at the ceiling.

“Asalamu ‘alaykum,” she greeted, staring at me with curious eyes.

“Wa’alaykumu salam. I’m just…” I was saying when she pulled me into a tight hug.

“It will be fine. Everything will be fine, in sha ALlaah. You’ll get through this.”

Tears stung my eyes as I noted that more colleagues were resuming at their desks. “How can I bear to see Tolu every single day? Abi, this is the period to resign from this job?”

Asmau pulled away from me and slapped my arm. “You can’t be serious. Because of a man? As I said, you’ll get through this. By the way, you look beautiful in this outfit!”

“Thank you, Asmau,” I smiled at her as I settled on my seat and turned on my computer.

As I opened the previous day’s document, I stared numbly at the screen and wondered if I was dumb. I mean, how did I even get this job, and why am I here? Why did I decide to become an accountant?

“Mrs. Lola is calling us for a meeting. We are to meet at the board room now!” Susie, the short and plump lady, said as she grabbed a jotter and pen and headed out of the office.

We all scrambled to our feet as we strolled towards the board room.
***
I could see Mrs. Lola talking earnestly and demonstrating with the movement of her arms. I could see that she was dressed in a white shirt and black palazzo. I could also spot that her wedding band was absent from her finger…again. However, I couldn’t pay attention to a word she was saying. My thoughts were transfixed to the news I received last night and what would become of me at the office.


I could spot Tolu from a distance, stealing a glance at Najeebah and sitting with pride and fulfillment. Najeebah was also staring repeatedly at the gold engagement ring resting on her middle finger. The smile on her face made it seem like she had achieved the most astounding feat in life.

My eyes were dizzy, and my legs felt wobbly as I tried to concentrate and take down notes like others. I tried to keep my eyes open, but they kept betraying me. It was no surprise because I spent last night bawling my eyes out.

I struggled to keep my eyes open again but soon…

“Rafiah!” Someone yelled at me.

I opened my eyes to see Mrs. Lola glaring at me. I glanced around and saw that everyone was glaring at me. “I’m sorry…I didn’t sleep well…” I muttered.

I heard giggles as I lowered my eyes and fought the tears from streaming down my face.

“Please, Rafiah, take this meeting seriously. Keep your eyes open and pay attention.” She bellowed as she continued her speech.

Stealing a glance at Tolu, I saw that he was staring at me. Asmau squeezed my arm as I opened my jotter and pretended to take down notes.

I spent the rest of the period pretending to be engrossed in Mrs. Lola’s talk. When we dispersed, I lowered my head and traced my way to my desk. It was then that I noticed someone standing on my path.

I froze in surprise and shock as I raised my eyes. It was Tolu, glancing at me with a quizzical look. I could also spot Najeebah stealing glances as she walked past us. “Asalamu ‘alaykum, Rafiah.”

Tolu was tall and fair-complexioned with charming eyes. His eyes were everything! They dazzled whenever he smiled. I tried to bring forth words from my mouth but what came out were breaths of air.

“Rafiah?”

“Yes…yes…” I stuttered. “How are you…how is work?”

“AlhamduliLlaah, Rafiah,” he cleared his throat. “Erm, I just wanted to let you know that I’m sorry…I know this might be difficult for you…”

I let out a chuckle. “Difficult? No. I’m fine…we’re cool. There’s no issue at all,” I gulped hard.

Tolu smiled. “Well, I’m glad to know we’re on the same page. I’ll send you the wedding invitation card soon. Would you mind attending?”

“Oh…of course. It would be an honour.”

“Great. Have a great day at work,” he said as he walked away.

Asmau appeared behind me. “Are you okay?”

I scrunched out up my face as I let out a shuddering sigh. “Do I look fine? AstaghfirLlaah. I don’t, Asmau. Can we just continue with today’s tasks?”

Asmau stared at me with sympathetic eyes. “Yes, we can,” she replied as she held my arm.

***
I could spot the movement of Asmau’s lips as she talked earnestly about a topic, swinging her hands and widening her eyes to emphasize her point. I wasn’t paying attention. All I think of was the way I had gotten disgraced at work this morning. Mrs. Lola had ridiculed me, and colleagues mocked me! My head couldn’t stop recalling the laughter that filled the air.

“Rafiah!” Asmau yelled my name.

“Yes?” I said as I put a spoon of rice in my mouth.

Asmau and I had gone for our lunch break. As we sat down and ate our meals, my thoughts were clogged with the incident that happened some hours ago.

She gave me an incredulous stare. “You’re saying you haven’t been listening to what I’ve been saying?”

I sipped from my bottle of water as I glanced at her with apologetic eyes. “I’m sorry. What have you been saying?”

“I was talking about how my husband bought a hideous gown for me…well, it’s pointless now. Tell me, what is bugging you? Tolu and Najeebah?”

I placed my hands over my head. “Everything, Asmau! Everything! What’s worse is that I have to see them every single day.” I blurted out as I took my phone from the table and logged into Instagram.

Colourful ad captivating pictures of people wearing happy faces filled my Instagram feed. I wondered if they were truly happy. As I double tapped on a post updated by a blogger dressed in an orange gown, my phone chimed with a new notification.

Hi Rafiah. How’s your day going?
- Talhah.

Talhah was a financial journalist I had met in a Telegram group. He had sent a private message, and we started a conversation. He seemed like a smart and friendly person. Only that he rarely came online. Maybe this was the time to give social media relationship a chance. He could be the one! I’d read several stories of couples who met their significant other on social media. This could be it!!!

My face flickered in delight as I imagined Talhah appearing at the office with a bouquet of roses! My colleagues would be stunned. They would finally realize that my life could go on perfectly without Tolu!

“Rafiah?” Asmau called again.

I grinned as I looked up from my phone. Just then did my phone buzz with a new notification.

I was wondering if you’ll be free next weekend. We could meet in a public space. Say, Ndubuisi Kanu Park?
- Talhah.

That would be awesome!!!
- Rafiah.

After clicking the ‘send’ button, I looked up to see Asmau glaring at me. “What? I am making sure I live my best life by forging ahead. I’ll be going on a blind date with someone I met on social media.”

Asmau spilled rice on her hijab as she heard what I just said. “A blind date?”

“Yes, Asmau. Life is about exploring. Who knows? He could be the one.”

“Well…I think you should take things slow…”

“It’s not like I’m getting married to him today. Asmau, if you lived with my mother, you’ll be desperate to get married. I’ll also go on a date with my mother’s friend’s son. I mean, let’s give everything a try.”

Asmau chuckled as she held her bottle of water. “Here’s to finding the one.”

I hit my bottle of water against hers. “Here’s to finding the one!”

“So, will you be attending my sister’s wedding? It will be fun!” she said with excitement.

“I don’t…know. I have no new dress to wear.”

“Speaking of new dress…remember that I told you my husband bought a hideous gown for me?” Asmau winced. “I was supposed to wear it to the wedding! He surprised me this morning by presenting a colourful box. I was like, ‘Oh, this might be the glamorous dress I had said that I wanted to wear to my sister’s wedding.’ Upon seeing the gown, I was shocked to see it was so ugly. Big, shapeless…and he didn’t buy it at a low price.”

I gave a burst of throaty laughter. “What did you do? How did you react?”

“I feigned a smile and acted like I was so excited. Then I placed a kiss on his lips,” she explained.

“Awwn…so pretentious. Why didn’t you just tell him the truth about the dress?”

“It will break his heart. Do you know what he must have gone through to choose the outfit? I don’t want to discourage him from surprising me with gifts.”

“Oh, I see,” I stated, wishing that I could be Asmau with a loving husband. “What will you do now?”

“I guess I’ll meet a good seamstress. We could make some adjustments. So…are you attending the wedding?”

“I don’t have a husband to surprise me with a dress,” I said as Asmau laughed loudly. “Seriously. I don’t have a dress to wear.”

“No problem. I’ll fix one for you before the day,” Asmau was saying when her phone started to ring.

A wide smile spread across her face as she answered the call. “My love…”

I turned away and faced my food, knowing it would be one of those long calls with her husband that wouldn’t end until the end of lunch break.
©Maryam AbdulWahab

Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 9:25pm On Mar 07
Life and Everything in Between (Three & Four)


Rasheedah gulped down her cup of juice and glanced at Khalid. “Never have you ever?”

“Never have I ever lied to my fiancée,” Khalid smiled at her.

Munir laughed loudly as he clasped his hands. “I’m next!”

It was Saturday afternoon, and Rasheedah and Khalid had organised a fun hangout at Ikeja GRA. They literally dragged me to accompany them to the hangout, not knowing that Khalid had also invited his close friend, Munir.

“You’re both single. Something can come out of this meeting,” Khalid had whispered when we arrived at Sweet Sensation.

“I don’t like all these arrangements…” I was saying when Khalid cut me off.

“Just go with the flow,” he stated before walking up to meet Munir.

Munir was a tall and skinny man with beady eyes and fair skin. He had glanced at me once with quirked eyebrows. I wondered what he thought about me. Well, I perceived him as a proud person…I might be wrong. Time would tell.

We were playing several games, and none of them fascinated me. I wished that I could return home and curl up on the bed while I read an exciting novel.

“Senegal,” Munir said as he started a new game.

I winced and adjusted myself on the seat. We had been playing these games for over thirty minutes…and my neck had started to ache.

“Togo,” Khalid said hurriedly.

“Malawi,” Rasheedah continued.

“Keny…” I prattled as I realized that I would be next.

Munir glanced at me and lowered his eyes. “What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?”

I cleared my throat as I tried to recall scenarios in my head. The only cringe-worthy thing I’d done was stalk Tolu on social media. I still hadn’t stopped. Even though I convinced Asmau that I had unfollowed his accounts on social media, I still checked his recent post this morning.

The picture of Tolu grinning widely as Najeebah stood happily beside him. I couldn’t drift my thoughts off the image of their happy faces. They had visited Lufasi Park and took pictures around tall green grasses and large trees. Late last year, Tolu had promised me that we would visit there on his annual leave. Now, he had visited with his new lover, Najeebah.

“Rafiah!” Rasheedah yelled my name.

I stared around to notice their eyes peering at me. Munir glanced at me with a look of disgust and broke a piece of biscuit in his plate.

“We’ve been waiting for your response like ever!” she grimaced.

I smiled. “I think I’ll pass,” I sipped my drink and insisted that it was better to remain mute than disgrace myself in the front of them.

Tell them I was stalking my ex? No way!

Munir yawned. “This hangout is not going as I expected. Believe me, Khalid, I’m bored.”

“Well, we need to visit the drink store before heading off. We should probably leave now,” Rasheedah said as she smiled at Khalid.

“I’ll go settle the bill,” Khalid stated as he rose from his seat.

“I’ll join you!” A mischievous grin was plastered on Rasheedah’s face as she tailed Khalid.

So yes! I was left with the proud-looking person my sister and her fiancé was bent on matching me with. Munir!

Munir glanced at me again and cleared his throat. “Are you always this quiet?”

“Well, I’m selectively shy,” I stated as I pretended to be preoccupied with my phone.

“Okay,” Munir replied as he picked up his phone and started to type.

Rasheedah and Khalid arrived some minutes later, stealing furtive glances at us. “Are you guys bonding?”

Munir grimaced. “I need to go home and relax.”

Khalid laughed, “But you were really looking forward to this meeting,” he said, glancing at me.

Munir scrunched up his face in a frown as he sprung up from the chair. “It didn’t turn out as expected. Can we leave now?”

“Okay.” We packed our bags and prepared to leave.
***
“We’ll have over two thousand guests,” Rasheedah guffawed as Khalid was driving us home.

They were, as usual, talking about their plans for the wedding. I stared out of the window and sighed deeply as the warm breeze tickled my skin. I wondered how realistic their wedding plans were.

“Can we hold it in Dubai…or make it a destination wedding?” Khalid quipped.

“It’s just a one-day event,” I added with a scrunched-up face.

Rasheedah rolled her eyes as she glared at me. “It’s not just a one-day event. It’s my wedding,” she insisted.

“Oops. Sorry. You can have it the way you desire…” I was saying when my phone chimed with a new notification.

Hey. How’s your weekend going?
- Talhah

I grinned excitedly as I started to type.

Not too well. I guess I want to appear in my room now!
- Rafiah.

Not at home?
- Talhah

No. Remember I told you I’d be hanging out with my sister and her fiancé?
- Rafiah.

Oh, yes, you did. I’m sorry. I can’t wait to see you next week. I’m super excited!!!
- Talhah.

Same here.
- Rafiah.

Talk to you later. I need to catch up with a friend at the park. Asalamu ‘alaykum.
- Talhah.

Wa’alaykumu salam, Talhah.
- Rafiah.

I clicked on the ‘send’ button and threw my phone on the seat, imagining the moment I would finally meet Talhah, the imaginary man I might be in love with.
***
Mom spent breakfast talking about aso ebi colours to choose from. My head throbbed in pain as I watched her and Rasheedah argue over colours.

“I know you want the best for me…but it’s still my day. Please…” Rasheedah was saying with a frown when Mom interrupted.

“I know it’s your day. That’s why I think this colour will be perfect…or what do you think, Rafiah?” Mom gazed at me as she showed me a picture on her phone.

I scratched my hair in confusion. “It’s…a nice choice. Rasheedah, why don’t you go with mom’s colour?” I said teasingly as I watched as Rasheedah’s forehead creased with a frown.

I muffled laughter that filled my lungs as I stared at her frustrated look. “I need a nap. This whole wedding preparation is stressing me out.” Rasheedah said as she grabbed the empty plates and entered the kitchen.

I took my cup of water and strode to the living room, sitting next to my dad on the sofa and glancing at the programme he was watching- The world news on Al-Jazeera.

“Rafiah, how is work?” he reduced the volume of the TV and turned sideways, staring at me with eager eyes.

“AlhamduliLlaah. Work is fine. I think I’m getting used to the environment….and financial world…” I laughed nervously as I wondered if I had used the word right. Financial world?

It seemed Dad didn’t take notice because he was scrolling through his phone. “I want to show you a post…ah yes! There it is,” he gave me his phone.

On the screen was a post talking about the success journey of a young accountant. “You don’t have to read it all now. I’ll send the link to your WhatsApp. The post is very motivating. Rafiah, I want you to break grounds. I want you to claim top positions in the financial sector. I want my first daughter to become a reputable accountant,” Dad beamed in excitement as his eyes travelled far.

I could imagine him picturing his daughter working in a large corporation, giving orders, attending seminars and gracing business interviews. I could picture events that I would never wish to experience.

“You will do this for me, wouldn’t you?” he asked.

“In sha ALlaah,” I smiled as I watched the TV, wondering what matters the most- pleasing myself or Dad?

“I’ll be back,” I muttered as I walked to the room, recalling the words Dad had said.

‘You will do this for me, wouldn’t you?’

I wished Dad had ever asked if I derived fulfillment being an accountant…if I wanted to be someone else.

Rasheedah jumped up in fright as I entered the room. As she covered her face with her hands, I noticed that she was crying. “What is wrong?” I asked, sitting beside her.

Tears streamed down her face as I pulled her hands down, and she looked up at me. “Everything, Rafiah. Everything! This whole wedding process is overwhelming.”

“Is it the colour argument you had with Mom?”

“More than that. The preparation is very stressful. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if I really want to go ahead with this.”

“But you love Khalid, right?”

“He isn’t perfect, Rafiah. He can be childish and immature. Sometimes, I wonder if he would make a good husband. But I love him…and I guess that’s what matters. But…I don’t know if I’m making the right decision. I’m in my final year at the university. I don’t know if I’m ready to take this path and if I’m making a mistake…”

I held her hands. “Follow your heart, Rasheedah. Do what you think is right…and do not be discouraged.” I said, remembering that I had not implemented the advice I gave my younger sister.

I’d always wanted to become a professional writer, but I was…choosing the accounting profession to please Dad.

Continue reading https://www.maryamnittywall.com/2021/03/life-and-everything-in-between-three.html

Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 9:15pm On Mar 21
Life and Everything Between (Episode Five)

“Rafiah!” Someone yelled my name from behind as I was walking towards the cafeteria.

I cleaned my wet forehead with a handkerchief as I whipped my head up. The path to the cafeteria was usually busy and crowded. Passers-by filled the road at both sides as they scurried towards their place of businesses. Buses and cars blared their horns at those who were driving rather slowly.

As I tried to dodge the motorcycle speeding past the road, I trailed my eyes at the sea of people waking behind me.

“Kosi lo jare!” The rider cursed between his breaths as he sped away.

I couldn’t get a glimpse of the motorcycle as he whooshed past but I was in time to perceive the stench of liquor that reeked from his mouth. I was still scanning through the crowd when I spotted a familiar figure walking at a fast pace. My heart froze as Munir’s eyes met mine.

He muttered ‘wait’ and raised a hand as he hurried to meet up with me. Placing a hand over my chest, I took deep breaths and assured myself that everything would be fine. That I would remain composed and strike up a conversation with him…like my heart wasn’t beating faster than normal.

Like I hadn’t noticed the way he had smiled at me while I stepped into the company this morning.

‘Tolu broke your heart. Talhah broke your heart. It’s no time to dream of a relationship that would never happen, Rafiah. Focus, Rafiah! He doesn’t like you. It’s all in your head!!!’ I thought as Munir met up with me.

“Asalamu ‘alaykum, Rafiah.” He greeted as we walked side by side towards the cafeteria building.

“Wa’alaykumu salam. You’re going for lunch?”

“Yes, I’m famished. Haven’t had anything to eat since morning. I can practically see stars,” he laughed and I chuckled in response.

Munir glanced at me before facing the road again. “You look…I don’t know. You don’t look fine, Rafiah? Hope everything’s fine?”

“Everything is fine,” I responded as I cleared my throat. “Why would you think everything isn’t?”

He scratched his head. “I don’t know… something is definitely off. Probably because Asmau isn’t present at work today. By the way, how is her health? Hope she’s improving?”

“Yes, she is,” I said blankly as we stepped into the cafeteria’s building.

Gosh, Rafiah. I had the chance to talk to my crush- who might possibly be interested in me- but I’m ruining this moment by giving brusque and cold responses. Asmau would literally smack me if she hears of this.

I caught sight of Faith as we walked to the usual table Asmau and I usually sit. Faith is a colleague at work who had taken extra effort to advise me on ways to move on from heartbreak. After the news of Tolu and Najeebah’s engagement broke, Faith had met me with wet eyes as she revealed how her ex had ditched her few weeks to their wedding.

“It will take time…but eventually, you’ll move on and forget all about it,” she had said with tears in her eyes.

I had stared at her with sympathetic eyes, knowing full well that she hadn’t recovered from the heartbreak.

“Hi, Faith!” I waved at her with a smile.

“Hello,” she smiled with a wink.

“I’ll go get our lunch. The usual jollof rice and coleslaw?” he smiled at me.

“Yes, thank you,” I replied as he walked over to the counter.

I whipped my head up to notice Faith staring at me. “Girl!” she mouthed with a grin.

I grinned in return as I unlocked my phone and checked my new notifications. A message from Rasheedah popped up.

Don’t forget to stop by the florist shop. Thank you, big sister!
- Rasheedah.

“Here we go!” Munir said as he placed two plates of steaming jollof on the table.

“Thank you so much!” I smiled as I took a spoon and started to eat.

“You guys- You and Asmau- have made fall in love with jollof rice,” he chuckled as sipped from his bottle of water.

“Thanks,” I responded as I continued to eat. “What do you think of your new job? Do you like it here?”

“Well... yes, I do. It is, no doubt, challenging to get used to a new environment at first. But, eventually, we’ll get used to it.”

“Yeah,” I said as I cut a slice of chicken.

We continued to eat in silence as the loud voices of other customers filled the room. Munir cleared his throat and glanced at me. “How are you coping at work?”

I stared at him with furrowed brows. “I’m coping well. Why do you ask?”

“I heard about what happened. You and Tolu. I know it must be hard working in such environment.”

I wanted to protest for bringing up Tolu but the look on his face was that of sympathy. “To be honest, it hasn’t been easy. Especially now that Tolu got engaged with someone from our workplace. Apart from the heartbreak, it hasn’t been easy knowing that people are staring at you with a look of pity and giving you preferential treatment because ‘Rafiah must be so heartbroken. No wonder she looks so sad!’ I wished I had gotten in a relationship with someone outside of the workplace.” I said as I took three sips of Coke.

“I’m so sorry for what you’ve been going through. I don’t know what it feels like to go through something this traumatic and I wish I can help. If you want someone to defend you anytime, I’m always here.” He raised a shoulder up and smiled at me.

“Thank you, Munir. This means a lot to me.”

“You should not change your mind about getting into a relationship with a colleague because of your past relationship. Not all men are Tolu.”

My heart raced faster as his statement rang in my head over and over again. Butterflies fluttered their wings in my stomach as I imagined our wedding together. Munir and I holding hands as we promise to love each other forever.

‘Not all men are Tolu,’ I muttered as I stared at my cold plate of rice. Like you, Munir. For the first time together, I was grateful Asmau couldn’t make it to work today.

“So, I got to apply for this job through my brother. He sent a job vacancy to my mail and I thought, let me apply for this. And boom, I’m here!”

“You were working someone else?”

“Yes. I’d been there for three years. No increment of salary or promotion. I just knew that I urgently needed to change jobs. Work in a different environment, gain new knowledge, explore new opportunities, and meet wonderful colleagues like you.” He said with a smile.

My stomach flipped in excitement again. I stared at my food and wondered if I could eat any further. The feeling of excitement had filled my belly.

“Munir, I don’t like it here. No…this is different from the Tolu story. It’s about the job I’m doing. I don’t have passion for accounting.”

“Then why are you here?”

“My dad wants his first daughter to be an accountant. I’m here because of him.”

Munir furrowed his brows as he dropped his spoon the ceramic plate. “I can’t believe this is still happening. Have you tried talking to him…making him understand that this does not bring you fulfillment?”

“Yes, I have. Long before I enrolled into the higher institution. We are told to make our parents happy. If this is what brings him fulfillment, then I’m ready to endure.”

“But it doesn’t bring you fulfillment, Rafiah. I think you should have a heart-to-heart conversation with him. The truth is, we can’t fulfill all our parents wishes. There are times that you have choose yourself. In terms of career, you have to choose what you want. By the way, what do you want to do? What do you have passion for?”

“Writing. I want to be a published writer, authoring several bestsellers and mentoring other aspiring writers.” I chuckled. “How do you tell your father that you want to write for a living?”

“Exactly how you’re supposed to tell him. That you have passion for writing. That you want to become a professional writer.”

I played with the hem of my hijab as I gazed at the door. A pudgy woman and her daughters had stepped into the restaurant. “I don’t even know how to go about it. Where do I start from?”

“My brother is an internationally-acclaimed writer. Faruk Zubair.”

I laughed unbelievably. “That’s your brother? The popular writer?”

Munir smiled. “Yes. That man is more popular than I am,” he laughed. “You should send him a mail. Tell him you’re from his naughty brother. It might take a while for him to respond but he’ll eventually do so.”

“Wow! This is unbelievable. Faruk Zubair! Thank you so much, Munir.”

“Do not mention. However, note that he is strict…well he acts like he is, but it’s a big lie.”

“Noted!”

“I’ll need your number to send his email address,” A smile lingered on Munir’s lips as he passed his phone.

Wow! What a day! I get to meet someone who knows one of the most renowned authors in Nigeria…and I might have found my husband!

***
Asmau laughed loudly as I told her what had transpired during the day. I didn’t miss a part as I related what Munir and I had discussed and how he had given vibes of affection.

“Maybe this is it! The one you’ve always been searching for. I guess the search is over.” Asmau giggled over the phone.

“I can’t really say until he proposes. I don’t want to get my hopes high, Asmau,” I said as I opened my laptop and logged into my Gmail account.

“Munir is handsome, a good Muslim and one of those men who wants the best for women. He wants to see you fulfill your dreams, Rafiah.”

“You’re right. But I won’t raise my hopes until he proposes. How is your health? Is the baby kicking?”

Asmau laughed. “Pregnancy is a whole new experience. I’m super-excited and nervous at the same time...”

“Mom is calling you to the kitchen,” Rasheedah said as she entered the room.

“We’ll talk later, Asmau. My regards to your husband. Asalamu ‘alaykum.”

“Wa’alaykumu salam, Rafiah. Goodnight,” Asmau said as she hung up the call.

As I walked out of the room, I heard voices in the living room…and then a piercing scream.

Re: Life And Everything In Between by Ann2012(f): 11:57am On Mar 23
Seat claimed

Keep the updates coming ma’am
Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 7:42pm On Mar 28
Life and Everything in Between (Six & Seven)
As I hurried to the living room to know what was transpiring, I hit my right feet on the lower end of the rusty door. Streaks of blood dripped from the second finger as I walked in increased pace, withholding the pain and uncertainty that gripped me.

As I walked into the living room, I caught sight of Khalid sitting on the sofa with lowered eyes. Mom and Dad wore a solemn expression and it looked like Mom would cry any moment. Rasheedah sat on the floor as she cried loudly.

“What happened?” I asked in concern and confusion.

Dad whipped his head up and stared at me with sad eyes. “Khalid is postponing the wedding.”

I gasped in shock as I walked towards where he was sitting. “Why? Why would you…why now?” I prattled in shock and dismay.

“Look, I can’t explain this now, but it’s all for the good. Know that I love Rasheedah and I’m not calling off the wedding. We just have to move the date for urgent reasons.”

“Like what?” I asked in shock.

“I cannot explain this now. It’s just…it’s a matter of life and death,” Khalid said as we all squealed in shock.

“I have to go,” he muttered as he rose to his feet and stormed out of the house.

“Khalid has disgraced me,” Rasheedah bawled her eyes out.

“He talked about life and death. Who could be in danger? Are we safe?” Dad wondered as I took a seat to save my wobbly legs from pulling me down.

“I believe it’s for a reason. But I’m scared. Life and death?” I said in confusion.

“He said he loved me…”

“He does love you. I believe he’s protecting us for a reason. You should talk to him later and try and find out some truths,” I said to Rasheedah.

“You’re right, Rafiah. There is a reason to this,” Dad agreed.

“Reason wo? What will happen to the arrangements that have been made? Do you know how much we’ve spent?” Mom yelled in annoyance. “I’ll call his parents and ask them the meaning of all these. Do you know the sweat and effort I’ve put into the marriage?” Mom cried.

“I’m sorry, Mom. I understand. I trust Khalid has a good reason for this. The wedding will hold in sha ALlaah,” I said as I hugged my mother.

Hours later, Rasheedah and I sat at the balcony, staring at the stars up in the sky. Dad had managed to convince Mom to get a sleep and for the first time in hours, the house fell silent.

The cool breeze tickled my skin as I remembered how bubbly the house had been before Khalid visited and broke the news. Wedding preparations rented the air. Food here and cakes there.

Discussions about aso ebi ...and so much more. Now, everywhere had turned gloomy and we were uncertain if the wedding will hold.

“There is no right man, Rafiah. Only manageable ones,” Rasheedah muttered as tears glistened her face.

I patted her hand. “I believe Khalid made this decision for a cogent reason. You should give him time, then hear him out,” I advised.

Rasheedah shook her head. “What if it is just an excuse to end this? What if this wedding will never hold?” she said as her phone chimed on the table.

Rasheedah stared at her phone for minutes before passing it on to me. “Look at what he sent,” she said as she gave me her phone.

Rasheedah, you’re the love of my life. I cannot think of spending my life with anyone else asides you. I am also ready to walk you down the aisle. To start a future with you and watch as we raise beautiful children. Masha ALlaah.

I am not ending this marriage. I cannot bring myself to do that…I’ll not be the same if I make such a terrible decision. As I sat in your living room, watching as you all gazed at me with disappointed eyes, I wished that I had brought better news. I hate to see your parents looking sad and angry…I hate to bring sadness upon your family.

You see, life is so unpredictable. This minute, you’re excited you can’t think of any worries. You believe you have everything you could ever want. The next, you’re sad and confused. You don’t know how you would get of every trouble in your life. You’re confused as hell. And you make decisions; some costly ones to save your loved ones.

Rasheedah, you’re the love of my life and I cannot bear to watch anything bad happen to you. I prefer to postpone this wedding than watch you get into danger. Believe me, this was for our good. And I’m sure that years later, we would tell our children about this with loud laughter. This will be part of our story.

Please, forgive me for breaking your heart. I didn’t mean to. I’m only trying to protect you. I promise you, our glamorous wedding- that will surely be the talk of town- will be held soon. And we will become husband and wife. And we will spend the rest of our lives together.
- Khalid.

Continue reading https://www.maryamnittywall.com/2021/03/life-and-everything-in-between-six-seven.html

Re: Life And Everything In Between by Ann2012(f): 8:42pm On Mar 28
Thanks for the update ma’am

1 Like

Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 9:28am On Mar 29
Ann2012:
Thanks for the update ma’am

You're welcome!
Re: Life And Everything In Between by Abosede512(f): 9:40am On Mar 29
Very interesting story. more pls and thanks for the update

1 Like

Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 5:39pm On Apr 06
Abosede512:
Very interesting story. more pls and thanks for the update

You're welcome! smiley
Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 5:41pm On Apr 06
Life and Everything in Between (Episode Eight)

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Link- https://www.maryamnittywall.com/2021/04/life-and-everything-in-between-episode.html

Re: Life And Everything In Between by Ann2012(f): 6:59pm On Apr 06
What is really happening
Why calling off the wedding shocked

Thanks for the update ma’am

1 Like

Re: Life And Everything In Between by mareeam802(f): 11:37am On Apr 07
Ann2012:
What is really happening
Why calling off the wedding shocked

Thanks for the update ma’am

You're welcome, sis.

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