Thursday 3 October 2019

Her Last Breath (Episode Eleven)

Hubby is the most loving person on earth. Imagine! He woke up this morning to prepare breakfast for me!

The surge of excitement I feel, knowing that I have the best husband in the world!

The way your face flickers with a smile when you become Mrs. Khayrah Roqeeb-Adewale

I love love. Love is beautiful. No one should tell you otherwise!

I jabbed on my phone’s keyboard with a grin plastered on my face. I kept posting love notes to my WhatsApp status, my heart fluttering ecstatically as I watched the number of my status views multiply every second.

I had never been the type that would flaunt my achievements to the world but I had to do this. I had to prove to those that had mocked me in the past that I had finally found love. That I was married to the most handsome and loveliest man on earth. They needed to see how my life was filled with love and happiness.

We go love oo! Sha don’t make we singles stand by third mainland bridge to search for our husband.” Sumayyah sent a WhatsApp message immediately with lots of crying emojis. I chuckled and replied with ‘lol.’

Faizah’s message popped up that very second. “Gosh! I’m super jealous. Ah! Khayrah! Do you want to kill us with jealousy? Anyway, happy married life. I wish you both multiple years of happiness and love and righteous children who would be the coolness of your eyes.”

“Aameen.” I typed and sent, rolling my eyes in disgust.

More messages flooded into my phone. Smiling with satisfaction, I remembered how I had been mocked because of my predicament. How I had been looked at with pity; as a woman who would die young without getting married. But I had proved them wrong by getting married to the loveliest man on earth.

I dropped my phone on the pillow and stretched my arms, smiling with a frisson as I stared around the room. Our room looked beautiful and magnificent. It was painted red and white, a colour Taofeek and I had spent over three days to deliberate over. He had wanted blue and white while I insisted on red and blue. In the end, we decided to choose a colour of our choice.

I still found it difficult to accept that I had finally left my parents’ house; that Fadilah wouldn’t get to be there to disturb me with her blasting songs or her endless calls with her fiancé. Finally, I was married…yes, married! I gazed at the sparkling ring with a silver stone that I wore in my fourth finger as if to be reassured that I was truly married. That it wasn’t all a dream. I felt the rumpled area of the bed beside where I was lying, the space Taofeek had laid when he brushed his lips against mine hungrily, stroking my hair and whispering words of love into my ears.

Everything about us seemed unfathomable; our love, marriage, living together…they all seemed too good to be true. Sometimes, I would stare at Taofeek and wonder why I was so lucky. I would imagine our wedding day (the happiest day of my life) and thank Allah for blessing me, despite my condition and limited time on earth. Our simple wedding turned our perfect; better than I had imagined. On our wedding day, we locked our fingers into each other, gazed at each other lustfully and we were a hundred percent certain that this was true love and we couldn’t even imagine having anything better than that.

I was imagining how gorgeous I looked on my big day when the vibration of my phone startled me. I checked the caller ID and wasn’t surprised to see that it was my mother calling.

My mom didn’t follow the rule of ‘giving newlyweds the space to have the time of their lives.'

Instead, she kept calling to know if I was so engrossed in the honeymoon activities that I had forgotten to take my drugs.

I rolled my eyes as I picked up my phone and answered her call. “Asalamu álaykum, mom.”

“Wa’alaykumu salam my sweet loving daughter. How are you and how is Taofeek? I’m sure you’re having the time of your life.” My mom said over the phone with an excited tone.

“I am having the time of my life…”

“How is it?” She asked eagerly, cutting my statement halfway. I could imagine her lower lip curling into a mischievous smile and her eyes widening as she was asking the question.

“How is what?”

“You know what I’m talking about oo! Anyway, they have kuku told us to leave newlyweds alone. How is Taofeek? When will he be resuming at his workplace?”

My forehead wrinkled in worry as I remembered that Taofeek would be resuming work on Monday. We had spent the past two weeks together and I imagined how I would cope without being with him for the period he would be at work.

“Taofeek is the kitchen making me breakfast. He’ll be resuming next week on Monday.”

“Ah, he’s making you breakfast again? That’s so sweet of him oo! But don’t relax too much oo, he will soon reduce all these showers of affection. Your father did more than him when we newly got married. I wish I could return to the old days.” She said, laughing. “I hope you’re taking good care of the house because I know you’re lazy. Hafsah isn’t there to make your bed, nor is she there to cook your meals. Ensure that you presentable always…”

“I’ve heard, mom. You’ve said this a million times.” I retorted, wishing that my mom would finally accept that I had become a woman and a wife who didn’t need rules and regulations anymore.

“And take your drugs. I’ll call you in the evening. My regards to Taofeek. Bye.” She said and hung up the call.

I sighed in relief as I returned to WhatsApp to reply to the swarms of messages that filled my phone. However, the sound of a familiar footstep and the aroma of scrambled eggs that wafted the air made me turn towards the doorway.

Taofeek was entering the room with a tray comprising plates of boiled yam, scrambled eggs and two mugs of steaming chocolate tea. He was still dressed in his loose pajamas and black shirt. His forehead had beads of sweat and his face glowed lovingly as he was walking towards the bed. I was tempted to ruffle his jet-black hair as he sat beside me on the bed and placed the tray on a stool.

The amazing thing about staring at my husband was that you would never get tired of looking at him. He was too handsome and when you keep staring at his loving face, it would look lovelier than ever.

I had written down the amazing things I loved about Taofeek in a new diary specially made for him. I had named it ‘Unending sweet notes about my husband.’

I wrote about his wide and lovely eyes that had a charming effect on me, his soft lips that I loved to brush my lips on, the way his brows furrowed whenever he frowned, the way his face creased in thought, the way his right legs shake whenever he was walking, the sight of his teeth whenever he smiled, the way he gasped for air and the sound his lungs produced whenever he laughed…I had written a whole lot about him.

“Why do you keep staring at me?” Taofeek chuckled as he touched my left cheek.

“Is it a crime to stare at one’s husband?” I laughed, cutting a small piece of yam and putting it in my mouth.

“If I were to get a penny for every second you stare at me, I’ll be a billionaire by now. Well, I get it. I’m too handsome!” Taofeek broke into a joyful smile as he spread his arms proudly and kissed me.

I pulled away playfully, rolling my eyes and sneering at him. “Ugly man like you? Who dash you handsome?”

“Oh, please. You know that you’re not saying the truth. Let’s have breakfast jare!” He chortled, stirring a mug of tea and handing it over to me. “Are you prepared for today’s activities?” he asked, gazing at me thoughtfully.

Ah, yes. We would be visiting the hospital for my regular check-up and also picking Hassan and Hassanah to spend the day with us.

I knew that Taofeek believed I got nervous around children. He also wore a look of pity whenever we had to be around his kids or any other children. And we would be spending the day with Hassan and Hassanah!

“Are you okay? You look pale all of a sudden. Hassan and Hassanah are nice kids and fun to be with. We’ll end up spending the rest of the day cackling.” Taofeek gave me a reassuring smile as I sipped from my cup of tea.

I smiled back. It was no fun spending time with them. The last time they visited, the house was literally rented apart. We had to spend the whole week returning items to their rightful positions.

“How is Aliyah?” I asked, remembering that the last time I spoke to her was on Tuesday.

Aliyah had agreed to spend some time with her mother, to know her better. This decision was taken after Taofeek had a heartfelt discussion with Aliyah and convinced her to forgive her mother for returning after several years. She travelled to Canada with Jasmine immediately after the wedding, and the only conversations we’d be having with her were through phone and video calls.

“We spoke last night. She was talking about going to a film festival in Toronto today. I’m just glad she’s having the time of her life there.”

Taofeek’s face usually softened whenever he was talking about his kids. It was a view that always made me fall in love with him over again.

“The food is getting cold Mrs. Starer. Are you going to spend the whole day staring at your handsome husband?” he teased, placing the tray on the bed and forcing a spoonful of scrambled eggs in my mouth. “How does it taste?”

I pulled a fake regretful face as I savoured the taste for a minute, ruminating over what to say. Taofeek was one of the best cooks I’d ever come across but I would never admit that fact. I feigned a frown as I sipped from my cup of tea. “If only you could reduce the quantity of salt in it, it would have turned out great.”

“Oh, please. You can admit that this is the best egg sauce you’ve ever tasted. Stop whining me please!”

I chortled as I ate hungrily. “Okay, I admit. you’re a fantastic cook… that reminds me, Mom sent her regards. She called as usual. And she made me realize that these your numerous showers of affection would soon be over.”        

A wry smile came across his face. “Do you think I’ll ever stop all these? What would make me stop?” He said, definitely not expecting an answer
My face broke into a joyful smile. “I believe you.”
An hour later, we had finished our breakfast, taken our bath and was preparing to head out. I wore a black and red abayah and a gold veil and briskly wore my gold chain (the sparkling chain Taofeek had purchased from a piece of jewelry on our way home on Tuesday. We were returning from a Calabar restaurant in Ikeja and he had caught me staring at the piece of necklace through the transparent glass cover.)
Taofeek would have started to mutter that I was wasting time like I always did. I grabbed my leather bag and hurried out of the room.       

His face was tight and upset-looking as he checked the time on his wristwatch repeatedly. Dressed in a pair of black chinos and blue t-shirt, Taofeek looked as cute as ever. I gingerly walked towards him, hugging him from behind without his notice.

“This won’t work this time sweetheart. Funmilayo has been waiting for us for up to twenty minutes now. She has to go to her shop.” Taofeek stated as I hugged him tighter.

“I’m sorry I kept you waiting. I had to dress nicely for you.” A flicker of amusement passed over my face as I swiveled in front of him.      

His warm brown eyes gleamed as they travelled lustfully over my body. “You look glamorous. Okay, I forgive you because of this.”

“Thank you, my love. Let’s get going.” I pulled his hand but he didn’t move.

“Have you taken your drugs?”

My face jerked in surprise. How could I have forgotten that I was meant to take my drugs two hours ago?

“I’ll take them now.” I smiled at him, striding towards the kitchen to get a glass of water.

Suddenly, I started to feel woozy as I was entering the kitchen. My legs felt wobbly as I held the tight grasp of a chair for support. Plates fell to the ground in a loud thud as I tried to gain balance.

“Everything okay there?” Taofeek asked from the living room but I was too weak to answer.

Within minutes, he had dashed into the kitchen to see me lying on the floor. Tension crept up his face as he held my hands.

“What happened? Are you okay?”

“I am. Please get me a glass of water.”

Taofeek jostled towards the sink to fetch a glass of water. As he returned, I gulped it and struggled to sit upright.

My vision became clearer as I spotted Taofeek looking dazedly up at my face, anxiety appearing in his face.

“What really happened?” He surveyed me closely as I inhaled the sweet aroma of his grape-mint perfume.”      

“I can’t explain.” I blinked, hoping it wasn’t what I had imagined.

“Let’s head to the hospital now. We already have an appointment with Dr. Folami this morning.” Taofeek smiled weakly as he held my hands, walking me out of the kitchen.

He held my bag in one hand as we walked of the house, Taofeek locking the door as I walked towards our new car.

Sometimes, I would walk out of the house, expecting to meet Mr. Lolu waiting to take me to any destination of my choice…then I would remember that I was no longer at my parents’ house. That I was finally a married woman.

Our house was a simple bungalow situated in Magodo. Taofeek and I lived in the house gifted by my father. The compound was spacious and we had our privacy since we lived there alone.

Taofeek and I would play soccer after sunset, chase ourselves in the night and lie on a blanket, my head listening to his heartbeat as we watched the stars. It was all I had ever dreamt of!

About five minutes later, Taofeek drove out of the compound. He glanced at me intermittently, as if to be sure that I was safe.

I held his hand, assuring him that everything would be fine.

“We don’t have to plan our forever. We will cherish every single minute we spend together. For the Adewales, our forever is now.” Taofeek smiled at me.

“And I love you, Mr. Taofeek Adewale.”

“And I love you, Mrs. Khayrah Adewale.”  

A/N: Hello everyone! I'm sincerely sorry for the late update. I was sick, then I went on leave at my computer at my workplace became faulty and my keyboard started to malfunction...a whole lot of things. We'll make up for all we've missed! Happy reading!!!💓💓💓💗  



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