Sunday 5 December 2021

Life and Everything in Between (Episode Twenty-One)

Mutmainah grinned like a Cheshire cat as I talked about how supportive Farouk had been- the length he would go to protect me and ensure that I was okay.


Awwwn. This is so sweet, Rafiah. He really loves you,” Mutmainah stated as she smiled affectionately.


“I do know that. I cannot imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else. He is perfect for me,” I explained.


“So, why haven’t you said a yes? If you keep delaying this…”


“It’s for a valid reason,” I quipped. “Farouk understands why I cannot say yes right now.”


“I am teary!” Mutmainah said with a chuckle as she cleaned her misty eyes. “Really lovely. Well, my love story is the complete opposite of yours. He jilted me for someone else. Well, I still love him, and I’m 100% certain that he is making a grave mistake getting married to someone else.”


Khalid,’ I thought.


“I am sorry about that. I’m sure you’ll find someone better…”


“No, I won’t,” she cut in. “I would never find anyone like Khalid. So, hold Farouk tight because a man like him is rare,” she added as the driver pulled into the green-coloured building.


The studio was smaller in size than I’d imagined. It was made of glass, and from where the car was parked, I could see a swarm of ladies engrossed in a discussion and watching others pose for the camera.


“Here we are!” Mutmainah said in excitement as she alighted from the car. I joined her as she walked towards the studio.


I sighed heavily as I stepped into the studio filled with tall and pretty models and cartons of the said product.


“Are you ready, Rafiah?” Mutmainah grinned at me.




About an hour later, we drove out of the compound and talked about how great the shoot went.


“Thank you so much for accompanying me to the studio. You assisted a total stranger in taking pictures and promoting the brand she is working on. I am very grateful for this kind gesture,” Mutmainah said as she pulled the strip of her pointy heels and spread her legs on the seat.


“Oh, it is nothing. You’re not a total stranger. You’re a popular social media personality. Everyone will be excited to work with you.”


Mutmainah handed her phone over to me. “Can you type your account details here? And please, don’t start with the ‘why’ questions.”


“Okay,” I controlled my face from stretching into a smile as I grabbed the phone and inputted my account number.


I returned the phone, and my cell phone beeped that very minute. Mutmainah had sent fifty thousand naira to my account. “SubhanaLlaah! This is a lot. Thank you, Mutmainah. I have no regret bumping into you at the restaurant.”


Mutmainah turned sideways with a sad face and stayed silent for a meeting. “You know, I am very depressed. This may sound strange, but that is exactly how I feel. Despite my social media fame and dad’s wealth, I hate myself greatly. I lost the person I love the most, and I haven’t healed from the heartbreak.”


I squeezed her right hand tightly. “Everything is going to be fine. You have your family, and you have me now,” I said as she whipped her head up and smiled at me. “I’m also just healing from heartbreak. A colleague at work. He got married to a fellow colleague,” I chuckled as Mutmainah gasped in shock.


“How did you manage that? I would have resigned!”


I laughed loudly. “I honestly don’t know how I was able to manage it. But here I am, madly in love again!”


Erm, can you describe your home address to the driver?”


“You don’t have to do that…” I was saying.


“I insist. It’s the least I can do for stealing your time,” Mutmainah argued.


“Okay,” I replied as I did so.


As we continued the journey to my house, Mutmainah talked about her struggle with mental health and how she had visited several therapists.


“Apart from Instagram influencing, what else do you do?” I asked.


“Well, I was in law school but had to take a break to heal. I should be able to return to school next year, in sha ALlaah,” Mutmainah added.


The driver pulled up in front of the house, and I turned towards her with a grin. “Thank you for today!”


“I should be thanking you,” she pulled me into a hug. “Have I saved your number?”


“Yes, we exchanged numbers at the studio,” I replied as I grabbed my bag.


“Great. I will call you tomorrow. See you soon. Bye!”


“Bye,” I waved at her as I walked into the compound.


I gasped in surprise and shock as I perceived the aroma of boiled turkey wafting the air. We hadn’t prepared a real food since Rasheedah got missing, and I’d practically spent the week forcing a spoonful of pap into Mom’s mouth. So, what was happening? Or had Rasheedah returned?


“You’ve returned!” Mom said in excitement as she walked into the living room with a wooden turner. “Who owns that car that you just got down from?” she asked with a smirk.


I stared at her in utter disbelief. The last time Mom smiled was before Rasheedah’s disappearance. The last time I saw her standing and…


“Is it a new person? You’ve found someone else?”


Beads of sweat formed around my forehead as I continued to stare at her. “Has Rasheedah returned?”


“Oh, she will. Didn’t she just travel? I’ve called the caterer to inform her that the wedding is finally happening on Saturday. She thinks I’m crazy. Your dad thinks so, too. Imagine!” Mom shook her head in disbelief.


“Which wedding is happening on Saturday?” I asked in confusion.


“Rasheedah’s wedding, of course! She’ll be returning on Thursday. Why don’t you assist with calling the small chops lady? You have her number, don’t you?”


“Ah, yes. I’ll call her now,” I said as I hurried into the room to find Dad.


Dad had just ended a call when I stepped into his room. He looked up at me with furrowed brows and patted the space beside him as a sign that I should sit. “Your mother will be fine. I just spoke to a psychologist. She is trying to cope with the grief of losing a child. And we still haven’t found Rasheedah.”


“SubhanaLlaah. This is unbelievable,” I said as tears filled my eyes.


“Don’t you believe in ALlaah’s miracles? I believe that Rasheedah is alive and will return home safe and sound. Your mother will also be fine,” Dad affirmed as he stared at me with sympathetic eyes.

on     Don't miss out on the previous episodes:

Episode One

Episode Two

Episodes Three & Four

Episode Five

Episodes Six & Seven

Episode Eight

Episode Nine

Episode Ten

Episode Eleven

Episode Seventeen 

 Episode Eighteen

Episode Nineteen

Episode Twenty



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