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Part 32 of 33 in the Series Our Friendship by Fadimafayau

“No need to clarify,” Sa’ada spoke with a touch of sorrow in her voice, “I know you don’t accept my love, but I accept the mistake of falling in love with you. In your heart, there is only Zainaba. So, please grant my wish so that I can find someone who loves me back.”

“Alright,” Usman replied, his gaze distant. “If that’s what you wish for, I’ll divorce you.” Sa’ada released his hand, and he left in a hurry.

As he walked away, her sobs grew heavier. She understood that her heart would continue to yearn for him, but she had made the difficult decision to let him go, a choice she wished she had made earlier.

Usman remained a constant presence by Abu’s side, leaving only for prayer times. He would spring into action at the slightest hint of Abu needing something or being in pain.

Abu spent about two weeks in the hospital before being discharged. Instead of returning to Kano, they drove directly to Hajiya Kaka’s place, Ayatullah’s grandmother.

Ayatullah was a frequent visitor to his grandma’s house, always yearning for a glimpse of the love of his life, Ummi. However, he was denied the chance to see her as Hajiya kept Ummi away, resolute in keeping her word that her granddaughter would not marry into a family that disapproved of her.

Ayatullah’s curiosity and anxiety continued to grow with Hajiya’s efforts to sever his relationship with Ummi. He ate very little and often in solitude, attempting to find a solution for their love, but it seemed beyond his control.

On the other hand, Fatahurrahman was not in a good mood. He was brimming with nervousness about the woman his friend Ayatullah was in love with, caught in the middle of Khadija and Ummi.

This unease stemmed from his own affection for Khadija. He feared the possibility that Ayatullah might also be in love with her.

After much contemplation, Fatahurrahman decided to confront Ayatullah and ask him who he loved between the two women.

He drove directly to Ayatullah’s place, first entering Mami’s chamber to greet her before heading to Ayatullah’s room.

Ayatullah was seated in a single-seater chair, one leg propped up on the chair, and the other stretched out to the floor. His hand rested on his chin as he appeared lost in thought.

Fatahurrahman approached him and gently removed Ayatullah’s hand from his chin. “What’s wrong? What’s bothering you?” he inquired with genuine concern as he settled into a chair beside Ayatullah.

“You look pale and troubled. Please, tell me what’s bothering you,” Fatahurrahman insisted.

Ayatullah looked at him and said, “The same goes for you. Something is troubling you; what is it?”

“Okay, you first,” Fatahurrahman replied.

Ayatullah let out a small sigh. “It’s about the girl I love.”

Fatahurrahman’s heart skipped a beat, and a sickening sensation washed over him. He felt an overwhelming urge to stop Ayatullah from revealing that he loved Khadija, but he chose to listen.

“You know, I love Amatullah. She’s my everything,” Ayatullah confessed.

Fatahurrahman took a deep breath and felt relief wash over him. “But you never told me that you love Amatullah.”

Ayatullah smiled. “Well, I just did,” he replied. He went on to explain the situation and everything that had been happening.

After some contemplation, Fatahurrahman suggested, “Why don’t we ask Mami to go and plead with Hajiya? I think that might help.”

Ayatullah’s face lit up. “Wow! You’re the best, Wallahi. Your advice will be of great help.” They happily headed to Mami’s room together.


On Ummi’s side, she had secluded herself in her room for an entire week, barely speaking to anyone, particularly avoiding her grandmother. Her goal was to make her change her mind, and as a result, she ate very little, causing her to appear emaciated with deep shadows beneath her eyes. Eventually, her physical condition deteriorated to the point of collapse.

It was a Monday afternoon when Mami visited Hajiya’s place to meet with Ummi’s grandmother. Convincing Hajiya was no easy task initially, but after a lengthy explanation and pleading, Hajiya finally gave her consent.

Ummi was overjoyed and asked her sister Aisha, who was taking care of her in the hospital, to serve her some food. At that very moment, she received a call from Amira, who was at home, confirming that Hajiya had agreed to the marriage.

“Yaya, what happened? Is something wrong? Did something happen to make you change your mind about eating?” Aisha inquired.

Ummi smiled and replied, “She finally approved,” her delight was evident.

“Wow! So our sister is going to be a bride. I can’t wait for the big day,” Aisha exclaimed happily.

Ayatullah accompanied Fatahurrahman to Khadija’s place, and he was thrilled for them, especially for Fatahurrahman, hoping he’d have the chance to marry Khadija.

Khadija was astonished to discover that the two of them were friends, a fact she had never imagined. After some contemplation, she realized that Ayatullah’s peculiar behavior towards Malam Fatahurrahman was because they were friends.

After some light conversation about school, Ayatullah explained the reason for their visit.

Khadija was happy but decided to play hard to get. “Okay, I’ll think about it,” she said briefly.

Fatahurrahman felt his stomach twist as his heart seemed to sink. What did she mean by “think about it”?

Ayatullah, sensing Fatahurrahman’s unease, raised his eyebrows and with a grin, said, “What do you mean by that? We need an answer right now.”

“My answer might be ‘no’ for now,” Khadija replied, a mischievous grin on her face.

Fatahurrahman had an urge to beg her to love him back and say yes, but love couldn’t be coerced.

As they journeyed back, Ayatullah couldn’t resist teasing Fatahurrahman relentlessly. He had always wanted to discover his friend’s weakness, and now he had found it: love.

Fatahurrahman wanted to return the very next day to find out Khadija’s answer, but Ayatullah insisted on giving her more time.

Khadija was somewhat concerned about their delay; she couldn’t forgive herself if he changed his mind.

She was elated to see them when they returned three days later. However, Ayatullah’s constant teasing, knowing that she also loved his friend, made her insist that she was still thinking.

If love could be begged, Fatahurrahman would have already knelt before her to plead for her love and a ‘yes.’

On their way back, Ayatullah continued to tease Fatahurrahman, chuckling at his friend’s discomfort. Fatahurrahman was vexed, and he finally parked the car by the roadside.

He turned to Ayatullah and said, “Get out.”

Ayatullah continued to laugh, “If you can’t, I have the energy to push you out.”

“Stay calm, man, I have a solution,” Ayatullah said, still laughing.

“What solution?” Fatahurrahman asked eagerly.

“Well, first, we need to go to your place. I need my laptop back,” Ayatullah said.

“Alright, sir,” Fatahurrahman said, starting the car.

After retrieving his laptop, Ayatullah asked Fatahurrahman to buy him some clothes, and Fatahurrahman did so without hesitation.

Finally, at the end of his plans, Ayatullah asked Fatahurrahman to take him to his grandma’s place so he could see the love of his life. Fatahurrahman, however, was exasperated by Ayatullah’s constant demands.

“Look, I’m not your servant, for you to be ordering around,” Fatahurrahman said angrily.

“Okay, then. If you don’t need my idea,” Ayatullah replied, pretending to exit the car.

Fatahurrahman quickly relented, realizing he needed Ayatullah’s help.

They drove directly to Ayatullah’s grandma’s house.

Ummi was also taken aback to discover that Ayatu and Fatahu were friends. Ayatullah explained the situation and what had transpired between them and Khadija.

Ummi smiled, “It’s not hard to get. She told me earlier because she felt bad saying ‘no’ to him.”

Fatahurrahman was shocked, and a nauseating sensation washed over him.

Ayatullah smiled, realizing that Ummi had just unintentionally exposed Khadija’s feelings. “Can you please call her?” Ayatullah requested.

But Ummi hesitated. “You’re not going to say anything. What if I refuse?”

Ayatullah’s intense gaze made it clear he expected her to comply. She reluctantly dialed Khadija’s number, and the phone was on speaker.

Khadija, unaware that her voice was being broadcast, began explaining how she had fallen for Fatahurrahman and was playing hard to get.

Fatahurrahman was taken aback and felt a sickening sensation wash over him as he heard Khadija’s confession.

As Khadija said, “Dear, why haven’t you told me about your love, Ayatullah? You always do that. Something seems suspicious.”

Ayatullah seized the opportunity. “So, she always talks about me,” he said, making sure Khadija could hear him.

“Wait, you mean the phone was on speaker?” Khadija said in surprise.

Ummi quickly ended the call and hurried off, leaving Ayatullah and Fatahurrahman overjoyed.

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