Adsactly Short Story: TWO WEEKS TO HAPPILY NEVER AFTER
“How could you have been so heartless Zainab? I certainly did not raise you this way! You have brought disgrace on yourself and our family. Barely three weeks? How dare you?”
Zainab sat sobbing silently as her mother’s words washed over her. Her mother stood over her, speaking angrily down at her while her father, Tiamu sat a few feet away staring pointedly at her. He had remained silent since the interrogation began, only shaking his head at intervals while he stared angrily at her. Shehu, her husband, had dropped her off at her parents' residence two days ago.
Her parents’ efforts to get Shehu to tell them what had happened between them yielded no results. He insisted that they ask Zainab to tell them herself. She would give it to them, they had waited till now to ask her, starving their curiosity. Shehu would not relent. He had told her just before he dropped her off; he had made his decision and would not go back on it.
Zainab tasted regret as her tears touched her lips. She wished she could go back in time to make things right. If she could, she would have never married Shehu. He did not deserve what he had been served.
Friendship and Love
Zainab and Shehu had been good friends since their teenage years although Shehu had been hardly ever around. His parents had sent him abroad for his tertiary education where he had subsequently bagged masters and PhD degrees. He had also worked a few years before returning home.
The two friends had stayed very much in touch across the distance and had swiftly picked up their friendship where they left off after Shehu’s return. In fact, members of both families had already married the duo off in their minds.
At twenty-eight years old, Zainab’s parents felt she was very well behind on snatching up a suitor for marriage. Since she had rejected several suitors already, it was just a little time before they arrived at the conclusion that she must have been awaiting Shehu’s return. Only Zainab’s younger sister, Sherifat knew the reason for the rejections.
On his own part, Shehu declared his love interest in Zainab soon after his arrival and was devastated when she politely turned him down. Apparently, he had mistaken their friendship for something more as she had found love in another man, Bello. Shehu was too late on that.
After Zainab’s rejection, Shehu gave her lots of space for both their sakes. They remained friends but the difference was obvious to anyone who had known them before then.
Zainab had been in a relationship with Bello for five years but had kept it away from the prying eyes of her strict parents who she knew did not care for a son-in-law of a different religion. She hoped to cross that bridge when she got there. For starters, she was fraught with the problem of convincing Bello that now was a good a time as any to get married. He claimed he wanted to marry her but was not yet ready to do so just yet.
She could not understand his reason for not wanting to take them to the next level yet. They were both financially stable enough to set up a home of their own. Zainab had put her everything into the relationship despite having had a desire to get married before she clocked twenty-five. Three years after, she was nowhere near getting married. She had everything else she wanted; a very good job and income included but only marriage eluded her.
The pressure on her to get married had mounted over the last couple of years especially after Sherifat got hitched and delivered her first child. Jamal, her little nephew clocked a year old few weeks ago.
Moving out of the family house had not saved her from her mother’s not-so-subtle reminders that her biological clock was ticking. People were beginning to ask questions about Zainab’s unmarried status and according to mama, it was becoming quite embarrassing. Those nosy neighbours and relatives in Zainab’s opinion could all stick their perky little noses elsewhere as long as they stayed out of her business. Try as she did to remain unaffected, it bothered her. Bello’s refusal to see reason bothered her even more.
Sherifat thought it was about time her only sister realized that Bello was most likely toying with her emotions. She understood Zainab pretty well enough. It had to be difficult for her to let go of Bello considering how much she loved him and the time she had invested into the relationship. Her sister wasn’t the type to get emotionally attracted to someone easily and when she did, it was even harder to let go. She had seen Zainab struggle through her first heart break, it had not exactly been a pretty sight. Sherifat knew Zainab had to relive that experience if she would be free of the stagnancy called Bello. This time, Zainab needed to break her own heart all by herself. First, Sherifat had to make Zainab see reason.
Bello got Zainab gold earrings for her 29th birthday. They came in a cute little box that got her heart skipping at its sight. Her disappointment had been evident and outspoken. Bello reiterated his stance; he was far from ready to walk down the aisle with her. His words finally got through to Zainab’s consciousness. He could not grant her heart desire. He would not compromise. She did what had to be done, ending the relationship despite Bello’s pleas for her to remain patient with him.
Sherifat felt sorry seeing Zainab so distraught after the breakup but happy that she had finally found the courage to move past him. It was she who encouraged Zainab to reconnect with Shehu because he could be the friend she really needed. Zainab listened this time. She called him up and he bridged the gap that had grown between them since her rejection. She needed him; he made himself available to her.
Zainab’s eyes seemed to open to Shehu’s unconditional affection. She did not resist it when her feelings towards him grew rapidly and did not refuse when Shehu suggested they try their hands at dating each other. They had dated for eight months when Shehu asked her to marry him at a surprise proposal party with both their families in attendance. Zainab said yes and their excited families began their wedding plans in earnest. They had waited long enough for this joining.
Not So Fast…
Few weeks to the wedding, Zainab began getting several calls from Bello who had stayed silent during the months following their breakup. His calls persisted despite her refusal to pick up. He soon tired of waiting on her to pick up and visited her work place. She would refuse to see him and he would leave after waiting so long, only to return another day.
Shehu soon got curious about the incessant calls at odd hours which Zainab never picked up. Zainab knew she had to take care of it when he began to get irritated and impatient at her evasiveness. She did what she had to do; pay Bello a visit of her own.
Happily Never After
It was two weeks after their very successful wedding. Zainab had been in the bathroom when an enraged Shehu barged in. Bello had sent her a message and Shehu had seen it by chance. Things had changed pretty fast afterwards. Shehu had looked through her phone and seen the series of messages and frequent phone calls. According to him, she was not a smart cheat.
Zainab agreed. She was not a smart cheat. In fact, she had not meant to cheat. Never in her wildest imagination had she thought she would end up here.
She had only set out to warn Bello to leave her alone and that step had found her here. Bello had broken through her defenses. She should have well let well alone, perhaps Bello would have grown tired of calling and visiting her by now. Instead, she had gone to his house to give him a piece of her mind and that was when their affair had begun.
The first time had been a mistake that had led to several more. She had really tried to leave but Bello would not let her. He had threatened to crash her wedding if she left him again and then kill himself.
Zainab knew better now. She could have called his bluff if she had really wanted to or done something about it but she had felt so ashamed. She had not wanted Shehu to find out. She had realized soon after his proposal that she did not love Shehu, at least not in the way he deserved to be loved. He was just a rebound; a friend who had offered her a shoulder to cry on when she needed one and she had gotten carried away by the affection he showed her.
Everyone had been so happy at the prospect of a wedding finally joining the two families that she could not bring herself to break their hearts. Not when they had waited so long.
She should have known better. She knew better now but the damage had been done. The bond between the two families would never remain the same.
She did not know if Shehu would ever find it in his heart to forgive her. Had she lost the friendship they had shared all their lives? The words he had thrown at her before dropping her off had shaken her severely;
“I would never divorce you Zainab, never. You would remain married to me for the rest of our lives. You would be a married woman without a husband. I did not deserve this in the least. I would go on without you, I would find love again, even get married and have children but you would remain married but single.”
Without been told, Zainab knew she had been dished the ultimate punishment for a cheating wife. Shehu was permitted to marry more wives but she could never marry another for as long as she remained married to him. She did not care to know what became of Bello. He had not bothered calling since she angrily shut him down over the phone. He had shattered her dreams of having a happy home.
All she could do now was hope that Shehu would forgive her.
Story authored by @royalrose
All images were obtained from pixabay.
Click on the coin to join our Discord Chat
Witness proposal is here:
Go To Steem Witness Page
In the bottom of the page type: adsactly-witness and press vote.
Use small letters and no "@" sign. Or, click here to vote directly!