If there was anything she knew, it was that she wasn’t going to be taken for a fool. Rashida had had enough, no more bullshit, no more swallowing it, it wasn’t going to go on any longer.
“Hey …” The words were lost in his mouth once he saw her face. He put down the game controller and put on his ‘whatever it is not here please’ face.
“Guy I go score oh” his friend Sadiq shouted oblivious to the situation brewing.
“What the hell is the meaning of this?” Rashida’s voice was as cold as ice. Usman closed his eyes in an effort to hold back the frustration and anger that was rising in him. He took a breath.
“Oops, errmm ….” Sadiq started.
“We have talked about you going through my things Sheeda, like seriously?” He said still trying to be calm.
“That is what is your problem Usman? Right now that is your problem ko?” Rashida ranted.
Sadiq quietly dropped his controller and got up.
“Bro, I think I should go” he said already heading to the door.
“Yeah, I think so too Sadiq” Rashida replied him. That got to Usman.
“Kai, ki na da hawuka ne (are you mad)? What the hell is wrong with you?” The words busted out as his fingers rolled in a fist. He wanted to scream. She had a master’s degree on how to get on his last nerve.
“So he can lie for you ko? A ah (No), there is no getting out of this one oh. Not this time” Rashida said sticking her face towards his daring him on. Sadiqu was already opening the main door.
“Woman what are you talking about?” Usman asked frustrated.
“Who is Bukky?” Rashida asked holding his phone. Usman was confused? Bukky form where now? Then it hit him and a smile crept on his face. But as soon as it did he knew he had escalated the issue with his own hands.
“Oh, ha ka ko (so it is like this)? You feel it is a laughing matter ko? Kai ne wawa kwai (you are very foolish)” Rashida rained down Hausa insults on him. He had to salvage things before it got out of hand.
“Rashida dan Allah (because of God) listen to me” Usman tried to cajole her.
“Now you are calling God ko? Usman you are calling God” Rashida shouted, tears threatening to come out. Pushing his phone in his face she continued, “did you think of God as she was messaging you ‘we should do this again’? or when you replied ‘we would continue were we left off’? Noooo, God was not on your mind then”.
Usman held his hands in his head. He wouldn’t let her make him react, he had to stay calm. But her voice, oh that voice he had fallen in love with on the phone every time he had called was now the voice tormenting him right now.
“Please Rashida let me explain, it is not what you think” Usman tried again.
“It is not what I think ko? See proof on your phone but okay, I am hallucinating. Ba damuwa (no problem) Maybe you need to upgrade you OS so it and decipher the message” Rashida retorted sarcastically. she had sat down on the couch opposite him.
She had had this feeling for ages. He had been keeping late nights. They had been having fights and to be honest there had been no spark in the bedroom either. Her mother had a saying, ‘when you feel it in your gut, it is probably true’. She looked at him, it had not even been 2 years into their marriage.
“Just tell me why” she pleaded quietly. He raised his head up. “What does she have that I don’t?” oh gosh he mentally rolled his eyes. “No Usman I want to know”. He had had enough.
He got up and was headed for the room. He wouldn’t get into yet another fight. When she was calm they could talk he though.
“Don’t you dare turn you back on me Usm. . . .” the words were caught in her voice as all of a sudden he was standing infront of her. Two long strides and he was in her face brething down hard.
“I have had it” he spoke in a quiet voice that sent chills to her spine.
“Your bickering, your ranting, aaaaaaaaarrh, I have had it” he screamed. “What level of insecurity have you fallen into? What the hell is all this?”
She was scared, point blank scared. She had never ever seen Usman this angry. No this was not anger, she had never seen him this enraged.
“You see me with this woman, problem, I smile with that woman, silent treatment for a week. Nothing I do or say can explain any action towards anything in skirts” he had taken over the pacing.
“Do you know why I stay at work so late?” he stopped and came close to her. “Because I feel if I can just stay away from home, I will shorten the time we will have to fight. I can’t even touch you anymore, so much hostiliy”.
“I have never denied you” Rashida forced her voice.
“I have never been one to take in malice and you know this. In fact” he reached for her hand and she quickly pulled away. She had no idea what he wanted to do.
“Give me the phone” hi voice was both reassuring and yet direct. she gave him. He fiddled with he phone for a while. then gave it back to her.
“Read the chat”
He had opened a whatsapp conversation with the supposed Bukky.
B: Thanks again for dinner; the food alone sealed the deal
U: Are you for real?
U: I better go and thank my wife. She suggested it for all my meetings.
B: Smart woman. We must go there again, maybe make it a couple’s thing.
U: That would be fun.
B: It is to get my husband to find time.
U: lol, so when can we continue discussing what I proposed.
B: Oh yeah, saw your text. Calm down, the deal is yours. Get your MD to set up a meeting. Make sure it is in an office oh.
B: Don’t go and take me for another meal that I will forget to play hard ball.
U: hahaha, never. Will get back to you on it
A gush of relief flooded Rshida’s veins. it had all been in her head. He wasn’t cheating, they were going to be alright. It was all good. She smiled.
“Thank God nothing happened” she said looking up at him. She was astonished at his look. Usman pulled away as she reached for him.
“Never have I doubted you” he said, pain filled his voice.
“Baby no now” Rashida tried to reach for his arm again.
“Not once have I questioned your relationship with any man” he ignored her.
“Usman listen, understand with ….”
“Understand? Till now all I have done is understand” Usman said looking at her. Rashida’s heart broke. The look on his face said millions. What had she done.
“I tired to understand you were being protective of your man, I even liked it at first till it brought the fights. I tried to understand the cold shoulder in the bedroom, I would never touch you just because it was your duty. It had to be something you wanted to do” he shook his head. She felt stupid.
“All you needed to do was ask your husband” he said sadly, “give your husband the benefit of a doubt and ask him, but no. Is this how it is going to be? What happened to the self confident Fulani girl that blew my mind?”
She looked at him, he looked sadly at her. She said nothing, he shook his head, picked up his keys from the key tray on the dinning and headed towards the door. Just as he opened the door she spoke.
“I am sorry?” she said, tears rolling down her eyes.
“So am I” he said without turning and walked out.