Surely Abdul was mistaking me for someone else, but Baba will definitely fish me out, arrest and probably torture me for impersonation. For he was very security conscious. But, how could Abdul not recognize his own best man? Shouldn’t it be someone who is very close to you? Yeah it’s possible it was an arranged wedding, but do they also arrange for best man as well? This Rich people sef.
Anyway back to the story, we were walking through a large hall, my heart began pounding again so loud and I wonder how Abdul did not hear it. I noticed more and more uniformed officers as we got closer, I looked up to say a short prayer to God and I saw the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life walking down the stairs quite very majestically. She beckoned at Abdul so he stopped to hear what she had to say. I couldn’t help looking at her as she was so beautiful, she was literally glowing like a heavenly being. Come to think of it, this was all kind of strange. First off, I prefer women with long flowing hair, she had short hair. Not low cut per say but short hair kinda like Kelly Rowland. I also prefer women who put on short and fitted clothing, but she wore a long and flowing gown. You could easily tell by just looking at her that her character was perfectly built up. Yeah talk about judging a book by its cover, you could take this one to the bank.
She approached us, looked me in the eyes and said “hi”. My heart stopped beating. I swear, my heart literally stopped beating. I even felt the blood in my hands freezing up. She quickly took Abdul’s hands and said something to him very quietly. I was gradually trying to get myself back when they both came towards my direction.” I’m sorry_ I haven’t introduced you guys, this is Jasmine my wife to be” said Abdul, pointing towards the angel standing beside him. And this here is Usman the guy we’ve been waiting for, the best man of the occasion”. She smiled and said with a Middle Eastern accent, “thank you for honouring this occasion, and thank you for the wedding gift. That was very thoughtful. You shouldn’t have spent so much money on my present. May you be refunded by the Almighty”. I simply opened my mouth and said, ‘you are very much welcome Princess Jasmine’, you deserve nothing but the best. Abdul looked at both of us and laughed out loud very carelessly. He kept laughing until a security operative with a radio on his shoulder came towards him and whispered some words in his ear. He turned towards me and said “we must leave now, Baba would soon be ready. He directed me into a large room that was kind of difficult to explain.
I couldn’t tell if it was a large sitting room with a swimming pool inside of it, or a large swimming pool with a sitting room inside of it. As soon as he shut the door I couldn’t hear any sound from outside. The room was sound proof. It was about two stories high, and there were no walls just really huge thick glass all round the room. I sat on a very expensive sofa opposite Abdul. I saw a few servants walking up and down. I saw a huge flat screen TV elevated by a shiny silver pole right inside the pool. Powerful and beautifully lit chandeliers hanging high from the roof. The room was just breath taking.
In all of that glamour, I couldn’t get the image of Jasmine off my head. I then realized, I had fallen in love with her. How could this be? How could I have fallen in love with a woman who was to be married the next day to the only son of a very powerful man who was eventually going to have me locked up for impersonation. How crazy could this night get. I had no clue the night had much more madness to unfold. “If I survive today, there is nothing I cannot survive” I said to myself. I then decided to do what I usually do whenever I met anything that threatened my marriage. I decided to call my wife. I pulled out my low-end china made phone with a chattered screen to call my wife. My hands were shaking rigorously so I found it very difficult to find my wife’s number. I then decided to dial the number. The keypad tone was so loud, it was as if my phone was connected to an amplifier. Remember I told you the room was so quiet and sound proof. My wife didn’t pick the call the first time so I redialled her number. But was I thinking it was 1.45 pm and she was probably sleeping. I then decided to send her a text but my hands were very unstable. I tried calling her for the third time and got the busy tone. Excellent! I thought to myself she is probably trying to return my call. I sat back and waited for her call or perhaps a message. But in reality I was still thinking about Jasmine. This is a lady I had barely met for not more than 5 minutes and I was already madly in love with her. Or perhaps just stupid. Abdul on the other hand was seriously engrossed with his phone. He didn’t seem to notice anything that was going on in the room.
He however the broke the silence by saying- I’d like to share a little family secret with you being that you are going to be my best man and all. I wasn’t always the only child of my father. I used to have a brother and a sister. They somehow fell in love with each other and became inseparable. Unfortunately, for them my sister got pregnant for my brother. This was a terrible news for my father, he asked me what I will do if I was in his shoes. I said I will do the needful, I will terminate the child alongside with its parents because the parents will do something even crazier to tarnish the family’s name. My father approved of my plan and gave me the authority to execute my plan. This was a very long time ago. Now that you know this, I’m going to ask you only once. Who are you and what are you doing in my house sitting on my chair?
As soon as I heard those words, I knew it was all over. And as if that was not enough, he went on to call me by my full name: Benjamin Olalakon. (It turned out Abdul was not only rich and deadly, he was also very smart. The young man was somehow able to extract my wife’s phone number from the sound of the keytone when I attempted calling my wife. He then put her number in his True caller application. By doing that, he was able to get her full name. This allowed him to use Facebook and other social media platforms to dig out more info on her and of course everything about me. In the snap of a finger he had learnt everything he needed to know about me everything including my football team. Lucky Jo had once told me facebook would land me in trouble someday. Once again he was right.
I quickly went down on my knees and told him the truth then I was lost and then mistaken for someone else. That I was neither an imposter nor a spy, but just a man who was about to take his life. “And Jasmine”, he asked, I swear to you I have never met Jasmine before today. “But you do love her don’t you” said Abdul. I hesitated a bit and replied yes. “How then would you propose I handled this case? A lost suicidal comes to my house and wants to take my wife. I could easily have you executed, but then I’ll be doing you a favour wouldn’t I? Do you believe in God, fate and destiny Mr. Benjamin?” No sir! I replied, I do not believe in fate and destiny. I believe a man’s life is a result of what he makes out of it. And as for God, I do believe in him but not the way Christians do nor any of the great religions.
I had ceased being a Muslim many years ago for the same reasons as you. I was made to believe that Islam was a religion of peace. The world has taught me that it is only the dead who seem to have peace. Christianity on the other hand, turned out to be a very tall mountain to climb. Regardless I do believe in fate. As this is what shapes our destiny. So this is my verdict. I will not assist you in your suicidal agenda. Believe me as crazy as this world is, it does have a lot to offer. A lot of people fear my father. As he is known for being a very dangerous man. What they don’t know is that it is I who gives him all of his ideas. As you may already know, I am to be married to Jasmine tomorrow, it is more of a business deal than a marriage. Her father controls an oil block in Algeria and my father wants a piece of it. I believe you are smart enough to figure out the rest. But as for Jasmine… I do not like her very much. Now this is what will happen. My father will adopt you as his son this night and this will make you eligible to marry Jasmine in the dawn of tomorrow. You will return with her to Algeria next tomorrow as her husband and you will both start your honeymoon in Dubai on the first day of next week. You will live as husband and wife for as long as it takes. Remember my father’s business depends on that. And as you might have figured nobody from her family must know that we are not related. Your new name henceforth is Usman. He hesitated a bit and said my late brother’s name. And you will surely share his fate if you disappoint me.” He immediately stood up and left the room.
Still on my knees, I didn’t know how to translate what I was hearing to what I could understand. Some part of me was happy for my new alleged union with Jasmine while the most of me was terrified.
…to be continued.
Written by Timba as fondly called, he is a descriptive writer and has a way of pulling a reader into the story. This is one of his many talents.