“To take out all this anger on that sales man, we actually need to make it there alive.” Moira said.
Aisha stepped on the gas pedal. “I am not going to let that guy get away. He might have gone home for all we know.”
“But we can always return there tomorrow.” Moira insisted. “Why do I feel you have another agenda?”
Aisha nodded. “Agenda? Of course, I have another agenda and I need you to not mess it up with your mouth, okay? Just be cool and watch the pro have a go.” She said as she screeched in front of the Mall. “See? It wasn’t such a bad idea to race down here.”
“Remind me to chauffeur myself another day.” Moira said, stepping out of the car.
Aisha nodded as she closed the door. “Be my guest.”
Aisha and Moira hurried into the big hall down to the utensils section.
“Hello, good evening. Want some utensils?” Daniel said as Aisha and Moira arrived at his desk.
Aisha looked over her shoulder searching for Craig. “Where’s the other guy?”
Daniel stared at them blankly. “Other guy?”
“Yeah. There was a guy who attended to us earlier when we came here, can we see him?” Moira asked.
Daniel smiled. “That must be Craig. Please hang on, I’ll get him.” He said and walked away.
“Aisha, I hope that we are not making a mistake.” Moira said.
Aisha nodded. “Cold feet? You still have time to head out.”
“If we create a scene here, we would be on the gossip blogs tomorrow.” Moira said as she watched Daniel approach with Craig.
Aisha smiled faintly. “Believe me, no one hates a scandal more than myself.”
“Hello ladies, didn’t think I’d be seeing you pretty soon.” Craig said as he smiled.
Moira smiled. “We didn’t think so either, except that my friend here thinks that-”
Aisha jabbed her. “-Please pardon my friend’s excitement, she is a bit overwhelmed to have come down to this store again. Can we step outside for five minutes?”
“Me? And you? That’s interesting.” Craig said.
She nodded with a smile. “Trust me, it is.”
Craig smiled and led the way with Aisha following him.
Daniel stared at Moira. “Want a seat?”
“Sure. That will take forever.” She replied as she motioned to a seat.
Daniel took his seat. “I hope you ladies like the gas cooker?”
Moira nodded. “Aisha loves it.”
“So, tell me? Why would you want to see me?” Craig asked as they stepped outside.
Aisha folded her arms. “Are you really so dumb that you don’t know?” She asked as she hung out the manual and price tag
Craig smiled. “Are you so dumb that you didn’t know earlier?”
She smiled and nodded. “Cocky. I like that.”
“Rude. I appreciate that.” He replied.
She rolled her eyes. “Look here, I have no time to mess around, you tried to swindle me and I am not going to let it slide.”
“You are not going to report me.” He replied.
“Why not?” she asked.
He shrugged. “We won’t be having this conversation. You would be speaking with my boss.”
“So you know you are a thief?” she asked.
He shook his head in disagreement. “I’ll say I have an astute business sense.”
“Changing of tags is not a business skill. It’s dishonesty.”
He nodded. “I know. What do you want?”
“You are going to marry me.” Aisha said.
“How are you, Hakeem?” Alhaji Ibrahim asked as he ushered Hakeem into the living room.
Hakeem took his seat. “I am doing very well, sir. How is Aisha?”
“Aisha is fine. Do you want a drink?” Alhaji asked pouring himself a drink
“No sir. May I see her now if you don’t mind?”
Alhaji Ibrahim replaced his glass. “Aisha no longer lives here.”
“Why is that, Alhaji?” Hakeem asked.
He took a deep breath. “There are some things about her that we need to work out.”
“Alhaji, I understand, but sending Aisha away from here will further distance her from me. I’ll lose her.” Hakeem complained.
Alhaji Ibrahim shrugged. “Hakeem, Aisha is not a kid. She will make a lot of decisions herself; it is left to you to win her over.”
“Alhaji, I understand, but Aisha won’t look at me if you don’t put in a word for me.” Hakeem replied.
Alhaji Ibrahim took a deep breath. “Hakeem, what you don’t understand is that I can’t make some decisions for Aisha. I will try my best to let her see you, but you know her, she is too stubborn. Look Hakeem, I want you to exercise some patience and try to understand her.”
“But we were friends as kids, she just grew up and turned on me.”
Alhaji nodded. “I know. She turned on almost everyone, but I want to assure you that somewhere in her heart, she is still my special little girl.”
“I will see her at the office tomorrow. Could you please give me her home address?” Hakeem asked.
Alhaji smiled. “I don’t have it.”
“You have gone mad! I can’t marry a woman like you.”
Aisha shrugged. “Why? Is it that you like your women submissive and scared?”
“It’s not about that. Is this the reason why you won’t turn on me?” he asked. “You want to report me, please go ahead. I won’t be stuck with a pathetic woman like you.”
Aisha struck Craig’s face with a slap. “If I were you, I would watch my words.”
Craig nursed his cheek. “Second time in a day? I must have bad luck following me today.” He cursed.
“This is an order.” She said.
He shook his head in disagreement. “I would not marry you.” He replied. “And, I have valuable information that I can give the press about you, so if I were you, I would call it even and that’s all.”
She hissed. “You have nothing on me. Mere words. I have proof of your dishonesty.”
“And the gossip blogs don’t need proof of what I will tell them and I am sure that there are photos of us by now, so, you have nothing on me, woman.” Craig said, turning away.
“If I were you I wouldn’t do that.” Aisha said and Craig stopped in his track. “A brief intro won’t hurt. My name is Aisha Bello and I don’t take no for an answer, you may think you have words on me, but I have resources, I have everything in my power and disposition to make your life a living hell. Now you can go ahead and say what you like but I’ll make sure that I take you apart limb by limb until you have nothing left and by then, you are going to wish that you didn’t sell to me.” She concluded and flicked her card at him. “9am sharp tomorrow. I am not kidding.”
Craig watched her as she walked away from him and back into the store. He stared at the card and picked it up. “Aisha Bello.”
“Aisha, I don’t get it. What did you discuss with that guy that had him ruffled?” Moira asked.
Aisha took a peek at her wristwatch and then looked out through the window. “You will know in ten minutes.”
“Aisha, did you threaten him? Is he your bait to get your inheritance?” Moira asked.
Aisha clapped in delight as she turned in Moira’s direction. “I am surprised that you would think that I did that. It means you are not a saint after all. You think it, you can do it.”
“The fact that I can think it, doesn’t mean that I can do it.” She replied. “Aisha, that is cold.”
She shrugged. “Cold? Moira. Cold is when someone tries to rob me of some money. What I did was just take my revenge. Besides, I think he’ll be a very good candidate.”
“Can you hear yourself, Aisha? Is this an examination? Or an interview?” Moira asked.
“Call it whatever you like. I need my inheritance and I think a con artist will convince Alhaji perfectly.”
Moira shook her head. “I know I might have said that we should try random guys but I don’t feel cool about you using this guy, it might just be bad.”
“I am optimistic. You should be too. We have limited time.” Aisha replied.
Moira nodded. “But what if Alhaji doesn’t buy this farce? I mean, it is too soon to have found a man.”
“I know Moira, but we are going to plot this thing really good and I suggest that you start drawing plans for the relationship and the divorce date and statements instead of just sitting here and giving me lectures.” Aisha replied.
Aisha’s intercom rang. “Yes?” She waited a bit and smiled. “Send him in.” she replied and replaced the receiver. “He is coming up now.”
“I just hope this is right.” Moira said as she adjusted her gown.
Aisha nodded. “I know it is.”
The door opened and Craig walked into the office. “9am it is.”
Aisha stared at him from head to toe. “You clean up nice. Not bad for a Sales boy.” She said as she stared from his Pink shirt to Grey pants.
“I rented it. It’s on you.” He replied.
Moira cleared her throat. “Okay guys, break it up. This is serious business.”
Craig nodded. “Apparently.” He said and ushered himself to a seat. “Why else would the great Aisha Bello need me? It has to be serious business.”
“Anyway, Moira would brief you on what is going on and what your responsibilities are.”
He scoffed. “Look, if we are doing this, we are doing this together. I am not your puppy, if you have something for me, you tell me.”
Aisha nodded. “Fine. This is it, we are going to be in a relationship, of course, you know it is nothing serious, but it has to appear to be serious. You will need a good background and a good profile, I’ll set that up. We would eventually get married and then have a divorce shortly, maybe a month. Or even a week.”
“Interesting.” Craig said. “You actually do think that your life can be planned out, don’t you?” he asked.
Aisha stared at Moira. “Let’s get everything ready, your new life starts soon.”
“I get a car, an apartment and a good bank account.” Craig said.
Aisha nodded. “For some of us, money is never a problem. Save up while you can. Now leave and the next time you come here, please wear a tux. Some of us have standards.”
Craig nodded and rose to his feet. “You are really unhappy, Aisha.”
“I have all that I could possibly want in life.” She replied.
He scoffed. “And what about a man to marry? What about real happiness? You can never have that.”
“Wrong. I just bought you for my use.” She replied and focused on her laptop.
Craig took a deep breath and stared at Moira before walking out.
“Aisha Bello, sometimes I don’t even know who you are.” Moira said as she took her seat.
“What do you mean, Moira?”
Moira drummed on the table. “I am not liking this.”
Moira slammed the table. “At least be nice to him.”
“Did you see that guy? If I give him an inch to breath, he’ll kill me. Some people deserve no mercy at all.”
Moira nodded. “And you think you can do this?”
“Look Moira, He already knows. Too late to change spouses now.”
“Well Aisha, I think this is going to be really tough and rough to be honest. That guy won’t take it very easy, he doesn’t look easy.”
Aisha nodded. “I am well prepared. I need something that’s mine and he can help me get it, so let the games begin.”
Moira clasped her head in her hands.
“I have never felt so humiliated all my life.” Craig shouted as he slammed the door of the change room. Bolu and Daniel stared at him as he fumed taking off his shirt. “I just want to break that girl’s neck.” He shouted as he threw the shirt against the wall.
“Take it easy, bro. You can handle it.” Daniel said.
Craig scoffed. “How convenient for you to say! You have no idea what and who I am up against. This lady is going to frustrate my life, how can anyone be so annoying?”
“Look Craig, just take it easy man.” Bolu said.
“I can’t. It isn’t easy.” Craig replied. “All these wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t take his damn job.”
Daniel hissed. “Am I to take the fall for your greed too?”
Craig charged at Daniel but Bolu restrained him. “Come on guys, we should be looking for solutions, not how to fight ourselves.”
“You have always been a loser, Daniel. That’s who you are.” Craig shouted and stormed out.
Bolu leaned against the desk. “Never seen Craig that pissed in a while.”
“Not every woman comes easy, some come in their extra packages. That is Aisha Bello we are talking about.” Daniel replied as he adjusted his shirt.
Bolu nodded in agreement. “Speaking of women, when are you going to see Vicky?”
Daniel took a deep breath. “I am scared man, I don’t want her to ‘wash’ me.”
“If you never try, you’ll never know.” Bolu replied.
Daniel hissed. “She was clear the last time.”
“Things are a lot different now, man. She was just rejected by Craig, she won’t be so hard on you.”
Daniel nodded. “So what am I? Rebound package?”
Bolu shrugged with a smile. “I know you won’t mind.”
“I mind. I love that girl, I want her to love me back.” Daniel replied. Bolu nodded as he started to whistle. “She doesn’t deserve a man like Craig. A man like Craig is made for that Aisha woman.”
Bolu stared at him. “Why would you say so?”
“Believe it or not, Craig and Aisha won’t have it easy. I know Craig is pissed at her and he would want to ruin her and she doesn’t seem easy. Their games have just begun.”
“Yes, you can call me back in an hour, I’ll let you know if we can forward the specs as required. Thank you.” Aisha concluded and hung up.
Her secretary cleared her throat. “Mr Hakeem is here to see you.”
“You could have called me to say that.” Aisha said flipping through a magazine.
“My apologies ma’am, but, he told me to come up here.” She replied.
Aisha shook her head. “When did he start paying your salary? If I were you, I would talk to him about a job soon.” She said. “Send him in.”
Her secretary nodded. “Yes ma’am. I am sorry, ma.” She said and walked out.
The door opened almost immediately and Hakeem walked in. “Hakeem, what can I do for you?” Aisha asked as he approached a seat.
“Aren’t you going to ask me to take a seat?” he asked with a smile.
Aisha rolled her eyes as she stared at Hakeem. She pointed to the chair. “Sit down. What is it?”
“I want to ask you out to dinner. Tonight. At my place.”
Aisha smiled and then laughed mockingly. “You don’t get it, do you? Look Hakeem, I can’t date you. I won’t date you and as a matter of fact, you are beginning to bother me.”
“-Don’t! You want to go out with someone? Go to Moira’s office. Stop disturbing me.” She replied and focused on her laptop.
Hakeem swallowed. “I have invited Moira too. It is not really a dinner, it’s…it’s like a meeting with a couple of friends, back from the days.”
Aisha shrugged. “Back from the days? I don’t think I remember anyone from the days.”
“I know, and that is the essence of this meeting. Please try to make it. I won’t pester you anymore.” Hakeem said standing up.
Aisha nodded. “Interesting. If that will send you away, I’ll be there.”
He smiled and walked out. Moira walked in almost immediately. “So, going?”
“I see you have cultivated the habit of sneaking up on me.” Aisha replied as she poured a cup of coffee.
Moira smiled as she took a seat. “People will be really happy to see you. I can’t wait to see our friends.”
Aisha raised an eyebrow. “Your friends.”
“Be nice, Aisha. Why are you going if you won’t be nice?”
Aisha shrugged. “Hakeem says he would stop bugging me.”
“And you bought that?” Moira asked. “I am surprised you believe that.”
Aisha nodded. “I believe it. It won’t hurt to give him a chance to say something and mean it.”
“Hmmm…Is that coming from you?” Moira asked.
Aisha sipped her coffee. “We can’t be late. Close up early, Moira.”
“You bet.” Moira said and walked out.
“Last card, check up!” Bolu said as he packed some money from the table. Daniel grumbled as he counted his loss for the third time. Bolu stared at Craig who sat in a corner with his earpiece in his ear and drinks before him. “He is going into those moods again, Daniel.”
“Craig will sort it out. He always does.” Daniel replied.
Bolu nodded. “I know, but he is our guy. We can’t let him go through this alone.”
“I don’t think we should meddle in it either. He really knows how to find his way out of it.”
Bolu stared hard at Craig from a distance. “We should talk to him and know what he plans to do.”
Craig turned off his music player as soon as his friends approached him. “What do you want?”
“We are playing cards. Want to join?” Daniel asked.
Craig hissed. “I am in no mood for cards. I need Chess right now.”
“What does she really want from you?” Bolu asked, taking a seat.
Craig smiled. “It is serious business. I…I have to be in a relationship with her.”
“That’s weird. Is she a cougar now?” Daniel asked.
Bolu gasped. “Or maybe she does blood rituals?”
“Nah…I don’t think so. A woman like that will find it hard to be in a normal relationship with any man because she won’t just be the kind of woman that most of us want. But I actually like them tough. It makes it a good conquest for me in the end.” Craig said, sipping his drink.
Daniel stared at him. “What are you planning on doing?”
“I am going to date her. I am going to be the man she wants, but in the end, she is going to wish she didn’t pick me.”