Hauwa Love Tales (Episode 4)

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Hauwa was confused on what to do. She didn’t know what she would do and how to escape the wrath of Alhaji Usman. She had heard gory tales about Alhaji Usman. She was incapacitated in the turn of the whole events like her mother was. Many thoughts ran through the mind of Hauwa. They were at Alhaji Usman’s mercy because her father owed him. Why did her father borrow money from Alhaji Usman? What did he use the money for? Why didn’t he pay up? How come he disappeared and no trace of him has been found since? These thoughts worried her big time.

She didn’t know if it was to run away from all of these. But if she runs away, then who would take care of her mother? What if Alhaji Usman also makes her mother missing like he made her father? How would she cope? She was exhausted about it all.

Hauwa didn’t know who she would turn to right now. Her mother wasn’t of help as she kept talking about the possibility of Hauwa marrying Alhaji so they would stay out of trouble. She also knew that some of the extended family members would support her mother and ask her to consider the possibility of the marriage. Alhaji, too, was very influential in the town and wealthy, and this made the matter worse.

As she lay on her mat in her room, she thought about where she could go and get succor. Everything, everyone, seemed to be against her. None of her family members could really offer her the acceptance and calm heart she needed at the moment. She stood and began to walk around in her room. Finally, she stopped and clicked her fingers–she knew the right place she would find succor and help.

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She changed her clothes into a black skirt, a pink long-sleeved shirt she had worn for her graduation ceremony and her black hijab. She put on her fancy sandal and used powder on her face. Next thing, she was out of the house and walking on the main road leading to the town’s market. It was past mid-day and Kano’s sun burned her skin. There were trees along the road, so she walked under them as she trudged to where she was going.  

Where she was going wasn’t that far. It was 20 minutes walk from their house and very close to the market. As she walked to the place, she let her thought run wild in her mind. She was going to meet Hamza, her classmate, who was very close to her heart. Hamza was not just a good friend, he also knew all her details or worries right before she announced them. Hamza was like that.

Hamza was one of the hottest guys in her class with his caramel skin, tallness and his muscled looks. He was the in fact the hottest when they assess the boy based on the looks of their bodies. Most of the boys were lanky and tall, some were even more handsome than Hamza, but none was firmly and strongly built with muscles like Hamza. This was the reason why most girls clustered around him. He was a gentle boy and very smart as well. While they were in school, everyone loved Hamza and wanted to be with him. But Hamza never got into anything with anyone. If he loved anyone among his admirers, he didn’t show or say it. However, he was a very good friend to Hauwa and they shared a lot of thoughts between themselves.

Many of the girls who didn’t know Hamza’s thought about them thought Hamza too serious to love and spoil girls like the other boys, but he was close to Hauwa, and should be because Hauwa was intelligent. Hamza was also one of the smartest in the entire class, among the top 20. Hauwa was super smart among the top 3 and had been the deputy head prefect.

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Hauwa got to Hamza’s house when Hamza was outside his house clearing some grasses. Like Hauwa, Hamza lost his mother at a tender age and have since been looked after by his father. His father was also poor and his shoe making petty business didn’t give him much to cater for the family pretty well, and so Hamza did odd jobs to survive and add to the little his father gives to him.

Immediately Hamza saw Hauwa his eyes lit up and he dropped the cutlass he was using in cutting the grass. He walked towards her and smiled. Hauwa smiled too. They shook hands. “Welcome, Hauwa,” he said. “This one you have come to see me, I am surprised and happy. It has been long we last saw each other. I think since after our graduation ceremony, we haven’t seen each other that much.”

“You’re right, Hamza,” Hauwa said, giggling. “But I don’t think it is that long. It is only three weeks ago and you make it look as if we haven’t seen each other for like forever.” She laughed and Hamza laughed too.

“Well, don’t mind me. No matter what, I am still happy to see you. I am truly happy to see you,” Hamza said. He held her hand and began to draw her towards the veranda of their squalid mud house. Theirs wasn’t even plastered withe cement like that of Hauwa’s. Hamza showed her a stool to sit on while he walked inside to get the stool he would sit down on. When he came back, he sat on the stool and looked at her brightly.

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He was the first to speak and when he spoke, it was very certain that he was very excited to see her. It showed very much in his voice. “I am so happy to see you, Hauwa,” he said, smiling. “This one you have come to see me, I am certain there must be something you want to discuss with me. By the way, how are your processing your university stuff? You told me you would be applying to study optometry in Zaria?”

“Yes. You know I wrote JAMB then when we were in school and scored 260. Now, I heard the screening form is out and would love to get the form immediately.”

Hamza’s face turned sad right then. When next he spoke, his voice sounded dejected. “I wish our parents had money to sponsor us like Isah’s parents do. I don’t even know whether I would be able to get my desired course, Electrical Engineering with my 210?”

“Allah will provide for us,” Hauwa said. “Besides, for your score, I am sure it is enough to vie for engineering. I heard engineering course cut so low. You should be able to get in somewhere and somehow.”

“What if we get in, how are we going to train ourselves?”

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“Allah will provide,” Hauwa said. She took a deep breath. “Since you said you want to do electrical engineering, you can go and learn how to do it from Mallam Sule before school resumes next year. I will learn catering and all the making of cakes and buns and all these stuff. With the money made from these, we can be able to survive and go further in out education.”

Hamza shouted excitedly and didn’t even know when he lost control of himself and hugged Hauwa. Hauwa held herself back and didn’t hug back. She was surprised; Hamza had never hugged her. “This is why I like you, Hauwa,” he said. “Your brain is always sharp, looking for solutions and increasing everyday. I like you very much.” He was still hugging her and Hauwa could feel the heaviness of his chest, the thickness of his arms and his steady heartbeat. He mouth smelled of Close Up toothpaste.

Hamza stopped hugging her and returned to sit on his stool. Hauwa recollected herself and even when Hamza apologized afterwards for hugging her too close. Hauwa wished he wouldn’t apologize and that she enjoyed every bit of the hug. Every bit of it. It felt like she had chocolate in her mouth.

They were silent afterwards and didn’t even look at each other. Hauwa took a deep breath and began to speak calmly. “I thank you for how you have welcomed me here, I really feel excited about it all. Remembering your friend and classmate this good.” She paused and took in a deep breath. “I have come to tell you about a problem in my heart that I have been looking for who to discuss it with.” She paused again. “There are many people coming for my hand in marriage, and I don’t know what to do about it. The worst of them all is Alhaji Usman. You know him, right?”

Hamza nodded. “Yes, I do,” he said. “Who doesn’t know Alhaji Usman?”

“I told you about suitors that sought my hand in marriage since I was 14, right?” Hauwa asked and Hamza nodded right then. “Alhaji Usman came into the picture just recently and he is already threatening my mother and I.

“What kind of threat is that?”

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“He says I should marry him and that I should keep in mind that my father owed him some money … It’s as if he is threatening us … That if we don’t provide the money, he is going to ask for the money and put us in prison.” Hauwa began to sob. “Hamza, I am scared. I don’t want to marry that man and I don’t want my mother nor I to go to prison. The man sounded so brutal.” Hauwa began the real cry then and let it all out.

Hamza walked close to her and hugged her. He carressed her hair gently and continuously. “It is all right,” he said as Hauwa wept and sniffled and wept and sniffled. “It’s all right. You don’t have to cry anymore. You won’t marry Alhaji Usman while I am here. We’ll find a way around it.”

Hauwa cried out the more. “Please I don’t want to,” she cried more. Usman hugged her closer and could smell the mustiness of her hair. Hauwa could feel his heartbeat. She was in deep pain but she felt better that she had someone to talk to that really understood her plight.

* Does Hauwa and Hamza love each other? How would Hauwa be able to avoid getting into marriage with the dangerous Alhaji Usman? How can this case be solved? Find out in the NEXT EPISODE.

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