The Scratch On Your Shoulder

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #14

Hadiza received her visa to Dubai in her email at exactly 10:00 a.m. A minute later, Fajr walked into her bedroom. “Good morning, Mommy.” Hadiza looked closely at her, worried about how much weight she had lost over the past few days. Her eyes appeared as if they might shut down any minute. “How are you, Faj?” “I’m fine. The visas just came in.” “Yeah, I got mine.” “Alhaji has confirmed our flight for tomorrow at 4pm. He and Daddy are making arrangements with the airline for Muhammed.” “That’s great. I told you everything would be fine, didn’t I? The delay at the embassy is a blessing in disguise.” “Mommy, Alhaji paid for express visas. We were supposed to get them in twenty-four hours, but it took two days.” “Relax.” “What if it’s a sign?” “A sign?” “That…” “That what, Fajr?” “Alhaji feels that maybe Allah wants us to just…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #13

“So, why did you ghost me?” Nero’s question was a right one at the wrong time. Cheta wished he had waited until much later to ask her. Not now when her parents were having a row in the next room over her love life. She wanted to be as calm as he was, but she couldn’t stop thinking about what was to come after this moment. Her plan to shock her father had not worked out as she had wanted it to go. Her mother had gone ahead of her and told him about Nero while she was still outside the reception venue, taking selfies with Nero. When the old man came out and stood at the top of the stairs, observing them, Nero saw him before Cheta did. He nudged her and she looked up, locking eyes with Julius. Nnedinma stepped out next, guilt on her face. “Meet me…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #12

Forgive my tardiness and enjoy this episode. Have a great week ahead!  Nero was out of the hotel before Cheta stirred. He didn’t expect her to be up, following the events of last night. Last he checked, she couldn’t move a leg. For him, it felt like he had been granted an express ticket to paradise when he opened his eyes this morning and found her lying beside him. She was so peaceful that he checked to see that she was breathing before he snuck out to the bathroom. He got to the office as the clock struck nine. His clients were to show up in a bit. He was tired of their indecisiveness and was ready to drop them if they moved their meeting forward one more time. Phone to his ear, speaking to Obi, Nero headed towards his office. But he stopped, just as he got to the…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #11

Having just put her granddaughters to bed, after two annoying hours of struggling with them, Hadiza craved for a glass of wine and a pill to drive away the pain in her back. She also desired to have her feet massaged. Kadiri used to be so good at it, but she had recently began to drift away from him. This wasn’t intentional. Her life as a person living in the shadows, where she had needed him the most, was ending. Yet her feelings for him persisted. He meant a lot to her, still. “Is there anything you want me to do for you?” he asked as she entered the kitchen to pour herself some wine. He had just fixed a broken knob on the gas cooker. “I’m fine. You should rest. It’s been a long day.” She got lost in the notched movements of his muscled arms as she watched…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #9

Cheta entered her house, after saying goodbye to Nero, and stretched out on her bed. She was waiting for someone’s wrath to fall on her. It was either going to be Hadiza’s or Nero’s. In fact, she was expecting anger from both of them. She didn’t care, though. She was still lost in the euphoria of kisses she shared with Nero. This stretched on for some time until her phone buzzed beside her. She stared at it and saw Hadiza’s face on the screen. It was a video call. “Good evening, ma,” Cheta greeted. “What did you tell my son?” “Nothing, ma.” “You think I’m playing games with you, Chichetaram? Are you out of your mind?” “I am not. I just feel like you didn’t understand the severity of what you asked me to do.” “I wanted you to tell the truth! Clearly, you’re not the woman I thought you…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #8

Cheta saw the emails and ignored them. Some of them came directly from intending buyers while the others were through Laja’s lawyer. Aunty Gbemi had also called to inform her about the Adeyanjus being approached over the same issue. Investors were falling over themselves in a bid to acquire Laja Towers and the offers were staggering. Everyone felt it was a good idea to sell now that demand was high. Everyone, except Cheta. “How could you?” She was mad at Nero this evening, after he had tried to get her to see why the towers needed to be sold off to the person with the best offer. “Do you have any idea the sentimental worth of this place?” “Chichetaram, Laja is gone.” The words felt like a stab in Cheta’s chest, but they were not so painful that she couldn’t take them. “I knew him,” Nero continued. “Maybe not as…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #7

Laja was in bed with her this morning. She was dreaming about him, about the time she came back to Nigeria after being away for six years. He was waiting at the airport, holding a placard that had her name on it. She laughed when she saw him and asked if he was crazy. “Just in case you’ve forgotten me and I don’t recognize you.” “I can never forget you, Large.” Lying in her bed this morning, she felt guilty for not keeping him to memory, as she ought to have done. She had had a chaotic workweek and a weekend that wasn’t any better. It was now Thursday, and she was finally getting the chance to take an entire day off. Yet, she had gotten up early, as it was her habit. She felt it was best to stay in bed and speak to Laja. “You can never forget…

The Scratch On Your Shoulder #6

Cheta’s visit to Ransome’s house had been a bootless errand. In three hours, she was back home, cussing herself for being vulnerable in front of a man and swearing that it would never happen again. The house was quiet when she got in. She peeped into the living room and kitchen but didn’t find anyone. Quietly, she went up the stairs. She dropped her overnight bag in her bedroom and stopped at Obi’s door. She heard him talking to someone as she knocked. He came to the door seconds later, taking his phone away from his ear. He had been on a call. “You’re back,” he muttered. “Yeah.” She stared at the mess that was his bedroom. “Everything okay?” “Yup.” “Good. Clean your room before breakfast tomorrow. And please, let in some fresh air…” “He called.” “Who?” “Dad.” “He called? Why?” “Said you weren’t picking your phone. Said you should…

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