Read Chapter 16 here.
“Gosh, finally,” Nadia sighed as she and Ayesha sat in the car. “Let’s take a selfie, shall we?”
They posed for the photo, both of them showing off their purple-stained fingers. Nadia captured it.
“Just cast our ballots. Feels great to vote. Voted yet? This is your chance to make history!” Nadia said as she typed her caption for Instagram post.
“How patriotic,” Ayesha remarked as she started the engine.
When they arrived at Omar’s house, Ida was in the kitchen.
“Hey girls, gone to the polls already?”
“Yeah!” They said together, showing her their pinkies.
“That’s great. Got back not long ago myself. Since you’re here, let’s make dinner together.”
“Dinner? We haven’t even had lunch, mum.”
“Yeah, I bought waakye on my way back so we can have that for lunch. Your fathers are going to spend the whole day at their party offices so we should have dinner ready for them when they return,” Ida said.
“So which party do you want to win, Auntie Ida?” Ayesha asked.
“Honestly, I don’t really mind who wins. Because whichever one wins, we win!”
“Don’t listen to her. I know she’s a low key NPP sympathizer but she won’t admit it because of dad,” Nadia said.
“Yes! Join the winning team. I knew we have more in common that it appears, Auntie,” Ayesha said, giving Ida a hi-five.
“Yep, including preference in men,” Nadia muttered.
“What did you say?” Ida asked. Ayesha was stunned to utter a word.
“Nothing. Just joking,” Nadia said with a shrug. Ayesha gave Ida an awkward smile.
A few minutes later, Ayesha excused herself. Nadia followed her to her room.
“Hey Ayesha, I’m sorry about that slip up.”
“Yeah, what was that about?” Ayesha asked from the bathroom. Nadia heard the sound of flushing as Ayesha came out.
“I don’t know what came over me. I’m sorry.”
“No, Nadia; I don’t believe you when you call it a slip up. You’re far too calculating for that. I think you said that to expose my relationship with your dad. Drop a hint here, another there and Mama Bear starts to put the pieces together. You’re a smart girl, Nadia; I’ll give you that. But don’t forget, so am I,” Ayesha said.
They stared at each other.
“Okay, I’ve always wished for my family to come back together and now that she’s back, I fear the only thing that stands in the way of our family being together for real is you, Ayesha.”
“So you want me out of the picture.”
“It wouldn’t hurt, would it? Now that you have Jamal all over you.”
“Okay. The same goes for you and my dad,” Ayesha countered.
“How’s that different? Because my mum’s no more, it shouldn’t go both ways?”
“Exactly. And I don’t have a boyfriend who’s head over heels in love with me. Uncle T is all I have,” Nadia said.
“And whose fault is that? You’ve intentionally closed your eyes to every guy on campus because you have my dad rocking your boat. So for the sake of our friendship and this family, let’s call it a truce and a wrap. Your mum for my dad.”
“Fine. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”
“I hope it’s worth it…because your mum’s seeing the gym guy again,” Ayesha said, leaving the room.
“My source wouldn’t lie. He has no reason to.”
“Who, my dad?”
“Nope. Mine. So what’s it going to be, sis?” Ayesha asked with a smirk and left the room.
The three ladies sat in the living room, eating their lunch on trays as they watched the election updates on TV. Ida’s phone kept beeping. Nadia turned to see her mother texting and grinning.
“Who’s making you smile, mum?”
“Just a silly friend.”
Nadia’s eyes met Ayesha’s who shrugged and turned her gaze to the TV.
Later in the evening, Tariq and Omar arrived together. Nadia had fallen asleep on the couch.
“Congratulations to our MP elects!”
Ida hugged her husband as Ayesha hugged her father.
“Thank you. Been a long day.”
“Can imagine. Have dinner ready.”
“That’s great. But I’d like to take a shower first,” Omar said.
“Yeah, I think I’ll do same.”
“That’s fine. Your room is already prepped,” Ida said to Tariq.
Omar winked at Ayesha as he and Tariq walked away.
“Help me set the table, Ayesha.”
Nadia woke up as Ayesha was placing the plated food on the table.
“They are back?”
“Yeah. Freshening up.”
“So what’s the update?”
“They both won their seats, Nadia,” Ayesha said excitedly.
“Wow! That’s great!”
“I know. So proud of them.”
Tariq and Omar soon joined them at the table.
“Wow…this looks sumptuous, Ida. Thanks for the treat,” Tariq said as he sat.
“You two deserve it. Enjoy.”
As they ate and talked, Tariq’s phone beeped. He picked it and smiled as he scrolled through his messages.
“Congratulatory messages?” Ida asked.
“Tons of them.”
“My battery ran flat out of them. Now charging the poor phone,” Omar said.
“Aww…Bibi wants to throw me a party,” Tariq said.
“Where, at her place?” Ayesha asked.
“I’m sure. She has quite a big place.”
“She must really like you…supporting your campaign and all,” Ayesha said.
“She does…you must say thank you,” Omar said with a wink.
“Of course I will.”
“Oh dad,” Ayesha said with a chuckle.
“You haven’t changed one bit, have you?” Ida asked, shaking her head.
“I was thinking of inviting her over for dinner one of these days…you know, to meet the family,” Tariq said. Nadia raised a brow.
“Are you guys that serious?” Ida asked.
“Well…serious is such a…serious word. I wouldn’t say we are there yet but…”
“Gosh dad, you’re not going to get me a step mum, are you?” Ayesha asked.
“It helps with the image, sweetie.”
“So you’re considering it.”
“You’re back giving stability to your family. I think it’s about time I gave myself and Ayesha same.”
“But we are your family,” Nadia said.
“If that’s what you want, daddy, then you have my blessing,” Ayesha chipped in, smiling. Her gaze met Nadia’s straight look. Ayesha shrugged as she sipped her water.
“Let’s toast to that.”
“Wow…you weren’t exaggerating when you said she had a big place,” Ida said to Tariq when they arrived at Bibi’s house.
“She must be really loaded,” Ayesha remarked as she looked around the parlor.
“With eyes of a fox looking for widowed men to prey on,” Nadia muttered.
“Take a chill pill, Nadia. If you really care for my dad, you’d support him. Besides, if you know how to play your cards well, it doesn’t need to mean the end. You know what I mean?” Ayesha said with a wink.
Nadia sighed. “I need a drink.”
“That’s the man of the hour,” Bibi said with open arms when she spotted Tariq. They hugged. Tariq kissed her cheek.
“Thanks for putting this together for me, Bibi. Really.”
“My pleasure, Tariq. Come, I’ve some important people for you to meet.”
“Isn’t that Tasha? Hey!” Ida called out and walked towards the lady.
“Where are the drinks?” Nadia asked, looking around.
“Yeah. Need one?”
Nadia walked away from Ayesha. Omar came up behind Ayesha.
“Want to sneak away for some minutes? Found us a corner,” Omar whispered mischievously.
“Here? Auntie Ida is here.”
“She’ll be too preoccupied to notice. Come on, clock’s ticking,” Omar said, pulling Ayesha by the hand.
Nadia returned a minute later, holding two glasses.
“Ayesha? Where the hell did she go?”
Nadia found herself a seat where she quietly sipped her drink and eyed Tariq and Bibi as they sat and chatted heartily. She rolled her eyes when she saw how Bibi couldn’t keep her hands to herself. Ida walked up to her.
“Hey, have you seen your father? I can’t seem to spot him anywhere.”
“No, I haven’t. And neither can I find Ayesha,” Nadia said, looking around.
“Oh there he is,” Ida said, spotting Omar. Their eyes met and Omar smiled. He approached Ida.
“Where have you been?”
“Sorry, was having a chat with a new friend.”
“And did you happen to see Ayesha?” Nadia asked.
“No. Why, she isn’t here?” Omar asked innocently. Nadia rolled her eyes and shook her head as she sipped her drink.
“Oh there she is,” Ida said, pointing to Ayesha. They are all turned to see her talking to Bibi and shaking her hand. Tariq saw Omar and Ida and motioned them to come over. As they approached him, Ayesha excused herself and joined Nadia.
“Where were you?” Nadia asked.
“Come on, at a social function? With my mother around? That’s disrespectful and reckless,” Nadia scolded.
“And you watching my dad with Bibi like a hawk is desperate and pathetic.”
“But seriously, are you okay with this? I don’t trust her. I feel like she’s up to something. She wants to get something by hanging out with your father,” Nadia said.
“And my dad doesn’t? They are adults playing games. Let’s see who comes out as winner.”
“You think that’s all there is to it? It’s not going to end up in exchange of rings and vows?”
“Well, if it gets to that point, then it means the stakes are higher for either of them. Knowing my dad, he might not be too keen on being locked down in marriage again. But who knows, for the sake of his political ambition, he might just do it,” Ayesha said.
“Would it be weird if your dad and I got married?” Nadia asked. Ayesha turned to look at her friend to see if she was joking. Her look showed she wasn’t.
“He’s practically your godfather. Your mum would never allow it.”
“If she wasn’t in the picture? Would you mind?”
“Not really. But I doubt my dad would. I mean, what would people say?”
“Everyone. He’s a man of the people now, Nadia. Don’t forget that.”
Tariq approached them.
“Hey Ayesha, would you mind going home with Nadia? I think I’ll stay behind for a while.”
“Why?” Nadia asked suspiciously.
“Because Bibi and I have some business we’d like to discuss after the party.”
“Oh she’s collecting her thanks so soon?” Ayesha teased.
“We’re talking business for real. I’ll come pick you up tomorrow.”
“You’re sleeping over?” Nadia asked, raising her voice a notch.
“What? How can you be okay with your father whoring himself for political favors?”
“Enough, Nadia. I’m on a trajectory here. I don’t need you messing things up for me, alright? Take care of yourself, Ayesha. Will text you if there’s a change in plans,” Tariq said.
Tariq walked away.
“For someone who dreams with spending forever with my dad, you have a really odd way of trying to hold on to him, you know that? You are pushing him away with that attitude,” Ayesha told her friend.
“I just got myself a rival, Ayesha. And I don’t want one.”
“So what are you going to do about it?”
(c) Josephine Amoako 2020
Read Chapter 18 here.