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“I’m sorry. Do I know you?” Timi frowned slightly as though trying to recollect.
“Timilehin Gbadebo”. Hadizat recovered the use of her tongue in time to answer. “ABUAD?”
“Wait a minute!” Timi’s eyes lit up and he snapped his fingers excitedly. “Hadi? Hadizat Dankore?”
Hadizat burst out laughing as he grabbed her two hands and enclosed them in his.
“Oh my God! See my Hadi ooo” He laughed. “It’s been a while.”
“Timi,” Hadizat blurted before she could help herself. “I’m…I’m a Christian Timi. I gave my life to Christ.”
“Really? Oh my God!” Timi’s eyes lit up in admiration. “That is the best news Hadi. The very best,” he smiled. “Come here,” he added softly as he pulled her into a hug.
Hadizat hesitated for only a second before she circled her arms around him, her handbag and the file ending up at his back.
“This is heaven,” the thought dropped in her mind as she breathed in his lovely cologne and stepped back when he let her go. She felt tingles in her tummy and tucked it away somewhere in her subconscious for further examination later.
“What are you doing at my office?” Timi asked, his right hand still holding her left and the other tucked into his pocket.
“I came to deliver this,” Hadizat replied waving the file. “…to Mr. Itunu.”
“Okay. I’ll take you to his office.” Timi turned, still holding her hand firmly. “So, I’m actually heading out for lunch and I see you’re in a hurry. I’d like us to meet this Friday and catch up over lunch. Old times Hadi,” he flashed her a smile.
Hadizat returned his smile with a chuckle. “That’s okay.”
“Let’s meet at Chicken Republic by 1pm on Friday. The one down the road.”
“Oh Hadi. Ah! This is really you,” Timi continued as they stopped at a door. Timi dropped her hand and knocked.
“Come in,” a baritone voice replied.
Timi opened the door and they both stepped in.
“Good afternoon sir,” Timi greeted jovially.
“Good afternoon my boy. Who is this beautiful lady?”
“Good afternoon sir. My name is Hadizat Dankore from Mr. Jaiyeoba of Limitless Telecommunications.”
“Okay. Did you bring the file?”
“Yes sir. Here it is.” Hadizat handed Mr. Itunu the file.
“Alright, let me give you this. Timilehin, you can go.”
“Okay sir,” Timi replied. “Hadi, call me,” he added as he handed her a complimentary card with his name and phone number.
“Alright,” she whispered and turned to face Mr. Itunu.
Later, at night, Hadizat smiled to herself as she recalled the events of the day.
“Who would’ve thought?” She wondered and blushed as she recalled how Timi had turned out even more good looking than before. One look at him and all the feelings she had buried came tumbling back.
“I need to sort out my feelings. God help me. The guy should be engaged by now.”
She remembered Grace in the Faculty of Agriculture and what Timi had said about her. “I can’t be nursing feelings for another woman’s man. God, rid me of these useless emotions.” Hadizat spent a few minutes talking to God about her feelings and slept off exhausted.
The next evening, Hadizat was gisting with Madam Zainab in the sitting room. Mr. Adegbite was seated there as well, reading an article when they all heard a knock.
“I knew it. I heard a car drive in,” Madam Zainab made to stand up.
“Don’t worry ma. I’ll get it,” Hadizat stood up and went to the door. “Who is it?” She called out.
Hadizat could not believe her ears. It couldn’t be! Yet, that voice! And the same name! She looked through the peephole and confirmed. It was really Timi. She unlocked the door and let him in.
Hadizat stood face to face with Timi for the second time in 48 hours and it seemed her heart was beating against her chest violently.
“Timi? How come?” She asked an equally surprised Timi.
“Hadi?” He asked softly. His eyes still widened in surprise.
“What are you doing…”
They both burst into laughter after speaking out at the same time.
“Hadizat, who is it?” Madam Zainab called out.
“It’s…” She looked at Timi, unsure of what to say.
“Mummy Soetan, it’s Timi.” He cut in.
“Oh Timi, come in,” Madam Zainab had walked to the door. “Hadizat, let him in.”
Timi greeted Mr. and Mrs. Adegbite. Hadizat noticed they all seemed quite chummy.
Timi turned to face her. “Hadizat, what are you doing here?”
“I should be asking you the same thing,” Hadizat retorted with surprise still written all over her.
“You too know each other?” Mr. Adegbite asked.
“We were classmates at ABUAD,” Timi replied.
“No wonder,” Madam Zainab cooed. “Hadizat my dear, Timi is Olu’s friend. He’s a member of our church too, just that he has moved to another branch for some months now. He’s like a son to us.”
“That’s cool,” Hadizat clapped her hands together. “This is such a small world.”
“Yes, it really is.” Timi shook his head in wonder. “Is Olu in? We are supposed to join Moses for the evangelism outreach.”
“He’s inside,” Madam Zainab replied. “Hadizat, let Olu know Timi is here.”
“I’m here already,” Olu hollered as he rushed down the stairs. “Timi my guy. How far nau?”
“I dey o,” Timi replied. “How was work?”
“Cool. Let’s go. Mummy, Daddy, I’ll see you guys later. I’ll be back in two hours. Hadizat, take care.”
Timi stood up. “Daddy Soetan, Mummy Soetan, I’ll see you all some other time.” He faced Hadizat and added quietly, “We are still on for Friday, right?”
Hadizat nodded and smiled. Timi responded with a smile and walked out the door.
“Hadizat zomana, what was that all about?” Madam Zainab smiled and tapped the part of the couch close to her.
Hadizat blushed and went to sit on the couch.
Mr. Adegbite stood up. “I’ll leave you girls to your gist,” he smiled and winked at his wife.
Madam Zainab laughed as Hadizat blushed deeper. “So, what’s the gist? What’s up between you and Timi?”
“Well…we are close friends,” Hadizat replied.
Madam Zainab raised an eyebrow. “But, you’ll want it to be more. I can see it in your eyes.”
“I can’t.” Hadizat closed her eyes, exasperated. “He…he should be engaged now. There was this girl…”
“Hadizat…have you prayed about this?” Madam Zainab asked softly.
Hadizat opened her eyes and sighed. “I have. But, the feelings are still there. We’ve never had any relationship like that. I suppose we couldn’t too… with my being a Muslim then and all…”
“If you’ve prayed about it and you still feel this way, don’t you think God is saying something? Don’t be afraid to trust, Hadizat. Don’t be afraid to believe. God can give you the desires of your heart. He has promised it. He will do it.”
Hadizat breathed in and out. “Yes, I’ll trust. Thank you Mummy.”
Madam Zainab only smiled and pulled her into a hug.