Seedy and Haddy are newlyweds who were living in bliss until a sudden adversity rocked their world. Seedy would be forced to make a bargain that would drive a wedge between them and worst, could lead to the destructions of not only their marriage but their lives as well.
Haddy still couldn’t believe that she had agreed to attend Mariatou’s dinner party. She had no desire to see her. Since her marriage to Seedy, Haddy had been doing her best to pretend she wasn’t in their lives and now she was putting herself in a situation where she would be forced to face the reality that she was no longer the only woman in Seedy’s life.
As she and Seedy headed for Pipeline in his new car, she reminded herself that she was doing this for her husband. No matter how much she dreaded it; there was no going back now. She relaxed against the leather seat and exhaled a sigh of resignation. Seedy covered his free hand with hers and squeezed it gently, reassuringly. She glanced at him with a smile.
“I’m fine,” she said to him.
He smiled back. “I’m sure you are.”
When they reached the mansion, they were greeted at the front door by a spectacularly dressed Mariatou. She ushered them in with great enthusiasm, directing the full force of her hospitality toward Haddy who was incredibly overwhelmed by her surroundings.
“I’m so glad to have you here, Haddy,” Mariatou said to her in a voice that sounded sincere.
“It was kind of you to invite me,” Haddy returned guardedly.
As she took a seat upon her host’s insistence, she was strangely rankled by the fact that her husband spent half of his days in this house. How did Seedy feel whenever he left this mansion for their shoebox apartment? How would someone feel if they had to alternate between living in a palace and a hut? Does he miss it? Does he wish that he was back here with Mariatou every time he was with her? Haddy was shocked at the direction of her thoughts. Where did they even come from? Why was she letting her mind wander in such dangerous grounds?
She snapped out of it just as the newlyweds arrived. Mariatou was in the kitchen overseeing the final touches of the meal being prepared by her maid so Seedy played host. He led them to the dining room while teasing Bass.
“Marriage agrees with you, my friend,” he said with a grin. “You’re practically glowing.”
Bass glared at him. “Don’t be ridiculous. I’m doing no such thing.”
“You certainly are,” Haddy chipped in, sitting herself beside Aminata who seemed to be smiling whilst the men sat opposite them.
Bass shook his head. “You two are the same.” But he couldn’t hide the smile in his voice. He was obviously ecstatic. He’d wanted to marry Aminata for ages but her parents had always been the main obstacle. When they finally gave in, it had felt like a miracle.
Mariatou sauntered into the dining room and greeted the newlyweds warmly. She sat at the head of the table just as Fatou came in with plates of delicacies.
It was a combination of shrimps and oysters, beautifully supplemented with vegetables and potato chips and source.
To her surprise, Haddy actually managed to relax, let her guard down and enjoy the delicious food with everybody else. The conversation was light, mostly centered on the newlyweds. It was an easy and comfortable subject that everybody at the table could talk about. Haddy watched the exchanges between Seedy and Mariatou, noticed the little intimacies that they already shared and realised that it didn’t bother her as much as she thought it would. Mariatou seemed to be a devoted wife to Seedy and seemed determined to have an amenable relationship with her.
Haddy tried very hard to detect even a hint of malice towards her and saw none. Maybe Seedy was right. Maybe Mariatou was really a decent human being who’s regretted her past actions and wanted to make up for them in the present. If that was the case, she didn’t see any reason why they won’t be able to get along. After all, that would be the best for everyone, especially for their future children who would be siblings.
“Haddy, could you accompany me to the kitchen to get the dessert?” Mariatou suddenly requested. They were done devouring the main course. “Fatou has gone home for the day.”
“Yeah, sure,” Haddy replied and rose from the table. Seedy sent a smile their way as they departed the dining hall.
The kitchen was modern filled with state of the art equipment. From the open door, they could hear laughter spilling in from the dining table. Seedy’s laughter. Haddy was unconsciously smiling at the sound of it.
Mariatou walked over to her side, an unreadable expression on her face. “It’s a thing of joy, isn’t it? His laughter, I mean.”
Haddy nodded with a smile, wondering where this conversation was heading to.
“I have a piece of advice for you, Haddy,” she said softly, suddenly the warm look of friendliness that had been on her face transformed into pure, unadulterated malevolence. “It’s actually the reason why I wanted you to attend today.”
Haddy’s expression hardened. Here was the Mariatou she has been waiting to see all night. She knew her friendly act was too good to be true. “And what advice would that be, Mariatou?”
“End your marriage,” she spat out. “Leave Seedy now on your on terms while you still can or else”
“Or else what?” Haddy cut her off in a voice as hard as brittle. “I would really like to know what’s going to happen if I don’t comply with your wishes, mighty princess. I dare you, Mariatou,” she added, her eyes reflecting her consuming rage. “I dare you to try and separate us and you’ll see what the results will be.”
She gave a sarcastic laugh and stepped closer to her. “Listen to this carefully; I have absolutely no intention of sharing Seedy with you or anyone else. He’s already falling for me and pretending that I want to get along with you is just icing on the cake. Believe me when I say that I will do everything within my power to make your life a living hell if you don’t do as I say. See, there is something you should know about me. Mariatou Gumaneh always gets what she wants, no matter how impossible the odds may seem. It’s in my nature. It’s who I am. Seedy will be mine alone,” she finished acidly then picked up a bowl of banana pudding. “It’s just a matter of time. There’s nothing you could do to stop it from happening.”
She walked out of the kitchen before Haddy could summon up a reply past the boiling anger raging in her heart. Haddy took a deep breath to calm down and then picked up the second bowl of banana pudding on the counter and returned to the dining table. She would be damned if she allowed anything Mariatou said get to her. There was no obstacle she could throw her way that she wouldn’t be able to handle. Not a single thing.
She pasted a brilliant smile on her face and together, she and her co-wife served the dessert. She saw the way her husband’s eyes glowed with pride and wondered how he would feel when he realised that he was married to the devil.
by Adam Nyang