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Black Fiction Sad

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

Fatima stepped out of the bar, giddy. Amidst the drinks and food – they were celebrating her friend’s promotion – , a faint scent of men cologne dragged her mind down the torturous path of her past.

The scent was strikingly familiar to that of her ex-boyfriend's. Could they not produce perfumes exclusive to each person? Now, her nostrils flare at every passing smell of Sauvage de dior cologne.

“I love this!!” Olamide was grinning and swaddling his girlfriend in a hug. It was valentine’s day and Fatima had gifted him a collection of items, one of which was a cologne that smelled fantastic. Spraying the substance in the air and sniffing, he said. “This will be my signature perfume for the rest of my life.”


“Signature perfume, my foot!” Fatima hissed at the thought before hauling the contents of her stomach. The wave of nausea had kicked in when a young man approached her and had used an ample amount of the cologne she has now learned to hate. She thought she could handle it because it’s been a year since her break up with Olamide, but to her peril, every moment of inhaling the substance was detrimental to her health, until she couldn’t take it anymore.

“There, there.” A pat on her back that she figured out to be Ayeesha – The star of the day who just got promoted.

“uh-huh, uh-huh.” After hauling out the last bits of her stomach’s contents, all that was left were fits of cough.

Fatimah rose and wiped her mouth, acknowledging her friend with a nod. “Thank you.”

“Tell me,” Ayeesha sighed. “Another Olamide crisis?”

“You bet.” Fatima hissed, as they both settled into a seat. “I’m sorry, that I...your day was r…”

“Don’t sweat it.”

Fatima spends the moment in Ayeesha’s arms, who cuddles her like she were her daughter and not a friend.

“There you are!”

The two friends whip their heads around to see Catherine and Angela strutting towards them. They were a four-man group of friends who met in their university days and happened to be roommates.


“We’ve been looking all over for…what happened to Fatima?” Angela is now giving her friend a thorough perusal.

“It’s…” Fatima straightens on the seat and so does Ayeesha, creating room for their friends to sit.

“Don’t tell me it’s another Olamide crisis?” Catherine chips in. She’s the one with the curt mouth.

“Well…” Fatima shrugs. “More like a Sauvage crisis.”

“Oh.” Angela creases a knowing look. “The hottie was wearing Sauvage?”

Fatima nods and in a bid to avoid the feeling of self-pity sloshing in her stomach from being the centre of attention of being a long-term victim of heartbreak, she rose and claps her hand.

“Let’s go finish that party!!”

“Whoo-hoo!”

*

“I love you so much.” Olamide was nibbling the delicate skin of Fatima’s lips.

“I…I…” Fatima paused to take a breath. “I love you too. ”

Olamide chuckled behind her ear, whispering sweet nothings to her.

“Will you marry me, one day, when I’m financially stable?” He asked afterwards when they both lay in bed, their gazes up at the ceiling.

. . .

“This is why I never loved you!” Olamide was bawling, the loudest she’d ever heard. “You are not understanding.”

“But you cheated.” Fatima was trying really hard not to scream.

“Because she’s better, and you are unable to satisfy me!” Olamide hissed. “You are never going to be good enough for anyone!”

“Olamide, please…No, please!!” Fatima jerked up from her sleep and sighed before bursting to tears. “Not again.”

Angela came running into her room. After graduation and the girls had to part, Fatima stuck with Angela who stayed in the same city as she did while Ayeesha stuck with Catherine.

“This cannot be happening.” Fatima whispered softly before yelling. “This cannot be happening!!”

“Easy. Easy now. Come here.” Watching Fatima go through this phase repeatedly was heartbreaking for Angela and the rest of their friends. Fatima stayed still for a moment while Angela patted her.

“Okay now,” Angela lifted her friend’s head. “Why don’t you perform ablution and make prayers.”

Fatima was a Muslim and Angela was not but she understood the basics after years of university filled with watching Fatima and Ayeesha practicing.

Angela sighed and watched somberly as her friend dragged herself up from the bed and into the bathroom. It’s been a tough one year for them as much as it’d been for Fatima.




*

Fatima sat at her office desk, the next morning, elbows propped on the table and her head resting in her hands. She’d gotten lost in the thoughts of her ex-boyfriend, yet again. She sighed and took a peek at the files open before her and wondered how she’d been able to cope with work and other activities amidst everything.

She worked as an accountant in the central Bank of Nigeria and was doing pretty well at her job. She was beautiful, talented and yet, the only problem in her life happened to be the least important person in the world. Everyone saw her for who she was, a soul radiating positivity and light, but somehow, Olamide’s words gained precedence over them.

He’d picked her closest friend – Before Ayeesha, Angela and Catherine, she’d been close friends with Seyi whom she met and bonded with long before meeting her current friends – over her. Cheated her with Seyi, and even dared to have a long-term relationship – that has now crashed – with her friend.

“Face it, Fatima.” Seyi had curtly spoken with folded arms, like she felt no remorse. “Your relationship was bound to face an inevitable end.”

“So, that gave you the right to come in and stab me in the back!” Fatima was furious, and was blinking on occasions to stop the tears threatening to make an appearance.

“Olamide had confided in me, for you.” Seyi was saying. “You were becoming difficult for him and unable to satisfy him.”

“So you stepped in?” Fatima couldn’t believe her ears. Usually, in cases like this, the wrongdoers are remorseful or try to at least deny it. But here, they were owning up to it and not even sorry.

Fatima…

“Of course.” Seyi was grinning. “Men need better partners than lame people with lame minds.”

Fatima…can you hear me?

Olamide walks in at that point and gives Seyi a kiss. “There’s no point talking to her, she’ll just blackmail you and play the victim.” Then he turns to Fatima. “Now, that you know the truth. I hope you realize that the relationship is done?”



“FATIMA!!!”

Fatima breaks out of her thoughts and faces her work colleague who now has worry creasing his face.

“Where did you go?” He stood before her desk, arms akimbo. “I thought I lost you there, you seemed lifeless.”

“I…I was…” Then she sighed, rubbing a hand over her face. “Sorry, what is it?”

“The boss is asking for you.”

Pushing her chair backward, Fatima grazed her face with a smile and rose from her seat.

“After you.”

*

“You did a great job with managing the accounts.” The boss was saying, lifting his glasses up his nose bridge. “You need to teach your colleagues how to be as efficient.”

Fatima just gave a slight bow while her colleagues eyed her with envy. In another lifetime, Fatima would have killed for a compliment from the boss, but now all she felt was numbness in her heart. Her life, as she knew it was filled with Roses – her life was going on well, she had a nice job, a nice home, and lovely friends – but the thorns of her past relationship keeps drawing her backwards and pricking her.

After they’d been excused out of her boss’s office, Fatima took a lunch break and dialed in a FaceTime with her friends.

“GUYS!” They’d picked the call after few rings and were giggling until they sensed the seriousness in her voice. After they quieted, Fatima spoke. “I think I need your offer on therapy.”

“Whoo-hoo!”

“Finally.” Angela sighed. She’d been the one living with Fatima through her post- break up phase. So she knows firsthand what her friend had been through.

“What changed your mind?” This question came from Ayeesha. It had been her opinion few months ago to have Fatima enroll in therapy. Fatima had dissed it because according to her, she wasn’t mad and therapists were overrated mini-gods.

“Olamide has traumatized me.” Fatima cried. “The ruins of my past relationship still haunts me.”

“Well, hold your horses.” Catherine spoke sensibly. Amidst all her gibes about Fatima not moving on, she still cared. “You’ve been moping over the break up because he cheated with Seyi.” She rolled her eyes and made a gesture with her fingers. “Well, hello…Seyi and Olamide broke up too.”

“So it’s not your fault.” Angela added. A flush is audible from her end. She was taking the call in one of the stalls at her workplace. “The boy is a player, and you deserve better than him.” Angela placed more emphasis on “boy” which would have brought a smile out of Fatima but unfortunately, she’d heard many of these soothing words from her friends, and it did a tad bit in aiding her healing.

“I'm tired, guys.” Fatima sighed and patted the hijab which she donned over her head. Frustration seethed through her. “I need more than just encouraging words.” She added with a plea. “Please save me from Olamide’s hold over me.”

The words fell like a bomb and every quip that might have glistened her friends eyes faced a fatal death as they all spoke in unison.

“You’ll get over it, boo.”

“We can get this over with and get you out there, again.”

“I know a very good therapist.” Ayeesha was saying and that was what Fatima needed to hear.

“Please send me her number.“ A desperate Fatima requested and sighed when the call ended. Nervousness took over her as she wondered what her fate will be. She wanted to be done with the phantom of her toxic relationship and hoped for a renewed life.




October 23, 2023 06:14

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11 comments

Graham Kinross
00:32 Nov 29, 2023

Great story Hanifah.

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10:05 Oct 29, 2023

Nice one .. I love it..

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06:57 Oct 29, 2023

This was such an amazing read, honestly had me hooked till the end🥺.

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Hanifah Kaka
07:08 Oct 29, 2023

Aww...Thank you love❤

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Hammed Lawal
05:55 Oct 29, 2023

A relatable piece

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Shirley Medhurst
01:50 Oct 29, 2023

Well done. Thank you for sharing your story, Hanifa.

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Hanifah Kaka
05:22 Oct 29, 2023

Thank you.

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17:40 Oct 24, 2023

Great piece, great plot... keep the good work up

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Hanifah Kaka
18:09 Oct 24, 2023

Really appreciate this. Thank you.

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Jumoke Kaka
19:00 Oct 23, 2023

Beautiful story Very captivating. I had to read to the end despite my tight schedule. Preemptively, I hope the therapist will not turn out to be either Seyi or Olamide. I pity Fatimah if that happens. I also think the perfumery and cosmetic line, Parfums Christian Dior and LVMH Group should be made to see this beautiful unpaid advert for one of their luxurious products. Keep writing, which is one of the things you like doing. Wishing you the very best dearest hanny. ❤️ 😘 ♥️ 💕 💙 💖 ❤️ 😘

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Hanifah Kaka
04:47 Oct 24, 2023

Aww...Thank you very much ma.

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