Haunted Ep. 3

Hassan, as ever, exuded a sense of style and cleanliness. Despite the mud-splattered exterior and tires of his Nissan Altima, courtesy of the ongoing rainy season and the under-construction road to my office, the pristine appearance of his car was unmistakable from afar.

Hassan parked his car a distance away from the road and came over to guide me to the vehicle.

Upon approaching Stanley and I, his excitement was palpable.

“Queen of my heart!” he exclaimed in Hausa, as was his usual endearment for me.

His face lit up with a radiant smile, clearly revealing the depth of his longing for me.

Hassan joyfully strolling toward Oyin and Stanley

He approached me with arms wide open, embracing me in a warm and encompassing hug.

Hassan stands at 6 feet, while I, a petite lady, measure at 4.3 feet. The contrast in our heights makes me feel small, but I adore it.

My cheeks ached from the constant smiling and blushing.

After releasing me from the hug, Hassan turned to Stanley and greeted, “Hi brother, I’m Hassan. I assume you’re Stanley?”

Stanley grinned and nodded, and they exchanged a brotherly handshake and side hug.

Oyin with a radiant smile, her cheeks flushed with a deep blush

Hassan was outgoing and adept at forging connections with strangers, a skill I often envied.

“Thank you for being a friend to Oyin and ensuring she doesn’t withdraw into her introverted shell,” Hassan expressed his gratitude.

“Kai! Hassan!” I playfully tapped his well-toned right arm with my small fist.

“Ouch!” I sighed in mock pain, realizing my fingers took the brunt instead of his arm.

Hassan and Stanley burst into laughter, teasing me mercilessly.

Hassan and Stanley playfully chuckling at Oyin

“Stanley wants to be my big brother! I’m practically a clone of his late sister,” I exclaimed, turning to Hassan and showing him a picture I had taken of Stanley’s sister.

Hassan was taken aback; the resemblance was striking.

With a compassionate expression, Hassan said to Stanley, “I’m truly sorry for your loss.”

“Come on! It’s been over 7 years now,” Stanley chuckled, trying to lighten the mood.

“I’d be honored to be a big brother to Oyin. She’s truly a lovely soul,” Stanley affirmed.

“Thank you so much,” Hassan said, his eyes almost teary.

“Oyin has never had a sibling to turn to or an elder to confide in, except for myself and Favour.”

“Now, she’ll have three great confidants. Thank you so much,” Hassan reiterated.

Stanley responded with a gentle smile and hugged Hassan.

Stanley’s mild grin – his reaction to Hassan

“Oh, join us! We’re going to grab a meal before I drop her off. You could also join us, and afterward, I can drop you off wherever is most convenient for you,” Hassan offered.

Hassan was always willing to go the extra mile to ensure people felt at ease.

“I would have loved that,” Stanley reiterated with a beaming smile.

“But I have to meet with my mom this evening, and if I don’t hit the road early, I won’t be able to catch up with her before she heads to her church’s weekly service.”

Stanley politely turns down Hassan’s offer

Stanley’s sincere expressions revealed his priorities.

We embraced Stanley, bidding our farewells as we went our separate ways.

Stanley quickly hailed a commercial vehicle. “Adeola Odeku? How much?” he asked the driver, confirming the fare before boarding the bus with the agility of a seasoned Lagos commuter. He waved at us as the driver sped away.

Stanley saying farewell to Hassan and Oyin

Hassan guided me into his car, opening the passenger door to ensure my comfort before settling into the driver’s seat.

“What’s your impression of Stanley?” I asked, my excitement palpable. Not that I expected to hear anything other than what my heart had already affirmed.

“I believe you should take some time to observe and study him a bit more,” Hassan expressed a hint of concern.

My confusion was evident; my facial expressions betrayed my state of mind.

Hassan had just spoken highly of Stanley moments ago. Was this a change of heart? Did he have second thoughts? Or did he praise Stanley in his presence just to put on a good act?

Oyin perplexed by Hassan’s concern

“I mean, you’ve only just met him. You barely know him,” Stanley voiced his concern.

“But he doesn’t strike me as someone who could hurt me,” I asserted with confidence.

“And you’re certain of this because?” Hassan, ever the realist and optimist, had a knack for being either or both, depending on the situation.

“Because he’s my friend,” I replied, almost sounding like a child seeking validation.

“Oyin, what I’m saying is that you’ve only just met this guy. He might genuinely be harmless, but you can’t be sure until you get to know him on a deeper level, beyond surface impressions,” Hassan expressed more concern than protectiveness.

“At least observe how he interacts with others, gather opinions from people. Try being friends with him and see how he responds in different situations, just to have some insight.”

Hassan held my right hand affectionately with both of his hands.

Hassan affectionately holding Oyin’s right hand

“You’re aware of the past hurts from friendships because you didn’t conduct thorough background checks; you simply accepted every friendly offer,” he remarked, sensing my growing frustration.

Why couldn’t Hassan focus on the positive side of things?

Observing my worsening mood, Hassan anticipated that it might impact our meal date, so he offered a gentle smile.

Gently rubbing my cheeks to ease my tension, he said, “I’m just looking out for you, but I believe having Stanley as your dependable big brother will be wonderful.”

I blushed and playfully rolled my eyes.

“Can we finally start our date? I’m famished,” Hassan, the food enthusiast, couldn’t wait.

“I didn’t hold you back, sir. You were the one dishing out fatherly advice.”

Our laughter echoed in unison.

Hassan and Oyin share a simultaneous laugh

Hassan started the engine, but then he glanced at me in a sudden rush of surprise.

“When was the last time you spoke to Favour?”

At that moment, I acknowledged my shortcomings.

How could I admit to Hassan that I hadn’t returned Favour’s call since the last time she phoned, distressed and in pain?

Click on the text “next post” below to access Episode 4.

3 thoughts on “Haunted Ep. 3”

  1. Oluwagbemi Solomon

    Looking further to the next episode to unfold the suspense I’m having right now

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