If you think this story is about praising good boys, you are wrong.

If you think this story is about praising bad boys, you are wrong.

If you think this story is about praising men at all, you are very very WRONG.

I remember the way his eyes looked at me that day. The way they danced in unison because he was nervous. I remember the sweatiness of his palms as he wrapped his hands around mine. 

And the way he said the three words I dreaded to hear the most,

“Marry me, Mariam.”

And the unexpected words that spurred out of my mouth in that moment,

“God forbid.”


The first time I met Sadiq, I wanted to hold him. He looked just like a baby, with beards. 

That was what I feasted on. Innocence.

I met him when he was playing a basketball match for our university. He was the player with number 1 jersey. That was a sign—he was the one. The chosen one.

During halftime, I came up behind him and said, “You look like someone that will be in my future.”

He turned around to look at me for a moment. Soon, a smile spreads across his cheeks.

“You look like someone that will be in my future too.” He replied.

And from that moment on, we got married, had three children and lived happily ever after.

In my dreams.

But in reality, there was no such thing as happily ever after.

“Sadiq! Ka zo nan (come here)!” The coach called out to him from a distance, beckoning him to join the other players back in the game.

Without hesitation, he ran towards the basketball court, then stopped halfway. He looked back at me like I was a lost item he had forgotten to carry.

What he did next was quite absurd. He snatched a red marker from one of the whiteboard scorers and told me to write my phone number on his forearm, and I did.


Sadiq didn’t call me that night. Or the night after. Or the next next night.

Because I changed the last two digits of my number on his arm.

I didn’t do all that toasting to just have my number end up on somebody’s sweaty hands. Come to me correct.

This is Mariam Abdulkadir you’re talking to. Every boy’s fantasy… but every man’s worst nightmare. So don’t play with me, Sadiq.

Anyways, Sadiq and I were never bound to meet again. Our university’s campus was so big that the chances of us meeting again was nearly impossible. 

But it just so happened that when fate has destined to bring two people together for destruction, it would happen at all costs.

I met Sadiq again three weeks later, at Zinoleesky’s concert organized in our school. I saw him standing at a distance in between the noisy crowd, dressed in what looks like his grandfather’s clothes and bathroom slippers. It was easy to spot him. He looked so out of place, like he didn’t belong here.

His eyes trailed round the venue like he was looking for a lost friend. But once his eyes landed on me, they stopped at me for a long, slow moment. He looked at me with relief, like he had found his one true soulmate that he had been searching for all his life. I knew that look too well. All my past flings had them.

I stood and watched as he pushed through the crowd to get to me.

“You don’t just make a manifestation and disappear like that.” Was the first thing he said to me.

He went on rambling about how he searched every department and hostel for me. And how his last hope of finding me was through this concert. And that he never attended any social event, but he came here to find me.

I smiled.

Great, another good boy’s heart to break.

“So what do you want me to do with all this information?” I folded my arms at him.

“I want you to give me your real number.”

“You’ve got to earn it.”


“Come to the basketball court at 12 tonight.”

He chuckled at my response, “Shebi you know they lock hostels by 10pm?”

“I don’t care. Take it or leave it.”

With that, I walked away to join my friends at the other end of the venue.

Sadiq was, well, feisty. He did show up at the basketball court on time, even though it was past lights out time. And I, being the Mariam Abdulkadir of University of Southern Kaduna, appeared two hours later.

I thought he would leave like most chicken boys would, but he didn’t. He slept at the bottom of the bleachers with a pillow and a blanket. Hmm, I’m impressed. 

I sat next to him and watched him snore like a new-born baby. When I said I wanted to hold him the first time I saw him, I meant it. And I still do.

Upon feeling my presence close to him, Sadiq woke up and sat up in surprise, like he never expected me to show up. Before he could say something, someone from a distance shouted,

“Who dey there?”

Multiple flashlights flashed on our faces, and it was in that moment that we knew we were in hot pepper soup. The security men have caught us.

Sadiq grabbed my hands, and we began running to only-God-knows where. I could feel the panic jolting up in Sadiq’s skin as we were pursued by the two security men. He was certainly not used to this.

We ran towards the Engineering department and jumped through the window of one of the lecture halls. The security men ran pass the block while we hid in the empty dark classroom.

After their footsteps had faded, I turned to look at Sadiq in front of me. His breathing was heavy and I could hear the loud thumping of his heart as he looked outside the window with panic in his eyes. His hands were tightly wrapped around mine, like he was not willing to let go.

I laughed. Allah, he looked so cute and innocent.

“I can tell you’ve never done this before.” I said through my laughter.

“Do what?”

“Snuck out at night. You look like you’re going to die.”

“I don’t break laws.” He admitted. Soon, he realized he was still holding my hand and quickly yanked his hand from me, “How could you make me do this?! Do you know how much trouble you would be in if you get caught?”

“Am I the only one getting caught?” I scoffed. There’s two of us.

You are the one that will be in more trouble if we both get caught. People will start calling you ashewo (prostitute).”

“Everybody calls me ashewo.” 

That was facts. Mariam Abdulkadir was not just known for having one of the biggest asses in her class, but she was rumoured to have slept with 17 boys in the school. 

It was just a stupid rumour. I’ve not slept with 17 boys. Yes, I have flirted with up to 17 of them, but I’ve only slept with 3 men and all those were exclusive relationships. But Sadiq didn’t need to know all that.

Sadiq and I spent the rest of the night getting to know each other. He was a 200-level Chemical Engineering student, and he didn’t mind that I was two years his senior as a 400-level Law student.

When I asked him who his favourite musician was, he said Beethoven. How do I tell him that Beethoven is not a musician? 

When I told him mine was everyone’s favourite, Asake, he said he hated Asake’s music. Red flag. Run, Mariam!

The night flew by within a blink of an eye. The next morning, we left the classroom while others woke up for prayers. Before we parted ways, Sadiq reminded me of the very reason we were in this state in the first place.

“Have I earned your number now?”

I smiled and moved closer to him. I placed my hand on the nape of his neck and kissed his right cheek.

“You earned a kiss.” Was my answer. And a goodbye message.

All through the day, all I could think about was Sadiq. Memories of last night kept replaying in my mind. Maybe I should have given him my number. Or maybe not. Chai I am so confused.

When night came, I tossed and tossed on my bunk bed. The uneasiness in my spirit did not want to go and I knew it was because of him. This was exactly what I was trying to avoid, having another man take up my entire existence.

I snuck out of the hostel to get fresh air. But I knew it wasn’t fresh air I wanted to get. I wanted to go back to the lecture hall. The place we spent the night together.

As I jumped into the lecture hall through the window, I found a dark figure standing by the corner, almost causing me to jump in fear. It was him. Sadiq. 

He walked towards my side, not too shocked to see me there.

Surprised, I asked, “What are you doing here?” 

“I came to get what I earned.”

He pulled me by the waist and kissed me. 

Seconds later, he tried to pull back, but I pulled him in closer and kissed his soft lips some more. This was where he belonged now, right here with me.


There were four things that came to my mind when I thought about the word love: suffering, torture, betrayal and the biggest of them all, a scam.

When I thought about love, I thought about my mother. The pain she endured all in the name of “love”. I watched the way my father pulled her hair beneath her hijab till the hijab was soaked in blood. I watched the way he pushed her down the stairs. And the venom that came out of his mouth anytime he talked about her. And yet, she still came crawling back to him.

I watched him leave her for another woman and how she cried at his feet, begging him not to go. But he still did. 

I watched my mother hang herself on a tree because “love” had driven her crazy. I swore on my mother’s grave not to let love drive me crazy like her.

And any man that was the sign of my father had no place in my life. I was allergic to his kind, the bad boys.

Sadiq was not like my father. I knew that from the start.

What I also did know was that his desire for me was only for the moment. Like all the other boys in this school, he just wanted to have all the wild fun that most bachelors experienced before they finally settled with their pure and “perfect” virgin wife.

And that was the part that drove me crazy.

When I saw him smiling and laughing with his female classmates, it got me upset. Was he already planning his escape route within less than a month of our relationship? I nagged him about it, but he assured me that I was the only woman in his life.

But that soon became a lie. 

His phone’s screensaver was his mother. This caused our first fight. 

I told him he didn’t love me enough to put me as his screensaver. And I dared him to choose between me or his mother. He kept arguing about how stupid my request was. At the end of the day, he changed his screensaver to my picture. 

Sadiq hated every part of breaking the school rules. But I loved every part of it.

From skipping classes, to meeting up after lights out, to sneaking into empty lecture halls, to even sneaking into his hostel room at night to taste each other’s heavens. He would complain about how much trouble we would be in, but once our lips collided, he forgot about it all.

I loved the thrill of it all. The danger of “getting caught” was what made everything exciting. Seeing him freak out about it made it more adventurous. 

I wanted to spend every moment with him, causing trouble together. On days that he did not call me, I would fetch a bowl of hot water and pour it all over my legs. I would call Sadiq, crying over the phone for him to come and rescue me. I didn’t want him to rescue me, I just wanted him right next to me.

And one thing about Sadiq, he always showed up. No matter what.

Plus, the best part of it all, he was just another fling to me. I had no intention of ever giving him my heart. It was his I was earning.

“Mariam, you need to leave Sadiq alone.” My friend, Amina, warned me one hot afternoon. “He is a good person. You’re supposed to be dealing with only bad boys.”

“Bad boys are boring and predictable.” I said to her, “Same playbook, lame tactics. I want to feel like I am walking on the moon, like I am the centre of his universe. That’s how good boys make me feel. I love the excitement of knowing that I am dominating somebody’s else’s world.” 

“Madam, do you know what you are? A narcissist.”

I blushed, “Thank you.” 

She shook her head at me in disdain.

Sadiq was everything I needed.

Except one thing.

He was celibate.

Three months had gone by and he still hadn’t changed his mind, despite all my seductive tactics on him. But tonight, I wasn’t holding back. I had a game plan.

It was another hot night at the back of one of our lecture halls, doing what we did best— drive each other’s body crazy.

His eyes were wide shut, the back of his head resting on top of the chair he was seated on while I sat on his laps. His lips half opened as he moaned softly to the movement of my hand on his cucumber down to the balloons behind them.

“Babe.” I whispered into his ear as I gently sucked and nibbled on his ear lobe.

He was so lost in the moment that it took him seconds to answer, “Yes, my love?” 

“I have a surprise for you.”

He chuckled, “I love surprises.”

I lifted the hem of my jalabiya up to my stomach, knowing I wore nothing under.

“Let me have a taste of you this one time.”

I spread my legs on top of his already-hard cucumber but as soon as he realized what I was up to, he pushed me away, almost causing me to fall on the floor.

He stood up from the chair and zipped up his trouser right away, “Mariam, what the hell-”

“Hear me out, Sadiq.” I held his hands, trying to still myself from whatever crazy plan I had schemed.

He looked at me in confusion. I stared back at him, my eyes dancing in unison from the nervousness in my chest.

I could feel the sweatiness of my palms as my hands were wrapped around his. Then I let out a heavy sigh before I spoke the three words I dreaded to say the most,

“Marry me, Sadiq.”

His eyes grew wide in shock before the unexpected words spurred out of his mouth, 

“God forbid.”

In shock, I threw his hands away. “Enh?”

“Mariam, don’t get this the wrong way.” He stepped away from me and shook his head, “I cannot marry you.”

I covered my mouth in shock before I let out a hefty laughter. Ah me, Mariam Abdulkadir of University of Southern Kaduna, was getting rejected? It’s a lie. I laughed harder. It’s a big lie.

“I tried to love you, Mariam, but all you did was torture me.” He added.

“Torture?! You’re the one who refused to see my worth.” 

“No, you are the one who refused to see your worth. You try to control every single thing I do because you’re afraid of something. It’s exhausting!  People who know their worth won’t try to force or manipulate their way into being loved.” 

I scoffed at him, “Just say you never loved me and stop mixing words.”

“Oh God.” He pinched the bridge of his nose, then looked up at me in distraught. “You know what? I’m done. I’m done with you just never listening. I’m done with this relationship.”

“No, I am done with this relationship!” I snapped back, “You’re not the one breaking up with me, I am the one breaking up with you!”

“Whatever.” He turned around to leave the lecture hall, but I yanked his shoulders back.

“Did you ever love me?” 

He exhaled in frustration and stared at me for a moment. Silence filled the room for a brief second before he said,

“You never gave me the space to.”

“So it’s my fault?” I scoffed, “Do you know what? Fuck you. Fuck your grandfather clothes. Fuck your fake self-righteousness. And fuck Beethoven!” 

I packed my bag and dashed for the door. I stopped halfway and turned around to look at him.

“You will come running back into my arms! Watch and see. You will regret never loving me!”

“Maybe if you learnt how to take a little accountability for your feelings, love will come your way!” He blurted out.

I slammed the door shut. Bastard.


Sadiq never came running back into my arms. I waited every day for him. I dreamt about it. I prayed about it.

I just needed to prove him wrong, and to show that I was right. I was always right.

My whole devious plan had failed. The proposal was useless. If he really wanted to sleep with me, he would have agreed to marry me.

When my friends and everyone else asked me why Sadiq and I broke up, I told them I rejected his marriage proposal. No one needed to know that I was the one that proposed to him. They needed to see my side of the story, truth or not. And my side of the story was that he proposed, and I said, “God forbid.” End of discussion.

It took me 24 hours to get over Sadiq.

I mourned for the cucumber I never got to ride. And for the remaining five figures in his bank account that I never got to enjoy.

After that day, Sadiq’s existence in my life became a dust in the air, just like all my other past flings. I never cried for a man for more than 24 hours. They didn’t deserve anything more than that.

Plus, there is a popular saying that goes, “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”

The inventor of that quote was not talking to a heartbroken man or woman. He was talking to a hungry shark looking for another breakfast to feast on. Sharks like me.

“Mariam Abdulkadir?” An unfamiliar voice called out to me one unexpected cold evening.

I had just finished from one of my seminar classes when this deep soothing voice called out to me from the hallway. The voice belonged to one of those crouchy boys in my seminar class that dressed like one mallam.

“Can I help you?” I looked at him up and down.

“My name is Joseph.” He smiled and stretched out his hands to shake me.

I did not take it.

Embarrassed, he brought his hand down, though he still had that hopeful smile plastered on his face.

“I-I know you probably don’t know me, but I have been your classmate since 100 level. I always sat behind you, but you never took notice of me.” He rubbed the back of his neck shyly, “I just want to let you know how beautiful you are and that you’ve caught my eyes since the first day I saw you.”

“So what do you want me to do with all this information?”

Baffled by my question, he began to stutter, “I, uhm, want to… to get to know you more. And-and follow you. And know you. Sorry I meant know your time. Earn your time. I-”

He kept stammering, trying to get the right words out of his mouth. His stammering and nervousness gave me all the answer I needed to know. And all the assurances I needed.

I smiled.

Great. Another good boy’s heart to break.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters, locations, organizations and incidents appearing in this blog are fictitious.

Follow my Instagram page @hjthestoryteller for more updates on my blog.

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  • Wendy
    Posted February 1, 2023 7:17 am 0Likes

    Nicely done 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

    • Husseina Jafiya
      Posted February 1, 2023 2:08 pm 0Likes

      Thank you! ❤️

  • D
    Posted April 27, 2023 1:39 am 0Likes

    A good read 👏🏾

    • Husseina Jafiya
      Posted April 27, 2023 8:58 am 0Likes

      Thank you!

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