As they reached the village boundary, Usman affectionately patted his friend Nura, who was pulling their cart, and exclaimed with enthusiasm, “Hey Nuru, don’t wait here; I’ll get off here!”

Nuru turned around, stopped the cart, and flashed a smile at Usman. He couldn’t help but chuckle as he replied, “Hey Usman, it’s Hamma Umar we’re talking about. I’m amazed someone can keep you at home like a woman! Listen to you, all wide-eyed now. He’s probably in the hallway tending to the sick folks who come to him.”

Usman, not wasting any time, left the cart and approached Nuru, saying firmly, “I don’t want you getting all love-struck until nighttime, and then you’ll ask me to accompany you. You know very well that Hamma Farouq will ask for me and give me my medicine.”

Nuru just laughed and continued pulling his cart, departing from the scene.

Meanwhile, Usman, armed with a stick and a bit of a spring in his step, made his way into his home. His attention was drawn to some huts in the distance, a blend of traditional and modern structures with grass-thatched roofs, resembling Fulani huts. Sitting on chairs around these huts was a young white man named Shaktawa, strikingly handsome and resembling Dr. Umar Farouq. Approximately eight individuals from various backgrounds had gathered to inquire about his health.

Upon seeing this, Usman quickened his pace and entered his home. He made a cheerful greeting as he stepped into the living room, appearing slightly breathless and wide-eyed. Nenne emerged from the bedroom with a composed expression and inquired, “Usman, where did you come from?”

Usman chuckled for a moment, then sank down to sit beside Ummul, who had been observing him closely, followed by Adam and Sadik, both sporting knowing smiles. Ummul teased, “Is it a complaint from you, Usman?”

He turned his head slightly and replied with relief, “Well, didn’t Hamma Umar come looking for me?”

Adam chimed in playfully, “Oh yes, he arrived on three legs looking for you.”

Usman’s eyes widened, and he retorted, “Well, I haven’t gone anywhere! I just accompanied my friend Nuru for a chat with a young woman, and now I’m sure Hamma Umar will accuse me of not taking my medicine.”

Nenne chuckled softly and commented, “Yes, Father Usman will surely come.”

With a lighthearted laugh, Usman asked, “Ummul, what have you prepared for us to eat? My dear, I’m famished.”

Sadik added, “Yes, she got up and cooked especially for you. She made a vegetable soup for you, and you are under strict orders to finish it.”

Usman’s expression tightened a bit as he remarked during the conversation, “Ummul’s words don’t bother me today.”

Nenne regarded him with a caring gaze and suggested, “Tell Usman to adhere to the doctor’s advice to regain his health.”

Baki interjected, “I’m fed up with these rules. If it’s green, I won’t eat it. Seriously, did you hear what Nenne said today?”

Usman, touched by Ummul’s affection despite the pain he endured, couldn’t help but smile. He turned to Adam and asked, “Adam, what do you think Nuru is up to when we’re away?”

Adam’s eyes widened in amusement, and he responded, “I’d love to know if you tell me.”

Ummul couldn’t resist her curiosity and called out, “Usman, what is he doing?”

Usman playfully grabbed Ummul’s hand and said, “Go and bring me some food, and I’ll tell you.”

“All right,” she replied as she ascended the stairs to the kitchen. Quickly, she served him a meal, then returned to the parlor table, standing before him and placing the food in front of him, eager to hear the rest of the conversation.

Usman grinned and rose from his seat, saying, “Nenne, do you always accompany Nuru? He’ll come and say we’re going for a chat, but when we get there, it’s all nonsense.”

Adam’s eyes widened, and he burst into laughter, asking, “Like a sudden rain shower?”

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