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Beneath My Heart - Literature - Nairaland

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Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 1:55am On Aug 28, 2018
This is the first time I will be sharing our writing on this forum. We are working towards publishing some of our books, so we want to get feedback from the public before doing so.

A Bellan Fiction Books 2018. All rights reserved.

ONE

Eyes bored into her.
She was attractive and she knew how to flaunt it. Her slim, well-shaped body looked like something out of a special mould. Moulded to perfection. Endowed with moderated curves and edges, flatness and turgidity at appropriate places. Her fluorogenic brown eyes radiated sputtering sparkles that sent shivers into men and made them doubt their masculinity. Eyes that seemed like hypnotizing organs, making men want to do just anything to please her.

The eyebrows were arched and jet black, with winged and curling eyelashes. The way the eyes rolled and shifted coupled with the movement of her eye lashes was an enigma.

Just below a straight nose characterised by narrow nostrils and pointed tip, sat magnolia blossom soft lips. The lips sat firmly to give that pacific elegance, and when curved produced a scintillating smile. Her blushing dimpled cheek served as border line from a front view of a ravishing diamond shaped face.

Her skin was like something out of a smooth surface mesh with moderately fair complexion. Her legs were long and straight with slim hands that ended with long fingers. Her hair was ebony black, oiled , simply made into pig-tails and packed with ribbons.

Her ears and neck were adorned with a Swaroki Henrietta Rhodium plated crystal necklace and earrings. She wore a Gucci intarsia jacquard flowers top over brown Prada straight skirt. Her beautiful legs were comfortably placed in an expensive Paula Cademartori roseline sandals.
She was beautiful and accentuated it with voguish style of dressing. She carried herself with royal grace, but the youthful exuberance was vivid.

This damsel was just one month less than eighteen years old.

She walked graciously, swaying her hips with youthful grace , feeling the world in her pocket, beneath her, in her prime and enjoying every bit of it. This was Naairah Mukhtar, a second year Business Administration student.

She took pride in ignoring those who gawked at her, but enjoyed the attention, which made her vainglorious. She walked into the sophisticated eatery and saw Nadia sitting behind a table. She flashed her a smile then walked towards her.

Nadia was tall, slim with a ravishing swarthy skin. Her eyes were sulky and attractive; her nose was concave and gave her a sharp look.
“You are late, dear.” Nadia said with a pout. “ I told you that I was starving.”
“ I am sorry, baby.” Naairah said in a honey sweet voice. “ I had to get gas.”
“ We call it Petrol or fuel here.”
“ Here she goes again.”
“ Now sit down and let’s eat. I have been sitting here alone like a stranded bride for over fifteen minutes. Some of the guys kept ogling like I was in need of a man to buy me lunch.”
“ Ohhhh..I am sorry.”

Naairah sat down and heaved a sigh.
“ I am also famished.” She said. “ Where did you park your car?”
“Outside. You were too oblivious to notice.”
“ I guess so.”
“ Now talking is over.” Nadia said. “ Where is the waiter?”
Nadia called the waiter.
“ Chicken parmigiana for me and ……”
“ Jambalaya with chicken, Andouille sausage, rice and spices.” Naairah said.

The waiter nodded and left. It was an American restaurant in Abuja City.

The food was served within a jiffy. The girls settled down to eat while they were served drinks. Naairah raised up her head to sip from her drink when she saw him come in. Their eyes met and he quickly looked away. There was an empty table close to them and she guessed he was coming to sit there.

But she could not take off her eyes immediately. There was something about him that made her give him a second glance. He was tall and slim. He covered his Harris Tweed shirt with a brown colour leopard skin Borsalino jacket. His jeans was authentic Calvin Klein which stopped above his Louis Vuttion boots.

He sparkled from the glitter of his Paul Newman Rolex wristwatch. Whoa! This guy reeked of money.
The fragrance of his expensive perfume diffused, giving the air a blend of aroma and cologne.
His wavy hair was worn in an afro cut with a short side burns which stooped at ear length and made thin. Then a swaggering goatee beard and low moustache. His eyebrow was thick over black eyes which radiated buccaneering personality.

His nose was turn-up and the lips were somewhat red. With an aggressive jaw and masculine expression, he cut the quintessence of a dashing man with the world in his pocket.

He nodded at her without a word then sat at the table next to theirs. There was something cold about him she observed. The waiter came to him while he brought some medication drugs from his pocket and put on the table. He held two handsets and one of them was very expensive.
Naairah observed that he did not give them a second look or seemed to remember they were there. That was unusual. Who the hell did he think he was? How could he just give a casual nod and ignore her presence. It was not that she wanted him, or expected him to talk to her but he ought to give her that look every man gave her.

“ Good afternoon, Mr Jalal.” The waiter greeted with reverence. It was obvious that he was known there. “ Your usual, sir?”
“Good afternoon. Yes, Abdul, my usual.”
“ Okay,sir.”
“ Wait.” He said abruptly as the waiter turned to leave. “ God! I left my wallet in my car and it is with my automotive technician.”
“ With what?”
“ My car mechanic.”
“Okay.”
“ And I need to take my medication now. I can’t do that without eating. I beg you serve me now then I come back to pay later. I also hope I can get at least three hundred naira for transportation to the workshop. What a mess!”

The waiter showed a worried expression.

“ What is the problem?”
“ I am afraid the manager is not around and I do not have the authority to do that, Sir.”
“What? Will I run away with your money?”
“ No, sir. You are one of our biggest customers but this thing called protocol and formality is a mess some times.”
The young man sighed.
“ But I need my drugs. I am disillusioned. I spend a lot of money here and you can’t do this simple thing for me. not even for my health?” He smirked. “ Okay, I will leave and if it means going on my foot, I will do it. Thank you very much.”

He made a move to stand up.
“ Serve him.” A sweet female voice emerged.

The young man turned to Naairah watching them. Oh God! She was listening? Now he looked embarrassed.
Now she was glad she made him have this look. The taciturnity had vanished and humility took over.
“Thank you, miss but I would not like to put such a burden on you. I can manage.”
“ It is not fair to turn it down. Please do sit down and eat….for your medication.”
The man looked embarrassed and befuddled. He seemed to be hesitating.
“ Thank you very much.” He said. “ I will drop the money with them when I come back.”
“ I never said I was lending it to you.” She said.

His lips widened and a tremulous smile was produced. Naairah was enjoying the discomfort on his face. She felt like he was kneeling before her as she sat on her throne. She was the queen and he was the subject.

“ Thank you, ma’am.” He said with that mirthless smile and sat back.
His usual was served. American fried rice and chicken soup with fresh fruit drinks.
He ate in silence though he received calls twice. From his conversation, it was obvious he was a young entrepreneur who was into importation.
He did not look at the girls again. Naairah noticed that he finished the food and did not leave ruminants. That was impressive. Some people waste food trying to impress, or avoid being called a glutton, so they leave food unfinished and that was prone to wastage. This guy finished everything and drank his juice.

He took his dugs and got on his feet.
“ Thank you very much.” He said and turned to leave.
What? He did not even bother to introduce himself or ask of her name! That’s it? Who the hell did he think he was?
“ Excuse me, mister.” She said and he turned, giving her an askance look.
“ Here.” She stretched her hand with a five hundred naira note. “ I think you don’t need to go on foot.”

He hesitated.

“ Now, this is too much. I have taken my drugs and filled so I think I can trek.”
“ I insist.”
“Thank you very much.” He said. He moved back and collected the money. “ God bless.”
He smiled at her, then at Nadia then walked out with his imposing, bouncing steps.
This guy was impressive!

Nadia gave her a suspicious look.
“Am I missing something?” She said.
“ Can’t one help a stranded proud guy?”
“ I know you were trying to get him on his knees. And you did just that. Got the poor guy embarrassed.” She smiled. “ But he left without trying to know you….us. He still left with some of his haughtiness.”

Naairah frowned.

That was true. This would not be the end. She hoped to see him again and would not relent until he bowed. The spoilt, rich, arrogant bastard!


She did not see him again after that incidence. She went to the restaurant ( Moore American Restaurant) more than five times but she never saw him. She was forced to ask the waiter who called him Mr Jalal. The waiter said he guessed he must have traveled abroad for business.
She could not understand why she was so desperate to see him again. Why did she keep thinking of him? Just to bring him on his knees? Was she not being megalomaniac?

So he had gone on a business trip. That was the assumption until that fateful day when her cousin, Laila came visiting. As they sat chatting, Naairah saw excitement on her face.

“ What is the excitement all about?”
“ I met this guy, whoa…he was cool. I mean a guy of substance with a great fashion sense and personality. This guy was wearing a Rolex. His clothes were designers. His cologne filed the air….”
“ Hmmmmm…”
“ He was so arrogant at first and would not even look at me, then he got into a fix and I had to help him.”
“ Fix?”
“ Yeah. It was in De Yummies restaurant. He wanted to have lunch so he could take his drugs but forgot his wallet in his car which was with his automotive technician,” she giggled, “I guess that is the American name for auto mechanic. The annoying part was that the waiter acknowledged him to be a very big customer of theirs but the manager was not around and they could not sell on credit. So, I bought food for him. He ate everything and I gave four hundred naira for transportation.
But he did not ask of my name. I guess he was trying to be modest. I know we would meet again.”

Naairah felt a bang in her head.

“ When did this happen?” Naairah noticed the grogginess in her voice.
“ Yesterday.”
“ Did he say his name?”
“ No. I said he so modest. But the waiter called him Mr Jalal.”

Boom!

The nickel was dropped.

The saga begins……………….


tbc

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Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 9:11am On Aug 29, 2018
" I need you to tell me the truth or I get you arrested." Naairah had threatened Nura that morning.
" I don't know him." Nura had said defensively.
" You helped him with the charade. You greet him with reverence; address him as 'sir'. Mr Jalal and give the impression that he is one of your biggest customers. You are part of the scheme, so I give you one more chance, talk to me or get caught up with nemesis."
Nura felt uneasy. This may lead him into trouble.
" You promise to keep me safe?"
"Yes."
" But if you get him arrested, it would surely come back to me."
" You talk as if you have an option ." Naairah said.
" We asked you not to worry." Nadia said. " Just tell us what we want to know."
Nura sighed.

" Okay. He is my acquaintance. He has a skill of making friends with waiters in big restaurants and snack bars. From what I heard, he started by visiting his friends during meal times. He would chat until food was brought, eat then leave.

He once visited a friend of his, when he waited and did not see food, he bid goodbye and wanted to leave. Then the friend's mother called the friend to come and get food. When he heard this, he turned and said he forgot to tell the friend something that happened a day before.
The friend now asked to postpone the gist for another time. He said he wanted to greet the mother, the friend said she was sleeping. So he left, cursing under his breath. That incidence led him to a more sophisticated move.

He began to go round expensive restaurants, waylaying young , rich girls just to get a swell meal and a little change. He uses the change to feed in the night and a day or two more then he strikes again."

" I don't get it. Where does he get all those expensive clothes He uses Rolex." Naairah asked.
" He has his paraphernalia set. He has a guy who sells wristwatches for his boss. So he hires them. He also has another guy who lends him clothes. But not pro bono. There is a quid pro quo. He gives something in return. The phones...the expensive looking one is a crashed phone. It brings light but does not really function. I don't know where he gets colognes."

" Then you and the rest of the waiters who perfect the hoax, what does he give you?" Nadia asked.
Nura looked uneasy.

" He...he gives me tips. Okay, let me say, he does not only target young girls. He targets married women or older women. Some of these women try to know him further, or lure him by giving him more than he asked for. Some times, they give him three thousand naira. When he gets enough to last days, he does not strike again. His problem is food.

When they give him much, he runs away. He does not get attached. All he needs is the food and pocket money. So he gives me something."
" You called him, Jalal. That is a fake name, we know."
"Yes. His real name is Adnan. Surname? Only god knows."
"Where does he live?" Naairah asked.

The waiter shook his head.
"Nobody knows where he lives. Adnan does not have a close friend. If you see him with you, it is for a reason...an ad hoc guy. He is called the Mystery Guy."
" So this is all he does for a living, huh?" Nadia asked.
" That is what I don't understand. He works in a bakery as a labourer. I wonder what he does with the money he gets there."
" Oh my God!" Naairah exclaimed. " And he was making a call to make us believe he was an importer. You even told me that he was abroad on business."
" It is all part of the packaging." He confessed. " He will secretly flash his crony who would call with an American accent and they would be discussing fictitious deals."

Naairah and Nadia exchanged glances and could not help chuckling. Damn! And they believed him.
" Another charade is playing humility by finishing the food." Nadia said. " The guy is hungry. Does he not have a family."
" Nobody knows any member of his family. His pals used to tease him, calling him alien."
" So tell us where he works."

He looked at them with a perturbed expression.
" Don't worry. We are not going to arrest him." Nadia said.
" Big Bakers Confectionery.


Now they were sitting in Naairah's car outside the bakery waiting patiently. Their informant told them that he was on morning duty and would close in the evening. It was almost 4:00 pm.
" I just want to see the shame that would be on his face when he sees us." Naairah said. " Imagine the low life acting like a snub, one that was important."
" It is all part of the packaging."
They laughed.
" I can't believe we are doing this." Nadia said. "We are using the whole day for this low life."
" We better let him know his game is up." Nairaah said, resting her head on the headrest. " Did you see how excited Laila was?"
" The guy is just after food and change not women." Nadia said and chuckled. " Is that not bizarre? "
"Dan dan!" Naairah exclaimed ." Here comes the fraudster."

He wore a faded jeans, which was not the fashionable faded jeans but worn out faded. His shirt was cheap with boots that must have seen the cobbler for stitching more than fifteen times.
He held a loaf of bread. He could not even put it in a polythene bag. He held the bread so dearly it was obviously important to him. He still had that buccaneering personality, and he carried himself with lion-like grace. He walked, or bounced until he almost passed their car.

" Mr Jalal!" Naairah called and came out of the car. Nadia could not help chuckling.
Adnan turned swiftly with a frown on his face. He studied her face. He knew he had met her, and she was one of his mummies (he usually called his victims that). Where? Yummies, Moore's American restaurant, Crystal foods, Cocos', Aci dadi? Where?....okay, he remembered. Moore's American Restaurant.
Damn!
" Excuse me?" He said with a surprised expression. " I am not Mr Jalal."
Naairah smirked.
" We met at Moore's, remember? The guy who forgot his wallet in his car which was with automotive technician."
Adnan still kept his face expressionless.
" I am sorry, you are onto the wrong person."
" Do not play smart with me. You said you needed to take a drug and forgot your money, bla, bla,bla. All acting big and important."
He looked at her and smiled.
" I am sorry miss. I am engaged. She is fiancée and I am fiancé . Fiancée- fiancé . Nice to meet you."
Naairah was speechless.
What did he just say?
" You lowlife! You think I am here to toast you or what?"
" Ohh! Then I am sorry, I don't give charity on Mondays. Which NGO do you belong to? Make Girls Purple, Woman Solidarity Movement, Stop Buying Fake Jewelleries For Babes, which? Drop your address, I will get to you."
She was now red with rage.
" You dipstick! A self-servicer!You are an epitome of first grade troglodyte. How can a jackass like you with no sense of shame yank at me?"

He smiled.
" Thank you for the compliments." He said. " But instead of using the word jackass, why not use asshole instead? How do you see that?"
Damn!
This guy was gut-wrenching. She felt like smacking his face.
" You are the lowest life I have ever seen."
"No. There is a guy called Tanimu. He is worse than me. Would you like to meet him?"
She kept quiet, fuming.
" Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you look when you are infuriated?" He said with a smile
" You look bewitching, delightful, foxy, dazzling ,alluring, exquisite, beauteous and delicate."
" I hate you!"
"Thank you."
"And you will rest in police nest."
"What for? Did I steal from you? For helping you?"
"Help me?"
"Yes! Was that not an opportunity to get reward from Allah? Did you help me for the sake of Allah or as a show off? If it's fisabilillah (For the sake of Allah), then you get your reward. I am now a factor of getting reward for you."
" You are shameless!"
"Wait!" He frowned, making his face granite hard. " Are you flying off the angle just because of the food and change you gave me the other day? How much is it? Tell me?" He said running his palms over his pocket."
" The food was one thousand five hundred and I gave you five hundred naira. Two thousand naira."
He stopped running his hand over his pocket.
" That is big. Thank you."
" I thought you were going to pay."
"I only asked you to know the magnitude of benevolence you displayed. May Allah reward you." He smirked. " You want your money back. I can see why they named you Naira. I heard your friend call you that."

" See? You are so ignorant. Naairah not Naira. Naairah means shinning, bright, you dimwick."
Nadia could not avoid chuckling all this while. The guy was a drama king and his acting was so hilarious.
My friend has met a scoundrel, she thought.

" You are repulsive and pathetic!" Naaira said angrily. " Look at your life. Holding bread without a leather bag."
" Okay Miss Sunshine it is polyethylene bag not leather. Leather is from animal skin. Polyethylene is a polymer consisting of ethylene monomers bonded together and used for plastic containers and bags....."

" Save your lectures. Go get a job!"
He pointed at the bakery.
" I have a job." He said proudly. " I am a production technical officer here."
"That is another word for a labourer. Then stop being a rogue."
" I will think about it. Thank you for coming." He said, bent down and wove at Nadia. " Hello, I am Adnan. We met the other day, right? Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you too."

Oh my God! If Naairah thought she was coming to make this guy feel ashamed and chastened, she was in for another think.

Adnan smiled at Naairah.
" I hope to see you again" He said, " When I come back from Italy. Thank you for coming."
He smiled once more then bounced away.

Naairaah was left speechless. She got into the car and started the car engine.
" What a guy," Nadia said.
Naairah could not talk. She slid through gear and drove off.

Adnan held his loaf of bread dearly and walked passed a car. He was going to beg Maman-Daddy for polyethylene bag to put the bread.
Inside the car sat a girl wearing dark sunshades.
" He just passed by me." She said into her mouthpiece. " Do we pick him now?"
" Are you sure he is the one?"
" One hundred per cent. He cannot hide forever" She said.
" Give him more time. I want to be sure he is the guy we want. What he has is all we need."
" Okay."

She started the car and drove off.
" Daxy." She called. The guy sitting on the passenger's side raised his eyebrow. "He said not now. Let us confirm his profile. But I bet he is the one."
Daxy nodded. " I hope so. We don't have all the time in the world."

Adnan put his loaf of bread in the polythene bag, and crossed the road to buy kosai(cowpea/ban cake) .Bread, Kosai, and soft drink. A cool night ahead. He was not aware that he was being watched.

tbc

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Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 8:55am On Sep 03, 2018
TWO

Alhaji Mukhtar was a chubby sixty-four year old man with grizzled hair and greying beards. He had held important positions in the country before retiring to face his business and he had reasons to say he made a success out of his life.

" What are you insinuating?" He said, taking his eyes off the daily news paper he held to look at Hajiya Fatima, his wife.
She was a graceful woman who was a paragon of beauty. At fifty-five, she still had the beauty of a forty year old.
" I am worried about Naairah."
" What is it this time?"
" Her attitudes. I don't know what she does outside but Naairah is not spoilt when it came to boys but she is wayward. Shi is obstinate, and presumptuous. She is rude. I am worried."

He smiled.

" Gimbiya (Princess) is just a child. She will grow."
"Haba Abu-Faisal (Faisal's dad)! She will be eighteen in the next three days. It is all your fault. Are you the first person to have just one daughter?"
" I am not. I had seven boys before her and she happens to be the last. After all hope was lost."
" So what? Gimbiya this, Gimbiya that. You spoilt this girl. I am a woman. I fear for her future. You and your sons. Their baby sister, the only sister. She sees me as the one who does not like her. I am the one disturbing her peace.

I tried my best as a mother and I still do. She is so recalcitrant she does only what she wants and you are always there to support her."
" What is it this time around?"
" It is about this birthday celebration. Must she organize such huge party?"
" Come on. It is just a gathering here, under our auspices. They eat, drink and feel the grace. It is worth it. Eighteen years ago I was blessed with a daughter. I ought to celebrate got-a-daughter day. We are eleven in my family, all boys, you know it. Let her celebrate it.
I gave her the support. Very soon, she would leave me. A man would take her away. Who knows where he would take her to? She would be out of my authority then. Let me enjoy the last few years with her."
" I hope you train her in such a way that the man would not send her back."
" Audhubillah! (I seek refuge with God)"
" Fact! She does not know how to talk to a man. She does not edit her words. She gives it out the way it comes to her crazy mind."
" Insha Allah (God's willing) that would not happen. Trust me." He gave her a smile. " Come on my dear. The only sugar in my tea, the only mosquito in my net, if loving you is a crime, I will remain a criminal."

"Awnnnn, dad, those vibes are so old school." Naairah said as she came in. That was the part she heard.
Hajiya Fatima grimaced.
" Don't you ever interfere in such a matter. What is wrong with you?"
"She is only trying to upgrade us to a digital world."
Hajiya got up and left the room angrily.
" Dad."
" Gimbiya."
" Is she really my mum?"
"Why do you ask? Who else gave birth to you?"
" But she does not like me. She never sees anything good in me."
" She loves you. She is only trying to make you a better person."
" Hmmm? But....okay. Dad, it is about the money I demanded for."
" Oh...your shopping?"
"Yes, dad."
" I thought you have everything ready."
" Yes but I saw some clothes. They are so beautiful."
"How much?"
" Fifty."
" Gimbiya. You call fifty thousand like fifty naira. Okay, I will give you a hundred so you don't need to come back for more."
He stood up, went to a drawer and brought a bundle of cash and gave it to her.
" Awwwnnn. I love you dad."
" I love you too, gimbiya. I pray your Yarima (Prince) comes to pick you soon."
She pouted like a child.
" Ah'ahn.. I am not leaving this house." She said as she put the money in her bag.
He laughed.
"Okay, dear. Time shall tell. Emmm....have a nice trip."
" Thank you, dad,"
She left the room excitedly.
Nadia was waiting for her by the car.
" See who we have here." Nadia said, standing with a young man. He was twenty one years old, and very good looking. His brocade spelt money, his feet was neatly placed in an expensive Calzaturificio Bertozzi sandals.

This was Zayyad Ibrahim, the son of Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Tofa, a former governor of Kano State.
He widened his handsome face into a broad smile as he saw her.
" Zayyad." Naairah said ."You did not tell me you were coming."
" I goofed." He said apologetically. " I am sorry but I had to come and see the princess."
" Hmmm...how are you today?"
" Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God). You look gorgeous."
" Thank you. You came when we were about to go out."
" Nadia told me that."
She opened the car door.
" Then find another time to come but make sure you call before you come. You just barged in and I so hate it."
He smiled. Oh no! What would he do to get this girl all to himself? She was life! Those eyes!
" When would you expect me?"
She shrugged, opened the car door and slid in.
" Ohhh...I have a birthday party on Saturday. You are invited." She opened the glove compartment and handed to him three invitation cards. You can bring two friends along. Thank you, Zayyad."
He collected the cards and forced a smile. He wanted to be with her, talk to her but she was just so hard to get. His friends warned him. Naairah was a girl of protean character, so hard to please and control.
" I hope the princess will have time for me that day."
She flashed him a smile.
Oh my God!
He wished he could capture that smile on a camera. The kind of shots that won photographic awards. She had done it so easily but it looked like a move that took a model months to practice.
This girl was tantalising him. Dabo tried but gave up, but he would not. He would persevere. Let her use her vintage, but he was not letting go until she was his.
" Don't worry Zayyad. We will find time to talk but remember I am the celebrant and would have to belong to everyone...."
"You would attend to everyone but belong to me."
She chuckled.
" Really?" She nodded. " I will see you, Zayyad. Take care of yourself."
She reversed the car and drove out leaving him standing there.
Hajiya Fatima was watching them through the window. Ya Allah (O God)! Save this daughter of mine. The house maids and workers feared her. She was vituperative and bossy. She prayed for her change. Humility was a virtue.
They arrived Le'Collectibles, a big boutique in Wuse. Leaving the car in the parking space, they walked in after a security man opened the door for them.
" You are welcome to Le' Collectibles." A lady smartly dressed said with an official smile. " You are onto the right place. We got exclusive trending wears with highest qualities and affordable prices. Talking about quality, talk about Le' Collectibles. Please come along........We have Fabiana Filippi collections there, Galvan, Gucci, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana......"
"Thank you very much." Naairah cut in. " I think we know what we want."
The lady paused, still wearing her professional smile but under her breath said ' bitch!'.
" I am glad to hear that." She said. " Please do go round. I am sure you will have lots to choose from"
Naairah was already selecting from a collection, ignoring her.
They spent a while selecting. She had extra money on her to buy more stuff.
" Whoa!" She exclaimed. " I love that Galvan."
Nadia saw it.
" It is an asymmetric halter neck dress." She said.
" It will look good on you." A male voice said. " A perfect birthday dress. Happy birthday to us."
Naairah recognised that voice.
Damn! The scallywag!
Adnan appeared with a wide grin on his handsome face, and his slap happy approach to life on display.
Naairah frowned.
" What are you doing here?"
" Shopping for my babe. That Mirco Gaspari is chic."
" Who told you of designers?" she asked condescendingly.
" Don't you recognise me?" He made an astonished face like ." I won the best window shopper for three consecutive years. I do come to sign autographs some times."

Nadia chuckled. She could not help loving his ways even though her friend was in a fit of pique.
" Now you are stalking me. Who told you about my birthday?"
" This question is like asking an average British who told him Prince William was getting married to Catherine Middleton when the whole world knew about it. You are like them or feel like them...."
"I am not oblivious to sarcasm." She retorted.
" Just kidding. How can I forget your birthday? Remember when we were kids, playing on the fields, riding......."
" Now you are a confirmed barmy! Who did you share childhood with? I never met you until the day you duped me..."
" Shhhhhhh....please lower your voice. I am running for Mayor of Abuja. Do not embarrass me in public. I have a reputation to protect. My political enemies could be around."
" Mayor in Nigeria?" Nadia asked and laughed.
" Sorry, I meant Prime Minister." He said with a serious expression.

Naairah was speechless for a split second. She did not know what to do with him. There was no one who disrespected her like this guy. Zayyad was a real thing. He was real handsome, rich and powerful but he worshipped her just like most of them.
But this street urchin was so uncouth.
" Okay, I heard you talking about your birthday on phone." He confessed. " And I do come here some times."
" I now know why you are here." Naairah said. " You don't just go around restaurants but anywhere rich girls patrol to swindle them."
" Do you expect me to go to Madalla Junction or Zuba junction? The types of swindlers you find there are those who say they came to visit their uncle and he has traveled. They only need fifty naira. When they talk to fifty people a day, they will earn more than Obasanjo's Level fourteen worker. Obasanjo is the president ,right?"

" Can you imagine how backward you are? You are not even sure who your president is." She said with a pout.
" I was in Germany when the election took place." He said with a serious expression. " So you can't blame me."
She realized that he was just taking her for a ride. His reposte ability was befuddling. He had a sarcastic reply to every comment. She hated this guy!

She ignored him and picked the dresses.
" I will come for the party. Do you still have VIP invitation cards?"
" You? In my party?" She smirked. " I don't know how you will get there. He is even talking about VIP"
" What if they ask if we had broken up? If they don't see me there, they will talk."
" Broken up with who? Are you mad? How can I even think of going out with something like you."
" I understand. You are only thinking of marriage. I will think about it. I have to go. I will be there."
" Why don't you find a job in Nollywood?" Nadia asked.
" Ahhh! Which of the Nollywoods. The one in Kano where music comes from the sky and singing starts or the one in Enugu where pawpaw falls from a mango tree? "
Nadia laughed.
" But I got a script for sale. It is a short tale of Jibson. My friend."
" Who is Jibson?"
" He was a crony of mine who traveled to USA inside oil drum. You know all these ' I must make it abroad
guys'. He got there and saw a white girl who was obsessed with Kenyans."
" Why?" Nadia asked.
" She said they always won the longest distant races in Olympics which showed stamina. I don't know what she needs stamina for," he winked, " So Jibson claimed to be a Kenyan. And he started dating her. But trouble started when she also became obsessed with Kenyan language.
And unfortunately for Jibson, she had a friend who also had a Kenyan boyfriend called Gumyota. So she invited her friend and boyfriend to meet Jibson. He ran away and then came back with bags of excuses. This happened twice again.

Then they went to a club and it happened: Gumyota and his girlfriend were there."
" Whoa!" Nadia exclaimed, interested in the story. Naairah was pretending not to be listening, checking clothes while she hearkened.
" No way for Jibson to escape. And to make it worse, it was a club with lots of people. Jibson's girl went to talk to the DJ and to his amazement, there was a great excitement that they were going to be entertained with Kenyan language.
A stage was created, two chairs set for Gumyota and Jibson and microphones set. Jibson was in trouble. If they discovered that he was lying, she was going to deal with him and he may be exposed and deported.
They were made to sit down with microphones set for them. Music was stopped. Dancing stopped. Dead silence. Jibson's heart was skipping beats.
To make it worse, Gumyota was so taciturn, his face was so hard there was no sign of compromise. Ghen ghen......" He looked at his imaginary wristwatch. " Opps! I have to go. Some other time."

" Nooooo! You can't go." Nadia cried. " Please, I want to know what happened."
" How can I say it when my princess is not listening?" He said with a fake grimace. Naairah said nothing. Nadia tried to convince him but he refused, and turned to go.
" Okay." Naairah said finally. " I am listening.....for her sake."
Adnan smiled in triumph.
" Okay. Then after a lot of hesitation, Jibson made up his mind.”


" Jibson knew he was in a dilemma and there was no way out for him." Adnan continued. " So he summed up the courage, looked at the taciturn Gumyota, aware of the curious and expectant audience, then said, ' barka da yamma (good evening)'. He spoke Hausa language which was not the Kenyan language."

Gumyota frowned as if his face was going into total condensation.
" There was Silence." Adnan said. " He said again' cewa nayi barka da yamma (I said good evening)"
Then Gumyota turned at him then spilt his face into a wolfish grin.
" Asha kaima qarya kayi masu? (So you also lied to them?). Ya kake, kamar kai bakatsine neko? ( How are you? Are you a native of Katsina?"
Nadia burst into laughter.
" So the other guy was also a Nigerian! Savage."

" Okay, I think I need to run. I have had enough window shopping for the day." He said with a smile then looked at Naairah. " I will give you a call."
" How did you get my number?"
" I don't have your number. I am going to use mathematical logic, permutation and combination then some matrices to figure out your number." Then he made a serious face, " but if it does not work, I will use witchcraft."
" What?"
" I have two hearts and six eyes." He said as if whispering. " I also got wings. But keep the secret. Now only you and your friend can see me in this room. I am invisible."
" Excuse me, please." A woman said to Adnan who was standing in her way. He moved to give her chance to pass.
" I told you." He smiled. " Only you and your friend can see me. Happy birthday. I will be there. I owe you that...for old time sake. I am going back to my estate."

He gave Nadia a smile and nod then bounced out, with his carefree attitude. He walked out of the boutique, crossed over the road and walked down the street. He checked his pocket, counted his money: Four hundred and thirty naira.
This would last him two days. He still had a loaf of bread at home. He put the money back into his pocket and then kept walking.
He was unaware of a Toyota Carina following him.
" Hey." The girl behind the wheel said as she slowed the car and drove along his side. " Can we talk for a minute?" Adnan turned, looked at her face without stopping. She had big protruding eyes with a hawk nose and thick lips.
" Sorry, I am late." He said.
" It won't take a minute." She said still driving slowly beside him.
" I don't have a minute." He replied firmly. " My wife is the labour room and she is expecting quintuplets."
He accelerated his pace and tried to turn to the next street when she threw a sachet of water which hit him on his back.
What?
Water splashed on his clothes and cascaded down his body. What did she just do?
He turned and moved back towards her but the manner at which she alighted from the car in readiness for him was the first thing that made him cringe.
Then her size. She was a quintessence of a pugnacious, buccaneering tomboy. She was almost seven feet tall, with a strongly built body that showed raw strength.
She wore a brown shirt over black split skirt. Her hair was hidden with a brown scarf and she looked like John Cena in a cross dressing mode.
" Now what you gonna do?" She said in a husky voice.

Adnan paused, shook his head then said, " you are lucky I am a gentleman. I don't fight women."
" Ohhhh, now I admire you." She said sarcastically. " I hope you recognize me ,right?"
" No."
" I am one of your mummies. The other day, I was sitting in my car and you....."
" Now listen, I am not in need of a body guard. I am a celebrity, yes, but I don't move around with a body guard. Can't you see how humble I am. I am not even driving in my Rolls Royce or Limo. Have not touched the Cadillac in months..."
"Listen to me you schnook ! I must talk to you."
" I told you my wife is in the labour room and if you are one of my mummies, then congratulations, you are going to be a grandma."
He turned to leave then gave a hard stare.
" Don't try to throw something at me or else.........." His face became a mask of horror, " I will run away."
She had to laugh.
" Okay, Mr Clawn. You ain't got nowhere to hide." She said. " Don't be a bitch."
" I won't. You got that title already?"
"What?"
" I said you are swell and don't try any bullshit. I am good at sprinting."
"Now let us talk about the micro-chip era!"
Adnan felt a bang in his head.
What did she just say?
" Who are you?" He asked.
" One of your unusual mummies." She said. " We have a lot to talk about. Your wife's labour can wait."
Damn!

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Re: Beneath My Heart by niffyluv(f): 3:54pm On Sep 03, 2018
hmmm... interesting
Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 7:12am On Sep 04, 2018
niffyluv:
hmmm... interesting

Thank you
Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 7:27am On Sep 04, 2018
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you
happy birthday dear Naairah, happy birthday to you
Hip ! Hip! Hip! Hurray!
Hip! Hip Hip! Huray!

Naairah's face beamed with a smile. She was standing before a jumbo cake, beautifully decorated. Her dressing was elegant, portraying the rooster of the walk. Her dress glittered and she looked like a celebrity on red carpet. There was a lot of her friends and relatives there, mostly young boys and girls.

The long table was stashed and cramped with varieties of food. Fried rice, chicken, salad, fish pepper soup, turkey soup, slopey joe, tex-mex, baked potato and lots more. It was a humdinger of a celebration. The place was a cauldron of mirth, persiflage, swaggers,and youthfulness.

It was time for 'item 7': food.

Serve yourself.

Nadia tapped Naairah. " Look who we have got there."

Naairah looked up and saw him.

She was just seeing him and it was obvious he had been around. He wore a clean white T-shirt. It was not expensive, but clean, immaculate and fitted his slim and well built body. His vantablack Gorgio Armani jeans was slim and straight. Sitting comfortably over a white, clean sneakers. The sneakers was not expensive but it looked so simple and chic.

He wore a simple wristwatch with black strap and white case band. His Afro hair was well oiled, combed and dark ending with short, thin side burns. His black eyes hidden behind plane white glasses that gave him a sparking façade.

He was sitting at a corner, sequestered and eating. Unlike the rest of the invitees, he had a large quantity of food in front of him with almost all the varieties.

Naairah could not believe her eyes. Was he the one? How did he get in? She watched him for a while. It seemed all that mattered to him then was the food. He was almost done with it. It seemed nobody was really paying attention to him.

Then she saw something that got her astonished. He removed from his pocket a nylon bag, then poured food inside, making sure he was not watched, he went and hid it behind a big trash can . Naairah guessed he would pick it up when he was leaving.

What? Who was this mysterious guy? What was he? He was esoteric, paradoxical, obfuscatory and bizarre. What did he want with her?

She excused herself and walked up to him.

" What are you doing here?" She asked as he moved away from the can.

He gave a cosmic smile." Happy birthday Miss Sunshine." He said. " It is a day when an exquisite cynosure, in elation with proliferated measure, and pleasure becomes to me a treasure."

" I asked what you were doing here? You were not invited."

" You don't get the quiddity. How can you celebrate your birthday without a national representative? I am representing the nation. The Minister of Youths and Sport to be precised. And I must make an official report. So, I am a national assignment."

" And a minister's representative coming to hide food behind a trash can?"

He raised his eyebrow.

" She saw me! Ohhhh. I am not that smart after all. Okay, let's say my cousin's cousin's cousin's nephew's brother-in-law's wife's second cousin is a laboratory technician. We are going to give the food sample a lab analysis." He smirked. " Okay, let me just say, I am making use of an opportunity. Listen...." He made a serious face, " life is like a computer game. There are hidden treasures as you play along. Some times and most times they are hidden. When you take them, you get more life, or a weapon, or something to add to your value.

That is what I just did. That food would be of great importance to me later. Food is life, take that with you."

" Can you see how low you could get?"

" I can see. We all got talents. Can you see how rude you are? You just turned eighteen. I was once as young as you were. Things have changed. My era of being eighteen is different from yours. Those days....."

" When did you turn eighteen?" She cut in.

" One year ago."

" And you talk as if you were eighteen at the same time as my mum."

" One year, babe. I mean one billion, eight hundred and ninety-two million, one hundred and sixty thousand seconds. That is an era. Listen to me. I am an old man with wisdom."

" Now I am not interested. How did you get in? Do you want me to get you arrested?"

" Okay, I saw a girl coming in so I met her and started talking and......"

"Happy birthday,darling." A voice interrupted. " Officially an adult today."

It was Zayyad. He was looking so good in his designer outfits.

"Thank you Zayyad."

" Please, close your eyes." He said.

She closed it. And a crazy thought came into Adnan's crazy mind. What if he told a girl to close her eyes and when she did, he gave a nice, hot and sound slap?

"Open it." Zayyad said.

She opened her eyes to see him holding a ring box.

" Whoa! Diamond ring!" She exclaimed. " Thank you Zayyad."

Zayyad smiled proudly. " You deserve more."

It was only at that time Zayyad looked at Adnan.

" Hello. I am Zayyad Ibrahim Tofa."

" Alhaji Ibrahim Tofa's son." Naairah added.

" I am Adnan Abbas. I am Alhaji Abbas' son."

They shook hands.

" Your face looks familiar." Zayyad said.

" I was about saying the same thing." Adnan said. " Melberyy High school, California, right? We were part of the few Nigerians in Rosetales chalet. I am Adnan, the little boy to use to get bullied by Nathan Myers before I got me and shawn to give him a black eye...."

"No..I guess you get it wrong. I had my high school here."

" What a resemblance. You just look like Zayyad ab...oh, he was Zayyad Abdul not Ibrahim. Anyway, nice to meet you."

Naairah knew it was a lie but she did not talk.

" I was just trying to see him off." Naairah said. " Excuse me Zayyad."

Zayyad nodded and left them.

" If I give a girl a diamond ring and she dismisses me like that, I will bite her ears. You are so rude."

Nobody ever talked to her like that. Nobody!

" Now you will leave." She said.

" But I have not proposed yet. I came to propose to you."

" May Allah forbid it. Will you leave or till I get you out?"

He saw the seriousness in her eyes.

" Okay. I will leave." He said, began to walk out then paused.

" What?"

He smiled.

" My treasure."

He went behind the trash can and picked up his nylon bag stashed with food. She marvelled. This time, he was seen and some girls stared at him.

He smiled at them.

" There was a prostitute who was forgiven and granted Aljanna (paradise) by Allah for giving a dog water." He said to the curious girls. " I got a big dog to feed." He said and in his mind, he said. " and that is me."He held the bag and she walked him out. "Okay Miss Sunshine, thank you for your hospitality." He said as he got to the exit. "when is our next rendezvous?"

" With who? I don't want to see you again."

" Listen, Miss sunshine. Find time to come out in the night, when the weather is pacific and the sky is Naairah. Take your time to look up, you will see a star shinning so bright and distinct from the rest. That was the first place our hearts met.
They sat on the star to rest, and they were unaware of each because the rhythm were the same. Same wavelength, amplitude and trough. Then they saw each other and fused.

When you look closely again, you will realise that you are a light, and I lost mine, and you led me into brightness. I was lonely on the star and you gave me company, and we formed a new world: Our world.

There was no water but you gave me out of your cell water and I became stronger. I asked who you were, and a voice whispered to me that you have come to be my soul's companion. You came when I was stranded in the sky, in a vacuum, and lost all link with my crew.
A panacea from heaven. A blueprint from above to be materialized on earth.

Look up in the sky Miss Sunshine, what you hear is the song of love sang from above in dedication to us,
and what you feel is the wind of love, that smoothens the soul. No astronaut has gone to the sun where your heart came from Miss Sunshine, so no one can change this heart of yours that is fused with mine except when he goes into the sun.

My heart is bright because it reflects yours. What happens when you take the sunshine away? I will be left in a murky world. Freezing with no sunshine to warm me up. Do that Miss Sunshine and tell me what you see.
Each question carries 200 marks. Happy birthday. Keep the gift I brought for you. It might just be a reminder of me if I am no more."

" Please leave now." She said firmly. " I have got important things to do."

" You just did the most important." He said. " Meeting your future husband."

" Ya Allah! Get out!"

" I love you too."

Before she could utter another word, he was gone. This guy!

Adnan held his polythene bag dearly. He had a lot of chicken meat, fish soup, fried rice and drinks there. The night was going to be a memorable one.

Then he saw the car. Oh God!

He quickly swerved and hid against the wall. He had to change his route .

" I left the car there. " She said from behind him. " And came to wait for you. We have an appointment, right? It seems you have forgotten the micro-chip era. Don't you think this is your last chance?"


tbc

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Re: Beneath My Heart by ayaobaidowu: 7:43pm On Sep 05, 2018
Pls Come and update o
Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 2:00pm On Sep 06, 2018
THREE

She stood still, her heart beating rapidly, her teeth chattering with fear and regret. What on earth got into her head? What kind of curiosity prompted her to this dastardly move? And it was obvious she was in a mess.
It was on that day she came of the bank, about to get into her car when she saw Adnan standing outside. She had been so pissed off. She was tired of bumping into him and his rudeness. He had given her that smile of his while she had frowned.

“ I don’t like the idea of you following about. You are becoming a security threat. I would have to report you to the police.”
He smirked.
“ So I do not have the constitutional and civil prerogative to be here?” He said. “ I am not stalking you, Miss Sunshine. Our hearts are merged right from above so we keep crossing parts. I am doing my job diligently.”
“ Your job is in the bakery.”
“ Did you not read it on the daily’s? Did you not hear Cyril Stober announce it ?”
“Announce what?”
“ I have been promoted.” He said proudly. “ Look at this.” He pointed at his T-shirt and face cap. They had the bakery logo. “ I have been promoted from Production Technical officer to a Marketing Strategist and Distribution Officer. I am in charge of Zone A. And from a daily single bread allowance, I am now elevated to double bread allowance. That means if you agree to get married to me, you will eat bread daily and have one extra.”
“What are you distributing?”
He pointed at a bike that was parked with a box fixed behind with loafs of bread in it.
“ That is the distribution mobile motor.”
“ You have a sophisticated name for everything.” She said. “ But you sound educated. I have heard you mention some things to do with advanced science. What is your discipline?”
“ I attend a private university like you.”
“ Which university?”
“ Miracle learning University.”
She crinkled her face.
“ What? Where?”
“ Sambisa Forest.”
“What?”
“Just kidding.” He chuckled. “ Forget the things I mention. They just come and go. I will submit my CV to you. I guess your family members will demand for it.”
“What for?”
“ New marital requisite factors. Submit marriage proposal along with CVs.”
“ You are crazy. And what is this marriage stuff you keep talking about? Would you believe me if I said I would go out with you?”
“ It does not matter. I love forced marriages. They help shatter the couple’s lives. It makes the home more adventurous . Nothing is boring.”
“ And who is forcing who?”
“ I am going to talk to your father if you don’t agree to marry me. I have a job. You can testify that yourself. I just got promoted.”
“ You got a job but you go to parties with polythene bags for extra food and go after girls for food and money.”
“I was doing it all for you. I am saving for our wedding.”
“Now I know you are sick. You started doing this long ago, after you graduated from going to your friends’ houses for food.”
“ So you know the school I graduated from and you were asking me.” He bowed slightly . “ I have to go. I am on duty.”
Without waiting for another word from her, he left. Was that not rude of him? He took a loaf of bread, came back and put it on her dashboard.
“ What ?’
“ A gift from me.”
“Who said I wanted your bread?”
“ Nobody. That is just a tip of the iceberg. Next time, I will add kosai and zobo drink.”
“ Who said I eat such things?”
“ What is the difference with the burgers you eat? Put kosai in between the bread, you have burgers. See you Miss Sunshine.”
He climbed the bike, winked at her, smiled and then rode away, posing proudly on the bike. It was after he had gone she made a phone call. She had been planning this.
“ He just left. Wait for him at the bakery. He has gone to hawk. He would definitely go back to the bakery. Then follow him. Do whatever it takes to know where he lives. I will reward you handsomely.”

And it was done. It took two weeks to discover where he lived.
Now she was standing in his room. She was told he had gone to distribute bread. She had been too curious.
He lived in an uncompleted estate. She guessed this was what he meant when he said he lived in an estate. He occupied one of the duplexes where some building materials where hidden. She had pulled up her a car in a public parking space and boarded a bike to bring her here.
She had gone round the building before she found his room. The walls were not plastered so he used white used flex advert material to cover the walls. He turned the printed parts inside and showed the white plane part, giving the room a white wall.
There was a small mattress by the wall, neatly dressed with white immaculate bed sheet. The floor was covered with rubber carpet which looked like tiles from afar. His few clothes were neatly hung on a simple homemade hanger which he made by simply nailing a thin wood at a corner of two walls then used clothe hangers to hold his clothes.

On a small stool were his body jell, toothpaste, toothbrush, nail clipper, hair cream, shoe polish and unused soap.
On a building block which he covered with a sheet of paper were two loafs of bread, can sardine, a bottle of coke and a small flask. A small container of sugar, a tin containing garri, three sachets of milk. There were two varieties of kuli-kuli( peanut-cake) there: the Nupe-kuli which was flat and sugary and the conventional one which looked like bullets.

This guy had a proactive potential for his stomach. Did he have chronic ulcer? Was he a gourmand and so voracious ?
Then the part that got her astonished: his library. She was shocked to see the piles of books he had and the titles got her head ringing. Advanced Further Mathematics, Advanced Dynamics, Principles of Complex Calculus, Algorithm, Software Engineering, Engineering Mathematics, Fluid Mechnanics, etc.
He also had religious books, sociology, novels, inspirational books. What was this guy? Who was he? Why was he so puzzling and befuddling?
Then she saw piles of computer laptops. They numbered over ten. There were two laptops by his bed which looked like the ones he was using currently.

This was sticky, bogey and mind boggling.
She had gone into the room and searched. She knew what she was doing was wrong, but she was too curious and the fact that he was always showing up and talking to her got her more nervous. She found nothing substantial except some pictures she saw.
She had not gotten the chance to go through all of them when she heard the sound of a bike downstairs.
She had been so shocked and scared she just returned the pack of pictures and tried to run but it was too late.
She saw him standing before the door and his expression scared her. This was one of the stupidest things she had ever done. She had come alone, not telling anyone, left her car somewhere far and snuck here, a lonely uncompleted estate and alone with a criminal.
The worst part was she had brought herself to him. Oh no!

Adnan stood in his uniform, holding a polythene bag. The room was now getting dark as she had put off her flashlight. All she could see was his silhouette.

“ What are you doing here?”

She was now shivering. She wanted to appologise, beg him to let her go but she did not want to let him see her fears.

“ Trying to know who has been stalking me.”
“How did you find this place?”
“ My secret. Now you know you are not as cagey as you think. You can’t just keep hiding in a hole, come out and fuc* with the world and go back. You keep appearing from nowhere, but knowing about people, and think nobody will try to find you.
You came to me and not the vice versa. And you kept appearing even when you know I don’t like you. So I got skeptical and suspicious. How come you don’t want anybody to know anything about you? What are you? Who are you? Where did you drop from? Who are your family members? And look at where you live. Is this not creepy? Look at the piles of computer laptops you have, is this normal? Look at the piles of books you have. How can someone who cannot feed afford these?
And if you have the knowledge to assimilate all these brain scattering scary books, what the hell are you doing as a labourer who just got promoted to a bread distributor?
You can’t have these books if you are not well learned. What do you want with me? They said you don’t get attached to ladies, your mummies, then why are you sticking by me? You had what you wanted and if there is anyone of your victims you should run away from, it is me because I caught you but no, you chose to keep coming. What an effrontery!”

She could not see his eyes but she was sure he was staring at her.

“ Now you are in trouble.” He said in a low tone. “You are now going to know the real me!”

Damn!

Her heart dropped." Don't even try to hurt me!" She said in a voice which she felt was threatening but the quivering gave her away.

" You will regret it!"
" Regret comes after," he said, "after I have done what I want to do. Hope you know that you are not leaving here today?"
" You can't stop me! I am leaving here now!"
" I am not stopping you. There is a curfew in town."
"That is a lie!"
"Okay. Why do I have to lie? If I wanted to harm you, what would stop me? You can use a loud speaker to shout, no one would hear you. I have locked the exit. There is no way of escape for you. So better stay or get shot by the military men."

She studied him. He moved in, pressed a switch and there was light. There was no visible power supply. Where did the power come from?
He dropped his polythene bag, removed the contents and placed them. He had three loafs of bread as usual, fried fish, a pack of rice and four bottles of soft drinks.

" Don't stare at me like that. I was in in the city when the curfew was announced. Don't know when it would be lifted. I would not want to starve to death here."
" Are you serious about the curfew?"
" Do you want me to open the door for you? There is a twenty four hour curfew. The governor just made a speech."
Her phone began to ring.
She picked it.
" Hello?"
" Where are you?" Hajiya Fatima said worriedly. " Did you not hear what is happening?"
She could not tell them where she was. How could she say she was with a stranger, a man, in an uncompleted estate?
" I was in Nadia's house when I heard." She lied.
" Good. Just stay there. It is very serious."
" Toh (Okay)."
" And behave yourself. Don't go about bossing their workers."
Naairah grimaced. Only if she knew where she was.
" Toh (okay)."
" May Allah protect us."
" Ameen."

The call was ended. She called Nadia.

" I just told mum that I am in your house."
"What? Where are you? The town is red!"
"I know. I went to ...."she looked at Adnan, " I found Adnan's house and he caught me there. Now I am stuck there."
" What? You mean you are in his house right now?"
" Yes."
" What did his parents say?"
" No one else."
" What do you mean? Just the two of you? Like alone in a house, trapped in a curfew?"
" I'm in a katzenjammer!"
" Keep me updated, dear. I will pray for you."
" Toh (okay)."

Adnan looked at her.

" I heard that. You are in trouble, huh?"

Naairah said nothing. She hesitated then asked," What happened? Why was the curfew imposed?"

" Political brouhaha turned into a violent protest and a serious destruction of lives and properties started. The government was proactive. But we will settle it."
" What do you mean by 'we'?"
" Big political figures."
" Are you part of them?"
" I am too big to be there myself. I sent some people?"
"Liar."
"What do you mean liar? Who is Senator Garba Dabo representing? Who is Jalo Gambo of the House of Representatives representing? They are there for me. My constituency."
She pouted." You have ways of expressing your idiosyncratic ideas." She said. " You made it sound like you sent them personally."
"Idiosyncratic? I want you to remember that I am your host now and you are under my care."
" May Allah forbid it."
" What did you say?"
" I said God forbid it."
" I think God just answered your prayer." He said and got up. " Okay."
"Okay? What is okay?"
" I am seeing you off. Anyone or anything in this estate is under my care. Maybe you don't know, I am a Private Intelligence, Defensive and Security Agent: PIDSA. You can see some building materials here. I am in charge of making sure they are well secured..."
" I get it. You are a maigadi ( security man)."
" I am a PIDSA, point of correction."
" So you work in a bakery during the day, then as a maigadi at night and a scoundrel within the interval. What a guy!"
" No prevarication. You said God forbid you from being under my care and I said your prayer has been answered. Come on. You are leaving my estate. I will see you off."
" Wait! Are you asking me to leave?"
" No. It is an answered prayer."
" I can't believe you are chasing me out of this hole. I, Naairah Mukhtar, being chased out of an uncompleted building."
" You will know the value of an uncompleted building today. Come on, let's go, pronto."
"Alright then. Walk me out!" She said angrily.

She carried her bag angrily and followed him. They went down the stairs, passed through the big living room with building materials before he opened the door. She realised that she met the door opened. Why didn't he lock it when all these materials were there?
They got outside the building. It was now a few minutes after 7:00pm. The place was as quiet as a grave yard. The stillness was spooky and she felt a skittish sensation crawling up her spine.

" Okay, Miss sunshine. I will walk you to the gate and you leave. I guess you know your way out because you found your way in. Now you will not be under my care."

She said nothing. The anger on her face was gradually transforming into fear.

" You are a heartless man." She said. " You want to send me out this night!"
" Oh my God! You prayed for it. If you leave, it means God has forbade it."
"But you know what I meant."
" That is what I did."
"No."
"Yes."
"I said no!"
" Then what?" He said. " I said in retrospect that anyone or anything in this estate is under my care. I am the PIDSA and that includes you."

She looked towards the gate which was now a bugaboo. She did not know what lay out there. Times like this was when hoodlums stuck at lonely places or get shot by a trigger happy soldier.

" Yes, you said so."
" If you are going to stay.....no, let me rephrase it, if I , Adnan Abbas , the PIDSA is going to allow you stay in this uncompleted building which will keep you safe, then it means you are under my care, yes or no?"

She felt as if her mouth was zipped or padlocked.

" Yes."
" I want your answer in a sentence."
" I hate you."
"Is that the answer?"

She paused.

" Yes. I am under your care."

He smiled.

" And I will take good care of you." He said sarcastically. " Come on, let's go back."

She followed him back. He locked the front door then went upstairs. She followed him. She still wondered how he got electric power.
He pulled off his shoes, and carefully paced them near his other shoes. She noticed that he was careful of the position he placed them. He meticulously arranged them, making sure they were not out of place. Then she realised that the whole room was like that.
He was very organised and neat. He made sure everything was placed at the right place, taking note of every detail.

" I think it's dinner time." He said as he plugged his phone to a charger. He brought out the pack of rice. " You can take half and leave half for me."
" No thank you."
" Baby this is curfew time. We don't know what lies ahead."
"I said thank you."

He shrugged.
He carried the pack, sat down and munched. He left half, eating neatly from one side. He covered it and then placed it on a stool. He drank a bottle of soft drink then performed ablution to pray.

" So You pray?" She observed. " I thought rogues don't. I would like to pray too."
"They do. I also thought uncultured people don't pray." He said before he started.

After the prayers, he said, " There is a toilet there. There is water. They can't build a house like this without a borehole. You can go there when you want to pee, or fart...."

"Must you go into details?"
" I have to, cos I hate munafikin tusa ( hypocritical farting)"
" What is hypocritical farting?"
" The silent ones. The type that happens in class and everyone is grimacing, grumbling, squeezing nose and you begin to wonder who did it. When you see a student raising up his head like he can't see the board well, he is actually raising a part of his butt, to give some gap between it and the chair, to avoid a sound, and he releases the virulent gas, and would be among the first to squeeze nose, hmmmmmm, who farted? Who messed up the air? Who polluted the air and my brothers in the down part of the city would be like. Yeahhhh, na who mess (Who farted)? E no go better for him mama and papa ( It will not be well for his parents)."

She shook her head. She was going to share a night with a whimsical bloke. She said nothing, got up and went into the restroom. The neatness marvelled her. She performed ablution then prayed.

He threw a thick blanket to her.

" It gets very cold here. We will need this."

Her eyes enlarged in fear.

"We?"

He laughed.

"Just kidding." He said. " You can use the bed. Something for a change, huh? Not your usual royal king-sized bed in a fully air-conditioned room. One day, we are all going to be in a tight hole, no tiles, roof, furniture....just firewood, leaves and mud. Pride is a bastard."

She said nothing. She wondered if she could sleep with him in the same room. Ya Allah! She had never been with a man like this. What if this crazy guy decided to....no, no,no.....

She watched him spread some clothes on the floor, he muttered some prayers and closed his eyes without talking to her. She was shocked to realise that he fell asleep at once. Did this guy ever have any worries? Did he ever get angry?

He was difficult to understand. He seemed very bad, and sometimes harmless. She did not know what to think of him. But as she watched him sleeping now, she knew she had a lot of questions she had for him.
She was now feeling very hungry. She had been feeling it for a while but let her ego took control. There was an Hausa aphorism which said 'yunwa bata da hankali (hunger is senseless)' which she learnt from the almajiris .
She silently drew the food closer and ate silently. She gulped a bottle of soft drink and felt okay. She saw Nadia's call. Her phone was in silent mode. She hesitated. She did not want to wake him up. The devil could creep into his mind.
She ignored the call. She sent her a text: He is sleeping. We would talk tomorrow. Our guy is a mystery. But he did not try to rape me. I need your prayers. May the devil not come into his crazy mind.

She felt so sleepy. She tried to fight it, stay awake till morning but she capitulated and lay on the bed. The last thought on her mind before she fell asleep was the picture she saw.


Who was this guy?

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Re: Beneath My Heart by nastynic(m): 2:57pm On Sep 06, 2018
Dope Bruh...



All Your Stories are Classics
But please do me A Favor,
*
*
*
Don't abandon any of Em Else I'll Commit Suicide

1 Like

Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 3:03pm On Sep 06, 2018
nastynic:
Dope Bruh...



All Your Stories are Classics
But please do me A Favor,
*
*
*
Don't abandon any of Em Else I'll Commit Suicide

Haaa!!! Suicide!!! Abeg ooo. No go dia.

Thanks for the complement.

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 4:08am On Sep 08, 2018
“ Wake up, Miss Sunshine.” His voice brought her out of a deep sleep. She was curled up under the fluffy thick blanket. He was right when he said it was severely cold there. And for seconds, she wondered where she was until the bitter truth dawned on her. Why did she allow herself sleep? What got into her? She was meant to be on guard, with a bottle of soft drink close to her. What time was it? She felt like yawning but pressed the urge.

“ Good dawn.” He said. “ Prayer time.”

He said and it seemed he had already performed ablution.

“I hope you have not forgotten where the restroom is.”

She said nothing. She uncovered herself, making sure her body was well covered, then walked towards the restroom.

“ I have a new toothbrush for you. I was wise enough to have three. I only used that one like twenty times, when I had a mouth disease.”
“What?” She paused, alarmed.

He giggled.

“ So she talks at dawn.” He said, spreading the praying mat on the floor. “ I was just kidding. I have two extra and you will be the one to tear off the pack. It is new.”

She sighed then went in. As she brushed her teeth, she heard him praying.
She performed ablution and came out. She waited for him to finish. He left the praying mat for her and set aside for azkar (meditation). She prayed silently while he supplicated. After the prayers, she sat on the mattress and covered her body with the blanket.

“ How was your night, Miss Sunshine?”
“ Alhamdulillah.” She replied curtly. “ Do you have an update on the curfew?”
“ It is just a few minutes after six o’clock. The minister has not called me yet.”
“ Can’t you be serious for once?”
“ I am serious. Who could be more serious than someone who is asking about the update of a curfew that was imposed yesterday, early in the morning?”
“ I am just so uncomfortable here.”
“ I know. I am too.” He said and looked at the empty park of rice. She quickly took off her eyes. She thought he was going to make fun of her.
“ So you pray, and must have Islamic knowledge, yet you do the things you do.”
“ Yes. I am not perfect so I am prone to goofs. I have my weaknesses though I try to avoid al-kaba’r (major sins). I am not justifying my actions but the essence of prayers is to take you away from them. Zikr ( remembrance of Allah) cleans the heart. I would not say because I have my faults. I would not pray. What would I have been doing if I didn’t pray?

Sometimes you are plunged into a sin, a route that will lead you to a major sin and your prayers will bring a way that will bring you to senses. What matters most is recognizing your goofs, accepting and never going back to it.
We all goof. I don’t know about you. But I do but I try never to go back. There was a time I never used to perform salat. A dark era of my life.”

“ I am not perfect too.”
“ I have bread and tea.’ He said. “ For breakfast.”
“ Talking about food so early.”
“ You don’t know the value of food because you have never been without it.” He said. “ It has always been just an inch from you. All you needed was to need it and it was there. And you always had options, choosing what you want to eat.”

Did he have a history?

“ Did you fall into a situation?”
“I am sorry, I don’t talk about myself.”
“ Yet you claim you love me. You have been saying that.”
“ I was just blabbering.”

Why did she feel bad when he said it? It was not like she liked him but telling her it was a joke hurt her.

“ Why such a joke?”
“I am sorry but I thought you knew because you always chased me away. Besides, I don’t know what love feels like.”
“What do you mean?”
“ I don’t know what love feels like. I have never been loved, and I don’t think I know love. How can I know love when I was forced onto the street since I was nine years old? No parental guidance of love. ”
“Oh my God! You must have had a hard time, What about your parents?”

The question seemed to have erupted a wave of pain in him. She saw an expression on his face, a type she had never seen on him. There was a glint of sparkle that flashed from his eyes, like he was accumulating tears which he quickly submerged.

“ I am sorry. I don’t want us to go into this.”
“ It seems you have never shared with any one. And that makes the pains more excruciating.”
“Share? I have been alone all my life and I don’t trust anyone. Nobody loves me and I don’t think I have love for anyone. I told you, I don’t know love. I know how my friends treated me because I wanted food from their houses. I was like their dog. They would send me on errands because I wanted food. I would be chased like a dog.
They would say they were not around when I visited because I was seen as a food monger. I had no home and no one took me in. Nothing was given to me pro bono. Who can I trust? Who can I love? What is love?”

She was silent. There was a lot going on in his mind. There was a lot encapsulated in his heart. How could ever guess this carefree, loud mouthed guy had a sad side?

“ Maybe the love has been on its way. Maybe it had always been there but you were too paranoid to give it a chance. You can’t be independent. You have to share. I am not saying with me. But with someone.”

He was sitting and resting his back on the wall. He had not revealed anything about himself to anyone before. She was making him talk too much.

“ Don’t talk about parents…….I never had parents.” He bowed his head.

She was now touched.

“ I saw your picture.” She said calmly, wondering when she learnt to sound so caring and calm.
“ What?”

She nodded.
It was the picture of a man carrying an infant in front of a wasteland.

“ I was found on a waste land.” He said with a heavy heart. “ And taken to the police station. I was later adopted by a family. And I was given to a maid for nursing. But immediately I was four, I realized there was no love for me. Can you believe I still have vague memories of those days? When the wife of the man who adopted me would not let me come close to them?
When the children were playing and I tried to join them, they would start shouting, like an alien just appeared and the mother would come out, spank me and chase me away.
I would watch them play with toys, go for family outings, eat snacks and I would go and pick the empty packs to get crumbs. I would lick the chocolate wraps. I did not understand it then. I just knew I lacked something. When I was five, I realized what I lacked was parents.
She told me I was picked from the bin. She called me Adnan Bin. The children called me Trash boy and made a cartoon of me, a super hero who carried trash and my super power was gotten from rotten bread.

The maid hated me so much. I was meant to be under her care and she saw me as a source of pain. She would beat me while bathing me. I dared not say I want to pooh. She would curse; beat me and complaining that I was stressing her. I was put in a cheap primary school unlike their children. I was never given money for break. And my journey to hunger land began. I was always hungry and would do anything to get food. I would wake up at night, just at the age of seven, sneak to kitchen, steal food and eat.

In school, I would go round during break begging for food. I would see you eating and then spread my palm. Some would give while some would chase me. I never knew this was gradually implanting a negative impact on me that begging and stealing were means of getting something.
One day, I was caught stealing food at home. The woman tied me up for two days without food or water. I fainted and was rushed to hospital. She said, I had a fever and had refused to eat. She threatened me that if I ever told anyone, she was going to kill me.

When I went back home, I took my picture which they gave to me to always remind myself that I was picked from the bin, my cradle, and then hid it in my sack. My school bag was made of sack. I made it.
The next day, I left and went on the street. I was nine. And I started living on my own. I used to sleep inside abandoned cars, door mouths, uncompleted buildings and I saw a lot in my life.

My worse periods were rainy and cold seasons. Sometimes I would be sleeping in the open and it would start raining. And I would wake up, having nowhere to hide. I would sit down and let the rain pour on me, feeling cold and having no clothes to change.
I used to go to the stream to wash my clothes every day. I hated dirty clothes. So when my clothes became three pairs, I was very happy.” He paused. “My only problem was food. I did not bother much about other things like food.”

She now understood why he had so much value for food.

“ And I have been like that ever since.” He said.
“ But you got a very sound education.”

He smiled. She could see pain in that smile.

“ Remember when I said I attended Miracle University?”
“ Yes.”
“ I meant the miracle aspect of it. I stopped attending school in primary three.”
“ What? Look at these books, the science you have been talking about. I can’t believe that!”
“ That is a miracle. I never attended a class after primary three.”

She looked at him, at his books, his speech, the enigmatic epistemology he displayed.

“ How did you do it?”

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Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 4:27am On Sep 08, 2018
FOUR

“ I developed love for knowledge at a very early stage.” He said. “ I used to be a dan gwangwan (scavenger). We go about, pick things from rubbish and sell. When I do this and get money to buy food, I would go and hide behind a school class and be watching them. I used to vault over the fence, like I was going to steal, which of course was stealing of knowledge.

I would be listening from outside. I was caught one day ad beaten to pulp. I was accused of coming to steal. So I stopped. I could read and write. I developed a habit of collection of books. I never cared about topics. I just read anything that came my way.
Then I left Abuja for Zaria. I started as an errand boy, carry loads when students resume and get paid. So I got customers. Girls were more compassionate. When I worked, I would demand to be taught something in return. The guys would teach me. The girls would teach me and give me something, feeling sorry for me.

I learnt the basic foundation in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. I used to lack money for food because I was paid by teaching while the security men began to stop me from going to girls hostels because I was growing.
I became a science freak then crossed to computer. My love for computer knowledge led me to learn roadside computer engineering. I realized that my boss only knew much about hardware. I was very interested in software.
I learnt it and found a knowledge that would get me into trouble. Something very deep.”
“ What is that?’
“You better not know about it.” He said. “ I guess you can see lots of computers here. ICT is my life.”
“ Then why are you not practicing. You should have enough to take you off waylaying girls for food.”
“ Have you forgotten that we live in a country where they only consider paper qualification? I had to write common entrance to get a primary school certificate. Then I wrote GCE. I am a proud owner of secondary school certificate. But that is where it ends.
But my work as a PIDSA and my job at the bakery is enough to give me a decent meal but I do not collect salaries. I collect all these books on credit and my salary is used to pay for them. I am still paying for the new computers I bought. Those ones are old versioned. Their configurations cannot handle my projects now. But they were very useful for what I used to do back then before I quit.”
“ What was that?”
“ You better not know. Part of the trouble I got into.” He looked at the wall clock. “ Do you know what it feels like not knowing your parents? As in, not that they died but you don’t even know who there are?”

She said nothing.

“ That is my greatest pain in the world. Who am I? What happened to my parents?”

She did not want to suggest an unwanted pregnancy.

“ Who are the people that adopted you?"

He had not expected that question.

“ They are around. They are still in Abuja.”
“ You are still in contact with them?”
“ No. I haven’t met them for ten years. The kids are all grown.”
“ How sure are you?’
“I saw one a couple of days ago. He did not recognize me.”
“What do you need all these books for?”
“ I need the knowledge. I am onto something. Don’t ask me what.” He smiled. “ And don’t ask me about what got me into trouble. The world is not what you think it is. It is deeper. We see some things in movies and call it fiction…..they exist. They slam some facts onto our faces, we laugh, get entertained without knowing the quiddity.”
“ Now you are going deeper. I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“ Better. Now I have talked. You cajoled me…..”
“ I did not. You have never opened up and I am sure you feel better sharing.”
“ I hope I shared with the right person.”
“ Do you think I have a big mouth like you?”
“ And that reminds me, I told you my history and how I got respect for food. Tell me about yours, how did you get it?”
“ Me? Get what?”
“ Your rudeness. I want a history.”

She grimaced.

“ You just gave me a touching story about yourself. Can’t you spare me at least ten minutes to sympathise with you before you resume being a gut-wrenching bloke?”
“ Sympathise? Did you have the privilege of living my kind of life?”
“ Privilege?”
“ Just kidding. Thank you for planning to sympathise before I ruined it.”
“ Yes, you ruined it because I feel nothing for you.”
“ But I love you.”
“ What do you know about love?”
“Love means love and by saying love, I mean love like love.”
“ Adnan, you are crazy, do you know that?”
“ You just broke the good news.” He smiled. “ Talking about love, I know you are in love with me but I don’t like gold diggers. I hope you are not after my money ,right?”
“What? What money?” She said with a crinkled face.

He laughed.
Why did she always fell for his babbles. She had responded before she realised it was one of his blathers.

“ You will be the last person I will ever fall in love it.”
“ I know. Who would you tell them that I am? I don’t even have parents, no roots, don’t even know my state of origin ……”
“ I did not go there. It is not about that.”
“ Do not feel guilty. I have always thought about it. Who would give his daughter to me? If the family who had adopted me had been nice, I would have been better.”

She wondered how someone could give birth to a child and dump him.

“ I would do all I can to find them. Even if it their graves.”
“ How do you intend to do that? There is no record. You said you were found on a rubbish site.”



Adnan remembered what Bash had said a few days ago. A new discovery which he had never dreamt of finding.

“ You are acting all stubborn.” Bash had said. “ We know you. We will give you ten million naira.”
Adnan had smirked. “ Do not think such an amount can make me change my mind.” He had said. “ I have over one billion naira in my account, two houses in Victoria Garden City, two in Asokoro and a country house in Miami. So fuc* your ten mil.”
“ Where do you have all of these?” Bash had asked.
“ In my day dream.”

Bash had laughed.

“ They told me you were crazy, but you are crazier.”
“ I have to leave. I have got bread outside. Won’t you guys buy some? Our bread is delicious.”
“ We have another offer.” Bash had said. “ If you oblige, we would not reveal the micro-cheap era and you will have the chance of knowing who you are.”

Adnan had paused and turned.

“ What do you mean?”
“ You will have to tell us what we want, and do what we want and you will know what you need most in your life. We know all about you Adnan.”
“What do you know?”
“ You were not picked up from a dump site as claimed.”
“What are you talking about?”
“ You were brought there to be pictured.”
“Why would they do that? And who?”
“You can’t get that for free. There is a price for it. He said. “ Your life is more complicated that you can imagine. You were brought for a purpose and something happened. Let me tell you this, there is someone living your life out there. A life that was meant to be yours. There is another Adnan Abbas. I guess you don’t know why they gave you the surname, Abbas. We got your cradle. Recognise this?”

He showed him a white fluffy cradle. Adnan saw it to be similar to the one in the picture.

“We were expecting your reaction.” Bash had said “ And we were ready for you. You were not dumped. You were brought from somewhere. Now, I guess you would love to know where you came from, ICT Boy. And when you do, you will be shocked. The mistake they made was leaving a tag on your cradle with the name, Adnan Abbas”

“ This sounds ridiculous. Who are you? What are you? How do you know these? You are about my age mate.”
“ I am twenty three, Adnan. But you don’t know shit about me. We know things because we look for things. I give you three days to think about it. Have you heard that Nigerian prisons are so congested and yet they would still accommodate more inmates…..like the micro-chip guy? Then think about the freedom, money and a chance to know who you are.”


Adnan looked at Naairah.

“ I think I might have a clue. But it is very complicated. It is coming with a high price.”
“ Like money?”

He shook his head.

“Something very big. Something very dangerous but I really want to find out.”
“ You are never explicit. You are so cagey and obfuscating. What is it?”

He shook his head.

“ Please do not ask me. You better not know about it.” He said and looked at the wall clock. “ Time for breakfast.”

As he went to get the flask, he made a decision.








“ I saw a guy today.” He said. “And he looked like Adnan. ”The elderly man looked at the young man with a smile.
“ That is impossible.” The elderly man said. “ Besides, you cannot recognise him. You were both young then.”
“ I need an explanation.” Said the young man. “ You said he is your biological son and I am the adopted son. Why do you prefer me to him? I remember how he was treated as a child.”
“It is a long story, Adnan.” He said. “ With lots of complications.”

The young man sat down.

“ I think I have all the time to listen. I feel some things are so strange.”
“ You cannot get all of it today.” He replied. “ But I had to sacrifice my son for you. You may not understand this now. It is bigger than me. You are a world figure. You were born for this. You are the real Adnan Abbas. We named him Adnan Abbas as a charade. You were born just three days apart. He is older.”
“ Born for what? Who is my real father? What am I born to do? “
“Calm down. The elders will tell you when you are ready.”
“ I am ready. It's just too spooky.”
“ You are not ready. You are just in the second phase.”
“Of what? I have been undergoing strange training and learning, yet I don’t know what for.”
“ I said calm down. Your father died a long time ago. He was called Dr Abbas. You were the only survivor of a plane crash. So we took you in and promised to fulfill your father’s dream. I cannot reveal anything to you now. I have done enough. My real son ran away ten years ago and we are sure he is dead.”

It did not make sense to the young man. Too many mysteries. But he was going to tag along.

“ I advise you to keep enjoying your position. You are a billionaire, and have a power that is beyond your knowledge. Think about that and calm down.”

But something kept telling him that the young man he saw was Adnan.

“What if he is alive?”
“ He is not.” Said the man. “ But if at all he is, then that will be very bad…..for you and me.”


tbc

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Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 12:21pm On Sep 08, 2018
Nadia looked at Naairah suspiciously.

“ Can I know what is going on?” She said with a roll of eyes.

“ What do you want to know?”

“ You get trapped in an uncompleted building with a heist for two days and now, a week after you are expecting him to take you out? I don’t get it. What happened there?”

“ Wallahi nothing grubby happened if that is what you think.” She said assertively, “ he is not that crazy. It seems his dirt ends with his mouth.”

“ Then the outing.”

“ I am not dating him and I am not going to date him. I am not in love with him but he is someone people don’t know. I judged him wrongly.”

“ So what? I guess he filled you up with tales of tears and you feel so compassionate. I don’t trust him but I like his personality. He is a funny guy but we should not be deceived. He is an opportunist.”

“ I know what you are talking about but I think I know him more than you do.”

“ Oh my God! What happened within those two days? Did he hypnotize you?”

“ I got a chance to know him better. I was with him for two days, two nights and he never did anything stupid.”

“ Maybe he is sick….”

“ What do you mean sick?”

“Impotent.”

“ Nadia!”

“ I am just warning you. He does not even belong to our class. I see him as a clown . I enjoy his entertainment. But you are taking it too far.”

“ If the definition of a clown has not changed, then he is the one who should call people clowns.”

“ What?”

“ Kallan doki da ciyawa ake (this is a Hausa aphorism where a man sees someone as a horse while the person sees him as grass). He knows what he is doing.”

“ May I know what he is doing?”

“ He did not tell me. I just saw some things.” She lied. “ I feel his major crime is going to get food from girls.”

“ So that qualifies him to take you out, huh?”

“ We are not going on a date like dating date.”

“Whatever.”

“ I asked him to come. He was here two days ago……”

“What?”

“ Yes. He supplied us confectionaries. Their product is good so we got talking.”

“ You ate some there.”

“Did I have an option? So I asked him to bring some. While we talked, he mentioned a new place where they sell Kano sinasir. You know how much I love it and miss it. So he offered to take me there. I am going to get some take away and of course buy for him.”

“ Hmmm…so you are going to pick him? I mean at his ‘estate’?”

“Why should I go to his place? He is coming to pick me. I think he is close by.”

“ Pick you. The guy does not even have a car.”

“He does not want me to use my car. He says he has hired a Royal Cadillac Cart.”

“Whoa! That must be expensive.”

“What kind of car is that?”

Nadia grinned.

“ Okay, I don’t know it. I just did not want to admit it on time.”

They laughed.

“ You are packaging for me?”

“ It was a slip of action.”

Naairah’s phone rang.

“ Hello.”

“ Miss Sunshine.”

“ Adnan.”

“ I am outside.”

“Okay.”

Naairah ended the call.

“ He is around.” She said.

“Let’s go then. Let me see the Royal Cadillac Cart.”

The two girls left the room and Naairah saw Zulai, one of the house helps.

“Zulai, please come.”

Please?

The girl came with fear displayed on her face.

“ Can you wash my restroom, please?”

The girl looked astonished.

“ Yes, ma.”

“ Thank you. There are some clothes on the chair before the dressing mirror. I left them for you.”

“To wash?”

“You are not the laundry girl. For you to slay when you go home.”

“ Thank you. May Allah reward you, thank you, thank you, thank you very much. "

Naairah laughed.

“Nadia, let’s go before she kills me with thank yous.”

Nadia was speechless. When did she start talking to maids like this?

Adnan was dressed in a grey coloured caftan with a grey cap. He wore his plane glasses which gave him that dainty look.
She had never seen him dressed in a caftan.

“ Good afternoon, Adnan.”Nadia said with a smile.

“Good afternoon, ma’am.” He replied and then smiled at Naairah. “ Miss Sunshine.”

“ Hello Adnan. Thank you for coming.”

“ The pleasure is mine. Shall we?”

“ Where is the…..” Naairah began.

“ Royal Cadillac Cart? Right outside.” He completed.

He led them outside as the girls were eager to see the automobile.
What they saw was a brand new tricycle ( Keke Napep) with a man leaning on it proudly.

“What? Is this what you call Cadillac cart?” Naairah asked with a frown. “ And you told me not to use my car.”

“ Prince William used a cart on his wedding day, just last week. It is for royalty and you are a princess.”

Nadia chuckled.

“Adnan. Why are you so ….I don’t even know what words to use.”

“ What is wrong with it? This chauffeur was hired by me for the whole trip. He only carries VIPs. He was the one who carried Fabio, last week,”

“Who is Fabio?” Nadia asked.

“ He is the best player of Garki Football club. He is an upcoming football star.”

“ Garki here? And you call him a VIP?” Naairah asked.

“ Okay, I don’t have a car and I am not going in your car. I am the one taking you there and the means of transportation is my call.”

“ I think I should get my car and leave now.” Nadia said. “ I can see a beautiful day ahead.”

Naairah stood watching the tricycle. She had never been in it. How could she go out in this thing?

“ Excuse me.” Nadia went inside to get her car.

Naairah shrugged.

“ Let’s go.”

“ That’s my girl.”

“I am not your girl.”

“ Okay, I am your boy.”

“ Can’t you just hush? You are getting me pissed off. You asked me to keep my car and go out in this?”

Adnan was already seated while she stood at the other side.

“ What? This space is for three.” He said. “ But since it is a chatter, we are just two and not prone to body contact.”

“ Whatever.” She said and sat down. Nadia drove out of their compound and gave them a wave. Naairah could see the mockery in the smile Nadia flashed.

The tricycle was set in motion. It was the first time she was riding in it. She was always scared of it. It moved like it was going to fall off. She just did not like it. But now as she was inside, it did not feel as bad as she had anticipated.
As they rode along, Adnan remembered the words of Bash.

“ If they ever find out that you are alive, you are a dead man. We keep you because we found that you have what we have been looking for all these years. We never knew you were the Spirit. Bash made the greatest discovery of the century. We will keep the secret if you would play along. We have so much on you. Do not think you can escape this. And remember, you have a chance to find out about the mystery behind your life. It is either you, or the other Adnan. Only one king must be alive.”

“What is wrong?” Naairah’s voice brought him out of his thoughts.

He forced a smile.

“ Just calculating. I got a lot of distribution to do tomorrow.”

But she did not believe him.

He had just one more day.


tbc

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Re: Beneath My Heart by Seanixking: 1:32pm On Sep 08, 2018
Really captivating. More update, please.

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Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 6:50am On Sep 09, 2018
Eighteen years ago


“ Stay with me ! Hold on tight !” He screamed. “ I am with him! I got him. Hold on! Aadilaaaaa!!!!!”

He paused, breathing hard, and then sat up before opening his eye. At first everything seemed so blurry, he closed his eyes again before opening it. The eyelids seemed tight and heavy as if he was opening a sealed package.
Gradually, his vision came to a focus then he heard a voice, like an echo from afar.

“ He is awake!” It was a female voice. He opened his eyes.

A man rushed into the room excitedly and saw him. He was sitting, gaping at them.

“ Who are you?” He asked, looking from the nurse to the man who looked like a doctor.

“ I am Doctor Mark. This is Angela. You have been here for eleven months. What is your name?”

The man looked confused. He was a coloured man, with thick hair and heavily bearded face. His eyes were so thin and weary. His nose was hooked, with thin dark lips. He was heavily built, with a stout chest and broad herculean shoulders.

“ What is my name?” He asked as if it was the strangest words he ever heard. “ I don’t know.”

The doctor and Angela exchanged glances.

“ What happened to you? Can you remember the last thing that happened before you fell into coma?”

“ Coma? I have been in a coma?”

“ For almost a year.”

“ I can’t remember anything.”

“ You have not opened your eyes for all those while but you do seldom come out of coma, say some things then go back. You have never come awake like this, and you were always hysterical, agitated and keep mentioning Aadila. Do you remember anyone like that in your life?”
He shook his head.

“ No. Never heard the name.”

“ Your accent is American. Are you African-American?”

“ I don’t know.” He said with a deep breath.” I don’t know anything. Where did you find me?”

“ I did not find you. Someone did. He did not leave any address. He just dropped you and left. We talked to the police but they could not identify you. But we found something on you. It was hidden in your belt. It is a note.”

“ A note.”

“Yes. It contains just figures. 00030. That’s it.”

“ I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“ Hmmmm….how do you feel? “

“ I am okay, just tired. Where am I ?”

“You are in a small village near Santa Cruz de la Sierra.”

“ Where is that?”

“ Bolivia. Can we take this off? Can you stand up?”

“I guess I can. I am hungry.”

“ Sure.” Dr Mark nodded at Angela. She went out while the doctor took off some tubes connected to him. “ You must have undergone a terrible accident and severe shock. You had over six fractures bones and cuts. You healed but never came out.”

“ Hmmmm…”

He was released and he tried to stand up. He felt weak, and dizzy. He quickly sat back. He stood up again then felt his head spinning, he held on to the bed then said, “ She fell into the ocean. She fell into the ocean. I had the boy.”

“ What boy? Who fell into the ocean?”

The man sat on the bed again, then lay down. He could fell sparks in his head, blurry images that made no sense. He could feel the movement of strong wind, roaring engine, scream, and saw a silhouetted image, that looked like a smiling face, then everything faded.

“ What did you remember?”

He looked dazed.

“ Nothing. I am hungry.”

Angela came back and nodded at the doctor.

“ Can you come over for food?” The doctor asked.

The man nodded, sat up and felt the dizziness reduced. He got on his feet, took groggy steps and followed the nurse. She set three trays of food on a table in the next room. The place did not look like a conventional hospital.
And it wasn’t

The first tray had Kansas city-style barbecue and Brunswick stew while the second tray had arroz con queso which was a Bolivian food.
The man looked at both trays then went for the American food.
The doctor and nurse exchanged glances.
The man started eating. He was hungry indeed.

“Estas casada ( are you married)?” The doctor said in Spanish.

The man did not reply or react. It seemed he was not a resident of Bolivia. He had so many American traits in him.

“ Are you married?” The doctor asked.

“ What is married?”

“Do you have a wife?”

The man paused, then looked at the doctor.

“Wife? She fell inside the ocean. Aadila…..and the boy was with me. They took him away.”








The restaurant was big and set in a very traditional way. There were mats spread on the floor in place of tables and chairs. Northern art works placed on the wall. There were lots of customers enjoying Hausa traditional cuisines.

Adnan and Naairah went inside.
The owner of the restaurant, Hajiya Shamsiya was a very chubby woman . She sat majestically on a chair, dressed in heavily designed dress.

“ Adinan, Adinan” She said as she saw Adnan. “ Da na, kwana biyu ( it’s been a while , my son)”

“ Mama, ina nan (I have been around).”

“ Nace ko mun yi ma Adinan laaifi ne ( I thought we had offended Adnan).”

“ No, Mama. I have just been busy. Kin san maganan aure ( You know how marriage issues are).”

“ Toohh! You got married without informing us?”

“ Not yet. We are almost there.”

“ Is this our wife?” She asked directing her smile at Naairah who stood confused. What was he doing? When did they start a relationship?

“ Insha Allah.” Adnan said.

“ Alhamdulillah.” She said “ Come and greet your mother-in-law, my daughter.”

Naairah was speechless. Many eyes fell on her, and she felt so ashamed and angry. Naairah greeted her .

This was one of Adnan’s joints. He used to come to buy food and he got to know her.

“ Kushiga, kushiga ( You should enter).”

They were led to a smaller room .

“ I will skin you alive.” She said with a pout . “ What was that? What is wrong with you? I only asked you to bring me here to buy Sinasir and leave and not an introductory meeting.”

“ I was just trying to elate you.”

“ Elate me? Are you crazy? “

“ I am a VIP. When I introduce you as my fiancée, you would be respected and may get one free sinasir courtesy of me.”

“ I am not that hungry Adnan.”

“Shhh…we don’t have to quarrel here. Let us get home.”

“ Home? What do you mean home?

“Our future home.” He said with his eyes directly on her. “ That home where the walls would be made of love, the roof made of religious
inclination, with floor glittering with compassion, while the ceiling is the warmth of understanding.
That home where the air is bliss, care, resilience, perseverance. A home which is distinct, with lasting instinct, mirth in succinct, colours of love tinct, where the knot is inextinct.
A home which will be a small planet, where Naairah is sun, providing light, warmth, energy, and visibility for this poor boy. That home where I will have the rare opportunity to disgorge my accumulated, gargantuan heap of infinite love on you, Miss Sunshine. A home belonging to Naairah and Adnan. A home that is an institution. A home that is love.”

“ Ga sinasir inji Hajiya ( This is fluffy rice pancakes from Hajiya).” A waiter said and dropped a tray with two plates of sinasir and miyan taushe ( blended peanuts and pumpkin leaves sauce). The sauce was stashed with fleshy bones and fish.

“ I am not going to eat here.” She whispered after the waiter left. “ I only came for a takeaway.”

“What do you want to do now? Tell her to go to hell?”

“ I don’t have a mouth like yours.”

“ Then you must eat.”

“ Did you just say must?”

“ Yes but it is the other must not the must that you must not think it is.”

“ You have a PhD in balderdash.”

“ No. I only got Masters but still on the doctorate.”

“ I said it.”

“ Must we quarrel over everything?”

“That is because you are so annoying.”

“ And loving.”

“ I don’t know about that.”

Adnan looked at the food and drew his closer.

“ Don’t be shy.” He said. “ This will not be the first time I will see you eating.”

Two bottles of Malt drinks were brought. Adnan now realized that Hajiya Shamsiya really believed him. He kind of felt guilty. He had stopped his guiles for food and this looked like one.

“ Oh no.” He said. “ She is doing this because she believes me. I think I have to tell her it was just a joke.”

“ What are you going to tell her? Come and pick your food, it was just part of my craziness?” She said wondering why she felt angry when he said it was just a joke.

“ But it looks like part of my charade.”

“ Well, if it was not your intention, then let it be. Wait, are you saying you no more …..”

“That is one of the disadvantages of meeting you. You made me quit one of my jobs. I lost my mummies.”

“ How did I do that?”

“ It is complicated. I guess you are a psychic. I don’t know how but you did it.” He smiled. “ Anyways, thank you.”

And it just dawned on her that he made her saw life from a different perspective. Her rudeness was deadening drastically. But she was not going to admit that to him.
They began to eat.

“ What is this mark on your hand? “ She asked him.

“ What mark?”

She pointed at a small mark just below his knuckles.

“ Oh, I don’t know how I got it. It has been there for all I can remember. I guess it a scar from a wound.”

She shook her head.

“ This is not a random scar.”

“What?”

“ It is a designed shape and I have seen this somewhere.”

“ What?” He said and looked at it again. For the first time in his life, he realised that it was a very small star shaped scar. What did it mean?


Adnan did not know that it meant a lot. That was not just a scar. It was a sign. A mark of life.

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Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 4:24pm On Sep 10, 2018
FIVE

They laughed and Zayyad saw the glitters in her eyes, the whiteness of her snow white teeth, and cleft on her cheeks. She had this air of serenity around her, and an attractive force that held him spellbound.

“ My cousin actually recognised him.” Zayyad said, “ but he talked himself out. The guy has a very gig mouth.”

“ The biggest.” Nadia concurred. “ A smooth skimmer.”

“ He looked into my eyes, with no shame, and all the confidence in the world and said he knew me in USA. I believed him.” Zayyad said, “ with a fictitious story of childhood days .”

“ I don’t get it.” Awwal, Zayyad’s friend said, “ are you still talking about the food guy?”

“Yes. He was standing with Naairah and I said his face looked familiar, and the next thing he said was we had been childhood friends abroad.”

“ Damn!” Awwal exclaimed. “ This guy is a rogue.”

Naairah said nothing, just kept a smile on her face. Zayyad did not like the way Adnan was standing with her that day. And he was so perturbed to see him with her after that day. So he began to find out who he was.

Adnan had met a lot of girls in Abuja and Zayyad's cousin had been one of his mummies. They saw him distributing bread and she confronted him. Zayyad was there and Adnan never gave them a chance. He kept blabbering until he left there but they already knew who he was. Zayyad was so happy to find this out. Now he was happily telling Naairah and Nadia about it while they made fun of him. Zayyad was glad Naairah laughed along and it was obvious she did not take him serious.

“ I wonder why some guys can’t stay on their level. Adhering to division of class is imperative. Let the wretched be with the wretched, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie should hang together and let the crème la crème blend. The world would be a better place then.” Zayyad said.

“ Word, nigger.” Awwal concurred . “ I guess he is a guy from the ghetto.”

“ Yeah, I just know his problem is food.” Nadia said.

“ What?” Awwal exclaimed .

“ Yes. “ She said. “ I hope he would not eye something more. I just don’t feel comfortable around him.”

“ You have to be careful.” Awwal said directing his words to Naairah.

“ My boo has a large heart.” Zayyad said. “ But thank God she knows now.”

Naairah smiled.

“ Thank you, guys.” She said. “ I get your points.”

“ Talk of the devil and the devil appears.” Nadia said. “ Here comes the champ.”

Adnan alighted a bike, paid the bike-man who left. He looked around, wondering where she was.
They were under a tent across the campus.

“ I guess he is looking for a lunch ticket.” Zayyad said. “ I think I should just give him five hundred so he could leave the poor girls alone.”

Adnan saw them. He smiled and bounced confidently towards them.

“ Assalamu alaikum.” Adnan greeted.

“ Ameen wa alaikum salam.” They replied. He shook hands with Zayyad and Awwal.

“ We meet again.” Ahmed said with a smirk. “ My friend.”

“ Yeah.”

“ So what are you doing here? To give more lies? Or looking for lunch ticket.” He said and drew out some notes of money.”

“ I did not come to you actually.” Adnan said.

“ Zayyad .” Nadia said, feeling it was not right to embarrass him in such a childish manner.

“ Nadia I hate liars and cheats!” Zayyad said.

“ I am sorry.” Adnan said. “ But you have to hate so many people. I remember a former governor who imported sixteen cars for a Ministry and recorded thirty-six and inflated the prices. It was all in the news. And he feeds, clothes, educate, house his family with such monies and the kids come out feeling on top of the world.
Some even feel so sanctimonious and claim to hate cheats and liars. Who is more of a liar than he who lies under oath, steals what belongs to the public. Not all of them are like that. But we know those who have been exposed.
So, return your dirty money into your pocket. Me and your father have a meeting. A forum for liars and cheats.”

“ How dare you talk to me like that!” Zayyad retorted, his eyes going red.

“ Enough of this!” Naairah said . “ Please this has to stop! Zayyad , I understand what you are trying to do but we all have our weaknesses and faults. We are good at overlooking ours and only sighting the other person’s.
Adnan may have made some mistakes in his life just like many others. What matters most is realizing it, and making a change. We should correct with good intention not with the intention of embarrassing someone. Why did you not call him aside to admonish him? And sometimes in the act of trying to embarrass somebody, you also embarrass yourself. If you had not brought this up, he would not have mentioned your father’s.
Thank you for advising me against relating with him. Nadia is my best friend and she does everything to protect me. Whatever she says or does is for my good and done with good intentions. But I want you guys to know that Adnan touched my life the way no one has done.
I don’t think there is anything anyone would say that would separate me from him. I know him better than all of you. He is not what you think he is. And I think it is high time I cleared the air….we are in love.”

“What!” Nadia exclaimed.






“ Why did you do that?” Adnan asked after a long ride in silence. She pulled up the car outside his estate.

“ Did what?”

“ What you did. You told them we were in love and you know it is not true. "He said. “ Did you see the look on that guys face?”

She heaved a sigh.

“ I don’t know why I did it but I was sick of everything.”

“ I thought he was your boyfriend.”

“ I don’t know what he is to me.” she said. “ I just needed some space and I felt that would do it.”

“ By lying to them? Even Nadia believed you.”

“ Why are you so bothered about that?”

“ Because you took it so far.”

“ Did you not do the same?”

“ You knew I was just joking.”

“ Same with me.”

“ And you made it looked so real.”

“ Does it hurt?” She said, remembering some of his words and actions.

“ Happy birthday Miss Sunshine,” he had said, “ It is a day when an exquisite cynosure, in elation with proliferated measure, and pleasure becomes to me a pleasure.” She had acted as if she was oblivious to the words.
He also said, “ Listen, Miss sunshine. Find time to come out in the night, when the weather is pacific and the sky is Naairah. Take your time to look up, you see a star shinning so bright and distinct from the rest. That was the first place our hearts met.
They sat on the star to rest, and they were unaware of each because the rhythm were the same. Same wavelength, amplitude and trough. Then they saw each other and fused.
When you look closely again, you will realise that you are a light, and I lost mine, and you led me into brightness. I was lonely on the star and you gave me company, and we formed a new world: Our world.
There was no water but you gave me out of your cell water and I became stronger. I asked who you were, and a voice whispered to me that you have come to be my soul’s companion. You came when I was stranded in the sky, in a vacuum, and lost all link with my crew.
A panacea from heaven. A blueprint from above to be materialized on earth.
Look in the sky Miss Sunshine, what you hear is the song of love sang from above in dedication to us,
and what you feel is the wind of love, that smoothens the soul. No astronaut has gone to the sun where your heart came from miss sunshine, so no one can change this heart of yours that is fused with mine except when he goes into the sun.
My heart is bright because it reflects yours. What happens when you take the sunshine away? I will be left in a murky world. Freezing with no sunshine to warm me up. Do that miss sunshine and tell me what you see.
Each question carries 200 marks. Happy birthday. Keep the gift I brought for you. It might just be a reminder of me if I am no more.”
She still remembered everything he said about the future home at the restaurant. She never responded but somehow it all registered in her heart.

“ You took it too far. Be careful with your words.” She confessed.

“ I know. I am sorry but did you know that you are the only one I have?”

She felt a bang in her heart.

“ You can't be serious. We do nothing other than argue and quarrel.”

“ I know but I am a lone man, wondering in the world where I find no love. I never even find a listening ear. I see people with sisters, brothers, parents and wonder what it feels like to have them. I saw the world like a battleground, a jungle where only the fittest and strongest survive.
I felt nothing personal towards anyone just like no one felt it towards me. I was just a secluded and dejected bloke, with no reveries but pains in rains. Ostracised, and made like an arriviste in the society. I spent my life with no one to caution me, or reproach me.
The first time I saw you in the restaurant, my professionalism told me that you were a target but I never recognized the part that said you were a solace.
My negatively preconceived mind-set would not let me see light that shone from your eyes but a force kept me bonded. And I found myself thinking about you. I tried to force you out of my mind. I did not know why I felt attracted.
I still don’t know how I told you the secret of my life and even without warning you not to tell anyone, I feel not even Nadia knows about it. I meant most of the things I said but it was all a lead to building a castle in air.
You are a noble girl with a high classed background. I am a street boy with no background. I never tried to take you serious in my heart because I did not want a shattered heart. I have never loved and have been very safe.
But I see you as the only person I could talk to and the way you listened was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was the closest thing to having a family. But I know it won’t last long. I may soon disappear into thin air, or die because life is so uncertain. Even at this point, you made me felt what I never felt and made me leave a life which was destructive.
I realised that my actions were not just to collect food but some of these girls felt something and hoped for something more which I was not ready to give but gave them a false impression just to have what I wanted. Thank you very much, Miss Sunshine.”

She was silent for a while, confused.

“ What do you mean by saying you may leave soon?”

“ I just feel it. It is complicated.”

“ Has it crossed your mind that you will be hurting me if you left?” she confessed. “ You dare not leave! Just know that I am here for you, and will be there for you, if you want me to be.”

What did she say? Naairah?

“ I know you will find it hard to believe….but you mean a lot to me. I don’t know how you did it.”She added.

He was still speechless.

“ Remember my background.”He said softly.

“ Don’t you ever mention that again. I don’t care!”

“ Thank you for coming into my life.” He said.

“ And promise me that you will not leave.”

He looked at her, then smiled.

“ I promise.”











“ For convenience, I will call you Walter Marcus. You suffer partial amnesia. It is difficult to know if yours is retrograde or anterograde amnesia. You seem to react to some things which trigger your memories. You look at the computer a lot and microscope.
You asked me to lend you twenty dollars and not Bolivian Boliviano. You are so American. But I got the man who brought you. He is called Mauricio Carlos. He runs a restaurant in 876, Curzela Cresent. I don’t know if he can be of help. Be careful, I don’t think you got papers. The authority are strict these days. I am just a doctor and I can do more than help you health wise. No one paid your bills.”

“ Thank you very much.” Walter said. “ I will go at once. I want to know who I am, where I come from and what I am doing here.”

“ Yeah, I guess you must have had an accident. Something to do with the air, ocean, baby and woman, and that sounds like a plane crash.”

Walter frowned.

“ Private plane?”

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Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 12:09pm On Sep 11, 2018
Hajiya Fatima looked out through the window and saw him. She guessed he was the one. Naairah did not tell her about him, but how successful could a girl be in hiding such things from her mother? She had started suspecting the day she asked Naairah to have some chips and she said she was fasting.

Fasting?

Naairah was one of those women, and such women were the majority, who would miss some days of fasting due to inconsistency as stipulated by nature of a woman, but would not repay those days until a few days to the next Ramadan.
When they hear that Ramadan is a few days away, they start saying, “ Ahh! Ana bina Azumi hudu ( Ahh! I owe four days of fasting.”
Now she was fasting extra? Hajiya also noticed that she also observed fasting on Thursday. Then she saw her frying some delicacies. Naairah was not a kitchen girl. She fried and cooked, packed some and sent Rabiu, one of the drivers to take it somewhere.

Fishy.

Naairah had changed. More cautious, respectful, humble and religious. There was someone who always called her at dawn, and she would wake up to pray. Sometimes, she called the person, saying, “ wake up you lazy bone and pray.”
She guessed this was the boy. Masha Allah.
Hajiya Fatima was right.

On that day, Adnan and Naairah were leaning on her car.

“ I want to leave this place.” Adnan said. “ with a granted ticket to the land of freedom.”

“ Leave? I thought we talked about it. Go where?”

“ A land where I will sit down, cross my legs”

“ Subahahllah!”

“ And will not fast or perform salat. I won’t recite Qur’an, or give charity…I won’t do anything ….”

“ What nonsense are you talking about? Stop it!”

“ I am inviting you.”

“ I said stop it. What kind of crazy idea is that?”

“ The crazy idea of leaving this world with faith and works which we hope will make Allah have mercy on us and admit us into aljanna. There will be wine there, and no fasting, no prayers, no monthly visitor, no farting, no job, no beef, no sickness, no old age, no death… and I am so scared. I used to be so close to my Creator. I used to recite the Qur’an a lot, so much azkar and zikr which purifies the heart. Gradually I reduced all of those things and that was when I began to do some things that are really bad. Now I want to have my old self back. And the only way to do that is by going closer to Allah via good works. Are you coming with me?”

She paused for a while and then nodded.

“ Yes. I will come with you.”

“ Do you have an ulcer? Like serious one?”

She shook her head.

“ Then we are going to fast on Monday insha Allah.”

So their religious routine started.

“ I will be your Jay-Z and you will my Beyoncé. ” A thick voice brought Hajiya out of her thoughts. She turned swiftly to see her husband behind her. What was he doing?

“ What is this old man talking about?”

“ I am ‘fly’ like Justin Barber( Bieber), So you will be chic like Selena Lopez(Gomez)” He said ,with hands in pocket and a pose.

“ Ga wata sabowa ( This is a new one).”

“ Why are you astonished? The last time I tried to be romantic, Naairah said my style was old school. So I saw a couple on TV they called Jay-Z and Beyonce, then I saw younger couple. They say the boy is Justin Barber and the girl is Selena Lopez.”

She chuckled.

“ Your first son is thirty.”

“ Rejuvenating ,yo.”

They laughed.

“ How was your day?” She asked him as he hugged her.

“ Alhamdulillah. You look beautiful. You are beautiful.”

“ Thank you.”

“ Even the Amarya ( New bride) that is coming is not as beautiful as you are.”

“Enhhh?”

“ Just kidding.” He laughed.

“ Who is scared? Let her come.”

“ Hmmm…..so, why are you standing like this?”

“ I was just having a view. I told you about Naairah’s change, right?”

“ Why are you so surprised. I always told you not to worry. When she turned eighteen she changed , didn’t she?”

“ She did not just change because she is eighteen. There is a factor behind it. Left to you, she would have been more rebellious.”

“ So, what is the factor?”

“ A boy. Your daughter is in love.”

“ Hmmm…and who is this boy?”

“ I am trying to figure that out but he has got a positive impact on her life.”

“ Tell her to invite him for dinner on Saturday. I want to meet him.”






“ What did you say?” Adnan said with his eyes wide open.

“ I was perplexed.” Naairah said. “ He said you will come and have dinner with us on Saturday.

“ I don’t mean no disrespect but I am not honouring the invitation.”

“ Why?”

“ Can't you see that it is sticky? When did Nigerian parents start inviting their daughters’ guy for dinner? Your father just wants to trap me and beat the hell out of me.”

“ Ridiculous.”

“ Marrying you is suicidal, do you know that?”

“ What?”

“You are the last child. The only girl with strong looking brothers. If I mistakenly get you angry and they find out..phew! Look at that one who drives a Benz. Can’t you see his chest? When he will be like, ‘he did this to you?’ and the next question will be ,’ where is he…right now?’.
Then your immediate elder brother will call and say, ‘I am at the gate. I came to see you.’ Then the eldest will call and say, ‘ I heard, no problem.’ And you know what no problem means, right?”

She laughed.

“ You are funny.”

“But seriously , I am nervous.” He said. “ Why do you think he invited me?”

“ I don’t know. I guess he just wants to meet you. He won’t bite you.”

“ I know he won’t bite me. but he might use a stick. Naija ( Nigerian) parent invite you for dinner? It is , ‘tell him I want to see him’.”

She chuckled.

“ Whatever he does, I hope he does not take me away from you.” He said slowly.

“ Why should he do that?”

“ I don’t know. I am just scared of losing you, Miss Sunshine.”

“ Abba will never do anything that will hurt me and what will hurt me more than been taken away from you?”

“ You have become an in integral part of me, blended into my bloodstream, synchronised with my heartbeats, and a shield from melancholy. You came from nowhere to cover me with love and bliss. And I am so scared because there is none like you, not even a counterfeit as far as Adnan is concerned. I guess you were named Naairah as a dedication to me because who needs you more than I? Don’t leave me, ever.”

Her pretty face widened into a smile, her mind fighting back tears.

“ I will be there.”

“ I love you, Miss Sunshine.”

“ I love you…..Ya Hayati.”


Zayyad was watching from his car. So it was true.
Very good.






Carlos was a fat man with a rotund face and small rattlesnake eyes. His face was clean shaven, with small lips which was comfortably holding a cigarette.

“ Dios mio! ( Oh my God)” He exclaimed. “ Que susto( What a surprise)! I remember you.” He said

“ Como te llamas(what is your name?)”

“ I don’t speak Spanish.”

“ Ohh….okay. ” He said. They were sitting outside his restaurant where he usually sat to smoke cigarette. “ What is your name?”

“ They call me Walter.” Walter said, “ What happened to me? how did you find me?”

Carlos looked uneasily at him.

“ Did you lose your memory?”

“ I can’t remember what happened. Not even my name or where I come from.”

“ Hmmmm….I suspected that. Are you a CIA , FBI, or any other federal agent?”

“ I don’t know. “ He said but he remembered the words.

“ I found you in the mountains, not far from the ocean. Because Bolivia is a landlocked country, I go the hummocks close to the ocean. It was strange. I found something on you. I kept it………”

3 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Beneath My Heart by nastynic(m): 3:25pm On Sep 11, 2018
Oboy! I'm loving this Story like Madt



More Cash to Your Account,
A big Thank you for the Update
Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 3:40pm On Sep 11, 2018
nastynic:
Oboy! I'm loving this Story like Madt



More Cash to Your Account,
A big Thank you for the Update

Thank you cheesy

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 8:48am On Sep 12, 2018
Adnan felt his heart beating rapidly as he entered the vast living-room. What he saw was not what he expected. The table was full with her siblings.

“ She never told me it was going to be a UN meeting.” He thought.
What was this all about?
The table was long with six expensive dining chairs at the sides with two master chairs at the ends opposite each other. Alhaji Mukhtar sat at one end while Hajiya Fatima sat at the other end. The children sat at sides.
Naairah led Adnan to the dining table.

“ Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah.” Adnan saluted

“ Ameen wa alaikum salam.” They chorused.

Alhaji Mukhtar had a broad smile on his face, and he offered Adnan a warm handshake. Adnan showed hesitation, feeling shy and then reluctantly offering his hand .

“ I am very glad to meet you.” Said the father. “ Please have a seat. Your seat was reserved.”

He was ushered to a sit and this was opposite Naairah. He felt so uncomfortable. He could feel the eyes of her brothers boring into him. Adnan looked at Hajiya Fatima and slightly bowed, and then greeted her. He perched on the chair, trying with a great effort to ease his baulk. The table was set for a feast. There was a variety of dishes displayed. But Adnan did not feel the urge for food that day. He did not know if he could eat there. He saw a part of him he never knew existed: feeling shy.

He also noticed that Naairah also felt a bit shy. Their eyes would meet at times and they would quickly take them off like a touch of fire.

“ Thank you for honouring my invitation.” Alhaji Mukhtar said with a warm and avuncular gesture. “ Please feel free. This is your home and we feel you are part of us.”

“ Thank you very much, sir.”

“ You are one little secret my daughter never shared with me-her best friend.” He chuckled. “ So I really wanted to meet you, and get to know you better. And we usually have dinners like this, to keep the family together and being part of the family, I felt it would be the pertinent time to come join us.”

Adnan said nothing.

“ I am Mukhtar, and that woman there is the first lady of the house, Hajiya Fatima. I am also known as Justice Barber and she as Selena Lopez”

There was laughter but Adnan only smiled and bowed his head.

“Abba, it is Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.” Naairah said. “ I told you to enroll in my New-school School.”

“ I will definitely get a form.” Alhaji Mukhtar said and they laughed. His jokes and humility made Adnan felt more at ease. “ That is the vice –President of the family, Gaddafi. He is my first son, studied Geology at Siegner Dabistas University, Germany but had his Masters at UK. He is married with two children. He is the Regional Manager, Dahauba Group of companies.” He said waving at a strongly built man with very dark ,low-cut hair and fully bearded face.

Gaddafi smiled at Adnan who nodded with a bow at him.

“ That is Abdul-Rahman. He is my second son.” Alhaji Mukhtar wove at a slightly chubby man. “ He studied Political Science, Kingfield College, and currently a consultant and a Lecturer in the University of Abuja.”

He went on to introduce Abdul-Rasheed, Sadiq, Habeeb, Sa’eed who was a final year student, and then Mohammed who was his last son.

“And of course the only princess in the house, my Naairah who is currently in school. This is our small family and we are so happy to meet you, and be part of us…..”

“Assalamu alaikum.” Someone saluted and he was replied.

Adnan turned to see who came in with a smile planted on his face.

It was Zayyad !

What was he doing here?

Adnan and Naairah exchanged glances.

6 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Beneath My Heart by OlufemiWhit(m): 8:45pm On Sep 12, 2018
Nd I was only reading one story........nice work
Re: Beneath My Heart by tijehi(f): 9:01pm On Sep 12, 2018
......and I confidently declare this as the best story on nairaland ever.

My God, Sokodobo, who are you? Please unravel yourself.


Ah, this is something else.

3 Likes

Re: Beneath My Heart by olukuewu(m): 12:24am On Sep 13, 2018
update plssssssss,
no dull moment.
Re: Beneath My Heart by OlufemiWhit(m): 5:10am On Sep 13, 2018
tijehi:
......and I confidently declare this as the best story on nairaland ever.

My God, Sokodobo, who are you? Please unravel yourself.


Ah, this is something else.
calm down nah.......deres no such thing as best story on nairaland
Re: Beneath My Heart by tijehi(f): 7:52am On Sep 13, 2018
OlufemiWhit:
calm down nah.......deres no such thing as best story on nairaland


Oga, that is my opinion.


U are free with yours.

1 Like

Re: Beneath My Heart by SokoDobo: 8:23am On Sep 13, 2018
tijehi:
......and I confidently declare this as the best story on nairaland ever.

My God, Sokodobo, who are you? Please unravel yourself.


Ah, this is something else.

Hmmm. Thank you for the complement. I really appreciate.

Meanwhile, I'm just this ordinary guy you pass-by and give no second look.

Nothing special or intriguing but I love to stash words in a book.

Just a poor lonely guy precariously perched on a steep hill with a hook.


With a laptop, bottle of water and zeal.

Putting down words, sequestered from the hubbub, shindigs,and upheavals for real.

Hoping that someday, someway, the message would be gotten and would thrill.

I am not him, I am me.

Just me.

8 Likes

Re: Beneath My Heart by olukuewu(m): 9:16am On Sep 13, 2018
@Sokodobo pls update us to the end you get a good story here.
Re: Beneath My Heart by goodlifeben: 9:31am On Sep 13, 2018
If you Are interested In making your story into E-book Format at a cheap rate message via whatsapp 08156585694 . 90% discount . make money with your writing
Re: Beneath My Heart by MhizFavour: 1:40pm On Sep 13, 2018
This Story Is Bae ! I was referred to this thread and am... Impressed!
Re: Beneath My Heart by Silensa(m): 6:01pm On Sep 13, 2018
wow wow wow wow wow wow. is this story for real?
thank God I never ignored this link when I was referred to it.
more ink to your pen my main OP

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