Friday, 14 September 2018

The Precious Figure (Episode Two)


                                                    


He gaped in shock and surprise. “Whoa! That’s a mighty course, Fareedah.”

I smiled shyly as blood gushed to my cheeks. ‘Yep, Medicine is truly a mighty course. I’d become a doctor…I mean, a cute doctor dressed in white.’ I thought, picturing myself flashing a smile and meeting Najib with a tight embrace as he comes to pick me from work.

“You there?” he waved his hand at me.

“Oh…yeah. What were you saying?” I tried to gain composure again.

Why was I always deep in thought, when with him?
“You must be very brainy and smart to study Medicine. How easy is it to even study Medicine in Nigeria? You’re a rare gem, Fareedah,” he flashed his teeth, giving me a thumbs-up.

I could see Raqibah eyeing me through my side view. I knew she’d have a lot to say…but gosh, I felt really special to be admired by a handsome man. No man that handsome had ever dared to speak with me. Moreover, Raqibah had had her doses of relationships but here I am, having no experience with what relationship is all about.

“Do you mind if I play music? I know you guys are very religious but Bruno Mars songs keeps me going.” He said, raking his hair.


“Oh…yes, of course. It’s your car, isn’t it? You have the right to listen to what you want.” My cheeks hurt deeply from over-smiling but I couldn’t help it. I had to please this overly-cute man!

“Ah well, it’s not just about the fact that it is my car. I need to make sure you guys are okay with it.” He remarked.

“Thank you, Najib. We’re okay,” I said, turning to Raqibah for a look of approval. What I got in return was a dark stare.

It was then I noticed that she was reading Professor Audu’s note. Oh well, I’ll read that when I get home.

“I’ll drop before the next street, sir,” Raqibah said in a brusque way. She packed her books into her bag and wore her shoes.

“Okay ma’am. Here you go. Have a nice day.” He waved at her.

Raqibah got down from the car but didn’t leave without laying scrutinizing eyes on me and saying, “Call me immediately you get home.”

I muttered ‘okay’ and watched her as she walked away. Raqibah was indeed fat and her dress sense was very poor.

“Have you had a little talk with your friend about fashion?” he asked as he focused his gaze on the road.  He asked as if reading my mind.
We were almost at the street where I live. The area was surrounded with roadside traders, hawkers, rickshaws, okadas and passersby that flocked the street. I sorta felt ashamed because I was certain that Najib would be living in a Government Residential Area.

 “Raqibah is all about books and books and books. If she isn’t reading, she is eating,” I muffled some quiet laughter.

Najib shook his head. “You both are the same.”

“What?” I definitely wasn’t the same as Raqibah. I may not have a good fashion sense but I took good care of my skin and my mom bought me new clothes every semester.

“You both smell of books,” he giggled.

I bit my lips in disappointment. “We’re medicine students. We’re all about ‘books.’ We hardly have the time for fashion,” I protested.

We’re medicine students. We’re all about ‘books.’ We hardly have the time for fashion,” Najib mimicked me in a squeaky voice. “I have a cousin that studies medicine. She gives a big deal about how she looks; she wears the classiest of clothes and her make-up is sophisticated. She looks really pretty and she upload her pictures of Instagram and Facebook every now and then. So don’t give me the excuse of being a Medicine student.”

I raised my hands in defeat, then noticing that we had reached my street. “My house is the black gate,” I said calmly.

“Okay-” he turned to me, then noticed that I looked flushed. “I’m really sorry if I annoyed you, Fareedah. I was only kidding. You are nothing like your friend. You are very beautiful and your voice…”

“Thank you. I’m not annoyed,” I tried to frown but my lips broke into a big smile.

What is it with this Najib? Why can’t I maintain my composure around him?

He parked beside the gate and turned off the car engine. “Thank you, Najib.”

“Oh, thank you, Fareedah.” He said, staring deep into my eyes, in a way that made me very uncomfortable.

No one had stared at me that way before!

I scrunched up my face in confusion. “Why should you be thanking me? You’re the one that assisted in dropping me and friend off.”

He smirked and folded his arms around his chest. “Thank you for giving me the chance to meet and talk to you. This will be the most special day of my life,” he sang sweetly, his white set of teeth flashing under the rays of the sun.

My legs felt wobbly out of excitement. Can I be this special to someone? Someone handsome?

“Oh please, who am I? Just Fareedah, a dark- complexioned-petite lady that cannot create a conversation,” I rolled my eyes in intrigue.
Najib roared in laughter. “I guess no one have ever told you how special you are.” He fixed his gaze on me and I in turn, stared at his lovely eyes; that looked like chocolate and milk. What was sweeter to stare at?

“Err…my mom have said that countless number of times.”

“No, I mean, from someone different. Someone you met and instantly get the sparks…”

He trailed off but his speech was disrupted by my phone’s caller tune. I turned to see who was calling. It was my mom.

“Hope you’ll be leaving early from school? I’m already hungry…”

“Yes mom, I’m already at the gate.”

There was a break of conversation and I could imagine the surprise look on my mom’s face; the way she gasped whenever she was very surprised. There was no way she would have expected that I get home that fast. I wouldn’t have been that early if Najib hadn’t dropped me off.

Najib still sat with his arms folded, staring at me intently.

“Wow. So fast, okay then, I’m expecting you upstairs,” she said and hung up the call.

“I have to leave now,” I said to Najib, swinging my bag around my right shoulder.

Najib started to make sounds like he was weeping. It made me giggle happily. “I’m sorry, mom needs me.”

“Okay. Give me your number. I’ll give you a call before the end of today,” he handed him iPhone over to me.

I scribbled on the digits and typed in my number. When I returned the phone, Najib seemed to study the number for seconds before saving. It was not long after that he started to laugh.
“What?” I eyed him.

“Nothing…okay, I’ll tell you what I saved your number with- Later.”

“Okay.”

“Are you on WhatsApp? Instagram? Facebook? Snapchat?”

I rolled my eyes. “Yes! The fact that I’m studying Medicine doesn’t mean that…”

“Fine, I accept. Have a nice day,” Najib grinned widely and waved at me.

I smiled in return and alighted from the car. I gave him a light wave and entered the gate. I inhaled the warmness that wafted the air. I was no longer in the very cool atmosphere and I didn’t perceive the smell of strawberry musk. I couldn’t listen to the masculine voice of Bruno Mars singing, ‘Today I don’t feel like doing anything, I just wanna lay on my bed…’

Who the hell wouldn’t want to do anything for the whole day? I have Professor’s Audu’s note to study and other seamless tasks to accomplish. I thought as I was climbing the staircase.

My mom and I occupied the upstairs. We had lived there ever since I was a child; mom said that dad had rented it before they got married.

‘He said it’ll be a blissful place to have our first child. He was so sweet,’ my mother had said one night, when the thoughts of my dad glimpsed her heart. She couldn’t help but to shed tears.

I had seen him in the pictures; tall, long-limbed, dark-complexioned and handsome. ‘You have the same pert lips and magnificent eyes like your father,” my mother would say, staring at me intently.

I removed my flat camisole and opened the large-brown door that was enclosed of our house. Mom was sitting on a dining chair, sipping from a mug of tea.

“Asalamu ‘alaykum ma,” I greeted, hurrying to give her a tight hug.

Mom returned my embrace but pulled out of my arm in less than a few seconds. She sniffed me like the way a dog would do to a person. “What’s wrong, mom?”

“Did you hug a man…or you used cologne?”

I raised my eyebrows in confusion. “No…why do you ask?”

“You smell of musk.” She said, giving me a suspicious look.


Don't miss out on the previous episode:

Episode One
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