Sunday 7 October 2018

The Precious Figure (Episode Four)

My hands froze. I stared blankly at the phone and read the text over and over again. Was I dreaming? Chocolate?

My sweaty hands trembled as I punched on the keyboard.


I could see the ‘typing’ symbol and my eyes widened in anticipation. Minutes later, a message popped up.

Yes, chocolate.

My lips twitched in a smile as I was typing,

Why chocolate?

You’re sweet, lovely and addicting just like chocolate. The colour of your skin also makes the name perfect for you.

I could feel the rush of blood to my veins. I flopped on my bed and rested on my fluffy pillow.


I typed and stared at the screen, awaiting a response from Najib. I didn’t see the ‘typing…’ symbol and I hesitantly waited for a response.

What was he doing? Eating? Reading?

Fareedah, can I ask you something really awful? -Najib.

Bring it on. -Fareedah.

If I say it, hope you won’t smack my head when we meet?-Najib.

Hahaha. No of course.-Fareedah.

Your dressing…don’t you like colours? You can dress fashionable and still look decent you know?-Najib.

I couldn’t reply…I really had no idea of what to say. I also knew that I didn’t meet up to Najib’s expectation…that I would never meet up to Najib’s expectation.

I’m really sorry if I got you irked. It’s a harmless question…I’m just curious…-Najib.

It’s okay Najib. I love colours and I love to wear nice clothes. -Fareedah.

He seemed to take the whole day to finish typing and I toyed with the pink pouch that covered my phone.

Okay. By the way, my sister called me not less than an hour ago. She said she had travelled to Lagos for an art exhibition. Imagine…without my permission! Her course mates have written five tests and she’s touring the states in Nigeria. Am Inot a good brother? -Najib.

I’m sorry Najib. I believe she’ll realize her mistakes and appreciate you soon. -Fareedah.

Thank you, Fareedah. Talking to you has made me feel really better. Will you be in school next tomorrow? I want you to meet my sister and we can go out after then.-Najib.

Okay, I’ll be in school. -Fareedah.

Talk to you later. Have a great day!-Najib.

He wrote and went offline immediately. I clicked on his display picture and what popped out was a picture of his grinning face, putting on a lemon t-shirt and white face-cap. He sat amidst three men, who looked like his friends, with a cup of juice in his right hand. He was different from the rest; his smile was breath-taking and graceful.

I laid on my bed and stared at the picture for close to thirty minutes, before my alarm rung, indicating that I needed to read for Professor’s Audu’s test.

It was a misty Wednesday morning. The weather was foggy and chilly. It was the kind of weather that would tempt you to pull the covers over you and remain in bed until the late part of the morning. However, the worship to God matters and also attending Mrs. Lanre 8:00 am lecture.

Mrs. Lanre was a disciplinarian that took her lecture time too seriously. She was one of those lecturers that shut the door close once they enter the lecture room. She was also the type that never misses lectures and gets to class on time. I have never missed Mrs. Lanre’s class and this morning would not make it the first.

The fact is that the weather wasn’t the only thing that made me wake up late. Najib was the main thing. Believe, me, I could hardly sleep. I tossed around on my bed and imagined Najib in his usual bright face and glittering eyes. It was just a day and I was eager to meet him again. Believe me also, I have never liked a boy this much. Yes…I have had several crushes (Ahmad in 200 level, Abdul Quadri in Ibadan; when I visited my aunt, Qaasim when he had just relocated to our street with his parents last year). These crushes didn’t last up to a month and they were not as serious as this.
I had enjoyed my hours of sleep and didn’t get distracted from my studies. I dreamt of Najib…that it was Thursday and he had come by my lecture room with a bunch of nice-smelling flowers.

‘This is for you, chocolate. Would you like to have pizza?’ he stared at me in a loving way that made me smile shyly.

My colleagues whispered and Raqibah scoffed beside me. We walked to the car and red petals were bestrew on our paths. My veil swung in the air and I displayed my white-thirty-six set of teeth.

I had walked to the kitchen to make a cup of milk. It didn’t help matters…I still dreamt about him…all till Mom came by this morning to wake me up.

“You didn’t sleep well. Your eyes are red and puffy,” she looked at me fixedly.

“Don’t mind me, mom,” I waved my hands nonchalantly, pouring the bottled water into a cup. I was still on my night gown and I opened the curtains, the rays of the morning sun almost blinding my view.

I felt like the characters in the movie that was facing the effect of a hangover in the morning.

“You need to reduce the way you read. You ought to be serious but you cannot compare yourself with Raqibahoo. She is a book on her own.” Mom laughed and I joined.

She adjusted the wrapper she had tied to her chest and chewed on her miswak. “I’ll go change now. I want to drive to Mama Abigail’s house.”
I pulled the cup form my mouth and gawked at her. “Really?At this time of the day? You’re still not very fit health wise…you haven’t completed your drugs. You haven’t even had breakfast. Please oo, you’ll have to wait,” I insisted.

I always felt thrilled to display the daughterly role to my mother. I knew how much she appreciated it.
“If you say so, my daughter,” she replied silently, sinking into one of the dining chairs.

“I’ll go buy bread from Vincent’s shop. Do you want mashed fish sauce or scrambled eggs?” I asked.

“I’ll prefer the fish sauce.”

“Okay.” I returned to my room to change into proper clothing.
I couldn’t help but glance at my phone for any new message or a missed call. It was as blank as it was since I last chatted with Najib.

I opened my wardrobe and a feeling of guilt swept through me. Mom was wrong. I hadn’t been awake because I was reading Professor Audu’s note. I couldn’t even read his note during the day. I would stare at the book and the lovely picture that Najib had used as his WhatsApp profile picture would appear on the pages.

Within minutes, I was downstairs, buying bread from the shop just opposite our house. I returned a few minutes later and made breakfast.

I returned to the room shortly after and spent time, ruminating over what to wear. Dressing up for school had never been an issue for me. I could dress up within five minutes. This morning was however different. I stared at my pile of clothes and couldn’t choose a nice and colourful outfit to wear.

Despite the cold weather, my face became sweaty as I rummaged through my clothes and thrust them to the floor. I knew that I would have a big assignment of re-arranging my room when I returned from school.

I was still in the process of searching when I caught sight of a red and green gown. A distant cousin had given me as a gift, on her visit to our house. I hadn’t thought of wearing the gown till this morning.
It was a bit tight and it kinda displayed my body figure but I really wasn’t bothered. I reached to the section of my wardrobe where I kept my old set of clothings and selected a medium-sized green hijab. I added a brown powder to my face and used a bit of brown lipstick.

“Isn’t this what Najib wants?” I twirled in front of the mirror, smiling widely and posing for an imaginary picture.

“Fareedah, you’re taking too long to dress up. Aren’t you still going for your 8:00 am lecture? I’m already going to the car.” Mom called from the living room and I hurriedly packed my books into my black-sparkling bag and wore the wedged sandals I had worn during Sallah last year.

I walked to the living room, buttoning the top of the gown. I had just looked when I noticed that my mom had been gazing at me.

“What are you putting on Fareedah???”

A/N: I sincerely apologise for the late update of The Precious Figure. I've been really busy and also...I was kinda stuck in the middle of the story. There's a promise of 2 episodes next week insha ALlah. Thanks for staying tuned...the Nitty Wall loves you always!!!💕💕💕

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