Tuesday 13 November 2018

The Precious Figure (Episode Ten)

I twirled in front of the standing mirror as I scrutinized the lovely gown that Raqibah had insisted I wear to the outing with Najib. It was a red and black gown with lace at the hem and beads forming the love shape. I likened myself to the models that walk stylishly on the walk-way.

For once in my life, I wished that Raqibah would appear in my room that instant, so that I’d embrace her tightly. The gown was the loveliest I’d ever worn in my life.

Najib had called in the morning, saying that I should come over to his apartment, so that we’d leave for the outing from there. When my mom raised her fear, I had explained to her that Najib’s sister would be around.

So, the day would be great. I would be visiting the love of my life, wearing a glamorous outfit. I’d be spending the day with him and nothing could go wrong. Wasn’t that a perfect life? Yes, it was!

Twenty minutes later, I was on the street, threading the path like it was filled with eggshells. My feet hurt because I was putting on high-heeled shoes (Raqibah had insisted that I wear it so that my walking step and height would be improved). More so, million pairs of eyes peered at me as I was walking and for once, I fell that I’d fall flat to the mucky and soddy floor.

No one had stared at me that way before. Two men had collided against themselves because they were staring at me! A car driver had passed the traffic light because he couldn’t keep his eyes on the road.

Okay...that wasn’t how I had planned it. I wanted this for Najib alone. No one else!

“The weather is hot and people are staring at me like I’m a foreigner. I wish that I can just appear in your house,” I pouted my lips as I was talking on the phone with Najib, who had called a few seconds ago.

Najib chuckled. “Board a cab Fareedah. I’ll pay the fare when you get to the gate. Just call me okay?”

“Okay love.” I smiled graciously, feeling like the luckiest woman on earth.
“I’ll be right there!” Najib’s voice resounded from the compound.

I was standing in front of a red gate in Ilorin G.R.A and the white car I had boarded was parked beside where I was. The gate made a creaky sound and Najib came out with a bright smile.

“Hey, love.” He smiled at me as he walked towards the car to pay the driver.

It was really hard to pull my gaze away from him. He wore a black jersey and three-quarter trousers. He was all sweaty and his abdominal biceps was tempting to touch. It was obvious that he had been exercising.

“So...” Najib turned to me as the car drove off the road. Our eyes locked and I found myself staring at his brown-coloured eyes.

He almost pulled me into an embrace but resisted himself. If only he knew how much I was longing to run my fingers along his chest.

“Welcome to my abode.” Najib broke me from my thoughts, gesturing with his right hand and bowing a little.

I laughed in return and entered the compound. The house was a wine and yellow-painted bungalow with a small-sized veranda. A red Mercedes-Benz and black Toyota Corolla were parked at the right hand corner of the compound while the other corner laid several buckets of paint and old brushes.

“Don’t tell me it was your sister that painted this house?” I asked with brightened eyes.

Najib smiled in return. “You’re hundred percent correct.”

I placed my hands over my mouth. “That’s amazing.”

We entered the medium-sized living room that was blaring with the sound of an over-loud rock music playing from the home theatre. The house vibrated and I imagined that an earthquake might occur.

Why do people listen to music this loud? What happens to their ears afterwards? I wondered.
The living room was composed of a large flat screen TV, a large home theatre and furniture that looked like the shape of a tortoise. I knew for sure that Fauziyyah must have initiated the idea but I didn’t bother to ask.

“Make yourself comfortable. I’ll get you something to drink.” He said while walking away.

I sat on a sofa and stared at the TV that displayed a gory scene from an American movie. Najib came just immediately with a tray composed of a glass of cold mango juice. “I’m sorry chocolate. I was exercising before you came. Let me go have a cold shower.” He smiled and left the living room.

I decided to pass time by studying the areas of the living room. There was an open bag that contained a huge pile of unarranged Compact Disks. The walls were covered with several artworks; trees, village scenes, a flowing stream and other picture forms that were beyond my comprehension.

“Hey, you’re here already.” The voice of a female startled me, despite the loud music that rented the air.

Fauziyyah showed up with body smeared with paints. Her face looked pale and swollen, and it was obvious that she had been working since in the morning.

She walked to the TV stand and turned the music off. I sighed in relief as everywhere was quietened. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were around. My brother’s loud music would make someone gets kidnapped one day.” She rolled her eyes and flopped on the sofa beside me.

“You look tired.” I stared at her with scrutinizing eyes.

Fauziyyah yawned loudly in return. “I haven’t eaten since morning. I’m ravenous.”

My eyes twinkled with pleasure. “Why don’t we make breakfast?” I suggested, smiling at her.

“Okay...I’ll wash my paint-smeared hands and join you.”

I dropped my bag and walked in the direction that Najib had gone when he went for a glass of juice. The kitchen was very small in size and it hardly contained any food items. I wondered if they cooked at all.

“Oh...we hardly cook oo. We mostly order our food. I have even planned on ordering pizza and Hollandier yoghurt once I’m done with the painting.” Fauziyyah said as she was entering the kitchen.

Her hands had been washed but she was still putting on her t-shirt and mini-skirt that had green and red stains on them.

I furrowed my eyebrows in amazement. “Why? Cooking isn’t that difficult.”

“There’s just no time sister. Who has the time to buy groceries and spend hours in the kitchen, frying onion and grinding pepper.” She grimaced as she reached for the fridge to pull out a bottle of water.

“Well...let’s see if we can use the ingredients available to make spaghetti. I have a secret recipe.” I sang proudly as I opened the cupboard that was dusty and filled with cobwebs.

“Cooking isn’t that time-consuming, Fauziyyah. It’s fun. You really can create time to make food...even if it’s once a day.” I encouraged, giving her balls of onion to dice.

Luckily, I found a carton of frozen chicken in the refrigerator, and I washed some of it and set for steaming.

Within minutes, we had made a sauce with a sweet-smelling aroma and Fauziyyah repeatedly tasted from it with the tip of the wooden turner. “The aroma is making me go gaga.” She chortled excitedly.

“I told you! There’s nothing as great as making your own food and realizing how good of a cook you are.” I emptied spaghetti sticks into the pot of steaming water.

I returned to the table to notice Fauziyyah’s fixed gaze on me. It made me slightly uncomfortable. “I like you better.” She blurted.

I quirked my eyebrows in confusion. “Like me better?”

“Yes, better than his ex. She’s so proud and snobby. She thinks that she’s really pretty but she’s just deceiving herself.” Fauziyyah said in a mocking tone. “Seriously, I’m still surprised that my brother chose you. He has never gone for a woman this decent and religious before. Just look at this picture of his ex.” She said, scrolling through her phone.

My heard juddered in my chest as I impatiently waited to see the face of his former lover. “Oh, here she is.” Fauziyyah zoomed a picture of Najib and his ex and for a second, I felt that I had stopped breathing.
Najib was clinging tight to the waist of a tall and dark lady with long blonde hair. She was putting on a crop top and ripped jeans, and her face was filled with an over-do of make-up.

She also had her hand across his shoulder, in a very intimate way. Najib was also placing a kiss on her cheek. I was nonplussed. I held the tight grasp of the phone like it would shield Najib from her.

“They work in the same company. They were together for two years, planning their lives together when Najib discovered that she had cheated on him, on several occasions.”

It was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. My head spun around and I felt hot all of a sudden.

Fauziyyah, noticing my distraught look, reached over to touch my hand. “Don’t be bothered about this sis. It’s all in the past. My brother is a good man. I believe he loves you wholeheartedly.” She assured me, then started to talk about how horrible her lecturers were and how she had to place a large bowl of ice cream and a bottle of groundnut, to make her read the boring notes.

Her stories were quite funny and I tried to laugh at her jokes...but all I could think was the picture of Najib with his former...holding hands and kissing in public.

Fauziyyah lamented about the difficulty she was facing in combining her studies with her passion, and I urged her to accompany me to the library every week, and she said that it would be a great idea.

“I really like you, sister Fareedah. I prefer you to Moyo. We would make good friends.” She smiled triumphantly, taking my hands in hers and leading me to her room.

Fauziyyah’s room was filled with artworks and she had divided the room into two; A part for her possessions and the other was allocated for drawing and painting. Just like the living room, her room’s wall was also filled with colourful pictures hung at several corners. She tied colourful scarves around her bed and chair and behold, it was indeed a lovely sight.

I sat down beside her bed and pulled my hijab away. “Why don’t you keep friends?” It was something I had been curious about and I wouldn’t let the day go by without asking.

“I trust no one.” She replied brusquely, reaching for a bottle of springles beneath her pillow and laying on the bed. “A friend has stolen one of my art concepts and sold it to a foreigner without my consent. She was someone I trusted with all of my heart.”

“It doesn’t matter, Fauziyyah. Your friend isn’t everyone. You should open your heart and give it a chance to love and trust again.”

I hear you. Do you trust your friend that much?” she glared at me and I became speechless all of a sudden.

I remembered Raqibah’s confession and realized that I may be wrong; maybe we shouldn’t open our heart fully to loving and trusting.

“There’s this movie that I binged-watched the first season last night. It’s called Stranger Things. Have you watched it?” Fauziyyah asked, putting on her gold-plated laptop.

“Err...I don’t...”

Just then did we hear a slight knock, followed by the door opening in a haste. I struggled to don my hijab before he entered but it was too late. He had already seen a part of my hair.

Najib pretended like he hadn’t seen anything but I was certain that he did see something...a part of my hair!

He was putting on a green caftan and cap...how much I love a man dressed in caftan! “This sweet-smelling aroma pulled me away from my room and I just had to check if it is coming from this house. I can’t wait to taste that food.”

Omunje brother.” Fauziyyah whined and we laughed in return.

“Are you set? We’ll leave immediately after we’ve eaten.”

“I’m all set.” I said, reassuringly, forgetting that I had been worried about a picture of Najib with his ex.
 “Is this place still a surprise?” I widened my eyes at Najib, who was driving with a plastered smirk on his face.

“Leave me alone, Fareedah. Or you want to be blindfolded?” he snickered.

“No, I give up.” I laughed and watched the streets, remembering the great time I had with Fauziyyah. She had made me promise to visit again and I even suggested that she spend the weekend in my house. I knew that my mother would have no problem with that (as far as it wasn’t a man). I could see how elated she was when I had invited her over.

“I’m glad that you and Fauziyyah are good friends. I believe that you’ll impart positively on her life.”

“I will.” I replied in affirmative.

“By the way,” Najib grinned from ear to ear, stealing a glance at me. “You look beautiful today...no matter the men couldn’t keep their eyes off you. And your hair is lovely.”

I didn’t smile in response. “It was not right to see my hair. You should have knocked.” I retorted.

Najib gave me an unbelievable look. “It was just a part...meanwhile, you are mine.” He winked at me.

“We haven’t gotten married. I’m not yours for now.” I argued.

Najib didn’t reply. We continued our journey in silence and finally, he drove into Shoprite complex and parked the car. I rolled my eyes, wondering if that was the surprise that I had been yearning for. I had been to Shoprite countless times and it was no surprise at all.

“You might be wondering if this is the surprise...but it isn’t. I just want you to pick a few things that you’ll like from here.” He said as if reading my thought.

“Okay,” I smiled satisfactorily, walking side by side with Najib as we proceeded into the mall.
We arrived Irish Luxuries Unisex Boutique and Najib opened for the car door for me to alight. “I want you to pick anything you want...ranging from clothes to shoes and bags. Pick as much you can carry...and lest I forget, I’ll be your guide.” He stared at me intently as we walked inside the building.

I felt very excited...I would have the classiest of possessions that would last me for close to a year!

We had just started shopping when Najib picked a red tight-fitting jumpsuit that could hardly fit my body size. “This will look marvellous on you.” He handed me the jumpsuit.


“I know...too hot...too sexy...it will suit you Fareedah.” He turned to the petite salesgirl, who had stood beside us with a breathtaking smile as we entered.

“I’ll show you to the dressing room.” She smiled at me.

“Okay,” I replied nervously as I entered the small, stuffy room that was barely ventilated.

I pulled off my gown and tried on the jumpsuit...which I struggled to fit into my body. There was a large mirror beside the wall, and I stared at myself...my shape very apparent. I felt that I looked like the women that chewed gum ferociously and stood by the roadside every night.

There was no way I would wear that out...but I wouldn’t reject it so that Najib wouldn’t feel bad that I rejected his choice.

“I need to pull this off,” I grumbled, watching as the area around my armpit turned wet. I was all sweaty and hot...I needed to pull off the so-called jumpsuit and leave the stuffy room.

“All set?” Najib yelled from outside.

“Yes, I’ll just pull it off because I feel very uncomfortable,” I muttered.

“No please. You have to come out with it. I need to see how it looks.”

“Err...okay.” I had left the room when I noticed that Najib was surveying me in astonishment. He wore an evil smile and held my hands. “Let me show you something.

“Leave my hand!” I yelled but Najib was much stronger and he held the tight grips of my hand.

He whisked me away till we got to the front of a woman dressed in a black skimpy gown with a pair of blue sneakers. She wore a hat and some amount of curly hair dropped down her face.

When I saw her, I knew that I couldn’t the wrong. She was definitely the one...Najib’s ex. She was having a deep discussion with a lady when she drifted her gaze to us.

I almost melted there. What did Najib stand to gain?

“Moyo.” He called out with a mocking voice.

A/N: I know you're all curious😜😜...the next episode will explain better! Happy reading!!!

Don't miss out on the previous episodes:

Episode One

Episode Two

Episode Three

Episode Four

Episode Five

Episode Six

Episode Seven

Episode Eight

Episode Nine


  1. This is really nice! Will stay tuned for the next episode in sha Allah.

  2. This is a gift and Alhamdulilah that you are using it well. Keep shining sis! May Allah increase you in faith and knowledge.