Naima retraced her steps back to her queen sized mahogany bed. Her bare feet sinking into the brown italian carpet as she walked. She perched herself on the rightside corner of the bed,and folded her legs so that her chin was resting on her knees,she pulled her nighty down a bit to cover her calf,as the blowing wind from the window was getting stronger. She closed her eyes and laid her head back on the bed’s frame,all in a bid to pause her mind as it seem to be on a roller coaster of its own.
Just then her youngest brother burst open the white door,and threw in his whole bulk into the room before she could say anything. He smiled at her,with his full eyebrows raising at her posture and facial expression. Being about eleven years younger than she was,Abdulwahid looked at her like some older sister that had all the answers. He asked her a lot of questions,some even weird ones,and his topics will range from science,literature,religion and even arts. Naima loved his adventurous side,she saw it as something they had in common which wasn’t a normal thing in the Ibrahim’s lineage. Hence,she made sure she listened to him and explained as much as she could to satisfy his young mind. Her mum called him her PA,they were a lot closer than she was with her other two sibilings,even though she did talk a lot with Fahd,who was her immediate younger one,their ideologies right from kidergarten were not same. With Abdulwaihd however,she got to pass across the passion of finding answers for yourself. She called him with the pet name,gotel,the fulani word for “one” which was the literal meaning of the second bit of his arabic name.
That windy morning was no different. Like his usual self,he was the first to wake up in the boys’ room,and after taking his bath,and switching to his khaki shorts and white denim top from his boxers,which he slept in.he headed down to check up on her and cross examine her with his many answers. If the lights were not out,he will normally just tiptoe into the room and tune to cartoon network,and she would wake up to his laughing self sprawled on the carpet right infront of the large flatscreen sony television.
“yaya?” Naima spoke first.“babu,na zo in gaishe ki ne” He went defensive.“toh,nagode…amma barci nake ji” Naima said,not wanting to be disturbed.“ok,sorry…zan dawo anjuma? He played innocent again,as he moved away from the bed,and explained in a heartbeat that he was off to see his friend two houses away from theirs. All Nai could do was nod. These thoughts had taken all of her energy,and she had just started to go deeper ,in her mind.
Her phone shrieked just then,blasting the “OMG” by Usher ringtone,causing an echo in the mortuary quiet room. She guessed it might be Peaches,as he had been calling all morning. What did he really want? After all the havoc he had caused in her life,she had forgiven him so much so that she was even receiving his calls and replying his messages once-in-a-while. However,she noticed that had only encouraged him,making him think he still had a chance.Nai knew that chapter of her life was done with,she didn’t deny that she loved him once,even when things were bad,she never said or even thot that she regretted ever knowing him,but for all she cared,she didn’t wanna re-live those memories again. Life had so much more to offer,and she wouldn’t limit herself to a myopic angle of it.
Everyone seemed to be smiling. Dressed in radiant colors,exhanging pleasantries,hugging,and making introductions. the ladies were as usual in the center of it all,with some clinging towards the new Rihanna padded sleeves style,and others going for the casual look adorning themselves in black-and-white. There were also those misfits,like in every event,that looked like they didn’t know they were coming for an in-house event and not a wedding or carnival. Naima belonged to the casual crowd. With her grey polka dots knee-length top,and black leggings she didn’t really turn heads,but blended well with the crowd. She had opted for a thin grey hair band to hold her hair,and wore long sliver earrings,which shone in the dim lights of the Mu’azzams’ garden. She smiled at Bahijja as she made her way to where Naima was standing. The two girls exchanged pleasantries,as each tried to explain the long hush,and one-way communication between the once inseperable ladies.
“gaskiya,this isnt right,so if not for yaya kabir’s graduation party,we still wont meet?” Bahijja said,in between gulps of red wine. She was a lovely girl to be around. The one problem Naima had come to have with her was her believe that everything in life revolved around wealth and power. They were always arguing about that,and as such,the way they acted and responded to life had been different. Naima understood her angle sometimes,because Bahijja had known wealth all her life,her dad had been on the corridors of power since she was born. He was one of the few people that owned lands and houses in Abuja. He was the permanent secretary in the ministry of agriculture,and that was his fourth ministry,he had worked with the immediate past minister of industries as his personal assistant. That had shot him more to limelight. Bahijja’s point was inconsistent with life’s real challenges,as she had been sheilded from the real world all her life,it made her conversation shallow and bombastic sometimes,especially since she was such a shop-a-holic and label freak. One time,they had a fight with Nai,because she bought a jean for seven thousand naira.
Tonight was no different. She was clad in a smoky red Vera Wang summer mini dress,and leopard skin Jimmy Choo pomps. Her signature chanel perfume intoxicated the air around her,and her short curls were soaked in spotting waves that one could use it as a mirror in the dark night. As she spoke,and gestured with her hands,the sounds from her six-piece bangles became even more annoying.
Nai smiled,she has not changed one bit, she thot to herself. Bahijja was saying something about taking a picture with the celebrant before it got even more rowdy,and Nai quickly nodded. She would want that because the minute all those naughty rich boys got even more drunk,there was bound to be a scene. It had become part and parcel of the Mu’azzams’ house party. Beer,champagne and all sorts of assorted wine was in abundance. The smoking level was on red as almost all the guys there smoked cigars or shisha. They made so much noise and small talk,chasing whoever was the life of the party,before they headed onto the centre of the garden where the deejay was stationed,and danced the night away. Her parents had insisted that Naima go and congratulate Kabir over his results. It was more or less a first in their larger extended family,as no1 had ever gone aboard to study and came home with a distinction. Everyone was proud of Kabir. Some relatives had even sent their daughters over to the party with a mission to get Kabir’s attention,and work on making him their future husband. Naima was fully aware of that,and it was why she didn’t wanna go at first,especially since virtually everyone knew of the electrifying chemistry she shared with him. As she turned into the kitchen to drop her wine glass,Bahijja almost tripped,and Naima reached out an arm to keep her still.“ke! Karki fadi a nan fa” Naima lamented,worried that Bahijja still couldn’t stay away from alcohol as they grew older.“don’t worry,I will be fine,lemme just freshen up,I will meet up with you” she quickly replied.
Naima was left to stand all alone in the corner,as she waited for Bahijja’a return. Kabir noticed her minutes earlier,but refused to go over,and talk to her. Even though the girls around him seem to be engaged in a heated argument over who was hotter between Brad Pitt and Robert patterson,he wanted her to see him being wooed by other girls. Maybe she would feel a little bit of jealousy,and that would make her acknowledge the blinding spark between them. As if on cue,she turned her head towards his direction,and their eyes locked. It was the first time she was seeing him that evening,and the mere sight of him just took her breath away. He looked a lot more handsome than the last time she saw him,and his body fit chocolate-coloured top made him look so hot,he almost looked like Isiah Washington.
She peeled her eyes off him as he began to smile at her,and she could swear she felt him inches close to her,instead of feets away,as it really was. Where was Bahijja? She wasn’t doing this,she had to leave. She picked up her glass from the long leather table,and turned to disappear into the serenity of the kitchen,instead she felt a strong hand around her waist folding her into a warm embrace…
… to be continued.