Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh Hawt!!!

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.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It was a Wednesday morning,and the August rain was in full gear. She closed her eyes again,and made a conscious effort to stop thinking,but her thoughts were all over the place.
She opened her eyes,and flipped herself off the rumbled bed,walked towards the window in slow measured steps,and peered outside. Her green and sunny surroundings were made grey by the dark cloud and looming sandstorm..if anything though,her dad wouldn’t hammer on the importance of water to trees today,because his lovely garden will have more than enough,thanks to the rain. It was something her dad guarded with pride. He did all the weeding and manual work himself,saying it was a form of exercise and recreation for him. He even bought small seedlings from the gardeners in town,ranging form yellow bush to mango trees,just anything green. He always emphasized on how the trees helped with the oxygen supply in the house,but for Nai and her brothers,it was the hardwork they were forced to adapt to that wasn’t a jolly ride,even though they enjoyed spending their evenings chatting in the garden on the white plastic chairs and taking pictures.
she watched as people scamped to get to their destination before the light drizzle turned to heavy outburst. The now dusty window glass reflected her image,she was wearing one of her favourite nighties,it was all tiny purple flowers on a white cotton material. Her hair was still in the pink hairband,thanks to the silk scarf she had tied the night before. Her eyes were all puffy from the tussle she had all night with her bed,her lips were dry,and her lower pink lips looked like it was cracking owing to her biting on it all night while she ramsacked through her many predicaments. She tried a smile to cheer herself just didn’t work. She continued to try funny faces and even laugh at her confusion,but her emotions were definitely not having it.
Just then,she noticed their next-door neighbour racing to her blue rav4. “What was this one upto?”  she thought to herself. Their neighbours were a colourful bunch as far as Nai was concerned. They bought cars like it was tissue paper. They left the generator to run from the previous night upto the wee hours of the morning,and to top it all,they were night crawlers. Staying up late gisting right on their front lawn while the whole neighbourhood went to sleep. Nai’s mum was particularly appalled by it. she would say it was being irresponsilbe. But Nai was certain it was just the suburb life,not all those that lived there conformed to the quiet lifestyle her neighbourhood was used to. Infact,she was pleased by the Tanko family’s lively schedule,because she always had this fear that one could be murdered in broad daylight in that neighbourhood and noone will notice,or even act on time.

Who am I?
It was the one question that just kept popping up in her mind. It was like a race,a sudden battle or a revelation she badly needed to explore. Why did life give you so many options and yet there were little or no variations in the outcome. You were either happy or not,in not being happy,you were either miserable,sad,indifferent or depressed. These were low levels of unhappiness. Naima was sure she had experienced them all at some point in her life. But in the past few months,she was more or less testing her wings. She was on a journey to discover her limits and re-discover her potential. What were her boundaries,and what was her confort zone…she desperately needed to find out. She looked at this time in her life as the bridge. The major link that could make or marr all she had done so far.
One burden she had carried virtually all her life,was the crave to be understood. That telepathy she read in books,that talked about someone else finishing your sentences and knowing what your thoughts were exactly,even before you said a word…or was it just wishful thinking? She wondered to herself. How hard can it be really? She had accepted the crown as the queen of weirdos a long time ago,hoping and fervently praying that the king will find her soon. Maybe he just didn’t exist, maybe she really did have high standards as some other guys have claimed over the years. She looked at it as a fundermental,a basic,for all she cared,if a guy kept viewing her angles under the whole she-is-a-woman prism,then they were bound to stay glued to one spot,and that was her main beef. She just couldn’t seem to accept failure easily,she kept trying and trying even after most normal people had already given up on something. It was only a long time after a battle had been fought and lost,that she came around to accept defeat,even then,she attached sentiments,logic and excuses to it.

What was really expected of her now?
Now that she had finally finished her undergrad,no thanks to the six months ASUU strike that made her celebrate her 22nd and 23rd birthday in the same class. So much time had gone by,and even though her eyes were still on the price-which was to be thinking of settling down by the time she was 25yrs old-she did have her doubts. She had it all mapped out at first,secondary school grad at 17,undergrad at 21,Msc at 22,a job she loved by 23, and finally a home to call hers by 25…now that she had achieved only the second goal by the age of the fourth goal,she was terrified at the outcome of things. Her life was somewhat stagnant while time was in fastforward. How was she gonna handle it? She had fixed the 25yrs to the settling down goal because she considered it reasonable. Seeing as people around her even turned 35 and 40 without a home to call theirs,she could see herself in their shoes. The northern girl out to make a career out of her four-to-five academic years,and guys looking at her like a challenge and thereby avoiding her like a plaque. It was just so disheartening. Her whole clan back in the village were looking forward to her wedding day,some of her older step-aunties talked about it like it was going to be a festival,they raved at the idea of her grandma’s first female grandchild getting married and settling down. If not for her dad’s adamant and consistent defense of her stand to be educated first,those women would have had her marry a cousin or someone else years ago. The pressure seem to be become even more unbearable as her other cousins that lived with them in the village gladly swaped school for a husband. Most of them now had kids and that was the fuel that kept burning the get-married-now campaign they were pressing forward.
But all of that was little pressure compared to the immense pressure Naima put on herself. She just had to succeed,no matter what. It wasn’t going to be easy,but she had a strong conviction that she was born a winner. One whom had it all,but would have to work for it to get it. She will get there,she will have success,her dreams,goals and aspirations will all be conquered if she remained patient and stirred the all ready troubled waters of faith with a lot of planning and determination. Most paramount in her mind was getting someone to understand that passion,someone that will see her as a patner,and allow her ample time to chase her dreams without putting on the mister-fix-it cap every now and then.Family meant the world to her,but she was always advocating one chase his/her dreams even when  balancing both sides were a woman’s lot in the african society. She did pride herself as a rare breed in womanhood. The kind that didn’t enjoy falling,but accepted it as part of the journey. Her sojourn in life had to be meaningful,it just had to make sense,her resolve couldn’t be shaken….that was something she needed to communicate to whom ever it was she might end up with. The main thrust of the relationship and marriage had to be friendship and mutual respect,if not,her idea of building a home her kids will cherish all their life was bound to fail terribly….the obvious question however remained,where was this knight in shining armor that she kept planning for???
                    ... to be continued.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Going home!!!

Hello people,finally we are back in business. however,from here onward,I will be switching back to fiction. this is therefore,the last installment as per my life as at 2009...thanks for being there.
Enjoy :)

Naima herself just didnt understand it. but,she always had this feeling that her life was a scene on the truman show. she felt it was being recorded as a movie somewhere,and will soon hit stores,who knows,maybe it could even end up being number one in the box office.
She smiled at the doorman as he rushed to help her with the wet suitcases. it had been raining non-stop for almost three hours,and she didnt have the luxury of waiting somewhere for it to stop because she had to get to the Marriot hotel in time before her mum was thrown out of the room they had just checked into. Her mum being in the room without payment in the first instance was courtesy of the friendly indie porter who recognized her mum as a card holder in the hotel. the new receptionist seeing that her mum was just discharged from the hospital,and visibly weak had pity in her eyes as she took a risk to help check them in while Nai rushed back to Aunty Mimi's house to get her mum's master card.

The ride to Aunty Mimi's took about 90minutes of the two hours they had given her,and so,Naima'a mind was in so much turmoil that she just didnt notice that the rain was increasing,and she was dripping from head to toe. It didnt even matter that Aunty Mimi tried to make her dinner. she just couldnt wait that long. she just rushed around as she put all her things into her mum's suitcases and packed them all together. she had two big boxes and a small trolley bag with her. Mrs Duke,had just brought in the kids from a friend's birthday party,and offered to drop Naima off at the tube station. it was the most she could do for someone she had only met twice,even though she seemed like a nice woman,Aunty Mimi said she wasnt really one to go out of her way to help others.
Having been a resident for years in the UK had really turned her into the ideal oyinbo that hardly did much for others. Everyone seem to be too busy with their own lives that they thot of others as a burden. it was among the many reasons why Naima kicked against living off the shores of Africa for so long without contact back home. she thot it made you mean and selfish. And the whole idea of just donating money without really caring where it went or how it was used just didnt cut it. it wasnt enough excuse for all she cared.

 It was 00:07am and her phone woke her up. the text from her dad reminded her that it was indeed her birthday. Nai had turned twenty-two on a day she was gonna be going through customs and settling their hotel bills. it was no fun day at all,and if not for her dad's reminder,she may never have even noticed. as if on cue,more messages from friends started bombarding her phone non-stop that she had to silence the beep,so it dont wake her mum up.
She went on to finish packing and putting everything else in order after being robbed of sleep by the calls and messages. in a way,it did lift her spirits a little,but her mind kept wandering back to the showdown they would have to face once back home. considering what her dad had been telling her,tensions were mounting back home and she was sure her mum's return was going to make it all explode. It was a bomb waiting to explode and her mum was definately was the trigger. With her mum up,it was a new mini war on whether or not taking a bath was necessary for a 6hour flight. even though she was better,getting Nai's mum to do anything was like getting lady gaga to become a nun. it was tough work,if you did ever get to succeed at convincing her.
With all four suitcases packed and weighed,her mum clad in her fav red ensemble and their reservation confirmed,all Naima had to do was find a place to trade the dollars she had for pounds for the ticket payment. only two days earlier,she had gone to make enquiries about any discounts her mum could get being a card holder and all,but the minute she mentioned that her mum was just recently discharged from the hospital,what she got was a number to call before her mum was given approval to fly instead. she was so pissed and that was when she realized that the naija sense sure didnt work everywhere,and thats why it was called that.

She smiled through her thoughts as the guy at the bureau de change wished her a happy birthday while making a copy of her passport page. she counted the money just to be sure,and then moved over to jump the queue explaining at every stop that she was just going to pay for her reservation,but that still didnt stop some resistant passengers from giving her a hard long look before reluctantly letting her leave them behind.
Having her mum excited about going home and making calls in between big bites of cookies was like the best birthday gift ever,as it gave Naima more time to relax and window-shop round the airport duty-free shops to buy the last of her brother's long list of demands. it was a habit she had nurtured traveling with her mum,she said,it was way easier than paying for excess.


The plane landed just few minutes after four a.m..Naima woke her mum up,but with the way she responded,she sure didnt get as much sleep,even after the whole episode where she thought the plane was about to crash. it was something Nai would have to explain to her dad immediately they got home,just so he knows how exactly to handle her because Naima was planning on getting about seven hours sleep before she got back to caring for her mum again. She still had that memory mess once-in-a-while,and it made it hard to calm her mum down once she was sure someone was attacking her. it was just as well,they were back home...she finally got a sight of her brother and waved at him,so he could spot her,and she could see his eyes fill with tears as he caught sight of their mum. it seemed to be everyone's first reaction and her never-emotional brother was no exception...
           be continued.