The Alarm rang again.......
"Mtssssssssssss" Naima hissed, just as she stretched out to put it off with her face still buried in her pillow.
Slowly,she turned over with her eyes still shut. Her round face expressionless as always. her face was bold with marked feautures that sometimes made her look almost like a robot,except for her long eyelashes and full eyebrow,she almost looked like a guy.
*Ringing* that made her open her tiny brown eyes immediately igniting that light she always carried around.
"hello" her soft voice vibrating thru the walls of the quiet room.
"Yar'uwa, har yanzu kina barci?" fatty said.
"No,I just woke up,whats up?"
"Dnt forget to come with your assignment and pls come along with cold water in akwai?
"ok,thanks. See ya"
She reluctantly threw her long legs off the bed and started to do the bed. *new sheets* she registerd but knew she didnt have much tym so she decided against it....
The whole room had newly been re-decorated to her taste. most of her friends still thot the whole pink wallpaper on green walls was kinda high school but Naima loved it. she wouldnt change a thing and thot it had a cozy feel to it. her fridge was full of stick-ons of her fav things, her reading table was of cos all books,most of which she hadnt had tym to read cos of the rush with her project supervisor. oh that man!
That thot made her realize that she was to see him today by 8am. And from the way he sounded when he called,it might be a long day.
She opened her wardrobe to find sumthing to fit the day. she always did that. looking right meant everything to her. since it was mid-week,she thot of wearing sumthn casual,even thou she was dying to try out that velvet dress her mum had sent over for Vee's sendforth.
But she knew with da lab work she wud be doing all day,there wudnt be time for her to show-off the dress.
Her eyes fell on her leopard print top instead.
"ok,its kinda hot y'knw" Naughty Naima said.
"but the fabric is soft plus its really comfy" Sweet Naima replied.
she settled on it with that last toht and took a dive to her laundry sorter to check for clean jeans. that was one thing she still couldnt figure out,taking care of her jeans.
With her outfit all lined up and spread on the bed it was finally time to hit the shower. just in tym to scrub her face with her new honey and lime concoction.
"oh no!" she wailed as she noticed a new pimple just by her lower jaw. her face had never been spotless since her teen years but this tym it seemed as if they (the acne) were determined to make her face their new hang-out. well, at least now she was certain that the Mary Kay kit she got a while back needed more help in fightn these invaders.
Her eyes shiftd from the mirror just in tym to see that it was abt a quarter to 7am.
Quickly,she rushed off to the bathroom and in five minutes she was out.
she didnt even hav tym to use her towel,she just put on her clothes,packed up her braids in a ribbon and flew out the door.
She got to school late of cos,a new habit she was beginning to keep that she wasnt happy about. she smyld as her frnds waved from the back seats of the lecture hall.
"whr's the water?" Fatty asked.
"oh no,I forgot" Naima replied,feeling a little bit guilty.
"its ok"
"ina assignment naki?" Fairy chiped in,trying to clear the air.
she always did that. it was always hard to break the ice when it came to being in a circle of frnds. they sorta like expectd you to abide by the codes of the frndship-which was never stated of cos-all the time.
"its here" she said handing it over and looking over at Fatty she said,"I'm sorry,I was kinda in a rush".
Fatty just gave her a nod.
Fairy was always the 1 quick to talk in the circle of three,even thou most ppl thot she was the quiet one. she always said her mind and when it came to being pissed abt sumthn,both Naima and Fatty never messed with her cos she could hold a grudge for days.
She was kinda from a big family,lotta brothers and sisters. Her dad had four wives-her mum included-and Fairy always said that sorta made her a fighter when it came to issues in life.Her dad being an MD had made her come over to study Medicine but instead she was stuck in Biochem-as she liked to put it. she's heed-over-heels with an army officer and always dreams of being his wife very soon but her dad wudnt have it. her wanted her to come back again for Medicine. both Fatty and Naima knew Fairy cudnt cope cos even now,being with them kinda made her more on her toes. it wasnt like she wasnt smart or anything,but she seem to always forget that learning and making it especially in Nigerian universities was all about hard work.

Fatty was the kinda frnd every girl dreamed of having. Naima shared a stronger bond with her cos in so many ways they seemed so much alike. they both had a strong character and liked the same things. they both loved watching the same movies,both were die-hard fans of Grey's anatomy and seem to never get tired of talking about the latest buzz about their fav celebrities.
they also both wanted to go for their Msc right afta school and become working mothers in the near future.
Fatty lost her dad when she was 10 and that sorta makes her a go-getter. they were quite close and being that she was in school when he died,she didnt get to share any last thots or see his remains-he died in an auto crash-and that kinda affects any relationship she keeps. "we can only be sure of now" she always wud say.
"Good morning class" Anty confused (as Naima and frnds had named her) supplied.

"why do I hav a bad feeling abt 2day?" Sweet Naima wondered.
"hey,wud you shut it with all these ur karma sense" Naughty Naima argued.
"its for real,I just know sumtyms" Sweet Naima fought back.
"oh,yea right,your killer instincts,sorry I forgot lady" Naughty Naima replied sarcastically.
Sweet Naima always lost to Naughty Naima and it just made her hate herself sumtyms. "Argh"

She just stood there by the door not wanting to miss him when he got to the faculty. sumhw Naima had given him the wrong first impression,making him think she was always late and untidy-just because she broke the cornical flask on her first day there. but she was determined to change that image,so she got to the faculty by 7:50am.
She looked around while waiting for him. before now,she had never been to the Vet faculty. she didnt have frnds there cos she didnt like their guts. they always thot biochem students were 2nd class students cos they took more courses and were called doctors. so what? we are all here to learn,so why do you think I'm wasting ma tym being in biochem,she wud always say.
She still felt like a fish outta water even after spending 2 weeks in the faculty. the lecturers were renowed womanizers in the whole school and so she was always careful what she wore to the place so as not to attract unwanted attention but that didnt stop a few of them to act really stupid around her.
Naima wasnt really a beauty to behold but every1 that met her over the years always seem to agree that she had an aura around her that attracted people to her like magnet to metal.
She carried herself arnd with so much dignity and confidence almost too mature for a 21yr old. Some guys felt intimidated by her,others thot she was a fun challenge that was so on-guard cos she hadnt found the right player yet. Most girls her age thot she was on a high horse always judging others and thinking she had it all but Naima never payed any attention to gossip,she had developed a thick skin to that long ago in high school when there seemed to be a lotta misconceptions abt her. as far as she knew,the weirdo crown fit her perfectly.
"Sorry,I'm late Naima" Dr. Albert (her supervisor)'s voice brought her back to the present.
"No problem,Sir" She replied.
"Wait for me in the lab,I'll be down in 10minutes" He supplied.
"ok Sir"

It was already 5:30pm and Naima was still trying to round up the work. it was getting dark outside and the lab attendant wasnt making it easy on her. she turned to beg him again to please allow her clean-up in the morning but she cudnt see him anywhr close.
That man was sumthing else,sumhw he had finally cum to like her. at first he made a lot of complain about the way she worked to her supervisor, but after seeing her dedicate 5 days straight to her lab work without complaining and coming over during weekends to feed her lab rats too,he seem to finally be on her side.
"Hello Fatty" 
"Nai,pls come over to the room when your finishd" Fatty replied with a shaky voice.
"me ne?" She inquired.
"just come over ok?"
"I'm done already,would see you in 20 minutes,stay calm okay" She said even thou she had no idea what was up,she knew Fatty was a basketcase when it came to tough situations.

She virtually ran up the stairs when she reached the block of rooms where Fatty and Fairy lived.the swinging door flew open with the kinda shove she gave it.
both Fatty and Fairy were crying. she sat down slowly and offered Fatty her shoulder,pulling Fairy closer for a group hug. they seem to cry more after seeing her.
Finally she asked,"what is it? what happend?"
Fatty looked over at Fairy,as if saying,you tell her.
"what?" she was getting impatient now and scared at the same time.
"its............err..........its.............."Fairy started to say.
"I'm listening"
"I just got a text message"
Fairy just passed the phone over to Naima not able to say any more.
Naima scrolled to her messages and started to read.
her hands shaking......slowly what she read started to sink in......her face changed........her voice choked with tears as she tried to talk................. 

*honk and lights*
That made her look closely at the car coming towards her on the opposite lane. "Oh, not today" Naughty Naima wailed.
This tym Sweet Naima was silent. on days like this she always was. she found it hard to believe how the week was turning out. First it was Fairy's sister's fiance, then the rumours peaches was spreading and now her mum. she just wasnt up for this silly guy's small talk.
Peaches was not his name,it was the name he coined for her immediately they became an item. Nai thot the world of him, until she got closer, started to know him, the real him, and then she realised that he was a lot like the others. Even thou she realised early, Nai blamed herself, like most girls in abusive relationships, she thot the problem was her. she was the one asking for too much, the nagging one, the one seeking too much for right. the lies came, the imperfection showed up, the demand for energy drained her, but she still loved. she fought hard and fast. the world was against them, so they had to put up a face all the time. Nai was left to form the "sweet couple" role even to Fairy and Fatty.
But,she got tired. "I'm tired of being the only 1 fightn for this relationship to survive" she had announced on the day she made up her mind. like the man she had come to know him to be, he denied all. he swore and then finally confessed, siting being panicked as an excuse. Naima just couldnt believe he had the guts to say that, panicked that what? he couldnt at least give her time to think about it all, he had already started running his mouth around that he was dumping her.....what nonsense!
Now, every1 was stepping up to say what he knew, the stories were just becoming too much for her fragile and already sick heart. her family were finally getting to like him, Fatty and Fairy were stunned when she told them all about it and how she had been drowning all this while without them noticing anything.
"Mehn, your strong" was all Fairy could say, Fatty watched her more closely ever since. asking questions, wanting to know, talking about it with her, really helped Nai put it on the table and actually laugh at the situation.
Naima watched as BB slowed down when their cars got close and shouted, "mu hadu mana" through his half winded glass.
He parked the grey cerato just off the tarred ever busy hostel road, and stepped out with a smile as always. for sum1 that didnt know BB, he was the perfect description of a hunk with loads of cash, but Naima knew him too well. he was such a rough player that Nai sometyms said, it would be a miracle if he ever changed. his tall,slender frame intimidated a lot of girls. he had a simple, yet interesting kinda lifestyle. always dressed up in logo labels with a hat to match. today was no different,he was wearing a red TH shirt and plain blue jeans.he was known more for his personalized LV p-cap. it was his thing, and he always wud say, "all for the ladies". his smile was so intoxicating even to Naima, it was all innocent and boyish. but that was all an act for BB was no inncent dude.
Naima had come to love his soft side. A side of him he rarely potraited. the kind,funny and compassionate side. Even thou she had known him since kindergarten, Nai was still suprised when he donated 50,000 naira thru her for the KIND reachout program last semester.they became closer ever since.
She parked on the opposite side, and reduced the volume of her stereo to its lowest. she decided swiftly to leave the red 206 on so he wouldnt keep her for long.
"whats up?" she asked, leaning towards the door frame to give her a better posture,just as he stepped beside her.
"ma admission is out, and SK is organising a party for me on Saturday, and you have to come" he replied, all at a go.
"BB, I cant........
"no excuses,your not seeing me again till next year cos I know your not coming over to London till after your grad" he cut in.
"Okay,I'll think about it but seriously,I might just come over earlier to help with the decorations and thats all" she said,getting strait to the reason why they both knew he needed her there.
Naima found it hard socializing with his up-class group of friends. even thou, BB was so much like them in so many ways,he did have a thot once in a while to do the right thing.
BB had come to love her passion for interior decor, since she helped with his sister,Jamy's room.

he had once told her she would make a fab interior designer but Naima just took it as something every girl should be able to wrap her fingers around. she never took BB's flattery seriously, even thou it meant a lot that he thot of her as a "breath of fresh air"......Ha! she almost laughed her head off the first day he said it. "you make a guy's yarns look so old skool" he had explained further,feigning disdain. they both laughed at his silly joke.
His mum still called her "my in-law" hoping that it would actually come true someday. she always told Naima that she was the only one that made BB think of doing good and actually believing in himself. but Naima made it clear then that BB was more of a brother to her. thou she had once had a crush on him way back in high school, she kept it all to herself cos she knew BB would just laugh it off....
"Toh, sai na gan ki" he said, with a rueful smile,
"Sure" she glanced across her dashboard and immediately added, "I have to go, I have a lecture in 20 minutes"
"Ok, Ms serious" , he said mockingly,he reached out to touch her cheeks then, and Naima almost swore she saw something shift in his eyes.
"Bye-bye" she hastily concluded, shaking herself out of her naughty thots and putting  her gear-shift back on D.....
He smiled again and waved as she zoomed off in her usual rough driving roar. that was one thing about her that excited him, she had a thing for speed and was never scared whenever she was riding with him, unlike most of his other numerous girlfriends that thot he was too rough.
He also loved her dress sense, whatever Naima wore brought out her fine figure. she poured grace into an outfit and made it her own. Today, she was wearing Trads being a Friday, and the purple outfit lit up her cloudy face.
BB knew of the trouble she was going thru accepting her break-up with peaches, three years was no joke, but he had come to respect her strength in trying so hard to hide her pain in the years he knew her. she was a private person, and being with her meant accepting the little bits she shared with you and trusting her with all of your baggage. he understood that about her, even thou he was her complete opposite, and he couldnt understand why it was so hard for the guys she fell for to get that.
He crossed over to the side where he had parked and drove off too,still thinking of Naima.

"yan'mata ina waje" Naima spoke into the speaker of her N95 as she put the car on park. she used her earpiece most tyms while driving but she had misplaced it last week and had not found time to search for it since Faisal's death, bcos she had to be with Fairy most of the time, which was the source of the new name, "fifth occupant" that Aisha-Fairy and Fatty's neighbour-now called her.
Faisal's death was indeed a shocker not only to Fairy but to the other girls bcos he had called the day he died. he had asked to speak with all three and made them promise they'll come over for the wedding the following weekend.
Fairy's sister was of cos heartbroken,how does a girl recieve the news of her fiance's death just a week to their wedding, especially in his own case being that he made the journey that cost him his life just to make things perfect as she wanted it for the D-day.
Naima's face grew darker as she remembered her mum's weak voice when she spoke with her that morning. it almost didnt sound like her. her mum like Naima was never sick. she would do all the work, and travel on biznes almost every weekend and never complain.
Mayb it was fatigue,Naima thot to herself. but the line of diagnosis Dr Jennifer was taking was making her doubt that thot.
"Hmmmmmmmm" she breathed out. this life is just zig-zag.
she shifted her attention to her surroundings while she waited for Fairy and Fatty to come down from their 3rd floor room. it took them at least 7 minutes to reach the gate most tyms, which was why she had decided to just call while she waited outside since they were running late.

The BBall court was situated just opposite the Murtala Hall. Which Naima thot was odd considering that fewer girls played BBall in the school, hence having the court close to the female hostels just made for unnecessary noise in the evening. she was a fan of BBall but it was the associated shout and choas from their fans that put her off. most guys just got to the court all dressd up in BBall kits, blasting loud music, and making advances at the next thing in skirt. the proximty gave for a lot of advantage.
It made her remember one tym she was there cheering peaches's team and some nasty fellow had thot it convenient to put his hands around her waist.
But Nai always said she couldnt imagine any female hostel in the school better than the murtala hall. it was far more tidy than the other hostels and its occupants seem more friendly in her mind.she usually moved in during exams, and having done that for the last four years since she got to the school made her opinion had to ignore.

*Whoo-haa,text message*
She picked up the phone from the side compartment. The message was from Ami.
Nai,whats up? just spoke with peaches and I didnt quite get what he was saying,holla when you get this please.
Oh no,he didnt! Naima cursed.....Ami was one of her good friends and had come to like peaches a lot. he had virtually gone round telling their friends to please help him convince her as to why she should give him one more chance to try harder. but Nai had already made up her mind. as much as it hurt, she knew she was done, she just couldnt take it anymore..

She sat on the slab just beside the lab downstairs. it was very early in the morning but she knew she had to start the second part of her work that day....
The cleaning ladies were just sweeping the whole faculty and of cos that meant dusty air. she stood up to leave the vicinity for a while, mumbling a greeting as she walked past the cleaning lady closer to her. it was appalling that these ladies left home so early to come over here for such little pay. poverty is really a terrible thing!
She walked around the faculty for a while, she stopped at the big notice board first and looked at the announcements scattered all over the place. the large blue "faculty of veterinary medicine" logo caught her eye next. she read the motto and smiled to herself....these guys were really full of themselves but hey,she was here and had to make the best out of it.
"Hello" he said.
Naima turned around to find a funny set of brown eyes starring at her. "Morning" she replied, not really placing the face but she was sure she had seen it somewhere.
"do you remember me?" he asked. "I'm Eazy, we met last week in the lab,well you might not remember cos you barely looked at me when I introduced myself."
"Oh, I think I remember,It was on Friday right?,I wasnt really in a good mood then"
"Nice meeting you"
"you too" Nai replied.
Later on, she went back to sit on the slab again and Eazy passed by almost a zillion tyms. making excuses, asking questions and sometyms just smiling as he passed by.
Nai instantly took to him. he seemed like a nice guy to her, "and you could do with some laughs y'knw" Naughty Naima supplied.
"yea,just jump at the next available guy, as if that would help" sweet Naima reiterated.
He was tall and good looking, clad in multi-color stripped shirt and dark brown trousers. she instantly noticed his courtesy, which was hard to see in guys these days. he also seemed kinda popular as every1 arnd either hailed him or greeted him.
Finally, he said what seem to have troubling him all the while,"can I have your number please?"
She hesitated a bit and then Naughty Naima took control, "sure". they exchanged numbers.
Nai was already neck-deep in the lab about 30 minutes later when in popped in to say goodbye.
"goodbye" more like hello she thot to herself but she knew by now that the bitterness wasnt going to get her anywhere.

"Sorry,I want to leave please" she said to the total stranger leaning against the hood of her car. he looked so comfortable from afar that you would think she was the one intruding and not the other way round.
he apologised and then just as he was about to leave, he decided to say a few words.
*he chineke,I don suffer* Naughty Naima exclaimed as the guy ran his mouth about how he was a 200 level student of accounting.
*I look like jambito wey you go oppress* Naughty continued to wail like a siren in Nai's head,she cut him off with a smile and said she was in a hurry.
"Ok, see you around" he said, his voice laced with hope.
"I can see your star is shining this week o" Fatty said, as Naima ended the call.
"Babe,ban gane ma gayen ba fa"
"like how?"
"Ah, this one that he's moving with 520nm speed mana"
"but you said you like him already now" Fairy joined in.
"yes, but he needs to be considerate, peaches is from his place as well plus peaches's dad is his godfather or somthing, so its kinda tough" Fatty said in Nai's defense.
"the real problem is that I dont think I'm ready for a relationship right now" Nai added.
"your right about that o,I was thinking of advising you about that, you need to put yourself back together, all these sweet talk will end soon and these availables that are confusing you now will vanish into thin air,and you need to be strong enough to handle the reality" Fairy said.
"kwara ya sauko 250nm  fa, afteral the other availables have taken it in good faith, why not him?" Fatty said again.
Naima lay there across the bed on the brown leather carpet that covered the entire room,with her head on the pillow thinking about what her friends had said. she tilted towards the window for fresh air as the lights were out again as usual,she was beginning to like Eazy more than the other availables no doubt but she knew it would just make it worse, especially after the story he had told her about his last girlfriend.
She took another look at the ring he had given her the day before and smiled, "this cant be happening already, or is it?" she asked no1 in particular.
the other two were busy trying to fix her lunch as she had said she was their guest today, and so wasnt cooking herself.
*Whoo-haa text message*
"Eazy again" both her friends said in unison, she just smiled as she checked the SMS and said, "No,its KB"...........

 "This cant be happening" Sweet Naima went on and on again about the news that her mum was missing!
It all started three days ago when her mum called in from London to say she was feeling a bit dizzy.
Next, an aunt called to say she wasnt picking her calls. before any of them could wrap their heads around what was happening,she was declared missing by Nai's cousin.
She closed her eyes and opened them again, telling herself it was a dream.
Even the looming clouds couldnt make her switch positions from the pole she held onto tightly infront of the Mass com classes.
Her friends were in there studying for the body fluids exams they had the next day. there were rumours of an indefinate strike by ASUU but that didnt stop them from studying cos they were praying for a miracle.
The noise infront of the classes made for distractions but Naima was miles away. Even the annoying jambitos that were coming into class late, dragging their feet and talking on top of their voice didnt seem to disturb her tonight.
She walked past the few ones that had decided to read under the trees with their candles burning the flies that were facsinated by the illumination of this new addition to their surroundings.
Naima walked for a long time, mostly circling the same area, until it finally occured to her.
He was her immediate younger one. He was in school and was the last to help her mum plan her trip, he had helped her pack and even made reservations for her in one of her favorite hotels.
She dialed his number half distracted.
"Hello" He answered on the second ring.
"Fah,ya kake?" she said hastily.
"Lafiya. Hw far?"
"When last did you talk to mumsy?"
"Ehmmmmmmmmm, Tuesday,I think" He replied. Naima just didnt understand how he spent days without talking to her and it didnt bother him.
"she's missing fa" Naima tried as hard to say it lightly, but he got the message.
"kamar yaya?" He asked, his voice rising a bit.
"Ah, Kabir checked all over but couldnt find her, so he has reported to the embassy"
"is that all your going to say?" Naima was beginning to get angry. he acted as if this was a joke or something. Their mum was really sick and missing in a foriegn land and he was here giving her mono-syllabic answers!
"sai anjima" she ended the call. she was close to tears by now.
"Hello Naima"
"Its Kabir"
"oh Hi" she quickly sat up from the bed and started to pace the entire room.
Fatty and Fairy tried to follow closely. they watched her digest the information she was recieving on the other end.
She asked a few questions. and was silent as they were replied.
"But she's stable now ko?"
"yes, she is but still in coma" Kabir confirmed.
He was more her mum's cousin than hers but being that he was just a few years older, it was more convienent to call him her cousin most times.
"nagode fa"
"haba ba komai"
Naima was overcome with sadness. her throat went dry, and just as she opened her mouth to tell her friends what she just heard, her brave front failed her and she broke down in tears.
It was the second time Fatty and Fairy were seeing her cry in the four years they had come to know her. the first was when she had problem with her dad over her relationship with peaches. this was bad.
it had to be. for Naima who cried once or twice a year to be sobbing uncontrollably....
She wiped the tears and started to say something but before they could catch a word, she was back to tears. this time she leaned in towards Fatty and put her head on her shoulder.
this is not good.
this is bad.
Real bad indeed!!!

She adjusted the seat to a more comfortable position as she tried to rest a bit………she just couldn’t sleep,she was too anxious about her mum’s call the night before warning her to be careful on her way. Even thou the nurse said it was all part of the “conspiracy theory” symptom that most of their patients suffered, her dad’s firmness in the believe that there was more to this story had made it impossible for Naima to relax.
She put on the screen infront of her and browsed thru the movies to be showing once the flight was airborne. A smiling face approached her to remind her that taxing was in ten minutes and the monitor might be off for a short while. She just smiled back and said OK. Taking in the air hostess’s courteous stand. She just didn’t understand why the ones on the local domain were not this nice. She had finally decided to take the Arik air flight to heathrow only because it seemed to be the only one with an available seat, but now it looked as if she was mistaken about their efficiency afteral. Their crisp blue and white outfit and the way in which they handled passenger complaint had impressed her so far. There was also a few oyinbo crew members to balance the equation.
She looked at her side and her eyes locked with the woman beside her wearing a flowing adire attire. She felt almost unpatriotic in her jeans and over-sized pullover but she knew she wudnt be sorry by the time she became jet-lagged. Her code for flying was always free and comfy. Being that the transit flight from Abuja had been fast, she had taken a lot of time to move round the international wing of MM airport, and even that brought back too many memories of her last trip to Dubai with her mum. She struggled with herself to remain positive but the rate at which things were going, she was already psyching herself up for the worst.
Her long conversation with her dad the night before, also added to her misery. He told her all about how her own aunt was taking advantage of the situation and why her mum had travelled out in the first place without prior notice as she always did.
She put on the yellow ear-plugs provided by the airline and closed her eyes as the plane took-off.
She brought out her phone and switched it on while waiting for her luggage on the opposite side of terminal 2. The flight had been smooth and she had finally got a little sleep, after watching 17 again.
Customs clearing was also surprisingly fast so she was thru one hour earlier than she had told her dad. She dialed his number first.
Baba mun isa” she said after he picked the call.
Toh,kin kira drivan ne?” he asked.
yanzu zan kira shi”…………she ended the call promising to call him when she was at the hospital. She called the cab driver next, and he didn’t pick. She called her mum’s BFF next to compliant about the driver, and she gave her the number of a friend,who would pick her up instead.
The luggage finally arrived and just as she was picking up her big bag, a girl clad in a short orange summer dress walked up to her saying the bag was hers. She put the bag down and told her to double check just to be sure.
“Oh sorry, mine’s smaller”
“its OK…….just check again carefully”
She pushed the trolley with little energy left in her as she received another call from Yemi to say that he would be there in 30 minutes. She had never seen him before, even thou he was a good friend of her mum’s. he lived with his family in the UK, and was very accommodating if what she heard about him was anything to go by. It was the same story with the family she was going to be staying with as well. The wife was her mum’s old friend but she had not seen her in a long while too. Naima just hoped she wouldn’t be imposing because left to her, she could have managed her mum’s apartment just fine. It was her dad who thot it would be easier if she stayed with the Jacobs, especially since the husband was part of the first team to diagnose her mum with toxoplasmosis.
Naima just couldn’t understand the connection, toxo is a vector mostly found in cats. So how exactly did her mum get that along with so many other infections all at once.
oh ni Naima Ibrahim na shiga uku” she thot to herself…………the bag lady interrupted her flow, introducing herself as Kemi. She said it was her first time in the UK and that she was visiting her cousins.
“you are from the north right?”
“yep, I am” Naima replied, as she acknowledged the direction of the girl’s eyes. She was looking at her scarf. No matter what she wore, Naima just couldn’t do without her scarf, she felt almost incomplete without it. Even when she went for a dinner, concert or party, she found a way to chip in her matching scarf without looking totally outta style.
The two girls chatted for a long time about Nigeria and living abroad.
It was Yemi’s call that ended the conversation and Naima reluctantly left her new friend behind as she hurried thru the terminal’s revolving doors to begin the eternal search of finding Yemi!
 She stepped into the fading summer sunlight and looked around,her phone glued to her ears as she tried to place his description to a face....He phone rang just then, and she smiled to herself as she saw that it was from Yemi.
This is really akward,she thought to herself.
"Hello?" she supplied.
"Are you the one with the cream turtle neck?" he asked, with his deep british naija tinted voice.
"Yea, but I cant see you" Naima confirmed.
"Ok, stay where you are. I'm coming over"
She ended the call, and still continued to look around wanting to see him before he got to her.......

She spotted him just a few minutes before he stood beside her, only because he was waving at her with a wide smile pasted on his face.
She quickly began the process of analyzing him before he spoke;
young at her heart-check
Sexy.....................* Naughty was interrupted before she could go haywire.
He widened the smile and opened his arms gesturing her for a hug. she hesitated a bit and then gave him a bear hug in return, both startled and confused by his warm gesture.
"your welcome,dear......How was your flight? Sorry,I'm late the traffic is bad on a Friday y'knw" He went on to make the conversation one-sided with his deep accent, which made it further impossible for Naima to follow or respond with the same speed.
He picked up her bag from the trolley and virtually panicked.
"What do you have in here?" he exclaimed.
"Stuff" was all she could come up with cos the alarm in his voice made it sound like a crime.
He laughed again, talking more about it and so many bits of events as he drove them back into town from the airport in his blue BMW.

Naima knew she couldnt sleep without seeing her mum that day,so she pleaded with Yemi to take her there first before taking her to the Jacobs residence.
But he only agreed on the condition that they stop for a quick drive-by snack at KFC. Naima didnt object cos their fries tasted like heaven but on this day,the anxiety was just too high for her to bother about that. she just nodded while he tried to talk about how well her mum was faring so far,even with the multiple diagnosis.
She smiled at most of his jokes and even feigned interest now and then during the 3hour drive to the hospital, but her mind was miles away in the depth of misery land.

It was like a sharp pain, and then the disbelief hit her hard on the chin......her eyes began to lose focus and she felt herself falling....she held onto the only solid thing in her line of sight, and moved towards the door. she stepped outside the room and crouched beside the nurse's station. her vision still blurry and her head heavy like an old antic vase. her hands holding her rumbling tummy trying as hard to stop the sounds she thought could be heard because of the way it felt.....
"Naima, listen to have to be strong for her" Yemi was saying.
But she was still in a daze.
Her strong mum was now a half-sane screaming patient in a London hospital........when she walked in, her mum's eyes was a cloud of confusion.
It took almost 60 minutes before the nurse convinced her that the girl infront of her was her daughter. she just kept saying that she looked a lot like her Naima.
"mama ni ne" Naima reassured her, but she still wasnt convinced.
"How could you? are helping them? want to kill me too?" she said again and again.
"Dont come near me.........take me away from her" her mum screamed as she tried to hug her.
"I never knew that you could be this wicked.............what have I done to you ehn?" she asked Naima, her eyes charging with a scary light Naima had never seen before. she was biting her lips hard thereby causing blood to drip from them.
She looked around and then began to scream at the wall beaside her, "stop starring at me like that"......"Hmm,this is unbelievable" she continued,this time laughing out loud, and plucking out her hair in the process...
The nurses thought it was wise if Naima left so she would be given her anti-anxiety drugs for the night.

"OH MY GOD" Naima thought to herself as Yemi continued to talk to her in a reassuring tone.......He helped her up after a long 20 minutes and began to steer her out of the ward and into the parking lot, as she continued to struggle with the tears that were fighting to overflow.
It was the best he could do for her now.       

"Hello.........Hellllooooooooooooo" A tiny voice penetrated her subconscience..
She slowly turned to the other side and met the gaze of the intruder........."Hey Chabiya" she replied.
the little girl was instantly confused and asked, "whats your name?" with her tiny baby voice.
"I dont know you....where are you from?"..........
"Chabiya! Chabiya!!!" Aunty Mimi shouted from the hallway, saving Naima from the interrogation...
She got into the house at about 10pm the night before and so the girls had been asleep. her mum's friend had welcomed her well and also took her round the house.
the house wasnt really as big as she had expected it to be,especially since every1 back home was talking about how Aunty Mimi was married to a well-to-do surgeon. but it looked comfortable for a young family like theirs.
Aunty Mimi has been married for about ten years now, and had been living in the UK from the start. she had two lovely girls Kwala aged 7 and Chabiya aged 2.....Both girls had heavy british accent and couldnt say a word in their language. they had spent only one vacation in Nigeria,like two years ago, which was why Chabiya didnt know Naima.
The 3-bedroom bungalow was all brown on the inside though there seem to be some re-decor going on as she noticed white paint just behind the front door. the fireplace also smelled like it was just painted white....the sitting room and most of the rooms downstairs were dubbed in lemon green with matching brown sofas and folding chairs. there was a small barbie doll house for the girls at the far end of the room and Naima thought the matching cream walls made the house more homey....
Naima smiled as she looked around the room she was was all pink,it reminded her of her own room back at home. the room was Kwala's and there was a whole bookshelf of children's books. Aunty Mimi had said last night that she wanted to inculcate the habit in her very early. that thought made her remember Eazy's call earlier in da morning and her inability to relay to him exactly how she felt when she saw her mum the night before. she just said it was bad and the manner in which he shifted back to talk about how much he was missing her after chiping in a quick "take it easy" just wasnt enough for her. but she let herself laugh at his jokes all the same,she needed that too....she was grateful that he had actually called to wake her up to pray subhi just like he did at home, and that alone she thot was enough for now....
She preferred not to think too much about her mum's present state. the Lord was watching and she was sure He wouldnt let her down. So,she got up and walked into the bathroom just opposite the room to brush her teeth.
She looked at her map again,even more confused then....the street Aunty Mimi lived on was one of those highbrow jewish neighbourhoods that had no bus service. as such she had to take a cab to the nearest tube station before she started her journey to St Andrew's hospital. Yemi had told her which service to take and when to change abd she had assured Aunty Mimi that she could manage just fine, but she was sure now that she had been she mistaken.
She walked back to the information desk and decided to ask for clarification. the lady looked like she couldnt care less even if Naima was lost. she told her to take the northern line and then switch at Bank...the rest was easy from there. she thanked her and then proceeded to top up her Oyster card.
On the long ride Naima's mind drifted back to her dad insisting that her mum needed more prayers than medical attention and why he thought she should be brought back home immediately. but Naima knew him too well. he worried too much and easily got confused when making big decisions, as such she had decided on her own to talk to the doctors first. she was also doing her own little research and was studying more about toxoplasmosis cos she heard that some doctors kept patients for research even when they knew they couldnt do anything for them.
She walked out of the underground station and got lost all over again. she knew it was near the old london museum but she couldnt see the turn Yemi had pointed out to her the night before.
She smiled at the nurse as she walked into the ward...the nurse was the same one with her mum last night. she began to update her on the case and promised to let the doctor-on-call know that Naima wanted to talk to him/her, but she warned that being weekend, the actual team working on her mum wont be around.
Naima thanked Bibi for the help and made a mental note to always consult her when she needed anythn. Bibi was from South Africa she gathered and had been living and working at St Andrew's for almost a decade.
Her mum looked at her with sad eyes as she walked in and she didnt even reply the hearty greeting Naima gave her. she really looked as depressed as Bibi had said. Naima sat on the bed after droping the kunu she had brought from home on the table close to the bed.
'Mama ya jiki?" Naima asked softly.
all she got was a slow nod...Naima could feel the sting of hot tears welling up in her eyes...her mum turned away and starred into space.
She began to talk to her and ask if she felt or needed anythn but there was no response. Naima felt like the bed was wet and as she tried to confirm, she realised that the catheter had a leak.
she stood up to find the nurse but she was no where to be found.......and they say its only nurses in naija that are like that...

Her eyebrows were knit in deep concentration. she read with such intensity. the book was the new Danille Steel novel about break-ups and finding love again. it caught her eye at the bookshop on her way back from the hospital and she decided to get it,if not for anythn but to take her mind off the emotionally drained day she just went thru.
*This is bank......change here for....* the PA system announced and she immediately stood up from the seat and headed towards the doors as the tube screeched to a halt. the doors opened and she virtually jumped off as she saw the train on the other lane preparing to depart, but it was too late as she helplessly watched it zoom off.

It was almost a quarter to 10pm when she walked into the house. Aunty Mimi had called her on her way,just to be sure she was okay and would be heading home soon. the usual visiting hours at the hospital ended by 7pm but the nurses always made exception for Naima cos she seemed to be their only hope to easing her mum's depression. On this particular day, her mum had cried and begged her to stay the night cos she was scared of the "night mass by those creatures". it had made Nai appeal to one of the doctors to please allow her stay,even it was to bend the rules a bit, but she had vehemently refused, insisting that a nurse would be personally assigned to her mum for the night if need be.
Naima tried to understand but truly she was mad and so left the hospital fuming. she assured her mum that she had gone home just to pick up a few things. she was more concerned now because of her mum's seizure two days ago and the doctors' inability to explain it from a medical point. she was beginning to fear that maybe her dad was right about this being not only a medical case but also a spiritual one. her dad had already said her decisions had nothing to do with him and that he wasnt going to "talk sense" to her anymore.


Aunty Mimi watched her more closely as she explained the whole day and how she wasnt comfortable leaving her mum spend the night alone.
"sai hakuri da mutanen nan fa" Kaaka chiped in. she was aunty Mimi's aunt and so by extension the kids grannie and so every1 called her that.
the two women tried their best to comfort her, and then ordered her to eat something heavy instead of her usual tea and veggies at night. they insisted that she was looking pale. Aunty Mimi even joked that she wasnt gonna have two patients to cater for..she went upstairs instead to plug her mobile and that was when the call came thru.
"Is this Naima please?" the lady on the other line inquired.
"this is nurse Bibi from St Andrew's"...................from then on,Naima was just silient and nodding.
"but she is stable now?" she asked.
"yes,I just thought you should know,so you can talk to the doctors when you come in in da morning"
"sure,thanks a lot"
She dropped the call. went straight into the bathroom to have her ablution. she said a short prayer and then forced a smile on her face as she went downstairs to join the others.
Aunty Mimi froze as she used the word "seizure". she didnt know if she was more shocked at the news or at how a 21-year old daughter would calmly explain such about her own mum.
She rose from the sofa and gave her a big hug. Naima allowed herself to be folded into her arms but she didnt feel a thing. she was beginning to turn into some form of iceberg of sorts cos the issues just kept on increasing. just last night, she had to sort out her mum's bills and debts and now this??? it was just becoming unbearable.... but she kept reminding herself that as the first child and only daughter in the family, it was her cross to bear and there was nothing she could do about it!!!
Nai just wasnt moved!
the doctor looked at her again,double-checking to be sure she heard what she just said,"Naima,I'm really sorry but I assure you she will be fine" Dr Rizvi re-iteriated in her asian-britone accent.
Dr Rizvi was the registrar on her mum's case, and even though she wasnt the most superior doctor on the infectious team,Nai sort of took to her since the first "MRI incident" and how she handled it.

the incident was suprisingly a case of negligence in the nurse's camp and Naima was shocked at the way they had made it look like it was a usual thing. the consultant on the team just got on Nai's nerves. he hardly ever came around but anytime he got in,he complained about everything from what her mum was watching on Tv to what she had eaten at lunch. he was one of those frustrated middle-aged bachelors,Nai had concluded.

Naima shook herself out of her mind's perssimistic picture, and looked into Dr Rizvi's eyes,trying as hard to unlock the blank professional facade to get the answer to her coming question.
"will she survive?" she asked with an expression that left no room for evasive approach.
"I cant promise anything but I'm sure she will" Dr Rizvi replied trying as had not to cross the line even though her tummy turned at the thot of what Naima was going to have to experince.
She had no clue as to the Japanese time bomb ticking right under her, and Dr Rizvi was certain it was no place for her to step in....


"mama ya kamata ki ci ai ko kadan ne" Nai said trying to urge her mum on. it was hard getting to convince her to eat but since she started taking fruits on Saturday,Naima was pressing on her to take more solids. especially since the medication was due tommorrow and her mum's energy RDA showed she needed extra 500Kcal/day.
"zan ci ai,Naima...kar ki masa mini mana" her mum replied in an off-tone.
there was a heavy air around them since the seizure incident. Naima had for once lost it when her mum said she was going to leave the hospital. Naima was so furious that she threatned to seize her passport and inform immigration that she was missing. that left her mum in a subdued state for sometime and that was exactly was Nai wanted cos it gave her time to think and figure things out.


"Hello" Naima answered on the second ring with a mumble.
"are you still at the hospital?" Kabir inquired.
"yes,I am" Naima replied,sitting up from the sofa to get a better position made her realise instantly that a headache was coming on.
"I'm kinda in the neighbourhood,see you in 5"

Naima wasnt sure if she really wanted to see Kabir at this time. the last time they met was really intense. there was something about him that made Nai unsure of herself,like she just wouldnt measure up to him. he and her mum had always been close, and just months back he had said something about wanting to date Naima,which her mum got wind of,and that only made it worse cos she had turned herself into the most terrible matchmaker mum of the year ever since.

it was hard for Naima to believe he hadnt come around since she got to town,which was like 2 weeks back. well,maybe he just wasnt interested in her afterall. knowing from stories about him,he was a fuse,and that made him hard to cope with and figure out,no matter how friendly he was. he mum had however insisted that no1 is prefect and Naima should stop complaining.

"Hello! ya kike?"
Naima looked up from her potato position on the chair to meet his ever-smiling expression as he walked towards her in long powerful strides. it hit her like a pan how sweet and sexy he was looking in his navy blue turtle neck sweater and jeans.
"hey hey"
"you look good"
what? I should be the one saying that....
"thanks" Naima added,blushing with no effort,and feeling embarassed all of a sudden.
"aunty,noi a bedi matuko?" he asked her mum how she was feeling in fulfulde..
"wadi dama sosai" her mum replied in the affirmative.

"so,are you done with school?" he turned back to Nai,smiling that wickedly sweet smile again.

they talked for long about so many things while her mum slept and ate in routines...then he stood up to leave and thats when it happened.their hands brushed....
He stood in the moment for a little over a minute,but in Naima's mind,it felt like a really long time. but she put herself back together,catching her breath,and passing him like nothing happened. their hands touched........
she caught the look in his eyes, and he immediately shifted his gaze,but she had seen it already. it was mix of both empathy and lust.
"can I wait for you,so we could take the tube together?" he asked,trying as hard to undermine the message her was passing  across, but Naima got it loud and clear....
"Ehmmmmmm,I .............."she was stammering,no suprise there,it was the "Kabir effect"

Nai tried as hard to answer him with all of her senses under control,but it was close to impossible...then her lips took over.
"I'll stay a little longer here"
She was shocked at the words herself. like she seriously just said that? Kabir's expressionless face didnt help either. he turned to her mum instead, and mumbled a goodbye,and gave her one last long stare as he left the room,and she could tell exactly what he was thinking in that instant,as her legs immediately reponded,feeling like jelly. Naima remained clued to the spot,and her mind was a big chunk of emotions,should she follow him and apologise? should she just let him be?? this was no way to start things off,or was it???

It was almost 10pm when Naima finally bid her mum good night,and virtually dragged herself to the tube station. everywhere was dark and quiet,except for the small bar just on the left turn to the station. that place was always a beehive,especially by that time when most people had closed from work.
She moved a little faster when she got to the bar,just to avoid any stories.
her mind was playing games on her again. she was wishing Kabir was with her right there. she imagined what it felt like being in his arms.....OH!!! those strong looking arms were sure to have made her warm on this breezy summer night.
"and who's fault is that?" Naughty weighed in.
"oh,please! just shut it" Sweet Naima snaped back.
she decided to look around instead and enjoy watching people's lives as they passed her by. she pulled off the cashmere as she walked into the station,and shoved it in her big pink bag,with her hands still in the bag,she fished for her novel,and smiled when she felt it. just as she was about to dive into la-la land,she caught a glimpse of sum couple acting mushy as they waited for the tube too,and she rolled her eyes upwards wondering why she had to see that.


She let herself into the house,and turned on the lights. since aunty Mimi and the kids left for the family re-treat in Birmigham, she made a habit of getting home late,turning on the CP,and facebooked till the wee hours of the morning before finally dozing off. but she was too tired to do any of that this evening. she walked straight into the kitchen to get some tea as usual. she strolled back into the sitting room,and turned on the was on CNN as usual and the Micheal Jackson memorial was still showing. this was one thing that pissed Nai off with news sometimes,all channels showed virtually the same thing,with each station trying as hard to out-do the other by bringing in irrelevant angles to the story.
she walked over to the CP,still craddling her big brown mug in her left hands. she chatted and browsed for hours,checking her mail,exchanging IMs with her brother over their mum's health,and snooping around people's blogs,she just couldnt bring herself to update her blog these days,as much as she wanted to,but having a few bloggers check on her,and just listen to her complain about things,was more than she could ever ask for.


From the minute she woke up,she had a feeling that this was going to be one hell of a day. she double-checked her cycle calender again,and her heart literally stopped. she was right,it was gonna be crazy!
she took all the necessary precautions; drank a lotta warm water,took her cramp pills,stacked her bag up with disposables,and ate light for breakfast. then she went on to make pap for her mum.
she tried as hard not to be irritated by the noise and bustle of the long road to the hospital, but no success there,as she walked into her mum's room already crumpy and worn out. seeing as she was really not doing good at the hospital,Naima asked if her mum wanted her to go make lunch at home,to which she answered in the affirmative. she rushed out of the room like someone that was being chased by a ghost,and accidentally hit him.
"Hi! sorry" he said all at once.
"hey! I should be saying that"
"oh no! its ok...howz your mum feeling today?" Naima wasnt really suprised that he asked,she was more taken aback by the fact that he cared enough to ask. the manner in which he always walked into the ward without saying a word to anyone but the nurses whenever he came in to see his uncle made it even more suprising. his uncle's room was directly opposite that of her mum's,but since they were french,and he only managed to dabble in english,Naima never thought he even knew she existed.

"hey,you ok?" he went on to say..
"yes,I am,thanks" she lied. the last thing she needed was him being sorry for her. she gathered some courage,and dropped her hands to her sides from her tummy as the elevator arrived just to stress her point.

Naima was in total bliss for just some minutes after rolling all over the place when the SMS came in...
"on my way to the hospital. are you there?" it read. it was Kabir, and she read the message again,as if expecting him to jump out from the phone. she held the phone close,and as she thought of the right words to was kinda funny how she felt about him,since that day at the hospital,there seem to be a new tension between them,it felt like they had so much to say but neither wanted to be the first to give it a go. Naima thought over it again and again,and all the time,she arrived at the same solution,"let him in" but she couldnt possibly be thinking of love! not after how peaches had crushed her heart into bits.
with that thought,she replied his message with words she was sure will scare him away for good.........

....Nai could feel her heart in her mouth. it was pounding. heart beats skipping. her hormones in total control. she inched closer to cover the space between them...she just couldnt bear it any longer. she took in all of him...he pushed her lips to part,and she willingly obliged could she not? those full succelent lips of his....his hands travelled down to her hips,and he started to caress them,motioning in slow regular patterns,and then he speed up...going faster and deepening the kiss,wanting all at once. he moved away only for a split second to catch his breath,and all she could do was melt towards him...her knees were weak and her mind was blurry. he held her tight,and looked down into the two little pool of confusion and pure lust that used to be her eyes....he smiled into them as if trying to reassure her.
Nai gave him a weak smirk...and allowed her fingers to dive into his hair....oh! that cripsy hair....she closed the gap once more,and started to suck on his lower lips,then she moved to the upper lip...shifting with such pace that drove him more and more into cloud nine. he took charge and hostled her up on the table right infront of them, and moved down south,using only his tongue and hands.....that jilted her back to earth and she pushed him away....

"what was that about?" Nai yelled at no1 in particular as she jumped off her bed.
she couldnt believe Kabir was now haunting her! how dare him? after the reply her sent her?? her must be nuts or something!
Naima was fuming with rage. she just didnt want to accept that she was mad at him for not trying harder. did he think she was that cheap and easy?
just because she sent him a message saying she wasnt sure she was ready,he had chickened out? well,good riddance then,cos she wasnt going to be one of those desperate girls out to satisfy him. if he wasnt ready to face the heat,then he might as well just move ahead and let her be!

But why was she even bothered? why did she think he should try again??
Nai hissed hard,and moved towards the bathroom to get ready for the hospital,trying as hard to forget Kabir as she turned on the shower and poured some of her face wash into her hands.


Naima took her time to dress up as she knew it was now or never. turned out she was wrong about Kabir giving up afteral or so she thot. but why would he invite her out to dinner if he wasnt still interested? she was sure he was going to apologise in his way for being such a coward.
she almost didnt pick the call when it came through earlier that afternoon. but she was playing Craig David's unbelievable for her mum when the call came,and being that her mum saw who it was,there was no way she could reject the call...moreso,a part of her really wanted to hear what he had to say.
She only agreed to the date only to check him out for herself. she realized that most of the things she knew about him was as a result of stories from others. so,tonight she was on a mission to find out for sure who Kabir was.....the real him...and why exactly he made her want to give up all she believed in and just trust in him to take her there.

she picked the long earrings and held it close to her ears,trying it to see if it fits the short pink cotton gown she chose. it didnt appeal to her,so she tried sweeping up her braids to see if it was better.
she smiled at her image in the mirror..."yea,that will do it" Naima said to herself.
she ramsacked her bag for her butterfly-shaped hair band...she used it to pack the braids in her usual channel O style....
satisfied with the result...Naima proceeded to putting on some make-up. it was one thing she was no expert at. the only make-up she wore everyday was white powder and some lip-gloss. she gave it a try,and then falied.
"well,now you wished you were better at this" Naughty teased her.
"my natural self is even more beautiful,so I aint doing the make-up again" Sweet replied.
"oh really? decieve yourself" Naughty insisted.
"ok, fine! I'll try once more" Sweet replied,knowing she couldnt win this one.

the good thing about wearing make-up once in a while Naima thought to herself,was that it brought out the best in you. bringing to rear a side of you most people had never seen before. that she was certain about since Kabir just kept going on and on about how ravishing she was looking all night.
he took her to the famous african restuarant over at Essex,and Nai couldnt be more pleased as she ate plaintain and fish to her satisfaction. Kabir was shocked when she ordered for tea as a starter. she then said that she was a "tea person" and took it with all her meals.
they chatted for a long time about nothing in particular. but Naima was at ease,and well within her comfort zone talking about science,literature and so many other stuff. Kabir was really impressed at how much Naima knew about law and international relations,which was his field. he had never come across a science student,so current about stuff like Naima he admitted.

"its getting late" Naima interrupted Kabir's protest about them spending more time...she was really having fun but knowing she was going to spend the night alone,since aunty Mimi and the kids were yet to come back from their weekend family treat,she thought it wise to get home early,and chat her her way through the night.
He finally obliged her only if she promised to go on another date with him....this time on a shopping spree for his graduation outfit.
Naima's reply was interrupted by a voice behind her...."I thought you said you werent feeling well" she didnt need to turn,she knew exactly who it was,and from the deep baritone he used,this wasnt going to be a pleasant ending to her rather blissful night......

....Naima composed herself for a few seconds,taking her time to turn with which such grace that belied the shock and scattered nature of her thoughts.

"Hi,Yemi" she feigned an innocent smile.
"I thought you said your not feeling well" he went on, the accusation clearly felt in his words.
"yes,I was...
"you were?" Kabir cut in.

"oh no! he didnt just say that" Naughty rolled her eyes.

"Ehmmmmm,yes I was earlier this evening" Nai tried to manuever her way out as both men looked puzzled.

"Oh,I had no idea" Kabir concluded.

She immediately went on to introduce them just to ease the choking tension in the air. at some point,it felt like she was in some cage or drilling room,and not out having dinner.
the two men got engrossed talking about the present situation of issues in Nigeria totally ignoring her,and that gave her time to think.

"what the heck was Yemi doing here?" Naughty started on Sweet,as if she had a clue.
"I cant believe Kabir was so stupid" Sweet answered back.
"yea,what in God's name was that? making me look like a big fat liar" Naughty agreed.
"well, technically it was a lie....and I always warn you but you dont listen" Sweet said in the "I told-you-so" tone.
"what was I to do? go out with him to watch that cheesy theater?? you know,I hate being uncomfortable when watching anything artistic, and with him around,I wouldnt enjoy it" Naughty tried to explain herself,even though she knew Sweet was right.
"yea...just like you thought Kabir was gonna be a bore and bla bla bla...." Sweet's flow was cut by Yemi,as he stood up to leave.

He unfolded his long frame from the wooden chair and signaled that they meet outside.
“Excuse me” Naima muttered to Kabir,totally confused herself. Wondering what it was that Yemi wanted to say,and asking herself if she really wanted to listen to it. She tagged along all the same.
As they got outside,she folded her arms over her bust just to keep her emotions in check and talk as little as she could.just so she wouldn’t give herself away.
“you could have just told me that Kabir is dating you?” Yemi accused in a low voice.
“WHAT???” Naima was taken aback by that.
“yes,he said so in there and all you did was smile and nod”
“like hell,I did” Naughty shouted back.
“I’m sorry about that Yemi. I’ll talk to you later” Naima didn’t even wait for him to answer,she walked out on him furious,and talking to herself. She was obviously upset by Kabir’s declaration.

Kabir had noticed how quiet she was on the ride back to Aunty Mimi’s house. But he had no idea what the problem was, or what he will say to make it right. He thought it had to do with what Yemi said or something,and he decided to stay out of it.

Naima just kept rolling her eyes and hissing. She couldn’t wait to get off this stupid tube,and lock herself in. how dare him? Who did he think he was?? Oh well! It all had to do with the big ego thing she always despised in her hausa-fulani brothers. They just had no idea how a girl’s mind works,and how to make her fall for you. They didn’t even make an effort to understand the dynamics of friendship before jumping into a relationship. They always thought that all a woman needs is a man’s love,and their definition of love to start with was what Naima just couldn’t stand. They were just too rigid and principled. They just didn’t get it.
“God!!!” Naima cursed under her breath.
“what was that?” he inquired.
“trust me,you don’t wanna know”
“of course I do” he insisted. Naima didn’t even look up,she just didn’t even want to look his way.
“ok,you asked for this. How dare you tell Yemi that we are dating??? Are you high or something??? Don’t you think I have a right to decide for myself??? Or did you think I came out here with you as my boyfriend??? What next? You will start saying we are getting married next week???” Naima’s lash out was cut short by his soft,low response.
“I’m so sorry if you feel that way. I just wanted to put him off,and really don’t know what I was thinking. BUT you actually did nod your approval”
“WHAT??? Nod ma approval you say? Are you really serious? God! You have no idea,do you? I didn’t even know when you asked that question because I was deep in thoughts”
“of course. Thinking of the next person to lie to,I guess. Why did you even have to lie to him in the first place…….wait a minute,or are you dating him? Yes,that why your upset,now I get it” Kabir said sheepishly with self-convinction.
“My God!!! You are so impossible. Excuse me” Naima was fuming now,as she stood up and walked towards the tube doors,praying for the next stop just so she should get off, and breath. The tension in there was beginning to choke.
It was only then that she noticed a few eyes following her.
“yea ,whatever” she tossed the words at the guy looking on with a puzzled expression as she alighted from the tube finally
and she charging with a really bad temper……..

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