Choices Chapter 3
“Nurrain,where is Nurah?” Ahmad asked me again for the third time. This round of questioning has been going on half the night, people have been coming up to me to enquire about Nurah, that am tired of explaining to them I don’t know. Ever since he dropped me off at the venue and went back to pickup his precious Maya I haven’t seen hide or hair of his for 2 hours now. The program is halfway done and he should have been back by now. I indicated to Ahmad I’ll go out and call him using hand gestures coz the music is too loud for him to hear me. I got up from my seat to go outside for some quiet but Ahmad blocked me before I can take a step, he whispered in my ears “tell him to hurry up, the lecturers want to leave so we can’t delay the award ceremony anymore, he better get here to collect his best student award or am keeping it!” I nodded and rushed out to make the call only to see there’s no need because the car was parked a bit far off to the right of the parking lot, so the idiot is back and decided to waste our time chatting with that girlfriend of his on our graduation night for that matter, isn’t it enough that he invited her despite my protest.
I walked over to the car and gave two hard knocks on the window to get his attention,he rolled down the window instantly and i told him ” if you want to be awarded you better get in there now or you can continue sitting here wasting your time on a silly girl like her” I turned around and left without waiting for a reply, I could hear her grumbling in irritation and Nurah trying to pacify her as per usual. I shook my head in disdain why any man will want to be tied to a girl he has to keep cajoling and pacifying at all times is beyond me but one man’s food is another man’s poison as they say. I signaled Ahmad that Nurah is coming in now and went back to my seat. The DJ tuned down the music and Ahmad our MC started the award ceremony,he called on our HOD to present the awards to the awardees just as Nurah and his girlfriend walked in. I tried to look away, God knows I tried but I just couldn’t. We don’t get along most times but even I have to admit she cleans up nice. She was dressed in a Maroon figure hugging gown made out of a sparkling material that cascaded down her body like a river flows over a rock. She had a veil thrown over the gown but it was sheer and wasn’t doing much in trying to hide anything. For the first time since I’ve known her she was wearing makeup, just a touch nothing too heavy but the smoky eyes and glossy lips definitely highlights her features. Her brown skin glowed in the light making her look like a melanin goddess about to take her seat on the throne. I was brought out of the weird trace I was in when Salim another friend of mine sitting next to me nudged me with his elbow, I turned to see what’s up only to see him staring at the approaching couple with a little smirk “damn!, Nurah is a lucky bastard, look at how smoking hot his girlfriend is, if she has a sister I call dibs! I mean check out that figure 8….. He trailed off with a flirty whistle of appreciation. Before I could smack him for making eyes at Maya. Habib sitting on my left chipped in “asssiiiiiin! Man! that girl is fire! I don’t normally go for dark skin girls but for that booty consider me a convert!” My anger skyrocketed and I had to clench my fist to stop myself from hitting both of them. How could they objectify a woman like that! That’s just disrespectful even Maya doesn’t deserve that. So I let them have a piece of my mind “mind your tongue, you idiots! That’s my sister in-law you are talking about! You better take your eyes off what doesn’t belong to you!”
“Well, tell your sister in-law not to showcase her figure if you don’t want us to look!” Habib replied and all the others burst out laughing as if he made the best joke ever.
“Amman ku anyi y’an iskan banza wlh!” I remarked just as Nurah and Maya reached our table.
“What’s so funny” he asked pulling back a chair for Maya to sit.
“Don’t ask” I answered him. He sat down next to her and introduced her to the gang ” guys this is my other half Maya, I know some of you might recognize her from back in the days, we did our O Levels together”
The guys started introducing themselves and some that recognize her started teasing her about past memories. When Nurah’s name was called to receive his excellence award and all of us stood up to clap and cheer him on as he made his way to the Dias. It was a proud moment for all of us coz we all know how hard he worked for this. All our clique members are smart and we get good grades but Nurah is exceptional among us “Kwaron gaske ne.
Once he received the award he rushed back towards us waving the award in the air for us to see and smiling broadly, he handed me the award once he reached the table and walked directly to Maya who couldn’t contain her smile until he grabbed her and hugged her tightly in celebration and her smile fell flat off her face and was replaced by shock and confusion. She stood stiff as a board in his arms clearly dumbfounded on how to react. I was reading her expression and could see in her eyes the moment she decided to push him off her, which would have resulted in epic embarrassment and called undue attention to them so I swiftly moved behind him and stylishly moved him away from her and into a bro side hug, to the onlookers it will seem as if I was just hugging my bro in celebration but I used the opportunity to clear him
“What the hell man! You can’t just force a hug on a girl like that because we are in public and you don’t think she’ll be able to say no, it’s not cool. What’s gotten into you” I whispered to him and he whispered back “it was just a heat of the moment type thing, I was just so happy i didn’t realize what I was doing besides why are you getting worked up about it when Maya clearly doesn’t mind or she’ll have pushed me off her!”
I decided not to push it and let it go, maybe I misread the situation and she wasn’t uncomfortable by the contact at all for all I knew they hugged all time when they’re alone. It was none of my business any ways.
Dinner is served and we all focus on eating, conversation flowed between the guys and Maya. She seems in her elements teasing and laughing like she’s always been one of the boys. She and Nurah acted all loved up with him grabbing her plate to help cut her chicken into bite sized pieces and her grabbing his drink and uncapping it for him when he almost choked. Whispering into each other’s ears and laughing at inside jokes. There was no traces of discomfort or reservation in how she interacts with Nurah so clearly I was wrong about the whole hugging thing.
Towards the end of dinner Salim asked why I was being quiet tonight. ” I know you normally don’t talk much and Nurah has always been your mouthpiece but man today you are being extra quiet”
“Maybe he’s missing us already” Habib answered for me and they all started laughing again, I found myself subject to good natured ribbing after that and although I’ll never admit it to any living soul I am going to miss these clowns. Once dinner was done and the lecturers left the dance place is declared open and it became a mad house. From groups dancing together to people doing some crazy dance moves Solo, to couples grinding up on each other it was crazy but all in good fun and I didn’t mind watching and laughing at some of my friends who think they are the next Michael Jackson when all they did was imitate a limping giraffe and call it dancing.
The DJ started playing party scatter and it was like Maya has been injected with party animal juices. She just gave that high pitched squeal girls do when they are excited for some bizarre reason I’ll never understand, and rushed off to the dance floor and before you know it the party really scattered. She owned that dance floor, twisting and shaking every iota of her body, even places that shouldn’t naturally be shaking were shaking.
And then Bounce by Ruger came on and it was twerking central on the dance floor, she twerked and went up and down like a video vixen. I really didn’t know she had it in her, all the boys at the table started cheering her on and letting out wolf whistles while Nurah stood there at the helm whistling and egging her on shouting that’s my baby! At the top of his lungs. Engineering being predominantly a boy’s department must of the guest here are guys with only a sprinkle of girls, so must of the people on the dance floor are guys so it didn’t surprise me when one daring guy decided to get up close and personal with Maya’s gyrating body. He slinged his arms around her waist and pressed up against her back as he started to grind up on her. Maya tried to push him off clearly not interested in dancing with anyone but he didn’t seem to be getting the message. Why wasn’t Nurah reacting to someone harassing his girlfriend,I turned to my side only to find him no where to be seen, he was standing right next to me. Where did he go now, he’s always disappearing when I need him. Maya now had two guys I don’t recognize surrounding her,they must be someone’s guest cause guys in our department might be rowdy but we had a bro code. None of our course mates will attempt to make moves on another guy’s girl. I made it to the dance floor, grabbed her hand and pulled her out of from in between the two boys. I must have pulled her too hard because she lost her footing and crashed into me I had to brace to keep us from crashing to the floor. I placed my hands on her shoulder to steady her and asked if she’s alright but the little hellion didn’t even spare me a glance, the minute she’s steady she got up on her tippy toes and slapped the first guys so hard his face flew to the side, before the second guy could react she fisted her little knuckle and sucker punched him so hard he bent over. The music was still on but we have already grabbed people’s attention. It’s not every day you see a dainty girl like Maya beating up on two guys twice her height.
“How dare you put your filthy hands on me! I will break your bones that will teach you a lesson!” She kept screaming and kicking them. I took a step back and let her loose,it’s not like they didn’t deserve it. Habib, Salim and the rest of the guys appeared next to me. “What the hell! Won’t you stop her?!” Salim asked
“Nope,they deserve it……” I didn’t finish the sentence before the first guy had enough and used both hands to push her off him, he used so much strength she was knocked off her feet and on to the floor. I saw red, next thing I knew I had him in a headlock and was hitting his ugly face. The boys tried to break us up and I could hear the MC calling for order but I was too far gone. Nobody gets away with hitting a lady on my watch not for any reason.
I didn’t realize Nurah was back until he was right in front of me asking me to let him go “he hit her Nurah! You know I can’t stand that”
“I know but you’ve already punished him enough, let him go now. Let’s just go home the DJ ran off to call security, we don’t need any trouble tonight, so let’s just go”
I let him go and stepped away, he fell to the ground heaving too out of breath to shout insults at me like he clearly wants to, so he settled for glaring. Nurah gave him a swift kick to the stomach before following me out saying “that’s for messing with a lady” everyone was staring at us as we walked out. I felt kinda guilty for killing the mood and spoiling their night ” sorry for all these guys! I’ll sponsor a get together after graduation to make up for ruining your night! Ciao!” I called out as we left the room. The parking lot was well lit I had to check my watch to really confirm it’s 10pm already, when did it get so late. The event started at 8pm we should be done around now anyway so I did them a favor spoiling the mood,now they all have to head home. Maya was leaning next to the car when we approached looking annoyed and tired. I didn’t say a word to her just sat shotgun when Nurah unlocked the car, neither did either of them. We started driving before Nurah brought up the issue. “Man, starting a fight isn’t like you. What exactly happened I just stepped out to take a call and next thing I know Maya is rushing outside shouting you’ve started a fight in the middle to the dance floor!”
Huh! So the little witch didn’t tell him the whole story, I wonder why.
” So she didn’t tell you huh! Why don’t you ask your girlfriend why I got in a fight with some random dudes I don’t know, did you think I was hitting him to defend some random girl. It was Maya who started the fight I just finished it!”
“What! Maya!” He couldn’t find words.
“She decided it was a good idea to turn into a video vixen in a room full of guys and then slapped the guy who dared grind up on her!” I told him and that is when she piped up.
“So what did you want me to do, stand there while some sleezy guy touched me!” She shouts from the back seat.
” Well if you didn’t dress like a hooker and danced like a stripper then every Tom,dick and Harry will not dare try to touch you! But when you behave like the God damn national palliative you shouldn’t be surprised when guys feel they can get away with touching you!” I fired back
“Nurrain! That’s too much man! You are taking it too far!” Nurah snapped at me,with fire in his eyes and Maya burst out in tears. Huge, body shaking sobs filled the car and I was dumbstruck. The strong Maya is crying just because I told her a few hard truths.
“Now look what you’ve done! You made her cry! All I asked for was one night where I could celebrate with my best friend and girlfriend without having to play referee but no, you decided to make her cry! Well done!” Nurah snapped. He parked the car by the roadside and threw the keys at me before getting out and getting in to the backseat to console Maya.
I moved to the driver’s seat and continued driving without another word to the lovebirds. I could hear them whispering but I tuned them out and focused on the road. I didn’t mean to reduce her to tears but she needed to here the honest truth, I’m not Nurah I won’t pamper her and overlook her shortcomings. She needs to learn control and decency, with her display Tonight it just re-enforced my thoughts that she isn’t the right choice for Nurah. She calmed down eventually and fell asleep shortly after her cry fest was over. Only when I was sure she wasn’t awake did I speak
“Look Man, I’m sorry I made her cry, I didn’t mean to but you know I’m right. Maya is too wild “Bata da nutsuwa kwata kwata!”
“Wai meyasa you only see her bad side ne why can’t you see what a caring person she is, she went through a lot of trouble and risked her father’s wrath just to come and celebrate my achievement with me tonight. She might act tough most times but she’s really sensitive and has a tender heart which is why what you said hurt her so much!” He explained to me.
“I don’t know her as well as you do clearly but I don’t go out of my way to antagonize her like you think, we are just two different personalities and for some reason we can’t seem to jell well together. But if you say you love her just the way she is then I might not understand it but I’ll respect it”
” Thanks man, I know I can always count on you. So how are you holding up I know seeing her get hit stirred a lot of old memories for you. I really thought you were past all these issues by now”
” Hmm, I thought so too but seeing him hit her just made something snap. I haven’t thought about my past in so long I was beginning to think it has actually stayed in the past but I guess not yet!” I replied. He patted me on the shoulder in support and said “it’s okay, one step at a time right?” He reminds me of our motto.
“Yeah, one step at a time” I agreed and gave him my fist to bump,which he did in support and we continued talking about other things all the way home. I parked besides the old abandoned garage in our area and he shook Maya awake. She was still a bit cloud headed from sleep so he decided to walk her the rest of the way to her grandmother’s house. It was a risk to go out together like that with everyone watching but it was almost 11pm now so must people were already home especially with the cold weather making it impossible for them to linger outside, loitering around like usual.
I stayed in the car waiting for him to get back so we can go home only to see him running back at full speed after a while, he yanked the front door open and fell in shouting at me to drive off even before closing the door ‘what’s going on?’ I asked but he just kept shouting drive!! That’s when I noticed Maya’s uncles and a horde of other guys approaching the car at full speed. Oh shit! Yawa don gas! I drove off but they kept coming after the car throwing stone and sticks at us.
We managed to get away, only when we were safely parked in the garage did I turn to Nurah and asked “they finally know about you two and they clearly don’t approve.
So what now???”