Choices Chapter 5
We were on our way back from the mosque after Friday prayers when Nurah got the call his mom had a stroke and she has been admitted to the hospital. We rushed home to get ready so we could head to Adamawa and see how she’s doing. He started parking our bags while I rushed off to tell Baffa what was going on. When I reached his living room I found him and Ammi eating and laughing about something, they must have read the worry on my face because they instantly lost their smiles and Began asking what’s wrong so I quickly filled them in on what’s going on.
“Poor Nurah, he must be so worried. Book a flight for him. i don’t want him driving in this state I’ll send you the money once I finish eating” he directed me.
“Baffa you don’t need to send me the money, I have enough in my account. I’ll book us two tickets I don’t want to let him go alone, he’s really worried about Hajiya”
“We are all worried about her too but you know I need you to handle the issue with the customs tomorrow, if they don’t release shipment your elder brother Abdul has sent from China we are going to encure a huge loss and it’s not just our livelihood that will be affected, you have to think of all the people that depend on us to earn a living. I can’t do this without you, you’re the one that knows the ins and outs of the import side of things. I already have enough to worry about with the construction side of things. So let him go for now so he can see his mother and get some relief once everything is sorted we will join him over there” he replied and I know he’s right but never the less it still feels wrong to let him deal with all this alone,but thank God for Ammi she was quick to put me at ease.
” Don’t worry Nurrain, book two flights and I’ll go with him. Sadiya is one of my closest friends my heart won’t be at ease if I don’t go to see her personally”
Baffa was quick to agree to her suggestion and she went off to start getting ready. I booked the 5pm flight as it was the only one available. We were out in the car waiting for ammi to come out when Nurah asked me a favor “Nurrain I know this isn’t the best time but I can’t stop worrying about what Maya’s family will do to her now that they saw us together, I’ve been trying to reach her since this morning but she isn’t answering so please do me a favor and check up on her after you drop us at the airport. I need to know she’s alright or the worrying will drive me nuts”
I wanted to refuse but he was already worried for his mom. The least I could do is to take the Maya issue off his plate so I agreed. Once I dropped them off I drove straight to the abandoned garage we parked behind last night. I called her up to see if she’ll finally pick up coz I don’t want to go anyways near her house if I don’t have to besides she doesn’t have my number so if she was purposely avoiding Nurah’s call for some reason she’ll pick up my call but she didn’t. I called twice more just to be safe and when she still didn’t pick up I knew Nurah was right, something must be wrong. I thought about what to do,it’s not like I can just walk up to her house and ask to see her. I thought of sending khursum to check but quickly discarded the thought. They don’t get along at all and what if she attacks my poor sister again, and as much as I love khursum she can be nosy at times, she is like a dog with a bone when she wants to know something constantly poking her nose in until she finds out the truth and if she finds out about Nurah and Maya then definitely Ammi will get to know all about it. I finally decided to go to her grandmother’s house maybe I’ll get lucky and see one of her little brothers and ask them to pass a message along, they are normally always playing in the sand outside the house will other children so maybe luck will be on my side today.
As usual children were playing outside as I pulled up across the house but none of her uncles were sitting under the tree outside. I got out of the car and headed to the one that looks the most like Maya I’m sure he is her brother before any of the guys come out, I didn’t want any trouble all I want it to be done and get out of here.
“Hey, are you Maya’s brother?” I asked the boy once I made it to his side. He looked up at me cautious of strangers and clutched the tire he was playing with more closely so I quickly reassured him I’m not here to hurt him. “It’s okay I’m her friend from school, is she still here or did she go back to your house?”
He opened his mouth to answer me when another boy ran over to stop him, this one was a bit older than the first one. Judging by his height he must be around 9 years old and only had a slight resemblance to Maya’s dad so he must be one of her brothers as well. He stood in front of me and boldly stated “my dad said not to talk to strangers”
“But I’m not a stranger, I’m friends with your sister,is she here or did she go home?” Instead of answering me he furrowed his little brows together in concentration before blurting out “but I don’t know you, let me go and ask Anty Maya if you’re really her friend or a bad man!” Before I knew it he dashed into the house at full speed calling out Maya’s name at the top of his lungs. Well, I guess the cat is out the bag now and everyone is going to know I came looking for her and sure enough her uncles started trailing out of the house along with other guys I don’t know. About 10 of them surrounded me, looking various range of angry. Musbahu being the leader of the park spoke up ” it’s as if you knew we were going to come and see you anyways. Thank you for sparing us the trouble by coming here”
“Why are you looking for me, from all I know you and I have no business with each other” I replied. I refused to be intimidated by them,all I did was ask about Maya why are they acting like I harassed her or something.
“Look Nurrain, I am almost twice your age so I don’t want to waste time going back and forth about this. I’m going to advise you and I hope for your sake you’ll take it. Stay away from our Maya, ba sa’an auren ka bace ba and you know that.
The girl doesn’t want anything to do with you anyways so stop harassing her and let her live in peace. If I see you anywhere near her again then trust me I will not spare you!”
I was dumbfounded and I couldn’t keep in my shock “what are you even talking about! Why would I be following Maya around when I want nothing what so ever to do with her she…….”
“Watch your mouth and keep Maya’s name out of your dirty mouth!” One of the guys I don’t know cuts me off. And my anger flared at his tone “if I don’t what will you do huh!” I snapped back and turned to face musbahu “look man, I’m not looking for any trouble here,I just came to check how Maya is doing after the whole situation last night. I don’t know what she told you all but I’m sure there is a mis-communication somewhere. I am not dating Maya! I don’t love her hell! Half the time I don’t even want to see her! So when you go in do tell her to keep my name out of her lying mouth!” I didn’t see the fist heading for my face until it landed square on my left eye. “Who are you to call my niece a liar! Ba’a haife ka ba wallahi! I will teach you a lesson today! He tried to land another punch but I intercepted it and grabbed hold of his fist ” you get one shot, don’t try the mistake of hitting me again or I’ll forget you’re older than me!” I told him clearly and pushed his hand off me. The rude guy that spoke earlier spoke up again “Kai! Agaban mu zaka Raina Yayah! He charged me and landed a punch to my gut, I hit him back in the throat and it became an all out brawl. If it was one on one I had no doubt I could have taken him but 10 to one isn’t good odds for anyone. I landed a couple good hits but the punches where coming from all directions and they soon had me on the ground. All I could do was use my hands to cover my head and try to protect my face from their kicks.
Passerbys tried to break up the fight and stop the beat down but they weren’t listening. Someone delivered a swift kick to the back of my ribs and I felt it all the way to my toes,my head started spinning as I started chocking on my own breath. I can’t keep lying here or they’ll kill me. I summoned my strength and pushed up with my hands. I gingerly got up right into a sitting position, Muhammadu used the fact that my left eye was bleeding from a cut on my brow and blindsided me with a kick to the head that had me falling back down and sprawling flat on the ground. My ear filled with white noise and the world started spinning like a Mary go round.
I could hear some one begging them to stop but I couldn’t place the voice. Someone got me up and helped me to my feet. I felt suspended in the air but I could recognize the person helping me stand as Malam Isa, the imam of the mosque Baffa and I frequent. He was clearly shouting at them but I couldn’t hear a thing. My mouth filled with blood and I spat it out on the ground. Malam Isa tried to move me but my weight overwhelmed him and he couldn’t turn, he started gesturing at some one to help us while he kept shouting at them but now they seem to be exchanging words clearly trying to explain their side of the story. I summoned my strength and tried to stand on my own but just as I was strengthening up I saw the angry one that started the fight shouting something and coming at me with a firewood, malam Isa tried to shield me but the old man couldn’t move fast enough and the wood landed square in the middle of my head. After that it was lights out.
The sound of voices woke me up. I felt numb all over, I could recognize Baffa’s voice but I couldn’t make out what he was saying clearly. My head felt like a thousand drummers were pounding away at my brains and Everytime I try to open my eyes a sharp pain starts and the lights were blinding but I pushed on and after multiple efforts my eyes finally opened, it was hazy at first but It eventually cleared and I could make out Baffa talking to someone in a lab coat so that means I must be at the hospital. My throat was perched and I would kill for a drop of water,I tried to get his attention but he was facing away from me engrossed in his conversation, I could now make out bits and pieces of what he was saying “you said you reset his ribs so why isn’t he waking up” Baffa sounds panicked, I’ve never heard him get like this before so I must be more injured than I thought. I tried to glance down to look but my neck seems to be in a brace that’s constructing my movement. I heard the Dr reply “calm down alhaji, he is out of danger, the issue isn’t his ribs but his head injury, although we have stiched him up he took quite a blow, we need to let him wake up in his own time.
If we wake him up too suddenly it won’t be good for his health” he finished just as the door opened and khursum came in. Her eyes fell on mine and she shouts in joy “Baffa look Yayah is awake!” Her voice was too loud I had to crinch as sudden pain assaulted my ears. Baffa and the Dr rushed to my side and I tried to tell them I need water but it ended in a coughing fit that seems to send all of them into more panic “take deep breaths son, just breathe through it” Baffa kept repeating until I stopped coughing and finally the doctor arranged my head and gave me a sip of blessed cool water to wet my dry throat. I felt so tired after that and my eyes started drifting close. I tried to keep them open but I had no control as I slide back to sleep.
The next time I woke up was to the shouting voice of ammi, it didn’t take me as long this time for my eyes to open and my ears to pickup what she was saying. I wonder when she got back from Adamawa but that isn’t important what matters is the show down happening right in front of me. Ammi was shouting at a sobbing Maya who is clutching a basket of something in the middle of the room. Her cousin Ramlat was standing behind her looking like she wants to bolt at any minute. “How dare you come here! You really are shameless! The other day you attacked my daughter now those goons you call uncles want to kill my son! What is wrong with your family! Why are you after my children’s life, you came yesterday I sent you away and today you are back again! Har da su kawo abinci! Why can’t you get it through your thick head that I want you to stay away from us! Kuma ki Gaya ma wad’annan tak’adirun su jira sammaci ! The court order will arrive soon! I won’t let them get away with it and you get out and Just leave us alone already!” She broke out into sobs after that and Baffa quickly went to her and pulled her to him to comfort her before telling Maya “thank you for coming to check on Nurrain,we appreciate it but please don’t come here again,that will be best for everyone involved”
Maya looked crestfallen at that, her eyes were swollen and red. You can see this is not her first round of tears in a while but she still managed to give Baffa a watery smile that didn’t reach her eyes and said “I will go but please I’m begging you to believe I didn’t want this! I never once thought they’d do something like this to him! I just want to see how he is doing once and I promise I’ll leave and I won’t come here again! Please!”
“No! Ammi said vehemently but Baffa whispered something in her ear before heading for the door and pulling her after him. He paused before going out “don’t wake him up, you have two minutes!” Khursum was sitting on the couch looking miserable until Ramlat went to sit next to her and they started whispering in hushed tones while Maya set down the basket on a chair and approached my bed slowly. My eye lids were downcast so they didn’t notice I was awake but as she came closer I closed them and evened my breathing pretending I was indeed asleep. I wanted to hear what she was so desperate to say without having to answer her back. She came so close and bent over to scrutinize my face and take stock of my injuries, her perfume assaulted me and I could feel the warmth of her breathe on my face. Then she started speaking, her voice husky from crying “I’m so sorry Nurrain, this is all my fault! I never should have led them to believe I was dating you! I know you won’t believe me but I really didn’t think they would put you in the hospital, I only wanted to protect Nurah and I was so angry at you that I didn’t correct them when they thought it was you. I thought they will slap you around a little and it will make me happy but seeing you lying all bandaged up like this make my heart ache! Please forgive me Nurrain I’m so very sorry! I just want you to wake up and be your usual annoying self. I need you to wake up and fight with me again please…” A warm tear fell on my cheek,then followed by another and another as she broke into heart wrenching sobs. I heard the sound of the door open and I knew Ammi and Baffa are back. Maya sniffles and moves away from the bed, she called for her cousin to come along so they could leave but before she left she told Baffa thank you and apologized once again. My eyes drifted open as I watched her turn to leave but Ammi’s words stopped her “why! Just tell me why they did this to him. Everyone said they fought but I know my son he doesn’t pick fights unless provoked so why in the world will they do this to him, I just can’t understand!”
Maya started answering “it’s all my fault,I told…….” I stopped her before she could go further. As I called out for water and all eyes turned to me as they all rushed to the bed Maya totally forgotten. Ammi got the sippy cup and brought it to my lips as I gulped down water. A resounding round of sannu! And are you okay! Filled the room but I couldn’t take away my eyes from Maya who was standing next to Baffa at the foot of the bed her mouth open to say something but I cut her off harshly telling her to “get out!” Everyone looked taken aback at my tone as they all turned to face Maya who looked pale and confused. She has to go before she spills the beans, I damn well will not take a beating for nothing.
Hello beautiful people! I appreciate all the love and support but a couple more votes and comments wouldn’t hurt! Don’t be a silent reader let me know if you love the story so I can feel encouraged to write more! I know we can do better fam! Let’s gossip a little! What’d you think about Maya so far and let’s not forget the boys! Who are you rooting for Nurah or Nurrain ❤️❤️❤️❤️