Behind Thele Veil - Episode 1
So I never believed in magic, ghost or anything supernatural. I use to live a perfectly normal life, I didn’t think it was possible for anything else to exist until the day that I met her; the non- human! But before I say anything about her let me go back to the very beginning where it all started from.
“Sadiq, marmee is calling you” Asma’u his little sister who was barely nine years old called.
She is his only sister, his only sibling. She was actually adopted eight years ago when Sadiq’s mother; Mrs. Animashaun paid a visit to their hometown. It was not mysterious or strange anymore to find a basket of baby in front of your doorstep; moreover it was better than those who dumped their baby in a refuge dump or even worse. At first sight Mrs. Animashaun fell in love with her, one couldn’t blame her because she had no girl of her own.
“Here I am mom” Sadiq announced, slumping on a chair beside her.
She dropped the Vanguard newspaper and took off her spectacle.
Just then Asma’u ran in and jumped on a chair, mindless of them while paying attention to the television.
“Baby I want to talk to your brother alone, could you give us some minutes please” their mom asked but quite sure that Asma’u was going to protest.
Which she did.
“But marmee its 3 o’clock” Asma’u announced.
“And what happens by 3?” their mom asked curiously.
“Sponge bob square pant” Sadiq and Asma’u chorused.
On more than one occasion, Sadiq have been forced to sit and watch the television with Asmau because she feared watching cartoon alone. She would rather not watch it at all than watch it alone. To her, the
characters in the television might come out and drag her into the television! Once, Sadiq tried to convince her that it was impossible for the characters in the television to come out and she asked;
“Haven’t you watched the movie “fat Albert”?”
“Okay you can sit and watch but don’t eavesdrop okay?” their mom said while Asma’u nodded.
“Sadiq, I have a good news for you” Mrs. Animashaun smiled.
“What’s the good news mom?” he asked while tapping his phone.
“Well”, she said, "I just received your jamb result now and it was brilliant!" displaying it to him.
He had done justice to the exam. Although he didn't understand why one had to scale through
about three exams just to gain admission into a university, as if just one wasn't enough! The smile on his face was soon to disappear.
"But mom I didn't choose Bayero University as my first choice, it was University of Lagos I chose."
"I know but your dad and I thought you deserve a change of environment. More over you didn't
make University of Lagos’s cut off mark, so you should be glad we improvised early."
"But i am not comfortable with the whole North thing" Sadiq feeling betrayed.
“If you are bothered about the culture then don’t be because we have some family friends there. They will make you feel at home.”
“I guess I have no say in the matter?” Sadiq asked with a tone of defeat. His destiny has been decided, he thought.
”But you do dear, that’s why I am informing you now.” she assured him, trying to calm him down. But he didn’t really have any say in the matter anymore. It was a done and sealed deal.
Feeling disappointed he stood up from where he had been sitting and disappeared into his room.
“Why doesn’t he want to go to Kano?” Asma’u asked her mother some minutes later.
“I thought I told you not to eaves drop baby” her mom said.
“Oh mom! I couldn’t help it. You were whispering so low which meant you were saying something very important and his voice was rather too high so I couldn’t help but listen unintentionally. Please forgive me mom” she blurted out so fast and pleaded with her two large eyes conquering her mother.
“Scoot over here baby” Mrs. Animashaun drew her closer and wrapped her arm around her.
Later that day Mr. Animashaun came back from work and gave Sadiq some words of encouragement.
“It’s just two weeks Sadiq. After writing the exam you can come back immediately. But make sure you do justice to the exam” his father; Mr. Animashaun advised.
An unusual smile hung on Sadiq’s face, he was either planning a mischief or planning something
that would set him free. Either way that smile wasn't good!
“Hope you will come before the festive day? The festive period would be boring without you, and i can’t stand spending it alone with dad and mom” Asma’u asked Sadiq while they all laughed at her
“We aren’t that boring, are we?” their dad asked, throwing his arm around his wife.
“Oh yes you are!” Sadiq added.
All you two do is read those boring newspapers and go to work every day! It’s going to be boring without Sadiq” Asma’u sighed like a grown up young lady and dropped her head down sadly.
“Don’t worry baby, he will spend the festive period with us. He will be gone for just two weeks
and be back first week of December” Mrs. Animashaun assured her.
“That’s fine by me” Asma’u announced.
All Sadiq could do was smile. A second later the sound of the door bell interrupted the little family union.
“Its uncle Idris”, announced Sadiq.
Uncle Idris is Sadiq’s father younger brother. Just like in every family where you have an uncle who is funny and different from the rest of the adults, Idris was that uncle. Since Sadiq didn’t have a brother to talk to about his personal life, he found that brother in Uncle Idris. Though sometimes he gave advises which an adult would normally advise against, not because he wanted to lead Sadiq to the wrong path but because he believed in living free.
“Come here my little angel” Uncle Idris threw his arms apart to welcome Asma’u into them, hugging her.
“So my little brother decides to finally visit us” said Mr. Animashaun.
“I would have been paying more frequent visits if not for your wife’s unending preaching” Uncle Idris, giving Mrs. Animashaun a funny look.
“That's the price of being my in-law. And it’s a service i will perform always.” jumped in Mrs.
“And so help you God” added uncle Idris, placing his hand on his chest to indicate his pledge, while they all laughed.
“I see you’ve not changed” Mr. Animashaun jumped in.
“No…never. I am better this way, but i see a lot have changed here. I can perceive it in the air” sniffing his nose like a lost dog. Asma’u found it funny and couldn’t resist pulling his nose with her little finger.
“Yes a lot have changed. Your nephew is traveling next tomorrow to write an exam which might get him into one of the best university in the country” revealed Mrs. Animashaun gladly.
“Next tomorrow? Nobody told me it was that soon” exclaimed Sadiq.
“That is good indeed little nephew. Congratulation in advance” remarked uncle Idris, shaking Sadiq and pulling him to himself,
Come on now, we have a lot to talk about”, he said, pulling Sadiq along with him.
“Hope you are not trying to influence my little boy negatively again?” asked Mrs. Animashaun.
Sadiq sighed. He didn't know his parents would start seeing him like an adult and not their little boy.
“Don't worry marmee. I am a changed man now, no more bad influence." replied uncle Idris in his most gentlemanly tone.
“Changed man? Some minutes ago you said never to change." Mrs. Animashaun.
“I did?” he asked rhetorically and laughed mischievously as he disappeared into Sadiq’s
room, evading the chair pillow Mrs. Animashaun threw at him in the process.
Uncle Idris grabbed Sadiq’s phone.
“A lot is changing for you, but you on the other hand haven’t changed”, said uncle Idris, browsing through Sadiq’s phone.
“How do you mean?” requested puzzled Sadiq.
“Here” he said displaying Sadiq’s phone screen to him.
“What happened to it” Sadiq enquired
“I jumped for your phone and you didn’t seem to care. Then i thought, well maybe it’s locked. But again it's not. ” explained uncle Idris.
“Uncle Idris i don’t understand what you are trying to say” laughed Sadiq as though uncle Idris
was a kid blabbing nonsense statement.
“You have no secret” stated uncle Idris. “Because you have no secret to hide, no girlfriend who sends you love messages, you don’t lock your phone. I can’t envisage the kind of lifestyle you
live, you are almost like your parents” complained uncle Idris.
It was just a matter of time before uncle Idris got into Sadiq’s head.
And he did.
For a minute Sadiq was stunned. Uncle Idris is right, he thought. His whole life flashed before him. Was he really going to end up like his parents? His boring parents! Or was he going to be even more boring than them!
Uncle Idris was right about one thing; he didn’t have any secret to hide. He didn’t even know how it felt like to have a secret! But uncle Idris was wrong about one thing,
“I do have a girl friend” said Sadiq, pointing to the window of the house directly facing his room window.
Oh please Sadiq! You mean your next door neighbor; Vanessa, who you’ve had a crush on since high school yet you never told her, you are just too shy, timid, afraid and naïve to tell her” insinuated uncle Idris to the stunned Sadiq. “No offence meant. I am just stating the obvious” added uncle Idris.
“None taken” muttered Sadiq. He knew there was an element of truth in what his uncle was saying, even though he was a bit harsh and inconsiderate.
There was an element indeed and another element uncle Idris failed to mention was inferiority complex.
“Give me a call when you grow up, okay?” was Uncle Idris farewell to him as he left after they chatted for almost two hours.
That night Sadiq lay on his bed, his curtains were up, yet the room was dark. A moment later a bright light, probably a car’s light flashed into his room. He made for his window and it was his next door neighbor who just came in; the ever beautiful extraordinaire Vanessa Walter.
At least that's what the bloggers call her.
They were friends; he had a crush on her but never told her. It happens to everyone at some point in life…a crush.
She had told him that she liked his company; she didn’t say she liked him. He couldn’t risk telling her how he felt and lose her forever. Once those three letter words are said, it changes everything.
Not only those three words could make him lose her, he traveling to Kano would totally alienate him from her life. And that’s one of the reason he doesn’t want to go to Kano apart from the culture thing. Moreover they both made plans to get admitted into University of Lagos.
Just then he realized he was going to lose her. All of a sudden he felt pale and a sudden heartache raided him.
Sadiq never really had much friends, he was much of a loner, but by choice. It is a thing of surprise that he is actually Vanessa's best friend. Both of them have never spoken considering the fact that they were neighbors, until during their graduation from secondary school.
Vanessa had walked up to this him and asked him for a dance. The only reason she asked him was because she was looking for a no string attached dance, and being that Sadiq was the only guy she knew who didn’t have a date and who haven’t made a move on her, it seemed the perfect choice.
She told him the reason and he didn’t mind the charade as long as he was seen with one of the most popular girl in school. She wasn’t just popular for her beauty but also for her brains.
The first few minutes were awkward, and they kept talking about school, about teachers then about the weather! Until Vanessa thought boredom could kill.
As soon as each of them let their guard down, they opened up. Sadiq got a bit witty with her, they both laughed and enjoyed the rest of the night as if they were long time friends and since then they became friends …best friends.
“Should i tell her tomorrow? Should i tell her that i love?” he asked himself. Same question he has been thinking of asking for more than six years.
Apart from the fact that he wasn’t confident enough to tell her how he felt, he was also afraid of the commitment of a relationship. Being in a relationship carries a lot of load. First you call yourself early in the morning, send sweet text messages then call back in the afternoon and probably in the evening and finally at night! Doing it is the subtle part, the hard part is when you forget to do it.
“I think you should tell her” a low voice suggested.
“What!” Sadiq exclaimed. He switched on the light and standing by the door was Asma'u.
“How long have you been here?” he asked.
“Forty seconds ago, i think” she smiled, and then added, “You forgot to tell me bed-time stories”.
“I am sorry i had a lot on my mind” he apologized.
“By a lot do you mean just one girl; Vanessa” she mocked.
“How do you know so much?” amazed Sadiq asked his little sister.
“It’s my job to do. I think you should tell her. Not that i know what that ‘love’ feels like, but i think you should tell her anyway. The other day she came over, she carried me on her back and told me you are a good friend of hers. I think that is love” narrated Asma’u.
“That is friendship, okay? Now if you don’t mind can i begin the story?” said Sadiq, feeling more disappointed that all Vanessa saw in him was just a mere friend.
“No please. I think i want to sleep now. My eyes are heavy.” replied little Asma’u.
“Alright” said Sadiq as he carried her to her bedroom.
His phone started ringing some minutes later after he returned to his room. He checked and it was Vanessa calling. He strained his eyes at the clock hung above his bed and it was past ten.
“Hello” his voice sounded rough, he cleared his throat.
“Were you sleeping?” she asked.
“No, i just put Asma’u to bed” he replied, trying to sound cool.
“Awww…how is she, the sweet little drama princess?” asked Vanessa
“She’s just being Asma’u, you know” said Sadiq while they both laughed.
“God! I had a hectic day” heaved Vanessa.
“I can imagine” replied Sadiq sarcastically.
One could only imagine the kind of hectic day Vanessa had.
She probably went for shopping then stopped by the spa for hours and finally came back home.
She was taking after her mother who was a top Nollywood actress.
“What’s that slow pace music placing in your room? Wait let me guess…uhnnn…’I miss you by
Cold play’ right?” guessed Vanessa.
“Yes” admitted Sadiq.
“Interesting choice of song. Who are you missing? Or have you got a girl that i don’t know about” said Vanessa
“YES” replied Sadiq instantly.
“Oh my God! And you didn’t tell me. When did this happen?” asked Vanessa curiously with the keenest interest.
Sadiq giggled at the other side of the line feeling mischievous and having an invigorating feeling of how it felt to have a secret, “I found her a long time ago. You do know her” he replied more mysteriously.
There. So he is pretending to have a secret because uncle Idris had said he had none. Let’s see how long he can keep up with it.
“I know her?” scratches her head. “Give me a name.”
“No i can’t do that” replied Sadiq, enjoying himself and deciding that having a secret was awesome.
“Okay, fair enough. Just tell me one thing, is she more beautiful than I am? Not that I am jealous of her snatching my best friend or anything.” asked Vanessa.
They were best friends indeed, at least that’s what she thinks, but Sadiq wanted to be more than just a friend.
Sadiq couldn’t get it, was she actually jealous? Does she love him, should he tell her that she is the one?
“I can’t tell you that either” was Sadiq only answer, and added immediately, “but i have something else to tell you”.
“What!?” her tone sounding a bit angry for Sadiq’s refusal to divulge his business to her which was completely uncharacteristic of him.
“I am traveling next tomorrow, to Kano” revealed Sadiq. Sadiq already knew what Vanessa's reaction was going to be, but he didn’t think she was going to scream so loud that he had to take the phone away from his ear.
“Wait a minute…first you tell me you’ve found a girl then now you tell me you are traveling to
Kano! Who are you?” asked Vanessa as though she didn’t know who or what Sadiq had become.
So this is what it feels like to have a secret, thought Sadiq as he laughed tirelessly.
“Come over” insisted Vanessa.
“You mean like right now?” Sadiq asked, glancing at his clock one more time.
“Yes! Just climb the tree and come over” ordered Vanessa.
There was a tree in-between their windows. That was Sadiq escape route out of the house, or sometimes straight into Vanessa's room.
Sadiq just had to climb out of his window, hold a tree branch and take four careful steps or sometimes reckless adventurous steps while holding onto several other branches before landing into Vanessa's room. As soon as he landed in her room, he was welcomed by an angry girl.
“Silly….silly boy, come on spill everything out.” insisted Vanessa as she pummeled Sadiq Jokingly.
”Okay……okay calm down!” laughed Sadiq defending himself with his arms. “Is this how you intend to fight a burglar when one drops into you room?” he mocked.
“If the burglar is you, then yes. Now, come on tell me, i am listening” said Vanessa.
“Well” began Sadiq as he walked round her big room, inspecting everything as if it was his first
time in the brightly colored pink room with different models posters on her walls and about four big teddies sitting on her bed, “apparently my parents felt that i have stayed home for too long and decided to ship me off to Northern state to pursue my degree program there” narrated Sadiq dissatisfiedly.
“You are kidding!” exclaimed the stunned Vanessa.
I wish i was” returned Sadiq, inspecting her to see her reaction. She felt disappointed for sure and that was what Sadiq wanted to see, so he did be sure that she would miss him same way he would miss her.
But he wasn’t satisfied with that. He expected more……probably to see her shed a tear or two!
But Vanessa was a strong girl. You would never catch her crying especially for something as trivial as this.
“And you are fine with it?” she asked
“Not that i have a choice” he paused for a minute, contemplating on whether to tell her his plan to give his admission spot to someone else or just fail intentionally so he can come back to be with her.
“I guess things don’t always go the way we plan; we plan ours while our parents plan theirs, our parents plan theirs while God plans His” added Sadiq with a smile on his lips.
“That’s a deep thought. Well i wish you the best” she said, crossing her legs as she sat on her bed.
Sadiq got hold of her iphone5. It was locked, but he knew her password.
“P-E-A-R-L” he said out her password as he typed it.
“I think i would have to change my password” muttered Vanessa, looking up at Sadiq.
“Why would you do such a thing? Anyway i think you should remove the password altogether” recommended Sadiq.
“You wouldn’t understand why anyone would want to lock their phone because you have nothing to hide” said Vanessa
“Not you too! Uncle Idris said something like that today. He said i have no secret” Sadiq said.
Vanessa sniggered and lowered her head in order to hide the expression on her face.
“You think he is right don’t you?” asked Sadiq, feeling a bit hurt.
“So uncle Idris came today? Did he ask of me?” she asked tactfully trying to evade his question.
“Answer me or i will be very…very pissed with you” he replied, ignoring her question.
“Okay, you want an answer right? Well, he is right to an extent.” admitted Vanessa. She paused to think for a moment then added thoughtfully and tactfully, “So you claimed you’ve hooked up with someone, to be candid, i don’t believe you.”
“Why don’t you…?” he asked.
“Apart from the fact that i don’t see any new name in your phone contact or on your Blackberry messenger nor any new facebook friend from the supposed girl you found, apart from these facts, i think it will take a miracle before you get yourself someone, and why? Because you suffer from inferiority complex” said Vanessa handling Sadiq’s phone.
Thank you Vanessa. At least someone finally said the truth. I knew Sadiq suffered from inferiority complex.
“No i don’t” Sadiq defended, but he knew he did.
“Yes you do. Remember that time i tried to hook you up with one of my girlfriend and you chickened out. And the funny thing is that she was so into you. I mean who won’t, you are
good looking, though sometimes you can be odd. But still you are most girls dream guy, but you
don’t seem to think so” Vanessa criticized, complimented and insinuated.
Vanessa might have been right in a way and Sadiq was carried away by her compliment…she
said he was most girls dream guy. Does that include her? Is she trying to give him a clue, a clue that she want him too? Thought Sadiq.
“You are not saying anything” said Vanessa, smacking him on his head.
“I was thinking” said Sadiq.
He was thinking indeed. He was thinking of telling her the three letter words. Be careful Sadiq, don’t say i didn’t warn you. Once those magic words are said everything is going to change…puff!
“I think i hear footsteps! Come on go out immediately, i think my dad is coming to check
on me” jumped in Vanessa before Sadiq could have the chance to say I love you.
“We need to talk tomorrow” Sadiq rushed the words as Vanessa hurried him out of her room.
“Okay… okay” were Vanessa’s words, mindful of her father who might walk in anytime.
“Goodnight” Sadiq managed to say, taking one final look before dashing off through the window.
“Sadiq do get me a big teddy like the one i saw in Vanessa's room” requested Asma’u when Sadiq was getting ready to go shopping for his trip.
“I don’t know if i can” replied Sadiq hurriedly as he pushed his wallet into his back pocket.
“Oooooh please. Please…please…please” begged Asma’u sporadically. Sadiq paused to pay
attention to her and all he saw were two innocent large eyes and small lips begging him.
Episode 6 Coming soon...