“Probed” is a science fiction concept with a Nigerian setting about five extraordinary children trying to live ordinary lives. Subsequent chapters will be released every Tuesday each week. I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I love writing it!
THIS CHAPTER IS SO SO SHORT!!! BUT THIS WEEK HAS BEEN FUNNY. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT CHAPTER BECAUSE FOR A WHILE THE STORY WILL FOCUS ON JUST MUYIWA.
Muyiwa stared at the printed sheet in his hand.
Mathematics. English. Economics. At least two subjects out of Commerce, Accounting and Geography. The five subjects he needed to pass in his Senior Certificate Examination to gain admission to study Economics in the University. He already had a certificate, but he was worried about catching up with his studies since he didn’t have prior knowledge of the subjects.
Fredrick encouraged him to try his best; assuring him that he would even get him a tutor eventually if he needed one. Muyiwa agreed to do so, drowning himself in textbooks relating to the course, and letting Fredrick (who studied accounting in school) tutor him whenever he had the chance. The children did not have an advanced brain like Aisha, but they absorbed information just as fast as they learned new skills.
“Have a nice day guys!” Muyiwa said, waving to his younger siblings as they headed out to the car where the driver was waiting. Suddenly Mustapha jumped out of the car and sprinted towards the house, almost pushing past his older brother who was still standing at the front door. As soon as he was out of the view of the driver he switched to super speed, returning back to the front door in a few seconds.
“Forgot my textbook.” He said with a grin, holding the book for his brother to see.
Muyiwa chuckled and pushed him out of the door. “Don’t keep everybody waiting.”
The maid showed up a few minutes after the kids were gone. Just like the driver and gardener, she did not live in the house with the family. The family had frowned at the idea of live-in staff even before they had the children, mainly because of the sensitivity of his job. The light skinned girl in her work polo shirt and worn out black jeans strolled into the house mechanically, humming a sad tune as she went straight to the closet where the cleaning supplies were kept.
Folake was startled out of her reverie, making her trip over her own feet and fall backwards. Muyiwa, who had been standing behind her, caught her and lifted her bridal style before her back could hit the floor. She stared wide-eyed at the discomfort evident in his face for a brief moment.
“Sorry… I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“I’m fine. Please put me down.”
Muyiwa set her on the ground slowly and put his hands in his pockets awkwardly.
“I just wanted to greet you… well done.”
“Thank you.” She said in a quiet voice, unable to look at him. She decided to focus to staring at the mop stick on the floor instead.
Just then, they heard the sound of someone clearing their throat very loudly. They both jumped before turning around to see Lillian right behind them, arms folded.
“Muyiwa… see me in my room.”
The two of them exchanged glances and he swallowed. They both knew that tone very well— it usually meant trouble.
She walked to her room swiftly, with Muyiwa right behind her. When they got in she sat on the bed and asked him to sit on the lounge chair close to the door.
“Muyiwa I hope there’s nothing going on between you and the maid.” She said, cocking her head to one side as she asked with a warning tone. Muyiwa eyes widened in shock and he shook his head furiously.
“No ma! She fell and I helped her up, that’s all.”
Lillian shrugged and let out a sigh. “I don’t even want to know, but don’t think about it o. She’s the maid; and relations with external staff don’t go beyond civil.”
Muyiwa nodded as Lillian droned about the damage it could cause to Richard’s reputation if word got out, and how he needed to be careful about girls in general.
“My darling, you’re starting school soon. Asides your father’s reputation, remember your secret. Don’t go and get carried away and start spilling what you’re not supposed to spill to one girl like that.” Lillian said, rolling her eyes. “You’re more likely to fall into that trap because you’re going into an environment that gives you less room to be self-conscious. It’s easier to get carried away”
Muyiwa didn’t hear the rest of the conversation, but he kept nodding at intervals. He didn’t like that Lillian was having this conversation with him because of Folake, but she had a point.
By the time Lillian let him off the hook Fredrick was waiting for him in the living room so they could discuss his plans for school. He was to head out at the end of the week, but they would go to school and get most of his registration finalized.
“What I’m worried about… is if you don’t feel like it’s too early to start advancing into society.” Fredrick said with a face full of concern. “You’re not going to be schooling from home— you’d be in the hostel away from family.”
Muyiwa looked at Fredrick pensively. “But being stuck at home doing nothing”
“So you’re assuring me you can handle it?”
Saturday came quicker than expected. He was stupid to believe he could handle being away. Unlike his siblings, he had had little contact with the outside world. There was no way he was going to survive. Anxiety robbed him of sleep so he spent the wee hours of the morning letting his fears and reservations take over. A slow creak in his door shocked out of his musing.
Mustapha creaked his door open wider, poking his head.
“Yeah I am. Come on in.”
Mustapha walked in, with Nneka, Abiye and Aisha tailing behind him. Muyiwa’s spirit sank lower. He had never had to stay away from his siblings. As he looked at their drawn faces he knew they were feeling the exact same way.
“Can’t you go from home?” Abiye said, his voice breaking.
“It’ll be so weird not seeing you around… like super weird.” Nneka said, throwing her arms around his shoulders. Aisha sighed deeply. Mustapha refused to look at him.
“Hey guys… I’ll come home as often as I can.” Mustapha said, giving them a reassuring smile.
“No o… come home every weekend!” Nneka protested.
“Guys… you’re making this harder for him.” Mustapha said in a really low voice before finally looking at his brother.
“Big bro… be careful out there.” He said, giving him an encouraging smile. Muyiwa smiled back, blinking rapidly because his eyes stung a lot. Was he about to cry?
The Hall University was like a walled world of its own, with really good roads and big, magnificent buildings. The kids had all slept in Muyiwa’s king size bed, with Mustapha waking them up when it was time to get ready. The entire family went with Muyiwa to school, Fredrick included. As they pulled up in front of Muyiwa’s assigned hostel his stomach did a flip. They all got out with him, still trying to come to terms with the temporary separation. Even Lillian shed a tear when she hugged him goodbye.
“Hmmm… 104.” Muyiwa said to himself, staring at the number on his key as he tried to match it with the number tag attached to the row of doors on each floor. The door was already open by the time he found it. It was a small, well-spaced room with two single beds, a wardrobe, and a desk by each bedside. A well-muscled young man sat on one of the beds, banging his head to the loud music coming from his headphones. When he noticed Muyiwa he waved his hand curtly as a signal of greeting. Muyiwa nodded in response and turned his focus to settling in.
“What’s your name?”
Muyiwa turned towards his roommates’ gruff voice. “Muyiwa Ogunbade. You?”
The young man replied with a mischievous glint in his eyes. “Michael Bassey.”