Chapter Nineteen: Room to leave

“Probed” is a science fiction concept with a Nigerian setting about five extraordinary children trying to live ordinary lives. I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I love writing it!

Hey guys I kept my promise! And yes… Sunday ends my week in my own book, so bite me. -__- Just… don’t kill me after reading this. 

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN

Mustapha stashed his phone into his pocket and let out a sigh. Muyiwa was right… he really needed to be more considerate of other people’s feelings. He didn’t just think he was the best person to give advice to anyone, especially on matters he didn’t understand.

Classes breezed by pretty quickly, especially since he was preoccupied with his thoughts of what his brother said to him. Soon it was long break, and he went off to the cafeteria to get some lunch.

“I want that drink.”

Mustapha didn’t have to turn around to know who it was. “Okay Sade… anything else?”

Sade beamed and told him what she wanted, and he paid for both their lunches.

“I can’t believe this is the first time I’ll bump into you in the cafeteria, even though we eat together a lot more often now.” Sade said excitedly. Mustapha nodded absentmindedly in agreement. He looked around him fixedly.

“I’ve never had lunch in the cafeteria before…” he said in a low voice.

“Really? So you only eat upstairs.”

“Yup.”

“We could eat here today you know… I know you like to be on your own and all that but once in a while you could stop breathing the dusty library air and—.”

“I see an empty seat over there… let’s go.”

Mustapha went off to secure the seat while Sade stared at him in shock. He agreed to her suggestion without an argument or retort?

 

Nneka was having lunch with the girls today. While trying not to laugh too loud at Bisi’s jokes she caught a surprising scent. She turned around to see Mustapha’s head above the crowd of students trying to get a seat and her jaw dropped.

“Are you for real?” she said, much to the surprise of her friends.

“What’s wrong?” one of her friends Halima asked, concerned.

“Did you see Folarin with another girl?” another of her friends Olamide asked teasingly.

“Nothing is wrong and no I did not.” Nneka said, getting up from her seat. “I’ll be right back.”

 

Mustapha and Sade were just about to start eating lunch when Nneka approached them.

“Hmmm! Who am I seeing in this our humble cafeteria?” she said with a laugh. “Hey Sade what’s up?”

Sade excitedly returned the greeting. “As in! You need to see how surprised I was when he agreed to stay and eat lunch here.”

Mustapha rolled his eyes. “It’s not too late to head out to the old library.”

It was Sade’s turn to roll her eyes. “Haba Mustapha your sis was only joking.”

“Later joor… before you start to vex.” Nneka said with a laugh before heading back to her seat. “Thanks for looking out for my brother Sade.”

Sade looked away, trying her hardest not to blush.

“Sade… is it true that I’m sour and bitter?”

“Huh?” The question was so sudden; she didn’t know how to answer it.

Mustapha looked down at his plate of rice. “I mean… I know I am, but… I didn’t think I was that terrible a person.”

Sade let out a short chuckle, making Mustapha raise an eyebrow at her. “Who said you were?”

“Doesn’t matter. Just answer the question.”

“Bitter and sour… is a total understatement to what you are.”

“Oh really.”

“Yes. But the plus side is… you have a really good side underneath all that.” Sade said, attempting to open her drink in a bid not to look at Mustapha as she spoke. “I think you’re just lonely is all.”

“I have family… why would I be lonely?” Mustapha said, staring at Sade intently.

“But you don’t have friends.” Sade said, still wrestling with the bottle. Her palms were sweater so she couldn’t grip it well enough to get it open.

“Well I have you.” Mustapha said with a shrug. Sade’s breath hitched a notch and she paused what she was doing. “I mean, you’re my friend… are you not?”

Sade let out a nervous laugh. “Yeah… I guess I am.”

Mustapha looked away, and Sade went back to wrestling with her drink. Suddenly Mustapha put a hand on hers, and she looked at him in surprise.

“Let me help you with that.”

He gently took the bottle out of her hands and opened it in one swift move before handing it back to her. She gave him a small smile in appreciation.

“Mustapha… Give yourself room to love people other than your family.”

 

 

Muyiwa had few friends outside of school, but one of them was Bunmi Thomas. He had met Bunmi at a business seminar for various universities hosted at their school. He was a first class student that had delivered a very impressive speech, and Muyiwa knew right at that moment that he wanted them to be friends. He was not from their school, but they met up a lot of times to hang out when they weren’t keeping tabs on each other on social media. The thing that amazed Muyiwa the most was the fact that Bunmi was a party animal, but still maintained his grades without going through sidelines. And he always gave very deep advice.

Bunmi wanted to hang out that evening with just Muyiwa, at their favorite bar where they loved to take pepper soup or grilled fish with their drinks. They talked for quite a while, exchanging stories and downing drinks. After about an hour Bunmi reached for his phone. He was getting intoxicated at this point— he wasn’t such a heavy drinker.

“There’s this babe that promised to meet us here…” Bunmi said, fumbling for his phone.

“I thought you said you wanted just the both of us to hang.” Muyiwa said, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah I meant just us guys… but it’ll be totally gay if we don’t have some babes around.” Bunmi said with a laugh. “Also I didn’t want you to feel like a third wheel so I asked her to bring a friend.”

“Guy… what is this naa? You know I have a girlfriend.” Muyiwa said, getting annoyed.

“Did I ask you to sleep with the girl? What’s your problem sef.” Bunmi said, irritated at Muyiwa’s reaction. Before Muyiwa could respond Bunmi’s phone began to ring. He picked it up and smiled to himself.

“They’re here… let me go get them.” Bunmi said, rising to his feet. “If you like… commot— that’s your business.”

Muyiwa let out a heavy sigh as he watched his friend leave. He wasn’t in the mood for this. Bunmi didn’t take too long though. He came back with a tall girl he recognized from his school as Ronke’s friend and a really short dress.

And Ronke herself.

Muyiwa stared at his girlfriend wide eyed, dressed in a short black dress, though not as short as her friend’s. She stared back at him in shock. Muyiwa wordlessly rose to his feet.

“Bunmi I’ll see you some other time.” he said curtly, walking out of the bar before he got angry enough to cause some damage.

 

Ronke and her friend exchanged a horrified glance, and she began to take off her heels.

“What’s wrong with Muyiwa today?” Bunmi said confusedly. Ronke’s friend gave him a weary look before turning to watch her boyfriend tear off after her boyfriend.

“Muyiwa!!!”

Muyiwa didn’t answer. He just kept walking.

“Muyiwa please stop!” she yelled breathlessly. He complied, but didn’t turn around. She ran up to stand in front of him.

“I swear… Muyiwa… it’s not what it looks like.” She said in between trying to catch her breath.

“Of course. I almost fought with my friend who claimed he had a girl for me… and it turned out to be my girlfriend!” Muyiwa said balling his hands into fists. “And I know Bunmi didn’t even know you knew me.”

“Muyiwa just listen to—”

“What do you want to say… that you think I’d believe at this point?” Muyiwa said, trembling visibly. “Let me guess… one of your friends forced you to come along with her yeah?”

Ronke let her shoulders slumped. “She said she was meeting the guy for the first time and didn’t want to go alone.”

Muyiwa chuckled, and then began to clap his hands. “Nice one… you should have switched over to study English or creative writing while you had a chance.”

Ronke frowned deeply. “You that claimed to almost fight with your friend for bring a girl for you, but stayed anyway… what am I to say to that?”

“Yeah… switch blames. I’m out.” Muyiwa said angrily running for his car and leaving Ronke to stand in the car park alone, with her shoes still in her hands.

 

Muyiwa didn’t think he could drive back to school in the state he was in. He needed to let off steam, and no gym was going to be closed by that time. He had no idea how he was going to cool off.

He got out of the car and put a hand to his mouth to stop himself from screaming. The last thing he planned to do was to attract any attention, especially because it was pretty late. The school gates would have been shut by now, and he had planned to sleep over at Bunmi’s place. He decided to check into a hotel.

His arms were still trembling, and he knew that he was most likely to break the steering if he should attempt to grip it in the state he was in. He fell to his knees and punched the sidewalk, causing a crack in the tarred road. It wasn’t enough to calm him down, but he refused to do more damage to the road. The trembling increased.

Suddenly he began to feel lighter. He scrubbed his hands over his face dejectedly and found them wet. They were stained with tears.

He had never felt this kind of pain before, and he couldn’t remember the last time he cried in his life. Was humbling his pride to let a few tears show truly the key to calming himself down? Surely he couldn’t do this in front of people, but maybe if he could get out of people so he couldn’t do them harm, he could let the tears flow in that solitude.

He let the tears fall and didn’t bother staunching the flow until he knew he was done crying. The trembling had stopped, and he had gotten himself together enough to get into the car. As he was about to reach for the key he let out a defeated sigh. He decided to sleep there in the car that night instead of checking into a hotel. It was only going to be for a couple of hours, and he felt extremely sorry for anyone who would try to attack him here to attempt to take the car. It was a lonely road at late hours, so he could do damage inconspicuous to whoever. The school gates opened at five, so he didn’t have to sleep there so long— not that it mattered, since an SUV was way better than the concrete ground he slept on many years back.

“Anyway… I did ask for a reason for us to break up.” Muyiwa muttered to himself before he let the sleep take over.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: It’s Been A While (Probed RECAP and MORE!!!) | Wolfger Ricardo

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