“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!
Thanks for continually reading probed. I’m happy you secret readers who refuse to comment keep raising up my stats. I love you secretly as you make yourselves be. Muah!
Hopefully I’ll put two chapters up within the week. Enjoy!!!
“This one has turned into in-law something o!” Maria laughed as Ronke packed her overnight bag. Fatima didn’t speak at first; she just looked at her roommate with wide eyes.
“You guys naa… I’m already nervous as it is.” Ronke said, zipping the bag up. “You guys are coming to the party on Sunday shey?”
“Of course!” Maria squealed. “Your boyfriend’s parents really tried o— two parties in one weekend!”
Ronke smiled, but said nothing in response. Just then there was a knock on the door. It was Muyiwa.
“Hey girls.” He said with a smile, picking up the overnight bag deftly. “Ready to go babe?”
Ronke nodded, and he flashed her roommates a smile. “I hope I’ll see you guys at Arinze’s place on Sunday.”
Michael had suggested house party instead, as it was relatively cheaper and usually more fun and two of their gym buddies shared a flat with a big living room. His father didn’t object, especially since it cost him a lot less. He instead sent him money for drinks and fuel.
“Of course! Take care of our friend o!” Fatima said with a grin.
“You know I always do.” He said, looking at Ronke this time. “Let’s go babe.”
Michael was already waiting in the car. He whistled at the sight of Ronke’s bag.
“Na semester you wan go do for bros house or wetin?”
“Abeg free me. No be box I carry naa.”
Michael laughed and shook his head. “Girls and load shaaa.”
The ride to Muyiwa’s place was fun, with Michael making jokes all the way. But by the time they pulled up into his street her stomach had begun to do a thousand flips. Muyiwa pressed his remote and slid the gate open, and her breath hitched a notch. They were finally there… at his place.
“Your house is really nice.” Michael said, slinging his backpack over his shoulder and sizing the large compound.
“Thanks.” Muyiwa said, grabbing his bag and Ronke’s, while she clutched her handbag desperately. Muyiwa flashed a comforting smile at her.
“They’ll love you.” He said as he pressed the doorbell. Mustapha opened the door almost immediately.
“Hey big bro!” Mustapha said with a grin. Muyiwa gestured to Michael and Ronke.
“You know Ronke… this is my best friend Michael.”
Mustapha smiled at them. “You’re welcome to our home. Please come in.”
As soon as Mustapha turned away from them Michael leaned in to whisper to Muyiwa.
“That your brother scary gan… pass picture sef.”
Mustapha paused all of a sudden and laughed, making Michael wonder if the teenager had heard what he said.
“Big brother’s here… and he’s brought some visitors.”
Muyiwa stepped in with Ronke and Michael into the living room, where his siblings sat watching TV. As soon as Nneka set his eyes on Michael she became self-conscious as she had on a pair of shorts, even though they were just above her knees. Her outfit today in comparison to the loose dress she had work to the hospital brought out her curves, and made Ronke a little intimidated. Michael was close to drooling— Muyiwa had to tap him in the back for him to snap out of staring at Nneka.
“So sorry about that… I really don’t know what came over me.” Michael said uncomfortably, and he gave her an apologetic smile.
“Guys… this is my best friend Michael, and for those who haven’t met her yet… this is Ronke.”
Abiye’s eyes widened in excitement and he got up from the seat he was sharing with Aisha to look squarely at Michael and Ronke.
“It’s great to have you guys around.”
Michael turned to look at Aisha, who sat quietly scrutinizing him and Ronke with her huge eyes. He smiled and waved at her.
“You must be Aisha— it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Likewise.” She said in an expressionless voice that made Michael unsure whether she meant it.
“Nneka please take Sade’s things to your room so that she can freshen up.” Muyiwa instructed, handing his sister Ronke’s overnight bag.”Michael will be sleeping in my room.”
“No problem.” Nneka said, smiling at the two guests. “I have lunch ready for you both.”
“Mama what about us?” Mustapha said with a mock frown. “Me I’m still hungry o.”
“We already had lunch. Go and eat bread.”
“Sha all of you know that the bread is remaining half.” Mustapha said, pulling his ears for emphasis. “Me I don’t want to hear you people telling mummy that I ate a whole loaf of bread.”
Nneka shook her head while Ronke stifled back a laugh. As soon as Ronke and Michael were in the respective bathrooms Muyiwa pulled Nneka close to him, making her raise an eyebrow.
“I can see it in your eyes.” Nneka said with a frown. “What did you do?”
“You can’t be serious Muyiwa.”Aisha said in a low voice, glaring at her oldest brother. She wasn’t the only one upset with him. Mustapha’s eyes were filled with rage, and Nneka disappointment. They were talking in low voices so they won’t be overheard, but they could hear each other clearly. “So what if you break up with Ronke and you get another girlfriend… you’ll tell that one too?” Mustapha asked sternly, rolling his eyes.
“Statistically speaking a regular guy goes into a steady relationship with at least a girl a year… so you’re telling us that every year a new girl will be in on our secret?” Aisha said with a frown. “Girls are the worst at keeping secrets, you know.”
“I have a boyfriend Muyiwa… you don’t see me blabbing such to him… or has Mustapha ever said he had let Sade in on our secret.” Nneka said with fists clenched.
“Sade is not my girlfriend.” Mustapha corrected, but they all ignored him.
“Even Abiye who is the least mature among us has been able to conceal his abilities so far, even with Julian.”
Muyiwa didn’t look at his siblings. He just leaned on the kitchen counter and sighed.
“Ronke isn’t like other girls. Even if we break up I wouldn’t open up to any other person like I did to her.”
“Bro you can’t know until the time comes.” Mustapha pointed out. “It’s not like you knew you were going to be in this deep when you first started dating her.”
“You’re right— I didn’t know.” Mustapha said. “But you need to understand… I really can’t explain it— why it felt so right to tell her. I have no excuse and I’m not going to make any.”
“Like Abiye back then… I remember how you planned to rip him apart for spilling.” Nneka said, giving him an accusing look.
“You guys… he has told her and there’s nothing we can do about it. Let’s not ruin his birthday by giving him attitude before mummy and daddy know something is wrong.” Abiye said, to the surprise of his siblings. Abiye was very mature for his age in the way he thought about most things; though he still acted very much like a kid.
“I don’t need you guys putting up a fake attitude because of mum and dad.” Muyiwa said despite himself. “It’s either I’m forgiven or I’m not.”
“You amaze me Muyiwa… you’re still claiming right.” Mustapha said, folding his arms. “You just want to mess up and be forgiven right off the bat?”
“It’s not easy to keep this a secret!” Muyiwa groaned. “Listen to me… one day you’d have to tell someone… maybe if you were to get married or—”
“And if we divorce them and marry someone else, more people will know.” Aisha interjected. “Because the divorce rate these days are accelerating with no sign of a decline.”
“I’m really sorry guys… please forgive me.” Muyiwa said, hanging his head as he pleaded.
“Does Michael know about us?” Nneka found herself asking. Muyiwa shook his head.
“Like Abiye said, it’s been done. There’s no point in holding on to it.” Aisha said with a sigh. “To be honest we do have to tell at least one person at some point in our lives, for one reason or the other. Mum and dad won’t be here forever.”
“Speaking of mum and dad, I think we all agree that it’s best they don’t know?” Aisha enquired, and the rest of her siblings nodded in agreement.
“Your guests will probably be looking for us.” Mustapha said, grabbing the half loaf of bread as he exited the kitchen. The others looked at each other and shook their heads.
Lillian and Richard did not return until much later in the evening, when Nneka was contemplating on dinner. Mustapha was the first at their side, almost forgetting that he couldn’t use his super speed at first. He and Muyiwa helped relieve the items they were carrying.
“I’m so excited! I think I’m going to cook all through the night!” Lillian said in her singsong voice. Mustapha’s ears perked up at the last bit.
“Mummy I’m definitely keeping you company.”
“Then there will be no food in the morning.” Nneka said with a laugh. It was then Richard noticed his guests standing nervously, their greetings overshadowed by that of the kids.
“Hello.” Richard said with a smile, and they greeted them again.
Muyiwa smacked his forehead. “Mummy, Daddy, forgive my manners… this is Michael, and this is Ronke.”
“Your roommate.” Richard affirmed.’
“And your girlfriend.” Lillian chipped in mischievously. Ronke tried her best not to look embarrassed.
“You’re welcome to our home.” Richard said with a grin.
“Thank you sir.”
“Have you guys had dinner yet?” Lillian asked.
“No mum, we hadn’t decided what I should prepare.” Nneka answered hastily.
“Not to worry— I’m home now.”
It was decided that dinner would be served in the living room, as the dining chairs were only eight in number. The family had a hearty meal, with Mustapha helping himself to two portions of what everyone else was having, much to their guests’ amazement.
“Guy… na before I dey think say you dey chop.” Michael whispered to Muyiwa, who only laughed in response. Ronke couldn’t eat as much, as she was so nervous.
“Watching your weight?” Lillian asked her politely, and she shook her head shyly.
“I’m really sorry ma. This tastes really good, but I don’t normally eat much.”
“Don’t worry about it… I can help you finish that if you can’t.”
“Mustapha!!!!” Nneka and Lillian called sternly, and he put his hands up in mock surrender.
Ronke sat on Nneka’s bed and looked around her. It was quite feminine, especially because of the pink walls. She didn’t get to observe her surrounding as much as she could because Nneka stepped out of the bathroom and smiled at her.
“I’m glad you’re sharing the room with Me.” the young girl said gleefully. “I normally don’t do sleepovers.”
“I’m really happy to be here.” Ronke answered shyly. “Your house is quite big.”
“Yeah… it’s got eight bedrooms, all with their own bathrooms.” Nneka said without a hint of arrogance. “I’m surprised that dad had a liking for big homes even before he had a big family.”
Nneka had to admit that there was a thrill of being able to talk with ease. It was so easy to say things as they were since Ronke was in the know, and she felt she could almost understand why it was easy for Muyiwa and even the older Abiye to spill.
“Eight rooms… that means there’s at least one guest room though.” Ronke pointed out quietly.
“Yes. For guests.”
That made Ronke smile. All of a sudden Nneka’s door swung open and shut so fast Ronke almost thought she imagined it— that is, if Mustapha wasn’t suddenly standing right in front of her with a mischievous grin on his face. Nneka rolled her eyes while Ronke swallowed.
“What? We just thought to wish our wife good night.”
Ronke tried her best not to blush, and Mustapha laughed hard at the attempt. Just then the door opened again and Aisha walked in with a parrot on her shoulder. She shut the door behind her and sighed.
“Sorry for the intrusion. We really just wanted to say goodnight.”
Ronke smiled gently at Aisha, grateful for the information Muyiwa gave her at the part. Now she understood what he was talking about. If she didn’t know the little girl was a super computer she would have imagined she was a deadly shape-shifter that could gouge her eyes out. As the term shape-shifter came to mind, she found herself staring hard at the parrot on Aisha’s shoulder.
“Nice Parrot.” She said weakly, and the parrot flew off Aisha’s shoulder and landed on her lap— as a cute brown-haired Yorkshire terrier. Ronke tried her best not to scream.
“Abiye… ease up on her… please.” Nneka said firmly, and the terrier sighed.
“I’m sorry Ronke. Goodnight.”
Ronke really did feel he was sorry, and immediately felt bad for her reaction, so she picked him up and cuddled him, much to everyone’s surprise. “Goodnight dear. You’re so cute and hairy!!! Thank you for not turning into a snake or something scary like that.”
Abiye jumped off her feet and changed back to himself with a huge grin on his face. “Of course not. Even my parents aren’t used to that side of me yet.”
Lillian woke the girls up early, though the house had already been swept and dusted, courtesy of Mustapha. The staffs were usually off work during weekends since the children moved in, unless requested for— of which today wasn’t such an occasion. Aisha was to clean up and arrange the plates and utensils while Ronke and Nneka were to help her with the cooking. As they trooped to the kitchen they found Mustapha there, pouring himself some Corn Flakes. He looked at them and grinned.
“Good morning mummy… good morning girls.” He said, opening the tin of powdered milk right by the box of cereal. Ronke gave him a small smile.
“Good morning Mustapha… what time did you wake up?”
“I didn’t sleep.”
“He never does.” Nneka mouthed to Ronke so she wouldn’t ask him why.
“Sure you all don’t need any help?” he asked with a smirk before digging into his cereal.
“Do we still have foodstuff in the fridge?”
“Of course mama.” Mustapha said with a chuckle. “Wouldn’t want to leave our guests hungry.”
“Meeehhnnn this your gym ehn!!!”
Muyiwa smirked as he walked in to see Michael running his hands over one of the heaviest equipments they had. “Abeg who dey carry this one?”
Muyiwa looked from Abiye who was choking down a laugh and looked at his friend quietly. “Na for show… don’t you worry about it.”
Muyiwa’s stomach rumbled. He could smell what was cooking in the kitchen, and they were yet to have breakfast. He shook his head and chuckled, hoping Ronke was having a good time in the company of his mother and sisters.
“He’s mostly reserved in school.” Ronke said as she chopped the carrots, while Muyiwa’s sisters and mother listened with rapt attention. “It’s quite a relief to see him like this at home to be honest.”
“I wanted to hear something more exciting, like stories of him doing bad things.” Aisha sulked.
Nneka rolled her eyes. “She’s his girlfriend. You don’t expect her to dish out the dirt on him.”
Lillian nodded. “True that. Why don’t we dish the food into these coolers and get ready.”
Just then the doorbell rang, and the girls turned towards the direction of the kitchen door.
“I still don’t get why she picked you.”
Banji smirked as he used the doorbell. “What? Like I told you before… we’re friends.”
Sade gave him a dirty look. “Like I asked you before… since when?”
Before anyone could say anything further Mustapha opened the door. His eyes widened as he saw the first guests at the door.
“Hey…” Banji said, trying to avoid Mustapha’s gaze. Even his surprised look was disconcerting.
“Hi. What time is it?”
Sade looked at her watch briefly and shrugged. “11ish. that’s a rude thing to ask your guest, you know.”
Mustapha sighed. “Apologies. I was just not expecting anyone till well, 12ish.”
“We know we are too early, but our big brother had to go somewhere so he dropped us along the way.” Sade explained, and Mustapha nodded absent-mindedly.
“Okay that explained… may we come in?” Banji asked curtly, though his resolve weakened when Mustapha turned to look at him with an eyebrow raised.
“Please do. I hope you’ll excuse me so I can go change.”
Banji and Sade walked in just as Aisha was bringing the plates to the dining table.
“Mustapha who was that at the—”
Banji’s eyes widened at Aisha’s sponge bob pajamas, and he bolted for the door. Right at that moment, Aisha dropped the stack of plates in her hand. But they never crashed.
“What… what just happened?”
Aisha and Mustapha exchanged horrified looks. The plates were still in his hands.
“Am I dreaming?” Sade said, almost to herself, and Mustapha dropped the plates carefully before stepping slowly towards her. She took a step back.
“This is some side effect from the new medication right? It has to be.”
Mustapha turned to his little sister. “Go dress up. And make sure you don’t tell anyone anything… at least until later.”
Aisha nodded and dashed up the stairs. Just then the front door opened and Banji walked in.
“Um… sorry about that. I was just—”
He looked around him, wondering where everyone went.