Chapter Thirty: What Could Go Wrong?

CHAPTER THIRTY

“I miss you.”

Something was definitely wrong with Sade tonight. He glanced at the screen briefly before replying.

“Someone sounds sedated.”

“Ouch. I’m so glad we’re not dating.”

“We couldn’t. You have terribly unrealistic expectations.”

“Why do you find romance unrealistic?” Continue reading

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Pre-Party

“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!

Hello!!!

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!!!

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

 “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.

“It’s okay.”

“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.”

“I understand.”

“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.

“Rude.”

“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.”

“Yes! 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.”

“Yes ma.”

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.”

“Sure.”

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.

 

 

Chapter Twenty-Six: Pick A Guest

“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!

Hello!!!

It’s been a while… hope you’re not mad. I am going through too much… in a good way. I just need to be prove to the world… that I am bursting with that energy that will translate to something so…

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

“Wow. Okay daddy… I’m so… thank you sir— thank you so much!”

Muyiwa hung up the phone and rubbed his palms together with glee. His roommate Michael who had been walking beside him looked at him mischievously.

“Care to share the reason for your excitement?”

Muyiwa nodded. “My parents are throwing a party for me this weekend.”

“That’s nice.”

“Saturday and Sunday… We’re having a small indoor party on Saturday with a few of our friends, and Sunday to for just my friends only.” Muyiwa said excitedly. “My dad is renting an event center for the Sunday party at a hotel not far from school.”

“Mehn!!!” It was Michael’s turn to rub his hands gleefully. “We’re gonna make sure the party is off the hook!”

“Dad said he’s only organizing the venue and mum the small chops.”

Shak no be problem naa… me and the boys will organize the whole thing don’t worry.”

“I just hope the whole ish doesn’t get out of hand though.” Muyiwa said warily, and Michael put a hand loosely over his friend’s shoulder reassuringly. “I know how crazy you guys get.”

“We’re never that crazy… and you know it— don’t worry about it.”

“I guess you’re right.” Muyiwa said with a laugh. “But what if no one shows?”

“That’s impossible… especially when strongest is the one organizing the whole thing— I don’t think you know you’re popular. Besides, who wouldn’t show up to the party of my best friend? I mean association with me is enough cred.”

Muyiwa laughed hard and moved away from Michael’s grip. “Who’s best friend?”

Michael joined in the laugh. “Forget it o… we don’t have to say it to know that we are best friends, at least as far as this school is concerned.”

Muyiwa slapped Michael on the back. He truly did consider them best friends.

“So then… you wouldn’t mind spending the weekend at my place.”

Michael raised his eyebrow at him. “For real?”

Muyiwa nodded in affirmation. “I’m supposed to bring two friends for the party on Saturday, so I’m inviting you and Ronke to my place on Friday.”

“Thanks bro, I’m honored.” Michael said with a chuckle. “I’ll finally get to see your family, especially that your fine sister.”

“Guy… e be like say you wan die early.” Muyiwa said firmly, but with a small smile on his face.

 

Aisha stared at the report card on her desk, a smug smile plastered on her face. Her seatmate Brenda was staring at her in shock. Aisha averted her gaze to her close friend, her smug smile not faltering.

“What?”

“How so?” Brenda asked, gesturing towards the crowd of students around a bewildered Banji. Aisha shrugged nonchalantly.

“I was so sure you’ll carry first position this term.”

“I know right?” Aisha said with a chuckle, making Brenda give her a look.

“You’re not sad?”

Aisha shook her head. “Of course not. Carrying second position doesn’t making me any less smart.”

Brenda nodded in agreement. “That’s true.”

“Aisha.”

She didn’t bother to look at the person standing in front of her desk. “Yes Banji?”

Brenda looked at Banji, then at Aisha. “Let me go and check Binta’s score eh Aisha. I’ll be right back.”

And with that it was just the two of them; Aisha still staring at her report card with a smug smile on her face, and Banji staring at her only because she wasn’t staring back at him.

“I got first position.” He said in a low voice. “And with your perfect CA the only way that could have worked out is for you to flunk your exams, even if a little bit.”

Aisha only responded with a shrug. Banji clenched his left hand into a fist.

“So what are you trying to prove?”

“You get the stupid plaque you never let me rest about when I got it last term.” She said placidly with a shrug, still staring at her report card. “Now you can sleep well at night.”

Banji opened his mouth, but no words came out.

“I tried to be nice to you, especially when our family bumped into yours at the hotel last Christmas. We got along during the trip, only for you to turn back to your mean self back in school. You shunned me in front of our classmates, making them think that I was latching on to you all through that holiday.”

She finally looked up at Banji.

“Since you were nice enough to admit that you hated me because of your stupid first position plaque, I let you have it.” Aisha said coldly. “I don’t need first position to prove how smart I am, especially to my family.”

“Wha- what are you implying?” Banji said in a bid to conceal his growing shame. Aisha got up from her seat and gave him a once-over.

“I don’t need your stupid friendship either… so please move away from my desk.”

Banji wordlessly walked away, angry at how guilty he felt. He clenched both hands again; the grip of his right hand tightening over the plaque he held in that hand, while the left one was balled into a fist.

 

After school Mustapha was leaning on the wall of the car park, looking at the students hanging around while he waited for his siblings. But he was so wrapped up in his thoughts he didn’t notice them approach him. Nneka snapped a finger in his ear to bring him out of his thoughts.

“Haba what’s on your mind?” she said, putting her hand on her hips.

Mustapha gave her a once over and nodded at Folarin who was standing right next to her. “Guy what’s up? Mama nothing is on my mind.”

“Hmm… ok o.”

“So Folarin will you be around on Saturday?” Mustapha said with a mischievous grin. Nneka put a hand to her younger brother’s chest and glared at him.

“Yes he is, and no one is going to do anything funny.”

“Like what? Hint our parent that he’s your boyfriend?”

“For Christ’s sake Mustapha don’t talk about this like he’s not here.”

“So what? It’s not like he doesn’t know how protective dad and mum are of you.”

“Yes he is aware. So stop scaring him and making him second guess this.”

“What’s there to be scared about?” Mustapha said with a chuckle. “It’s not like lover boy over there is going to say or do something stupid that would tip dad off.”

Nneka put up a finger in a bid to give Mustapha a stern warning when he held her deftly by the wrist.

“Hold that thought for a minute mama… I’ll be right back.”

With that Mustapha broke away from his sister and rushed to where he had sighted his target. Banji had just walked into the car park. Mustapha rushed to meet up with him, much to his surprise.

“Banji what’s up?”

Banji narrowed his eyes at Mustapha. “Hello Mustapha.”

“Um… where’s your sister?” Mustapha said nervously, putting both hands in his pocket to give a casual air. Banji raised an eyebrow at him, trying not to smile despite how uncomfortable he felt. Mustapha was the kind who pierced through you when you looked him in the eyes— he had no idea how Sade did it without flinching or even looking away for a second. Love, the young thought, is indeed blind.

“I’m taking it she hasn’t turned on her phone yet.” He said, scratching the back of his head. It was Mustapha’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “I doubt she’s home yet.”

“I don’t understand. Where did she go?”

“She got admitted last night.”

“What happened to her?”

“Her meds stopped working, and she passed out last night from exhaustion.” Banji explained with a sigh.

“Wait… her insomnia meds?”

“You know about that?” Banji said with shock, and Mustapha nodded in affirmation.

“Okay then… I’ll tell her you asked after her.”

“Um… there’s no need t… no problem then.”

“I have to go… my driver’s waiting.”

“Yeah.”

“Banji!!!”

Muyiwa and Mustapha turned towards the familiar voice. Sade was heading towards them wearing casual clothes. She beamed at Mustapha, but he froze in place, unable to speak.

“You’re supposed to be at home resting.” Banji said with a frown.

“I’ve been at home since morning joor.” Sade said, folding her arms. “Home was boring so I followed Mr. Jones to come and pick you up.”

“Yeah…” Banji drawled. “Anyway thank God you’re here… Mustapha asked after you.”

“Oh really?” she said, giving him a side glance.

It was then Mustapha thawed out. He cleared his throat and looked away. “Today was pretty peaceful, is all. It’s not like I missed your company or anything.”

“I never said you did.” Sade said with a giggle, making Banji roll his eyes. “Let’s go little brother.”

As they turned to leave, Mustapha grabbed at Sade’s arm gently, making her and Banji turn at the same time. Mustapha’s lost his resolve immediately.

“Err… Sade… I thought…” He scrubbed a hand over his face and took a deep breath. “My elder brother is having a party on Saturday and we’re to bring a friend each… and I haven’t asked anyone yet.”

Sade’s stomach did several flips, but she did her best to act casual. “Okay… soooo?”

Mustapha let out a frustrated sigh. “You’re not letting me do this.”

Sade’s smile widened. “Of course I am.”

“You’ll come for the party right?”

“Ask nicely.”

Mustapha let out another sigh. “Would you like to come along for the party?”

 

This is fun! It’s been a while since I did this!”

“I have a feeling this is going to turn into a weekly routine.” Muyiwa said with a laugh. Ronke didn’t reply— she wrapped her arms tightly around him instead. He was giving her a piggy-back ride in Leke’s garden, which had very few people there at the time.

“It’s not like it’s straining you or anything.” She said, planting a soft kiss at the back of his neck.

“Better stop o. I’ll just drop you.”

“If I hear.” Ronke laughed long and hard, and then decided to share what had been on her mind.

“How do you want to spend your birthday?”

Muyiwa froze in place. “I was thinking about how to bring that up.”

“Oh really.”

“Yup. We’re spending it at my parent’s place.”

Ronke was so shocked she almost fell off Muyiwa’s back, saved only by his firm grip. He noticed, and let her down gently.

“What’s wrong? Do you have plans on Sunday?”

“It’s not that it’s just that—”

“My dad wants to throw me my first birthday with them, and wanted to do it with a few of our close friends— and you of course.” Muyiwa said with a small smile.

“Muyiwa… it’s going to be a little scary.”

“You don’t know the half of it.” he replied with a laugh. “You and Michael are to spend the weekend at our place, so we can all go for the main party Dad and Mum are throwing for me and my friends.”

“Now it just got a whole lot scarier.”

Muyiwa laughed heartily. “There’s nothing to it! You’d share a room with mama and Michael will sleep in my room, so you won’t have to feel too shy about being among us.”

Ronke tried to smile, but she was all twisted up inside. “It’s not about that Muyiwa.”

Muyiwa threw an arm over her shoulder. “They are going to love you. If only they knew you knew about our secret… Abiye would have turned into some pretty cute animals for your amusement.”

“I don’t understand… animals?” Ronke said, her heart beating furiously in her chest.

“Yeah… he turns into all sorts… but he won’t turn into anything scary— you’ll just die.” Muyiwa laughed heartily, but Ronke didn’t find it funny. She frowned, much to Muyiwa’s amusement.

“I thought I would ease it up on you.” Muyiwa explained gently, giving her a comforting smile. “But I didn’t want you coming over and dreading those you had no idea what they are capable of. Michael has no problem because well, ignorance is bliss.”

“Hmmm.” Ronke said, pinching the bridge of her nose. Maybe she shouldn’t have probed him. She found it hard to believe yet, but she saw no reason why she shouldn’t, especially since she witnessed what had happened that day with her ex-boyfriend.

“This is too much to take in.” she finally admitted. All Muyiwa did was smile.

“Of course it is, but you asked for it.”

He put up four fingers to represent each of his siblings. “Here’s the breakdown: Mama heals herself of all injuries and those of others to an extent— something you know already. Aisha is a super computer with a large knowledge base, and can temporarily take copies of documents for content duplication; Mustapha has super speed and our last born Abiye changes to different animals.”

“Okay… I think I need to sit down.”

“No problem. Are you coming over for the weekend?”

Ronke looked at him. There was something about the way he asked her that question, like her refusal would cost them their relationship. What he said next affirmed it.

“It will always be family above everyone else Ronke… If you have a problem with how we are it’s never too late to leave.”

Ronke’s feet were shaky, but she ignored it and smiled. “We still have to talk to your dad about the issue with mine… don’t forget.”

 

“Aisha… 2nd Position? What happened?” Lillian stared at her daughter worriedly as she skimmed through her report card. “You seemed to have decided to do a little less than perfect in your exams unlike in your CA.”

Aisha gave her mother a small apologetic smile. “I thought fluctuating grades will throw a lot of attention off me, asides from the fact that I got picked on in class by some of my classmates who thought I showed off my intelligence a little too much, when they don’t even know the half of it.”

“Oh I see. I understand dear.”

She reached out and put a hand on her mother’s shoulder. “It was quite excruciating for me to flunk mum, trust me. It’s even more laborious than those who have to study when they don’t want to.”

Lillian pulled in her daughter for a hug. “It’s okay for you to fluctuate every once in a while, but nothing lower than 2nd position, okay?”

Aisha stared at her mother, horrified. “Never!”

 

Aisha was reading one of the encyclopedias her father bought her in class during break for the umpteenth time. Although she had already absorbed the information within, it was like reading a favorite novel. She reached for her bottle of fanta without looking away from her book, until she realized that it was no longer on the table. She finally looked away, only to see Banji in front of her with the fanta in his hand, smiling her mischievously. She raised an eyebrow at him, her face expressionless.

“I’m thirsty.”

“Who are you taking to your brother’s party?”

“One. You take going straight to the point to far… you could have at least eased it into a conversation.” Aisha said, still staring at him expressionlessly. “Two. Who told you about that?”

“Mustapha asked Sade to the party yesterday.” Banji said, finally setting the fanta down so he could fold him arms stubbornly. “I want to come to.”

“Why?”

“What naa? I just want to.” Banji said, narrowing his eyes. “I like parties.”

“I don’t need your company as compensation for you getting first position. I already told you that I don’t need grades to determine how intelligent I am.”

Banji knew that. He had known that from the very first term, even before she had snatched his perfect first position streak from him— he was just too proud to concede defeat.

“I really just want to come and watch Sade make a fool out of herself in front of your brother and… see your books.”

Aisha muttered something in Dutch under her breath. She liked to speak to herself in other languages when she needed to make a decision. She was the only one among the children that understood all the three major Nigerian Languages, and she had the mid to learn more soon enough.

“That one sef dey.” She said, rolling her eyes. “Okay I’ve heard… you’re lucky I haven’t asked Brenda yet.”

Banji pumped his fist in the air with excitement. “Thanks a lot!”

Aisha didn’t expect his reaction, but she didn’t betray her surprise in her expression. “You’re welcome.”

 

“Mummy let me take you on a ride… pleeeaaassseee!!!!”

Abiye put his head on his mother’s lap as they watched TV while she played with his hair absentmindedly.

“Oh dear… I’m still not sure I’m totally comfortable with that yet.” Lillian said with a soft chuckle.

“But you liked it when you rode on me as a camel, and the other time when everyone took turns riding me as a donkey— they both have very strong backs.”

“Yes they do dear…  I still haven’t warmed up to your wild animals you know… but its one day at a time.” she replied with a laugh.

“I noticed it, that’s why I only change into house pets in front of you and daddy. But you really tried your best.” Abiye said with a laugh. “Imagine when I first transformed before your eyes? You passed out, just like Daddy did.”

“Your father fainted when he first met you? He didn’t tell me that.” Lillian said, trying to choke back a laugh. “He will so hear plenty stories when he gets back.”

“Mummy… I want to try something.”

“Hmmm…. Okay what is it?”

Abiye got off the chair and turned into a tiger. Lillian jumped before she could control herself.

“Mummy please… I need to know that I don’t scare you. Touch my head.”

“Abiye.”

Lillian was uncomfortable, and mouth and teeth were so big but she understood the young boy’s point. She hesitantly reached out to touch the side of his head, and he leaned into her palm. It amazed her that the small boy’s head that lay on her lap about a minute ago had become a massive animal’s. Her hands were still shaky, but she put the second one on his face.

“See mum? You have nothing to worry about.”

Lillian flinched again when he opened his mouth, but she didn’t let go. She drew close and wrapped her arms around Abiye’s neck. Suddenly her hands were suspended in mid-air, and small, long arms were wrapped around her own neck.

“I love you mummy.”

She drew him close and kissed his forehead. “Mummy loves you too.”

Suddenly she snapped her fingers as she remembered something.

“Abiye I didn’t ask who your guest for the party is so I can take permission from his or her parents.”

Abiye laughed. “There’s no need for that mummy, you had already invited Julian and his mother.”

 

Chapter Twenty-Four: A New Level

“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 meant for this to be to be waay longer, but i loved the way it ended so please forgive me!!! hahaaha.

Either way i hope you enjoy it. i know you will anticipate the next one, which will come as soon as possible. Also, i have a new set of dark poetry for you to explore, based on some creepy paintings i stumbled upon online. If you want to check it out click here– I’d be glad if you did.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

Muyiwa’s palms were a little sweaty. Why was he so nervous?

“Okay… I’m all set.” Nneka said, sliding into the back seat of the SUV. Mustapha sat right beside him, smirking.

“Let’s go pick up our wife.”

“Not helping bro.”

He had to tell his siblings. Mustapha because he felt bad for hiding the breakup issue they had in the first place, and he knew she was in the hospital anyway. He told mama mainly because he wanted her to help Ronke heal some of the post-surgery scars, and ease the pain altogether by accelerating the healing of those she couldn’t deal with completely. Most importantly, he needed her to check if Ronke had developed any complications in her womb. His father had confided in him about why their mother didn’t have kids of her own, and he had vowed within himself never to let any girl pregnant for him be subject to an abortion. Though it wasn’t planned, this counted as one. He doubted he would ever touch Ronke again after this— he was too scared.

“I’ll get you guys in a taxi as soon as we’re done.” Muyiwa said firmly. “Come straight home. I have to get back to school to drop Ronke and besides, I have class tomorrow.”

“Yeah yeah we know.” Mustapha said dismissively with the wave of a hand. “Stop shaking and take us to see our wife!!!”

Nneka chuckled from behind and Muyiwa shook his head, though a smile had begun to form on his face. He was at least glad that Mustapha had finally warmed up to the idea of Ronke in his life, whether spurred by guilt or resolve, he didn’t know— and he didn’t care.

 

Ronke was shocked as soon as Muyiwa walked in with his brother and sister— she had no idea he was bring them over. She had heard so much about them and even saw pictures, but this was the first time she was meeting them in person. His younger brother was so tall and fierce looking, even with the nervous smile he had on his face, like he wasn’t used to smiling. His sister was even more beautiful in person, with her perfect hourglass figure that her loose gown couldn’t hide. She was very intimidated by her presence, even though the girl was very excited to see her. She rushed towards her and hugged her carefully. The young girl didn’t seem as delicate as her appearance gave off.

“It’s so nice to finally meet you!!!” she said to Ronke with a laugh, not letting go of her as she spoke. “When Muyiwa told us you were ill and got admitted, we insisted on meeting you, since he wouldn’t bring you over.”

As she said the last part, she turned looked at her older brother accusingly.

“Muyiwa can I see you outside for a moment?”

Muyiwa’s eyes widened, but he concealed his anxiety the best that he could. “Sure sis.”

It was then Nneka let go of Ronke. As soon as she did Ronke felt a whole lot better than she did before they walked in. The pains within was less and she even felt much stronger. It all had to be in her head. She looked at the young girl who her boyfriend followed outside. Muyiwa had told her that they were all adopted by their father, hence the different tribal names and lack of resemblance among them. But could this girl be as peculiar as Muyiwa was?

 

Mustapha cleared his throat and stretched a hand towards Ronke, snapping her out of her reverie.

“Hello. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

“Likewise.” Ronke said meekly, still intimidated by his piercing gaze. He tried to smile some more to ease the tension he sensed, but it just made things even more awkward.

“I know I know… I don’t look approachable.” Mustapha said with a shrug. “I normally don’t even smile.”

“I guessed as much.” Ronke said with a giggle despite herself. Mustapha let out a chuckle.

“I can see why my brother likes you a lot.” He said to her, and her eyes widened in surprise.

“You’re brave… I like that.”

“Not… so brave, to be honest.”

“It doesn’t matter how brave… you’re brave, and you should be proud of that.”

“Okay then… thanks I guess.” Ronke said with a nervous chuckle.

 

“She’s all clear… and I did the best I could to accelerate her healing.”

Muyiwa hugged his sister tight. “No complications?”

“None at all.”

“Thanks mama.”

“Abeg this your love don pass pass o.” Nneka said with a laugh, pushing Muyiwa lightly off her. The older brother blushed.

“I should go tell the doctor that we are ready to leave.”

“Okay… I should go keep her company before Mustapha succeeds in scaring her to death.”

Muyiwa laughed as he walked away. “I have a feeling he would make an effort not to.”

 

Nneka walked in to find Ronke stifling a chuckle, and she looked at Mustapha in surprise.

“Glad to see you guys are having fun.” She said with a smile, closing the door behind her.

 

The ride back to the school was at first silent one, until Ronke absentmindedly resting her arm on Muyiwa’s. He looked at her with the corner of his eye and sighed.

“How do you feel?” he asked her in a soft voice.

“Much better since your siblings came around… literally.” Ronke said with a chuckle, making Muyiwa smile. “I am quite touched that they came to see me.”

“I hope Mustapha didn’t scare you too much.”

“A little at first,” she admitted, looking down at her lap. “But he really did his best to make me comfortable around him.”

Muyiwa smiled again, but said nothing else this time. Ronke looked at him warily.

“Your siblings… are they like you?”

Muyiwa turned to her briefly, staring at his girlfriend wide-eyed for a second before turning his eyes back to the road. “Not exactly… but you could say that.”

“Okay.”

She was silent again, but not for long. “How do we handle this issue with my dad and yours?”

Muyiwa didn’t look at her this time before replying. “We’ll leave that to my dad.”

“Okay.”

 

Muyiwa drove to the front of her hostel and turned to smile at her. “Don’t move.”

He got out of the car and turned to open the door for her, making her chuckle. “I swear if not that sickness is a bad thing, I’d pray to be sick often so I can be receiving this kind of treatment.”

Muyiwa shook his head and gave her a nervous smile. “It’s just that I’ve never seen you extremely sick before, let alone this.”

Ronke smiled, and Muyiwa leaned over as if to kiss her. Instead he picked her up bridal style without any effort. Ronke was slim, but still no average guy could have picked her up as easily as he did. She gasped and pretended to be upset about being taken by surprise.

“My bag please.” She said, trying her hardest not to giggle.

“Coming right up.” Muyiwa said, flashing a smile and balancing her in the crook of his left arm while he picked her with his right as quickly as possible before anyone around would notice.

“Strongest!” she squealed and Muyiwa laughed hard before taking her up the stairs bridal style with her bag still in his hand, not bothered about the amazed onlookers. Ronke hid her face in his broad chest.

“Is Ronke shy?” Muyiwa asked teasingly as they climbed the stairs, and the girls in her hostel stared at the couple dreamily.

“Leave me along joor.”

Her reply was muffled because she wouldn’t raise her head.

Her roommates were not in her room when she got in, but she had her own key. She had meant to surprise them so she had only told them Muyiwa was bring her, but did not specify time. Muyiwa set her down so she could unlock her door and took her bag in after her.

“I’m sure you’re hungry… I doubt you ate this morning.”

Ronke smiled and nodded slowly, and Muyiwa grinned. He walked up to her and grabbed both her hands. She looked at their feet instead.

“I’m never going to hurt you ever again… and that means no secrets either.”

She looked at him in surprise. “No secrets?”

Muyiwa nodded. “It’s what got us into that mess in the first place.”

Ronke swallowed hard. She had to take advantage of the moment.

“That means you’d tell me why you’re as strong as you are… without killing me?”

 

 

Chapter Twenty-Two: Discovery

“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!

 

So I had this on standby… and i just needed the word for me to release it. Pardon that it is a short piece, for i tried to make it longer (i really did), but the last scene was just too perfect as a cliffhanger to add to. So please read… and enjoy.

Also it’s my sister’s birthday… So I’m dedicating this post to her. 😜

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

Abiye was up early. It was hard for him to sleep in for a while, no matter how hard he tried. He knew that if he slept longer than 7am then he was down with something. As the familiar scent of Julian flooded his nose he turned to his side to look at his sleeping friend, the memories of the night before flooding in. His friend was safe now, thanks to him and his siblings— although he would never know.

Richard called Mrs. Olisa as early as possible, and asked her to come over to the house. The widow was full of anxiety after the call.

“Did the kidnappers say anything else?” she said as soon as she stepped into the house. Richard gave her a comforting smile and asked her to sit down.

“Would you like something to drink? Juice perhaps?”

She shook her head and frowned. “Richard… why did you call me here this early?”

“We have your son.”

She jumped to her feet. “How? Where is he?”

“He’s with Abiye… he’s fast asleep.” Richard said. “He’s had a long day… I advise we let him sleep for as long as he can— he needs all the rest he can get.”

Mrs. Olisa sat back down, but she couldn’t keep still. “How did you do it? You gave them the money didn’t you Richard.”

“As much as I wish I did, I don’t have a hundred million anywhere.” Richard said with a laugh. “I can’t tell you that Jennifer, but you should know… I know people.”

Mrs. Olisa’s eyes began to tear up. “How can I thank you?”

Richard shook his head. “Thank God instead.”

The lawyer’s face then became clouded. “Jennifer… did you tell anyone about Julian’s kidnap?”

“Not yet.” She said with a frown. “Even my sister… I refused to pick her calls after what happened. I was so upset with her even though it wasn’t really her fault, and I was afraid of saying something to her that I wouldn’t be able to take back later.”

“Good. You know it is important know one knows about this, especially about the fact that I was the one that helped you.”

“I understand how private you are about things.”

“Thank you. There’s something else you should know.”

Mrs. Olisa fidgeted in her seat. “Okay.”

“Your sister… once dated a man you don’t know… one that Julian had met a number of times.”

Mrs. Olisa’s eyes widened.

“He was the one that kidnapped Julian.”

A hand flew to Mrs. Olisa’s mouth, as if to hold back the incoming sobs.

“But he admitted that Victoria knew nothing about his plans.” he said quickly before she could make conclusions. “He knew Julian’s because he had accompanied her to pick your son up a couple of times.”

“We need to arrest him.”

“Yes. But trust me when I say, he had already served his time.” Richard said gloomily. “He had been dealt with far worse than he could have in police detention. Please let it go.”

Mrs. Olisa let out a sigh. “Okay Richard. You got my son back, so I have to do things your way.”

Richard gave her a curt bow. “Thank you so much.”

“But I already filed a police report… what do I tell them?”

“Just tell them someone brought Julian to your house in the middle of the night.”

 

Lillian was coming home that morning. Everyone was determined not to eat until she came back, but the girls had the breakfast menu planned. Richard had gone to pick Lillian up, and when they drove through the gates the children were waiting outside. Muyiwa sped to the door before the others got to it and opened it for Lillian.

“Welcome home mum.” Mustapha said, kissing their mother on her cheek before grabbing her hand luggage, to everyone’s surprise. He had gone to drop the luggage and returned before the others had finished hugging Lillian.

“Mummy we missed you!!!” Nneka squealed. “How was your trip?”

“It was lovely, thank you.” Lillian said, still surprised at Mustapha’s gesture. “Everyone sends their love.”

Abiye jumped happily and turned into a camel. Lillian looked at her youngest son warily.

“Abiye! What are you doing again?”

“Mummy you have to enter with style.” He said with a chuckle, and everyone else laughed. Abiye leaned and Aisha put the blanket she had been holding on his back, while Muyiwa lifted his mother unto Abiye’s back. Lillian chuckled and beamed at Richard.

“It feels like Dubai again.” she said gleefully, balancing her handbag on her laps while Abiye walked her to the front door, where Muyiwa lifted her off the camel’s back and Mustapha opened the door for her.

“What did you have for breakfast?” she asked Nneka as they all walked into the house.

“We haven’t eaten yet.” Nneka said, and Lillian whipped around to look at her children.

“Even Mustapha?”

“Not even him.”

“Why?”

“We were waiting for you mum.” Aisha explained meekly. Lillian looked at Richard skeptically.

“Okay… what did they do?”

 

Everyone stood on a straight line with their hands behind their back and their heads hung, and Richard sitting right beside a furious Lillian, trying to appease her.

“You what?”

“I told you dear… Julian got kidnapped and we—”

“You all took it upon yourselves to put your lives in danger because…”

“They were asking for a hundred million dear… and we felt—”

“Having special abilities doesn’t mean they should be exploited.”

“Mummy… we begged daddy to let us help out.” Muyiwa said, because he knew his father will try to take all the blame. “He didn’t even want us to do it.”

Lillian sighed deeply. “Kids, we can’t have you running using your abilities for things like these. We had agreed amongst ourselves that we would learn to live as a normal family despite your special design. This is not a science fiction novel— stop acting like it.”

“Yes ma.” They all said collectively.

“Please, please, please… let this be the last time I’ll hear you guys went off to do something like that.” Lillian said, rising from her seat. “And here I was thinking I was getting all that special treatment because you guys missed me.”

Abiye rushed from the line and wrapped his hands around Lillian’s waist. “But we really did miss you mummy!!!

That made everyone laugh, even Lillian. And suddenly everything was alright.

“How about I make us our famous smoothies for lunch?”

“I’m sorry to interrupt everyone, but you all have to see this.” Aisha said, holding up her tab.

 

Ronke stared at the blog post in disbelief. She tapped her friend Fatima and passed the phone to her. “You need to see this… it’s so crazy.”

 

PILE OF INJURED FOUND IN LAGOS MAINLAND

A group of injured men were found piled on top of each other in a mechanic’s workshop early in the morning right next ghana-must-go filled with old newspapers. They were found in severe pain with several dislocated limbs and deep marks that looked like they had been inflicted by the claws of a wild animal. None of them could recollect what had happened to them, but when several guns that had been bent out of shape were found at various parts of the lot the police were alerted. There has been talk of plans to have them detained after they are to be discharged from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). The police speculate that they had probably lost their memories from repeatedly passing out from the agony of their injuries.

 

There were several pictures posted of the incident, one of them in a pile and another of them being laid out side by side, with claw marks on their face and the side of their necks.

“Abeg na photoshop.” Fatima said dismissively, handing Ronke back her phone.

“I’m not sure o… the pictures look legit.” Ronke said, peering closely at them.

“I hear you.”

Ronke sighed and decided not to push any further. Fatima was a skeptic, even more than she ever was. But meeting Muyiwa opened her mind more to the possibilities that surpassed the general perception of reality. Thinking of Muyiwa gave her a dull ache in her chest, but she waved it off. She had a lot to things to do today, and a term paper that was her topmost priority. She picked up her back and decided to head for the library when she doubled over. Fatima looked at her roommate with concern.

“Ronke are you alright?”

Ronke was about to reply when she noticed the droplets on the ground, collecting together from thin streamlets she could trace all the way up her thighs, running from underneath her shorts. Her eyes widened in confusion and she tried to scream, but realized that she couldn’t find her voice. As she stood there, numbly staring at blood dripping down her thigh with her mouth open, she heard a scream that didn’t come from her. Fatima held her by the shoulders just as her eyes rolled over and she gave into the darkness that had begun to take over.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Chapter Eighteen: Hard 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 finally have eighteen up! It’s been a roller coaster, I can tell you- not just of myself, but of responsibilities. But guess what? You’re having two parts of this episode “hard to leave” which will not be space far from each other! (i might even put it up before a week runs out if you ask really nicely).

Once again… thank you all for reading!!! I appreciate the patience and support.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Ronke let out a sigh as she dropped onto the living room couch.  Muyiwa’s meeting with her father turned out even more awkward than she had imagined it would be. She couldn’t understand why her dad would be so sickly sweet towards him, even if he was the son of an influential man. They had done some business together, but it wasn’t like he said they were friends. Or was he encouraging her relationship with Muyiwa in order to further strengthen business ties with his father?

She loved Muyiwa no doubt, but the thought that her father would try to sell her off, even to the guy she loved was utterly repulsive to her. And unfortunately, it wasn’t beneath him to do so. She was going to confront him on how he acted around Muyiwa while her blood was still hot. She stormed up to his room, stopping in her tracks when she heard him exclaim.

“What?! How is that even possible?”

Her father was on the phone. She thought to leave, but she decided to hang around till he was done. Her blood might cool off if she walked away.

 

“What do you mean they don’t remember anything? They were beaten up to the state of amnesia? By who? I thought you said Richard doesn’t move around with security.”

Richard. On hearing the name, Ronke’s heart began to beat furiously.

“Well he wasn’t supposed to be killed yet… just scared or at most injured.” Her father said impassively. “The aim was to make sure he felt he was jumped by Ibrahim’s goons. But to be sincere, we don’t know if these guys didn’t say anything while being beat up. It’ll be a risk for the lawyer to walk free at this point… don’t you think?”

Ronke’s knees buckled. The Richard fellow was sounding more like Muyiwa’s dad at this point. Her dad did mention that they had some business together… and they had worked together in the past. But everything else was hazy to her. Who was Ibrahim?

“I know… but if we clear Richard they’ll still blame Ibrahim. He’s the opposition, and Richard is my lawyer in this case. Who would suspect his client?” Chief Benson said with a chuckle. “If that’s taken care of we can move on to step two.”

The person at the other end said something that made her father laugh heartily. “Don’t worry about that. She’s my daughter, isn’t she? If I can’t get that company by legal means, we could infiltrate through marriage.”

Ronke put a hand to her mouth swiftly to choke back an incoming gasp.

“I’ve heard you ooo… We won’t harm the lawyer unless we’re sure he’s aware.” Chief Benson said with a sigh. “Like I told you before, my daughter is dating the man’s son. I’ll keep the boy close till I become a friend of the family and know Richard in and out. We all know how private that man is. I just need to keep approving of the boy and their relationship till step two is ready to be put in place. Hahaha I kno—”

Ronke silently walked to her room. Her father talked carelessly about sensitive issues like that like there was no one else home. Who knew his voice could be audible enough through a mere crack in the door. She curled herself in her bed, her body trembling as she went through everything she had heard. What could she do about it?

Tears began to blur her vision as she contemplated the next course of action. She was going to tell Muyiwa no doubt, but she was scared that his father would remain a target either way.

She absentmindedly reached for her phone and unlocked it, a picture of her and Muyiwa coming into view as her wallpaper. She squeezed the phone tight with the intensity she felt was equal to the tight feeling in her chest. Why did it have to be Muyiwa’s dad?

 

Muyiwa returned back to school on Sunday. He felt similar what he imagined a spike being passed through his body would feel like… if he could be pierced. There was a twisted feeling in his gut that was different from when he was feeling hunger pangs, and it grew worse whenever he received a call from Ronke. After the meeting with her father, she started to sound really emotional over the phone, like she knew he had plans to break up with her. It was getting harder to stick to the resolve. She was too good to him— there was nothing to capitalize on. And lately she kept going on and on about how happy he’s made her and how much she loved him. It’s been tearing him to pieces.

He found himself chuckling though, when he thought about their first discussion about his abilities. He had been driving her to her hostel that day, after their second date. She had been staring at him pointedly as he drove, and he was forced to ask her what was up.

“Are you sure you’re not a cultist?” she asked plainly.

“No… I told you before. I’m not.”

“So… you’re never gonna explain what happened the night we met?”

Muyiwa chuckled. “If I did… then I’ll have to kill you.”

“Not funny Muyiwa.”

“Who said it was a joke?”

That shut her up. She frowned and turned to the window, determined not to utter another word till he dropped her off. Muyiwa glanced at her as she sulked and let out a defeated sigh.

“See, Ronke… the less you know the better for you. I can’t tell you I’m a regular guy, because that would be a big fat lie and we both know it. If I scare you that much and you can’t deal… I’ll understand… you don’t have to date me.” Muyiwa said curtly before switching to a soft and pleading voice. “But I can promise you that I’d never hurt you, and no person or thing can hurt you while I’m around.”

When he was done he waited for a response from her, but all he got what silence. He turned to look at her, only to find her staring at him with her mouth open in surprise.

“You’re still cute like this.” he said with a laugh, shutting her mouth with his finger. She quickly turned away in embarrassment and he laughed some more. That was the last time they ever talked about that night, or anything related to what had taken place.

She had trusted his words, and accepted him with the little she knew. She had believed him when he said he wouldn’t hurt her, but now he was about to break that promise.

 

“Guy… what’s wrong with you? You’ve been moody all week.” Michael had asked him on the way to lectures that morning. “Did you have a fight with Ronke? Because I know that’s your only weakness.”

Muyiwa shook his head in reply. He wasn’t in the mood to talk. He and Ronke were having a joint course together today, and he knows she’d look for him. He had successfully come up with reasons not to see her since he got back. He should have skipped class today— no one would have crucified him. But deep within he felt he came mainly because he wanted to see her as badly as she wanted to see him.

Michael had literally bumped into Ronke on their way in as they tried to make their way through the crowd of students. He grabbed her by the shoulders and laughed heartily before giving Muyiwa a mischievous look.

“Ronke thank God we found you! This guy here has been acting funny lately, and I figured you’d be the best person to cheer him up.”

Ronke chuckled, but Muyiwa could tell that even that small gesture was false.

“Don’t worry I’ll talk to him… please help us keep seats.”

“Okay… don’t take long sha.” Michael said before heading off to do as he was told. Ronke turned to Muyiwa, who gave her a nervous smile.

“So… no hug or nothing?” she said in a small side voice, and Muyiwa grabbed her immediately. Her scent was addictive, even when drowned in perfume Muyiwa could always smell it out. He gave her a tight squeeze before he let her go. Ronke stared at him in surprised.

“Wow.”

Muyiwa laughed. “What is it again you this girl?”

“You hugged me like you hadn’t seen me in years… you didn’t even care how people will be looking at us.”

“Do you want me to care?” he said, offering her his hand. She took it.

“Hmmm…” She cocked her head, mock pretending to contemplate on the question. “Nope.”

They found Michael in no time… or rather, he found them.

“Husband and wife!!!” he yelled, making people around him turn to see who he was teasing. Muyiwa still refused to let go of Ronke, even though she was getting embarrassing.

“Guy you sha like to dey find trouble.” Muyiwa said with a laugh to his roommate as they settled in the seat he reserved for them. Michael was about to say something when the lecturer walked in wearing a lemon-green suit. That was enough to distract the undergraduates.

 

“Let’s go grab lunch together.” Muyiwa said after class. Ronke shook her head.

“A lecturer fixed his test today and I need to catch up on my reading. Nwosu is TOUGH!”

Muyiwa laughed. “So I heard. I’ll see you later.

As soon as they separated he groaned in frustration. It would make no sense to break up with Ronke if he keeps behaving like this. The whole process would even hurt her more. And she didn’t have any bad habits he could capitalize on as a reason. He fished out his phone and dialed Mustapha’s number, but his younger brother didn’t pick up. He let out a defeated sigh and began to walk down to his hall. Before he got to his room his brother had called back.

“You know we don’t pick phones during class right?” his brother’s impassive tone filled his ears. “Luckily it was a few minutes to short break when you called. What’s up?”

“I can’t be mean to Ronke. How on earth am I supposed to cut the whole thing off if I can’t?”

“You don’t have to bro.”

“You know I do.”

Muyiwa heard his brother sigh indignantly “When I saw what you don’t like, you get angry and try to break a few bones because you know mama is there to patch me up. When I speak in your favor you ignore my advice. Why exactly did you call me Muyiwa?”

“You need to stop being so bitter and rude.” Muyiwa said, feeling genuinely sorry for his younger brother. “You talk to everyone without respect and without considering their feelings.”

“I don’t talk to our parents without respect. And to consider their feelings I prefer to shut up.”

“So you can’t respect anyone other than our parents? You can’t actually say something nice and encouraging to someone without sarcasm?”

“I owe no one anything… only the Ogunbades.”

“You’ll never learn to truly relate with the world if you keep up like this.”

“Like I cared about fitting in. That’s the burden you, mama and the others decided to carry.”

Muyiwa found that he couldn’t even get angry at Mustapha. “Guy… why do I call or come to you for advice even though you’re so negative?”

“I don’t know. Maybe you don’t have any real friends like you claim?”

Muyiwa could feel the anger creeping in at his response, but he waved it off with a sigh. “Mustapha… you’re my brother. That’s why I tell you things. I put you before all my friends because you’re one of the most important people in my life… even as bitter and negative as you are. But guy… you need to stop this sour attitude of yours… it’s no way to live.”

“Bro… short break is almost over. I need to get something to eat.”

Muyiwa let out another sigh. “Bye Mustapha.”