top of page

09/11/2023

WARNING!

“This series and the characters in it are fictitious. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and specific other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law."


Copyright © 2023 by Hadiza Bagudu.

SUMMARY

A supernatural/fantasy series about astro-projection and inter-dimensional travel.

fantasy-4480599_1280.jpg

Janin!" Yusuf said again. "But...how? You cannot be here... It is not possible..." He tried to move, but his body was still heavy. He could only move his head and he followed her with his gaze as she moved.

"Yes. It's me. I am here, my love. And I have missed you so much." She walked over to sit at the edge of the bed. "Finally. You don't know how long I have been trying to reach you. But you couldn't hear me."

Yusuf still couldn't believe his eyes as he stared at her. His strength was slowly coming back, so he pushed himself to sit up, with some difficulty.


"I have always been with you, but you couldn't see me. I kept screaming your name, but you didn't hear me." She was sad, and Yusuf felt a tinge of pity for her. The floodgates opened, and all the feelings he once had for her rushed back in. She told him how she kept trying to reach him, but there was a force field surrounding him that she couldn’t penetrate. It was frustrating, but she never gave up. She also told him how everyone back in the Land of Jute missed him, and he believed it. For a while, they were like family to him. He had become so popular in the Land of Jute because of his friendship with Janin. And over time, he even started adopting their ways and customs. They had accepted him as one of their own, and he was happy to be one. But his parents saw what he did not, and they understood the reality of the situation and the danger that Janin posed to him and everyone around him, so they did everything to sever the bond between them, a bond that traversed across realities.

"You cannot be here, Janin." He finally said, trying to assert himself. He could not wrap his head around how she got here. She shouldn't even exist in this reality. She was a Jin made of energy with no corporeal form. Yes, some jinns have the ability to appear to people and even harm them, but not all of them possess that ability, and Janin certainly doesn't. That is why she could never follow him back. But he could visit her in her reality any time he wanted as a teenager, and it was a huge problem as it made him catatonic in this reality while he is visiting theirs. And because he kept staying longer and longer in the Land of Jute, he was usually in a coma for several hours to even days, throwing his family into chaos. He understood where his parents were coming from, and they were right to get rid of her. She was a Jinn, and that is a relationship that should never happen. He was too young, naive, and in love to see it then. But there was something sinister about Janin and her family. It seemed they were trying to keep him in the Land of Jute and maybe use his abilities to cross over into this reality, and they almost succeeded until his parents intervened. The council of Ur also arrested Janin for interacting with Humans as that was forbidden. The last time he saw her, she was being hurled away to prison in the Land of Jute. So, how did she get here?

"How are you here, Janin?" He was much stronger now.

"I am not sure, myself. I have been following you around for years, trying to communicate with you, but you couldn't hear me. But somehow, after your accident, you started to hear me, but not see me. Unfortunately, you were also struggling."

Yusuf remembered hearing a voice calling out to him several times during his ordeal. But because there were so many things happening at the same time, he just dismissed it as one of the many ways he was losing his mind. "It was you."

"Yes, my love. You don't know how hard it was for me that you couldn't see me."

"The last time I saw you, you were being hurled to prison."

She bowed her head in shame. "Yes. I finished serving my term, and I was released early for good behavior. I know I should stay away, but I missed you so much."

"Janin, you know we are not supposed to interact with each other. I don't know how you managed to cross over, but you need to go back, now!"

"Why? Because your parents say so?" She snapped at him.

"Yes, and because we cannot be with each other. It's unnatural." He was firm.

"Says who? Why is it unnatural? We love each other. We should be together."

"You lied to me about your age." She was a lot older than what she told him. By at least a few centuries. You pretended to be my age just to deceive me."

"I didn't want to scare you. In my place, age doesn't really matter; we can be any age we want and appear however we want."

"I still had a right to know." He protested.

"I am sorry. I will not lie to you again."

"You still need to leave."

"I can't. I don't know how."

"Come on, Janin" "Honestly, I didn't even know I could cross over. I just felt it got easier and easier until I did in the past one week. I guess your mind had become a lot weaker. And the fact that I could cross over means you were thinking of me." Yusuf felt that one. It's true, he was thinking of her but not in that way. Although her being here now actually brought up old feelings. "We can still be together now. Your parents and my people don't have to know. You are not a child anymore." She pleaded. Yusuf thought he heard a noise at the door and suddenly, he was worried for Florence and John. What if they saw her? Could she harm them?" "I think your friend is back." She said with a smile.

"You need to hide. He cannot see you."

"I don't think he can." She said.

"Hey Yusuf. Are you OK?" John called out from outside the door before coming in. "Who were you talking to?" He asked, curious.

"John. You are back. I didn't hear you come in." Yusuf pretended to not hear the question. He was glad John didn't see Janin as she was standing in the room.

"Yes. I brought some of my stuff. I will get the rest tomorrow." John said, still suspicious. "I could have sworn I heard you conversing with someone. I even thought you were on the phone." "Oh, don't mind me. I talk to myself sometimes. But it's OK. I will try and keep it down."

"OK then." John said and then went to put his stuff in his room. Yusuf gave Janin a stern look before following John.

"What about Florence?" Yusuf asked. "She will get here a bit later. She needs to see someone." John replied while opening his box and taking out clothes to put in his wardrobe. Yusuf felt a tinge of jealousy again; Florence must be visiting her boyfriend again. He doesn't even know him, but he already didn't like him. "How are you feeling this morning? Any headaches or episodes?" John asked. That was when Yusuf even realized that it was morning.

"Oh, I am much better. I better go and pray Fajr. I will come and help you arrange later."

"It's OK. I will soon be done. Then we will go and get breakfast. OK?"

"OK." Yusuf walked to the door, then turned around and said, "Thank you, John, for everything. You are a true friend."

"I am sure you would have done the same for me." John replied.

"With all my heart."

Sometimes, he found himself underground in caves where he got stuck and suffocated for a while, before reverting to his original location. He was exhausted and suffering from motion sickness, surrounded by his own vomit. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the entities he encountered were all aware of his presence and they did not like it. They kept attacking him. The only safe place was the room that he was in. Thankfully, they couldn’t follow him.

Yusuf Ali had always been a spiritually gifted person. As a child, he used to have some of the most fantastic and vivid dreams, in which he would travel to different realms and worlds and meet all kinds of beings. The dreams were so real, he could swear that he was physically there. When he shares this experience with his parents, he could see the fear in their eyes. They worried about him and sought various kinds of help, but what he possessed was not a problem; it was a gift he was born with. Additionally, he had a knack for reading people’s minds – or rather, he could enter their minds and explore. It was something inexplicable, yet he had successfully exposed thieves and liars on several occasions. His parents warned him to stop doing it because it could get him into trouble.

You see, Yusuf grew up in Bauchi state, Nigeria where people held strong superstitions. It wouldn’t take much for them to accuse him of witchcraft or something similar and potentially lynch him. Moreover, the fact that he kept revealing people’s misdeeds would undoubtedly anger them and make them want to harm him.

In his teenage years, there was a surge in his abilities, triggered by puberty, and he found himself both losing his mind and performing fantastical feats. To protect him, his parents told everyone that he was on drugs, and then sent him to rehab, multiple times until he improved and learned to keep quiet about his gifts. He denied his abilities for so long that they seemed to fade away.

 

However, a week ago, while he was returning to the university hostel, he was struck by an out-of-control car. Although he was physically unharmed, he did hit his head hard on the ground. The doctors examined him for a concussion but found none. Strangely, the accident seems to intensify his abilities to an extraordinary degree - teleportation and visions now occur continuously during his waking state instead of only during sleep. The fabric of reality began to unravel for him and distinguishing between what was real and what was not became increasingly difficult.

Yusuf Ali. Astral

which he would travel to different realms and worlds and meet all kinds of beings. The dreams were so real, he could swear that he was physically there. When he shares this experience with his parents, he could see the fear in their eyes. They worried about him and sought various kinds of help, but what he possessed was not a problem; it was a gift he was born with. Additionally, he had a knack for reading people’s minds – or rather, he could enter their minds and explore. It was something inexplicable, yet he had successfully exposed thieves and liars on several occasions. His parents warned him to stop doing it because it could get him into trouble.

You see, Yusuf grew up in Bauchi state, Nigeria where people held strong superstitions. It wouldn’t take much for them to accuse him of witchcraft or something similar and potentially lynch him. Moreover, the fact that he kept revealing people’s misdeeds would undoubtedly anger them and make them want to harm him.

In his teenage years, there was a surge in his abilities, triggered by puberty, and he found himself both losing his mind and performing fantastical feats. To protect him, his parents told everyone that he was on drugs, and then sent him to rehab, multiple times until he improved and learned to keep quiet about his gifts. He denied his abilities for so long that they seemed to fade away.

 

However, a week ago, while he was returning to the university hostel, he was struck by an out-of-control car. Although he was physically unharmed, he did hit his head hard on the ground. The doctors examined him for a concussion but found none. Strangely, the accident seems to intensify his abilities to an extraordinary degree - teleportation and visions now occur continuously during his waking state instead of only during sleep. The fabric of reality began to unravel for him and distinguishing between what was real and what was not became increasingly difficult.

Initially, he began to distract himself by reading, but he would find himself immersed in the book, becoming part of the story, or he would hear someone shouting the words in his ears. Consequently, he stopped reading altogether. The teleportation and hallucinations worsened progressively over time, and by the seventh day, he was unable to stand or open his eyes. Hunger consumed him; he was practically starving as he hadn’t eaten anything in several days. His water intake was minimal, leading to severe dehydration, which ironically exacerbated his condition by weakening his body, making it susceptible to possession or other intrusive thoughts.

Fantah banner

“Yusuf…Yusuf… Wake up.” A gentle tap on his shoulder roused him. Opening his eyes, he saw John Obinna, his friend. “Let me help you.” John assisted him in sitting up. “Oh my! You look terrible.” Yusuf managed to smile. It was true. He hadn’t showered or brushed in over a week, and he had lost a significant amount of weight due to dehydration and starvation.

“I brought pepper soup and Maltina for you to eat.” John opened the plate, and the smell of the soup went straight to Yusuf’s head. He tried to turn away. “No!” John said, quietly but firmly. “You must eat today.” With determination, he began spooning the soup into Yusuf’s reluctant mouth.

Chicken peppersoup

“Oh John, my dear friend.” He thought. John was the only friend who loved him like a brother, never judging or attempting to exploit him after discovering his gifts. They met on the first day of their first year at Base University, Abuja. They were both at the Department of Political Science, trying to register for their courses, and an instant connection formed between them. Yusuf Ali, a Fulani from Bauchi, and John Obinna, was an Igbo from PortHarcout, Nigeria. Usually, these two tribes were not known for their close friendship, but Yusuf and John couldn’t care less about the tribal divide. They shared a relationship built on love, respect, and a shared sense of silliness. Both were intelligent and supported each other in excelling academically.

As time passed, they began visiting each other’s homes. During breaks, Yusuf would take John to Bauchi with him, while on other occasions, he would Join John and his Family in Abuja, where they resided. There was even a Christmas when Yusuf spent the holidays with them, and his parents had no reason to worry because he had an amazing time. He was so nervous when he told John about his abilities. Nervously, Yusuf confided in John about his abilities, expecting him to be scared or mock him. To his surprise, John simply smiled, and said “Cool.” As their bond grew stronger, Yusuf became more at ease and even began demonstrating some of his abilities to John. John always offered unwavering support during mini spikes or attacks triggered by Yusuf’s gifts, and he kept Yusuf’s secrets safe.

When the accident occurred and things began spiraling out of control, John took Yusuf from campus to one of his parent’s commercial estates, which had several empty houses. They chose a secluded house at the far end of the estate, amidst other vacant properties for sale, providing an incredibly quiet and suitable environment for Yusuf – or so they believed. It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture. John continued to check on Yusuf morning and night, bringing food and ensuring his well-being. He even obtained permission from the school and completed Yusuf’s assignments on his behalf. Truly, John was a blessing in Yusuf’s life.

He managed to consume half of the soup and drink some of the Maltina, instantly feeling a significant improvement. However, he soon became aware of another presence in the room. Initially, he dismissed it as his imagination, but now, he was certain that someone else was there. The realization made him flinch.

“Oh, sorry. This is my sister, Florence, remember her?” John explained, noticing Yusuf’s questioning expression. Yusuf had never met her before. Whenever he visited John’s house, she was either abroad or at school. However, he had seen her in their family pictures.

“She knows about everything. I told her… I am sorry. But you need help and I believe she can assist you. Florence is a first-year student at Nile University, Abuja, and she believes that may be a psychological technique she can use to aid you with your condition.” John explained, trying to persuade Yusuf. Nonetheless, Yusuf remained unimpressed, still unsure about this unfamiliar person offering assistance.

 

“Hey, Yusuf, Nice to finally meet you,” She greeted with a smile, extending her hand to shake his. However, Yusuf did not reciprocate the gesture.

 

“He doesn’t shake women,” John explained, laughing.

 

“Oh, I am sorry,” she said, retracting her hand. “Well, I thought we could try a little exercise together. It’s something I read in one of my books, and it seems simple enough but promising.”

 

Initially, she felt nervous and slightly offended by Yusuf’s silent stare. But then, she realized that he had just teleported right before their eyes.

 

John shook him but there was no response. “Yep. He is out.” He confirmed.

 

“Oh, my God! Is this normal?” She exclaimed.

 

“Yeah, that is why I brought him here. Imagine trying to explain this to people,” John replied. Thirty minutes later, Yusuf returned with a deep breath, startling them both.

 

“Where did you go?” She asked curiously, moving closer to him.

 

Yusuf felt embarrassed and ashamed of his appearance, especially in front of her. He was also aware of his unpleasant odor. However, she seemed unfazed by it all. “I can’t explain it, but it was difficult to come back. I am afraid that one of these days, I might get stuck,” He confessed, covering his ears, and wincing in pain.

 

“What we need to do, is figure out how you can control it,” She suggested.

 

“I don’t want to control it. I want to get rid of it.” He sapped but she didn’t even flinch.

 

“I don’t think you can get rid of it. I believe it’s a part of you. What you need to do is learn to adjust and even make it work for you.”

“I don’t know if I can… he trailed off.”

“Trust me, you can.” She reassured with a smile. “It won’t be easy, but the technique I am going to use will help.”

“Ok.” He finally agreed, and John, who had been quietly observing, smiled as well.

Empty white room. Astral

She explained to him the technique called “Guided visualization.” It involved using words to guide his focus solely on her, excluding all other distractions. The goal was to create mental imagery and concentrated attention that would foster a sensory experience in the mind, promoting relaxation. He needed to learn to tune out external noises and solely concentrate on her thoughts. Meanwhile, she would imagine an empty room painted in a calming cornflower white, devoid of windows or doors, neither too dark nor too bright. In this imaginary space, he could find solace, with external noises blocked out, providing a peaceful and quiet environment. The technique aimed to strengthen his brain’s ability to focus on her thoughts, building resistance and defense against unwanted noise and intrusion. Guided visualization was widely used in therapeutic practices, including psychology, and mind-body medicine, for stress reduction and anxiety relief.

 

They attempted the technique throughout the day but had little success. He was too physically and mentally exhausted to fully grasp it. However, by evening, they achieved some progress, allowing him to experience about 15 minutes of relative restfulness.

Encouraged by this small success, both John and Florence decided to stay with him overnight, providing support and attempting the technique again the following day. John went to fetch their clothes and bought them food.

 

“Thank you for doing this for him.” John expressed gratitude to his sister as they sat outside the apartment, taking a few moments for themselves while Yusuf slept.

 

“It’s my pleasure,” she replied.

 

“How’s school, by the way? Won’t you miss your classes by being here?” John inquired.

 

“We’ve finished all our tests, so I’ll be fine. Exams are still two weeks away, and I have enough time to study,” she assured him. “It seems the security guards called Dad and informed him about Yusuf’s presence here. He mentioned that he had been trying to reach you, so he called me. I simply told him that you were spending time with friends here for a while. He asked why you didn’t just move here, as he offered you an apartment at Cosgrove, but you refused and chose to stay in the hostel instead.”

John was fully aware of the lovely apartment that his father offered him from one of his luxury estates called Cosgrove. The Estate was located in Wuye, a highbrow area in Abuja city, and it was one of those modern smart estates where everything was automated. However, he didn’t accept because, for one thing, he wanted to experience hostel life and spend time hanging out with his friends. Relatives had already accused him of being a spoilt rich brat, and he knew that staying in a luxury apartment as an undergraduate student would only add fuel to the fire. Moreover, there would be too many eyes on him, reporting his every movement to his father, and he didn’t care for that. He already felt like a fish in a bowl as it was. Ironically, his sister, the only other child of Chief Obinna Okechukwu was not given the same offer simply because she was a girl. She had the option to either stay in the hostel or at home, and she chose the hostel. It was as close to freedom as she could ever get before getting married. “I will call him back,” he smiled. And at that moment, Florence’s phone began to ring.

 

“Oh, sorry,” she whispered as she got up and walked far away from the apartment so as not to disturb Yusuf. She had forgotten to put her phone on silent mode. She considered herself lucky that it hadn’t rung during the day. As she walked, she glanced at the number calling, and it was her fiancé, Mclean. “Hey Babe,” She answered.

 

Yusuf lay still in his bed with his eyes closed. He wasn’t sleeping, but rather resting. He couldn’t afford to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time because he would involuntarily teleport. However, he was beginning to gain control over his waking state. The exercise they had done was wonderful. He even tried to picture the room in his head to achieve the same level of tranquility but with little success. Nevertheless, he could now sense when the involuntary teleportation was about to happen and could fight it, with some hits and misses. He had teleported twice to John and Florence where he had overheard some of their conversations. He had also teleported to Florence while she was talking on the phone. She seemed so happy and was smiling a lot. It must be her boyfriend. He thought and felt a slight pang of jealousy. It was strange since he didn’t even know her until today. He had heard of her from her brother and had seen her in their family pictures, but never in person. Yet, the hours they had spent together doing the mental exercise felt like a lifetime to him, and he began to feel something. He pushed the thoughts away, redirecting his focus. Then he began to reminisce about the past.

old-city-7175938_1920.jpg

He remembered some of the fantastic worlds he had visited. Yes, it was scary at times, but he couldn’t deny how wonderful it was to explore those places. He had been to all kinds of strange worlds. Some of them floated in the clouds with a hazy ambiance. The houses were situated on floating lands, with entire cities protected by domes. The roads intertwined and looped without people falling off, as gravity seemed to work in a peculiar way there. Other worlds appeared metallic, with engines and beings resembling machines as well. There were towering lands where the people, animals, and plants stood at 20 feet tall. He felt like an ant in comparison. Fortunately, they couldn’t see him; he was uncertain of what they would do to him if they did. However, his favorite world was called the City of Jute, where he had met Janin. He was nine years old when he teleported to the City of Jute in one of his dreams, and it was the most beautiful place he had ever seen. Everything sparkled and exuded beauty. The structures seemed to be made of gold, silver, diamonds, or other similar materials. Even the people were a sight to behold, exceptionally beautiful and graceful in their movements. The animals were strange yet captivating and friendly. They immediately sensed his presence upon arrival but didn’t attack him. A furry little creature that resembled a large cat approached him and rubbed against him as he stroked her while she purred.

 

“What are you?” He was startled by a girl’s voice and quickly turned around, inadvertently startling the cat-like creature that ran away. He felt bad. In front of him stood a girl, about his age, who was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She wore clothes that resembled soft caramel-colored leather, strapped sandals, and a lace veil. Her hair was long, midnight black, and braided with flowers. Her skin was pale white, her eyes captivated him the most. They were like glass, with the most beautiful shade of green he had ever seen. He couldn’t help but stare.

“How did you get here?” she asked again, moving closer to him.

 

“I don’t know,” he stammered.

 

“How could you not know? You must have gotten here somehow. I have never seen your kind here before.”

 

“I am sorry, I will leave,” he replied, trying to force himself to wake up. “Please don’t hurt me.”

 

“Why would I hurt you? Are you a bad person?”

 

“NO, I am just looking around and admiring your land. I don’t even know how I got here. I went to sleep in my bed, and then I am here.”

 

“So, you are dreaming?” Her curiosity was piqued.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Does this happen a lot?”

 

“Yes, but I have no control over where I go. I just find myself anywhere.”

 

“Interesting,” she smiled. “That must be a nice skill to have.”

 

“Not always, but I like it here,” he said, beginning to relax. “What is this place anyway?”

 

“It is called the Land of Jute. In my language, that means light.”

 

“Wait, how is it that I can understand you?” HE realized that he was speaking her language.

 

“I am wondering the same thing. Perhaps it’s part of your abilities to speak the language of the place you find yourself in.”

 

“Perhaps,” he agreed. He had never thought of it that way. They continued to talk for a while. She took him around the city, showing him extraordinary things. People stopped to look at them, but no one was upset or hostile. She brought him to her home and introduced him to her parents who were equally intrigued. Her mother served dinner. It looked and smelled delicious, and even though he didn’t know what it was, he wanted to eat it. Just as he was about to take a bite, he woke up.

 

He tried his best to go back to sleep but couldn’t. And for the first time, he felt upset about waking up. A few hours later, his father woke him up to go to the mosque together for prayer.

 

“What is wrong?” his father asked, noticing the sullen look on his face.

 

“Nothing, Baba. I just had a bad dream,” he replied.

 

“One of those again?” His father was concerned.

 

“It’s okay, Baba. I am fine.” He didn’t want to alarm his father by telling him what

happened.

 

“Okay, son. Let’s hurry.”

 

He spent the next three days trying to return to the Land of Jute but with very little success. Everywhere he went, paled in comparison to the beautiful city made of lights and its gorgeous inhabitants, especially Janin with the glass eyes. He missed her so much and couldn’t wait to be reunited with her. However, at this point, it seemed almost impossible. He had never visited the same place twice, as he had no control over where he went.

Floating creatures

That night, heartbroken, he thought about Janin for some time before falling asleep, only to wake up in the Land of Jute. The happiness he felt was indescribable. He found himself in the middle of a field of crops that resembled corn. Without knowing his bearings, he got up and ran towards the city. At the gate, he approached the guards and asked for directions to Janin’s house. The guard spoke into what looked like a crystal mirror, and Janin appeared on the screen. As soon as she saw him, she smiled.

 

“I am here, Janin!” he exclaimed with joy.

 

“I can see that,” she replied excitedly. “Please, let him come to me,” she pleaded with the guards, and one of them escorted him to her house. They played together for what seemed like the entire day. She took him to the beach and showed him some of the flying sea animals that hovered above the sea, occasionally diving below. They were large and impressive, yet not intimidating. They rode on a wild unicorn and observed the city from below. It appeared like a giant diamond from that vantage point. He was so happy that he could cry, and that was when he woke up again. But this time, he wasn’t sad, because he now knew that he could go back if he wanted it badly enough.

 

He was brought out of his thoughts by John entering his room to wake him up for Fajr prayer.

 

“Is it morning already?” he exclaimed in surprise. He wasn’t sure if he had slept or had been lost in thoughts for so long that he hadn’t realized the passage of time. Nevertheless, he was glad that he hadn’t spent the night in agony like he had in the past week.

 

“Yes, it is!” John said. “I guess Florence’s method worked, huh?”

 

“I think so too. Thank you so much. I will forever be grateful for what you did for me.”

 

“Haba, no problem. What are friends for?” John replied. “Now, get up, shower, and pray. After breakfast, we’ll do another session, okay?”

 

“Sure, Yusuf said, attempting to get up, but suddenly hit by a strong pang of hunger. He had to sit back down and cradle his stomach.

 

“What is wrong?” John started to panic.

 

“I am so hungry,” Yusuf replied, and they both laughed. John microwaved the remaining pepper soup and fried rice he had bought earlier for Yusuf while he showered and prayed. Yusuf eagerly devoured the food. Florence, who joined them later, prepared some fried eggs and plantains, and Yusuf enjoyed those as well.

Afterward, they had another session for about an hour, and then they took a break. Florence went for a walk to clear her mind because the mental exercise was taking a toll on her as well. Concentrating on the mental exercise became painful after a while, but she didn’t mind. This was her brother’s best friend, and he seemed nice. She was intrigued by the whole situation. As a first-year student of psychology, all she ever learned were boring theories that put her to sleep. She was starting to consider switching to a more exciting course, perhaps something in the arts. However, when John approached her with this problem, her curiosity was piqued, and she quickly delved into her books to find the best method to address the issue. She even consulted her lecturer and presented the problem to him as a hypothetical scenario that she hoped to use as the topic for her final year project when the time came. He was happy to help and suggested guided visualization. She immediately conducted extensive research on the topic, and she was pleased that it seemed to be working.

 

John and Yusuf talked for a while on the apartment balcony, and everything seemed fine. “I got a call from Alhaji, yesterday,” John informed Yusuf about the call he had received from Yusuf’s father, whom they referred to as Alhaji. He was worried about you and sensed that something was wrong.

 

“What did you tell him?” Yusuf asked, feeling concerned because his phone had been with John since the incident, he wasn’t ready to talk to his parents yet. Fortunately, he often went days, and sometimes even weeks, without talking ti them, without raising any suspicions. But this time, he was worried.

 

“I told him that you were busy and that you would get back to him as soon as you can. Can you do that now?”

 

“I am not ready. Please stall for me a little longer.”

 

“Okay, but it won’t be easy. He already suspects something.”

 

“I am sure. Baba is very perceptive, and I know Umma will be worried too. But please buy me some more time.” Yusuf pleaded.

 

“No problem,” John replied. They continued to talk. John showed him the assignments he had completed on his behalf and informed him about everything that happened in class and their preparations for exams. Hopefully, Yusuf would be able to return by then, John also shared the latest campus jist and everything in between before leaving for school, while Yusuf went in for a nap.

 

About thirty minutes later, Florence walked in on Yusuf, who was experiencing a panic attack and drifting in and out of consciousness. She did her best to calm him down and then started the guided visualization again, even though she was extremely tired. It helped to calm him down. Her calm voice and kind demeanor were effective in gently guiding him to safety, and by this time, she had mastered the art of constructing that mental room. In the beginning, it was challenging to hold the image while also talking to him, but now it was a permanent structure in her mind that she could access whenever she wanted. It worked, and within an hour, Yusuf was stable again. She called her brother on her phone to come and help.

That evening, Yusuf had to talk to his parents and assure them that he was fine. However, his mother wasn’t convinced, and she insisted on visiting. That was when he decided to reveal the truth.

 

“What? You had an accident, and you didn’t let us know?” His mother exclaimed.

 

“It’s complicated, Umma. A lot happened…”

 

“What is complicated about telling your parents that you were involved in a life-threatening accident?”

 

“It wasn’t life-threatening…”

 

“And why didn’t the school call us? What kind of institution is that?” His mother was furious. “I am going to call the Vice Chancellor and express my dissatisfaction.”

 

“No, Umma and Baba! Please don’t. The accident wasn’t life-threatening, and I was cleared of all injuries and concussions, except for minor bruises. However, it did trigger my abilities to an intense level, and john had to bring me to one of his father’s estates to give me some privacy to adjust.”

 

“Oh no! Is she back?” His mother asked, referring to Janin.

 

“No, Umma. She is not back. I haven’t seen her in years, I swear, “Yusuf pleaded.

 

“We have to come and take you home for treatment.”

 

“It is not necessary.” Yusuf gave John a panicked look. He didn’t want his parents to come at this time. He knew when they did, they would want to take him back home, and he couldn’t handle the relatives and neighbors right now. There was just too much pressure on him. So, John took the phone from him and went outside to talk to Alhaji Ali. Yusuf could hear John frantically trying to explain. “I promise, Alhaji. We know what we are doing. Please don’t come and take him home now. We are on a good trajectory, and he is making progress. There is very little distraction or pressure here. If you take him home, or worse, to rehab, as I am sure you are considering, he will be completely lost.”

 

“How can you expect us to do nothing, my son? What kind of parents do you think we are?”

 

“The kind that loves him and wants him to be all right. Look, you know my parent’s house, and if I ever did anything to harm Yusuf, you know how to reach me.”

 

“I am not even considering that.” Alhaji Ali said.

 

“Then please, Alhaji. I need you to trust me on this one. We are effectively using the science of psychology, and it is working. But he needs time.”

 

“How much time?”

 

“I would say about two weeks to a month.”

Alhaji Ali remained silent on the other line, and John could hear Yusuf’s mother talking and disagreeing. “Are you sure that you know what you are doing?”

He could hear Yusuf’s mother expressing disappointment and surprise at her husband for even considering it.

 

“Yes, Alhaji, we have already seen a lot of progress. Two days ago, he couldn’t even speak. But, like is said earlier, we need more time,” John replied to Yusuf’s father over the phone.

 

“Okay,” Alhaji Ali said, and John could hear Yusuf’s mother starting to cry on the other end of the line.

 

You need to call your mother and reassure her,” John said to Yusuf as soon as he entered the room.

 

“Perhaps later. I don’t think this is the best time,” Florence agreed. She needed time to absorb the information and consider options.

You see, they had been dealing with Yusuf’s condition his entire life, and Yusuf, being twenty-three years old now, meant they had been struggling with this issue for over two decades. They had been trying everything from spiritual to medical interventions to help him, but nothing had been effective. They had to move several times to protect him, especially when he caught the attention of a Jinn named Janin, who wanted to take him with her. They had to take drastic measures to get rid of her when Yusuf was around seventeen years old, and he had never seen her again. His condition improved after that, and he rarely experienced episodes, until now. Throughout this time, they had been to eliminate his abilities, seeing them as an affiliation that needed to be cured. Perhaps, they had failed to recognize that it was a gift meant to be nurtured, and they had prevented him from doing so. Now, it was driving him crazy.

 

“Are we really going to let him stay there with his outbursts?” Yusuf’s mother asked her husband, once she had calmed down.

 

“Yes, Nafisa,” her husband answered, using her actual name. He usually called her Mami, but her real name came up when he was serious. “We have tried for a long time to get rid of it. Perhaps we should try this method now.

 

“But they are just children. Shouldn’t we at least bring him home and take care of him here?”

 

“And give the neighbors something to gossip about? I don’t think so,” he replied, looking worried. “Don’t worry, if it doesn’t work, we will figure something out.”

 

“Okay.”

 

For the next week, Florence made significant progress in guiding Yusuf to control his abilities, and he was starting to understand. She even encouraged him to try and permanently transfer the mental room into his mind so that he could access it even when she wasn’t there. Yusuf felt a sense of sadness at the thought of her not being there. He had grown fond of her and, perhaps, even fallen in love with her. He had never felt anything like that for any other girl, at least not a human girl. The only other time he had experienced something similar was with Janin, the beautiful Janin with glass eyes that he had met in the Land of Jute. When they were sixteen years old, they carved their names on a rock in the Land of Jute, using the laser-like light emanating from her eyes as a symbol of their everlasting love. They had planned to marry and have four children, and Yusuf would move to the Land of Jute to be with them since Janin couldn’t follow him to his world. Her family loved and welcomed him, even throwing them an engagement ceremony. He started spending more and more time in the Land of Jute, causing him to appear comatose in the real world and causing panic in his family. It had taken a monumental effort from his parents, and everyone involved to separate him from his Jinn lover, and they hoped they would never have to deal with that again. They had tried to connect him with human girls and even proposed arranging a marriage with one of his beautiful cousins, but he had rejected those ideas. Given his young age, they hadn’t pushed too hard, but they still worried that Janin had a hold on him. Now that he was developing feelings for this new girl, he was sure he had nothing to worry about.

 

After a few more days of therapy, Yusuf successfully transferred the mental room into his mind. Florence and John were both proud of him. She then had to leave to resume her studies. He felt sad but tried not to show it. They had spent a lot of time together, even outside therapy. She shared her likes and dislikes, such as her fondness for animals like cats (her pet cat’s name was Cookie), her love for art, and her curiosity about why she had chosen psychology instead of pursuing creative arts. She even showed him some of her paintings and crafts on her phone.

 

“It’s not too late. You can still change your major,” he encouraged her.

 

“No, thanks to you, psychology is interesting now,” she replied, and they both laughed.

 

“I’m glad I could help,” he said, and they laughed again. He told her about his struggles growing up and how they had to move multiple times to avoid being attacked or ostracized. But there were also good times, like when he excelled in sports at school and thought he would become an athlete. However, that wasn’t meant to be.

 

“I would say it’s not too late for you either. Once you have mastered control over your abilities, you can join a team,” he suggested.

 

“Okay,” he said, smiling. He loved her enthusiasm and how certain she was about everything. They talked for most of the morning before she had to leave with her brother. They exchanged numbers, and he promised to call her every day.

That night, he lay in his bed, feeling happy and relieved of most of his burdens. He thought a lot about Florence, and when he was asleep, he dreamt about her. This time, the dream didn’t involve teleporting or visiting other worlds. It was just a good old dream where they talked, laughed, and hung out with their family. He was extremely happy about it. Around 3 am, he woke up sweating, paralyzed, and with a heavy weight on his chest. It was difficult for him to breathe, and it was an immense struggle when he tried to open his eyes. However, he managed to open his eyes. There, sitting on his chest, was a dark and blurry figure, making it hard for him to move or breathe. He struggled for what felt like an eternity before the figure slowly moved away from his chest and stood there, looking at him as his strength returned and his eyes adjusted to see the figure clearly.

 

“Janin!” he exclaimed, looking at an older Janin than the one he remembered, standing there as a physical presence in his room.

 

“Hello, dream husband. I have missed you so much!” she said, smiling.

fantasy-2824304_1280.jpg

END OF CHAPTER ONE

Read Chapter Two
Rate Us
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
Rainbow Gradient Pink and Purple Virtual Background (1).png
kindle (1).png
kobo.png
bottom of page