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The Thin Line: Chapter Three-Sameera

Sameera 27/12/2023

 
A romantuc scene
 

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.

 

“I wonder what Sameera will look like by now.” Ahmed, thought as they waited for her in the girls’ hostel common room. It was the next day, after arriving in Nigeria, and the whole family had visited her in school. They were all excited.

He imagined she had gained over 150 pounds by now because she used to be such a fat child. He recalled bullying her when they were kids because of her weight. She was so fat that she found it hard to run and play, like other kids her age. She was always either crying or eating.

She used to be so scared of him. He finds pleasure in harassing her then, calling her all sorts of names, like, Fatti bombom, chocolate teddy and so on. Abba did not mind, because they were pals.

“Ah, ah, what is keeping her so long?” complained Mallam Usman, as she was taking so long to come out to meet them.

“You know women now; they have to paint and primp before coming out.” Said Mallam Abubakar.

“What is that?” Hadiza cuts in. “You men are always complaining that women are slow, but what about you. Some men are much slower than women.” They all laughed.

Ahmed was about to say something when suddenly the common room door flung open. He looked up and time stood still. Behold, there she was, a cute little damsel in blue kaftan and trousers, Indian style, which was complemented by a figure that could break necks. White sandals on her feet and a matching white veil covering her head, revealing her cute face was oval. Her eyes were big and round and graced her face like two full moons on a clear night sky. She has full-pouted lips, which are beautifully pink. A small, pointed nose and rosy cheeks gave her a sweet and innocent look, which made his heart miss a beat.

“Daddy!” he heard her scream, and then run towards them, throwing herself on Malam Usman.

“Hey, sweetheart.” He said, trying to prevent himself from falling. “How are you?”

“I am fine Daddy, Hi mummy.” She said, going to hug her mum and then Abba. Then she turned and looked at Mallam Abubakar and Ahmed. “Good afternoon.”

Abubakar answered, but Ahmed just kept on staring at her.

“Don’t you recognise him?” Her father asked as she looked from Ahmed to his father, trying to recall their familiar faces.

“Common! It’s your favourite uncle,” her father said, offering her a clue.

“Uncle Abubakar!” she screamed, hugging him again. “It’s you!”

“I am surprised that my own wife couldn’t recognize me.” Mallam Abubakar said, shaking his head.

“No, now, darling.” She said it playfully. “You know, Jans has changed you a lot. You are looking very handsome.”

“I am sure you did not see the grey hairs.” Said Mallam Usman, and everybody laughed.

“No, look at me very well; I am still strong and vibrant. This hair is just fashion.”

“Uh huh.” She said, and they all laughed except Ahmed.

Abubakar noticed that.

“Don’t you recognise your brother, Ahmed?”

“Oh, Ahmed. Hi.”

“Hi.” He couldn’t recognize his own voice.

“Wow, you’ve changed a lot, I couldn’t recognize you.”

“Yeah,” he said, clearing his voice. “I couldn’t recognize you too. You’ve grown so big.”

“Yeah, now you won’t be able to bully me anymore.” She said clenching her fist and frowning. That made them all laugh.

In the three hours, they spent with her in the common room. Ahmed said very little and only talked when he was talked to. He could not stop looking at and admiring Sameera. He kept wondering how that fat ugly girl he used to know some years back, could metamorphose into this epitome of beauty. Hadiza noticed it, but only smiled and didn’t say anything. She went to the drugstore and bought him analgesics, understanding what was going on with him.

On their way back, Usman asked him what was wrong. He said he was having a headache, so they stopped at a drugstore and bought him analgesics.

After dinner that night, the men went out to the balcony to talk, Hadiza went straight to bed after cleaning up and the boys went up to their room.

“Are you ok?” Abba asked Ahmed. He has been observing him since they left the university.

“What do you mean? I am fine.”

“You have been very quiet since we left Sameera today and you ate very little.”

“Oh, I was feeling a little feverish; I guess it has to do with the change of environment.” He said trying to pretend.

“No, something is wrong with you men. You can tell me.”

“Ok. But you have to promise not to be mad at me.” Ahmed said.

“Oh. Is that serious?”

“Kind of...”

“Ok. Tell me.” Abba said.

Ahmed clears his throat. “It’s Sameera. When I saw her, I…Ok. This is so embarrassing.., am soorryyy but...”

“You mean you are in love with my sister?” Abba interrupted him

“Well…I think so. I don’t know…You see…It’s just that…” he stammered. Abba did not say anything. “Maybe I shouldn’t.”

“No. it’s Ok.” Abba said.

“Really? Are you sure?” Ahmed asked in surprise. He had imagined Abba biting his head off.

“Well. Right now, I know she doesn’t have a boyfriend. And if I am to recommend anybody for her, definitely you will top the chart. And you know we are kind of one big family, more or less. I believe even our parents will agree to that.”

“Wow. Thanks.” He said with relief.

“But I hope that this is a serious thing. I mean, she is my sister, you know. I don’t want you to be messing with her.” Abba said, with a note of warning in his voice.

“C’mon man, you should know that I am serious. I don’t think I have ever felt how I feel today. And I hope that she will not turn me down.”

“Well. That is between you, too.”

“Yeah. Thanks men. Good night.” Ahmed said. Lying down to sleep.

“Good night,” Abba replied.

All sorts of thoughts ran through Ahmed’s mind as he waited for Sameera in Amina Hall’s common room. It was the day after they came to visit her, and he was sure that she would be very surprised to see him. He just wondered how she was going to react. Will she be happy, shy or will she get mad at him and tell him to get out of there. He wished he hadn’t turned down Abba’s offer to come with him for moral support. He didn’t realise how scary it was going to be.

“Ahmed!” Sameera said in surprise. “What are you doing here? Is everything OK at home?”He was so deep in thought that he didn’t notice her come into the common room.

“Hi. Oh yes. Everything is fine.” He replied. “I just came to see you… Hope you don’t mind.”

“Oh, no. Not at all.” She replied, beginning to understand what is going on. “Come over here and have a seat.” She said, motioning him to a seat, and taking another one by his side. There was a little awkward silence for a while, and then she spoke first.

“How is everybody at home?”

“Oh, they are fine.” He replied. “But they didn’t know I was coming here, so they didn’t send you their greetings. Sorry.”

“No problem. I write to them weekly, and we speak on the phone daily. So…” She smiled, and he smiled back.

“How did you get here, by the way?” she asked.

“Abba is at work, so I borrowed his car to move around.” He replied.

“You came here by yourself? Wow, how did you not get lost?”

“Oh, it is easy. I was observing everything when we came here yesterday. Plus, it is a very straight road, anyway.”

“Wow!” She said with a little shrug. “That was smart of you.”

“Thanks.” He said, feeling good about himself. A complement means he is making progress. There was the silence again, and then he spoke.

“So, uncle told me that you are writing tests. How was it? Hope it’s not too hard.”

“Well, you know, I studied hard and prayed very well. So, I am not scared at all.”

“Good for you.” He said. “Hope you pass them very well.”

“Thanks.” She said. He speaks with a very strong American accent, and she had to strain her ears to get what he is saying. In fact, he had to repeat some words for her to understand him.

“So, Political science, huh?Will you join the politics when you graduate? Maybe I am looking at the next Nigerian President?” She laughed.

“No. God no. I don’t intend to do politics. I am not really cut out for that kind of stuff.”

“But that is what you are studying.”

“Yeah.” She said. “But I can work in other places, like foreign embassies, ministries and so many places. It is a very flexible course. Not like yours, Doctor.”

He noticed the sarcasm in her voice and smiled. “I hope you get a good job where you will not be stressed at all.” He said.

“Why do guys keep saying that? Ok, just because I am a woman, you all think I can’t handle stress huh. That is so sexist.”

“Guys?” He thought. Is there someone else? Please let there be no one else. He though.

“No, that’s not what I mean.” He said.

“Ok, what do you mean?” She asked, looking him in the eyes.

“I… just want you to have a good job, one that you will enjoy very much and that will pay well, that’s all.”

“I am sorry, I over reacted. It’s just that our guys here are mostly chauvinists. So we constantly have to prove ourselves.” She apologized.

“No problem. I also grew up in a place where I have to put in extra in order to get attention, just because I am black.” She smiled.

They talked for a while, with him still repeating words. He went further to tell her that he will soon get a job at ABU Teaching

Hospital and she said it is good, as she will get to see him every day. Of course, he is even happier because, seeing her everyday, will mean a plus to their emerging relationship.

Afterwards, she walked him to the car and he took her number and promised to call before leaving.

“Wow! Who was that?” Sameera heard a familiar voice ask, as she was about to enter the girls hostel, so she turned around and saw her friend.

“Oh, hi Asabe.” She said. “Did you see me with him.”

“Yeah, and he is so gorgeous.” Asabe said. Giggling.

“Yes, he is.”

“And…?”

“He is my… well…” Sameera stammered.

“Well, what?” Asabe was impatient.

“His dad and mine are very close friends.”

“Oh. So how come I have never seen him before?”

“Well, he just got back from America. That’s where he grew up, you know.”

“Really,? Wow, I approve.”

“Well, he didn’t ask me out.”

“What? What was he doing here then?” Asabe asked Sameera. Looking kind of confused.

“He said he only came to see how I was doing.”

“Story! Did you see the way he was looking at you? Believe me, I know what that kind of stare mean… the guy is in loooove…”

“Really? You really think so?” Sameera asked. Even though she knows it’s true.

“Yeah. He is totally into you. And believe me, he is so OK.”

“Well, I don’t know…”

“You don’t? Can I have him then?” Asabe teased.

“I don’t mind. And what becomes of Sani?” Sameera teased back, referring to her friend’s fiancé.

“You can have him, believe me.” She replied. And they both started laughing.

“Ah, abeg o. I no dey for wahala!” Sameera said between laughter, as they walk into the hostel together.

In the next two weeks. Ahmed visited Sameera a total of 10 times. And each time, they talked, visited relatives of the Usman family and generally had fun. Their relationship also seems to wax stronger by each visit. In the mean time, Abubakar’s house was ready, so they moved in. Later, Ahmed also got a job at ABUTH. So, it even became easier for him to see Sameera, since it means he will have to come to Zaria every day.

She observed him. There was something about Ahmed that she really liked. He wasn’t like any other guy she had met. First of all, he is so incredibly handsome. Almost too handsome indeed. He was tall, with a great guy physique. Something you only see in movies and magazines, a great dresser. Even though, she has never seen him in the native Hausa/Fulani attire. But from what she can see. She can only imagine how good he is going to look in them. There is something so charming and yet smooth, about him. He wasn’t loud or boastful. No! His body language and actions do all the talking for him. Then there is this accent that he has, American she believes and so genuine. Unlike most other guys who travel out and then come home and start speaking with a borrowed accent. Personally, she despises them. But on this guy, it’s so natural. Plus, he doesn’t behave like those guys because of his background. Let’s face it. He is only a Nigerian by birth. But his attitude to life, general behavior and what have you, are all American. He was respectful of her. He did little things, like opening the car door for her, and so on. Most Nigerian guys are chauvenix, who likes to think so much of themselves without considering their women. But to Ahmed, she always comes first. He was what she describes as the perfect gentleman. And she is so glad that he was hers.

On that fateful day, Sameera was relaxing in the hostel and thinking of Ahmed. When she was told that he is in the common room waiting for her. As usual, she did a little primping before going to the common room to look for him. But he wasn’t there. She even checked his favorite spot and other places, but couldn’t see him. She went to the security and asked them if they had seen him, but they said no. she couldn’t understand. Ahmed wouldn’t lie to her. Is this some kind of prank? She couldn’t understand. After going back and forth three times, she decided to go back into the hostel disappointed. That is when she noticed a familiar figure standing outside the common room near the security area. She had seen him before, but hadn’t paid him any attention because he was wearing native, dark maroon Senegalese brocade with a matching cap and black sandals. He was facing the other way so she couldn’t see his face. But there was something about his pose that was so familiar.

“Ahmed?” She said, not sure it was him. He turned around. And lo and behold, Ahmed Abubakar was standing before her. Looking so handsome that he literally took her breath away. For a few seconds, she stood there paralyzed, looking at him. Her questions have just been answered. And the answer was even better than she had imagined. “Is this guy real?” She had to wonder. It was almost too much for her to handle.

“I see you approve.” He said sarcastically. And it took a few seconds before her brain could process that information. She then knew that she needed to act fast or lose face.

“I think it’s ok,” she said; making it sound as if it’s no big deal.

“I meant to impress you.”She could still feel the sarcasm in his voice.

“I guess you will have to try harder.” She said.

“Ok then. I will. Follow me.” He said. Holding her hand and walking toward the door.

“What are you doing?” she asked. He ignored her and continued walking towards the car pack by the basketball court. Just as she was about to ask him again. He stopped.

And parked under a tree, by the side of the social centre, was a brand new silver-gray HYUNDAI AZERA with a Kaduna plate number. There were some girls some were around admiring it. He pointed the car.

“Wow!” she said in admiration. “Nice car, what about it?” she inquired.

“Well. This, my dear, is my new baby. Your competition.”

“I don’t understand.”

“It’s my car.” He said. Showing her the keys. I bought it two days ago. So, impressed?”

“Whaaat! This is your car? Wow! It’s so beautiful. I can’t believe this Ahmed. It’s great…”

“I will take that as a yes then.” He said, smiling.

“Are you kidding? I am beyond impressed. But…” She looked worried. “It must have cost a fortune. How can you afford a car like this? You just started work a few days ago. Where did you get the money?”

“Oh come-on. I was kind of hoping you will just be happy for me and celebrate with me.”

“Of course I am.” She said. “I am really happy for you. But the thing is. I don’t understand. Are you in any shady business?” she looked very serious.

“Woah!” he said, laughing. “I am not doing anything shady, young lady. Ok. Here is the deal. Before we came back to Nigeria, I had to sell everything I own over there, since I can’t bring them here. So, it’s from that money that I was able to buy this car. You know, the Dollar is more expensive than the Naira. So, when I changed it. I had a good deal.”

“Oh, Ahmed.That is so great.” She exclaimed. “Can I have a ride, Stud?” she flapped her eyelids playfully.”

“That’s the whole idea honey.” He said, opening the passenger door for her to go in, and then going round and getting into the driver’s seat.

The inside of the car was even more impressive than the outside. From the unbelievably comfortable black leather seats to the automatic seat belts, to the fully air-conditioned interior, to the enviable hero seating beside her, to the dashboard that reminded her of the space ships she sees in movies. Everything about that car was completely out of this world, As they drive out of the campus, she could see all heads being turned toward them and could literally feel the envy emanating from all the girls. And that made her scream. “Yeah baby!” Ahmed just laughed and laughed.

He took her to Shagalinku restaurant, one of the coziest hangouts for love birds within Zaria metropolis for dinner. After their meal, he decided to take her to the edge of the town to show her something he has been noticing every time he comes to Zaria. It was the wooded area after Gaskia, just on the way to Kaduna with its breathtaking dry and leafless iroko trees. But there is something about the way they were arranged and the dust that was in the air seems to hover around the trees like snow, the evening sky which gave the whole area a kind of heavenly glow. Herds of cows and goats made the scenery looked so picture perfect. They stood leaning on the side of the car admiring nature’s gift to the environment. It was unbelievable. And she couldn’t understand why she had never noticed it before. She had passed this area a million times, but never has she noticed it’s incredible beauty.

“It’s so beautiful.” She said, almost in tears.

“Not as beautiful as you.” He returned, looking into her eyes. And as she looked back into his eyes, she could feel her heart beating very fast against her rib cage, and for a moment, she thought it was going to explode. She knew then that she was in big trouble. This stranger came into her life without warning. And in no time stole her heart completely. If he ever leaves her, she knew she would die. Or so she thought.

Two weeks later, they were in his car, going towards ABUTH Doctor’s quarters.

“Where are you taking me?” she asked impatiently.

“It’s a surprise.” He replied.

“Ok.” She said. As they drive into one of the driveways and parked in front of one of the houses. All the houses look similar. But you can tell that no one lives in that particular one.

He produced a key from his pocket and opened the door for them to go in. The floor was just recently washed.

“Wow. It’s nice.” She said.

“It’s my house.” He said.

“Really? Your house?” She asked in surprise.

“Yeah. As a doctor, I am entitled to a house in the Doctor’s quarters. So it was allocated to me.”

“Oh my God!” she yelled in surprise. “This is wonderful. I am so happy for you.”

“Let me show you around.” He spoke.

He took her around the house. It was a three-bedroom apartment with a very large ensuite master bedroom. The other two rooms share a toilet/bathroom and have large wardrobes. The living room was very large with a dining area that opens into a very large and well-equipped kitchen with a storeroom attached to it. And from the kitchen, you get a back door that leads to the back yard. She kept making suggestions as to the color and furnishings of the house. And at the end of the tour, they stopped at the kitchen, which she found the most impressive.

“Oh. I can just imagine cooking in here. It’s so wonderful.” She spoke. Letting her hand feel the granite surface.

“Well. I was hoping you will like it.” He spoke.

“Like it? I love it! It’s so beautiful. You doctors are so lucky.” He laughed. “So, how soon are you going to move in?” she asked, still dancing around the kitchen.

“Well, as soon as you say yes.” He replied.

“What are you talking about? It’s your house…” then it hit her. “What?” she asked.

“I was hoping we will make it a home.”

“Is that a proposal?” She asked.

“It’s lame, isn’t it?”

“No. It’s perfect!” She said, running to hug him.

“Alrighty then, we are in business” He said, sweeping her off her feet.

Opening her eyes, she noticed a microwave oven seated lonely on the counter. Freeing herself, he moved closer; it looked new, as if it has not been put to you.

“So you have started putting what I will need in the kitchen?” she asked.

“Just seeing it for the first time, may be part of what I am entitled to” he lied.

Sameera grabbed the handle and open it. Inside was a beautifully wrapped package.

“Do you believe in surprises?” Ahmed asked and moved closer and held her from behind. “Open it” he instructed.

Her hands unsteady, she tore the wrapping sheet revealing a box of chocolate. “Open it” he said again. Inside was a beautiful diamond stud ring. “My formal proposal” he announced. She turned to look at him, tears dripping her soft cheeks. “Yes”.

They drove back to the campus.

Sameera couldn’t contain her excitement as she told her Asabe about the proposal.

“Are you serious? You guys just started dating a few weeks ago.” Asabe said in surprise.

“I know. My Dad doesn’t even know about it. I only told my Mum on the phone.” Sameera said.

“Wow! This is just like a fairy tale. Sani will not believe this. I know.” She had earlier introduced Ahmed to her friend Asabe and Asabe’s fiancé Sani.

“I still can’t believe it myself, Asabe. I mean, here is this guy that fits perfectly the profile of my Mr. Right. He appeared from nowhere and swept me off my feet. And just as I was wondering what happened, he proposed. God, Am I dreaming? Please don’t wake me.” She said, turning around to look at her friend.

“Baby, this is not a dream. And I am so happy for you.” Asabe stood up and hugged her friend. “You know. It’s a good thing that the holiday is just around the corner. So you can go home and iron things out with your parents. By the way, when is the wedding?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t even remember to ask him. But from the way things are going now, I am sure it will be very soon.”

“I hope so too. And I hope Sani will take that as a lesson and stop being a baby. We’ve been going out for three years now. I think it’s high time we get married. Maybe we will do it at the same time.”

“Yeah. That will be great.” Replied Sameera. And they hugged again.

Later, Sameera called her mother and told her everything. Of course, her mother was ecstatic with joy. And she promised to talk to her dad.

“I didn’t know that you too are that serious.” Her mother said.

“I know, Mum. It’s so sudden.”

“Well. I am happy for you sweetheart. And I am sure your father will not object. I mean, Ahmed is just like a son to us. And we will love it very much, if he is the one that marries you. It will help the long-standing relationship that the two families are already having.”

“Thank you, Mum. I know you will understand. See you when I come back next week,” said Sameera.

“Ok. Honey. We will talk about the wedding when you come home.” Her mother said. And Sameera couldn’t help but blush. She was already dreaming of the day, the different events that will take place. What she will wear and how beautiful she will look on that day. Ahmed too, how handsome he will look. The honeymoon. The list was endless. Suddenly, all her dreams have come true.

On his way back to Kaduna that day, Ahmed was thinking about the proposal he had just made, and a cold tickle of fear ran down his spine. Not that he regretted making it. No, far from that. It’s just that he has never been lucky in love. And experiences in the past have taught him not to have high hopes. Somehow, he senses a Dejavu somewhere in what is happening now. He loves Sameera. He knows that much. And what is so unbelievable is that, he never thought he would love again. But somehow, it happened again. And now, he is starting to have this dreadful feeling that history is about to repeat itself.

“Oh, come-on. It’s going to be alright. You have nothing to worry about.” He tried to convince himself. But somehow, it all seems too good to be true. Even to him.

He was still contemplating on the issue when he opened the front door of their house and walked into the living room.

“Ahmed, hi. A familiar young Lady sitting beside his father stood up and smiled. His worst nightmare just came true.

“Yasmin Hamman! What the are you doing here?” he screamed. And suddenly, his dreams came crashing down in front of him.

[End of Chapter Three]


 

Thank you for reading Chapter Two of The Thin Line If you enjoy it, please leave me a like, comment below and subscribe to my website. You can read chapter three below:

 
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A siluet in front of a portal

ASTRAL SERIES

Embark on a journey beyond the stars with the ASTRAL series. Chapter by chapter, witness the unfolding saga of "The Awakening." Join our authors, Hadiza Bagudu and Abdul-Jalal Musa, as they weave a tale that transcends reality.


 

 

 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 


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