July 18, 2024

Like someone afflicted with insomnia, I could not sleep throughout the night and as soon as it was three O’clock I performed ablution and prayed Tahajjud. After that, I narrated all that had happened to Allah knowing fully that He already knew it even before it had happened.

In the morning, I slept on my prayer mat just after praying Fajr and when I woke up it was already quarter past eight. I lazily stood from the prayer mat and folded it into my suitcase with Idris’ thoughts allover my head.

If only I could make him understand, but I already handed the matter to Allah. I just didn’t want to lose him, I loved him so very much. Was this what Stella felt when she was about losing Will in the film Five Feet Apart? Well, that was terrible. I never knew departing could hurt this much. I thought we were only fooled by movie industries. I thought it was all lies…

“Ya Manal, dad says the sleep is over and that you should get something to eat and prepare for our trip” Nafisah announced as soon as she bounced into the room without Salaaming.

“I am not hungry” I sniffed removing my hijab.
“Okey, but at least you should…”
“Dan Allah Nafisah ki kyale ni” I cut in.
“Alright, Ya Manal.

But try and get yourself prepared ’cause our flight is 10 dot” She said.
“Flight? I… I thought we were going by road?” I stuttered thinking when last I boarded a plane.
“Well, you know how dad is. He just told us this morning that he secured tickets for us through one of his friends in Arik Airlines” She uttered.

“Okey, fine” I threw the hijab on the bed and headed to the bathroom with Nafisah leaving the room. I took a warm bath and got myself dressed in a bathrobe. Hence, I brushed my teeth and blew my nose one more time before leaving the bathroom.

I despised influenza!
Just as I changed into my favourite Jalabiya, Hajiya Siyyama Salaamed into the room with Ya Hauwa trailing her. “Good morning, Manal” They greeted me before I could utter a word.
“Good morning, Hajiya” I lightly bowed for her before turning to Ya Hauwa. “Good morning, Maijego” I greeted her as well crooking a smile.

“Prepared already?” Ya Hauwa said as they both walked closer to where I was standing.
“Yes, almost done” I huffed.
“Okey, we…” She said halfway as Hajiya cut in.
“Yes, we heard what happened yesterday, and I am disappointed in your father, Alhaji Usman” Hajiya Siyyama uttered placing her hands on my shoulder. “But don’t worry, I will try my possible best and see what I can do about it…”

Her words brought tears to my eyes again. I thought I had already handed over everything to Allah, why then was I emotional again? Wasn’t I supposed to have peace of mind? I sniffed allowing the tears to roll down to my cheeks.

“Thank you, Hajiya” I sniffed.
“You are welcome, Manal” She said wiping my tears off with her hand. “Now, are you ready to eat breakfast or you want me to feed you up?”
“I am ready” I said as I managed to smile.
“Good” She smiled as well.

We walked out to the living room with all eyes on us and thus headed to the kitchen. Both my parents had gone to prepare for the journey so they weren’t in the living room. Just as we were in the kitchen island, Hajiyya made tea for me and handed five slices of bread to me.

Thus, I ate while we talk about random stuffs.
When it was precisely thirty-five minutes to our departure, we bade everyone goodbye and walked out to the cars waiting for us outside. Of course those of Ya Salim and Hajiya.

The arrangement was that Ya Salim would drive our parents while Ya Qasim would drive me, Farouq and Nafisah. I didn’t really want to drive with Ya Qasim but I would rather do that than stay in the same car with my parents.

“Bye, bye…” Hajiya Siyyama and the rest of the people waved at us as our cars began moving.

“Bye!” I waved back, thus Ya Qasim increased the speed of the car making me to jolt. I was sitting in the backseat with Nafisah. He kept glancing at me through the rearview mirror.
In order not to be invited into a conversation by anyone in the car, I held my earpieces to my ears and began listening to – of course – Sheik Mishary Al-Afasy’s recitation. It was a short drive to the Aminu Kano International Airport.

We alighted from the car and took our luggage. We had arrived before our parents. Ya Salim was a slow driver, remember? But Ya Qasim happened to be a very fast driver like me.

“Toh, thank you so much Ya Qasim!” Nafisah said giving him a hug. “I am gonna miss you”
“I am going to miss you too” He said patting her back with his tinny eyes so glued at me.
“Ga su Baba!” Farouq announced.

It was Ya Salim and our parents, they parked close to us and alighted from their car. Just then, our father thanked both Ya Salim and Ya Qasim for the drive. “Until we meet again”
“In Shaa Allah, Baba” Ya Salim said taking a bow. Hence, he turned to me with a smile. “Take care of yourself, Manal” He said to me.
“Kai ma, Ya Salim” I said as I managed to smile.
I could see the anger in Ya Qasim’s face but I didn’t give a shit about him, he should kill himself. I would never be his slave or what…
“Lets go, Ya Manal” Farouq held my hand.
“Okey” I said stretching the handle of my dragable box. We conveyed ourselves to the terminal with our luggage and waited patiently for the departure time. And as soon as it was time, we were summoned together with the rest of the passengers. We boarded into an aircraft operated by Arik Airlines and up we went, away from Kano – away from my Idris!
Thank you for reading #InsideArewa

Written by Mohammed Abubakar KingMoha, Inside Arewa

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