“Why is this girl not yet back from…” Mrs. Ridoh asked, stopping in her track as there was a knock on the door.
“Come in” Haq said
Tife came in. She was breathing hard. She searched around the house with her eyes, scanning the whole place.
“She’s not yet back” Her subconscious said.
“Good evening ma” She found her voice greeting.
“Evening dear. How are you?”
“I’m fine ma”
“Is.. Aliyah… Aliyah said I should help her drop her bag at home” She stammered.
Mrs. Ridoh looked at her. Something wasn’t right. She looks frightened and her lips quiver.
“Where is she” Haq asked.
“Umm… She stayed behind for lesson” Tife wished she didn’t lie buh she had no choice. She might tell the truth and Aliyah might just walk in. That would be trouble for her.
“Lesson!” Mrs. Ridoh and Haq chorused.
“Aliyah never attend lesson. Moreover, this is the time for her Arabic class.” Mrs. Ridoh added.
“Yes… Yes… That’s what she said, Ara.. Ara” Tife said, making sure she doesn’t bite her tongue.
Mrs. Ridoh smiled. “It’s Arabic” She corrected. “Okay. Drop it there, Hameed would take it inside. “Thank you so much dear” She added.
Tife dropped it and quickly hurried out. She wondered how Aliyah is over there. She wished they didn’t trek at all. She thought of going back there but her parents. She had left grace and gift alone to share the mangoes. Her appetite were nowhere to be found when she stopped in her track, looked back and didn’t see Aliyah. She waited for hours and when she didn’t see her. She guesses she might have taken another way and decided to go to their house.
Tears formed in her eyes as she went home. If anything happens to her best friend, she won’t forgive herself. Thousands of thought played in her mind.
“Aliyah” She muttered breathlessly.
“That girl looks frightened.” Mrs. Ridoh said, staring at Haq who concentrated on his phone.
“Did Aliyah ever go to Arabic school without….” Her phone rang before she could complete the statement.
“Oops! It’s an emergency” She said as she dropped the phone running up the stairs to her room.
“I’ll be back.” She said as she dashed out of the room. “Dusk or dawn” She added, slamming the door.
“Okay mum” Haq answered but he wasn’t even sure if she had as she was already out. He heard the sound of her car ignited.
Aliyah sat still with her eyes open. She has had enough mangoes. Her white was stained. The peels and the mango seeds were inside a nylon. That was one thing she liked doing, she never threw away the wraps of anything she bought. Silly act!
Aliyah glared at the man. She was mad for nothing but something. How could someone be reading newspaper for hours. As the man read, so, did he receive calls. She could see and hear him. She hissed several times. She wish she’d just disappear.
Aliyah thought of what to do. If she tried to get down, the man would know. If not for the “Old soldier” they tagged him, she would have risked it. She stared at him and Watched him relax while reading.
“We die here together” Said, her subconscious.
Aliyah rolled her eyes. She rested her head on one of the branches. Stared at the sky and closed her eyes. She went into thoughts buh wasn’t deep into it as she heard a sound of a glass break. She looked down and saw the man standing, he opened his door and went in, probably to take broom and pack the broken glass.
Aliyah didn’t blink before she hurried down. She got down fast and on to the fence. She looked down and the ground seems to be far from the fence.
“How you wan take do am. Your leg go scatter o” Her subconscious said.
“Na true o. Ah no fit o. The…” She muttered but stopped when she heard the door open.
Without thinking twice, she jumped down and landed on both feet. She shut her eyes slowly whimpering.
“E don break” Her subconscious asked.
“Ah no know. Make I check” She slowly got up. She held her leg and stood up on her feet. She felt no pain.
“Check if you sabi walk” Her subconscious said.
As if being under a remote, she took a step slowly and carefully as if it would break if she tried to walk. Before she could take another step slowly, checking if her legs were in the right condition, the gate opened revealing the man.
“Yeeeee!” Aliyah screamed and took to her heels not testing if she could still walk.
Tife walked as fast as she could. She had went to her house to check on her and met brother Haq who told her no. She decided to go and check there. She wouldn’t just leave her best friend in danger.
She was almost there when she saw Aliyah running with a fast speed. She was happy Aliyah’s safe buh fear gripped her when she saw her running like that. She guessed Aliyah was probably being chased by soldiers. Before the mention of Jack, Tife took to her heels.