It was a sunday morning. The day started with the usual routine melted out by Big mummy. They all observed the morning prayer. Aliyah observed her prayer happily. She was full of smiles that morning.
Aliyah did all the chores in the house singing happily. Everyone in the house observed she was happy buh they minded their business. Mrs. Ridoh and Big mummy sat in the sitting room discussing.
“Aliyah!” Big mummy called. “Aliyah!”
“Ma! I’m coming”
Aliyah went out of the kitchen wondering why big mummy is calling her.
“So, you’re leaving for school today and you didn’t inform me” Big mummy said.
Aliyah smiled relieved it wasn’t trouble she was called for.
“Had it been your mom didn’t tell me now, you would just leave like that. I don’t know how you children of nowadays behave. Don’t you know you’re supposed to…..” Big mummy said on and on.
Aliyah twisted her lips sideways. “She started it well o… Now, she have spoil everything. Madam gagu” She dare not say those words outside. She thought.
Mrs. Ridoh smiled staring at both of them.
“…. Do you understand. That’s how we do in our days.”
“Yes ma” Aliyah answered bending her knees.
“When are you leaving?”
“Around 10, ma”
Big mummy glanced at the wall clock. “It’s just 8am. You still have enough time. Get into the kitchen and help me prepare beans, that’s…”
“Ehn! Who?” Mrs. Ridoh and Haq chorused.
Big mummy was startled. She glanced at her sister and looked back at Haq who coming down the stairs buh stopped halfway.
Aliyah hummed. “Beans of all things. Ha!”
“Aunty Mi, Aliyah cannot cook for you o” Mrs. Ridoh said.
Haq had got down from the stairs and sat down.
“Why can’t she cook for me? Is she too small to cook? Halimat, Iwo lo ba awon omo yi je o (Halimat, it’s you that spoil these kids o)”
“It’s not what you think, she…” Mrs. Ridoh tried to explain.
“Then what? I ask you, what? Aliyah can’t cook? Ever since I came here, only Aishat and you get in the kitchen. My 16 years old boy can cook, not to talk about my little Nana who’s just 14. Tell me, is she not old enough……” Big mummy fired on and on. It was obvious she was getting angry. Aliyah just stood still.
Mrs. Ridoh sighed. She didn’t say anything again so as to not get into any misunderstanding with her Sister.
Haq quietly watched the show, praying big mummy would win the argument. He smiled as his mum said nothing anymore.
“Aliyah, that’s what I feel like eating. Cook for the whole family and…” Big mummy said but was interrupted.
“I’m not eating o” Mrs. Ridoh and Haq chorused.
Big mummy stared at them. She shook her head and told Aliyah to prepare only for two.
“Aliyah, don’t forget I won’t be able to drive you to school. You have to hurry with the food, so you won’t miss the public bus” Mrs. Ridoh reminded her.
Aliyah nodded and went on to the kitchen. Haq shook his head trying to imagine the kind of fate that awaits big mummy.
Few hours later, Haq helped Aliyah carried her bag of loads outside. Aliyah hurried down the stairs. “Mum, I’m late. Bye. Hameed take care. Big mummy, bye” She said in hurry.
“Have you served my food?” Big mummy asked.
“No, aunty aishat will help me ma” She prayed Big mummy doesn’t delay by asking her to go serve the food.
“Aliyah! Bike man is waiting o” Haq shouted from outside.
Without waiting a second, aliyah dashed out. She was lucky to get to the motor park in time.
“Aunty, so na you dey delay us. Oya, enter make we go” One of the passengers joked.
Aliyah smiled and got in. It was only a seat available. One of the passengers got down as she wanted to enter letting her seat in the middle. The girl at her left hand side “Hi” her, she replied.
The driver brought the engine to life and the journey started. Almost all the passengers seemed to know themselves as they talking and laughing except for the girl next to her and the man on her left hand side.
The girl concentrated on her phone while the man just sat and was looking out through the window. Aliyah sighed. She brought out her phone and got busy with it.
It was as if a blow hit her. The pain she felt couldn’t be described that minute. Tears almost rolled down her eyes. She made to open her mouth to spit out the stone that she had cracked. Her teeth hurts badly. She spat it out. Blood oozed out of her mouth with two teeth as escort. Big mummy almost cried. Had she known, she would have stopped eating when she took the first spoon to her mouth, it was salty and pepperish but she had overlook it and taken another spoon which had dealt her a blow.
Big mummy slowly stood up without uttering a word and went up the stairs silently. Haq who had been watching the whole scene rolled on the ground in laughter. “I.. I knew it…. I knew it will end in tears” He said, laughing out loud.
Few hours later, Aliyah got tired of her phone. She stopped what she was doing. The noise had died down a bit now. She guessed someone was staring at her. She looked left and caught the man staring at her. He quickly looked away but wasn’t quick enough as Aliyah had caught him staring. Aliyah wondered why. She looked at the girl, she was resting her head on the window sleeping.
Aliyah sighed. She glanced back at the man who was now looking out through the window. She looked at him for some seconds maybe he’d stare at her but he didn’t.
“This road doesn’t lead to Edo state. It’s different from Edo route.” Her subconscious muttered. Aliyah looked right and she saw Bushes and tall trees with few vehicles passing by. The road wasn’t tarred at all.
She felt cold all of a sudden. She looked back and saw everyone asleep except two guys that were at the last seat. They were busy with their phone. She couldn’t express her feelings right now. She looked at the driver and the passenger at the front, he was also busy with his phone. She took a quick glance at the man, he was still looking outside the window.
Several thoughts ran through Aliyah’s mind. What’s happening? She asked herself. I hope this isn’t happening. She used her hand to tap the girl. The girl stirred, adjusted a bit properly and didn’t just continued her sleep but snored.
“F–k shit!” Her subconscious exclaimed. “What’s happening?” Aliyah muttered.
She looked back at the people sleeping. She moved her gaze to the man, the man stared back at her. Aliyah shivered in fear.
What do you think? Is it what Aliyah’s thinking? Kidnapping? Comment your thoughts. Love you all.