Episode 1

“He sure needs your help”, the strange caller responded.

Earlier in the day,I have been feeling kind of strange, acting wierd and worrying over nothing in particular. My face was gloomy and I hardly paid attention to anything because my mind was carried away thinking of Basheer.

I was that kind of a person who finds it hard to hide my feelings. I was always lively, you can call me a talkative who knows when and where to talk. People always say I am smart complimenting with the way I handle situations. I had the ability to remain calm even at the most difficult situations.

At the age of 19, I have grown into a young woman, matured both in looks and mind.

I was dark, slim and tall having curves at the right places. I had beautiful bright eyes, a pointed nose and well-shaped lips, I was indeed beautiful.

Basheer was my best friend, almost the same age as I was, a guy I have known right from my childhood. Owing to the fact we are both fulanis, he was also tall, biult and had a very cute face, he was one of those lucky handsome and nice guys
“I would never get tired of staring at your face”, I usually tease him.

There was something unique about Basheer, he was always smiling. He was patient, a very good listener and knew how to make a girl smile. Those qualities in him kept our friendship alive even after so many years.

“Are you there”?, the strange caller interrupted my thoughts
“Yeah”, I answered rather absent-mindedly.

“Where is he now”? I asked
“The pinnacle hospital”, he replied and went on “I guess you know where that is”
“Ask for Dr Imran Shuraim when you get here”, he went on without waiting for my reply and added some words of am expecting you as soon as possible.

“Ofcourse, I’ll do that first thing tomorrow morning and Thanks”, I replied ending the call.

I la!d on my bed thinking about the turn of events. Earlier the same day, Basheer called to inform me he was coming to Kano from Sokoto as he was studying Biochemistry over there in Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto (UDUS) while I was studying the same course in Bayero University, Kano (BUK). I tried talking him out of it as it wasn’t less than a month that he left for sokoto.

“There’s no point in you coming home now, friend”, I had said after he told me his intention
“Lectures are not on and am through with my registration,I am just coming to spend a few days, just to kill time”, he replied
“So what’s the point”?, I asked him and added
“Mine are already on (referring to my lectures) and you know I won’t skip lectures just to hang out with you”, I teased him
” then I’ll go with you to the lectures, if you insist”, he teased back.

I knew this wasn’t going anywhere, as far as he wanted to come, nothing will make him change his mind. So I told him I’ll be expecting him and he should call me as soon as he’s ready to leave. We talked for a few more minutes and hang up.

The time was 5:45pm, 7 hrs since Basheer called to inform me he was leaving sokoto and I have not heard from him since then. I tried calling him, but his number wasn’t going through. ???

I was sitting on the sofa at one end of my room looking worried, my phone by my side. I picked it up, tried calling Basheer again after so many abortive tries, it still wasn’t connecting
“Oh Allah”, I said under my breath and wished everything was alright with my dear friend.

It was unlike him to swicth off his phone and very unlike him to come into town without informing me.

But what was wrong? I thought
An idea strucked me as I picked up my phone again, dailled a number and put the phone to my ear as it connected.

“Salamu alaikum”, he greeted me in the usual islamic way, I could feel he was smiling as he picked the call
“Walaika salam”, I answered
“Ah, the friend(trying to mimic the way Basheer calls me), what a pleasant suprise.

To what do I have dis honour of you calling me today”, Adam teased
I laughed then replied, ” You know I always call you whenever I miss you, so it occured to me that I was missing you today”
“How I wished that was true, I told Basheer to extend my love to you this morning before he left”, he replied
He gave me the answer to my question even before I asked, so Basheer really left for Kano this morning, I was lost in thoughts.

So where is he? I asked myself.
“Hello…”? Adam’s voice broke my thoughts.

“You seem to be quiet, is anything the matter”? He asked
“Yeah, its just that I haven’t heard from Basheer since he informed me he’s leaving Sokoto and I am a bit worried”, I answered, really sounding worried.

“That’s strange, but don’t worry, everything will be fine”, he assured me.
Adam was Basheer’s close friend and roommate, we were very familiar with each other and I usually contacted him whenever I couldn’t reach Basheer. He had promised to let me know if anything arise and after talking to him on the phone, I felt relaxed although I still haven’t heard from Basheer.

Two hours later, I was sitting alone in my room as I preferred being alone whenever I am worried over something. I was going through the pages of the latest Dijah magazine but my mind was not with the beautiful pictures I was staring at, I was about dropping the magazine when my phone rang. I said a silent prayer to Allah; to let the caller be my dear friend.

How wrong was I!
I kept looking at the phone as if it would answer the call itself, saw an unknown number, hesitated a bit before picking up the phone.

“Salamu alaikum”, I greeted as I answered the call
“Wa alaiki salam”, a strange male voice answered.

“Can I speak to Miss Na’imah please?” he asked
“Yeah, it’s me on the line. What can I do for you?” I replied, feeling nervous
“I am sure you are a close relative of Basheer M. Bello, right?” he said more of a statement rather than a question
“Yes”, I replied then added;
“What about him?”, I sounded worried
The strange caller was silent for a few seconds before he added;
“He was involved in a tragic car accident”, he said slowly…

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