♠CHAPTER 4♠

I heaved a sigh as we drove out of the house seeing the house more clearer in daylight makes the whole thing feel more surreal,  I looked behind me as we drove off the Palace like building,  ‘how can just one person live in this building?’  I shook my head and looked forward I could feel Adam’s gaze on me but I didn’t look up at him, I just couldn’t bear his skeptical looks,  I cleared my throat trying to figure out a  way to start conversation with him,  “Uhm so what’s uh-” I huffed out nervously “W-what’s  his name?”  “I’m sorry you’ll have to ask him that” he replied shortly I opened my mouth but shut it again “I’m sorry, I tend to blab when I’m nervous”  I said sighing, I turned my gaze to the window,  watching the beautiful scenery we passed.”Assad” I whipped my head to Adam,  his eyes were still on the road,  I couldn’t tell if he indeed said the words “His name is Assad” I smiled and nodded “Thank you” I noticed him nod too but I couldn’t tell if the quirk on his lip was real or just an imagination.  He was quite again I leaned my head on the window glass and closed my eyes,  all I could think about was Shakeel.
‘Is he ok’ I couldn’t shake off the feeling that something bad was happening to him, or rid off the guilt of not being able to visit him two months in a row.  

“Which turn should I take?” he asked when we made it to the roundabout “Uhm I’m not very familiar with the place I can only tell when we’re driving from the center of the city” he sighed in frustration and shook his head “Cut you drove to the house with Zak” he asked in an irritative voice “I was asleep throughout the ride” I replied meekly.  It wasn’t my fault that I don’t go out regularly,  taking public transport too was not much of a great help cos I always pass the same route,  I sighed and shook my head “I was asking you the name of the area” I heard him ask I blabbed out the address,  and watched through hooded eyes as he tapped it on the GPS I didn’t live in the most beautiful part of town,it’s kind of funny how one seem to have it all and then loses it slowly then the next thing you know you’ve become this different person,  I scrubbed my hands harshly against my arm trying to ward off the devastating feeling.”We’re here which route should I take?” he asked again I knew the GPS couldn’t pick the address of my place, “You can drop me here I can walk home” “No I’m taking you home those were the boss’s exact words” I nodded and pointed to the the small route that led to my house,  he drove on the bumps “Its the house after this one” I pointed to the house, I could tell he was amused by the kind of place I lived, girls in my line of work mostly lived their lives to the fullest, but my case is different since I don’t do it by choice. “Thanks for the ride I really appreciate it see you tomorrow?” I blurted questioningly  he shook his head but made no move to move the car,  I nodded and opened the door,  I shook my head at the kids that had surrounded the car cheering and clapping. I hurriedly entered the fenceless house,  I lived at the worst part of town, I’m not very proud of the area I live,  we had very good people but it was the worst cos the youth over here mostly indulge in drugs and robbery.

“I can see you’ve also gotten yourself one of those men” a neighbor who lived a few rooms away from mine snickered I shook my head and headed to my room, indulging her would be a big mistake there were already rumours that I was involved in prostitution and I didn’t owe me any form of explanation. I took my keys out of my bag and opened the door “Which good comes out of a girl who just appeared here with no one knowing her roots,  with a boy she claims to be her brother and now I see her coming home with men in expensive cars” another lady added,  I hurriedly entered it wouldn’t be long when I become the major talk in this neighborhood,  I could feel it.  I just hope it doesn’t get back to Shakeel, that was why I sent him off to boarding school. I lived in a 14 tenant compound house most of the tenants were married couples, the only problem was we we had only two bath houses,  one for the ladies and the other for men but we had no toilet we had to walk miles to a public toilet.  I wore my long dress I wear when I’m going to  bathe and passed the women with my bucket in hand, “Hmm Sis Muni I sometimes marvel at how girls of today who claim to be good Muslims and God sent sell themselves short to men just for a few pennies”.

I blocked them out and took the water to the bath house,  ‘I’m a sinner I know I am but I might be much better than them in eyes of the Lord and answering them will only make me like them I’m not proud of my life but I never did any of what I did willingly I was forced down that road, and will definitely find my way back on track’.I prayed after I had freshened up and dressed up in my ankle length black  abaya it was pass 2 pm when I got there,  I smiled and greeted the security guard at the gate,  “Sorry madam today is not the visiting day I can’t allow you in” I smiled and nodded “I know but it’s very urgent, I couldn’t make it here the last two visiting days and my brother has ran out of food and cash” I replied raising the small poly bag I held in hand filled with provisions,  he nodded looking at the small bag,  “What’s his name?” “Shakeel” I muttered smiling, he nodded looking me over, then shrugged and called one of the security guards inside the room at the check point, he relayed what I said to him and turned back to me, “He’ll be back soon with Shakeel” I nodded and entered the the gate, “You can sit there” he said pointing to the bench I smiled and sat on the bench facing the school, I’m proud that I was able to bring my brother here he deserved it, I smiled when I saw his lanky figure dwarfing the security guard approaching us,I rose from the bench gently placing the things I was holding on the bench, he had bent his head so he did not see me, I felt I’ve running to him but I forced myself to wait for him, “Shakeel” I squealed when he was a few metres from me, he raised his head and smiled widely brightening up my world,everything felt alright at that moment I ran to him and hugged him tightly he raised me and swirled me around, “God Marie what have you been eating, I swear you grow lighter every day” he complained frowning at he eased me down I playfully smacked his arm “Hey just because you’re taller and bigger than me doesn’t mean you get to pick on me ok” I said squinting my eyes a bit to show him how serious I was, “Ok Mademoiselle, no need to hit me it really hurts you know” I sighed and hugged him tightly, “I really miss you lil boy” I uttered my voice thick with emotion,”God Marie you are embarrassing me” he complained pulling himself from the hug, God he was growing up real fast he looked more like my older brother and more like dad everyday, I shook my head and grabbed his hand walking to the bench, I sat and scooted over making space for him,”So my older sister decides to neglect me for two whole months no calls no nothing and then reappears, just like that” he complained sulking and batting his eyelashes I smiled as I looked at his pretty face but he had bags under his eyes”I’m sorry” I apologized running my hand over his face prolonging it under the bag of his eyes “You’ve not been getting adequate rest Shakeel, you have bags under your eyes stop pushing yourself too hard” I uttered softly. “I’m a man Marie I know how to take care of myself but I’ve been worried about you” I shook my head forcing a smile in my face when I remembered the dreams I had been having recently. “I’m doing very good but you over have got me worried and how you look today has heightened my worries why do you look like this you have to take things easy” “It’s nothing” he mumbled turning his head as he coughed I didn’t believe him but I had to take his words for what they were.”I’ll be surprising you very soon” he said snapping me out of my trance I didn’t even know I had zoned out, I nodded and smiled “Shakeel have you been seeing god-father?” I asked fearing the answer he’d give me he quickly looked away my heart thudded as I waited to hear his response. 

“I-uhm ” he looked away then looked at me again “You’ve been seeing him right?” I asked in a cold voice I didn’t even know I possessed “Marie he just wants to help you cater for my schooling when I leave here, you know I need a male-” I raised my palm up stopping him in his tracks “Shakeel you are on a sports scholarship, and they pay half of your fees already I don’t need any help paying the rest, and I’m sorry I’m not a guy for you to emulate from, one thing I really need from you is for you to not get involved in any way with that man”.

I muttered looking earnestly into his eyes, he blinked back the tears that had gathered in his eyes and nodded “Thank you” I added giving him a tight hug “Please don’t get involved with him even if this is the only advice I give you’d ever adhere to” I felt him bob his head and hoped he’ll really do my bidding. 

I handed him the goods I had brought along and thanked the security men, “Marie I promise to stay away from him I don’t want to see you hurt”I nodded and clasped his hands in mine, “And focus on your studies too, tone the sports done a bit, I don’t want you too fatigued ok” I hugged him one last time and made my way to the gate, I turned back after I was outside the gate and bidding farewell to the security guards, he still stood at the spot I left him, I nodded and waved at him, swallowing hard to wet my suddenly dry throat. I couldn’t stop thinking of Don Omar’s crooked ways I know when he sinks his claws into Shakeel I’d have a very difficult time getting him back, I shook my head at the thought it shall not commenting pass in shaa Allah.I boarded a trotro (ovan) home, I alighted and my area’s station and walked home surprisingly finding Assad’s car parked in front of my house the kids were not as many as earlier today ‘Did I do anything wrong?’ I kept asking myself repeatedly, I walked on wobbly legs to the car knocking on the window he rolled the glass down and motioned to the passenger door with his head, I forced a smile and greeted him “Good evening Adam did you forget something?” he nodded but didn’t return my smile I frowned a bit he was warming up to me before leaving earlier, “the boss changed his mind, he says he’s given you the rest of the week off and would meet you only at the club” I nodded wondering what suddenly made him change his mind, I thought I’d already seen the end of this club days but it seems it just began, why now of all times.

       ♠          ♠            ♠              ♠

Our mystery man is Assad B. Hernandez, what do you think made him change his mind on coming back to his house. 
Guys I really need ur votes and comments.
Read, vote and comment on the story. 
Peace out ✌



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