​Zahra’u stood by her doorstep with one of her hand to her waist and the other at the top roof of the door. For a moment neither of us spoke. I stared directly into her eyes, because the PHCN (the Nigerian power distribution company) didn’t disappoint us that night, there was light which made it difficult for me to talk. I was bewildered and couldn’t utter a single word as I fumbled at my own self.

The moment I opened my mouth to talk my hand began to shake and as though there isn’t a single bone in it. How cowardice of me, I sighed.

‘ba hausa’ you’re not saying anything! What is the froblem (problem)? She said silently as my heart quakes as if she were going to punish me for being so ungrateful. 

Thank you Zee, I didn’t even thank you earlier. Nagode… I said leaving cowardly. That night I couldn’t sleep proper as I ponder over my cold nature and slowly I dozed off.

Times passes so quickly as days turned into weeks. Because I was too big a coward, I could not even sit and have a gist with her not even for a minute. Each time she came closer, I become too cold with her until she become tired of me. It was visibly clear she didn’t like any of it a bit. In spite of all that, she never gave up trying to cheer me up.  Little by little I began to catch some hausa lines and also was able to muster small courage which was an improvement. 

Sometimes later, the session came to an end and I left for home for the long vacation. Very stupid of me, I didn’t even say good bye to her. 

It will be without any sense to talk about how my vacation was and how I felt throughout about her. When the vacation finally came to an end, I headed back to school with a gift which I bought for her. It was a wrist watch with an inscription ‘Zee’ inside. Immediately I arrived I became nervous and I was like I need to see her first hand before anyone else. 

When I finally got to my lodge, I came down from the ‘achaba’ (motorcyclist) and walked slowly to the gate. As I opened the gate I met people in small groups and some cluster together as chicks do to their mother and I became nervous. We have never had such crowd before in my lodge as far as my memory could recall. Some wore cow faces and other just sat with their gaze fixed to the cemented floor as if counting the little sand on it or perhaps as if discussing with some sets of insects. I became confuse as this has never happened before. I muster the courage and opened my door. As I was about entering inside the room a loud wailing came out of one of the rooms and my heart paused. …….