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NOORUL-AYN CHAPTER 1 - Bankinhausanovels
Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

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Adamawa, Nigeria.
“Diga toi a wani; where are you coming from?” The harsh voice called

Oh joy! It was the she-devil herself

She mentally rolled her eyes. Inda kika aike ni; where you sent me, she wanted to say but she wouldn’t dare. She turned around facing the woman with all her will power, she said
“Good evening Adda”+

“And what is good about the evening?huh? Tell me what is good about the evening. I asked you a question, where are you coming from?” She scrutinised her from head to toe. Noor wouldn’t exactly define Adda as ugly to be honest She’s very beautiful. She’s not that fair in complexion rather she’s lightly brown skinned. But you know when a person is always harsh and mean to you then the person becomes ugly in your eyes, you get the drift?1

“From hawking” She replied looking down at her feet. She suddenly lunged forward and held her left ear forcefully causing Noor to yelp in pain.11
“I know you were out with that useless boyfriend of yours, all you do is follow men around you good for nothing girl! If you ever stay late again, I’ll not take it easy on you” She warned pushing her away, Noor immediately went on her knees and said
“Adda please wo du mu ýeni me tata fe’ugo; I’m sorry it will never happen again” She begged, the tears cascading down her cheeks
What had she done to deserve such?1
“Get out of my sight!” She yelled and Noor stood up making her way to her mother’s hut. She saw her mother washing clothes and she ran up to her, hugging her mother like her life depended on it

“It’s Adda again, isn’t it?” She asked knowing truly the reason behind her tears. For once her mother couldn’t decipher why Adda reviled them. She hated them ever since they first met, is it because she married her brother? Or is it a crime to marry one’s brother? She just couldn’t understand

“Shh be strong okay? You’ve endured her all this while and you can still pass this test. Just remember one day this will all be history” She consoled and nodded wiping her tears. Her mom is like her carbon copy, beautiful both on the inside and outside.

“So how much have you made today?” Her mom asked wiping her wet hands with a dried clothe

“Not much. Can you believe it? We went to the city today and a man almost hit me, and then he was calling me stupid and blind. Rich people problems” She scoffed and her mom laughed heartily. Mami loves her daughter very dearly, after all she’s the only one left for her in the whole of this earth. Noor is a compassionate girl, she has watched her grow from the young girl she was into a beautiful outspoken young lady. Noor won’t be described as the trouble maker, but when she was a kid she sure pick up fights. She’d suffered enough in the hands of Adda and Mami couldn’t do anything about it, the guilt is gradually eating her up. She doesn’t want her girl to suffer and she doesn’t want the secret to get out. The secret they’ve buried deep for years, the secret that’ll change everything.4

STORY CONTINUES BELOW
“Just be careful next time okay?” She warned and Noor nodded

She helped her mom in rinsing the clothes and hanging them. She was hanging the last piece of cloth when her step mother, who she calls Inna, came out hurriedly with a metal box in her arms. All three of her children were trailing behind her.

“What is happening here?” Her mom beat her to it as she stood by Inna’s side, adjusting her wrapper

“I’m leaving no, we’re leaving” Inna clarified
“What do you mean you’re leaving?” Her mom asked again, utterly confused.
“Look, this is my only choice. Your small business can not feed the whole of us. And it’s not that I’m ungrateful wallahi I’m not. Since Hamma died I’ve been nothing but a nuisance, i couldn’t do anything to support this family, my children included. I’m going back to my village maybe there i can find something to do and atleast my family can support me. Thank you for all you’ve done for us ever since Hamma’s demise. We are truly grateful, but we have to go, it’s a must” She broke down in tears and Mami moved forward holding her she said
“You’re not a nuisance Inna, not at all”

“I am, and please don’t stop me from leaving. I know you, you’ll try to stop me so please if you’ve ever loved me and you consider me as your senior wife and sister then don’t stop me” She begged, her lips quivering

“Alright, I’ll not try to stop you. But just know that we love you and will always be here for you” Mami wiped her tears and gave her an encouraging smile. The two sister wives hugged each other and said thier goodbyes.
“Batula, let’s go” She called for her eldest daughter, who is two years older than Noor and also thier fathers second daughter. His first son is Nineteen years old who goes by the name Borkinďo. Then there’s Batula, Inna’s second daughter. Then Noor, Mami’s only daughter and the last is Jamilu, Inna’s last born. Noor also had a brother but he immediately went back to his lord. May his soul rest in peace2

“Let me say goodbye to Noor” She replied and quickly rushed to Noor’s side

“Do you have to go?” Was the first thing Noor asked as tears well up in her eyes

“I’m sorry but we have to” Batula whispered, her eyes casted down

“But…but that means you’ll not be here for my wedding. And who will stand by me when he comes after me again?” By now the tears were gushing out and Batula couldn’t help but also cry2

“Hey…Mami is here for you, Bukar is here for you, Hanne is here for you, Yagwalgwal ( a name given to a grandma) is here for you”1
“Don’t you dare forget me” She narrowed her eyes as she hugged her step sister
“I wont” She hugged her back and Noor watched thier retreating backs as they leave, forever.

☆ ☆ ☆

Noor applied the kwalli; kohl on her eyes, her beautiful eyes popping, she also made small dots from her forehead to her pointed nose. Visualizing her slender figure, she smiled and head out. She’s wearing a fulani attire and was going out to meet Bukar at the village square. She informed her mother and left to meet Hanne on the way2

“Ah ah, all this one for Bukar” Was the first thing Hanne said

“You’ll never stop your teasings. God bring the day I’ll meet your future husband, I’ll tease you till i get tired and kick myself out”
Hanne snorted and laughed “Like that’s ever gonna happen”
They reached the village square and was met with chattering all over, girls singing and dancing dan maliyo maliyo( a song that girls sing in the village) while the boys watched them

She met Bukar and he dragged her out of the place but before Marwa shot her a murderous glare. Marwa is Adda’s daughter, also exact carbon copy of her mom; Evil, wicked, malicious. She always wanted to know the reason behind thier reprehensible conduct. She ignored her glares and went off with Bukar

“So guess what?”
“What?” She replied

“I said guess”
“Bukariii” She whined pouting

“Noorieee” He mimicked her

“Okay. My guardians are coming over to ask for your hands in marriage” He informed and Noor bit her lip to restrain herself from shrieking out loud

“Really?” She beamed

“Yes. A step to becoming my wife” He smiled and she covered her face with her palms suddenly feeling shy
“I’m glad. Allah ya tabbatar da Alkhairi” She prayed
“Well well well if it isn’t Bukar’s Noor” A voice broke thier loving stare

“Leave her alone Kamalu” Bukar took a protective stance and she couldn’t help but admire how he was willing to protect her. Kamalu was a thug, well she wouldn’t call him that. He went against his parent’s wishes and look at where life has taken him. A large scar on his left cheek, black lips he got from smoking, holding an axe everywhere he went, he was the exact definition of a thug. He’s been after Noor for a while now claiming he’s ‘in love’ with her. He is so intimidating with his large height and Noor squirmed under his scrutinising gaze.

“And what are you gonna do huh chili chicken?” He smirked at Bukar

“Don’t you dare try me” Bukar warned but deep down he was scared

Noor hissed through gritted teeth and vocalised “What’s your problem?!”

Kamalu chuckled, in a sinister way but then ignored Noor’s remark “You don’t scare me little boy but keep your most precious posession closer to you”
“Is that a threat?” Bukar asked

“Oh you can take it however you want”
“One last thing, stay out of my way” Kamalu’s height towering over him

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“You stay out of his way!” Noor exclaimed at the same time Bukar said
“What if i don’t?” Kamalu smirked and left them rooted to thier spot.

“You shouldn’t have said that to him” She remarked as they continued walking through the grasslands
“And let him stomp all over me, no way!” He crossed his arms over his chest stubbornly

“He threatened you!” She exclaimed

“Are you worried about me?” He asked smirking a bit

“Well yeah…i am”
“Don’t worry about me, he won’t touch a hair on my head” He gave a smile and she nodded. But she couldn’t help this gut feeling she had that something bad, really bad would happen.

Noor made her way back home from hawking, she didn’t get many customers today. That’s how it’s been for the past few days, she hardly get any customers and it’s been so hard for them. Hanne is sick today so she couldn’t go hawking with her.+

“Boo!!” She jumped around startled to see Bukar laughing quietly at her shocked expression

“Oh my god! What happened to you??” She asked her voice laced with concern and worry. His left eye is swollen and his lips were bleeding, he probably didn’t even realise that. He shrugged looking away
“What do you mean??” She mimicked his shrug but he kept mum, cocking his head to the side and clenching his eyes shut as if in emotional pain

“I asked you a question” She gave him a pointed look. He sighed and palmed his face

“You know i like it when you get bossy” He flashed her a million dollar smile that always gets to her but she crossed her arm and arched her brows. Not this time!

“Don’t you dare change the subject” The glare she gave him was enough for him to sigh again and mumble
“SoIKindofMaybeRanIntoKamaluAnd…”
“A little slower please”
“I kind of ran into Kamalu” He repeated his words and her eyes saucered, her brows almost hitting her hairline
“He did this to you?” She inspected his face and he nodded meekly

“What happened?”
“I was passing by and i saw him, then he started saying stuff about how he will soon get you, then i told him we were already engaged and i also kinda pissed him off and he took matters into his own hands” He explained briefly, clencing his eyes shut feeling the pain and remembering how Kamalu ended up punching him in the eyes and all over his face. Thank the lord a passer by saved him else the damage would have been worse

“Ya Allah! Why would you even do that? I told you to stay out of his way but you were too stubborn to do that” She said dragging him to a close baobab tree. She kept her calabash to the side and removed her scarf, she used her slender fingers and tore the side of the scarf. She sat him down and used the scarf she tore to clean his bleeding lip. Her gaze was held on his lips as she quietly cleanse the blood dripping while Bukar on the other hand, his gaze intently watched Noor as she worked her magic, he forget all about the pain as he watched her beautiful face. Her beautiful dark brown eyes to her nose to her Pink lips. As he watched her, he realised how much he loved her and how much his heart soared for her love. Though she never said it out loud, he knew she loved him too and couldn’t wait for them to live as husband and wife.

“You’re good to go but please be careful next time. I don’t want you getting hurt again” She voiced out, eye’s pleading
He pursed his lips, as if in deep thoughts “Don’t worry i won’t let him go scott free. I’m reporting him to the village district”
“Good. He shouldn’t get away with all the things he’s doing” She replied firmly
“Yeah…” He drawled

“Listen i have to get going, I’m visiting Hanne she’s sick and i have to go help Mami real quick” She picked up her things ready to leave

STORY CONTINUES BELOW
“I’ll meet you in the village square?” He asked

“I’m sorry but i won’t be there today” She flashed him an apologetic smile as she clutched her calabash
“It’s okay, my regards to Hanne” He said and she nodded leaving the place. She arrived at Hanne’s house and the first person she met was Indo, Hanne’s older sister

“Ah ah su Noor manyan gari a don jam; Noor the big girl how are you?” Indo asked shooting her a cheeky grin

Noor laughed and said “mi don jam; i am fine and how are your kids?”

“I’ve sent them to grind vegetables, they were giving me headache so i gave them something to do” She replied smiling to herself

“Allah yayi musu albarka; may Allah bless them. Now where is Hanne?”
“Ameen. Oh Hanne I’m sure she’s pretending she just doesn’t want to go hawking” Indo rolled her eyes and hissed

“Ah ah she’s not pretending now where is she?” Noor couldn’t wait to see her friend
“She’s in Inna’s hut” She pointed referring to thier mother and Noor made her way there not before keeping her things on the doorstep. She lifted the mat and entered the hut to find Hanne sprawled on a mat and on a mortar beside her was Inna, fanning herself with a traditional hand fan. She went down on her knees and said

“Inna Awali jam; good morning inna”
“Morning how are you Noor? And how is Mami?” She asked with a smile on her face. Hanne’s mother is the nicest woman Noor’s had an encounter with, she’s more like a mother to her

“She is fine Inna” She replied her gaze casted downwards. The fulanis have a habit of not having eye contact with an elder

“Your friend here’s been sulking and mopping around all day claiming she’s sick i don’t even get her these days” Inna said and turned to Hanne “You see your life” Hanne huffed and crossed her arms across her chest, she’s just frustrated Doesn’t anyone get her these days?

“Let me leave the two of you alone, you might juice something out of the her” Inna said standing up and making her way out of the room. She gave Noor a look that says ‘Juice something out of her’ and Noor gave her a subtle nod in return

“How are you feeling?” Noor asked softly caressing her shoulder. They’ve been friends since birth and Noor could definitely sense something wrong

“I’m fine Noor” She gave a reply and Noor raised her brows giving her a look that says ‘are you?’

“What’s wrong with you, tell me please, this is not the Hanne i know” Noor pleaded and Hanne exhaled, rubbing her temples

“I don’t even know what’s wrong with me again Noor, i don’t. Ever since you told me you’re getting married it’s been like this, and believe me I’m not envying you. But the real thing is all my mates are getting married but i don’t have a single suitor, is it because I’m fat? Or am i cursed? I just don’t know” Before you know it the tears have made their way down her cheeks
Noor scooted herself closer and placed her hand on her shoulders, she said “Hanne, don’t think that, just because you’re fat doesn’t mean you’re less beautiful. And i assure someone will come who will love you for who you are, fat or not. Now wipe your tears and come escort me”
“Thank you Noorie Allah ya bar ki da Bukar” She sniffed as she wiped her tears

“Ameen, hey your prince is probably somewhere on a horse or even a car, maybe the horse is tired or the car broke down” Noor jested lightening the gloomy mood that Hanne is wallowing herself in

“He’s probably riding a turtle or a snail” Hanne joked back and Noor laughed
“Whatever he’s riding, he’ll soon be here” They got out of the hut and Noor picked her calabash and they made thier way outside. She bid goodbye to Inna and Indo and left. They chattered on the way and Hanne turned to face her “Let me head back and now face Inna’s wrath”
“Alright sai anjima; see you later” She waved and Smiled

Noor kept walking through a narrow pathway because it gets her faster but as she walked, she could feel and hear subtle steps behind her she turned around and was met with no one in sight. She mumbled a prayer and kept walking but minutes later, she heard those subtle steps again. Noor felt something soft blinded her sight and a rough hand covered her lips. Muffled shouts were all that were heard, she shouted and wailed but all in vain

She’s being kidnapped

She felt herself being swept off her feet and taking long strides and the next thing she knew is being thrown on the floor. She peered her lashes to find herself in a petite brick house. It was dark all around and no one was in sight. A couple of prayers she memorized were running through her mind. She hugged her knees to her chest and sobbed, crawling to the small rusted metal door, she tried prying it open but it was completely locked. She moved to the wall and sobbed harder. The room was hot but she was shivering in fright. A creaking sound what was she heard, snapping her head up, she saw the door open slightly ajar. A black shoe was the first thing in sight, the door then fully opened. The clicking sound of a tongue was what brought her back to reality

“You think I’m just gonna let you go off? Well you thought wrong”

She could recognise that voice even in her wildest dreams

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