It was already getting dark by the time he left the man’s home office. After talking about what he would be doing as a magician’s assistance, the man had prompted him to start his visualization session right there in his house. It was supposed to be a ten minute session, but Sesan had stretched it to twenty minutes. Just as the man had instructed, he had imagined himself spending time, laughing and talking to his crush, Huawa. To make the visualization session feel real, he made use of his sense of sight, touch, sound, and even his sense of smell…perceiving how he thought she would smell; like a garden full of roses. At the end of the session, the whole thing felt so real that he felt like he already knew her. Sesan couldn’t wait to get home to practice his new exercise again.
When he got to the Hebert Macaulay road junction from the University road in Akoka, the traffic was crazy; everywhere was blocked. He stood at the bus stop weighing his options. He knew there was no way he was getting a bus any time soon, so he started looking out for bikes. His eye caught a petite looking lady in blue jeans and a white body hugging long sleeve top at the T junction to his left. She was some sort of reporter, but her camera guy was a teen in skinny jeans and roller skates, holding up an iPhone to record her. Sesan looked down at her feet and saw she was also in roller skates. She started moving here and there while talking, and her camera guy followed her around. He had a better look of her and saw she was actually a young girl, about his age.
He heard sirens in the distant and cars started making way for an incoming convoy of police vans. It amazed him how a way was made for them even as jam parked the road was. The girl kept skating backwards, and talking to the camera; she was so engrossed in what she was doing and didn’t know an incoming convoy was approaching. When she did notice, she froze. Without a second to think, Sesan leaped into action; snatching her petite body out of the way in time to prevent the black Hilux van from hitting her. He turned around swiftly, hitting his backpack hard on the passenger’s side glass of an old, red Mercedes Benz 200; protecting the girl from hitting the car face first. He could feel her warm breath on his face and her heart beating fast on his chest; she was in shock. “Are you okay?” Sesan asked and she nodded, still looking shocked. He slowly let go of his hold on her, and when her knees buckled, he held her up again. By this time, a crowd had already gathered around them, wailing and talking about how lucky the girl was. Her camera guy came to her side, thanked Sesan, held the girl’s hand, and skated out of the scene with her. Sesan quickly crossed back to the side of the road he had been earlier and kept walking, heading back towards the Magician’s house. He was disoriented himself, and also didn’t want to be around the crowd that had just gathered.
He crossed to the other side of the road that lead back to his University, and hadn’t walked far when he heard a familiar voice call his name. He looked up, shocked as the blue Renault Megane veered off the road and parked a few meters in front of him. She stepped out of the car, wearing black jeans, a white polo top, and a black baseball cap. She turned the cap to the back, folded her arms, and leaned on the car, with a big grin on her face. He smiled and shook his head as he approached her.
Ngozi never picked him up after classes, but she had gone out to shop for Black Friday shopping, and was trying to avoid traffic by passing inner roads while going home when she had seen Sesan. As they drove home, she told him about all the great things she had bought for ridiculously cheap prices. She mentioned the name of the store, which Sesan didn’t know, and told him she even got him a pair of jeans, and three polo tops. She got herself her normal tomboy clothes too, but most of what she had gotten was feminine clothes as she said she was trying to make the transition to dressing more like a lady.
“How come you are just leaving school anyway?” She asked when the car finally got quiet.
“I…I actually had a job interview.”
“Ooh! You’re in your second year at the University and already going for job interviews? I’m jealous.”
“Well, it is not that kind of job. Not a corporate job. It’s…” He didn’t know how to tell her he was getting a job because he needed money. Their families had in the same tax bracket, till his dad left, and things got tough for him and his family. “It is sort of like a part time job.”
“Hmm. That’s interesting. So what’s the job about?”
“I’ll be a magician’s assistance.” He said.
She took a few quick glances at him before saying, “Have you suddenly developed a sense of humor or something?”
“What? What do you mean?”
“First, you tell me you have an online friend named Chun Lee. Now you are telling me you are going to be working part time as a magician’s assistant.”
Sesan couldn’t help but laugh. “It does sound funny” He said between laughs.
“Please tell me you’re kidding.”
“No, I’m not. It’s for real.”
“So…you got a job as a magician’s assistant? Like a real magician?”
“Like a local magician, or the type that pulls rabbits out of hats?”
“Hmm. It’s still really strange to me.”
“Yea. It’s not like it is every day you hear of a stage magician in Nigeria.”
“Yea; and wait, aren’t magician’s assistants always beautiful girls in skimpy clothes?”
“Yea, that’s for distraction. He would still have those girls, but I will be like someone that can perform his tricks even if he isn’t around.”
“Hmm. So you are going to go into the dark arts now?”
“What? No. In the end, they are all tricks; nothing real about the magic we will be performing.”
“Nothing at all?”
“Nothing.” He said and the car went quiet for a while as he remembered his visualization session. Just thinking of it made him feel joyous.
“Why are you smiling?” She asked with a quizzical look on her face.
“Come on, tell me. I know there is something else you are not telling me.”
“Well, okay, the man taught me something else. He taught me how to get whatever I want.”
“By the use of visualization; the use of my imagination.”
“That’s that law of attraction shiit, right?”
“You mean you know about that stuff?”
“The more shocking thing is that you don’t know about it. I doubt all those stuff work anyway.”
“I believe it works. The man is too old to be lying.”
“Hmm. So the magician is an old man? That makes your story creepier.” She said and Sesan went quiet. She could see he wasn’t feeling her vibe and she didn’t want to offend her only friend, so she switched mood. “Tell me more. Tell me how he instructed you on how to use your imagination to get what you want.”
He looked at her to be sure she was serious before saying, “Okay.”
Sesan spent the remaining trip back home explaining the process of visualization to her, and they even spent some more time parked outside his house as she asked him some further questions. He finally got out, said bye, and she revered the car all the way to her house. They lived on the same street, just a few houses apart.
He pulled out his phone as he walked into his compound and was surprised to see he had 32 missed calls and 4 text messages. His heart skipped a bit. This was similar to what had happened when Ngozi’s brother had died a few years ago. With shaky hands, he clicked on the missed calls, and saw they were from a lot of different people; his friends from school, his cousins, and one was from his mom. He was about to check out the messages when he heard a car come to a screeching halt outside and someone get out in a hurry. He walked back towards the gate and was surprised to see Ngozi approaching with a shocked look on her face. “Dude, you’re trending.” She said out of breath as she passed him her phone. He collected the phone from her and searched her eyes for answers. “Look at the phone.”
Sesan looked at her phone screen and cursed under his breath, “What tha…”
To be continued
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