*****

Sandra watched the phone ring
again, it had rung three times before and even though it was hidden under
her pillow, she was scared. She was afraid that she had flashed him out of
annoyance and vengeance and now, he was calling for a go-ahead. She quietly
lifted up her mattress and picking up the phone in her left hand, she
whispered.
“Hello…”
“Hmmm…look who picked her call
finally! I saw your flash and I hope that this call is not a waste of my credit
or my time.” The voice said.
“I…know and I…” Sandra
stammered.
“You know what I want, don’t
you?” The voice said.
“I…er…” Sandra stammered, she had thought she had thought this through before now but suddenly, she was developing cold feet.
“How much are they worth? What
do they have? I need details…I can’t send a gang to Lagos to rob a family till I’ve got proof that there’s something big.” He said.
“Please…don’t hurt anyone…just
take what you want and go…I beg of you…by giving you the address to their home,
I am paying off the debt I owe you. The money which you loaned me for my
mother’s treatment.”
“Well that’s no guarantee…I
decide if you have paid up the debt or not…” He said.
Sandra cringed and stared at the
wall, she knew she had a debt to pay, and she had formerly vowed never to pay
this family with evil but after what Seyi’s father had done to her, she was
determined to take revenge. She wanted him to pay, for everything and much
more. She had eavesdropped on his conversation with a client yesterday, they
had discussed about huge sums of money and at that instant she decided to pay
him back for the wrong he had done to her.
“I…err…my foster father…he is
expecting millions…a lot of money…and…”
“When is he expecting the money
to arrive?  You need to go into details
with me…this is going to be a Lagos operation and I can’t take any chances.” He
was saying.
Sandra gulped and listened
carefully, explaining all she had heard and hoping that after the robbery and its effect on Seyi’s
dad, she’ll perhaps feel happier inside.
*****
“But I don’t have that kind of
money!” Seyi screamed into the receiver.
She had just come home from
school and had just finished her lunch when her phone rang, it was a strange
voice and after inquiring further, she found out that it was the person who was
blackmailing her with her nude photos.
“Get that money or else…” The
man was saying.
“Why does your voice sound
familiar? Do I know you? Is this Ezekiel my father’s former driver? Wait a minute…why do you sound like someone I know?” Seyi inquired.
“You better work hard to get
that money fast or I’ll send your nude pictures to your father and do you know what that can do to his political campaign?…”
“You can’t threaten me…I don’t
have any money! You should know that my dad is not going to fall for any of
that besides, where can I get the money, I am in secondary  school for pete’s sake.” Seyi shouted.
“Get me my money or else?” The
man warned.
“Or else what?” Seyi demanded.
“Or you’ll see your nude
pictures displayed on the internet!”
Seyi gasped in shock and
watched her phone slide off her hands.
*****
Chika was the funny one, the
one whose penchant was to cause mischief and everyone knew her for that. She
wasn’t the most respectful, humble or even the most polite, she was who she was, a girl
who didn’t care for anything except for the riches that her family could offer
her.
“Aren’t you going to say hello?”
The maid who had served her family for twenty years asked.
Chika was seated in-front of the
television, a programme was on but she wasn’t watching it, her mind was far
away.
“Hmmm…” She gazed at the maid
who she and her brothers called Aunty Claurette.
“Your dad and his new fiancée
are home…go and say hello to them.” Aunty Claurette urged.
“Greet who? The mistress? No
way!” Chika said as she turned back to face the mistress.
“You know that your attitude
puts me in trouble because your dad expects that I push you to do the right
things.”
“Well…enough of the pushing for
now…I am a big girl and I can make my own decision…”
They were still speaking when
the voices of Chika’s father and his fiancée floated up to them. Chika winced,
she suddenly hated her father, even though she wouldn’t be considered a true
daughter of her mother since her dad was her favourite parent, she
hated the fact that he had destroyed their family.
She turned to look at Aunty
Claurette who gave her the warning look to behave and turned back to stare at
the television.
“Where is she? Chichi…come and
say hello to your new mother.” Her father boomed.
Chika kept her unwavering focus
on the television and refused to look at her father and the lady.
“C’mon…Chika…isn’t this the
answer to your prayers? You now have an educated and sophisticated mother! No
more complaints about being embarrassed infront of your friends because your
mother cannot speak English.” Her father said in her native tongue.
“And you…how good are you in
making perfect sentences? Couldn’t you have replaced yourself as well? I bet
that wasn’t easy for you. Excuse me…I have homework to do.” Chika said and
dashed out of the sitting room.
“Chika! Chika!” her father
thundered.
Chika ran up to her room and
slamming the door behind her, she latched the door shut and fell on her bed in
tears. Her phone vibrated loudly and she picked it up to see who was calling,
it was Seyi. Wiping her tears with the back of her palms and sniffing loudly,
she picked up the call.
“Hello…” Chika said hoarsely.
“You will pay for this! You
definitely will…I will make life unbearable for you. How could you blackmail
me? How dare you?” Seyi screamed.
“Are you crazy?”
“You are the crazy one…” Seyi shouted. “This is not over okay, the war between us has just started. How could you blackmail me with my nude
pictures? How did you take them? When I was asleep, in the shower? How?”
“I’m hanging up this call…stop
talking rubbish…I have bigger issues to deal with okay…” Chika said in a bored voice.
“You don’t even have the decency to deny it! This friendship is over! You
hear me…it is over! I’ll strive to send the money to your dogs but make sure
that you never cross my path or I’ll…”
Chika hissed and hung up,
burying her face into her pillow, she filled it with tears.
****

Nike felt the heavy weight
settle on her shoulders, she had done a terrible thing. Seyi had called her some minutes ago, accusing her of conniving with hoodlums to blackmail her
and she had denied it, rightfully. However, she had heaped the blame on Chika
who had nothing to do with it. Nike worshiped the ground that Seyi walked on, and
one thing she took pride in, was the fact that they were friends. At first, it
had been just Nike and Seyi till the second term of their first year in
secondary school when Chika joined them. Three is a crowd, Nike echoed those
words over and over again to Seyi but Seyi being the friend gatherer, had
insisted that she liked Chika just as much and that was how they bonded and
became friends. Today, four years after her dreams of being Seyi’s best and
only friend, Seyi had called her in tears, telling her about some nude photos
of herself which is in the possession of someone who was threatening to
blackmail her. She had told her that Justin, her boyfriend had suspected her
friends and that was why she had refused to talk to them for the past few days.
Instead of Nike to douse the already lit fire which was threatening to engulf
their friendship, she had fueled it more by saying;
“Hmmm…I see your point Seyi…I
suspect that Chika girl, she’s up to no good. Have you noticed her recent
attitude? She has been letting out our secrets and guess what? She has been
close friends with our dreaded enemy, Sandra.”
“What? How didn’t I notice
that?” Seyi had asked in tears.
“My dear…you do not notice anything
anymore these days…but what you should know is, that Chika doesn’t want your
good…at all. Just the other day, she was saying really bad things of you.”

Now, as she tried studying, she
kept encountering the word, betrayal. Did she betray Chika? She asked herself. Should
it matter? She asked herself again. Then flipping over the pages of her book,
she felt that it shouldn’t matter at all. She was just beginning to concentrate
when all of a sudden, her tab beeped. Alarmed that she hadn’t placed it on
silent mode, she hurriedly changed its settings and went ahead to read the
facebook message which had just been sent to her. The message brought joy to
her and she smiled happily, beside her, her mobile phone beeped, it was Mr. Jude,
her private lesson tutor. He had been calling her for quite some time and she hadn’t
been returning his calls, she picked up the phone, switched it off and tossed
it aside.

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