As
soon as Sandra saw her foster father’s sister, she was weak. The woman had the
strongest face on earth and didn’t smile even when she had greeted her. She
quickly signaled to her driver who looked around for Sandra’s suitcase.

“I
didn’t bring any…” Sandra said to the driver who was still looking around in
search of what to carry. “I only have my school bag.” Sandra said, indicating to the bag which she had slung at her back.
She
heard a sharp intake of breath and saw her foster father’s sister, give her the
disapproving glare.
They
walked to the car and Sandra got in the front seat of the vehicle, they drove
for about forty minutes before getting to their destination. Sandra stepped out
of the car and regarded the serene-looking bungalow before her. The environment
was devoid of noise and she wondered how a person could live in such a quiet
place. Seyi’s aunt walked into the house and Sandra followed suit, as soon as
she stepped onto the front porch, her lessons began.
“You
will address me as Aunty Joy and I will not have you speak when you are not
supposed to. You will keep your room tidy, you will do your chores and that
includes washing the dishes, ironing, sweeping, cleaning, dusting and mind you,
I have a keen eye for detail, if I see as much as one speck of dust on my furniture
you will be severely dealt with. Am I understood?
“Yes
ma.” Sandra replied in a shaky voice.
“My
brother has made arrangements for you to be home-schooled, even though I don’t
see the reason after all you got yourself knocked up. I wonder why my brother
decided to take care of you at all, any girl that has sex must face the
consequences and you, are no different. I brought you into this house because,
I still need my brother’s help and my house keeper resigned yesterday, I was
about getting a replacement when my brother called me. I do not want to
hear you, see you or even smell you, am I clear?”
Sandra
nodded shakily, she was suddenly gripped with fear.
“Are
you dumb?”
“Yes…I
mean…no ma…” Sandra replied.
“Get
to the kitchen and prepare dinner, quick!”
“Ma…Aunty
Joy…err…my uniform, I am still wearing my uniform…and I didn’t bring any change
of clothes.” Sandra said nervously.
A
loud slap fell on her cheek and she screamed in pain.
“Did
I not tell you not to speak unless spoken to? How dare you open that dirty
mouth of yours to talk to me when I didn’t ask you to speak?”
“I’m
sorry ma…” Sandra cried.
“Get
out of my sight this instant!”
Sandra
was about to leave when her phone rang, it was in her school bag and she had
taken it off silent mode as soon as school had closed for the day.
“What’s
that?” Aunty Joy asked.
“My
phone ma…”
“Give
it to me!” Aunty Joy ordered.
“Mummy
bought it for me…” Sandra cried.
“You will submit your phone because I would not tolerate phone calls in my house.” Aunty Joy said.
She snatched her school bag from her and tore it open in search of the phone.
She found the mobile phone and gripping the device firmly in her hand, she
flung it at the wall watching it smash.
“No
beggar owns a phone in my house. You are scum, dirty, useless and worst of all,
pregnant for someone who should be a lowlife like yourself. Get to the
kitchen this instant! I will get a tailor to make you a maid’s uniform. I need
dinner to be ready before I get back from church.”
Sandra
rushed out of the sitting room, she had no idea where the kitchen was but she
was sure that it should be somewhere around the house. She was shocked at quickly how
her life had turned upside down.
******
“How
would you do that? Was she placed in your charge?” Seyi’s mother screamed at
her husband.
“The
girl was devastated, she said that you didn’t love her anymore and she didn’t
love you either. She called my phone and told me that you had taken her
to a laboratory to conduct a pregnancy test on her and that she never wants to
see you again. I had no choice, I had to send her to my sister’s place.” Seyi’s
father screamed back.
“You
sent her to Endurance’s place? That sister of yours that has no bone of compassion in
her body? She will kill her! She will maim her! Endurance is sick in the head and you
know it!”
“Don’t
you dare talk about my sister as though you know her And besides, her name is now Joy and not Endurance. take note.”
“I
have known you for eighteen years of my life. Eighteen years! And I have known
your family for that long as well. Seyi can’t even stand your sister for an hour and even her kids preferred to stay with their dad after the divorce, than with her their mother. What
else do you want me to prove to you?”
“She
is there and that is final! I want her to stay there till she’s in a better
mood to come home.”
“Why
don’t I believe you? Bring Sandra back home this instant or I’ll make this
house unbearable for the two of us.”
“Go
to Port Harcourt and bring her back yourself. Let’s see if she follows you home,
she will probably spit in your face.”
“I
don’t believe you.” Seyi’s mother cried. “You know I can’t stand your sister, why did you take her there? I don’t believe everything you’ve said.”
“Well…suit
yourself. She told me that if it were Seyi that you thought to be pregnant, you
wouldn’t have reacted that way with her. You failed dear, you ended up sending the
child whom your best friend asked you to take care of, on her dying bed, away from your house. You are a wicked, heartless and a very dispassionate woman.”
“No…that’s
not true. Sandra knows I love her…stop saying such horrible things to me.”
Seyi’s mother buried her face in her palms and cried.
Seyi’s
father stormed out of the sitting room while Seyi who had been standing beside
the staircase, listening to her parents argue, knew that something wasn’t right
and she was sure that it was all her dad’s fault.
*******
Nike
fell on her pillows and pulled out her tablet from the head of her bed and
scrolled through it. There was a message, from her secret guy and she giggled.
Nike was not good in sciences, arts or even economics but she was good at one
thing, keeping secrets. Right from her childhood days, she stored secrets in
little papers which she kept in a cookie jar under her bed and whenever she
felt that the secret was about to be let out in the open, she eats the papers
and swallows them so that the secret will die with her forever.
Now,
she had a secret lover, a man her mother had no idea about, even her
grandparents, and her best friend Seyi. She had only told her cookie jar which
lay hidden beneath her bed. She had written,
‘His name is Preye and he loves me. I love him too. We have never
met but we hit it instantly on Facebook  and he follows me on Instagram. I told
him the truth about myself, that I’m fifteen and he hasn’t told me his age yet
but he should be in his twenties, anyway, that’s the age he portrays in his
pictures. I wish we were residing close to each other, I would have spent every
weekend with him, while lying to my very busy mom that I am at my dad’s place
and lying to my dad that I’m at home with mom. They would never tell that I’m
lying because my parents haven’t spoken to each other since the divorce. Preye
says we will get married and that I am the one for him…ohhh…how I love him so!’
Nike
was in love with a man she had never seen in her life and she was determined to
keep her relationship a secret till she decided to tell the world, and she
wasn’t ready yet. Her mother knew she had started having sex, well, that
explains the condoms she placed in her cabinet whenever she shopped her
toiletries.
The
message icon on her tablet beeped, she clicked it open to see that her secret
lover had sent her a message. She smiled as she read it.
‘Hey babe, I am in the country…I got in yesterday and I can’t wait
to see you. I need a big favour from you…but first thing is, I need your address.’
Nike
quickly typed back.
‘Hello baby, I’ve missed you…this is my address: No 33, Ajayi
Thompson drive off Toyin Street Ikeja. Are you coming to pay me a surprise
visit anytime soon?’
He
replied quickly.
‘Yeah baby! Sit still and be surprised!’
Nike
jumped on her bed and whooped for joy, her bae was coming to see her.
******
Felix
watched his aunt kick one of his distant relations from her house.
“You
guys have no right to come here! I am fending for myself! Look at you, you went
to Malaysia to smuggle drugs and got deported back to Nigeria and you think
that you can stay in my house. No way! How long did you stay in prison? Five years,
six? I’ve lost count…get out of my house this instant!” Felix’s aunt screamed.
“I’m
leaving…I just came to see you and I thought you’ll be happy to see me but I guess
I was wrong. You know what? You are not my only relative in Lagos, I have
friends all around the world and Lagos is no exception.”
“Get
out!”
“I
…err…I need cab money, I’ll pay you back. I need some money to settle this cab
guy and also transport myself to my friend’s place.”
Felix’s
aunt rummaged through her purse and threw some money at him.
“I
don’t want to see you here ever again! Am I clear?”
“We
cool ma’am. My friends are going to send err…my stuff down for me and I gave
them your address. Make sure you keep them for me…” Felix’s relative said and
walked away.
“Good
for nothing! He gets himself deported and can’t think of any place else but my
house. God punish you!” Felix’s aunty said and slammed the door.
*****
The
taxi pulled away from the house and the driver asked his passenger where he was
headed.

“No
33, Ajayi Thompson drive off Toyin Street Ikeja.” Preye said as he looked out
through the window and smiled.

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