Seyi sat in her room and
sulked. ‘Why was a new girl in her house? Were her parents really going to
adopt her as their own?’ Her phone sudden rang and stopped her thoughts. It was
an unknown number and Seyi didn’t pick unknown numbers, but she made an
exception by picking this one.

“Hello…”
“Hey it’s me,
Nike….” A voice whispered from the other end of the line.
“Nike…where have
you been? I was telling Chika a while ago that you were nowhere to be found.
Where are you? Did you still travel to visit your dad in Kano?”
“Kano? No way!
Daddy knows I wouldn’t be caught dead in that city.” Nike said.
“I’ve been to Kano
and I like it there. Anyway where have you been?” Seyi asked.
“Seyi dear, I’m calling
for a quick favour. Are you at home?”
“Where else would I
be?” Seyi asked.
“Can I come to
spend some days in your place and can you lie to your folks that I’ve been in
your house these past few days?” Nike begged.
“What mess have you
gotten yourself into this time?” Seyi asked, mentally visualising her
friend Nike being her usual naughty self.
Seyi, Nike and Chika, were
a trio, and have been so ,since they started secondary school at Gems High
school four years ago. They were the most popular girls, who had the richest
parents, the most expensive phones and gadgets and most of all, they had the
most notorious affairs. It was as though they were handpicked, from the first
day they met, they knew that they were birds of a feather. Seyi was the spoilt
brat who wanted everything to go her way, Nike was the promiscuous one who
dated every boy or man that looked her way, she is the product of a broken
home. Nike’s mother’s numerous affairs kept her away from home leaving her
daughter in the care of her aged parents and Nike was quick to follow her mom’s
steps. Chika was the only daughter of an Igbo business man, she was the flower
of her family as her four elder brothers were all schooling abroad and her ‘stay-at-home’
mother had no say over her affairs. Chika’s first boyfriend was her father’s
apprentice Ugo who started playing hanky panky with her underpants when she was
seven. Since then, it had been an apprentice, a few drivers and later the
mechanic. The three girls drew a tight circle to their friendship and never let
anyone get through.
“I lied to my dad
that I was going to spend the holiday at my uncle’s place then forgot the lie I
told and told my mom that I was spending the holiday with my dad. When in
actual fact I was snuggled up with Mr Jude, my private lesson teacher in his
house in Ketu. So, things kind of got complicated and now I’m in a fix because
I’m neither at my dad’s or uncle’s. Can u help me out?” Nike asked.
“Of course I can
help you out but don’t tell me you’ve been with that dry private lesson
teacher, what has he to offer you anyway? School resumes next week and I can’t
believe I haven’t seen you in a while.”
“Hey…don’t give me
the lecture on dry, what of that poor church rat you’ve been dating ewww.”
“Don’t insult my
boyfriend.” Seyi spat.
“Ohhh…are you guys a
couple now?” Abeg come get me from the pay phone vendor across your street.”
Nike said impatiently.
“Wait I’ll be right
down.” Seyi said as she ran out of her room.
As usual the house was very
quiet as everyone had retreated to their different rooms within the house. Seyi
ran outside the house and opening the gate, she peeked out her head and spotted
Nike standing opposite her house with a heavy looking duffel bag slung across
her shoulder. Immediately Nike sighted her, she ran to meet her.
“Come on
in…quick! The gate man is at the back of the house. I don’t want anyone to
see you yet.” Seyi whispered.
Together, the two girls
ran inside the house.
*****
Sandra stared at the
beautiful bedroom that had been prepared for her and sighed. She loved the
finer things of life but it seemed worthless without her mother alive. The
wardrobe in her room was so huge that it quickly swallowed up the miserable looking
bags that she had placed in it. The bathroom facility was gorgeous and she
wondered if it was meant for her alone or everyone in the house. Life was not
fair, Sandra’s mother’s friend had everything money could buy. Sandra thought
of her mother and tried to remember the good times they shared together and the
joys they had but it was already fading from her memory, she sniffed back the
tears and fished her hand bag for her mom’s photograph. It was just like
yesterday when her mother proudly took her to school on her first day and had
waited at the gate till Sandra waved her off and entered her class. She
remembered every tear her mother had shed whenever she had fallen sick and tears
trickled down her lids. Sandra quickly wiped the tears from her eyes and hugged
her mother’s picture close to her heart.
She walked to the
windows of her room and a figure caught her eye. It was Seyi. She had just run
out of the house, opened the gate and was letting in a young girl into the
house. Sandra watched as Seyi quietly latched the gate and placing a hand on
her lips as a sign for the other girl to keep silent, they both ran back into
the house. Sandra thought Seyi was very pretty and she really hoped that they’d
be friends. She held out her mom’s picture again and smiled.
“I’ll blend in mom
and I’ll make you proud. That’s a promise.” Sandra said as she walked back
to her bed and placed her mom’s picture under her pillow.
****
“I really didn’t know
you were here with us. I am really surprised to see you and I am happy that you
kept Seyi company while we were away. Thankfully, your mom just called my phone
to confirm that you are with us, because if she had done so earlier, I would
have told her otherwise.” Seyi’s mother said to Nike.
“Yes ma, I’ve been
here for some time now, but I have been indoors, I really didn’t want to come
out of the room so, I have been having my meals there. No one knows that I am
in this house except Seyi.” Nike lied.
“Yes mom, Nike has been
holed up in this house for long, she was sleeping when you came home and I didn’t
want to wake her up to come and say hello.” Seyi added.
Sandra stared at Nike
and Seyi, something told her that they were telling lies.
“That’s okay but
you girls should be prepared to start school as I just got a text that school
resumes on Monday.”
“Yes I heard that
as well. I just hope that the government has put everything in place to make
sure that the Ebola scourge is not further spread.” Seyi said.
Sandra ate the food
before her like a rat who was scared that the freebie in front of her was
laced with some sort of poison.
“Are you enjoying
the peppered snail sauce and fried yam?” Seyi’s mom asked. “I hope it’s
not too spicy.”
“Yes ma, I am
enjoying it.” Sandra replied hurriedly swallowing the huge morsel of yam
in her mouth.
“I’m not sure you’ve
been properly introduced but this is Sandra.” Seyi’s mom said to Nike. “She’s
the daughter of my childhood friend and she’s also part of this family. Her mom
passed on two months ago and asked us to take good care of her. She’ll be
enrolled into your school for the new session.”
“Oh goody!”
Nike said sounding excited.
Seyi rolled her eyes and
changed the topic.
“I thought my dad
was going to join us for dinner. How come he’s taking so long to get home?”
Seyi started when her mom’s phone rang.
“Sorry girls I have
to take this call.” Seyi’s mom excused herself as she left dining room.
“So how come you
didn’t tell me you have a new sister? Where you waiting to tell me at
school?” Nike asked grinning from ear to ear.
“What dirty sister?
She’s nothing buy a trashy girl from the village gutters. I’m too fly to have a
girl like her as my sister.” Seyi said as she bit into her large snail.
Nike’s eyes widened and
she stared at her friend, puzzled at her outburst.
“Serious!
Girl!!!” Nike exclaimed.
“Don’t believe whatever
comes out from my mom’s mouth. She’s either too excited about her new project
or she’s had quite too much to drink.”
Sandra was shocked at
the words Seyi uttered about her mother.
Suddenly the doorbell
rang and after a while they heard a loud voice from the entrance to the house.
“That’s your
dad.” Nike whispered.
Seyi was already on her
feet as she had raced out of the dining room heading to meet her dad. Sandra sat
in fear, she didn’t know what Seyi’s dad’s reaction would be like when he
realised that a stranger has been brought into his house.
“You really don’t
have manners. If you did, you’d have followed Seyi to greet her dad or aren’t
you a new member of this family?” Nike spat at Sandra.
Sandra didn’t realise
that she was been addressed till Nike reached out to tap her on the shoulder.
“Are you as poor as
you’re deaf?” Nike demanded.
“I’m sorry I never
realised that I was to go and greet him yet. I was waiting for Seyi’s mom
to…” Sandra started.
“Oh shut up! Who
are you trying to impress with your English? “Nike spat.
Sandra rose from her
seat and headed out to the sitting room where Seyi was standing with her dad.
“Did you buy it?
Did you get me the iphone 5?” Seyi was asking her dad.
“Yes I did.” Her
father replied.
Seyi launched herself in
his arms, she hugged her dad tightly and didn’t let go until she heard Sandra’s
squeak.
“Good evening sir.
I trust your trip went well?” Sandra greeted.
“Good evening to
you too, are you Seyi’s friend?” Seyi’s dad said with a large smile.
“What? You insult
me daddy! Me? Friends with this thing? No way!” Seyi shouted.
“What do you mean
by that?” Seyi’s father asked his daughter.
“She’s a waif that
mom brought from the village.” Seyi said.
Her father was so
confused at her comments. He was about to question Sandra further when Seyi’s
mother entered the sitting room.
“Welcome
darling.” His wife greeted.
“Thank you dear. I
was calling your number but the network wasn’t too good.” Seyi’s father
said. “What’s this about the new girl? Did we discuss this?”
“Oh…she’s Angela’s
daughter. I was speaking to you about her and how she died two months ago
leaving only her daughter behind…” Seyi’s mom started.
“Why did you bring her
here? What happened to her relations? Her family? Why would you make such rash
decisions without consulting me first?”
 “I am really sorry but her relative had
already brought her to Lagos to stay with us, I couldn’t ask them to send her
back….” Seyi’s mom explained.
“Now, you’ll go back and
tell her relative to take her back. What are we to do with her? She doesn’t belong
here! She belongs with her people.” Seyi’s father said.
“I said exactly the same
thing daddy.” Seyi said.
“How many times have I
told you never to intervene in a discussion between I and you father? Go up to
your room now!” Seyi’s mom demanded.
“Why? Because I said the
truth? She doesn’t belong here mom…she’s from the gutters, let her go back to
where she belongs.” Seyi said.
Seyi’s mother raised her
hand to slap her daughter but her husband caught her had mid-air.
“Don’t you dare raise
your hands on her.  You are the one at
fault here and not her, she’s saying the truth. I do not want to see this girl
in my house and that’s final.” Seyi’s father said and stormed off with Seyi at
his heels.
“Why are you like this?
Even when poor Angela was dying you never went to see her, you know we’ve all
come a long way…Segun! Segun! Walk away all you want but I’m not going back on
the promise that I made to a dying woman. Never!” Seyi’s mother screamed.

Sandra’s face crumpled
in sorrow, she felt that she was the one who was bringing division to Seyi’s
family and she made up her mind that she was going to leave. Seyi’s mom pulled
her close for an embrace but it only made the tears fall faster. Nike stood at
a corner and watched, she instantly knew she didn’t like Sandra, she looked
like the good girl, the girl that made everyone else look bad. She vowed that
she was never going to let her destroy the bond that Seyi had with her parents,
quietly she turned and left the sitting room, she was going to call Chika and
together with Seyi, they were going to get rid of the pest that had invaded
Seyi’s home.

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