Seyi,
Nike and Chika were roaming about the streets. They had left their school at one pm
and were still hovering the vicinity, not eager to go home. The school bus had
not started operations yet as it was due to start a week after school resumption. Many students had come to school with public transport while some others had their parents or drivers drop them off at school.

Seyi’s dad’s
driver had dropped her off at school that morning and she had told him that
she’ll hitch a ride home with Chika, so he shouldn’t bother coming to pick her up after school hours. Nike’s mom had paid a cab driver to take
her to school and pick her up after school but Nike had told the cab driver not to return as
she’ll find her way home. Chika had lied to her parents that school would be
closing at five pm when on the first week of resumption, school dismisses at
one pm hence they should send the driver for her at four pm.

The three girls were seated at a fast food restaurant and munching on finger
foods.
“Do
you think your dad’s going to send her away?” Nike asked Seyi.
“Why?
Ofcourse he will! That’s why he’s the head of the home.” Seyi blurted.
“Well…if
your mom is not ready to send her away, then let’s hatch a plan of our own.
That girl is a parasite.” Nike supplied.
“Mtcheew…can
we change topics please? I’m bored of that subject already.” Seyi replied.
“What
are you two ranting about?” Chika asked, while taking a large sip of her coke.
“Are
you deaf? Or were you plain ignoring us? Didn’t you hear about the little pest
that got her claws in Seyi’s home?” Nike blurted.
Chika
feigned disinterest, she wasn’t bothered in the least, she had huge problems of
her own to solve. Her father had over the holidays asked her mother for a
divorce and the poor woman was helpless and distraught. Since Chika’s
father’s businesses encompassed West Africa and many other countries, he’d re-branded not only his business but his family as well. Her father had
pronounced that since Chika’s mother was not literate enough for him or his new level of success,
it was ideal for him to upgrade. So, during the holiday, he had given Chika’s ‘stay-at-home’ mom an ultimatum to leave his house on or before the first of October. Chika was very disappointed in her dad, even though she was quite close to him, she never expected that he’d take such rash move. He had declared to her hearing that his new wife was no other than his secretary, Miss Kachi, who Chika hated so much. Chika
wasn’t her mom’s dream child, she didn’t help out in the kitchen, tidy her room
or even ask her mom for advice and even though many times she’d disrespected her mom in front of guests and household staff, she really didn’t want her mom to leave. She watched her mom’s relatives pile up at their house waiting for ‘Chief’ her father, to reconsider his decision while her mother’s wails were becoming too consistent and disturbing. Chika’s mom was from a very poor home and her husband liked to think that he was the one who alleviated her as well as her family from abject poverty.
“Chika!”
Nike and Seyi chorused in unison.
“What!
Is there a fire?” Chika asked in alarm.
“Where
are you? You’re far away from this meeting?” Nike demanded.
“It’s
nothing…I’m alright.” Chika lied.
“We
are not used to hiding details from eachother. C’mon spill…” Seyi beckoned.
“No
it’s nothing…I was just thinking of something irrelevant.” Chika supplied.
Seyi
and Nike shrugged, suddenly a beep was heard. Nike hurriedly brought out her
tablet.
“Wow…is
that new?” Chika asked in awe.
“Yep…my
uncle who lives in Canada sent it to me…” Nike said as she quickly flipped
through the tab.
“Ooooohhh…was
that a text message beep?” Seyi asked, peeking to see the Tablet screen.
Nike
turned away, shielding the tablet screen from her friend’s prying gaze and glazed her eyes hungrily at the message that just came into her
inbox.
“It’s
nothing, it’s just an alarm that’s err…telling me to update stuff.” Nike lied.
Nike
had recently joined social media and her friends had no idea. Social media was regarded as a taboo in their school and at home as well. One thing Nike gained from her vacation with Mr. Jude her private lesson
teacher was the time he had spent opening accounts for her on social media.
Ofcourse she lied about her age, by registering her age as twenty years instead of
fifteen and registering her profile name as Sugar Berry0023 instead of Adenike James that
everyone knew her with. Her profile pictures were basically avatars so that no
one would recognize her. Immediately she had been registered, she had quickly searched
the internet for hunky looking guys and sent out friend requests to all of
them. She scrolled through social media and one message caught her eye, it was not just an accepted friendship request but a message from the person as well.
 Smiling to herself, she zoomed
in on the image of the handsome young man who had sent her the message and gushed at
his features, he was one of the most handsome men she’d ever seen. She glanced at
the message which read ‘Hello pretty, just added you to my network. Can I see a
picture?’ she was about to reply when the man came on online and started
chatting her up.
“You’ve
been on that Tablet for ages! What’s its use anyway since we are forbidden to
register with any social media.” Chika grumbled.
“Hmmm…”
Nike replied absently as she quickly chatted with her new acquaintance.
“I’m
so bored and it’s annoying that I have to go home to face that wretched thing!
Do you know that mummy insists she must be enrolled in our school? What better
way to embarrass me.” Seyi groaned.
“Don’t
dwell on that. You need to focus! We are now in Senior Secondary One and you
must realize that this is the class that prefects are picked. I’m hoping to
be the Social prefect so that I can help organize awesome parties for the
school.” Chika started.
“Nike
wants to be social prefect too and remember she made her intentions known long
before you so…”
“Well..that’s
what I want…” Chika said stubbornly.
“You’ll have to fight her for it and you know how much I hate settling your fights.” Seyi warned.
“Mtchewww…” Chika hissed and glanced at Nike. 
Nike was far
away as she was still rapidly chatting with the mystery guy.
‘What’s your
name?
‘Sugar Berry,
you saw my avatar didn’t you?
‘Ohhh that’s
rude…’
‘Sorry…I’m really
a nice girl.’
‘How am I sure what you say is true…’
‘You have to
take my word for it…’
‘I’m sorry I can’t
do that…I have to meet you in person.’
‘Really? I don’t
think I can do that. I still live with my parents.’
‘How old are
you?’
‘20…ish… how
old are you?’
’29…’
Chika
and Seyi were already tired and stood up to leave.
“You’re
obviously tied up…I’ve got to go.” Chika said to Nike who was still focused on
her Tab.
“Me
too…” Seyi said.
Nike
still didn’t reply, she was chatting away on her device.
“My
driver just sent me a text. He’ll be in school in the next ten minutes. He’s
got to see me there or my father would hear about it and I’ll be in soup.”
Chika was saying as she quickly placed her phone in her bag.
“I’ll
take a taxi…I need to see my boyfriend.” Seyi said.
“Ohh…that…”
Chika said.
“What
was that for?” Seyi demanded.
“Nothing
jo… see you tomorrow.” Chika said.
“I
appreciate that you girls are my friends but what I won’t condone is you
disrespecting my boyfriend okay…”
“Whatever
rocks your boat…” Chika said as she picked up her bag.
“I hate you sometimes you know…” Seyi was saying.
“You better watch it with that guy! The last time I heard of him was when he got you pregnant. He didn’t even have the decency to pay for the abortion bills at the clinic and neither did he show up. It was Nike and I that held your hands through that recovery and it was hell. I don’t want you to go through that process again.” Chika said.
“I won’t okay. We are using a condom.” Seyi said.
“Really? If you say so…”
“Stop sounding so sarcastic…it’s not like you’re a virgin.” Seyi spat.
“You hate it when you hear the truth Seyi. This is not about me…it’s about you and what you’re about to get yourself into a second time. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Chika said flippantly and left the restaurant.
Seyi stared at Chika’s retreating back in anger, ‘how dare she judge her?’ she asked herself. She turned Nike but was pissed at Nike’s concentration on her new tab.
Hissing angrily, she picked up her bag and said to Nike.
“Bye
bye…” 
Nike
didn’t notice that both her friends were gone, she was still chatting.
‘So where do
you work?’ The
guy asked.
Nike
thought of a lie and typed…
‘I work for a
textile firm, one of the biggest in Lagos.’
‘Impressive…what
Uni did you graduate from?’
‘Unilag…’’Nike lied again.
‘Oh…I’m at
work, can I chat you up later by let’s say  10pm?’
Nike
pondered on this question. Her bedtime on school nights was usually 9pm but she decided to make an exception and sleep at 10pm.
‘Okay…twas
nice chatting with you. Oh I forgot, what’s your name?’
‘Mr. Busy Bee,
same on my display photo…’
‘Okay …cool name…bye…’
Nike
ended the chat and giggled in delight. She turned to speak to her friends but
was shocked to see no one around her.
“Guys…guys…”
She called.
She
turned to look at the counter to see if they’d gone to buy something extra but
they weren’t there. Angry that none of them had told her that they were leaving,
she stormed out of the fast food restaurant.
****
Image Source: www.toonvectors.com
Sandra
was tired. She heard the buzz again and tried to ignore it but she couldn’t. She
knew where it was coming from and she knew who it was too. Glancing at her door
to be sure that it was locked, she whispered a silent prayer and lifted up her mattress to reveal a carefully hidden phone. She took in a deep breathe and
picked up the telephone.
“What
took you so long?” The harsh voice came through from the other end of the
phone.
“I…haven’t
been around …I”
“Oh
will you shut up? Have you settled in yet?”
“Yes…No…I
mean yes.” She replied in a fear-laced voice.
“Hmmm…this
is just a warning and I mean it! If you ever ignore my phone calls again, I’ll
make that new paradise of yours a living hell! Do you understand me?” The voice
breathed down the line.
“Yes…I
do…”
“How
much are they worth?”
“I…don’t
know…”
“Are
you daft? How much are they worth?”
“I
really can’t say…please…I don’t want to steal from them…they are a good family…please.”
“I’ll
keep you posted. I want you to update me on everything that goes on in that
house. I want you to give me all the information I need. I need to know about
their monies…cars…everything! Do I make myself clear?”
“Please…I’m
begging you…I’ll work hard and give you everything I owe you but don’t hurt
this family…please.” Sandra cried.
“Send
me their house address… and do it quick…”

Sandra
was helpless, she cried and begged but the line went dead. She looked at the
phone in her hands and cried, no matter how far she ran, she’ll never be able
to hide from them. She opened the text message icon and quietly typed in the house
address of the Good Samaritans that rescued her from poverty.
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