Seyi
stared at the phone in her hands and bile rose to her throat. What was
happening? How did she become an easy prey to extortionists? Where did they get
her pictures from? She asked herself as she began to cry. She thought back to
her frivolous escapades of the past and began to wonder if it she had ever
taken a nude picture of herself. She stared at the pictures again, they were
five of them, and she had no thread of clothing on, in all of them. Shutting her
eyes tight and running her fingers through her hair in panic, she closed the
email and scrolled to her contacts list. Quickly she dialed a number,

“Hello
boo…” She said into the receiver.
“It’s
past nine pm already…shouldn’t you be in bed?” Justin said sounding tired.
“I
am in deep trouble Justin…I don’t know what has happened to me…I mean…what’s
happening to me.” She burst into tears.
“Calm,
down…could you tell me what happened?” Justin asked.
“Oh
my God! My dad’s going to kill me…my mom…my parents…their career…this could be
a huge set-back. My dad is running for office, he’s going into politics soon
and this would be a huge pull-down in his political career.”
“What?
Your dad is running for office? How come I never knew that?” Justin asked.
“Is
that the issue? I’m trying to tell you what some pervert just sent to my phone
and all you can say is that I didn’t tell you about my dad’s intention to run
for office.” Seyi snapped.
“Hey…hold
on…why are you shouting at me?” Justin asked angrily.
“Don’t
make things worse than they already are Justin…please.”
“Okay…I’m
sorry. What’s the issue?”
“Someone
just sent my nude pictures to my phone.” Seyi squeaked.
There
was a long pause.
“Justin!
Are you still there?” Seyi sobbed.
“I
am err…I mean here…” Justin stammered.
“Who
could be so cruel to do this to me? I have never taken a nude picture before, I
have never even sent a nude picture to anyone before.” She cried.
“Are
you sure about that?”
“What
do you mean by that? Justin! You aren’t even shocked or repelled at what
I’m saying to you…do you think this is a joke?”
“Stop
the harsh words babe…I’m trying to understand you and you know you woke me up
from sleep. It’s nine pm and I have a test at school tomorrow that’s why I have
to sleep inorder to concentrate tomorrow.”
“What
stupid test? Isn’t it at that public school of yours? Please..this is a more
pressing issue!” Seyi demanded.
Justin
hated the way Seyi talked down at him most times, she referred to him as trash
and somehow he wasn’t feeling bad for what his uncle did to her. Perhaps she
deserved it, besides it is high time that he and his uncle became rich too.
“Public schools are not bad…we have more equipment and better qualified teachers than most private schools.” Justin spoke in defense of his school.
“I’m sorry about that but let’s go back to the subject…I don’t know who could get my naked pictures.”
“Are you sure that they are really yours? I mean…it might be photo-shopped.” Justin said.
“No…it’s not. My birth-marks are there in the photo and I recognize my body so well…it’s really me.” Seyi said in tears.
“Okay…have
you asked your friends, Chika and Nike…you know that you spend time in their
houses and I’m sure that one day perhaps when you went to have your bath or
something, either of them snuck into the bathroom and took a picture of you. Have
you thought of the possibility?”
“That’s
true…we are very free with each other…so, they might be the ones pulling a
prank on me.” Seyi said.
“Are
you sure they are really trying to play pranks or make real money? Come to
think of it, one million naira is not child’s play.”
“Wait-a-minute
Justin, I didn’t tell you anything about the money. How did you know about it
and the sum as well?” Seyi asked surprised.
“I…err…I
guessed. I mean…who would send you incriminating pictures without wanting
money? And what other sum than a million naira and above?” Justin stammered.
“That’s
true…I’ll call them now and ask them…I can’t believe that they would do this to
me.” Seyi said foolishly.
“Don’t
confront them yet, I’d rather you play the role of boss. If you confront them,
they might leak your pictures to your parents and we don’t want that. So, I suggest
that you look for the money, pay up and then deal with them accordingly. I’m
sure, they are the ones that are behind this.”
“I
don’t have that kind of money.” Seyi complained.
“You
have a trust fund don’t you?”
“Yes, I do but my parents are signatories to the account. I can’t walk up to them and
tell them that I need one million naira.” Seyi said.
“What
if you tell them that Nike’s parents has been unable to pay her school fees and
you’d like a check of the sum of one million naira in order to help her out
with the fees. Or you could say that there’s a charity Programme that you are
volunteering for, and that you want one million naira to assist the charity
group.”
“You’re
such a genius…thank you so much. I’ll do that and get to the bottom of this.”
Seyi said.
They
said their good-byes and hung up. Justin dropped his phone and turned to stare into the peering
eyes of his uncle.
“How
did it go? Is she paying in the money?” His uncle asked him.
“Yes…she
is… she’s going to take it out of her trust fund.”
“Hmmm…good…I’m
proud of you. I heard something about her father’s new involvement in politics…that
means more money…”
“Uncle
please…I am really scared of this thing. Let’s just collect one million naira
from her and move on with our lives. She’s going to give us a check soon.”
“Check?
No way! That would not work! I need the money in cash…” His uncle said.
Justin
watched the veins straining on his uncle’s neck and shuddered, he really needed
an end to this issue but he wanted the money too. He had planned on what he
would buy when his uncle gets the money from Seyi.
“It’s
okay uncle, let’s go to sleep now…we’ll send her another email tomorrow about bringing the money in  cash.”
Justin said.
He
watched his uncle fall back on his bed while he straightened up his
mat properly and fell asleep.
*****
Sandra
alighted from the police’s vehicle and walked towards the gate of the house,
the gateman promptly opened the gate when she knocked and as soon as she
stepped her feet into the house, Seyi’s mother hurried to hug her.
“Where
have you been? We’ve been worried sick.” Seyi’s mother said.
Sandra pulled out of the embrace and turned to look around, it was only Seyi’s
mother who was there to welcome her, no one else was in sight.
“Thank
you very much sirs, I couldn’t have done this without your help.” Seyi’s mother
was saying to the police men.
“You’re
welcome madam but you really have to warn her against wandering off, it’s a
dangerous city and she’s a young girl.” One of the police officers warned.
“Thank
you sir, I’ll get a driver for her and personally make sure that she is dropped
off and picked up from school every day. I don’t think she likes the school bus
very much, she’s new in school and making friends might be harder for her than
usual you see…” Seyi’s mother said.
They
watched the police officers leave the compound, Seyi’s mother hugged Sandra
again.
“I’ve
been worried sick. I am so glad that you were sensible enough to report
yourself at the police station when you couldn’t find your way home. From
tomorrow, I’m buying you a phone so that communication would be easier and I’m
also hiring a driver for you, he can drive you to school with one of my cars.”
“Thank
you ma, you are so kind to me.” Sandra said.
“Don’t
mention it, let’s go inside so that you can have a warm bath and eat dinner
too.”
They
both held hands and walked into the house.
****
“What!
Who hired you? You sent you here?” Seyi screamed.
“The
madam of this house called me last night and hired me to take her daughter to
school.” The driver said quietly.
Sandra
stood by the side and watched the events of the morning unfurl, they were
dressed for school and had gone downstairs to wait for the bus. Seyi who had
gotten to the front of the compound first was surprised to find out that her
mother had hired a driver for Sandra.
“What daughter? I am the only child of this house and as of today, the school bus picks me up every school day so, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Seyi fired.
“You did not employ me…I am here to do my job and I will do it.” The driver said firmly.
“Look at this idiot! You
will not drive anybody to school today, so, go home.” Seyi was saying.
“You do not pay my salary please don’t insult me…” The driver said to her.
At
that moment, Seyi’s mother came downstairs, she was dressed for work.
“Mom,
what’s the meaning of this? Did you get a driver for this trash?” Seyi
demanded.
“Is
that your greeting?” Her mother asked.
Sandra
quickly greeted, “Good morning mom, I hope you slept well?”
“Will
you shut up? Is she your mother? Go and look for your mother you orphan!” Seyi screamed at Sandra.
Sandra
cringed and looked away, Seyi’s mother gave her a resounding slap.
“What
is all this for? Is this what I brought you up to become? Seyi…are you mad?”
Her mother asked perplexed.
The
school bus horn honked from the gate and Seyi hissing loudly, stormed off. Sandra and Seyi’s mother watched Seyi’s retreating back.
“I
am sorry ma for everything.” Sandra started.
“Don’t
bother yourself, just go to school, from now on this is your driver, his name
is Steve.” Seyi’s mother said to her.
“Thank
you so much mom…” Sandra said in appreciation.
Seyi’s
mother nodded and waved her off.
****
“Why
is she acting funny? This is not the Seyi we are used to…” Nike was telling
Chika.
Chika’s
mind was far away from the sausage in front of her, it was break time and they
were in the school cafeteria.
“See…she’s
taking her lunch to sit at the other side of the cafeteria. Don’t we always
seat together during lunch? Did you guys have a spat or something?” Nike asked
Chika.
“What’s
your problem? Please scoot over if you don’t want to seat here anymore.” Chika
snapped.
Nike
hissed and picking up her food tray she walked towards Seyi who was seated at
the far corner of the cafeteria. Immediately Seyi saw her coming, she looked
away.
“Hey
babe! Seyi, na so we go dey? So you are feeling too popular to roll with us
right?”Nike asked laughingly.
Nike
placed her food tray on the table and turned to face Seyi.
“What’s
up? This is unlike you to stay away from us during lunch…is everything okay?”
Nike asked.
“If
you don’t mind, I’d like to left alone for a while.” Seyi said and pushing her
tray she stood up and walked out of the cafeteria.

“What’s
wrong with those two? What’s going on?” Nike sighed as she stared at Seyi’s retreating
back helplessly.
As Seyi walked away from the cafeteria, her heart pounded in anger, muttering under her breath she said,
“I’ll pay you guys back for what you have done. Thieves! The two girls I’ve called friends for so long that the word sounds more like sisters. And as for Sandra and my mom, they’ve not begun to see anything yet, I’m going to make them pay.”

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