She heard a bell ring, ignoring
the chime, she turned slightly and mumbled, the bell continued to chime and she
just couldn’t get enough of the sleep that had claimed her.  Suddenly she felt herself bump hard against
the floor and fall in a helpless heap, then, her eyes opened and she faced cold
stark reality…she wasn’t at home.
Chioma rose up in a panic and
almost screamed in alarm, she looked around the small flat and felt tears fall
from her face. She jumped in fright as soon as she realized that the bell
ringing in her subconscious was none other than her mobile phone. The phone
rang louder and she frantically felt the pocket of her jeans with her palms,
located her phone and pressing the green answer button without checking the
caller ID, she answered the call.
“Where are you?” Barked a
familiar voice.
“Chioma! What gave you the
audacity to leave the house?”
“No one sir, it’s…it’s…” She
stammered badly.
“Where are you by the way? You
are going to receive a severe punishment for your immature actions. You are
meant to set an example for your brothers… you’ve disappointed me.”
“I am with a friend…at…at”
Chioma cried hard and sniffed loudly.
“A friend? What friend? Give me
her house address, I am coming to get you right away”
“Okay…em…” Chioma started as
she feared that her father would know that she was in a man’s place and not a
girl’s as he thought.
 Her father was able to extract the address
from her in no time and even as he hung up, she knew she was done for. Daddy
was going to kill her. Getting a grip of herself, she ran fast to the door
leading to Tunde’s room and banged hard.
“Queen! Queen! Come out quick!”
There was a slight scuffle as the door of the room opened briskly and a sleepy
eyed Queen stared at Chioma in confusion.
“Queen! Its 5pm, we have been
here for more than five hours.”
“What? I lost track of the
Tunde comes out of the room in
a sleepy daze and looks at the two girls in disgust.
“What’s all the panic for?” He
“It’s late…” Started Chioma.
“Late? Don’t make me laugh.
What time is it? Is 5pm late? Are you a child or what?” Tunde said sarcastically.
Chioma felt her face burn with
“My daddy just called and he is
going to kill me…I left my brothers at home alone…alone!” Shouted Chioma as she
cried hard.
“Are you yelling at me?” Raved
Chioma ignored his harsh tones
as she cried harder at the realization of the trouble she has gotten into.
“I’m sorry Tunde, please
forgive her, she’s still a child.”
“Get out of my house now!”
barked an enraged Tunde.
Queen tried begging Tunde,
while Chioma’s cries grew louder.
“Why did you bring this child
to my house?”
“She…she…” Queen stammered.
Chioma ignored them both as she
headed towards the door.
“Chioma, don’t you dare leave
me, we are in this together.” Screamed Queen.
“You are in this alone! I
wonder why I followed you in the first place, since I met you, it has been one
problem or the other, I do not want your friendship anymore. My dad will be
here soon, I’d better be standing at the gate waiting for him when he comes or
I might just be explaining my presence in a man’s house.” Said Chioma and with
that, she walked out of Tunde’s flat.
Chioma had just left Tunde’s
compound and was walking down the road, she had no idea of where she was or where
she was headed all she knew was, she didn’t want Daddy to know she had been in
a man’s house. She pushed her hands into her pocket and felt the crisp fifty naira
note in her pocket. She was contemplating on the possibility of the meager sum
in her pocket transporting her home, when a car pulled up to her, Chioma stood
still as she feared that her father had found her out eventually but after a
while she breathed a sigh of relief when she realized that the car wasn’t her
father’s. The window of the car slid down slowly and a man in his late thirties
looked at her, he wore a very bright coloured shirt and his eyes were covered
in dark shades.
“Hello dear.” He said,
addressing her.
“Good evening sir.” She
“Do you by any chance live in
this area? I am trying to locate number 074 Folashade Thompson Street.” Said
the man.
“I sorry, I can’t help you sir,
you see I live quite far from here, I do not know this area and I am stranded.”
Said Chioma as she burst into tears.
“Poor dear, get into my car,
I’ll take you home.”
Chioma was too overwhelmed with
gratitude, she thanked the man profusely and entered the car without thinking.


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