Pere made his way through the market with nothing but a
nylon bag folded meticulously and stuffed into his back pocket. He
walked with sure steps as though one on a mission and indeed, he was on a
mission. He needed to get food or he’ll starve. He made his way through the
very bubbly market on the outskirts of Warri town and stopped at a garri stall.
“Good morning…” He greeted.

“Customer buy ooo…” The seller greeted, flashing him a
smile.
The seller was a young girl, of about eighteen years, she
had a gap-front tooth and from her position behind the large garri bowls, he
could tell that she had a lovely figure to booth.
“I want two cups.” He said taking his mind away from the
girl and focusing on the garri before him and his growling stomach.
“Two cups? Okay…” She said with a wider smile and began to
measure the garri into two cups and transfer it into a small black nylon bag.
As she measured the garri, she threw flirtatious glances at
him from time to time. Pere wasn’t flattered in the least, he was used to being
admired by women. At twenty eight years of age, Pere stood at six feet four
inches, he wasn’t so muscular in build and he was dark skinned with the most
beautiful eyes, he also had a winning smile.
“See, I add more garri for inside your bag.” She said with a
small smile.
Pere nodded and took the garri, he pulled out the nylon he’d
stuffed into his pocket and pushed the already packed nylon of garri into it.
“Your money is five hundred.” The girl said with a smile.
Pere nodded and lifted up his shirt to show the waistband of
his jean trousers, the girl gasped when she saw the hard metal peeking out from
the waist band of his jeans. Pere didn’t need to say anything more, he’d made
himself clear. As he walked away with the nylon of garri in his hand, he
wondered if it was really necessary to have shown a defenceless young girl, a
gun.
**********
Christiana’s father had met her mother twenty three years
ago at the Ambrose Ali university Ekpoma. They didn’t love each other as their
affair had been a one night stand at the back of one of the small photo-shops
one night after a party. Her mother worked in a salon in the school and even
though she wasn’t educated, she was enthralled by the male students of the
campus. She was clearly older than her father who was still a naive one hundred
level student back then and who was willing to satisfy his sexual urge on any
woman who gave him the chance. When her mother fell pregnant, she decided to
have the child and eventually when Christiana was born, she took the baby to
Christiana’s father’s off-campus hostel room and left her there. Her father had
been enraged and had denied all claims to the pregnancy but news filtered like
the breeze and soon enough, his father heard of it and insisted that the child
be brought home and raised as part of the family. Christiana’s father had tried
to make his father see reason and had told him that Christiana’s mother, Eseosa
was in the habit of falling pregnant for various men and giving birth to
fatherless children only to pin them on her unsuspecting victims. He also
mentioned that she was a gold-digger who knew how rich his family was and
wanted a share of the wealth but her grandfather had paid him no heed.
Christiana’s father was the last child of eight children and
he was pampered and spoiled silly, he had been born twelve years after aunty
Kewve was born. Aunty Kewve was her grandparent’s last child till Christiana’s
father came along when no one expected. Christiana was raised by her grandparents
for a brief time while her father was studying before joining her father who
later got married to Jade, a woman she now called mother. Her parents were
basically the normal parents in every African home and she had younger siblings
who shared the same father with her. She didn’t know her biological mother and
had never seen her, neither was she eager to know the woman who handed her over
to her father without so much as a backward glance.
Christiana had graduated a few months ago and was awaiting
her youth service when her parents had suggested that she spend some time with
her grandfather in Warri, seeing that she was the only grandchild who wasn’t
occupied at the moment.  Her parents
plans clashed with her personal life as Christiana had planned a surprise
birthday party for her long time boyfriend, Vuoke, who she suspected was
falling out of love with her for some strange reason and she was bummed to
realize that her surprise party won’t be holding as her father had other plans
for her.
She sat at the front seat of the car and sighed, bringing
out her phone, she dialled Vuoke’s number. He answered.
“Hey babe…” She greeted.
“Christy…” He said.
“How are you?” She asked.
“I’m at work.” He replied.
“Oh…okay…I just wanted to let you know that I’ve arrived
Warri.”
“Oh good. My regards to your granddad.” He said.
“Sure…” She said.
“I have to go now.” He said and without waiting for her
response, he hung up.
Christiana stared at her phone for a long time. Her heart
was sunken and she felt so sad. She had loved Vuoke since she was eighteen and
fresh out of secondary school. Now, it seemed as though the love was ebbing
away and she was the only one fighting to keep it alive.
“Your special someone?” Uncle Edmund asked with a smile.
“Well…yea…but…” She trailed off.
“But what?” He asked.
“I dunno…he’s so distant nowadays…it’s like he’s lost
interest.” She said.
“Have you asked him why he’s lost interest in you?”
“No…maybe I’m just imagining things …maybe he’s just too
busy with work.” She defended.
“There’s nothing like a busy man when love is involved.” He
said to her.
Christiana nodded.
“You know what? Why don’t you drop all those worries you had
when you were in Lagos and focus on enjoying yourself here in Warri. After all,
you are free till you get your Call Up letter for service right?” He asked.
“Yes…” She said with a smile.
***********
Christiana enjoyed the life Warri offered, her grandfather’s
estate was so peaceful and for the past three days she’d been here, she’d been
jogging down the quiet road and enjoying the cool breeze of nature. This
morning was no exception as she wore her joggers, tank top and tied her bob
Marley braids in a bun at the top of her head and jogged around the
neighbourhood.
She was still waiting for Vuoke’s call as he hadn’t called
her since the last time she spoke to him. She had called the cake vendor again
to be sure that he’d received the cake she’d sent and the woman confirmed it.
What could be wrong? She wondered as she jogged about the neighbourhood. She
didn’t want to think that Vuoke hadn’t received her cake or that he’d received
it and somehow had it skip his mind that the cake was from her and had it
shared by his colleagues at work. She was jogging with her earpiece in her ears
and Asa’s latest music played on repeat when she felt someone grab her from
behind. She startled and turned to face a young man with a menacing look in his
eyes. Christiana removed the earpiece from her ears and asked.
“What’s your problem? Do I know you?”
The man dragged her by the arm, pulling her to a secluded
spot. The road was empty as it was quite a residential area where people hardly
roamed about.
“Let me go! Who are you?” She shrieked, fighting him off.
“Madam relax or you go wound…” The man whispered to her.
Christiana’s heart began to beat rapidly, the morning was
still a bit dark as it was not yet six am.
“What do you want? Here’s my phone…you can take it if you
want it.” She said, handing her phone over to the hoodlum.
The young man gave her a lewd stare and pulled her towards
his hard frame, she opened her mouth to scream but his hard palm clasped her
mouth hard. She groaned into his palms and bit down on the tender skin within
his palms and he yelped. When she made to run away, another young man rushed up
to her and grabbed her, pushing her back to the secluded spot.
“You wan die?” The second man asked.
Christiana shook her head nervously, she was already crying.
“See as dis bitch take bite me…ahhhhh…” The first guy
said as he stared at his palm. “You must pay for dis bite…” He sneered.
Christiana breathed fast and stared at them in fear, and
just at that moment when she thought all hope was lost, someone came running
towards them. It was a tall young man and he was holding a stick with him.
Immediately the guys that held her captive saw him, they ran away, leaving
Christiana there panicking and crying.
“Are you okay?” Her rescuer asked.
Christiana was clearly shaken, she nodded and shook her head
again.
“Wait here…I’ll catch them.” The young man said and ran
off.
Christiana watched the young man run off in pursuit of her
attackers and began to breathe a bit freely. She couldn’t believe that she’d
almost been attacked by those men. She had given them her phone and they’d
refused to leave her alone, she thought. What else did they want? She shuddered
at the next thought. Had they wanted to rape her? She began to cry again. Her
rescuer ran up to her and stared at her in concern.
“Are you okay?” He asked.
“Yes…yes…I’m fine…” Christiana said in a shaky voice.
“Come, let me accompany you to your house.” He said.
“Thank you…thank you so much.” She said in gratitude.
The young man accompanied her all the way to the gate of her
grandfather’s house and followed her inside the house. Uncle Edmund was walking
out of the boys quarters when he saw her in the company of a strange man.
“What happened? Christy, are you okay?” He asked in worry.
“Who’s this man?”
“Yes…I’m fine uncle…all thanks to this brave guy here.”
She said with a small smile and referring to Pere.
“Thank you young man…” Uncle Edmund said in gratitude.
“I was jogging outside, when two guys accosted me…and no
one was outside in the street.” Christiana said shakily.
“My goodness! These hoodlums can’t let people live in peace.
I hope they didn’t harm you?” He asked.
“Oh no…I just gave them my phone but err…I bit his
palm.” She said with small triumph.
“That’s my girl!” Uncle Edmund said. “But next time, it’ll
be best if you do not try to fight back. They are stronger than you are and can
harm you.” He said.
She nodded and looked up at her rescuer.
“I’m sorry for being bad-mannered, I didn’t even ask you
your name. My name is Christiana but everyone calls me Christy.” She said with
a small smile.
*************
Pere tossed his favourite football club shirt into his small
bag and zipped it close. The mattress on the ground had Christy’s phone on it
and he picked it up. The sim card had been long tossed away so he turned the
phone on and her screen saver greeted him. It was a picture of her sticking her
tongue out at the camera and leaning her head on the chest of a bored looking
guy.
“She has a boyfriend.” He said more to himself than aloud.
He opened the phone and went to messages, he began to read
the numerous messages she’d sent to a guy named Vuoke and he didn’t need a
soothsayer to tell him that the man was her boyfriend. He noticed that the
messages that came from her were sweet and heartfelt while the messages that
came from Vuoke were boring and straight to the point.
“He doesn’t love her.” Pere said as he stared at the
messages.
He opened the gallery folder and stared at the pictures.
There were a lot of sellfies and he could tell from the smiling faces in the
picture that family meant a lot to her. He could also tell that she was born
with a silver spoon because the images of her family home looked like a place
with high taste and class. He also saw her pictures taken in different
countries and soon, he was so immersed in the images that he sat on the
mattress and stared.
Christy came off as a funny and well mannered girl, she
wasn’t like any other girl he’d ever met and she piqued his interest.
“Easy man, you have a mission to accomplish and you’ve been
settled heavily for it. You can’t jeopardize it all for a woman.” He warned
himself.
As he stared at Christy’s pictures, he couldn’t help but
wonder who wanted her grandfather dead and her, framed. His instructions were
simple, create a scenario where Pa Idogho dies and Christiana is right there in
the picture as the murderer.
Why? He wondered. What has the innocent girl done to have
drawn so much hatred? Who wanted her framed and locked behind bars?

 

Can’t wait to read more? Click here to purchase Kith and
Kin>>>http://okadabooks.com/book/about/kith_and_kin_by_adaeze_ibechukwu/12479
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The teasers for ‘Deception’ and ‘Kith & Kin’ are just sneak peeks to the eBooks on Okadabooks and they are available now! Just click the links to purchase.

A new Teenage Series comes up next week (God Willing)

1 COMMENT

  1. First response would be to say her father or step mother, but am gonna chill and let Ada spin her web. All these teasers, what does it mean? Are they pay as you read?

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