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“Where is she? I told her to
come and stay with you till her lesson teacher comes. Oh my God! Where is
Yemisi?” Yemisi’s mother screamed.
Tara stared at Yemisi’s mother
in confusion. They were in the sitting room of her home and since it was a Saturday,
her step-mother was at her shop with the would-be Temi. Her other siblings had
gone for music lessons and her father had left the house very early. So Temi
was the only one at home.
“I really don’t know ma… Yemisi
didn’t come to see me. I wanted to go downstairs and checkup on her despite her
warnings that our friendship is over but I had a lot of chores to do.”
“Mogbe! What did I do wrong?
Who have I offended? It’s past five pm and she’s nowhere to be found. I asked
the mallam down the street and he said he saw her leave the house at some
minutes past nine am. This is too much for me to bear. First of all it was
her pregnancy, and now it’s…” Yemisi’s mother burst out in tears.
 At that moment, Tara’s step-mother walked into
the house and alarmed over the state of her sister in-law, she asked her what
had happened. Yemisi’s mother launched into details of Yemisi’s disappearance.
The two women held each other and cried.
****
It was a very hectic day and
Shade was not concentrating in class. The ordeals of the initiation still had her
jittery. She still had to come to terms with the fact that she woke up in the cemetery some days ago.
“So your assignments must be
typed, printed and laminated. All assignments must be submitted on or before
Wednesday next week.” The lecturer was saying.
Shade nodded tiredly as she
stared at her notebook, she hadn’t written a word in it. The lecturer continued
speaking.
“I was glad last week when I
saw the work of one of you. She was so descriptive, detailed and narrative in
her work and I feel she has to be commended. Her name is Shade Abiodun.”
Everyone turned to stare at
her, some in open admiration and others in plain jealousy. Shade stood up and
smiled uncomfortably and the lecturer nodded in recognition, she sat again and stared at her notebook. As soon as the
class ended she stood up and made to leave when one girl walked up to her and
slipped a small note into her palms. Shade waited till she was outside the
classroom to open the small note, turning back to make sure that no one was
following her behind, she dashed into a corner and opened the piece of paper.
The Black Cats meets today at Ada’s room off campus, make sure you come
with your green berets and white handkerchiefs. Be punctual, anyone who comes
later than 4pm gets sanctioned
.’
Shade sighed audibly, she had an
important class at three thirty. Sadly she wondered how she got herself into
this mess.
*****
Temi opened her eyes and stared
at the doctor, it was her third day of hypnosis and she was beginning to feel
drained.
“How do you feel?” The doctor
asked.
“Tired…very tired.” Temi
replied.
“Doctor, she hasn’t been
sleeping either.” Bee said.
“Okay…but Judith is proving too
stubborn and she has refused to come out. Inorder for Temi to get fully cured,
Judith’s personality has to meet Temi’s.”
‘What if I don’t want them to
meet, what if I want to be alone?” Temi muttered.
“Personalities grow my dear, if
you leave her locked up inside you, I’m afraid that you might never get her out
so the earlier the better.” The doctor said.
“Okay doctor, can we go home
now? When will our next appointment be?” Bee asked, yawning lightly.
“You can go home Bee but not
Temi, I’d like to have her admitted into the facility.”
“Why? No! I want to go home!”
Temi screamed.
“Where is home? Bee is not your
mother, sister or relation. You are lucky that you were brought to her because,
she’s a one in a million kind of lady. Not many ladies will go the extra mile
to see that you are cured.” Said the doctor.
“No…she’s the only family that I’ve
got… I have no other family.” Temi said in tears.
“Yes you do and we have to find
out who and where they are. We have to trace this problem of yours down to the
roots and I feel that not admitting you here is somehow destroying your chance
to getting healed fast.”
‘Please stay, I will come to
check up on you all the time.” Bee pleaded with Temi.
“No I can’t stay, you know I can’t,
please don’t let me stay…I beg of you Bee…please.” Temi screamed.
‘You’ll have to go now Bee, I’ll
get one of the nurses to get a room for her.” The doctor said.
“No! Get out of my way!” Temi
screamed in a strange voice as she headed towards the door.
Bee was startled at her sudden
change of character, the doctor picked up the phone and dialed the security
department.
“Temi…this is for your own
good.” Bee said, she had run to hold her from reaching the door.
“My name is not Temi… it’s
Judith…and I am not staying in a mental facility ever!” Turning to the doctor,
she said, “Do you think I can succumb to your quack treatments? You need to work
harder doc…you’re too weak.”
“Calm down okay…Judith, if you came out
in the last two sessions, I would have let you go home with Bee but you’ve been
proving stubborn.” The doctor said.
“Well…it’s too late now, I’m
leaving whether you like it or not! For pete’s sake I’m young and I need to
enjoy my life.” Temi who had suddenly changed to her other personality said.
The door opened and three hefty
men stormed in and quickly captured an unsuspecting Temi. Temi screamed, bit
and scratched to no avail, they took her away.
“My God! What is all this?” Bee sighed as she sunk down on one of the sofas in the doctor’s office.
“Don’t worry Bee… she will be
fine, I will personally see to it that she is well taken care of.” Said the doctor.
*****
“Are you up for a hangout this
weekend?” Robert asked.
“No…” Tara replied quietly.
“What happened? What’s wrong?
You look moody.”
“It’s my cousin Yemisi, she’s
been missing since Saturday. It’s like that’s the norm in my family house you
know…everyone has either been kidnapped or have runway. I am running short of all my relatives, first its Temi, later it was Oni and now it’s Yemisi…it’s like we’re cursed or something.”
“How do you mean missing…where
is she? I mean… was she kidnapped?”
“That’s something we don’t know…the
police has asked millions of questions and haven’t still come up with anything.
Her mother is hysterical and …”
“Wow this is really sad. I know
Yemisi, she used to be in my friend, Musa’s class, I thought she traveled that’s
why she doesn’t come to school anymore. I never knew she was around.”
“Is that the topic of our discussion?
You are just like everyone, poking your nose into something that’s no business
of yours.” Tara accused.
‘I’m sorry…I was just wondering…”
Robert said.
“I’m going back to my class,
the break period is over, I advise you to do same.” Tara said irritated.
“I am really sorry…I shouldn’t have said that. You’re hurting and I have been so inconsiderate.”
Tara wasn’t listening, she saw
someone familiar.
“Yes! That’s her!”
“Who? Your cousin?” Robert
asked, looking in the direction Tara was staring at. “That’s not her…that’s
Bella, the senior secondary school student.”
“She knows where Yemisi is and
I’m going to prove it.” Tara said.
****
The room was dingy and poorly
lit, Yemisi’s stomach growled and she stared at the untouched plate of food in
the corner. Her eyes were dried of tears and her lips were parched. Suddenly,
the door opened and two men and one woman walked into the room.
“Why haven’t you eaten your
food? You better cooperate or we’ll whip your behind. Pregnant women get beaten
all the time in the ‘home’ and if you misbehave you’ll get worse treatment.” Said
one of the men.
“Please…I beg you in the name
of God, let me go…I promise to bring my baby to you when it’s born. My parents
will be worried sick…I’m just sixteen …please.” Yemisi begged.
“Sixteen? Are you a baby? A
girl of thirteen is already a woman and here you are, weeping like a child.”
Said the second man.
“What time do we leave? We have
to get to Asaba before six pm today and it’s past eleven am already.” Said the
woman.
“We are waiting for Melvin…the
bus broke down and it hasn’t been repaired yet and besides we are expecting one
more girl. We can’t waste so much fuel all because we are transporting three
girls, we need atleast five of them and Melvin 
is gathering them up so we have to wait a bit till about two pm.” Said
the first man.
“I am a mother and my children
are alone at home in Asaba, I really need to get to them fast before the day
grows dark.” The woman said.
Yemisi quickly rushed the woman’s
feet and cried.
“You are a mother and my mother
is too…how would you feel if one of your children went missing? Please help me…”
The woman bent and gave her a
very hard slap that flung her across the room.

“My children are better behaved
than you are, never compare your miserable self to them.” The woman warned and
walked out of the room.

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