Tara charged into the sitting room, her eyes blazed in anger
and her lips pressed firmly together.

“Where is it? I am sure I kept it on my bed…” Tara said
aloud.

The would-be Temi quickly closed the small book she was
reading and snickered.

“Looking for this?” She laughed as she dangled the small
diary which she held firmly in her hands.

“How dare you? Don’t you dare…?” Tara screamed.

“Who do you think you are? The last time I checked, you’re
the bastard, the unwanted child…” The would-be Temi said in spite.

“And the last time I checked, you’re the mean, conniving
goat who thinks she can waltz into this family and claim that she’s a member.”
Tara said.

“Talk all you like…prat…prat…prat…” The would-be Temi
laughed as she pirouetted on her heels.

“Give me back my diary now!” Tara stressed.

“Hmmm…wait-a-minute let me read the last line of your diary
for you…” The would-be Temi giggled.

Tara held her breath as she stared at the girl that looked
so much like the sister she’d lost.

“Erm erm…” The would-be Temi cleared her throat, “I think I
am in love and for him, I’d do anything, anything…he’s such a perfect young
man. Oh! Robert…my love!” She laughed.

Tara was embarrassed, the diary held her best kept secrets
and it was her fault that she had carelessly tossed it beside her bed. Now, the
evil Temi had gotten her hands on it.

“Give it back to me this instant.” Tara shouted.

“I will not, I’ll show daddy what his little girl has been
doing behind his back. I bet you’re no longer a virgin. You must have slept
with a lot of men at your mother’s place.”

“Shut up! Shut up and hand me my diary!” Shouted Tara.

Tara’s step-mother came out of her bedroom and looked at the
two girls who were arguing in the sitting room.

“Isn’t today your first day at school for the term?” Tara’s
step-mother asked.

“Yes it is…” Answered the would-be Temi.

“You girls should get ready for school before your father
wakes up and give you both a sound thrashing. Tara, don’t forget to wash the
dishes before leaving.” Tara’s step-mother said.

“I’m not washing them, I washed the dishes last week, it’s
her turn.” Tara said, unable to use the name ‘Temi’ for her, she still didn’t
believe the would-be Temi was her sister.

“Doesn’t she have a name?” Asked Tara’s step-mother.

Tara didn’t reply.

“What is her name?” Her step-mother shouted.

“I am not washing those plates and that’s final, if you
like, don’t keep lunch for me, I’ll take care of myself.” Tara said and stormed
out of the sitting room.

“Can you imagine that girl?” Tara’s step-mother told the
would-be Temi.

Temi shrugged and didn’t say anything.

****

School hours were over quickly as it was the first day of
school, everyone had good wishes for friends and new school mates.

“Happy new year Tara.” Bimbo said.

They had just stepped out of the class and were heading to
the gate.

“I wish you the same…how was the Christmas and New Year
holidays?” Tara asked Bimbo.

“It was swell, we all travelled to South Africa for the
holidays, and it was pure funnnnn….” Bimbo stressed.

“I can imagine.” Tara said.

“It’s good to have you back in the school though it’s not
the same without Temi. By the way, where is Yemisi?” Bimbo asked.

“She’s visiting her mother’s sister in Calabar…she’ll be
back soon.” Tara lied.

“Then why has Temi being spreading false news around?” Bimbo
asked.

“What false news?”

“Temi said that Yemisi is presently in a remand home because
she almost killed herself when she tried performing abortion on herself.”

“What?” Tara asked open-mouthed.

“That’s what she said and that’s the story around school. Is
it true?”

Tara shook her head in disbelief.

“Okay, I’m going home now, my driver is waiting. Do you want
me to drop you off?”

Tara almost said yes but she saw Robert and shook her head.

“Bye…see you tomorrow and please bring your James Hadley
Chase novels, I had fun reading the last batch you gave to me.” Bimbo said as
she ran off.

Tara stood rooted to the spot, her mind zeroed in on Robert
and she felt herself swooning. This was a time she wished Temi and Yemisi were
here with her, they would have told her what to do.

Robert stood beside his classmate George and they both
chatted and laughed, Tara could only stare in open admiration. ‘Should I go to
him and say hi?’ she asked herself. She took one brave step forward and was
shocked when the would-be Temi rushed up to meet Robert, he was taken aback and
begun a conversation with her. Tara saw red, the would-be Temi was a slut and
was out to destroy her chances with Robert. Walking forward, she went to meet
them.

“You don’t say. I really had fun this holiday, I spent time
in New York and it was ammaaaazzzing.” The would-be Temi lied.

“Okay…hope it was fun.” Robert asked.

“Yes it was, I am really glad that our school decided to enroll
boys into the system. I mean…how does an all-girls school thrive anyway? I have
never been in an all-girls’ school before…” The would-be Temi slipped.

“You’ve been in this school, since junior secondary school
one, how come you’re suddenly saying that this is your first all-girls school?”
Robert asked.

“Oops! Did I say that? Wow! My memory must be playing tricks
on me…I actually have a bit of a memory problem and I really can’t remember
much…” The would-be Temi said.

“Hi Robert, hello George!” Tara greeted.

“Hey look who’s back, you told me last term that you might
not return after the holidays and here you are.” Robert said, smiling.

Tara smiled back like a fool, Robert was the most handsome
guy she has ever met and she loved him each passing day.

“I… well… I used to stay with my mom for a while but later I
came back to continue the first term here… because I went back to staying with
my dad. This has been my school since junior secondary one. Well… luckily, I’m
here to stay.” Tara said, smiling.

“I’m glad…your sister was telling me that you guys had fun
in New York.” Robert said.

Tara stared at her would-be sister in disgust.

“Is that so?” Tara smirked.

“Oh please…don’t talk about the both of us like we are
twins. Tara is a different person, besides, she’s my half-sister and we don’t
go places together.” The would-be Temi said.

“Okay…” Robert answered.

“So, what time should I come?” Temi asked.

“Come for what?” Robert answered.

“Your birthday of course, I heard your birthday is on
Thursday.”

“Oh…yeah but it’s just a get-together with few friends and
family, there are not much slots for more people.” Robert said.

Tara was disappointed that Robert didn’t invite her for his
party, obviously, he had other special people in mind.

“So…does this mean I’m not invited?” Temi asked.

“Well….nope.” Robert answered.

“We’re in the same class, so I’ll bug you till you invite
me… till then, see ya.” Temi said and hurried off.

She looked like a way-ward child with her bag untidily slung
across her back. The would-be Temi had a way of twisting her waist when she
walked. Tara shook her head in dismay and was about to go too when Robert
opened his bag and handed her a card.

“Oh…thank you.” Tara said, no sure of what he was giving
her.

“It’s an invitation to my party, I really want you to come.”
Robert said.

“Thursday is a school day, curfew at my house is till seven
pm.” Tara said.

“School closes at three pm and the party is for four, so
it’s going to be a long three hours. Let’s make the best use of the time.”
Robert said.

Tara smiled and waved at him as she walked away. Robert was
her light at the end of the tunnel, she thought. When she had felt that she didn’t
want to return to a school where most of her memories were, Robert came along.  Tara’s school had been an all-girls secondary
school till new board of directors were introduced. The board of directors felt
that an all-girls school wasn’t in their new goal and suddenly changed the
school to a mixed school, enrolling boys at the beginning of the first term in
August 2013. Tara had just returned from her mother’s house and on resuming at
her former school she realized that boys had been recently enrolled into her
school. It was two days after her resumption last term that she had seen him,
he was already made the class rep of his science class and rumor had it that he
would be made the head boy of the school in the up-coming prefect election.
Robert was the most handsome young man she had ever met and after trying for a
while to confide in Yemisi on her new secret crush but to no avail, she found
herself buying a diary and writing her thoughts and feelings in it. Imagine the
shock and anger she felt this morning when she saw it in the would-be Temi’s
hands. Silently, Tara vowed to take back what was rightfully hers.

As the would-be Temi walked back home from school, she
seethed in rage. She envied Tara who had everyone practically at her feet. The
would-be Temi had performed poorly in the last term exams and she knew the
school pardoned her performance because of the ordeal she supposedly suffered
when her family thought she was lost. The would-be Temi knew the truth of her
existence and she wouldn’t trade her new found family for the world. Hasting up
her steps she sighed deeply and hoped to God that the real Temi never returned.

****

Temi lay on the bed in a cold shiver, her body quaked
heavily and her breath came out in hot spasms. She knew she was sick but she
didn’t know what was wrong with her. Bee had screamed her name a dozen times,
she had heard but had no strength to answer. Moments later, the door to her
room opened and she heard Bee scream loud and hard, Temi didn’t know why Bee
screamed.

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