Ola had just brought out her dirty clothes to wash when a girl stormed up to her and dragged her by her plaited braids.

“Shebi na you…na you abi? When I hia de gist, I think say na lie but I don believe.” The girl spat at her and dragged her hard till Ola felt she was going to die.

“Leave me…” Ola wailed.

“I nor go leave you ooo…de first thing you must answer na why you wan thief my boyfriend. Baba Tee na my own!” The girl yelled.

Ola winced in pain, the neighbours at the backyard looked away as though nothing was happening. Ola wondered why they weren’t helping her out.

“Listen and listen good, you go pack ya things comot from my boyfriend house. You dey hia me so?” The girl shouted.

Ola began to cry, the pain from the girl’s grip on her braids hurt like hell.

“Wetin dey happen hia? Why you dey drag Ola like that?” Baba Tee shouted at the girl.

The girl looked at Baba Tee who had just stormed into the backyard of the house.

“So, na dis bush pikin be ya new girlfriend abi? After everything wey we don go through…” The girl cried.

“Leave her alone…” Baba Tee shouted.

The girl lets go of Ola’s hair and began to cry.

“If pesin tell me, I nor go believe am…so, Baba Tee, you fit dump me like this.” She cried.

“Na who dump you? I nor dump anybody.” Baba Tee said.

The girl pointed at Ola.

“So na how you wan use repay me be dis ehn? Shebi you don forget say na me helep carry ya sister come house dat time wey she lost…” The girl cried.

Ola instantly remembered the girl, she was the same person who had helped bring Chekwube home a few days after they’d moved to Lagos. It was at the tip of Ola’s tongue to apologise.

“Don’t worry…dis thing wey you do me ehn, na only God go use hand repay una.” The girl spat and stormed off.

Ola continued to cry, Baba Tee pulled her into his arms and comforted her.

“Nor mind am…na jealousy dey cause am.” He said to her.

“But…you tell me…say you don’t have any girlfriend.” Ola cried.

“I don send am away since…but she nor gree leave me…” Baba Tee said.

Ola nodded in understanding.

“Oya, just finish washing clothes and come inside.” He said and left.

As soon as Baba Tee left, some of the neighbours at the back of the house hissed. Ola glared at them in anger.

“Na so you people use to help somebody abi? Thank God dat my boyfriend come to de rescue.” She spat in bad English.

“Na you we dey pity ooo….you never see anything.” One of the neighbours said to her.

“Jealousy wee not kee you.” Ola spat.

“You left a good man and went ahead to waste your life with a stupid boy. I feel sorry for you.” Another neighbour, everyone referred to as ‘English Teacher’ said to her.

Ola hissed and began singing a song in her native language, about envy.

**************

Chekwube opened her flask of food in class and began to eat. Mickey walked up to her and sat beside her on her chair.

“Your sister is in my house.” Mickey announced.

If Chekwube was surprised, she hid it well.

“What do you want me to do?”

“Come and send her out, haba!” Mickey spat.

“I can’t do that, besides, she went there on her own accord and besides, she’s my big sister and I can’t boss her around.” Chekwube said.

“You are more sensible than she is.” Mickey said, despite herself.

Chekwube looked at Mickey and was taken aback.

“Did I become deaf or did you just compliment me?” Chekwube asked.

“Abeg, other termI nor get time for compliment, just come and send your sister out of my house.” Mickey said switching to pidgin English.

“I am sorry but I can’t do that.” Chekwube said. “Ola decided to leave her husband for your brother and even though I’m not happy that she chose a hoodlum over a good man, I can’t do anything about it.”

“Take your time ooo…what do you mean by that? Why are you referring to my brother in such terms?” Mickey spat.

“Yes, he is a hoodlum, what other terms can be used to refer to a man who makes his living by bullying people on the streets and taking hard earned money from motorists?”

“I am warning you ooo…” Mickey fired, slamming the table.

“Must you settle all your problems with a fight? Are you an animal?” Chekwube spat at her.

Mickey looked at Chekwube in surprise.

“Wait…na me you dey talk to like dat? Which kain posing be dis one? Or na because of say, Gbenga na ya reading partner?”

“This has nothing to do with Gbenga. If that child, Ola is carrying is indeed your brother’s then we are bound by that child and I don’t like it one bit. I don’t like your brother and I feel that he is bad for my sister. I can’t butter up my words to sooth your ego. If you want to beat me up, then, please be my guest.”

Mickey was enraged, she wanted to pull Chekwube’s hair so bad but it was bad enough that the girl was on a low cut.

Gbenga approached Chekwube’s desk.

“Class captain.” He said, referring to Chekwube. “What’s going on here?”

“Mickey wants to beat me up.” Chekwube said.

“Why?” Gbenga asked.

“Tell her to come and take her sister out from my house.” Mickey said.

“Your sister?” Gbenga asked Chekwube.

“Her stupid sister is in my house and do you know that she is married?” Mickey fired. “She is married to one man called Nosike and instead of building her home, she’s been chasing my brother from pillar to post.”

“That’s because Mickey’s hoodlum of a brothe wooed my sister and deceived her.” Chekwube spat.

“What are you guys talking about?” Gbenga asked, confused.

“If you call my brother a hoodlum again, I’ll slap your face.” Mickey shouted.

“Slap the face of the class captain?” Chekwube sneered. “I’ll report you to the teachers and you will be punished.”

“You think say na cane dey fear me? Cane nor dey make me fear, lai lai.” Mickey fired.

“Mickey, please go out for break. Don’t cause a scene.” Gbenga said. “I think the two of you should stay away from each other since you can’t help but fight whenever you see each other.”

“I was on my own and she came, spoling for a fight. Besides, this is my desk.” Chekwube said.

“Chekwube has a point, Mickey, you need to leave.” Gbenga said.

Mickey was hurt.

“Na wah for you ooo…Gbenga. After everything I have done for you, you decide to treat me like I don’t matter. It’s okay. No problem. I promise that I will never disturb you again. And as for you Chekwube, you have started a war and I promise to make your sister suffer dearly.” Mickey said and stormed off.

Gbenga looked at Chekwube once Mickey left.

“What happened? Why is she dragging your sister into this?”

“It’s a long story, don’t bother about it.” Chekwube said.

Mickey stormed out of the class feeling defeated. She made her way towards the canteen, searching for someone to talk to, then she realised that she had no friends. Those she’d made friends with in the past either stayed away from her or avoided her completely.

She had never felt so alone.

 

To be continued…..

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