Bunmi looked at her wrist watch; her time was running out and if she didn’t push hard enough, she would end up not getting what she so desperately wanted- her ex-husband’s wealth and not just a little part of it but all of it. She wanted the glitz and glamour of life so desperately and there was no other way she could get it except through her son’s inheritance. She needed Gbenga to see her as the only one who’s got his back so that when Felix finally kicked the bucket, he won’t be reluctant to ask the lawyer to place her in charge of his inheritance till he was of age.
She knew that Felix, her ex- husband has so many assets and that he was considered very wealthy and now that she knew that her son was his only heir, she needed to do something quick inorder to get the money she so desperately wanted. Jermia hadn’t been of much help as she’d thought. She’d thought that Jermia would be able to influence her son and turn him to her side but everyday, the girl disappointed her. She was still deep in thought when the door to her bedroom opened and Jermia walked in.
“You sent for me.” Jermia said.
“You’re going back to Brazil.” Bunmi gritted.
The girl’s eyes widened.
“Why? What have I done?” She asked.
“You have failed me. We’ve been here close to a month and you haven’t done anything to pull Gbenga to our side.”
“What else do you want me to do?” Jermia asked in a teary voice. “I have spoken to him, and I have tried to sow doubts in his mind…but Gbenga loves his father so much and wants so desperately to please him.”
“You haven’t done enough. Don’t you see that he’s been focusing on his studies? That’s what Gbenga’s father wants. He wants Gbenga to excel in his studies and Gbenga is so desperate to please his dad.”
“Please…don’t send me back…at least, not yet. I promise that I would try harder to draw him to your side.” Jermia begged.
“What are you waiting for? Get to action! Soji will soon be on his way to pick him up from school, you should go with him.”
Jermia nodded and rushed out of the bedroom. Bunmi breathed a bit more steadily, she pushed her hand under her pillow and brought out a picture of Gbenga and his father.
“You’re going to die, Felix and everything you have will be mine.” She said.
As she pushed back the picture under the bed, she wondered if she coul trust Jermia to follow through with the plans.
Gbenga stood at the school gate with Chekwube, he bought two wraps of fried groundnuts and gave her one.
“Thank you.” She said and accepted.
“You don’t seem to be in hurry to go home.” Gbenga noticed.
“Well, my aunt is not home…she will be back later in the day.” She said.
“Aren’t you with the keys to the house?”
“Yes, I am with the keys, it’s just that…” She caught herself.
“It’s just that, what?” Gbenga pressed.
“It’s nothing…” Chekwube said, not wanting to tell Gbenga that she didn’t feel comfortable staying in aunt Lizzie’s place whenever she wasn’t at home as EM could be there.
“So, are you going to hang around here doing nothing?” Gbenga asked.
“I’ll go and see my sister…” Chekwube said quickly.
Gbenga’s car slowed down before them and a young teenage girl pushed her head out of the car window.
“Gbengs! Is this your school?” She screamed.
Some students turned to regard the girl, Gbenga was red with embarrassment.
“Jermia, what are you doing here?” He asked as he waved to Chekwube and made his way to the car.
Mickey stepped out of the school compound and stood beside Chekwube.
“Who be dat one?” She asked referring to Jermia.
“I don’t know…she just came with his driver.” She said.
Mickey didn’t look pleased. She stood there silently and watched Gbenga get into the car and the driver drive off.
“Na wah ooo…so he get girlfriend for outside.” Mickey said in distate.
“I don’t know…” Chekwube said.
“Shebi una be best friends.” Mickey taunted.
“We are not best friends…he’s just my classmate and my study partner.” Chekwube said.
Mickey looked at her and observed.
“You suppose don reach house by now, wetin you still dey do for hia?” Mickey asked.
“Nothing…” Chekwube stammered.
“E get something wey dey pursue you comot from ya auntie house?” Mickey asked.
Chekwube looked away quickly and said.
“I want to see my sister…Ola.”
“That sister of yours is the most stupid person I’ve ever met.” Mickey remarked in good English.
“Say whatever you like.” Chekwube said.
“I’m not saying this because I want to sound nasty but your sister is really a stupid girl. Can you believe that I spoke to her and adviced her?”
Chekwube turned to regard Mickey, she was amused.
“Wetin you mean by that one? Do you mean I can’t advise her?” Mickey asked, offended.
“I’m not saying that, it’s just that…I never thought of you as the advising type.”
“Look, I know that I have my ways and that my character pushes people away but…”
“You know that? Bravo! I’m glad that you’re one step ahead in working on yourself.” Chekwube said.
“No one can change Mickey.” Mickey said angrily.
“No one is trying to change you but can you for once try to be human? You are mostly insensitive to people’s feelings and…” Chekwube started.
Chekwube was still talking when a young man walked up to her and screamed at her.
“What are you still doing here? Hasn’t school dismissed yet?” EM barked at her.
Chekwube stared at EM in shock, she hadn’t expected him to show up at her school.
“Err….I…err…” She stammered.
EM grabbed her roughly by the shoulders.
“So, because you feel that aunt Lizzie is not at home, you can hang around school like a stray dog? What time is it? It’s almost four pm and you’ve not even made lunch.” He yelled.
Chekwube looked pertrified. Mickey looked mad.
“Hey, oga…abeg leave am!” Mickey fired at him. “Which kain rough play be dis one?”
EM looked at Mickey.
“I said, leave her alone. Is she your slave? Why do you have to come and embarrass her in school? Can’t you wait till she comes back home? Who are you sef?” Mickey fired.
“I am an alma mater of this school and everyone knows me, including the gateman. How dare you speak to me in such manner.” EM demanded.
Mickey laughed and clapped like a monkey.
“Wait…so, you are an alma mater…what year did you graduate?” She asked.
“Six years ago.” EM answered, staring at Mickey stonily.
“Oga, if you graduated six years ago, you should be done with university and youth service and you should be in an office now, working hard to make a living and not bullying a poor girl.” Mickey fired.
EM let go of Chekwube and turned on Mickey, Chekwube quickly rushed to the center of the two angry people in a bid to avoid a fight.
“Get out of my way Chekwube…I want to teach this girl a lesson.” EM growled.
“Haaaa…Chekwube, comot from road, e don tey since I fight man…I wan tear dis guy like sachet water.”
The gateman of the school, seeing that Mickey and EM were already causing a scene, rushed up to them with his cane.
“Abeg comot from sight…if una wan fight, go find boxing ring. Dis nor be place to fight.” He said in warning.
Mickey sneered at EM and held on to Chekwube’s hand.
“Oya come, make we dey go our compound. When ya auntie come back, you go return.” Mickey said, dragging Chekwube with her.
Chekwube followed Mickey, her breath was in her throat as she was still in shock over what had just happened.
“Do you need to go home straight from school? That’s boring.” Jermia said to Gbenga.
They were in the car, on their way home.
“Where should I go to? My friends in my former school have after school lessons.” He said.
“I don’t mean that dummy. I mean that you should hang out somewhere.” Jermia said.
“Hang out? Where? It’s a Monday afternoon.” He said.
“Come closer, I want to whisper something in your ears.” She said as she inched closer to him. “You should pack a change of clothing in your bag so that you can freely do whatever you want after school.” She whispered.
Gbenga’s eyes widened as he turned to regard her.
“My dad will kill me.” He said incredulously.
“Does it matter? Besides, your mom is on your side. She’s all for fun…you know.”
Gbenga looked interested, he was tired of going straight home from school anyway.
“What of uncle Soji…he’ll tell on me.” Gbenga said whispering back to Jermia.
“You don’t need to worry about him.” She whispered back.
“But…he’ll tell my dad and he’ll punish me more. The last time my dad punished me, I ended up in a government school and as it is, I’m working so hard to up my grades so that he can send me back to my former school.”
“Look, you can’t please your dad enough. After getting good grades, he’ll have other things to ask of you. You are young…I think you should enjoy your life now.” She whispered.
“What do you suggest?” He asked.
“Well, I could help you research on a good party that we can attend…all night and then, you’ll sneak back into your room the next morning and maybe pretend to be sick inorder to get enough sleep after partying. It’s much more fun to do things behind parents back. However, your mom will know about it because she’s the fun parent.”
Gbenga had always wanted to go to an all night party, his friend, Anthony had been to an all night party because his brothers were in the university and they’d allowed him tag along.
“Don’t worry Gbengs, it will be fun. I’ll teach you to have real fun.” She said with a wide smile.
Gbenga nodded, he could have it all, he thought. He could be the studious dude during the day and make his grades and then at night, he could be the party freak. Perhaps it was time to break out of his shell and be the teen he’s always wanted to be.
To be continued….