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was scrubbing the floors when she felt the hard slap at her back, she quickly
jerked upright and twisted in pain.
time did you wake up this morning? You filthy swine!” Aunty Joy barked.
thirty am ma.” Sandra cried.

you stupid? Do you think this is your father’s house?”
overslept ma, I couldn’t sleep through the night, my body ached and I was
overslept…I was vomiting…did I get you pregnant?” Aunty Joy screamed.
ma…” Sandra cried, wiping the tears with the back of her palms.
almost seven thirty and you haven’t finished your chores…what rubbish! I expect
to see the house sparkling in the next thirty minutes, failure to deliver and
you are dead. I mean dead!” Aunty Joy barked and stormed out fuming under her
sniffed back the tears, she was so weak, she hadn’t eaten since lunch time
yesterday, and Aunty Joy had conveniently skipped her dinner, besides she wasn’t
really hungry nowadays. She returned to scrubbing the floors when Vanessa
walked in.
you pregnant?” Vanessa asked.
nodded silently and kept scrubbing, letting her tears fall in quick succession
to the ground.
am so sorry about that…do you…I mean does the father know you are pregnant?”
didn’t respond, she kept scrubbing the floors hard.
of the girls in my class was expelled from school last term, she was pregnant
too. Is that why you came to live with my mom?”
does these questions have to do with anything? Yes, I am pregnant and yes,
that’s why I’m here. Could you please excuse me and let me get back to my job?”
Sandra asked.
sorry…was just curious…”
yourself out with your curiosity. I bet you’ve never suffered in your life, you’ve
never been in pain before or had to beg for anything…”
haven’t really suffered before but that doesn’t mean that I can’t place myself
in your shoes.”
course you can’t. Don’t you think you can ever feel the way I feel just because
you’re sympathetic… or…” Sandra burst out in tears.
crouched before her and patted her back.
am sorry for your pain…for everything…I know that no matter what, I can’t place
myself in your shoes but I’d like to try.” Vanessa said.
looked up at Vanessa who stared at her in sincerity. “Really? Why? You don’t owe
me anything…”
really don’t know…I guess, it’s because you strike me as a very good person and
I hate to see you suffer like this…and being treated bad by my mother.”
you…you’re so kind.”
chores do you have left? I’d like to help you out.” Vanessa supplied.
your mom…”
worry about her…she’s used to my rebellious attitude…she knew how reluctant I was
when she asked us to come over. She’ll ignore me.”
smiled and happily told her the rest of her chores. The two girls got to work!
you smoke here?” Nike asked Preye in a firm voice.
you stupid? What kind of question is that?” Preye answered gruffily.
am not going to repeat my question again. Did you smoke in my room again? After
I told you to hide in my bedroom balcony to smoke because one of my
grandparents is asthmatic.”
ignore your sharp tongue besides, isn’t it time your grandparents kicked the
bucket? They are over-populating the earth.” Preye said and bringing out another
stick of cigarette from his pocket, he lit it.
that to me! This is my house and you will respect me whether you like it or
not!” Nike spat trying to pry the cigarette stick from Preye’s hands.
you crazy?” Preye asked in a shocked voice.
wasn’t ready to risk being caught habouring a man in her grandparents’ house
and Preye’s smoking habit was definitely going to implicate her.
was angry, how could a sixteen year old girl talk to him anyhow? He wasn’t having
it! He raised his hand and slapped her soundly on the cheek.
had never seen stars up close in her life, and she has never received a slap so
hard that she felt the metallic taste of blood in her mouth.
Idiot! How dare you challenge me huh? How dare you? People fear me…” Preye said
dragging smoke from the cigarette and blowing it into the air. He rose from the
bed and paced around the room.
away…get out of my house…get out now!” Nike cried, she stood up and faced him
looking disheveled. “I blame myself for bringing you here…I should never have…”
put off his cigarette by stubbing it at the wall, he walked towards her.
am sorry mehn! I don’t know what came over me darling…it’s just that no one
loves me for me, except you and I’ve got it all messed up…”  Preye said in tears.
suddenly felt her anger abate, turning to look at him with swollen eyes, she
am sorry for everything…I shouldn’t have made you feel so bad…it’s all my
mistake.” She cried.
am sorry too and I promise to make it up to you…I promise…I am so sorry…” Preye
said as he hugged her.
hugged him back with her might, she needed a man in her life and in all the men
who had trod down her path, including her father, Preye was the only one she
felt comfortable with and who made her feel most loved. In her heart she
prayed. “Please God, let’s be together forever.”
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walked down the street, the sun was scorching and since her new step-mom had
insisted on taking the only car left in the house to the salon so she had no
choice but to take a taxi to the library. She had finished reading in three
hours and heading back home wasn’t easy as all yellow taxis were either
occupied with passengers or non-existent. Chika knew better than to take
private taxi vehicles with no ‘colour’, she had heard stories about kidnap, rape,
robbery and the like and she wasn’t ready to be traumatized by such events. She
had hardly walked to the street curb when she heard a familiar voice.
Said a male voice.
turned to see Felix jogging down the street.
you…” Chika greeted. “Fancy seeing you jog under the sun.”
do that often especially when I’m trying to catch up with someone.”
are you? Is this your area?”
that’s my house over there.” Felix said pointing at his aunt’s house not too
far away.
you want to come inside? I have cold drinks in the fridge…” He offered.
don’t really know you…besides I’ve been hearing rumours about you. You were
expelled from your former school right?”
that make me an outcast?”
but a school doesn’t expel a student unless he or she did something really bad.
Did you do something bad?”
you want a drink or not? You look tired.” Felix said to her.
go but mind you, my eyes are on you. If you try any rubbish, I’ll unleash my
kung-fu.” Chika warned.
not like you’re smoking hot anyway.”
hissed and followed him into the compound, it was a fairly large house and the
environment was very conducive. They entered the house and Chika sat on the
sofa while Felix went to get the drinks. He emerged minutes later with soft
drinks and handed one to Chika, opening his drink in the process and drinking
is your friend?” Felix asked.
don’t know…” Chika replied.
betrayed her you know…that was so bad of you.”
pushed me to it.” Chika retorted.
told me that pregnancy is a big deal and blab la bla…and I didn’t want to get
involved in an abortion. What if she died in the process?”
never told you to rat her out to that poisonous girl called Seyi…I heard that
Sandra was living in her house as a maid of some sort.”
a lie…Seyi’s house was kind of Sandra’s foster home…”
sat on the chair facing hers and said.
really…so are you denying that you didn’t betray her. I’m sure your revelation
was part of what made her foster parents send her packing.”
That’s not true and you know it…”
you hear? Seyi has been spreading the news that Sandra has been sent away to
live in God knows where…”
been calling Sandra but her phone is switched off…” Chika said silently.
don’t mean to accuse you but…you took the wrong step…by ratting her out.”
me? As I said earlier, you influenced my decision and …maybe my mom too…” Chika
started but was cut short by the woman that entered the house in the company of
a man.
is this about? The woman screamed.
my classmate…she came to take a book from me…I…errr…” Felix started.
dare you bring someone into this house after I warned you that my man doesn’t tolerate
unwanted company?” His aunt screamed.
am sorry aunt…she’s on her way out…” Felix said.
was already on her feet.
thought you told me that your nephew was already out of this house, how come he’s
still here?” Felix aunt’s companion inquired of her.
am so sorry…he…I mean…I …” Felix’s aunt stammered.
out! You’d better have a reasonable explanation when you call to apologize.”
Felix’s aunt’s companion said and stormed out of the house.

my God!” Felix aunt screamed and turning to face the starry-eyed teenagers, she
shouted. “What are you two looking at? Get out of here this instant!”
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