Ola woke up to the banging at the door. She forced her eyes open and looked at the direction of the door. It was still six thirty am in the morning and the room was empty as Mickey had gone out to the bathroom to have her bath.
“Who be dat?” She spat as she got off the bed and walked to the door.
She opened the door and a loud slap landed on her cheek.
“Ola! What have I done to you?” Her mother screamed in their native language.
Ola froze in shock. Her mother was here!
“Mama…” She started.
Her mother’s heavy hands fell on her and she screamed in pain.
“Leave her…don’t hurt her.” Nosike’s voice floated from the doorway.
“What did you come to Lagos for?” Her mother asked her in a tearful voice. “Didn’t you come here to join your husband? What are you doing in another man’s house? Is this how I brought you up?”
Mickey walked to the door of the room clad in a towel, she stopped at stared at the scenario in her room.
“What have I done to you? Have have you decided to treat me this way?” Her mother wailed.
“Who be dis?” Mickey asked, surprised at seeing a strange woman at her door.
“That’s Ola’s mother.” Nosike informed.
Mickey watched as Ola’s mother dragged Ola out of the room by using her thumb and index finger to draw her by her ears.
“Come with me…I will kill you today.” Her mother shouted.
“Be careful with her, remember that she’s pregnant.”Nosike said to his mother –in-law. “We don’t even know who the father of the baby she’s carrying is. It might be mine.”
At that moment, Baba Tee walked up to them and stared at Nosike in fury.
“Wetin dey happen hia?” He asked.
Nosike quickly pointed at Baba Tee and said.
“This is the irresponsible man that coveted my wife.” He spat.
Ola’s mother stopped beating her daughter and removing her slippers, she began to beat Baba Tee.
Chekwube yawned, she was sleepy. All through the night, she’d slept with one eye open as she’d practically opened her eyes at every sound. She had been so jittery after Mickey had insulted EM at their school gate that she’d retired to bed very early and had woken up early and dashed out of the house.
Yesterday, after Mickey had insulted EM, they’d both gone to the compound where Chekwube used to live with her sister and husband.
“Ya sister dey my room ooo…” Mickey had said.
“I don’t want to see her.” Chekwube had informed. “I’d rather hang around and wait for a while till Auntie Lizzie gets home.”
Mickey had shrugged.
“Wait here then, lemme go and drop my bag and change out of my uniform.” Mickey had said.
“Okay…” Chekwube had nodded and waited for Mickey.
By the time Mickey re-emerged, she was seating on the low fence of the compound.
“Sorry for taking so long.” Mickey had said.
Chekwube had looked at Mickey in surprise. She wondered how the formerly ferocious Mickey had turned into a saint overnight.
“Does he threaten you often?” Mickey had asked when she joined her on the pavement.
“Who?” Chekwube had asked.
“That ugly man that embarrassed you at the gate to the school.”
“No.” Chekwube had lied.
“Are you sure? I know that some men love to bully small girls and you shouldn’t take that from anyone.” Mickey had said.
“He doesn’t bully me.” Chekwube had said.
Mickey had looked at her.
“I’m not stupid you know.” Mickey had said. “I was once bullied by someone older long ago but my eldest brother…” She’d started and her voice broke.
Chekwube had looked at her.
“Are you okay?” She’d asked.
Mickey had nodded.
“You were saying?” Chekwube asked.
“I just want you to know that you should fight for yourself no matter what. No one has the right to bully you like that and if the person is stronger than you are, confide in someone older.”
“You were saying something about your eldest brother.” Chekwube said.
Mickey had jumped off the fence and said quickly.
“Let’s go back to your aunt’s house and see if she’s back.”
“Yes, she should be back by now.” Chekwube had said, getting off the fence.
As they made their way back to aunt Lizzie’s place, she’d wondered why Mickey hadn’t wanted to say anything about her eldest brother.
Now, as she placed her head on her desk to sleep, someone walked into the classroom and slammed the desk hard. Chekwube looked up, it was Mickey.
“Oooohhh…I didn’t sleep well last night…” Chekwube whinned.
“There is fire on the mountain ooo…” Mickey said as she walked up to her desk.
“Fire?” Chekwube asked with sleepy eyes.
“Guess who’s in Lagos?” Mickey asked.
“I don’t know.” Chekwube answered grumpily.
“Drums roll please…” Mickey started and began to make drumroll sounds with her mouth.
“Mickey please cut to the chase biko, I am sleepy.” Chekwube said. “I need to catch at least five minutes of sleep before assembly.”
“Your mother is in town and she’s at the house right now, beating the life out of Ola.”
Chekwube jerked up in shock.
“You heard me, your mother is in town.” Mickey said.
Chekwube clutched her chest with her palms, it felt as though she was about to have a heart attack.
Gbenga chose that moment to walk into the classroom, he saw Mickey standing over Chekwube’s desk conversing with her and thought it was a pretty odd sight. He walked over to them.
“What’s going on?” He asked.
Chekwube looked at him and couldn’t speak, the blood had been drained from her face.
“Her momsy is in town.” Mickey said.
“Wow! You should be thrilled.” Gbenga said.
Mickey shook her head.
“What do you mean? Did she abandon you like mine did?” He asked.
“Your mother abandoned you?” Mickey asked.
Gbenga ignored her and spoke to Chekwube.
“Are you okay? Talk to me.” He said.
“What time is it?” Chekwube asked. “Is it time for assembly yet?”
“Nope.” Gbenga said.
“You’ll go to see her after school right?” Mickey asked.
“See who?” Chekwube asked.
“Your mom, of course.”
“No way!” Chekwube asked determined to avoid her mother at all costs lest she decide to take her back to the village.
Gbenga looked at Chekwube in sympathy, he thought her situation with her mother was the same as his.
“You have to forgive her you know…sometimes, when a mother decides to leave her child, she doesn’t really mean to leave…some circumstances might be the factor.” He said.
“What are you talking about?” Chekwube asked.
“I’m talking about your mom and the reasons she abandoned you. My mom abandoned me too but she’s back now and she wants to make it right in fact, she’s very cool…much cooler than my dad and I don’t want to hold a grudge anymore.” He said. “I think it might be fun, getting to know her.”
“Let’s go for assembly…or we’re going to be punished.” Chekwube said quickly standing from her desk and walking out of the class.
Gbenga and Mickey followed her behind, they were surprised at her behaviour.
To be continued…..