Happy Eid-el-Fitr to all my Muslim readers and friends. I wish you all a joyous celebration.

*****

For some reason, Mickey felt very happy and she knew that it was because she had a hand in bridging the gap between Chekwube and Aunt Lizzie. Who would have thought that she could come to like Chekwube and stand up for her? She thought. Perhaps it was because deep down, she hated to see people oppressed especially by those older than them.

For the umpteenth time, she wondered why Gbenga hadn’t shown up at school today. What could have happened? She alighted from the bike which had stopped her at the front of the compound and walked inside. The day had been long and exhausting as she had spent almost the whole day on her feet. She vowed that once she got inside the house, she’d hit the pillow and sleep like a log till the next morning.

She walked to the room she shared with her mother and turned the knob, the door opened and she almost bumped into Baba Tee.

“You nor fit knock?” He spat at her.

Mickey was used to her brother’s temper tantrums so she ignored him.

“Dey do like mumu ooo…” He fired at her and left the room.

Mickey shrugged and stepped inside the room. She wasn’t in the least bothered about her brother’s new nest as he had lost all her respect after he coveted Nosike’s wife. She knew that the fact that Ola was with Baba Tee was a big blow to Nosike’s ego as he might never be the same again. She had just shut the door behind her when her gaze went to the ground and she saw a picture. She bent to the ground and picked it up.

The smiling faces of Gbenga and his father stared at her. Mickey was shocked.

“This is the picture of Gbenga and his father. What is this picture doing here?” She wondered. “I have never seen any of Gbenga’s personal stuff and…”

The door quickly opened and Baba Tee saw the picture in her hands and snatched it from her and without a word he stormed away.

Mickey wanted to shout after him that she knew the people in the picture but words hung in her throat.

“What is my brother doing with Gbenga’s picture?” She asked herself.

She couldn’t come up with a reason so, she bolted the door and began to change her clothes.

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

Chekwube felt so relieved, Auntie Lizzie had believed her completely and she was so happy. She was washing the dishes when a male voice startled her, she turned around and smiled.

“Brother Nosike, good evening.” She greeted.

“How are you?” He said, staring at her with fondess in his eyes.

“I am fine…how are you?”

He shrugged, he had circles under his eyes and he seemed to have lost a bit of weight.

“Well…I’m moving out of the compound in a few days.”

Chekwube’s eyes widened.

“What? Where are you going to?” She asked.

“I asked for a transfer with the construction company where I work and they agreed so, I’m moving to Ijebu-Ode.”

Chekwube had tears in her eyes at the news.

“I’m sorry that…that it all had to come to this.” She said.

“Well…Ola chose her path.” He said.

“Have you ever thought that the baby might be yours considering that no DNA test was done?”

“You’re too smart for your age.” He said to her with a smile. “I really don’t know but isn’t it obvious that Baba Tee feels the child is his and that Ola wants the child to be his? I really hope she doesn’t regret her decision, Chekwube. I know Baba Tee and I know that he’s bad news.”

“Yes….I know he is too.” Chekwube said.

“I came to see you because my aunt was telling me something about broda Stanley in my compound. Is it true?”

Chekwube looked away, she didn’t speak.

“Chekwube, did he try to take advantage of you?”

“Yes.” She said. “It was the day before your aunt came and I decided to go with her. I was so scared of staying in that compound and I was having nightmares too.”

“My goodness! He has to be arrested.” Nosike said with a frown. “Did anyone else witness this aside from you and Ola?”

“Yes…the young boy who had come to take the plates of food from the room…he…witnessed it.”

“When you’re done washing plates, let’s go to the police station to write a statement.” He said.

“Police station?” Chekwube asked in surprise.

“Yes, he needs to be punished for what he tried to do. It’s a serious offence.”

Chekwube’s heart started beating fast, she didn’t expect that the police would be involved.

“Chekwube, matters like this are never left unsolved. If you don’t report it, another day, he will try it again with someone who might end up being his victim. We shouldn’t let perverts take advantage of young people.”

“Okay…I will come with you once I’m done with the plates.” She said.

“I also heard about Ebuka and I feel really embarrassed.” He said.

“Ebuka is gone, that’s one problem solved.” She said.

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

‘Tonight is the night’, Gbenga resolved within him. He was going to ask for a father-son talk with his dad and he was going to pour his heart out. His father treated him like a specimen of some sort and he hated it, he also acted as though his opinions didn’t count and enough was enough.

Gbenga stared at the clock, it was eleven pm in the night and his father wasn’t still back. He left his bedroom and headed to the kitchen. Mummy Justina was there, dozing on the kitchen table.

“Ahem!” He cleared his throat.

She startled and opened her eyes.

“Gbenga…aren’t you asleep yet? There’s school tomorrow.” She said.

“I need to speak to my dad.” He said to her.

“But it’s late…” She looked at the clock in the kitchen and looked quite worried. “Is that clock correct?”

“Yes, it’s a few minutes past eleven pm.” Gbenga said.

“I…need to go…I need to get home.” She said worriedly.

Mummy Justina only stayed with Gbenga for as long as his father wasn’t home. His father always got home between the hours of seven and eight pm, since his last wife left him. It was no news that his father was quite difficult to live with.

“At this hour?” Gbenga asked worriedly.

“Yes, my husband would be very upset if I don’t get back home today.” She said looking at the clock again. “I was supposed to leave once your dad got home but it’s strange that he isn’t home at this time. Yesterday, he knew he was staying out late so he told me to go home at six but today, he hasn’t communicated with me.”

“Have you called his phone?”

She shook her head and brought out her phone. She dialled Gbenga’s father’s number and placed the phone against her ear.

“It’s…it’s unavailable.” She said.

 

To be continued…..

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