Two weeks after the nasty incident, everyone was still moping about. School was to resume in barely two weeks and Amelia was preparing to take her exams to get into a foreign university while Jeff sent unending letters to Ashanti who by the way, never replied any of his letters. Lois stayed mostly indoors, locking herself inside her room for the most part of the day and at nights, she sat in her balcony and brooded. She missed her friend Amelia but she couldn’t reach out to her, she didn’t know what to say to her and from the look on her parents faces, they didn’t really approve of Amelia’s friendship anymore.

Ashanti didn’t tell anyone of her experience with Suave and his guys and to be honest, she didn’t remember anything that had happened, all she remembered was that she’d felt so good and then, she danced and found herself on a hospital bed, then at home.

Leyla was having the worst time of her life, not only did Lionel ignore her and her desperate efforts to seduce him, she was losing most of her rich friends as whenever they called her for their wild parties and hook-ups, she had one excuse or the other. Also, she was getting broke by the day. She had little or no money in her account and she needed to make some money or when Ashanti resumed school, she’d be left penniless as most of the money she spent was her daughter’s allowance.

Camille was stuck, she had a daughter who barely said a word to her, a husband whom she ignored and kept malice with -after he’d decided to go with Leyla to search for Ashanti instead of with her- and a woman she loathed in her house. She didn’t know what to do.

In fact, the past two weeks had been a nightmare for everyone as life dragged and not only that, friendships felt strained.

Amelia was busy with her needlework, a past-time her mother made her indulge in after she’d seized all her gadgets, when Jeff walked to meet her.

“Aren’t you bored?” He asked.

“Why? Are you?” She asked.

He nodded.

“It seems as though your birthday party ruined everything. It ruined my relationship with Ashanti as well as your friendship with Lois.” He said.

She shrugged.

“Who says Lois and I are no longer friends?”

“She’s not for once stepped her feet into this house since the birthday party and I have a feeling she’s avoiding you.”

“Why would she do that?” Amelia asked.

“I don’t know…I just know she’s avoiding you. I saw her at the supermarket last week but she didn’t even acknowledge me.” He said.

“Are you sure you’re not mistaken? That seems like a card Ashanti would play.” Amelia said.

“Well…the girl I saw looked a lot like Lois.” He said.

“I doubt it, Lois would never see you and ignore you.” Amelia said. “Besides Ashanti is Lois’s twin and they look alike. I’m sure you saw Ashanti and not Lois.”

Jeff looked at her and perched on the arm of the sofa.

“What do you think? Do you think that now that their parents have found their lost daughter, they’d send her to school in Ghana just like Lois?” He asked.

“I don’t know…as you noticed earlier, Lois and I don’t chat anymore.” Amelia said sadly.

“Why don’t you go over to her house and say hi.” He said.

“What? Her parents obviously feel I’m a bad influence and I’m sure they won’t let me get close to her.” Amelia said.

“Well…this holiday is the most boring break I’ve ever had, all thanks to you.” He whined. “I have read all the books mum bought and my eyes ache, I have watched so many programmes on TV that I can’t even keep up. I miss the internet, my phone and my tablet. Why did I have to be punished for your sins?”

Amelia looked at him, then her eyes flashed.

“Why didn’t I think of this all along?” She said with a twinkle in her eyes.

“Think of what?” He asked.

“Your savings is quite huge isn’t it?” She asked.

“Yea…why?”

“I have some money saved as well. Why don’t we use the money and get ourselves phones?”

His eyes widened.

“What?”

“Yes, we can get good phones that can access Instagram and Whatsapp for about fifteen to twenty thousand naira.”

“What would mom say?”

“She doesn’t need to know.” Amelia said with a smile.

*********

Ashanti regarded her grandparents house with a frown, she hated the place. It reminded her so much of poverty and why did she have to be the only one to come here? Why wasn’t Lois here too?

She mopped around the house and stared at the boys she’d thought all the while to be related to her and smiled. At least, they weren’t related, she thought with a sigh. She didn’t like her cousins at all and she hated their mother more.

While she sat inside the sitting room and stared at nothing in particular, her mother was inside her uncle Jacob’s bedroom, talking to him.

“How do you intend to do that? You’ll just break in?” Leyla asked her brother.

“Look, if only you can be a part of the plan, then there’ll be no problem whatsoever.” He said to her staring at her hopefully.

“I really don’t know…” She hesitated.

“You came to me with your worries, remember?” He asked. “You asked me to help you think of a way to get a huge sum from Lionel and his wife and you also told me that they have a safe in their house where they keep large sums of money. How else do you want me to help you if I don’t plan a robbery.”

“The estate is secured.” She said to him.

“That’s not a problem. Thank God, you can drive. All you need to do drive one of Lionel’s cars and smuggle us into the car. The estate security won’t need to check your booth since you’re already a resident. Then, we’ll take it from there…”

“Are you sure about this?” She asked him. “Jacob, you’re a crook but you’re not a robber.”

“We are in dire need of money and we need to take desperate measures in order to survive.” Jacob said to her.

“I really don’t know about this…but since it’s the only way I can get my hands on a huge sum of money from the annoying couple, then…let’s do it!”

“Good.” He seemed pleased with her answer.

“How do you intend to get everything you need for the robbery?” She asked.

“Leave that to me, I already have a plan and also, I have a gang of men who are willing to help. It’s going to be seamless.” He said.

“How do you intend to get ammunition and the like?” Leyla asked.

“The gang I reached out to, just want us to pay them for the job. All we need to do is give them the amount they want and then, take the rest of the loot.”

“I hope there’ll be no bloodshed.”

“I’ll warn them about that but I doubt that there will unless someone wants to play smart.”

“Haa…please ooo…let’s stay far away from murder…” Leyla said quickly.

Just then, Ashanti walked to Jacob’s door and raised her hand to knock but stopped and pressed her ears to the door.

“Just remember that I get the lion’s share of the money.” Her mother was saying.

“Are you telling me?” Her uncle laughed. “Just make sure that there’s enough money inside the safe, and you’ll get a good share.”

“Lionel puts large amounts into the safe, it was Ashanti who noticed it and told me about it. She said that most of the currency in his safe are foreign currency.”

“Wow! This is going to be the most successful robbery ever. Just wait and see.” Jacob boasted.

Ashanti pulled her ear away from the door and hurried back into the sitting room. What? Her mother and uncle were planning to rob her parents? Why? What for? She felt very uneasy.

********

Camille walked into the sitting room holding a tray with two glasses of juice in her hands. Lois was engrossed in a book while Ashanti sat on the chair and bit her nails, she couldn’t take her mind off what she’d heard from her mother and uncle early this afternoon.

“Girls, I brought you cold glasses of juice.” Camille said with a smile.

Lois looked at her mother and said ‘thank you’ in a low voice, Ashanti didn’t speak at all. Camille looked at Ashanti and said.

“Ash, we really haven’t had the chance to speak after all that has happened and I’d like it if we could talk.”

“What about?” Ashanti asked.

“The…errm…I mean…what happened at the beach.” Camille asked.

“What do you want to know? If I had sex? Why didn’t you ask the doctors?” Ashanti asked, standing to her feet and regarding her biological mother with her hands on her hips.

“I asked you a question calmly, I don’t expect you to be rude to me.” Camille said.

“I told my mom everything that I could remember, so, if you want to know what happened, why don’t you ask her?” Ashanti said and walked away, picking up one of the glasses of juice from the tray as she walked past.

Camille sat on the sofa and sighed, she was officially tired. No matter how hard she tried to get closer to Ashanti, it seemed like a very impossible task. Lois observed all that was happening and said nothing, she continued reading her book.

“Lois, could we talk about your book when you’re done reading?” Camille asked softly.

“I don’t think I’ll have the time mum.” Lois answered. “Please excuse me, I’d like to continue reading in my room.”

She said and picked up the second glass of juice on the tray and made her way upstairs.

Camille sighed, she was about to lose her mind.

 

To be continued next week….

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