Amelia’s mother dragged her by her dress across the room where she gave her multiple slaps that sent shock and unbelief down her brain. By the time her mother was through with her, all Amelia could see were stars, a cloud of darkness and something like a mini-volcanic eruption.
“I raised you better! How dare you? After all your father and I have sacrificed for you. How could you have made friends with a stranger and let him into our home? Do you know who he really is? Do you know if he’s a kidnapper or a robber? What do you know about him except that his name is Suave? What do you know?” She yelled.
Amelia crouched to the ground and cried, this was the worst birthday of her life. She had just turned eighteen and her mother had disgraced her publicly before Lois’s family and worse of all, her face reeled from the painful slaps.
“Lois, do you have any idea of who this Suave guy really is? Is Suave even his real name? Did Amelia ever tell you about him?” Her father asked.
Lois nodded feeling sorry for her friend. She too was guilty, she should have dissuaded Amelia from continuing her friendship with the strange guy but she hadn’t. In fact, she cringed to think that she would have actually been the one in Ashanti’s shoes as she’d wanted to go out after the party with Amelia but with Jeff fainting at the photo booth, she hadn’t been able to go.
“Where could he have taken Ashanti?” Leyla asked, re-dialling Ashanti’s phone number. “Where do we begin our search? I just hope she’s safe.”
“This is your fault as well, I hope you know that.” Lois’s father flung at Leyla.
“How is it my fault?” She spat. “I don’t recall giving her permission to go for Amelia’s party, you did. You and that wife of yours.”
“If you hadn’t been the one to raise her, she’ll be just like Lois who listens to instructions and knows better than to go out with strangers.”
“Oh really? Didn’t Lois sneak out of the house to attend the party? Wasn’t she grounded? Oh, how the mighty have fallen!” Leyla sneered.
“Don’t you dare use that tone with me. We both know that this is your fault and if anything happens to Ashanti, I am taking her far away from you!” He yelled.
“You won’t dare! Ashanti is mine whether you like it or not. Why don’t you face the truth? You and Camille are not good parents and you’re just looking for whom to blame.”
“Don’t you dare call us bad parents. We raised Lois well and…” He started.
“Stop it two of you!” Lois shouted. “This is not the time or the place to argue about your parenting skills. Do you know what? The two of you suck. No one is actually better than the other. So, can we get back to the issue at hand and find Ashanti before something bad really happens to her?”
Lois father kept silent and looked away, Leyla stared at her phone. Jeff walked to his sister who was still crouched on the ground, their mother was so furious that she stood at the window staring at nothing in particular.
“Amelia, you’re the only one that can help us…please…” He started. “Tell us all you know about Suave.”
“I don’t…. know anything…to be honest…” She cried. “All I know is that he lives in Abuja. Ask Lois…if you don’t believe me.”
Jeff turned to look at Lois.
“She’s right, she really doesn’t know much about him.” Lois said.
“How can she not know anything about him?” Amelia’s mother yelled turned her gaze from the window. “This good for nothing daughter of mine doesn’t know anything. Look at you! Not only are you so big, you’re literally bursting at the seams, your head is filled with cotton wool. How can you give so much information to a man you met on Facebook? Do you know if he actually lives in Abuja or if he’s been lying to you all this while? Do you know what? From today, no one uses any device in this house. If you cannot watch television, then go to sleep. I am cutting off internet as well and…”
“But mom, you can’t punish me for Amelia’s sins.” Jeff almost cried.
“She’s your older sister and she hasn’t set a good example for you. So, from today, I will help set a good example for you and that involves cutting off your internet supply. Also, I need the two of you to submit to me, the tablets your dad and I bought for you, at the beginning of the long vacation.”
“Mom…” Jeff said, contorting his face.
Lois’s father cleared his throat and said.
“We have to go and search for Ashanti. We’ll search for her around the area where you found Amelia and if we don’t find her, we’ll have to report to the police.”
“Okay, I am really sorry for all of this. I cringe when I think that your daughter would have been safe and sound in your home if we hadn’t thrown this party for my daughter and she hadn’t gotten herself involved with useless guys on Facebook.”
Lois’s father beckoned to his daughter and they left Amelia’s house with Leyla in tow.
Mascot and his wife lounged under a cosy shade at the beach, they were enjoying their honeymoon in Nigeria.
“Who would have thought that a honeymoon in Nigeria would be fun and also pocket friendly.” His wife said.
“I told you so. There’s really no need to travel. Imagine, a round trip to Mauritius costs almost five hundred thousand naira. We’ve been lodged in a beautiful hotel around here for less than one hundred and fifty thousand naira for four nights plus, we get to enjoy the beauty of the beaches around the hotel and also…”
A loud shout from the teenagers dancing and having fun not too far from them stopped him in mid-sentence. His wife turned to look at them.
“I wonder why they are all boys with just one girl. Isn’t that strange?” She asked.
“I don’t know…perhaps she’s their sister.” He said.
“Look at her, she looks drunk…and she’s pretty young. She shouldn’t be more than thirteen or maybe fourteen.”
“Haba! What would a thirteen-year-old be doing at the beach unsupervised. I’m sure she’s older than that. She just has a small body structure.” Mascot said intent on enjoying the day and ignoring the party of carefree boys and girl.
“I still feel quite uneasy…” His wife said, turning to look at them again. “Wait…where’s the girl?” She asked stretching towards the small party.
“Let’s enjoy our honeymoon c’mon! We have just one day left and we’re back to work.” Her husband whined.
She turned to him and smiled.
“You’re such a clingy husband…you know that?”
Ashanti was completely drugged, she couldn’t even say a word without feeling her tongue swell to bursting point inside her mouth.
“Where…are…we going?” She asked Ticker who was leading her away from the small party.
“Let’s go and chill.” He said to her.
She turned around and saw Suave and another of the guys following them behind.
“Oh..yea…we’re having our party moved….whooo hooo!” She said, feeling as light as air.
Her foot brushed a sharp seashell but she didn’t feel the pain, she was too numb and too high to feel pain.
“She’s really stoned.” Ticker called out to Suave and the other guy.
They laughed and hurried up to them.
“Would you like to pee?” Suave asked, trying to hold back laughter.
“Pee? Yes…oh…yes…I want to pee in the sea…” She giggled. “Good rhymes huh? I’m great in Literature…I write poems but my mom…she doesn’t listen when I recite them. She is always busy with her stuff…so, I get busy with my stuff.”
“You can pee here.” Ticker said gesturing to the hidden space behind one of the empty tents on the beach.
“Here? Oh…sure…” She said, fumbling for her trouser button and pulling down her trousers to crouch.
Ticker pushed her and she fell flat on her back, she didn’t seem to comprehend what was happening or what was about happen.
“I…need to pee…” She said, still feeling her tongue heavy in her mouth.
“Quick! Go first…after you’re done, it’s my turn.” Suave said, looking around to be sure no one was coming.
Ashanti didn’t understand why Ticker suddenly started to remove his belt and unbutton his trousers. She smiled at him and asked.
“Do you want to pee too?”
To be continued next week….