Aunt Lizzie looked up instantly to see Veronica’s husband
advancing towards them, somehow, her eyes caught a picture frame on the wall
and she froze. He’s a military man! 
Cassie ignored Veronica’s husband completely and was still
raining insults on Veronica, so, Lizzie nudged her sister to stop.
“He’s a military man.” Lizzie said through grit teeth.
“What makes you think that you can come to my house and
assault my wife.” Veronica’s husband screamed.

“We are very sorry sir…please forgive us, it was all a
mistake…we didn’t know that she’s your wife…we thought…” Lizzie pleaded.
“Wekpe!” Veronica’s husband called.
Uncle Wekpe walked out of the house and stared at the women
with his sister. Unknown to any of them, Raymond too, sneaked into the sitting
room and hid under the dining table, he desperately wanted to hear all that was
going on.
“Come with me, we are taking these women to the barracks
now. By the time they are dealt with severely, they’ll hardly have legs to walk talk more of harassing innocent people.”
“Please…we beg you in the name of God.” Aunty Lizzie said
falling on her knees.
“Yes, we beg you in God’s name. It’s just that Rose is
missing and…” Aunty Cassie started in tears.
“Rose is missing?” Veronica asked in shock.
“She left the house and she packed her things…” Aunt
Lizzie said.
“That doesn’t change the fact that you came to my house to
beat up my wife.” Veronica’s husband said.
“Please honey, Rose is missing, don’t worry about their actions, we need to find her.” Veronica said.
“Where was she last seen?” Veronica’s husband asked.
“She left this morning and when I asked Clara, she said they
both came here this morning.” Aunt Cassie said.
“Yes, they both came here this morning but they left since
then.” Veronica said, then suddenly grew angry. “You told Rose that I left her
father because he was poor?”
Aunt Cassie looked away, aunt Lizzie stared at the ceiling.
“How could you? Your brother took her away from me and you both
knew how our marriage was. You knew that if I never left when I did, he’d have
killed me. How could you lie to Rose?”
“Well, we had to do what we had to do. She’s our daughter
too.” Lizzie said.
“She’s your daughter? No she’s not, she’s your niece! She’s
my daughter and your brother took her away from me. Where is he? Where is your
brother?”
“He died, a long time ago…” Cassie said.
“So, even when he was lying on his death bed, he couldn’t tell
you to return my daughter to me.” Veronica said heart-brokenly.
“He actually did, he told us to return her to your family
but I refused. Who said we could take care of her? She’s our niece after all.”
Cassie said. “Besides, taking her away from you was the best way to punish you for abandoning him. He was our brother and yes, even though he beat you, couldn’t you stay for the sake of your child?”
“What? He asked that you return my child and you didn’t?
That was his dying wish!” Veronica shouted. “How dare you tell me to stay for the sake of my child when you know that if I didn’t leave when I did, Rose won’t have a mother today because I’d have been dead. Why didn’t you honour your brother’s wish that I get my child back?”
“He’s dead and a dead man don’t make wishes!” Cassie said.
“You both never told Rose any of this right? You guys have
been lying to her about me and you don’t ever want to tell her the truth.”
Veronica said with tears.
Lizzie and Cassie shrugged.
“She’s ours and she’ll believe whatever we want her to.”
“How dare you? You women are so cruel! So cruel!”
“You have a family already so stop worrying about ours. Rose is ours and she belongs to our family.” Aunt Cassie said.
“Let’s find Rose…that’s the first thing to do.” Veronica’s
husband said. “After we’ve found her, we can all settle this whole thing.”
“Have you called her friends?” Veronica asked still in an angry voice.
“Her only friend is Clara.” Lizzie said.
“No, she has other friends from our former neighbourhood.”
Cassie said quickly.
“Alright, let’s go and look for her.” Veronica’s husband said.
“Do you know what? We’ll find our niece by ourselves, who
knows? She might be back in a few days. She’s used to disappearing like this.”
Lizzie said and shrugged.
“Is that how you brought her up? To disappear and reappear
at will? She’s still very young.” Veronica said.
“We have to leave now…sorry for disturbing your peace.”
Aunt Lizzie said quickly.
“Not so fast, you both can’t come here and try to beat up my
wife and go away like that.” Veronica’s husband shouted.
“It’s okay hun, let them go.” Veronica said and addressing
aunt Lizzie and Cassie, she said, “You women should better tell Rose the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
“We’ll never do that!” Aunty Lizzie said.
Cassie scoffed and headed towards the door, Lizzie followed
closely behind. When they both left, Veronica hugged her husband and cried.
**********
Clara finished eating lunch and wondered for the umpteenth time
where her friend could be.
“Missing? How can Rose just leave like that?” Clara asked herself.
Zika and Emerald walked up to sit at the table with her.
“I heard your friend’s aunts leave the house. So, is she
really missing? I mean, Rose.” Zika asked.
“Well, I guess she just ran away. People were lying to her
and she didn’t know what to believe.” Clara said.
“I hope you don’t run away Clara.” Zika said.
“Well, I really don’t know but I’m meeting my biological mom
soon and I guess I’ll have to make my decision then.”
“Will daddy let you go? That’s if your biological mom wants
you with her.”
“Well, I dunno.” Clara said.
The doorbell rang and Emerald hurried to answer it, she came
back moments later.
“Clara, it’s for you, he said he’s Oliver.”
“Oh…” Clara gasped and hurried over to the door.
Oliver was standing at the door, looking around in fear.
“Why are you looking around like that?” Clara smiled.
“I’m just checking to see if Cruella is around, I don’t want
her embarrassing me as she did the last time.” He said of her step-mom.
“You’re so silly, come on in.” Clara said ushering him into
the house.
He walked into the sitting room and sat down on the sofa,
while she sat on the opposite sofa.
“You haven’t been coming to the school and you haven’t been
answering your calls either and I needed to know how you’re doing.” He said
with a smile.
“Yea…I know…it’s just that I’ve been here and there and
everywhere at the same time. How’s school?” Clara asked.
“I’m done with classes. I thought I told you. I move to the
UK in three days.”
“Three what? You never told me that.”
“Well, lots of things were happening in your life and you
were a bit distracted so….I didn’t want to tell you anything.”
“I didn’t know you had to start school so soon.” Clara said.
“Yea…me too.”
“Rose disappeared so now, I don’t have any friends anymore.”
Clara said sadly.
“Don’t talk like that…you know we can always call
each other and talk.”
“It won’t be the same. It will never be the same.” Clara
said.
“Yea…it sucks but I’ll visit Nigeria from time to time.”
Clara sighed.
“I really hate it that you have to leave…” Clara started.
Mommy stepped into the sitting room with Aunt Dumebi, Oliver
saw her and his eyes widened in fear.
“Good…afternoon…” He stammered.
“Hello dear, how are you?” Mommy responded.
Oliver was taken aback, ‘was this the same woman?’ he
thought. As soon as mommy left the sitting room with Aunt Dumebi, he turned to
Clara.
“What happened? Is she a twin? Did I just greet her twin?”
“No, she’s the same person but suddenly nicer now…”
“It’s a lie! You’re kidding me! That woman is evil! Have you
forgotten the way she insulted us when she saw me in your house some months
back? What could change such a wicked person?” Oliver asked.
“Well, I really don’t know…” Clara said.
**********
Rose sat in Ireti’s room and stared at her phone in her
hands.
“Do you want to call someone? Your aunt’s maybe.” Ireti
asked.
Iretiola was new friend she had made at the polytechnic and
she lived in a small hostel outside the main school. They were both pursuing
their OND.
“I’ll call my friend Clara.” Rose said.
“Okay…that’s a good idea. You have to call someone so that no one
lodges a report with the police that you’re missing.”
“Yea…I know.” Rose said and dialled Clara’s number. The
phone rang and Clara picked.
“Rose, where are you?” Clara asked.
“I’m at a friend’s…” Rose said.
“Your aunts came looking for you and they asked for James’s
mother’s address and went there.”
“What? How can they go there? She has nothing to do with
this.” Rose started.
“Well, they went there and they looked furious. I think they
feel she kidnapped you or something.” Clara said.
“What? That’s not true…do you know what? I’m going there
to meet them.”
“Huh? You’re going to your mom’s house again? Is that a good
idea? Seeing that you don’t want to have anything to do with her.”
“I…err…just want my aunts to leave that place.”
“I’m sure they are gone.” Clara said and paused. “I think
you’re looking for an excuse to go back to your mom and hear her side of the
story again. You are finding it hard to believe anyone.”
“You’re being ridiculous Clara. I’m going to look for my
aunts.” Rose said. “When I get there and find that they are not there, I’ll
come back to my friend’s place. Do you want to come with me? Come on, let’s go
there…we can meet up on the way.”
“Oliver is in my house, he leaves Nigeria in three days
and…”
“You’re such a pretender! After that you’ll say he’s not
your boyfriend.”
“He’s not!” Clara said.
“Like hell he isn’t.” Rose said. “I’ll call you when I get
there.”
Rose hung up.
“I have to go see someone. I’ll be right back.” Rose said to Ireti as
she picked up her handbag and left the room.
***********
Veronica was very worried, without informing anyone, she got
into her car and headed out of the house. She had to search for Rose, she
thought. She knew it would be futile but the thought that her daughter had
disappeared made her mad with worry. She drove out of the house, not knowing
where to start looking.
Raymond was in the sitting room when the doorbell rang. He
desperately wanted to snitch on James, and tell his father about the STD James
was trying to hide. He walked over to open the door and was surprised to see
Rose.
“I’m looking for my aunts, are they here?” Rose asked.
“You mean the two women who came to beat up my mom?”
“What? They did what?” Rose asked alarmed.
“Don’t worry, my dad’s in the army so, he scared them off.”
“Oh thank goodness.” Rose said. “I guess I’ll have to leave
now.”
“Don’t you want to come in?” Raymond asked. “I know we’re
siblings….”
“Yea…it sucks to find out this way huh?” Rose said. “I can’t
come in, I don’t want to see her.”
“You mean my mom? Or should I say, our mom.”
Rose nodded.
“She stepped out a while ago.” Raymond said and holding out
his hand to her he said. “My name is Raymond and it’s nice meeting you.”
Rose took his hand and shook it lightly.
“My name is Rose Lily and the pleasure is all mine.” She
smiled a little.
“Come on in, lunch is almost ready. Aunt Dracula is in town,
she came in just this afternoon because apparently, my mom’s other sister arrives the
country tomorrow morning.”
“Aunt Dracula?” Rose asked with a grin.
“Yea…she’s so mean that’s why my brother and I gave her
the name. Guess what? She’s your aunt too so, expect loads of meanness!”
Raymond warned mischievously.
Rose laughed, she liked Raymond. She walked into the house
and soon made herself comfortable.
“So what do you watch? I mean, what kind of movies do you
watch? Sci-fi, thrillers, horrors, romance…” Raymond asked.
“Well….” Rose started.
Aunty Dracula emerged from inside the house and stared at
them.
“Aunt, this is Rose, my sister.” Raymond introduced.
Aunt Dracula was holding a hand towel and it slipped from
her hand as she stared at Rose in surprise.
“I never thought, we’d ever see you…again…oh my
goodness!” She exclaimed as she rushed to hug Rose.
Rose didn’t hug her back as she didn’t want to get too close
to the family.
“Well, I have to go now.” Rose said, standing up quickly.
“Don’t go yet, you just arrived.” Raymond said.
“I came to see if my aunts are here and they aren’t so, I
have to leave.”
“Can I transfer a song to your phone? You can listen to it
on your way home.” Raymond said bringing out his phone. “It’s one of my fav’s.”
Rose wondered why Raymond wanted to transfer a song to her
but she obliged and soon the transfer was done.
“It was nice meeting you Rose.” Raymond said.
Aunt Dracula stood by the side and stared at Rose as though
she was seeing a ghost.
Rose nodded and hurried out of the house, wondering why she
went back there again.
She quickly took a keke to the junction and bringing out her
phone, she checked up on the music Raymond had transferred to her phone. It was
no music, it was a recording of everything that had happened earlier that afternoon,
when her aunts were at her mother’s house. 
With her ear phones in her ears, she
was shocked as she listened to everything her aunt’s were saying, and it was the whole truth.

To be continued next week….

Thank you everyone for the good wishes yesterday. It was indeed a speedy recovery and I can’t believe I was actually so ill yesterday. God bless you dears.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Raymond is one smart boy. Wow! It is very good that Rose found out the truth this way…..

    I must commend you for giving us these stories today, despite the fact that you just recovered. Thank you.

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