Rose Lily had put one of Olamide’s tracks on
replay and as she mopped the sitting room, she swayed her hips to the music.
Aunt Lizzy had left early that morning with the phone she had stolen from Clara’s
place and she was so sure that she’ll get a good price for it. She was still
bobbing her head to the music when Aunt Cassie emerged from her room and walked
into the sitting room. Rose wasn’t paying attention so, she didn’t see her aunt
cross the room to turn off the music.
“Aww…mehn!” Rose started but seeing it was her aunt who
had turned off the music, she quickly greeted.
“Good morning Aunty Cassie.”
“How are you my dear? I hope you slept well.”

Rose nodded, trying to blur the incident of last night away
from her mind.
“My companion crossed his boundaries, I am so sorry.” Aunt
Cassie said.
“It’s okay…it’s not like I’m not used to it…” Rose
replied. “They always cross their boundaries.”
“Stop it Rose! This is one of the reasons we moved here. To
give you a fresh start and help clear your head of what happened those nights…”
Aunt Cassie said.
Rose laughed a mirthless laugh. “I’m sorry but it can never
go away, it’s already imprinted in my memory.”
“Rose…I am sorry..” Aunt Cassie said.
“We got a bigger place so that I can get a room to myself
and stay away from the eyes of your companions and still, I haven’t see any
changes…” Rose said in a disappointed voice.
“Listen to me…Mike is gone for good…for good! We left
that place remember? And he can never trace us here!” Her aunt said.
“Okay…”
“Do you trust me? Do you trust that I am out to protect you?”
Aunt Cassie asked.
“Don’t worry aunt, I can protect myself from rapists like
Mike!” Rose spat.
Aunt Cassie flinched at her words and stretched out her
hands to Rose but Rose ignored her.
“Can you ever forgive me for that nasty mistake? Can you?”
Aunt Cassie asked with tears in her eyes.
Rose Lily swallowed the bile in her throat and looked away.
“Please Rose…”
“I’ll make sure to secure a latch at the door to the bathroom.” Rose said and walking over to the stereo, she turned the music box on again and continued her chores.
********
Clara was still asleep while everyone was awake, she had
intentionally stayed longer in bed besides, her family had shown her that she
was not part of their circle. She was still lying on the bed when her phone rang,
she looked at the caller ID and cut the call.
“Your phone rang all through the night, Clara, who was
calling?” Kendra asked.
“No one…” Clara responded.
“It just rang again….look Clara, it’s okay if you tell me
stuff…you know…we are sisters.”
“I know…it’s just that it’s nobody. It’s this
errr….codes that network providers use to disturb their customers lives,
that’s all.” Clara said and sat up on the bed.
Mommy walked into the room with a stern look on her face.
“Kendra, you are almost late and I am too…hurry up and get
into the car.” Mommy said.
“Good Morning ma…” Clara greeted and standing up from the bed, she headed to the bathroom
.
Kendra and her mom stared at Clara and her strange greeting.
The normal greetings in the house were ‘Good morning Daddy and Good morning
Mommy’ they didn’t understand where the ‘ma’ came from.
As soon as Clara disappeared into the bathroom, Mommy said
to Kendra.
“Have you seen Zika’s phone? He’s been searching frantically for it.”
“No I haven’t…”
“I have been wondering where the phone could be and your
father is really mad at him. Do you think someone could have come to the house to take
the phone?” Her mother asked.
“Someone like who? If you ask me, I’d say that Zika misplaced that phone and if he had kept the phone on the television stand as he
claimed, then he’ll find it.” Kendra said.
“Hmmm…this is so strange.” Her mom said.
Clara was in the bathroom waiting for mommy to leave the
room, she suddenly couldn’t stand the sight of her.
Soon, Clara’s dad entered the room and spoke.
“Where is Clara?”
“She’s in the bathroom.” Kendra replied.
“Clara!” Her father called out.
“Yes sir!” Clara answered emerging from the bathroom.
Her father gave her a confused look, she used to respond
differently before.
“You are joining me on the ride to the clinic today, I have decided to enrol
you in a tutorial coaching school and it’s not too far from my office.”
“Okay sir…” Clara replied.
“I need you to bring your books….and when I say books, I
mean everything you used in your senior secondary school because you are
re-writing WAEC but at a special centre,” Her father supplied.
“I’m not re-writing science subjects. I opt for arts instead.”
Clara said.
“Who’s paying the bills? You are doing what I want you to do
whether you like it or not!” Her father barked.
“I failed my science subjects, all of them! Doesn’t that
tell you something?” Clara challenged.
“Yes it does, it tells me that you are an undisciplined and
lazy girl who wants to make a mess of her life!” Her father screamed.
“I am not writing science subjects for WAEC.” Clara said.
“I make the decisions in this house and none of my children
would ever be caught dead in an arts class do you hear me? Now get prepared, I leave
for the clinic at nine.” Her father barked and stormed off.
Clara turned on her heels and went back into the bathroom
shutting the door behind her.
“That girl’s audacity unnerves me!” Mommy shouted. “Thank
God, none of my kids are like her.”
Kendra picked up her school bag and said to her mom. “Let’s go mom!” Then calling out to Clara, she said. “Bye Clara…have a nice day today.” 
Kendra and her mother left the room.
*******
Clara was dressed and ready to go but she had something to
do first. While her dad was still in the shower, she hurried out of her house
and headed to the next compound.
Rose Lily had just finished cleaning the toilet when the
doorbell rang.
“Who is it? It’s too early for callers!” Rose shouted as she
walked to open the door.
She opened the door to reveal Clara standing at her
doorstep.
“Hey Clay! What an unexpected surprise.”
“Hey…I needed to see you.” Clara said quickly.
“Wow! You look good, I love those sneakers…you know I’m
crazy about footwear.” Rose supplied looking at her.
“Thanks…”
“Where did you buy them? I want a pair.” Rose said as she
let Clara into the house.
“My dad bought them on his last trip to Canada.” Clara said.
“Wow! Fancy that! You are lucky ooo…”
“Thanks…” Clara said.
“So, you said you needed to see me…”
“Yes…you see, last night, that guy we saw at the bar kept
calling my phone…”
“Woah…he’s a fast one!” Rose said.
“I guess…”
“What did you guys talk about?”
“Talk about? I didn’t know what to say to him so I didn’t
answer the phone.”
“That was so immature…”
“I know and that’s why I am here. What do I do if he calls
me again?”
“Answer his call!”
“What do I tell him?”
“Ladies let the man do the talking…so…listen while he
talks.”
“Okay…I am really nervous.”
“Don’t be, you’ll be fine. Just answer the call and take it
from there…if you don’t like whatever he’s saying, you can politely shun him
and soon, he’ll take the cue and stop calling.”
“Okay thanks…”
“So, where are you headed looking like a rock star?”
“My dad insists that I join a lesson programme close to his
office.”
“Booorrinnnggg!” Rose yawned, fanning her mouth.
“Yes it is so boring but since I didn’t pass my WAEC exams,
I have to resit this year and this lesson would be of great help.”
“Hmmm…okay, I hope you pass this time.”
“I’m not too sure of that.”
“Why? Are you wishing failure on yourself?”
“No…it’s just that I want to give the arts subjects a shot
but my dad won’t hear of it.” Clara said.
“Wait a minute! It’s your life not his, he shouldn’t make
such decisions of you. Is that how fathers are? Thank God my dad is safely
tucked away abroad because I won’t take such crap from him.”
“My dad refuses to see reason and I’m so sure that I wouldn’t
pass this WAEC if I go the science route.”
“What stops you from going the arts route?”
“Haven’t you been listening?” Clara asked exasperatingly.
“Yes I have and I know that you have a right to chose what
you want to be in life. If I were you, I’ll play along and when I get to the
lesson venue, I’ll convince my dad to let me make payments by myself and enrol
for the subjects of my choice.”
Clara’s eyes widened, she had never gone against her dad’s
decisions before.
“He’ll kill me!” Clara said.
“If he does, he can as well bury you. What’s life
without risk, Clara? You aren’t street smart oo…you know the field that you
are good at and you are letting your dad rule your life and your sister steal
your shine! You can only mend this mistake once and for all and the time is
now.” Rose Lily said folding her arms.
“Yes, you are right! I could go in there and enrol for what
I want and make sure daddy doesn’t find out.” Clara smiled. “You are a good
person and I’m so glad you moved into our neighbourhood. Thank you Rose! Thank
you!” Clara said hugging Rose.
Rose grew numb as soon as Clara hugged her, she suddenly
felt a twinge of regret for stealing the phone in Clara’s house and for using
her as a snoop tool to get into her home.
“You are welcome and you really need to go before your dad
starts looking for you.”
“Yes…sure…see you after lessons. Bye!” Clara said and
hurried out of the house.

Rose heaved a long and heavy sigh, she mentally warned
herself to back off from Clara as getting close to her may blur her vision of
achieving what she and her aunts were set to achieve. Quietly she walked to the kitchen to do the dishes.
To be continued tomorrow…
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7 COMMENTS

  1. Rose Lily's got brains sha…..i like that she's helping Clara see things clearly and i hope Clara has the sense to decipher good from bad sha.

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