Winnie and Rachel walked into her compound, Winnie saw her
mother’s car and almost turned back, she didn’t know what to expect from her
mother especially now that there seemed to be a rift between the two of them.
“Your house is very beautiful.” Rachel said looking at the
one storey building in awe.
“Thanks…” Winnie said absent-mindedly, she was still
thinking about what she’d say to her mother when she saw her.

“Are you still upset with Mira?” Rachel asked.
Mira had called her dad and informed him that she was taking
a cab home and that he should give the gateman money to settle the cab fare and
that was how they’d parted ways at Rachel’s place. Rachel had sensed that
Winnie was upset with Mira over something but she didn’t know what it was.
“Oh no…I’m not. I should have called her to see if she got
home safe.” Winnie said.
“I’m sorry for all this…” Rachel apologised.
“Ofcourse not, there’s nothing to be sorry about. You need
help and I rendered it, that’s all.” Winnie said with a smile.
Rachel nodded as they both walked up to the house and Winnie
pushed the door open. Winnie’s mother was in the sitting room and as soon as
she saw Winnie, she shot off her chair and rushed up to her.
“Winne! My goodness! Where have you been?” She asked.
“Good evening mom…” Winnie greeted. “Meet my friend,
Rachel, she’ll be staying here for a few days.”
Winnie’s mother’s eyes travelled down Rachel’s frame, she
didn’t look too comfortable with the news.
“Did you ask for permission before inviting her over?
Besides, you haven’t been home since yesterday, don’t you have an explanation
for your sudden disappearance?” Her mother demanded.
“I spoke to daddy about Rachel and he said that he’s fine
with her staying here.” Winnie said.
“You asked your dad? What of me? How come you didn’t ask
me?”
Winnie shrugged and stared at her mother for a short while
and said.
“I need to take Rachel to my room to settle down…”
“What? Winnie! What sort of attitude are you suddenly
displaying? I have asked you questions and you have failed to answer them.”
Rachel stared at Winnie’s mother in fear, the woman looked
so intense.
“I’m sorry ma but Winnie is just…” Rachel started.
“Will you shut up? I am talking to my daughter here and you
should learn to be silent until you’re asked to do otherwise.”
“Rachel just wanted to explain things to you, why do you
have to show the world how mean you are?” Winnie fired at her mother.
Her mother’s eyes widened as she couldn’t believe that her
daughter had spoken to her that way.
“Come let’s go outside and wait for my dad’s return. I can’t
stay here any longer.” Winnie said and pulled Rachel by the hand.
“Winnie! Come back here…Winnie.” Her mother called out to
her.
Winnie was so upset, she pulled Rachel outside by the hand
and they both walked up to sit on swing in the compound.
“Don’t be upset.” Rachel started.
“It’s not fair! Everyone’s mom is normal but mine isn’t!”
Winnie spat.
“C’mon Winnie, I too have a share of weird parents and look
where it got me. Being rebellious won’t really take you anywhere you
know…look at me, I became rebellious and got myself caught in a trap.” Rachel
said.
“Yours is different Rachel, atleast your mother listens to
you, she cares for you and she doesn’t shove her opinion down your throat. Yes,
I’m her daughter but I’m my own person. If only she understands that the fact
that I’m her daughter doesn’t mean that I have to be a reflection of what she
wants me to be.” Winnie said with her head cradled in her palms.
The gate opened and Winnie’s step-father’s car drove into
the compound.
“That’s my dad…” Winnie said getting up from the pavement
and hurrying over to her father’s car.
Her father stopped the car and pushing open the door, he
smiled at her.
“Welcome home Winnie!” He said cheerfully.
Winnie didn’t smile back.
“What is it?” He asked.
“It’s mom, she just insulted my friend and made Rachel feel
unwelcome.” Winnie said sadly.
“What? Why?”
“I don’t know dad, I’m just tired okay. I’ve had it already
and I wish there is somewhere I can go to escape her. I wish I were in the
university so that I’ll come home once in my four years of being there. I’m
tired of her.” Winnie said folding her arms.
“Tell your friend to come, let’s all go inside the house
together. Don’t forget to bring her bags.” He said referring to Rachel’s bags
which were by the gate.
Winnie nodded and went over to get Rachel and also went to
take the bags, they both walked up to her step-father who was almost at the
door to the house.
“Good evening sir.” Rachel greeted, afraid to be snobbed by
yet another of Winnie’s parents.
“Hello my dear…how are you?” Winnie’s father asked with a
smile.
“I’m fine sir…” Rachel responded as her heart suddenly
seemed to stop beating fast.
They all walked into the house and Winnie’s mother was still
there, in the sitting room, she had the look of a wild cat on her face.
“Honey, what is the meaning of this? How could you go behind
my back to allow Winnie to make decisions on her own?” Winnie’s mother spat.
“Girls, go upstairs.” Winnie’s step-father said to them.
Winnie beckoned to Rachel and they both hurried upstairs.
“What is the meaning of this?” Winnie’s mother continued.
“When will you stop embarrassing yourself and your daughter?
That girl is her friend and you didn’t even bother to ask Winnie why she’s
here, instead you’ve launched your attack. Sometimes, I forget that you’re a
matured woman because you act like a silly little girl.”
“Excuse me? Silly little girl? Do you know that it’s these
so-called friends of Winnie that have changed her? Is this the same Winnie you
knew a month ago before summer school?”
“Yes, Winnie is still the same, she’s just risen above your
attitude.” Her husband said.
“I don’t want wayward girls coming to this house and posing
as Winnie’s friends. I was a teenager too remember? And I had a best friend and
I used to come to spend time in her house as well, and look at me now, I’m the
wife of her father!”
“Ohhhh…you should have told me that’s what’s bothering
you. So, you think that I’ll hit on Winnie’s friend or that she’ll seduce me?”
“That’s not what I meant…forget I said that.” Kate
stammered.
“Seriously, our story is so different and no, I never hit on
you when you were my daughter’s friend. I started having problems with my wife
and later on, we both connected and that was how we became friends and soon,
started courting. I don’t understand you at all.”
“I just don’t want the girl here.” Kate insisted.
“Well, this is my house and I have said she’ll stay and that’s
final. I also don’t want you giving that girl a hard time. In fact, I don’t
want you giving Winnie a hard time too. If you feel that she’s grown wings,
ignore her and mind your business.” Her husband said.
“That’s absurd! I can’t mind my business where Winnie is
concerned, she’s my daughter.”
“Well, she doesn’t want you in her business so…shoo!” Her
husband said to her and hurried up the stairs.
Kate sat resignedly on the sofa and buried her face in her
palms.
************
Mira got home to a practically empty house, she felt so
guilty for not letting Rachel stay with her in her house. She knew she was
selfish and never really went the extra mile for her friends like Winnie did.
Winnie was different, she sacrificed a lot for her friends and somehow, it was
like she was the mother hen among the three of them. Winnie always wanted
everyone to be in good terms, she had a listening ear and was ready to give good
advice, she also went the extra mile to make her friends comfortable, just like
what she did those times when her father stopped giving her pocket money and
Monica starved her at home. Winnie had helped her with money for lunch at
school and had even invited her to her home to help teach her how to make
simple meals. Winnie was one of a kind, she concluded.
“She just asked you for one favour, Mira! Just one favour!”
She sighed and said to herself. “And you didn’t do it! You’re so selfish.”
She picked up her phone and was about to send Winnie a text
message when she heard a rap at her bedroom door.
“Yes…who’s it?” She called out.
“It’s me…” The new cook answered.
Mira walked up to the door and held it open.
“What is it?” She asked.
“Your daddy say make you come outside.” The cook said.
“My dad?” Mira asked in surprise.
“Yes ma…he just call house phone now, he talk say he get
driver wey dey wait for you outside gate.” The cook said.
“Okay…” Mira replied and stepped out of her room wondering
why her father hadn’t bothered to call her phone to inform her that he wanted
her to go somewhere and had called the house phone instead.
She hurried downstairs and walked out through the gate, the
street was already growing dark because it was almost six pm. She stood at the
gate and stared out, expecting to see her dad’s car and driver. Instead, a
strange car with tinted windows drove up to her and an even stranger driver
wound down the window and spoke to her.
“Mira…” He said.
“Yes…” She answered.
“Your daddy said I should bring you to him.” He said.
“Oh okay…” She said and got into the car without thinking twice.
The driver wound up the windows and drove away with her in
the car.
To be continued tomorrow….

 

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