The students were already seated in class for their first
lesson when Mira came in, she looked so tired and she had large bags under her
eyes.
“What happened? Why are you late?” The English teacher
asked.
“I…woke up late.” Mira said and hurried over to her seat.
Winnie and Rachel stared at their friend quite confused at
her appearance. She looked like someone who just woke up from sleep and who
didn’t even bother with a bath before running over to school.
Once the first three lessons were over and it was time for
break, Winnie and Rachel walked up to Mira’s seat.

“Hey…what’s up with you? Are you okay?” Winnie asked in
concern.
“You look like a drenched rat…” Rachel supplied.
Mira looked at her friends and burst into tears. Winnie
looked at Rachel accusingly and Rachel threw up her hands in an ‘I’m not the
reason she’s crying’ look.
“What’s wrong? Mira, talk to us…” Winnie said stroking the
back of her head.
“Every…thing is wrong!” Mira bawled. “First I couldn’t
spend the summer with my sisters because of funds, next, my mom leaves the
house because she’s having problems with my dad, third, a stupid woman and her
son finds their way into my house and want to take over my dad’s love and
affection and lastly, since the housekeeper has been sent home, no one caters
for me anymore, I burnt my dinner last night and I went to bed hungry.”
Rachel and Winnie stared at their friend in surprise, who
would have thought that such was happening to the perfect Mira who seemed to
have everything going well for her.
“The pot burnt black and Monica insisted that I wash the pot
till it was sparkling. I’ve never washed pots before…so, I tried so hard and
I was there washing it till about one am and I slept late and I woke up at nine
am this morning. I just rushed off to the bathroom, showered and hurried here.”
Mira cried loudly. “I’m such a mess.”
“Hey…don’t be sad…okay…everything will be alright.”
Winnie said still stroking the back of her head.
“Who’s Monica?” Rachel asked.
“Haven’t you been listening?” Mira spat.
“So, this means you’re not as rich as you were anymore. Now
that your dad has a new family…is that what you’re trying to say?” Rachel
asked.
“What’s wrong with this girl? Are you stupid?” Mira fired.
“Don’t insult me I just asked a question.” Rachel said.
“Rachel, the least you could do is stop taunting people with
your words. Who cares about riches when family is everything? Mira is going
through a rough time and we need to support her.”
“I’m supporting her.” Rachel said in her own defence.
“I don’t believe you are…you are mocking her.” Winnie started.
“Hey…look at this one! So, all of a sudden, you’re the
wise one here huh? Have you forgotten you just jumped off a public bus this
morning? Or should I tell the world of your own woes?” Rachel fired.
“What’s wrong with you? Yes, I take a bus just like every other
responsible citizen of this country. You on the other hand, are always quick to
boast about some family fortune or how rich your parents are and I really don’t
care about that. I regret that you watched my mother’s dramatic arts yesterday,
you are no friend at all.” Winnie spat.
“Excuse me? Look at this worm with no self-esteem, you couldn’t
even look me in the eye when I met you but I brushed you up and now, here you are
spitting out garbage.” Rachel fired.
“Are you mad?” Winnie flung at her. “Who did you brush up?”
Mira stood up and regarded the two girls.
“Are we going to quarrel? Seriously?” Mira asked in
annoyance.
“She started it, Winnie likes to make me feel like a fool.”
Rachel said.
“You started it Rachel, something tells me you’re so fake.”
Winnie said sitting on one of the chairs in the classroom.
Mira looked at Rachel.
“Rachel, you really don’t know how to curb your tongue.”
Mira said.
“You know what? I should have seen this from the beginning!
The two of you want to cut me off this friendship and guess what? I’m out. The
both of you can stay glued to each other like adhesive on plastic.” Rachel said
and stormed out of the classroom.
As soon as she left, Mira looked at Winnie.
“Do you think we were harsh on her?” Mira asked.
“I dunno…I think Rachel had that coming, she’s so
insensitive, always rubbing her perfect life into people’s noses. I know she
has everything going for her but the least she can do is offer a helping hand.
That’s what friends are for, right?” Winnie started.
“Yea…”
“Let’s go to the canteen…I’m hungry, I didn’t eat any
breakfast.” Winnie said.
“You can go without me, I’ll be here…” Mira said.
“Why? What’s up? Don’t you want to eat something? You said
you literally ran out of the house this morning, and I’m sure you didn’t eat
anything.” Winnie said.
“I haven’t eaten since last night, my pocket money is
finished and that woman who’s parading herself in my house locked up all the
food in the kitchen cupboard. I’m going to die of hunger.” Mira said in tears.
“Did you call your mom? You should tell her what’s
happening.”
Mira shook her head stubbornly.
“I’m never calling her again. I told her that, the last time
we spoke.” She sniffed.
“Okay…I have some money on me, why don’t we split it and
you can get something to eat.” Winnie said.
“Really? You’ll split your money in half for me?”
“Sure, I mean…I don’t really have much as I have to go
home by bus but I could walk for some part of the journey.” Winnie said
helpfully.
Mira reached out to hug her.
“You know, none of my friends have ever sacrificed for me as
you have….thank you.”
“That’s no problem.” Winnie smiled at Mira.
They both left the class holding hands.
*********
Rachel got home angry, she pushed open the door to her house
and sat on the sofa. She hadn’t waited till the end of lesson as she had lied
to the class teacher that she had a headache. She had watched Mira and Winnie
at the canteen, laughing and talking together as friends would, while she
sulked around the corner. She had spoken to some other girls in the class but
they weren’t really friendly and the way they regarded her, annoyed her. Mira’s
revelation should strengthen her resolve to end the friendship with the girls,
she thought. She had come to the summer school to make rich friends and find
her way into top society but the girl she’d thought was her ticket to ‘rich
friend-land’ was already having issues at home as her parents were about to get
divorced and that meant Mira might end up being not so rich anymore. Rachel had
her eye on one other girl in class who looked like she came from a very wealthy
home and who was picked up and dropped off at school with different sleek vehicles.
The girl was Yewande and she was real quiet even though she had about three
girls who were quite close to her. It won’t hurt to have a fourth friend, would
it? Rachel thought as she schemed silently, hoping to make her way into the
girl’s friendship circle. Good riddance to bad rubbish, she thought as her mind
went to Mira and Winnie, they could bask in their troubled friendship. She
thought. She was still deep in her thoughts when she heard a quiet laugh coming
from inside the house. She looked around, she thought she was the only one home
as she had entered the house with a spare key.
“Mom?” She called out silently as she stood up and walked up
to her parents’ room.
She heard voices coming from inside the room.
“Hey….it’s time for you to leave….hahahaha…stop
tickling…hahaha….my kids are going to be home soon.” Her mother’s voice
said.
Rachel pushed open the door to the room and stared at her
mother and companion in pure hate. She wasn’t a child and she knew what was
going on.
********
Winnie had gotten home quite late as after splitting her
money with Mira, she had been left with only one hundred naira which was enough
to take her half the way. She knocked at the gate and the gateman pushed the
gate open.
“Winnie…ya mama don ask for you ooo…” He said
breathlessly.
“Oh…okay…” She replied as she walked into the house.
She got into the sitting room downstairs, and was about
heading up to her room when her mother appeared with a cane.
“Where are you coming from?” Her mother fired at her,
wielding the cane like she would a weapon.
“From summer school.”
“Really? Summer school? How come you don’t answer your
calls?” Her mother asked.
“I was in a hurry this morning and left my phone in my room.”
Winnie said.
Her mother lifted the cane and let it fall on Winnie’s body.
“Why are you beating me? What have I done?” Winnie asked as
she tried not to cry.
“You have been lying to me. Look at the time! It’s three pm
and your lesson closes at one pm. How could you have spent two hours journeying
from your summer school to this house?”
“I am not lying to you.” Winnie said.
Her mother flogged her again and she ran to stand behind the
sofa.
“Come here Winnie, come and stand here.” Her mother shouted,
tapping the cane at a spot right in front of her.
“No! You haven’t asked why I’m home late.” Winnie cried.
“Why else would you be home late? Isn’t it because of those
young boys in your lesson? Do you think I don’t know it? Do you think I don’t
know that the only reason you’ve decided to stick with that school is because
of the young boys there? You’re a huge disappointment Winnie.” Her mother
screamed as she ran towards her to cane her.
Winnie curled herself in a corner and watched her mother
approach, then heard her yelp and fall to the ground.
“Owwww….this girl will not kill me….owwww…” Her mother
yelped in pain.
Winnie quickly saw that the side table had pushed her mother
to the ground and quickly ran upstairs, racing as fast as her legs could take
her.
“Winnie! This is not over! You…you evil child! I’ll rather
kill you first before you bring shame to me!” Her mother screamed after her.
Winnie ended the race in her room and locked the door
firmly, she breathed hard and fast. She saw her phone on the bed and walked
over to pick it up. There were thirteen missed calls, three were from her
mother and ten was from Steve.

To be continued tomorrow…..

2 COMMENTS

  1. Rachel is soo crass, but there are so many like her. Winnie's mum is going to end up alienating her in the long run. I like that Winnie and Mira have started a real friendship and cut of Rachel.

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