Ray sat in the car quietly, waiting for an opportunity. His
hands shook hard and he couldn’t think. James switched radio channels and
bobbed his head to the music pouring from the speakers.
“Raymond, can you guess who sang this song? It’s a new
one….well…not too new…” James asked.
“Errr…I …really don’t know…” Ray stammered.
“I should have given those girls a ride home, they must have
taken a public transport…” Their mother said.

“What’s it with those girls? You’ve been talking about them
all morning.” James snapped.
“Clara is your cousin, your long lost cousin so there’s
something about her.” His mother said.
“Fancy the new way of meeting cousins nowadays!” James
scoffed. “I have so many cousins and I don’t need a new one.”
“Yes you do…she’s aunt Camille’s daughter…” His mother
said.
“Oh…the aunt Camille who has never for once visited
Nigeria after leaving when she was eighteen? Mtcheewww…” James hissed.
“I am going to call her today via Skype call to break the
news to her…”
“How’s that my business?” James interrupted rudely, tuning
the radio station to another one.
“That would be nice mom…” Ray interjected.
“Thank you Ray. You know, I really want all of us to be a
big family….a happy one too. So, when I call her and hear what she has to
say, then I’ll tell Clara the news, I’m sure she will be excited.”
They reached the entrance to their school and James
alighted, rushing off to the gate of the school. Raymond stayed behind, his
mother turned back to regard him.
“Aren’t you going in?”
“Mom….I have something to tell you…” He started.
“Can’t it wait till this afternoon when I come to pick you
up from school?”
“No…it can’t wait because James will interrupt us…”
Raymond said, quickly glancing out the window to see if James was returning to
the car.
“What is it Ray?” His mother asked with concern.
“It’s about Kendra and the pregnancy…I know you believe
James but he’s not who you think he is…” Raymond said.
“What do you mean by that?” His mother asked in anger. “Don’t tell me you don’t believe him! He’s your brother…”
“I have a video to prove that he dated that girl and they
had sex.” He said handing over his phone to his mom. “The video is in
there…he lied to you mom.” Raymond said.
His mother held the phone and her hands shook terribly.
“What?”
“See you later mom. Have a lovely day.” Raymond said as he
left the car and walked towards the school gate. It felt as though the
weight of the world had suddenly left his shoulders.
*********
“Aunt Carol! Welcome….” Clara smiled as she rushed over to
give her father’s sister a hug.
“Look at you! All grown up! What are you eating ehn?” Aunt
Carol asked hugging her back.
“Nothing ooo….” Clara giggled.
Kendra stood at the corner of the sitting room, eyeing her
aunt cautiously. Aunt Carol looked up and saw her.
“What’s that one doing over there?” Aunt Carol asked.
“Welcome auntie…” Kendra said in a low voice as she walked
over to greet her.
Aunt Carol was their dad’s littlest sister, she was a
pharmacist and also played football-in her spare time. She was well-built with
toned arms and legs and she was no girly-girl. She was married and had been so
for the past four years but her husband was based in Ireland while she was
based in Nigeria. Aunt Carol and her husband were waiting to actually live
together before starting a family.
“Kendra…..I heard the news…” Aunt Carol said with a
straight face.
“I…” Kendra opened her mouth to speak.
“There’s no use crying over split milk and you’re not the
first girl to get pregnant in her teens and certainly not the last…so…chin
up…” Aunt Carol said reaching out to hug her.
Kendra hugged her aunt back and began to cry.
“Hey…calm down, I’m here and we’re going to make
everything right.” Aunt Carol assured.
“Daddy wants me to have the baby but I don’t want to…he
even said he’s stopping me from writing my WAEC exams.” Kendra cried.
“Yes, it is advisable that you have the baby but you don’t
have to skip your exams. How far gone are you?”
“Far gone?” Kendra asked sounding clueless.
“I mean, how many months pregnant are you?”
“Oh…I don’t know…”
“Well, your daddy could arrange a home schooling programme for
you and register you in another school for WAEC, maybe somewhere far
away….close to Ogun state. In that way, no one would know it’s you…”
“But we have begun registration for WAEC in my school….I
don’t think it’s possible to…you know…” Kendra said.
“Then, maybe you might have to write it in your school.”
“No! I can’t! I’ll die of embarrassment and the school rules
states that anyone who falls pregnant should be expelled.”
“Why’s that?” Aunt Carol asked.
“It’s the rule in most schools I know. Anyone suspected of
being even remotely pregnant is withdrawn so as not to set a bad example, I
guess….” Clara said.
Aunt Carol looked at her nieces thoughtfully for a moment.
The doorbell rang and Clara hurried to open the door. There at the door was
mommy and she was holding her luggage in her hand.
“Your dad is joking if he thinks he’ll separate me from my
children. Get out of my way!” She hissed at Clara and stormed inside the house. As soon
as she saw Kendra, she dropped her bags and rushed to hug her. “Kendra, my
darling…I know you’ve missed mommy…I’m back home my love…”
Kendra hugged her back and said nothing. Aunt Carol picked
up her bag and said to Clara.
“Clara darling, please come and show me to my room.”
Mommy looked up at Aunt Carol and hissed. “There are no
vacant rooms in this house.”
“You must be kidding! This is my brother’s house and not a
hotel, if there are no vacant rooms, I’ll sleep in the master bedroom.” Aunt
Carol said with a smile.
“Who asked to you to come here? Michael right?”
“I can’t believe that you can still talk after all that has
happened! Tsk tsk tsk, when will you learn? I thought with all the pampering
and petting you gave Kendra, she’ll be in outer space by now, changing the course of
time but alas, look at her. Fifteen years old and pregnant! But, Clara who you
wanted to kill with your false accusations and lies stands here unscathed. You
should purge yourself of the bitterness you have in your heart.” Aunt Carol
said.
“You are very stupid Carol, very stupid!” Mommy shouted.
“Hahaha…you amaze me…” Aunt Carol laughed.
“You can’t stay in this house. I am your brother’s wife and
this is my house and I decide who stays and who goes!”
“It’s a pity that my brother married you! He would have
married Camille if I he had the chance but it was unfortunate that she was
a minor….if she wasn’t, you’d have never stepped your feet into Michael’s
life, talk more of start a family with him. You’re pathetic!” Aunt Carol said
and taking Clara by the hand, she walked out of the sitting room.
“Clara! Clara come back here and take my bags to the room
this instant!” Mommy shouted as they left the sitting room.
************
Veronica had mixed emotions, on one hand, she was sad, angry
and very mad, she had just seen the video that Raymond had shown her and she
was petrified. She didn’t know what to do. James had lied to her face and made
her look like a fool, now she had no idea of what to do. On the other hand, she
was seated before her laptop and calling her sister via Skype call. The only
times they spoke, which they rarely ever did was when she needed money to help
with their mother’s upkeep. 
Among the four of them, her two sisters, her
brother and herself, Camille was the most independent. She remembered when Camille
defiled their father’s rule of not coming home past seven pm and came home at
eight, claiming that she had been in church. She recalled when everyone had
found that she was dating a young doctor and who eventually got her pregnant. She remembered the day the young man showed up with his family members to officially ask for her hand only to
discover that she was just sixteen years old as she had lied to him that she was twenty.
Camille was very adventurous, fun-loving and very stubborn.
The video came up on the screen and Veronica stared at a
young woman whom she had not seen face to face in almost thirteen years.
“Hello Veronica…” Camille’s icy voice came through the
headphones.
Camille had hated her since the day she connived with their
father to return her child back to her father.
“It’s been a long time…how are you Cam?” Veronica asked.
“Get straight to the point please…I have something to do.”
Camille said in an unfriendly voice.
“I found Clara…”
Camille took in a sharp breath, she shut her eyes and when she finally opened them, tears flowed.

To be continued tomorrow…..

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