Winnie turned to wave goodbye to her dad who had just
dropped her off at the gate to the school. Her dad was dope! Not only had he
given her the money she had asked for, he had offered to drive her all the way
to her summer lesson school hence saving her the stress of taking the bus.
She was about walking into the school when she saw a
familiar car stop at the school gate. Mira alighted looking very pale and
tired.
“Mira, it’s so good to see you.” Winnie said excitedly.

“Yea…I guess…” Mira said sadly.
“What’s wrong Mira?”
“I’m officially homeless!” Mira said as she walked into the
school.
“Hey…wait up. What happened?” Winnie asked with a voice
filled with concern for her friend.
“Yesterday, my dad caught me stealing from him…it was awful.”
Mira started then burst into tears. “I stooped too low Winnie and I stole…can
you believe it? I tried stealing from daddy and I got busted by Monica.”
“You stole?”
Mira nodded.
“I just wanted to take some change, I didn’t have any money
on me anymore…I’m so broke. I haven’t eaten for hours because that Vampire,
called Monica locked the store. I can’t access any food. I’m going to starve to
death.”
“This is sad! I refuse to believe that you dad can allow
that happen to you.”
“You’d better believe it! It’s like I have to beg for food
nowadays. Can you imagine? I am starving in my own house. I don’t have any
money for data to Skype my sisters.” She sniffed. “I sent my sister a text
message with the last credit I had on my phone and she hasn’t gotten back to
me.”
“I’m so sorry…I’m very sorry…” Winnie said.
“Life’s so cruel. I can’t believe that things just changed
for me like that. I was awake most of the night and I kept thinking of where my
school fees will come from. Now that my mom has left the house and Monica has
sunk her claws into my dad, I doubt that I’ll still be attending my prestigious
school. I might end up in one of those schools that pay little or no money at
all. I usually get new clothes for summer but I’ve gotten none at all. My phone
is broken and the driver helped me tape it together and I can’t think of going
back to school during the school term with a bad phone. School resumes in a few
weeks and I don’t have new shoes, clothes or even a new bag. My friends are on
summer holidays abroad and they have new posts everyday on Instagram and I don’t
even have money to buy ordinary data. I’m officially a poor church mouse.”
“Is that what bothers you?” Winnie asked.
They had both entered the school and were walking towards
the classroom.
“How do you mean?”
“I’m asking if you’re bothered about your status as a rich
girl. You sound more bothered about what people will think than what’s actually
best for you.”
“Are you saying that this is best for me? Are you saying
that being poor is best for me?” Mira asked sounding upset.
“No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying that, what
if your dad decides to send you to a cheaper school? So what? It’s not as
though I want him to do that but that’s not going to be the end of the world
for you. Your social status and how popular you are is not what should be top
on your priority list…”
“What should be on my priority list, madam know it all?”
Mira spat, clearly upset.
“I think you should try to bring your family back together,
try to fix things.”
“Fix things? My parents destroyed their home, what has that
got to do with me?”
“It has everything to do with you. Look at you, you haven’t
had breakfast and you skipped lunch yesterday and dinner too.” Winnie said.
“If you think I’m going to do the dirty job that woman
listed out for me, then you’ve got it all wrong. I’m not going to do the
chores, never! I have never lifted a pin in my house and I’m not about to do it
now.” Mira said stubbornly.
“You have never done chores?” Winnie asked in surprise.
“Yea…unlike you I’m not being treated like a slave in my
father’s house.” Mira spat.
Winne was hurt by her words.
“Doing chores in one’s house doesn’t mean that the person is
being treated like a slave. It’s a kind of preparation, for the future. We have
to learn to be equipped to be adults because adulthood is not a small task.”
“Mtchewww….” Mira hissed.
“Listen Mira, being resentful is not going to help matters
at all. Monica is trying so hard to break you and you need to show her how
tough you are.”
“I have shown her how tough I am but she literally laughs in
my face.”
“Then take responsibility!”
“How? I’m a mess, my room is in a mess, and nothing is
working for me. I couldn’t even find my bag this morning…” Mira said in tears.
“You sound like a pampered child.”
“Excuse me?”
“You’re fifteen years old and not fifteen months old, Mira.
You need to learn to pick up after yourself. Even though I don’t support
Monica’s treatment of you, I think it’s going to push you to learn to fight for
yourself and do things yourself. She’s gaining this much power because she
knows you can’t do anything. I’m sure that if it were someone like me, she’ll
pick her battles carefully because I can clean, cook, wash, scrub and do a lot
of other things. I even wash my dad’s car from time to time.”
“Who says I can’t do anything? I can pour water in a kettle
to boil and I just recently burned a pot of pasta.” Mira said miserably.
Winne laughed and Mira smiled.
“If you want, after school today you can come to my place so
that I can teach you to make some simple things like toast, noddles, rice and
yam.”
“How will it help? I don’t have any food stuffs to cook
with, she locked up the store remember?”
“Well, I think you should tell your dad that you want the
store to be opened for you because you want to cook your meals yourself. You
can say that you don’t want to eat the meals of a woman who pushed your mom out
of her home. You will also tell him that you’ll wash your dishes and clear the
kitchen when you’re done and that you’ll do some chores in the house, like
sweep the sitting room and tidy up your room.”
“Sweep? I don’t know how to hold a broom.” Mira said in all
honesty.
Winnie stared at her friend with eyes wide, they had just
entered their classroom.
“What? You can’t hold a broom? Wow…you need more help than
I thought.” Winnie said.
*************
Rachel signed the form for ‘BlackExYZee Hospitality’, she
had no idea of what her contract entailed but she knew that she was entitled to
some money every month and whenever she wanted.
Black took the form from her and kissed it.
“Signed and sealed. You gat so much potential baby and I’m
gonna make you rich.”
“I’m doing this because I want financial independence from
my mom. I don’t want to take her money for anything including school fees.” She
said.
“Of course, I’ve got you covered.” He said and bringing out
a wad of cash, he handed it over to her. “That’s ten thousand naira.”
Rachel stared at the money and it seemed so huge to her, she
nodded and collected the money.
“I’ll also need you to get new girls for me, you can talk to
your friends to join the business, I promise to make it profitable for them.
For every girl you bring, you get cash reward of two percent off their
earnings.” He said.
“So, what’s the business like? I want to have an idea of
what I’m getting into.” She said.
“Hmmm….I’ll give you a brief but that’ll have to be
tonight because I have some new recruits. Can you make it tonight?”
“I’m still at the hospital and I haven’t been discharged
yet…I don’t know how to make it tonight.”
“Anyway don’t worry your sweet head princess, I’ve got it
all locked down.” He said. “I’ll call you to see if we can create some other
time for your orientation.”
“Thank you so much Black. I really appreciate this.” She
said to him.
As Black opened the door to leave, her mother walked into
the room, she turned to regard the young man with countless ear piercings on
each ear and dyed dreadlocks on his head.
“Who’s that Rachel?” Her mother asked.
Rachel didn’t respond, she looked away.
“Rachel, you have to talk to me. I can’t bear your silence
any longer.”
“I’m no slut so I can’t be caught talking to one.” Rachel
said.
“How dare you speak to me like that? I am your mother.”
“You ceased to be my mother the day I saw you shaming
yourself on your matrimonial bed while your husband rots in prison. In fact,
you and your husband are a poor excuse for parents and from today I am
independent of you guys.”
“Rachel don’t say that…I know I erred…”
“Go away from my room! I’ll only see your disgusting face
when I have to leave here and stay under your roof but mark my words. When I’m
old enough, I’m leaving that house, do you hear me?”
Her mother stared at her, too stunned for words.
**********
During lunch, Mira felt like a parasite for leeching off
Winnie, she watched her buy snacks from the vendor and her stomach growled
loudly.  Winnie walked back to meet her
with a tray of food in her hand.
“How much are these snacks worth? It’s too much!” Mira
exclaimed.
“You haven’t eaten all day and most part of yesterday.”
“I can’t thank you enough Winnie…”
“Don’t worry…” Winnie said. “I even got some money for
you…it’s not much but I’m sure that if you spend it thriftily, it’ll sustain
you for a few days.”
“Are you serious? Winnie! How can you do all this for me?
I….can’t thank you enough.” Mira started.
“That’s what friends are for. We have our backs through
thick and thin.” Winnie said as she fished through her bag for the money and
handed it to Mira.
“Thank you…so much, I mean it…thank you.” Mira said with
emotion.
“It’s okay Mira….don’t worry about it…”
“You’re so kind…” Mira continued.
“Have you seen Rachel? I didn’t see her in class today.”
Winnie asked changing the topic.
“I haven’t seen her either…I was thinking of calling her
but I have no call credit.”
“Yea…we totally should call her today after school and
know why she didn’t come to summer school.” Winnie said.
“Do you think it’s because we were harsh with her
yesterday?”
“I really don’t know…” Winnie said and pushing her hand
into her bag, she retrieved a camera.
“You have a camera?” Mira asked.
“No, it’s not mine. I texted Steve to come pick it up after
school today and I’ve been so conscious of it that’s why I brought my bag to
the canteen. I don’t want it to get lost or broken.”
“Yea…I was wondering why you brought your bag here. Why do
you have his camera?”
“We went out last night.” Winnie said.
Mira’s eyes widened.
“Your folks allowed you to go out?”
“No way! I sneaked out.”
“What? Are you serious? My sisters sneak out for parties and
they sneak back in just in time so that my folks don’t find out. How did you
sneak out?”
“That’s a long story. However, about last night, we went to
Steve’s friend’s party and we took a couple of pictures.”
“Can I see?” Mira asked excitedly.
“Sure…” Winnie handed her the camera. “Just scroll with
the arrow button.”
Mira took the camera and turned it on, then began scrolling
through the pictures, she saw the picture of Winnie standing by a car and said.
“You obviously didn’t dress for a party. Next time, please
come and borrow one of my party outfits, I have tons of them and I still
haven’t worn all.”
Winnie smiled and bit into her meat pie. Mira continued scrolling,
and then froze.
“Daniel!” Mira said.
“What’s that?”
“This is my dad’s son, Daniel.” Mira said turning the camera
to show the picture of the smiling young man to Winnie. “Is he Steve’s friend?”
“Is that the guy who’s been terrorizing you at home?” Winnie
asked.
Mira nodded.
“Are you sure?” Winnie asked.
“Of course I am…”
“That can’t be possible!” Winnie exclaimed.
“Why do you say that?”
“He said yesterday that his dad is in jail.” Winnie said. “Your
dad is not in jail, is he?”
Mira stared at Winnie with mouth agape.

To be continued on Monday…….

7 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, I love the twist to these stories. I hope that scammer and his mom are exposed soon. It did not even click then that Steve's friend was that horrible guy. Nice one Ada

  2. As in, the boy's name never registered in my mind. So the dullo man did not do a DNA? I hope Mira takes Winnie's advice, Winnie is a very sensible girl.

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