“Are you serious?” Winnie asked with eyes wide as she stared
at the picture of Daniel in the camera.
“Yes…he’s the guy who’s oppressing me at home.” Mira said.
“Are you sure about that? This guy said his dad is in
prison.” Winnie said as she was sure her friend was mistaken.
Mira shook her head stubbornly.
“He’s the one and his name is Daniel.” Mira said.
“I think that’s what Steve called him…yes….he called him
Daniel.” Winnie said trying to remember. “This is serious ooo…wow…I can’t
believe this!”

“Do you know what this means?” Mira asked with a hint of
excitement in her voice.
“What’s that?” Winnie asked.
“It means that Daniel isn’t my dad’s son.” Winnie said.
“What?”
“Yes he’s not my dad’s son because you just said that his father
is in prison and my dad is not in prison.”
“Hmmmm…” Winnie sat thinking.
“What’s hmmm?”
“I don’t know ooo but we need
to be really sure before jumping into conclusions.”                
“I can’t wait to tell my dad.” Mira said bursting with
excitement.
“If I were you, I’ll wait a while and maybe tell my mom and
sisters…”  Winnie said.
“Tell them what? None of them are going through what I’m
going through in that house…I’m pretty much on my own and I’ll handle it my
own way.” Mira said stubbornly.
“That doesn’t sound like a plan…” Winnie disagreed.
“It sounds like a plan! You
always like to act as though you know it all when you don’t.” Mira spat.
“Hey…I’m trying to help…”
“Well, leave me to face my own troubles, it’s my
family….isn’t it?” Mira spat.
Winnie shrugged, she wanted to speak but she wasn’t ready to
exchange words with her friend. She knew that her friend’s plan to tell her dad
about her findings was a bad idea.
************
Daniel was officially bored, this was not the life he’d
envisioned when his mother had struck the bargain with him and he was bored to
his skin. For one, the new neighbourhood he’d moved to with his mother was so
quiet and the guys his age living within the area weren’t his type. Daniel was
a fast guy, always on the move, quick on his feet and most importantly, a
business man to the core.
His so-called fake father was a stupid man, he thought. Yes,
he had money but he wasn’t as sharp as his real dad who’d taught him most of
the things he knew. His mother used to tell him that following his biological
dad’s path would send him to an early grave but he didn’t care, he loved his
real dad so much and if following his path would send him to an early grave,
then so be it.
When his dad was sentenced twenty years, for manslaughter,
he and his mother had literally fed from hand to mouth. Soon, he was sent out
of school and things took a bad turn, his mom who loved to be the most dressed
woman in the vicinity quickly turned to wearing the old clothes she’d once
discarded. This continued till she bumped into an old flame of hers- Mira’s
father who she’d had a fling with, some seventeen years ago, three years after
he was born. Apparently, the man had no male child and was quite dissatisfied
as he had only female children. While they were dating, Mira’s father had no
idea that she had a son as back then, Daniel was with his father’s family. During
their fling, Mira’s dad was a married man and Monica was well aware of that.
Seventeen years later, they had played catch up and soon
shared their life stories over the past years.  It was while Mira’s dad told Monica the tale
of his family that the idea popped into her head to pin Daniel on him. Daniel’s
mother was very ambitious and she had spent time thinking of ways to secure her
son’s future and hers as well. She told Mira’s father the cock and bull story
of how she’d fallen pregnant and had a son for him and without thinking, he was
ready to accept Daniel and take him into his home but his mother had one
condition- she had to come too. Hence, the problems with Mira’s mother arose
and soon she was out of the house.
Mira’s dad was presently working on changing Daniel’s
surname to his but his mother was trying to stall as she knew she was only with
him to survive as well as secure some assets in her son’s name before the
disappearing act- where she and Daniel would pack their things and leave when
no one expects it.
The problem was that Daniel had no idea how long they’ll
have to keep up appearances. He really loved his dad and had gone about
searching for a lawyer who could help reopen his case but as it seemed, his mother
wasn’t interested in his father’s well-being as all she did all day was shop
and shop some more.
Daniel scratched his head and looked around the house, his
new father was quite free with money and had given him enough but he needed
more. He did a bit of drugs and also smoked weed and most of the money he had
was used to buy these items to help sustain him. He stared around at the house
again, and his gaze stopped at the beautiful picture of the smiling family. His
new father was stupid, he thought, how could he trade such a wonderful family
for a mirage that didn’t exist? His eyes moved over to a large painting on the
wall and he stood up from the sofa and walked towards it.
“This must cost a fortune…” He said aloud as he studied
the painting.
He quietly brought out his phone from his pocket and took a
picture of the photo frame then walking around the sitting room, he took shots
of some of the furniture and artefacts in the house.
“I could sell these and make some cool money…” He
chuckled, so happy with his idea.
He uploaded the pictures on his group on Whatsapp and tagged
them ‘for sale’, soon, he was getting messages from his friends.
“Guy,
what’s up? Are you now selling stuff?”
A friend of his asked.            
“Yes
ooo…we’re moving so, I’m selling some of our stuff for giveaway prices.”
He
typed in reply.
“How
much is the mini aquarium? I’ve always wanted one…”

Another friend typed.
“It
goes for just ten thousand.”
“What?
Are you kidding me? This thing sells for more than that. Your price is good
man!”
His friend replied.
“When
do you want it? I can have it delivered….but you’ll have to pay for delivery.”
Daniel
typed.
“I want
it today…”
His friend typed.
“Cool stuff….” Daniel
typed feeling very lucky.
In an hour he’d sold five items and he had about seventy
thousand naira in total, he knew that he was selling the items for very cheap
but he didn’t care. He needed enough cash to help get his dad out of jail.
*************
Winnie joined Mira in her car as they were headed over to
Winnie’s house. Winnie had promised to teach Mira how to make some simple meals
and Mira was so eager to learn as she was tired of starving at home.
“Should we stop over to see how Rachel is doing?” Mira
asked.
“Do we know where she lives?” Winnie asked.
“I got her address from the admin desk, I simply said told
the admin officer that she didn’t come to school today and I’m worried about
her and would like to check up on her. I was given the address.” Mira said.
“Okay…let’s stop there briefly but we can’t stay for too
long or my mom will freak out.” Winnie said.
“Sure…” Mira said, leaning over to hand the driver the
address she had written out on a sheet of paper.
The driver nodded and drove them there. In twenty minutes,
they were in Rachel’s street and Winnie and Mira couldn’t help but open their
mouths in surprise.]
“Are we in the right street?” Winnie asked.
“Yes we are…” The driver answered.
“I doubt it….because our friend is very rich…she says
her family is affluent and I don’t believe that an affluent family can live on
this kind of street.” Mira said in shock.
“Well, it’s Babatunde Jefferson street and this is it…”
The driver said with a smile.
They stopped at the house address and Winnie and Mira
alighted, they both walked into the small compound which had a cluster of
houses within. They were both quite clueless on which was Rachel’s.
“Are you sure we’re in the right place?” Winnie asked again.
“I don’t know…I think I got the address wrong…” Mira
said.
A young boy walked out from one of the houses and Winnie
quickly asked.
“Please we’re looking for Rachel…she’s tall and…” Winnie
started.
“Oh, her flat is the last to your left…just walk in through
that back entrance.” The boy said.
Mira and Winnie followed the boy’s directions. The back
entrance was horrible as the gutters were filled with dirty nylon bags, washed
out food and many other unmentionables. Winne and Mira cringed as they made
their way to the flat.
As soon as they reached the door, Winnie knocked, a woman
opened the door and peered at them.
“Good afternoon ma, please we’re here to see Rachel.” Winnie
said quickly.
“Rachel? Are you her friends?” The woman asked.
“Is this her house?” Mira asked, still shocked at the place.
“Yes…but she’s at the hospital…she had an accident.” The
woman said. “I’m her mother.”
“My God! What happened? I’m so sorry ma…” Winnie said
sympathetically.
“Do you know the Rachel we’re talking about? She attends the
Greenwichsprings summer school.” Mira said still trying to convince herself
that they were at the wrong house.
“Yes…that’s her…” Rachel’s mother said. “Would you like
to come inside? I’m going to the clinic to give her lunch. I’m packing the
flask to take it with me.”
Winnie wasn’t sure she wanted to go into the house, she
really wanted to go home before her mother got angry.
“Sure…” Mira said.
Rachel’s mother pulled the door open wider and the girls
walked in. Mira still couldn’t believe that the girl who’d told her marvellous things
about her home and family lived in such a house. Rachel’s mother went to get
the flask of food in the kitchen while Mira stared around and was shocked to
see a smiling picture of Rachel and her brother on the wall.
“So it’s true….this is indeed her house.” Mira whispered.
“Shhhh…c’mon, behave!” Winnie cautioned.
“A boaster is really a liar.” Mira said. “Rachel lives in a
dump.”
“Hey…watch your tongue Mira, she didn’t chose to live
here…it’s what her parents can afford.” Winnie whispered.
“Then, she could have been humble about it. She lied to us!
I can’t believe this!” Mira said disapprovingly.
“What could have caused her accident?” Winnie asked,
changing the topic.
Rachel’s mother came out from the kitchen with a flask and
walked into the sitting room.
“She was hit by a motorbike. I’m ready to leave for the
clinic, let’s go…” She said.
The girls got up from the chair and followed her out of the
house.
“We’ll take a bus to…the
clinic road…” Rachel’s mother was saying.         
“Don’t worry, we came with my car….” Mira said. “My driver
can take us.”
Rachel’s mother looked surprised, she followed them
wordlessly to the place the car was parked and they all got in.
**********
Rachel was seated on her bed at the clinic when the door opened
and her mother walked in with Winnie and Mira. Rachel was surprised, her eyes
widened in shock.
“What are you guys doing here?” She asked.
“Sorry about your accident.” Winnie said. “We came to see
you.”
Mira stared at Rachel’s bandaged arm and leg.
“I hope it’s just a flesh wound.” Winnie said.
Rachel nodded, while Mira kept staring.
“Your friends came over to the house and I brought them
here.” Her mother said.
“They came over where?” Rachel asked in surprise.
“To your house.” Mira said giving Rachel the bad eye.
“I’ll drop your food here and step outside for a while so
that you can talk with your friends.” Her mother said, as she dropped off the
flask of food and left.
As soon as she shut the door behind her, Mira turned to
regard Rachel.
“Wow, you have a beautiful house.” She said.
Winnie nudged her at the side.
“Excuse me?” Rachel said.
“It’s nothing…we just wanted to know why you skipped
lesson today.” Winnie said quickly. “Sorry about the accident.”
“I was knocked down by a bike….” Rachel said. “It happened
that my dad errrmmm was leaving the compound with his car and I was running
after him to tell him something when a bike came from nowhere and hit me. The
house is our house, you know…so the tenants kinda are under us.” She lied.
Mira almost scoffed, Winnie gave her a warning look.
“So sorry about your injury. When will you be coming back to
the summer school?” Winnie asked.
“I don’t know yet but it’ll be soon…my dad is insisting on
flying me out of the country for treatment even though I told him not to…”
Rachel informed.
Mira couldn’t hold the laughter that bubbled within her, she
mumbled an excuse and was out of the room to have a good laugh.
“What’s wrong with that one?” Rachel asked.
“Oh…you mean Mira? It’s nothing…” Winnie said.
“I see that you both are super close now.” Rachel said in
jealousy.
“Listen Rachel, we’re all friends and the circle is still
open if you want to come back.”
“No thanks, I’m fine on my own.” Rachel said.
“Okay…I would have loved to stay longer but I need to get
home soon or my mom will get upset with me.” Winnie said. “Get well soon.”
“Okay…bye…” Rachel said quickly.
Winnie left the room and met Mira at the waiting room, as
soon as Mira saw her, she started laughing.
“What’s funny?” Winnie asked.
“Did you hear her lies? She was actually trying to lie to us
again! Can you imagine?”
“Let’s drop the subject Mira…” Winnie said.
“No I just can’t…did you hear when she said they owned
that building? To think that I had asked her for help with cooking pasta and
she said she had cooks and maids….hahahahahahaha….”
“C’mon Mira, you have enough problems of your own and you’re
laughing at another person’s problems.” Winnie said.
“At least I face my problems and don’t pretend like they don’t
exist.” Mira said.
Winnie shrugged and walked out of the hospital towards the
car, soon, they were both inside and on their way to Winnie’s house.
Rachel’s mother saw her daughter’s friends leave and walked
into her daughter’s room. Rachel had a very sour look.
“Are you okay baby?” Her mother asked.
“Why did you bring them here?” Rachel asked with tears in
her eyes.
“They said they’re your friends….” Her mother replied.
“Why can’t you cover up for me for once in your life? Aren’t
you aware that the summer school is filled with rich kids who have everything?
Now, they’ve seen that I’m not all that and I’m sure that they are laughing at
me.”
Rachel’s mother opened her mouth to speak but no words came
forth, she didn’t know what to say to her daughter.

To be continued tomorrow….

8 COMMENTS

  1. These 3 girls have issues but it appears Winnie is the smartest of them all. Her mum is doing a good work but needs to balance it. Mira, listen to WInnie, you don't show your hand early in the game abi you wan die?? Rachel, you are foolish. You think your mum is doing something wrong, you never stopped to ask yourself what could have pushed her, you ae amking the worst mistake!!! Wiinnie, please don't get carried away by fake Steven. Teach your mum the right way, you have enough strength for your mum, yourself and your friends.

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