Rachel stood frozen at the door to her parents’ bedroom,
betrayal etched her facial features.
“This is it right? This is the reason you weren’t bothered
one bit when daddy was arrested. You have a boyfriend?” Rachel screamed at her
mother.
Her mother and boyfriend scrambled for their clothes while
her mother half wore hers as she pleaded with Rachel.
“Rachel, it’s not what you think….please listen to
me…please…” Her mother begged.
“Listen to you? What can you say to change what I just saw?”
Rachel cried.
“Please…Rachel…” Her mother begged.
Rachel screamed in fury and turning around, she stormed out,
heading out of the house, her mother cried as she ran after her in tears.
Rachel flung the door open and ran out of the house while her mother stopped
her chase at the doorway as she was still half-clothed. Rachel cried as she ran
into the street, she didn’t see the bike coming her way, all she felt was the
hard impact of metal on her skin. Her mother’s scream pierced the air and everywhere
was silent for a moment.
***********
Winnie dialled Steve’s phone number and heard it ring, soon,
there was a click and he answered.
“Hey dear…how are you? I’ve been worried silly.” He said.
Winnie smiled, she was glad he was worried about her.
“I’m fine…”
“I thought you said you stayed with your sister, I don’t see
you in the estate anymore.” He said.
“Oh…I had to move back home with my family.”
“Oh true, I saw the scene she caused at your school gate, I’m
sorry you had to put up with that.” He said.
“Thanks….” She smiled.
“So, this means we can’t see each other anymore huh?” Steve
said.
“Well…I dunno…” She said, not too happy that they
weren’t going to be seeing each other anymore.
“I could come to your place if you send me directions.”
“What? Come to my place? Do you want me to be skinned
alive?”
“Hahahaha….I didn’t mean your house, I meant I could come
to your area or vicinity, you know….”
“Really?” Winnie said despite herself.
“It’s not four pm yet…and the day is still bright and
early, just send me your street name and I’ll be there.”
Winnie was so thrilled, she couldn’t believe it. Steve
really liked her and he was coming all the way from his place to see her.
“Eerr….my mom is around and I don’t think she’ll let me
leave. I can’t think of a lie to tell her.” 
Winnie said disappointingly.
“Are you a baby?”
“What do you mean by that?” Winnie asked.
“How old are you?”
“Fifteen…”
“A fifteen year old is not a child and can make decisions
for herself.”
“Not in this house, I can’t.”
“Yes you can and you will, all you need to do is play
smart.” He said.
“What do you mean by play smart?”
“What era popped you out?” He asked in surprise.
“What era?”
“Mehn! You really have a lot of learning to do.” He said.
“I still don’t understand what you mean.” Winnie said
confused.
“You can sneak out of the house.” Steve said.
“Sneak out? How?”
“It’s your house and not mine, besides you know your house
pretty well and you can figure out ways to get out of there. Look Winnie, not
everyone goes in and comes back in through the gate and if the walls are so
high, bribe your way out.”
Winnie pondered on his words and suddenly she understood.
“You mean I should climb the fence?” She whispered.
“You’re a sharp babe…don’t dull. Send me your address and
I’ll be waiting at the entrance to your estate. I’ll call you when I get
there.” He said.
When Winnie hung up, she quickly sent Steve directions and
standing from her bed, she walked over to her room door and stared at the knob.
There was a key at the key hole and since she started used this room she had
never had the cause to lock her door but today, she knew she’d have to lock it.
She carefully planned her escape but she knew she needed help so she hurried
downstairs to the kitchen.
“Hey! You seem to draw trouble to yourself like magnet these
days.” The help said to her.
“I need your help but you must promise me never to tell
anyone.” Winnie started.
“Are you here to beg for food because I’m under strict
instructions not to allow you eat even as much as a spoonful until you go and
apologize to mummy.”
“Huh? What’s that?” Winnie asked perplexed.
“Mummy said you insulted her and made her feel worthless so,
no food for you. She even went as far as measuring the contents of food in the
pot and checked the sizes of all the cereals just in case you eat any.”
“Mtcchewww…” Winnie hissed.
The help looked at her astonished.
“Winnie! You hissed at your mother’s directive? You don dey
get liver ooo….”
“Whatever! I need your help and it has nothing to do with
food.” Winnie said.
The help’s eyes widened in shock as she stared at Winnie, this
was not the girl she knew. The Winnie she knew always shivered at her mother’s
words and would have quickly run upstairs to apologize to her mother so as to
have peace.
“What’s gotten into you?”
“I need to get out of this house for a while, I’m meeting up
with a friend.”
The help’s eyes widened further.
“What?”
“Stop pretending you don’t know what I’m talking about. I
know you sneak out to see Chijioke, your boyfriend and I want you to help me
sneak out.”
“God forbid! So that your mother can send me back to the
poverty I came from? Lai lai.” She said.
“If you don’t help me, I won’t split my goodies in half for
you ever again, I won’t borrow novels from school for you and I will tell mommy
you have a boyfriend.”
“Ha! That’s not fair na…” The help said.
“Will you help me or not?” Winnie asked.
The help looked at her long and hard.
“Winnie, you’re a good girl…I know mummy can be very
frustrating but don’t let her push you into being someone you can’t recognize.”
“Mummy isn’t pushing me to doing anything, I just want to
see a friend…that’s all.”
“Boy or girl.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m asking if you’re meeting up with a boy or a girl.”
“A girl.” Winnie lied.
The help looked at her and shook her head.
“I’m not stupid; girls never sneak out to meet girls but
boys.”
“Well, that’s not true. I’m meeting up with my female
friend.”
“What’s her name?”
“Her name?”
“Yea…her name…”
“Errr….Mira.” Winnie lied.
“You’re lying, you paused before you said the name.”
“What does it matter? Are you going to help me out or not?”
“Okay…I will but you know mummy will check up on you….”
“Don’t worry, I’ll lock my room door and pretend that I
don’t want to speak with anyone. Then, before I sneak back into the house, I’ll
call your phone and you’ll tell me if coast’s clear and after that, I’ll sneak into
my room.”
“Winnie you don dey bad ooo…” The help said. “You’ve
already planned this out like a pro.”
“Desperate situations call for desperate measures. I’ll go
and change, when I come back here, you better show me how to get out of this
house without drawing attention.”
************
Daniel was watching television when Mira came back home,
tired and hungry. As soon as she stepped into the house, Daniel said to her.
“You are to sweep the sitting room and clean the kitchen.”
Mira didn’t respond, she walked towards her room.
“I’m talking to you dammit!” He spat.
“What do you expect me to say? Yes sir, no sir?” Mira fired.
“You’re not being respectful.”
“To who? You?”
“You’ll do as I say because I’m older than you are.” He
fired.
“Really, big brother?” Mira said mockingly.
Daniel stood up from the sofa and walked up to her.
“Don’t speak to me in such undermining tone.” He said.
“You can’t tell me what to say and what not to say.”
“You feel you have the world at your feet huh? You’ve never
felt hunger or poverty before huh?” Daniel fired at her.
“What’s that got to do with anything? Please get out of my
way. If your mother thinks that she can starve me to submission, she’s failed.”
Daniel grabbed her by her shirt collar.
“Let me go!”
“Go and do the chores I asked you to do.” He demanded.
“Let me go this instant or I’ll call the police.”
“Police? Have you been watching too many action films? Where
do you think you are?” He spat.
“Let me go now, you’re hurting me…” Mira screamed.
He shoved her to the ground and she fell in a heap.
“Don’t you dare…don’t you ever lay your filthy hands on me
again. Ever!” Mira cried as she struggled to stand.
Daniel kicked her and she fell again.
“Owww…that hurt!” She cried.
“Next time you respect me, I’m not your mate and you can’t
talk to me the way you please.”
“You’re my immediate sister’s mate…and we’re just two
years apart.” Mira cried.
“Looks can be deceiving huh? Do you think I’m a teenager?
You must be getting things twisted!” He said and walked away.
Mira dragged her bag close to her chest and began to cry,
she wanted to run away, she wanted to be any place but here.
To be continued next week…..

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