Winnie walked up to Rachel while Mira trudged behind her
reluctantly. They had gotten to the picnic venue and students were perching at
cool spots. Rachel was seated on a swing and rocking herself back and forth.
“Hey Rachel…” Winnie greeted.
Rachel looked up at Winnie and Mira.
“There’s no use pretending…you guys really don’t want to
talk to me.” Rachel said.
“That’s not true…” Winnie reassured.
“I don’t belong to the same social class as you guys so, I
don’t know what you guys want from me. I can’t offer you anything.”
“Hey…there’s nothing like social class in friendship. We’re
all friends and we want it to remain that way.” Winnie said.

Rachel looked at Mira.
“Mira isn’t saying anything.” Rachel noted.
Winnie nudged Mira who grudgingly spoke.
“You lied to us and you were bitchy too…that was why we
let you stay on your own.” Mira said.
“I’m who I am and I can’t change it for the world.” Rachel
said. “I know that I lied and I was wrong but the attitude is who I am…”
“Yes, no one can change you but it’ll be better if you can
tone down the attitude. We’re all friends and not foes.” Mira said.
“It’s just that you two have it all figured out. Winnie is
very conservative but she’s smart, she is wise and very hands-on. Mira, you are
rich so that covers up most of your flaws and where does that leave me? I have
nothing to hold on to. I’m not as rich as you guys are, I’m not smart, and I’m
not good at bridling my tongue. Worse of all, things just keep getting from
bad to worse with me…I’m so tired of it all.” Rachel said with tears in her
eyes.
“Hey…that’s why we’re here and we’ll always stick by you
no matter what.” Winnie said reaching out to touch her hand.
“Look, I’m sorry that you feel so bad about yourself…and I’m
sorry for not understanding you.” Mira said in apology.
“Please say we’ll all be friends again cos we’ve missed you.”
Winnie said.
Rachel wiped her tears with the back of her palms.
“I’m in trouble…in big trouble.” She said and burst into
tears.
Winnie and Mira circled her and gave her a reassuring hug,
when they all came up for air, Rachel said.
“I got myself into a huge mess! A big one…” Rachel said.
“Whatever mess you got yourself into can be fixed.” Mira
said reassuringly.
Rachel shook her head.
“This one can’t.” She said.
“Why are you so sure about that?” Winnie asked.
Rachel looked at her friends and sighed, she couldn’t possibly
tell them what she’d signed with Black, they’ll think her dirty and stupid. Besides, Black had warned her to keep silent.
“Do you know what? Forget I said anything…” Rachel said.
“What? Don’t hold it back…please share with us.” Mira
begged.
“It’s nothing, it’s just that I’m mad at my
parents…everything seems to be turning upside down at home…” Rachel
sniffed.
“Awww….don’t worry, all will be well.” Winnie said.
The P.E teacher blew the whistle to signal the students to
gather together.
“That’s the P.E teacher, I wonder if he wants us to do exercises
on a picnic.” Mira said rolling her eyes.
“I doubt it…” Winnie giggled.
“Let’s agree on something.” Mira said. “That no matter what,
we won’t keep secrets from each other.”
Winnie and Rachel looked at her quietly.
“I know that we all deserve to have  private lives but in order to avoid further
surprises, let’s try to be real. I know it’s going to be quite hard but we owe
it to each other as friends.” Mira said.
“Sure…” Winnie said.
“Okay..” Rachel said.
“Let’s make it a promise.” Mira said as she held out her
hand.
Winnie placed her hand over Mira’s while Rachel shakily
placed hers at the top.
“No more secrets…” Mira said.
Rachel and Winnie nodded.
************
Steve was quite disturbed over Daniel’s incessant messages;
not too long ago, he’d texted him with questions about Winnie and now, he was
messaging him to meet him at a quiet spot just beside a canal. Steve didn’t
like the sound of that as he knew the canal side quite well and was well aware
that it was mostly lonely and deserted. However, he agreed to meet him, after
which he’d decided go to Winnie’s school to pay her a visit and give her the mini home
theatre. He wondered why Winnie was stalling to accept him as a boyfriend, a
lot of girls would have jumped in on the opportunity. He had Theodora breathing
hard on his neck as her sister was giving her lots of pressure and she was in
turn, transferring it to him. He needed to talk to Theodora to help facilitate the
whole dating process as Winnie loved and listened to her.
He made his way to the narrow walkway beside the canal and
waited, he wondered what Daniel wanted from him. Soon, he saw Daniel approach
him. Steve smiled and watched Daniel walk towards him. As he watched Daniel stride towards him, he remembered their group at school and how Daniel stood as second in command since his diploma years. Their group in school
was a very dangerous one and Daniel had been the leader, he’d called shots to
different dangerous actions within the school premises and that was part of the reason he
was expelled from school.
“Hey Steve…did you wait for long?” He asked.
“No…just got here.” Steve said.
Daniel turned to look around and when he saw no one coming,
he lifted his shirt stylishly to reveal a dagger.
“Yo! Yo man!” Steve started, backing away.
“You’ve been opening your mouth to your little girlfriend
huh?” Daniel asked matching his step.
“What…what are you talking about?”
“My cover was almost blown yesterday all because of you.”
Daniel spat.
“No..I didn’t…I mean…don’t carve me yo!” Steve said. “I don’t understand you.”
“Listen to me and listen good. Tell that brat of yours that
you got it all mixed up and that my dad is not in jail but out and free and is
also a top engineer in a big firm. Tell her that I never knew my dad all my
life but I finally got to know that I have a dad and step sisters. Am I clear.”
“Sure…sure…” Steve said quickly. “Please calm down.”
“And that mini theatre you wanted to give to her…” Daniel
started. “Don’t you dare give it to her or I might just carve you up in your
sleep. Am I clear?” Daniel threatened.
“Yes…sure…yes man…don’t get mad.” Steve said backing
away.
Daniel looked around to see if anyone was watching them and when he was sure that they weren’t being watched, he turned around and walked away. Steve
stared at his retreating back, not knowing what to say.
*****************
Rachel was in the bus, chatting with her friends and
laughing when a text message came in. It was from Black.
“Meeting point…six pm sharp. You are to start meeting clients as
soon as possible and we need to get you ready.’ He sent to her.
Rachel’s face fell as she read the message.
“What’s wrong Rachel? What’s it? You don’t look too happy.”
Mira noted.
“Oh, it’s nothing.” Rachel said forcing a smile.
“I was thinking that we all hang out in Winnie’s house after
we’re dropped off by the school bus. What do you think??” Mira asked.
“Sounds like a good idea.” Winnie said.
“Nah…I have some things to take care of at home.” Rachel
said.
“But you need to rest and chill because you barely escaped
with your life when you were hit by a bike.” Mira said.
“No…don’t worry…it’s nothing stressful. It’s just that
my friends from my secondary school are organising something and I promised that
I’d attend.” Rachel lied.
“Okay then…Mira and I will hang out together at my home.”
Winnie said cheerfully.
Rachel forced a smile while Mira stared at her worried that
she was hiding something.
To be continued on Monday….

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