Rachel walked into class the next morning feeling completely
defeated. As she walked through the streets this morning, it seemed as though everyone was talking
about her father and pointing at her. She felt so bad and ashamed of the home
she came from. What if the press came asking questions? What if they came to
her new school? What if’s, flooded her mind as she sat down wearily in her
single chair in her class which had a desk attached to it and placed her head on her table.
The class was empty as she was very early.

She didn’t look up when she heard footsteps echo in the
classroom; she hadn’t slept a wink last night and now, her eyes bore the burden
as it was heavy.
Winnie stepped into the class and saw only one student in
the classroom, she knew who she was. It was the girl she had seen yesterday
when her sister had dropped her at school. It was the girl with the make-up and
the same girl whom the snotty girl had addressed rudely and had asked to
change seats.
As though the snotty girl read her thoughts, she too walked
into the class and headed over to her seat which was directly behind Winnie’s.
None of them spoke to one another, everywhere was silent and Winnie placed
her hands on her desk and held them together in front of her. She was wearing a
gown her mother got her, it was knee length but sister Theodora had assured her
that she didn’t need to wear a leggings underneath. She was glad that her
sister was going to get her new clothes and couldn’t wait to wear them.
The silence in the classroom was deafening and Winnie
wondered why everyone was so quiet. The girl seated at the far side of the
classroom had her head on her desk and same with the girl with the snotty
attitude. Winnie thought of saying something but the words couldn’t leave her
mouth. Should she say, ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’? She thought as she didn’t know what to say.
She heaved a deep sigh and looked around the class again, she opened her mouth
to speak but her mouth stayed slightly parted for thirty seconds.
Why are you such a coward Winnie? These are your mates and
not beasts with horns.’
She admonished herself. This was exactly the way she
behaved in her school, she didn’t know how to hold conversations with her
classmates and everyday after school, she went home to her mirror to practise
effective communication.
She opened her mouth to speak again but the words hung
in her throat, she couldn’t say anything. Just then, her phone rang and loudly
too.
Winnie’s phone was what everyone in her school called ‘Chinko’
it was very loud and had no unique features, it had a blurry camera, boring games, no
Whatsapp, no BBM, no Facebook, no Twitter, and no Instagram so whenever her
classmates said to her.
“I’ll
chat you up on Whatsapp!”

She could only nod like a wizard. She had spoken to her
father about changing her phone as everyone in her class had upgraded phones
but he had to wait for mummy’s approval and of course she said no, every time.
Sometimes, Winnie felt her mother hated her, it was as though she’d done something terrible to have been born into this world.
“Sorry…” Winnie murmured and rummaged through her bag for
her phone.
The phone rang so loud, that Rachel and Mira had to raise
their heads from their desks to look at the girl with the annoying phone.
“Got it…got it…” Winnie muttered as she took the phone
and answered it. “Hello mom, good morning ma…I’m at summer school.” She
whispered. “We are having a class now…I’ll call you later.” She said and hung
up. As soon as Winnie hung up the phone she placed it on vibrate mode, she didn’t
know why she lied to her mother but she knew her mother was calling to ask lots
of questions and she really wasn’t in the mood. She was still cringing over her
loud ringtone when the girl seated behind her said.
“Is that your ringtone? It’s hideous!” Mira said.
Rachel laughed despite herself.
“Well, I’m sorry…I just put it on vibration.” Winnie said
turning around to face the girl.
“You shouldn’t be sorry, it’s annoying though but it’s your phone.” Mira said trying to be nice.
“My name is Winnie.”
“I’m Mira.”
Rachel heard the girls introduce themselves and quickly
said.
“I’m Rachel.”
“You’re the one who tapped me yesterday.” Mira accused.
“You changed your seat.” Rachel said.
“That was rude of you to tap me.” Mira said.
“It was rude of you to change your seat. Get off your high
horse!” Rachel said.
“Me? High horse? What are you talking about? If you want to
call someone, can’t you just speak to the person instead of tapping the person?”
Mira fired.
“My hands are not dirty, so stop acting as though you are
the cleanest person in the world.” Rachel said.
“What are you talking about?” Mira asked and turning to
Winnie who was facing her seat, she asked. “What in the world is she talking
about?”
“Look at her, forming high and mighty.” Rachel said.
“Hey…guys…” Winnie started and when she saw that they
stopped to hear her speak, the words hung in her throat again.
“What did you want to say?” Rachel asked.
“Yea, spill it already and stop looking like a puppy!” Mira
said.
Winnie took in a deep breath and said.
“My phone is to blame for all this so, I’m sorry…”
“What is she talking about?” Mira asked Rachel. “Is she for
real? Is she really apologising for our outburst? Where did you come from? Do
you live in this world?”
“Yea, why are you apologising?” Rachel asked.
“It’s all my fault, okay…if my phone hadn’t disturbed the
peace and quiet, you guys wouldn’t have started arguing.” Winnie said in a low
voice.
Rachel and Mira looked at Winnie in silence and suddenly burst out
laughing. Winnie smiled despite herself.
“You sure did settle the whole argument thingy…” Mira
said.
“Yea…I guess your miss goody too shoes paid off after all.”
Winnie smiled back at them.
“So, we have a long summer holiday ahead of us, why don’t we
become friends and make the holiday worthwhile?” Rachel asked.
“Hmmm…sounds like a plan.” Mira said testily. “But I already have friends in my school so, this might be temporary.”
“I have friends too at school so…big deal!” Rachel said rolling her eyes.
“Do you mean like a group? Just like the way it’s done in
schools?” Winnie asked.
“What kind of a question is that?” Rachel asked in surprise
at the way Winnie spoke.
“No…I mean, in my school, my classmates have groups, you
know…of friends but I don’t and …” Winnie started.
“Wait…don’t you have friends?” Rachel asked.
“Yes..I have friends.” Winnie said.
“How many?” Mira asked.
“One…I mean, they were two before but one stopped talking
to me so I was left with one, her name is Amaka…although we aren’t that
close.” Winnie said.
“So, how do you communicate? You have a serious problem! If
you don’t have friends in secondary school, how do you expect to have friends
in the university?” Mira asked.
“Well, my mom says the only true friend I can ever have is
her.” Winnie said.
“What?” Rachel gawked.
“Yea…what? How can she selfishly keep you to herself? Doesn’t she have friends? If
she doesn’t want you to mingle with your peers, why is she sending you to
school? You can as well as stay home and be home-schooled.” Mira said.
“I can’t live with that kind of mother, I’ll run away.”
Rachel said with eyes wide.
“You see, I don’t really tell people about my life but since
we are friends, I’ll tell you guys.” Winnie said.
“How can you tell people about your life when you’re friendless? You don’t have friends to share life stories with.” Rachel stressed.
“Hey, shut up! Don’t you see she’s talking?” Mira spat.
“You, shut up! Busy body!” Rachel said.
“Do you want to hear my story or not?” Winnie asked quietly.
“Sure…thrill us. Lesson starts in thirty minutes and I’d
rather spend time listening to stories than sitting here idly.” Mira said.
“So, I’ll start from the beginning…” Winnie said.
As she told her story, the girls listened with rapt
attention.
*********
Sister Theodora was at her close friend’s shop buying some clothes
for Winnie when her phone rang.
“Theodora!” The lady at the other end of the line barked.
“What do you want, step-mother?” Theodora asked in a mocking
tone.
“I want to know where Winnie is.”
“I dropped her off at the lesson, why are you stressing my
life?” Theodora said.
“I know you’re trying to play the nice auntie role and
portray me as the evil witch and I won’t have it!” Winnie’s mother shouted down
the line.
“Listen to me, you insecure woman, I don’t have that kind of
time, I’m sure you knew that long before you met my dad.”
“I have told you my mind Theodora, I want to be involved in
my daughter’s life even while she’s at your place so I expect to hear updates.”
“Oh really! What are you waiting for? Why don’t you call a
private detective and pay him or her to sit outside my gate? Meanwhile, stop
bothering me, I have things to do.” Theodora said and hung up.
As soon as she ended the call, she stared at the phone in so
much anger.
“What’s wrong? You don’t look too happy.” Her friend
Yetunde, who owned the boutique she was shopping at, asked.
“Mtcheww…don’t mind my father’s wife.” Theodora said.
“Wait…is it not the same one your sister was best friends with before she married your dad?”
“Yes, it’s the same viper!”
“Na wah ooo…na wah for some women. All in a bid to catch
husband ehn! So, her daughter is with you? Is that who you’re shopping for?”
“Yes, the girl is a very nice girl and I really like her…”
Theodora said.
“I’m sure your elder sister doesn’t like her step-mom much,
does she?”
“What do you think? They were best friends in secondary
school and even at the Uni, Winnie’s mom used to come to spend the hols in our house and no one knew
she had eyes on my dad. When her boyfriend ditched her with a pregnancy, she
had the child and before we knew what was happening, she’d roped my dad and in
a few years, he’d divorced my mom and married her.” Theodora said.
“Wow! That’s surprising!” Yetunde said. “I thought you said
she was married before and her husband died.”
“Well, she was but that man who’s now late by the way, is
not her child’s father.” Theodora said.
 “Do you know what baffles me the most?
It’s the fact that I know Winnie’s mother so well, she’s an opposite of who she’s
trying to portray to the world and she’s making her daughter look up to her as
though she’s the best role model in the world.” She said standing up and
picking up the bag of clothes. “I have to go…I need to get to the market.”
“Thank you for your patronage.” Yetunde said standing up to
give her friend a hug.
“Anytime dear…”
“No matter how angry you and your siblings are against her,
don’t take it out on her daughter. She’s innocent.” Yetunde said.
Theodora smiled slightly and left the shop, headed to her
car. Her phone rang again and she almost swore. She took out her phone thinking
that it was her father’s wife, it was her elder sister instead.
“Hey sis…” Theodora greeted.
“How far? Where you able to get Winnie out of her mother’s
grasp?”
“You bet!”
“Good! Now, she’ll know what it means to destroy someone’s
family. It’ll be my pleasure to watch her perfect family fall apart before her
eyes.” Theodora’s sister said.

To be continued tomorrow….

8 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, didn't see that coming. So Theodora and her sister have an evil plan up her sleeve? They shouldn't take out their angst on the small girl, biko.

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