Winnie slipped into her room just in time as her mother’s
knock came minutes later.
“This is a different Winnie! She never locks her door!
What’s happening?” She said aloud. “Winnie! Open this door now!”
Winnie quickly pulled off her shoes, hurriedly undressed and
quickly wore her pyjamas.
“Winnie! Open this door! Winnie!” Her mother continued to
scream as she banged her door hard.
Her father soon joined her mother at the door and she could
hear their conversation.
“What is wrong Kate? Why are you banging her door like
that?”
“She’s my daughter and I demand that she opens the door.”
Her mother spat.

“Has she opened it yet? Why can’t you learn Kate? You’re
pushing her away with your attitude.” He said.
“I’m not pushing her away, I’m instilling discipline into
her. If you ask me, I’ll say it’s your daughters that have poisoned my daughter
against me.” Her mother fired.
She heard her father’s knock at the door.
“Winnie dear, please open the door.” He said.
Winnie quickly placed her hair net over her head and walked
over to open the door.
“Good evening sir…” She greeted her father.
“What in the world is wrong with you? This is the third time
I’m coming to knock at your door! Besides, who gave you the right to lock this
door? Give me the keys to the door now, I’m seizing them.” Her mother said
quickly.
“I used the bolt.” Winnie lied.
“Then, I’m calling the carpenter to remove the bolt tomorrow.
I can’t have this sort of idiocy in my own house.” Her mother shouted.
“Can I talk to you daddy?” Winnie asked.
“Sure…”
“Alone please…” Winnie said opening the door wider for her
father to walk in.
“What are you talking to him about that I can’t be part of?”
Her mother spat.
“I need my privacy mom, please excuse me.” Winnie said and
quietly closed the door at her mother’s face.
“What? Winnie! My God! Winnie!” Her mother screamed as she
pounded the door.
Winnie had locked the door again and walked over to sit on
the bed.
“What is the matter Winnie?” Her father asked.
“I’m tired of her…” Winnie said.
“Your mother? You can’t be tired of her, she is your mother.”
“So what? She treats me like I’m not her child. Have you
seen the way she treats my siblings? It’s as though they are her best friends
but for me, it’s like I’m her opponent at a boxing ring.” She sighed.
“We both know your mom and we have to accept her the way she
is.” Her father said.
“I won’t, I refuse to. I guess I realised that life could be
much better and sweeter when I was at auntie Theodora’s place. I’m beginning to
hate it here.”
“Darling…I understand you…but you’re not old enough to
be on your own. You know that your mom is a huge part of your family.” He said.
“Well, that’s not why I asked to speak to you.”
“What’s the problem?” He asked.
“I need some money…I mean, I need enough money.” She said.
Her father regarded her in shock, Winnie had never been one
to ask for money.
“Are you planning to run away from home?”
“No dad…” She smiled despite herself. “I have a friend at
the lesson and she’s going through a tough time. I wanted to help her….you
know…” She said.
“Okay, if that’s what you need money for, then I’ll give you
what you need but please, don’t be disrespectful to your mother. Believe it or
not, she loves you.”
“I don’t believe she does and I’m sorry for being
disrespectful.” She said.
Her father’s eyes found Steve’s camera which peeked out of
her bag on the bed.
“When did we get you a camera?” Her father asked.
“Oh…no…that’s errr…my friend’s at school. She put it
in my bag by mistake because we switched bags…I’ll hand it over tomorrow.”
Winnie lied.
Her father looked at her.
“I hope there’s no truth to your mother’s fears. I hope you’re
not changing for worse.” Her father said to her.
“You know me too well dad, if I ever have to change, you’ll
be the first to know.” She smiled.
He held out his hand to her and she hugged him long and
hard.
“I wish you were my real dad….like my real real dad. You understand me so well.”
She said emotionally. “I love you too much.”
“Haa! Who says I’m not your real dad? Ofcourse I am…” He
chuckled.
They both laughed and her father said.
“Why don’t you come and soothe your mother’s ego by asking
for her forgiveness. You slammed the door in her face and that was very rude.”
Winnie frowned.
“I didn’t slam the door, I just shut the door quietly.”
“C’mon, let’s go stroke her ego…we both know she can be a
pain but it’s good to live in peace and I know you haven’t eaten since you came
home from school so, why don’t you have dinner too?”
Winnie smiled and putting her hand in her dad’s she followed
him out of her room.
**************
Rachel lay in the hospital, she was with her phone and she
kept scrolling through the numbers. She wanted to leave desperately, she wanted
to be anywhere but here and home. Her mother had brought her breakfast but she
hadn’t touched it. She felt so betrayed by everyone, her mother, her father and
even her so-called friends at the summer school. Winnie and Mira’s decision to
stick with each other and kick her out made her feel so bad. It wasn’t fair,
they were a team and all of a sudden, they had pulled away as though she was an
outcast. She wasn’t going to beg them, she promised herself, she was going to
take care of herself from now on and look out for herself too. Her thumb
stopped scrolling when it got to a name and her heart beat as she dialled the
number. It rang for a while before the person at the other line picked.
“Hey babe…long time…” The male voice boomed.
“Hey Black…how are you?” She said with a small voice laced
with fear.
“I’m good, just here rolling out the money and taking
orders. How are you?”
“Not too good…I’m at the hospital.” She said.
“What? What happened?” He asked.
“Nothing much, I just got knocked down by a bike…that’s
all.”
“A bike? Na wahh ooo…I hope say e nor affect your amazing
figure.” He said throwing in a little suggestive tone to his voice.
“No…it didn’t…I’m fine.” She said.
“So, anything for your boy? You rejected my request some
months ago which I think is a very bad idea.” He said. “I can make you big
ooo….change your life for good.”
“That’s why I called you…I don’t want…my family to
provide for me again, in fact, I don’t even want to go back home….I want my
freedom. That’s why I’m calling you.” She said.
“Ohhhh…you sound like a very sure babe. Tell me, what do
you want and I’ll give it to you.”
“I need your help, I need money to be financially
independent….I don’t want to ask my parents for school fees anymore…they
have betrayed me….I don’t even want to live at home anymore…”
“Hey calm down babe…calm down…you know I can grant your
request, all you need to do in return is sign on my dotted lines…I need an
agreement.”
“I agree to your conditions.” She said.
“Wow! This is good news! My clients will love to hear this!”
He said in delight.
“Can you help me with a place to stay? I don’t ever want to
go home.” She said in tears.
“You’re still a minor ooo and I don’t want police involved
in my matter at all. Can’t you go to a relative or a cousin’s place and stay?
Housing underage girls is not my profession abeg. However, I can give you the
money you need to gain your financial independence.” He said with a slur.
“Yes, thank you…”
“Text me your hospital address, I’d like to come and see
you. We need to finalise our discussion and you also need to sign the dotted
lines.” He said.
“Thank you Black, I will.” She said.
“Ehen, I heard ‘bout your popsie. Sorry ooo…”
“Well, that’s how it is…” She said not knowing what else to
say.
“I hope the family of the girl drops the charges sha…”
Black said.
“As for me, I really don’t care.” Rachel said.
By the time she hung up, she told herself that this was the
best decision she’d ever made.

To be continued tomorrow….

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