“What are you doing in my room?
I locked the door, how did you get in?” Mira asked in a quaking voice.
“I want to be sure of what I
heard you say this evening in the sitting room.” Monica said.
“Go away from my room.” Mira
said.
“Not until you tell me who
you’ve been speaking with and what they’ve been telling you.”
“What are you talking about? A
clear conscience fears no accusations. I can’t remember what I said to you.”
Mira said.
“Listen to me and listen good
Mira, I have tolerated you in this house and I have borne your insults but if
you dare touch the tiger’s tail, you’ll be bitten hard!”

“Help! Help me daddy! Help me!”
Mira screamed with all her might.
Monica looked at her in alarm.
“Stop it, we are having a
conversation…” Monica started.
“Help me! Daddy! She wants to
kill me! Help me!” Mira screamed clutching her covers up to her face.
“We’re not done with this
conversation.” Monica started.
The door burst open and her
father jumped into the room with a large tennis racket in his hand.
“Mira! What happened?” He asked
looking at his daughter and turning to look around the room.
“Thank God you’re here
Daddy…Monica wants to kill me…” Mira cried.
“What? How?” Her father asked
confused.
“Don’t mind her darling, I just
came to talk to her about uniting our family into one. I desperately want her
to talk to her sisters and tell them to accept Daniel as their sibling. The
poor boy is so lonely, he has no siblings and Mira hasn’t made this house
conducive for him.” Monica lied.
“That’s not true daddy! That’s
not true at all! I was asleep when she crept up on me and I had locked my door
before going to sleep.” Mira said.
“Mira! You made me get out of
bed for nothing!” Her father said.
“No I didn’t…I promise that
she came here to torment me. I’m not lying daddy…I’m not.” Mira said with
tears in her eyes.
“Why would Monica come to
torment you?” Her father asked.
“It’s because this evening …”
Mira started.
“Never mind honey, let’s go
back to bed. I’m sorry we woke you up.” Monica said placing her hand at Mira’s
father’s back and leading him towards the door.
Mira watched them leave and as
soon as they did, she rushed to the door and inspected the knob. It wasn’t
broken which means that Monica had used a spare key to her room. This time, she
locked the door and bolted it shut.
*****************
Rachel was trying to sleep but
her eyes kept popping open. She had gone to Black’s meeting point before coming
back home but what she was disturbed by the so-called meeting. She had been the
last to arrive and she had found that Black wasn’t the one in charge of his organisation but a
middle aged woman who insisted that everyone called her Mrs M. At first, Mrs M
had started with a drilling session of cleanliness, then she moved on to
beauty, she spoke about the importance of using beauty to an advantage as
beauty wasn’t supposed to be wasted. Rachel noticed that the
girls at the meeting were about her age range and were mostly in secondary
schools. She had listened with rapt attention, anyway, she was determined to be free
from her parents and if being a part of Black’s club and taking orders from the annoying Mrs M was a going to make that happen, she was ready to do it.
Soon, the television was turned
on and a film was slotted, Rachel thought that the film would be about
cleanliness and beauty only to see that it was an x-rated film, something she’d
never seen in her life. Some of the other girls had seen such movies before but
she and a few others had never. Rachel had closed her eyes, willing the images
away but received the shock of her life when Mrs M walked up to her and gave
her a loud slap on her cheek.
“Do you think we’re playing
here? Do you think this a joke?” Mrs M spat, her breath smelt of garlic.
“No…I’m sorry…” Rachel
cried.
“Listen to me my dear, you’d
better get used to seeing this kind of films because we have big clients who
are willing to pay big for your services and if you don’t act accordingly, you’ll
be in trouble!”
Rachel was startled and very
afraid, she looked up to see Black watching her with unreadable expression on
his face and she turned to face the television again. 
Soon, it was all over and the
meeting was ended. Mrs. M instructed that everyone should return the next day
at the same time and Rachel knew she couldn’t leave without seeing Black. She
saw him walking up towards the small generator positioned at a corner to turn
it off and she raced towards him.
“Black!” She called out.
“What is it?” He spat.
“You didn’t tell me…why?”
“So? What’s the big deal? You
have a good body, flaunt it now that you’re young.”
“But that’s…that’s…prostitution.”
Rachel said in a whisper.
“What’s new? Even in the old
days it was there…”
“I can’t do it…here’s your
money…” Rachel said handing the money to him. “I took out two hundred naira
for transport fare….I’ll pay that back tomorrow.”
“Hahahahahahaha…” Black threw
his head back and laughed.
“Why are you laughing?”
“Will you take that shit away
from my face?” Black spat.
Rachel blinked, she hadn’t
believed what she had heard.
“You are already in and you can
never get out! Never! I gave you a token but before you can get yourself out,
you must pay over a hundred thousand naira.”
“What? Where will I get that
kind of money from?”
“How’s that any of my business?”
Black said.
Rachel stared at him, tears
stung her lids.
“Black, please…” Rachel
cried.
“You’d better be here tomorrow
for more lessons and if you say a word to anyone about what we do here, you’ll
be dead meat. If anyone asks you what the meeting’s about, tell them that it’s a
computer training program.” Black spat and walked away.
Now, as she tossed again, she
felt tears sting her lids, this was all her mother’s fault. She blamed. If she
hadn’t been with that guy, she would never have succumbed to asking Black for
help.
*****************
Everyone was seated in class
when the head teacher walked into the class and smiled at everyone.
“It’s a Friday…” She said
with a smile. “Guess what we’re doing today?”
The students stared at her in
confusion, no one had a clue.
“All work and no play makes Jack
a dull boy so the school has organised a picnic for today.” She said.
“Yay!” The students screamed in
joy.
“The school bus is outside, so
everyone go out and get in. We are off to a beautiful place to
relax and have fun.”
The students were so thrilled,
Winnie smiled and turned to Mira.
“Wow! That sounds great.” She
said.
Mira wasn’t listening, she
cradled her face in her palms.
“What’s up Mira?” Winnie asked.
At that moment, Rachel walked
into the class and Mira looked up and saw her.
“Is that not Rachel? I thought she’s still at the hospital.” Mira said.
Winnie turned to stare at
Rachel who looked so sullen.
“Did they discharge her so
soon?” Winnie asked.
The head teacher walked out of
the class and Rachel sat at her desk. The students were so happy as most of
them had formed groups and were chatting and laughing.
“Do you think we should go talk
to her?” Winnie asked.
“I’m not in the mood, I have
problems of my own.” Mira sulked.
“What’s wrong?” Winnie asked
“The witch came into my room
last night…can you imagine? She came to ask me what I know about her life.”
“What?”
“Those people are liars! I can’t
believe my dad bought their lies!” Mira said passionately.
“I warned you not to say
anything. These things require some sort of wisdom.” Winnie said.
“I know you did but you have to
understand me, I wear the shoes so I know where it hurts.” Mira said.
“Don’t worry, we’ll figure out
a way to put an end to those people’s stay in your house.” Winnie said, turning
to look at Rachel who was looking for something in her bag.
“Please don’t forget to ask
Steve what he knows about Daniel.” Mira said.
“I did, last night and I think
he got jealous cos he felt I like Daniel.”
“Ewwww! Who’d like that pig?”
Mira spat.
“Well, he said that Daniel is
quite dangerous…so he warned me to stay off.”
“I know…I can see it in his
eyes.” Mira said.
“How old is Daniel?” Winnie
asked.
“Seventeen, why?”
“Steve says he’s twenty or
twenty one.”
“What?”
“The battle to get your family back is going to be really tough…”
Winnie said.
“Do you know I got home
yesterday to find all my stuff gone? Most of the expensive stuff in our sitting room had disappeared. The aquarium, the paintings, the mini home theatre….” Mira said.
“What did you say?” Winnie
asked in shock.
“I said that most of our stuff
in the sitting room was gone and Daniel said we were robbed. My dad wanted to
inform the police but Monica told him not to.”
“Did you say mini home theatre?”
“Yes…”
“Steve said he bought me a mini
home theatre from Daniel because according to him, Daniel is selling some of
his old stuff.”
“Old stuff? Are you serious?”
“Steve is bringing the home
theatre to my place today, do you want to come and see it when he brings it? Just to be sure that it’s yours.”
“Are you serious? Daniel is
selling our properties?” Mira asked in shock.
“We need to think carefully…”
“Wait…we can catch him…you
know, by informing the police and showing them proof that Daniel sold it to
Steve…”
Winnie didn’t look too happy
with the idea.
“But…what of Steve? He might
be arrested for buying stolen goods and he’s innocent in all of this.”
“Winnie! C’mon! This is my
family’s property we’re talking about. At the rate this guy is going, he might
try to kill my dad to get his hands on his properties and maybe influence his
will.”
“You’re thinking too far..”
Winnie said.
“I watch movies a lot and I see
what people do to those who have money.” Mira said.
“Do you know what? Let’s talk
about this later. Now, let’s go and say hi to Rachel, she’s been sitting at her
desk for quite a while.”
“I’m not in the mood.” Mira
said stubbornly.
“Suit yourself.” Winnie said
and left her seat.
Winnie walked up to Rachel’s
seat and sat on a vacant seat beside hers.
“Hey Rachel, we’re glad to have
you back.” Winnie said.
“You or her?” Rachel said
turning to stare at Mira.
“C’mon, we’re friends…and we shouldn’t
have issues. How are you?”
Rachel shrugged.
“You don’t look too bright. Are
you feeling any pain? Have you been taking painkillers?” Winnie asked.
“Please Winnie, could you
kindly go back to your seat? You’re disturbing me.” Rachel said.
Winnie nodded slowly.
“I’m sorry about that.” She
said.
The students were leaving the
class one after the other and the head teacher walked in again to ask that
everyone leave the class. Winnie walked up to her desk to open her bag and take
out her purse.
“What’s up? You didn’t chat with her for
long.” Mira noticed.
“I guess she’s in a sour mood.”
Winnie said sadly.
“Mtcheew! I really can’t be
bothered. That girl is such a liar! How do you think she’ll come back into our
circle after lying like that? I’ll never forget the lies she told me, never!”
Mira said standing from her seat.
“C’mon Mira, you’re too
dramatic.” Winnie said.
As they both walked out of the
class together, Rachel stared at them with a sad expression in her eyes.

To be continued on Monday….

1 COMMENT

  1. I feel so sorry for Rachel, I know how it feels like to carry resentment against a parent for something you're too young to understand the intricacies of. I hope she gets out this quagmire.

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