Clara stood by the side and watched the performing club members do
their thing, they were a really talented group of young people and in total,
they were not up to ten. She watched in admiration as one of the girls rapped and the other’s danced in unison. Oliver was playing the drums with another guy and he was enjoying it all as he kept bobbing his head even as he drummed.
“Hey guys…let’s calm down and welcome the new members.”
Oliver said, ending the drumming and clapping his hands.

Clara looked around, she was the only new member.
“We just got one member?” One boy asked in disappointment.
“Why one?” A girl asked.
“Well…they all decided to err… attaché themselves to new
groups besides we didn’t get new intakes to the A-level program this time, most of the new intakes are here for jamb and WAEC and many of them weren’t interested in joining any groups.” Oliver said with humour. “So, everyone, meet Clay.”
“Clay? As in Clay soil?” One girl asked.
“Please guys, it’s Clay and not clay soil so…enough with
the assumptions.” Clay said, surprised that the lesson did tutorials for A-levels too.
“Hi, my name is Madeh.” A boy said walking up to Clara. “Welcome
to the performing arts club.”
“So, tell us, what can you do? Can you sing, dance or act?”
A girl asked.
“I can sing and dance…I haven’t tried acting so, I don’t
know if I can do that.” Clara said, happy to say what she could do.
“Okay, sing for us…something short…” Oliver said.
“Okay…here goes…” Clara started and opened her mouth to sing,
she sang Adele’s Rolling in the deep and when she finished, she noticed that
everyone was silent. Clara was afraid that they weren’t speaking.
“Oh my God!” Madeh said in awe.
“That was….amazing, I have never heard such beautiful
voice in such a long time ….wow!” One of the girls said and clapped.
Soon, the ten teens were clapping for Clara and she felt so
happy.
“Do you have a voice coach?” Oliver asked her when the
performance club meeting was over.
“No! I…have never had anything like that.” Clara said,
surprised that he was asking.
“Do you sing in church?”
“Me? Church? My dad would kill me if he heard me sing, I
only sing in the shower!”
“Wow! I….I mean, you are very gifted, Clay.” Oliver said.
“Thank you.” Clara said smiling.
“You know, my elder brother has like a….recording studio
that he rents out to upcoming artistes and the like. If you want, I could
introduce you…”
“That’ll be cool…” Clara said smiling at him.
“Okay then, see you tomorrow.” Oliver said and walked away.
Clara watched him walk away and smiled, for the first time
in her life, she felt truly appreciated.
*********

Kendra was sulking over her food, she kept turning her
potatoes around her plate, absent-mindedly.
“Kendra! You have to finish that food….there’ll be no
waste in this house.” The housekeeper said.
“I’ll eat it…” Kendra murmured.
Zika and Emerald had long polished their plates and were
settling in front of the television to watch cartoons.
“Zika! Emerald! Go and do your homework!” The housekeeper
shouted.
“I did mine in school.” Emerald said.
“I don’t have any homework.” Zika lied.
“I know you are lying Zika! Go to your room and do your
homework.”
Zika grumbled and left the sitting room unhappy.
The doorbell rang and the housekeeper walked up to it to see
who was at the door. Kendra was still pushing her food round her plate when she
heard the voices from the front door, inquisitive to know who it was, she left
the table and went to the door. A young girl with dyed red hair and a queer sense of
style greeted her.
“Hi…” The girl greeted.
“She says she’s here to see Clara.” The housekeeper said in
a disapproving voice.
“Clara is my sister…” Kendra started.
“I am Rose Lily, I live just next door and Clara is my
friend, I came to see her but it’s obvious she’s not back from lessons yet. I
called her phone but it’s switched off.”
Kendra looked at the girl’s cheap slippers, worn-out shorts
and unattractive shirt and said slyly.
“Clara is not home yet, she must have told you that she
comes home with my dad.”
“Oh okay, when she comes, could you tell her that Rose Lily
came looking for her?”
“No, I think you should send her a text message instead, besides, you have her number.”
Kendra said and eyeing her, she turned and walked into the house.
*******
Rose Lily had never felt so embarrassed and so humiliated in
her entire life, Clara’s sister was a snob. 
As Rose walked back into her house,
she felt so low, she recalled the way Kendra had looked at her, and the way she had assessed her clothing. Rose wiped
the lone tear from her eyes in anger, besides, she was older than the stupid
thing, she thought. Clara was much better than her sister and 
friendlier and
Rose was thankful that she was friends with Clara and not the snob. She entered
her house and headed to her room when aunt Lizzy stopped her in her tracks.
“Rose…I thought you stepped out…”
“No I didn’t…” Rose replied sourly.
“But you are dressed like you’re going out…” Her aunt
said.
“Really? Dressed as though I’m going out? Aunt Lizzy, this
outfit of mine is the rags in some people’s wardrobes…I wonder why you let us
move here…these people are not our class…they are so rich, snotty and look
down on people.” Rose said wiping the lone tear from her left eye.
“What happened? Why are you talking like this? Why are you
sad?’
“I’m not sad, it’s just that I am tired okay! I am tired of
being who I am not! For pete sakes I don’t even know who I am! Who are my
parents? Where are they? Why haven’t they come to get me yet? Maybe when I see
them, I’ll finally…fit in…” Rose said as her voice broke.
“Rose…what happened?” Her aunt asked in emotion.
“I was just snubbed by a miss goody two shoes! She looked me
from head to toe and concluded that I wasn’t worth her time…” Rose said
sniffing back the tears.
“I’m sorry and I promise that soon enough, we’ll make enough
money to buy you everything you’ve ever wanted.”
“Clothes don’t make a person, auntie…” Rose said. “Can we
just go back to our former neighbourhood or somewhere else that people won’t
look down at us?”
“Rose! Stop this! You know why we came to this area….why
are you acting like you have no idea?”

“I don’t want to be used in your money making scheme anymore…the
last time…the last time I almost…I almost….” Rose cried and rushed off to
her room and banged her door.
To be continued….

4 COMMENTS

  1. Ok OK , hit the pause button… Rose Lily, there is more to you than meets the eye…really watching out for you. Clay–Clara, whatever, hope you can manage the sudden attention.
    Ada, our Chief Story Teller.. carry go

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