Kendra, Emerald and Zika were
already eating dinner when Clara walked into the house. Mommy was making a
call to the housekeeper and Clara smiled inwardly and thanked the heavens that
there’ll be someone at home to do the chores while everyone was away.
“Clara…what’s up? How was
lesson?” Emerald asked, with a mouth full of spaghetti.
“It was great and just for the
record, I’ve changed names, it’s not Clara anymore, it’s Clay.” Clara said
walking up to the dining.

“Hmmm…Clay, as in clay for poto poto right?” Zika asked with a mischievous grin.
“I’ll slap you…” Clara
warned.
“Why Clay of all names? Why not
Clarie or Clare or something more funky…not Clay…c’mon…” Kendra said.
“It’s Clay and that’s final.”
Clara said.
Mommy got off the phone and
walked to the dinning.
“Good evening ma…” Clara
greeted.
“Hmmm…” Mommy grunted in
response and spoke to Kendra. “So, Kendra darling, to make up for not picking
you early enough from school today, I’m taking you furniture shopping on Saturday.
You are getting a room to yourself and I want you to have a first class
treatment.”
Kendra screamed and jumped up
to hug her mother.
“Thanks mommy you’re the
best…” Kendra said kissing her mother’s cheeks.
“I hope Emerald moves into
Kendra’s former spot because I am growing into puberty and I don’t want her
seeing me transform.” Zika said.
“Oh shut up!” Emerald spat.
“Yes, Emerald will be taking
Kendra’s spot.” Their mother said looking pointedly at Clara to make sure her
message was sent across.
“Oh well, I’ve got to go to
bed. I have such a looong day of tutorial lessons tomorrow.” Clara said turning
to retire for the night.
“Aren’t you eating dinner?”
Emerald asked.
“No…the spaghetti doesn’t look tasty.” Clara said and walked out of the dinning.
Clara storms into her room and
tossing her bag on the ground, she falls on the bed staring at the ceiling. Clara
immediately began fantasizing of a life without Mommy in it, a life where she
didn’t get such hateful vibes and a place where she felt loved. She felt so bad
that Rose had gone to hang out with her friends after sending her a message
telling her to come pay her a visit. She felt so lonely in the world and wished
she had someone who could love her above everything else. Definitely not her
dad who danced to his wife’s tune and not her birth mother who she could pass on
the streets without recognizing. Life sucked.
*********
James walked into class the
next morning, later than ever. His mother had travelled and had begged their
neighbour to drop her children off at school as her sister wasn’t coming till
about noon. James and Raymond had endured the reggae music blaring from their
neighbour’s stereo and had vowed to rather trek next time than endure such
annoying ride again.
“You are late.” The religious
teacher said as he walked into the class.
James ignores her and seats beside
Kendra.
“I believe that I am talking to
someone…” The teacher persisted.
“It wasn’t my fault.” James
blurted.
“Really? Then whose fault is
it? You are coming to school at the second period and you say it’s not your
fault?” The teacher barked.
“If you don’t want me in your
class please say it and stop asking questions, I am in a bad mood.” James said.
“What? Are you seriously
speaking to me in such disrespectful manner? Get up this instant and leave this
class.” The teacher shouted.
“Just say, ‘I’m sorry’ and
everything will be fine.” Kendra whispered to him.
James ignored her and standing
up from his seat, he left the class.
“Is that the new student? What
school did he come from?” The teacher asked in distaste. “This is not the way
we train our students here. Our watchword is respect and if he lacks that, then
he has to leave this school.”
Kendra’s heart beat frantically
at the words ‘he has to leave this school’ hoping that the teacher doesn’t report him to the school authorities.
*********
It was break time and Kendra
was in the cafeteria eating lunch when a young boy smiled at her and walked
over to her.
“Hello…” He greeted.
“Hey…” She replied and
continued her meal.
“Don’t you remember me?” He
asked hopefully.
“No…I’m sorry but I don’t…”
Kendra said.
“I’m Raymond…James
brother…”
“Oh…I forgot…I’m sorry.
Thanks for letting me ride with you guys …” She said.
“Well…you’re welcome. I’d
like you to join us everyday you know…but my mom travelled and my aunt
gadzilla is coming over so, I don’t know if she’ll be as nice to you as my
mom…” He started.
Kendra wasn’t listening, James
had just walked into the cafeteria and had walked over to get food and was looking
for a place to sit.
“James!” Kendra shouted and
waved.
James turned to look at her and
walked in the opposite direction, taking a seat at the far side of the
cafeteria.
Raymond realizes that Kendra hasn’t been listening to him and says.
“James makes friends on his own
terms….” He supplied.
“I’d rather be alone…thank
you for coming over to say hello.” Kendra said dismissively.
Raymond walked away downcast,
leaving the cafeteria.
***********
Clara’s dad wasn’t leaving
early for the clinic and she took the time to eat breakfast of bread and
scrambled eggs. The housekeeper resumed and Clara was happy that there was
someone around to do most of the work. She was in her room pressing her phone
when a call came through, it was Rose. Clara quickly answered.
”Hey Clay…”
“Rose, I came looking for you
last night but you were out…”
“I’m sorry about that, I waited
for you till about seven pm and my friends were getting all tired of staying in
the house so we had to step out.”
“I didn’t know you had
company…” Clara said, hating herself for the lie.
“Yea I do, my friends from my
former neighbourhood are in my house. Would you like to come over and say
hello?”
“Really?”
“Ofcourse…you haven’t left
the house yet or have you?”
“My dad hasn’t even had his
bath…” Clara said quickly.
“Alright so, why don’t you come
over and lets hang out for a bit.”
“Sure…” Clara said excitedly.
Clara left her room and told
the housekeeper that she won’t be long and left the house. She reached Rose’s
in no time.
“Clay!” Rose said, rushing over
to hug her. “Everybody…meet Clay, the coolest girl in this estate.”
Rose’s friends who were seated
in the sitting room of her house smiled at Clara.
“Hello…” Clara greeted.
The girls answered politely
while assessing her and her outfit. Clara had worn a floral short skater dress
and paired it with her All Stars.
“Is that the real deal?”
Shalewa asked, pointing at Clara’s shoes.
“Does it have a fake?” Clara
asked.
“Seriously? There are fakes in
the market…” Ifeoma started but Shalewa nudged her to shut up.
“It’s nice to meet you guys…”
Clara said, trying to make conversation.
“So, what’s up with you?
Anything new?” Rose asked.
“I am in the arts class of my
tutorial school…” Clara said with a smile.
“Way to go babe! I knew you had
it in you…” Rose continued.
“I have to go back, my dad might look for me..” Clara said.
“Make sure we see once you get back from lessons today, alright?” Rose said.
“Sure…bye…” Addressing the
girls, Clara said. “Bye…”
“See you…” Shalewa said and
immediately Clara left the house, she turned to face Ifeoma.
“So, you wan fall our hand
shebi? Why you dey talk say we dey enter market?”
“Abeg free me jo…I see better
thing, I just wan confirm if na real deal.”
“But that Rose friend dey ooze
class sha…I tire…” Shalewa said.

Rose smiled as her old friends
assessed her new friend, she wanted them to be jealous, very jealous.
To be continued…

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