Clara hated family trips and this was no exception, she sat
at the back seat of her family’s wagon car, pressing her phone and ignoring
everybody.
“Clara…pass on the gala.” Mummy shouted from the front
seat.
Clara glanced down at tummy, on her it sat nylon of gala for
the family, she rolled her eyes and passed the gala to the front seat. Mummy
took one, passed another to daddy and passed the rest to the kids at the back
seat, by the time everyone had gotten theirs, she had none.
“Clara didn’t get any.” Her sister Emerald said.

“Ohhh…really?” Was Mummy all said and faced the road.
Clara shrugged, she was used to it. She had lived with her
family for twelve whole years of her life and now, she was sixteen. How come?
Here’s the story, her dad used to be a womaniser till he
changed his life for the better and settled down with his wife, little did he
know that he had a baby mama who had a daughter for him. Since he and his
supposed baby mama lost contact, he had no idea of the child and continued
living life like it was golden till one day, his face appeared on the newspaper
as the doctor who saved a young child’s life through a rare surgery and just
like that, his baby mama found him. It was a disastrous time for his perfect
little family who thought the world of themselves, after a DNA test which
proved that the girl was in fact his, he had no choice but to accept her into
his life and foot all her bills. A few years later, the little girl’s mother
found love in the arms of a new dude who didn’t want to raise another man’s kid
so, her mother did the needful by dumping her at the doorstep of her dad’s
house and that was it! She had lived with them for twelve whole years and
somehow, they still made her look and feel as though she wasn’t part of the
family.
Kendra was Mummy’s first child, she was fifteen and very
smart, Zika was the second child and first and only son, he was okay even though he
loved watching television too much for his own good and had repeated his class
twice in a row, he was thirteen. The last and the littlest was Emerald and she
was twelve, but no one believed it because she always acted like a baby of six
even though her height proved otherwise.
They were all on their way back from their granny’s house
where they had gone to spend the weekend. Clara was still pressing her phone
when she heard the loud sound and quickly her father manoeuvred the wheels and
the car stopped.
“A flat tire…” Her dad said in exhaustion.
“Wow! Thank God, it could have been worse…” Mummy said in
disbelief.
Her dad alighted from the vehicle and went to check the
tire, indeed, the front tire was so flat, he scanned the huge express way for
signs of a vulcanizer but saw none so he peeped into the car and said quickly.
“I’ll be back, lemme go and look for a vulcanizer.” He said.
“Serious? Don’t we have a spare tire that can take us to a
vulcanizer’s place?” His wife asked.
“Well…the spare tire is not good….I bought my tires brand
new so I thought everything was fine.” He said.
“What? How could you have packed us up for a vacation and
compromised on a good tire?” His wife accused.
“I didn’t know that this would happen.” Her father said in
self defence.
“Well…good luck in getting yourself a vulcanizer…because
there is nothing but bushes…” His wife said sarcastically, referring to the express way which had no signs of life except bushes.
Her father walked off into the distance ignoring his wife
and intent on finding a vulcanizer. 
Mummy’s phone chose that time to ring and
she quickly picked the call from her ‘friend’ and due to the network reception
was quite poor, she had to get out of the car to continue her call.
Clara was glued to her phone, same with Zika who was
watching the movie on his tab. Kendra was asleep, her gala suspended in her
right hand, Emerald looked around at her siblings and saw that no one had time
for her so she pushed open the car door and alighted to join her mom. That was
when she saw the banana sellers at the other side of the road and rushed back
excitedly into the car to get some money and once she got it, she quickly left
the car and dashed across the road, forgetting to look left and right.
The screech of the trailers tires came too late. It all happened
in a split second, everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at the
scene, the trailer rushed past, while Emerald’s body lay mangled on the road.
Mummy’s scream could raise the dead.
******
“Guess who called?” James asked smiling at his brother.
“Who?”
“Shhh….Jezebel…” He said.
“What? Are we supposed to be talking to her?” Raymond asked
in shock.
“Who says we can’t talk to whoever we want to?” James asked.
“Mom will have a fit!” Raymond said.
“Good boy….mommy’s boy…” James teased.
“You know she’s a prostitute right?”
“So? What better ways to learn the acts of sex….than
through her tutorial?”
“Wait…you intend to sleep with her? You intend to sleep
with a prostitute?” Raymond, his brother breathed in shock.
“Yes…why not? She’s hot and she’s willing…she said that
with just five hundred naira…”
“What?”
“I’m saving my pocket money and guess what? I have a
thousand naira saved for two rounds…” James smiled naughtily.
“Are you serious? You shouldn’t…”Raymond started.
Their mom’s brother walked into the room and the
conversation stopped. Uncle Wekpe was the definition of the ladies man, he was
tall, handsome, rugged and very lithe, the boys wanted to be like him when they
grew up. 
“Hey kiddos…” He said in a smile.
“Uncle W, what’s up?” James greeted, calling him the
nickname he liked.
“Good afternoon Uncle.” Raymond greeted.
“Who can loan me one thousand naira…I really need it
urgently…” He said.
“Errr….I don’t have up to one hundred naira in my
savings…perhaps you can ask James….” Raymond implied.
“Me? No…I have nothing in my savings…nothing at all…”
James said.
Their uncle stared at the teenage boys and shrugged, he knew
they had pocket money given to them on a daily basis and with the way they
spent money, he was sure that there was some left.
“So you mean that you have nothing in your savings?” He
asked again.
“Nothing at all Uncle…nothing…” James said quickly.
“If I had, I would have loaned you…” Raymond said
truthfully, recalling that he had spent all his money on sweets and chocolates.
Of the two boys, everyone knew that Raymond always told the
truth, James on the other hand, lied as swiftly as a fish swam.
Their uncle walked up to them and did the unthinkable, he
began to search their pockets starting with James and soon, he fished out a one
thousand naira bill.
“Uncle no….it’s not my money…it belongs to my
friend…please….” James started.
“Well…tell your friend that I’ll give him the money when I
see him.” Uncle W said and left the room.
James screamed in frustration, Raymond had never seen him
that frustrated in his life.
“Why? Oh God why? I could kill him for this!” James
screamed.
“Sorry…I guess God knew your intention with that money
so…He doesn’t want you doing bad things…” Raymond said.
“If you as much as breathe another word….I will hit you! I
promise!” James said and left the room in anger.
Raymond shrugged, James was his big brother and even though
they had just one year between them, he was indeed much tougher than he was.
*******
Rose stood before the new house that her family was going to
occupy and sighed, she hated new neighbourhoods. Not that she had anything
particularly to loathe about moving but it was always stressful trying to
reintroduce yourself to new people and try to make them understand who you
truly are. She was turning eighteen in two days and she hadn’t thought of a
party plan yet. She wished they would have tarried a while longer at the other
house, at least she knew people in the neighbourhood and could also invite
friends too. She felt like screaming in excitement! Eighteen was the age she
got the freedom to do anything she wanted, well…in Nigeria, it was twenty one
but in her head, it was eighteen. Not that her aunts cared whether she decided
to break the rules or not, the fact remained that, she was slowly stepping into
freedom.
“Rose Lily!” Her aunt Lizzy called.
“Coming!” She screamed.
“Come help us pack this stuff into the house c’mon!” Her
aunt Cassie said chewing gum and blowing a hug balloon which threatened to
envelope her small face.
Rose hissed and went into the house. It was a three bedroom
flat with more than enough space for her aunts and herself. The last apartment
had been a shabby two roomed house and they had lived there for more than ten
years. Rose had never met her parents, she had just seen pictures of the two of
them and her aunts had supplied that they were in the United States of America.
Aunty Lizzy was her mother’s sister while Aunty Cassie was her dad’s sister,
they never married but dated all and sundry and slowly she was beginning to
think that life was like that. Have fun, date any one you fancied and enjoy the
fun that was their motto. She had finished high school two years ago, spent an
extra year at home without writing jamb as she was not in a hurry to get into
the uni and then last year after seeing one of her high school class mates brag
about being in 100level at the university, she decided to get a jamb form. Her
first attempt at writing jamb was disastrous as her result had not even been released.
The reason was, her score was too poor! Recently, her aunts bought her a
special centre form for jamb and she was sure that she would make it into the
university.
She hurried into the house and began helping out, hoping
with all her heart that this house would be all she dreamed of and more.

To be continued tomorrow…
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