Mira was still giggling over what she had seen in Rachel’s supposed mansion and Winnie was already getting tired of it. They arrived at Winnie’s house and the two girls walked into the compound.
“I can’t believe that Rachel is a big liar!” Mira said as they walked into the house.
“Stop it…c’mon…she must have had her reasons for lying.” Winnie defended.
“I don’t know about you but a girl who can lie about her life is not worthy of being a friend.” Mira said.
“That’s not true…” Winnie said.
“Winnie, you’re back.” She said.
“Yea…is my mom at home?” Winnie asked.
“Yes, she came home for a while but stepped out again….” The maid said.
“Oh meet my friend Mira…” Winnie said. “Mira, meet…”
“The help!” Mira finished the sentence.
“She’s like a big sister to me…” Winnie said hotly.
Mira rolled her eyes and sat on the sofa. The maid walked away from the sitting room and Winnie placed her hands on her hips and stared at Mira.
“What?” Mira asked.
“Drop the attitude! This is not your palace…this is my house!” Winnie said.
“That lady you practically snubbed is like a big sister to me and in this house we do not discriminate.”
“But she’s the help…she’s not your sister.”
“You have to be nice to her and I won’t have you talk down at her.” Winnie said.
“Okay…whatever you say…besides, it’s your house.” Mira said not sounding too pleased.
The door opened and Winnie mother walked into the sitting room, she was surprised to see Winnie in the company of a young girl.
“Good afternoon ma…” Mira quickly greeted.
“Good afternoon mum.” Winnie greeted.
“How are you?” Winnie’s mother responded. “Who’s your friend?” She asked Winnie.
“Her name is Mira, she wants me to teach her to prepare some simple meals. She wants to surprise her mom at home.” Winnie said quickly as she lied through the last sentence.
“Oh really? You want to surprise your mom?” Winnie’s mother asked Mira, sounding pleased.
“Yes…her birthday is coming up and I wanted to make something for her…” Mira lied quickly.
“Awwww…I wish Winnie could be more like you dear.” Winnie’s mother said.
“Winnie is really a nice girl and I’m sure she’s making you proud.” Mira said.
“Humph! Proud ko? This friend of yours is my biggest cross! I practically have to beat sense into her head every time and just yesterday, she slammed the door in my face. I have told her countless times that one day, she’ll provoke me and I’ll send her out of this house.”
Mira’s mouth hung open, now she understood why Winnie always didn’t have anything great to say about her mom.
“Do enjoy your stay.” Winnie’s mother said as she left them in the sitting room.
“Wow! Your mom is intense!” Mira said.
“You can say that again.” Winnie said, walking out of the sitting room with Mira on her heels.
“She said she’ll throw you out of the house! How? Where does she expect you to go when she does that?”
“I guess she wants me to be really scared and keep pleading for my life any time she says that.” Winnie scoffed.
“Na wah ooo…” Mira said as they both entered the kitchen.
Steve was having his afternoon siesta when his phone rang, it was Theodora.
“Helllo…” He greeted.
“Steve, what’s up? Any news on Winnie?” Theodora asked.
“Chill…c’mon…you know she’s moved out of your house and her estate is far from mine.”
“I can’t be chill. My sister is very angry that you haven’t done anything yet and she’s raving at me. She paid you a heavy sum to make Winnie rebel against her mom and fall in love with you.”
“You are speaking about love as though it’s a computer project. This is the heart we’re talking about.”
“If you know you can’t do it, tell us so that we can give the project to someone else.” Theodora warned.
“No…c’mon…I’ll do it…I promised, remember?”
“You’d better do it! My sister is quite chill because she’s not in Nigeria at the moment but when she comes back, she’s going to need to see results.”
“Sure…” Steve said and hung up.
He hissed and got out of bed. How he wished that Winnie was a university babe, at least she’ll have a sort of freedom to go wherever she wanted but she was a secondary school girl and had little or no freedom to hang out with him. He suddenly remembered that she’d sent him a text message that morning to inform him that his camera was with her and that he’d promised to collect the camera at her school. He quickly dialled her number.
“Hello babe…” He greeted.
“Hey Steve.” She answered.
Steve rolled at her mention of his name, she wasn’t romantic at all. Other girls would have been swooning over the fact that he’d called them babe but she wasn’t.
“I’m sorry I didn’t make it to your school today, I was so sleepy and slept for most of the afternoon.”
“Sure…that’s cool. Your camera is in safe hands.” Winnie answered.
“Can I see you today?”
“Today? I’m busy ooo…my friend, Mira is here and we’re cooking.”
“Don’t be silly jo, we’re not doing a cookbook recipe, we’re just cooking pasta.”
“That sounds delicious. Can I come and eat?”
“No…I’m not sneaking out to see you today…” Winnie said in a whisper.
“C’mon, you’re not even having the hots for me like I’m having for you. I’m crazy about you and want to be by your side each and every day but you’re not budging.” He said.
“You’re making me feel guilty.” She said.
“I hope you feel as guilty as ever for making me beg for your attention.”
“Okay…you can come but in an hour…” Winnie said.
As soon as he hung up, he rushed into the bathroom to have his bath.
Mira watched Winnie hang up the phone and push it into her pocket.
“Love in Tokyo…” Mira joked.
“He’s asking for a relationship and I don’t know what to say.” Winnie said. ‘Can you believe he wants a long term relationship? He’s talking marriage.”
“Ha! Marriage ke? That’s too creepy I don’t think I want to get married, considering my parent’s marriage.” Mira said as she opened the pot to check the food cooking on the fire.
“I wish I could confide in someone older for advice…but I don’t know who?” Winnie said.
“You can’t tell your mom, obviously!”
“No way! She’ll freak out and lock me up in a dungeon and swallow the key.” Winnie said seriously.
“Do you know what I think?” Mira said.
“I think that this Steve guy is being to forward. I mean, he must want something desperately from you.”
“Why do you say that?”
“My sisters are in the university and the way they talk about university life, it’s obvious that the young guys and girls there are more into themselves than with secondary school kids like us. We’re too young and immature for them. If Steve was maybe a class higher than you are, I’d say, fine…but he’s way ahead of you…so, I think he wants something.”
“By something do you mean sex?” Winnie asked.
“What else?” Mira said.
“I’ll talk to my sister Theodora about it, just for advice.” Winnie said.
“Okay…” Mira said and took a long spoon. “Do I stir the pasta now?”
“What? No way!” Winnie almost shouted.
Mira and Winnie were heading out of the house after a full meal of jollof pasta, Mira didn’t want to go home as she wished she could stay in Winnie’s house and maybe spend the week there but she knew her dad would disagree.
“Is he coming?” Mira asked of Steve.
“Yea…I guess so…he texted me earlier and said he’s left his house.”
“Could you do me a favour and ask him more about Daniel?” Mira asked.
“I can’t wait to see the look on my dad’s face when I tell him everything I know.”
“Not yet Mira, not yet.” Winnie warned.
“How long will I wait? I can’t keep waiting to expose those people.” Mira said stubbornly.
“Take my advice and tread carefully, if they are scammers, they have a backup plan and could be dangerous. Remember that you’re a young and defenceless girl.”
“Don’t worry about me Winnie, I’m going to handle this my way.” Mira said.
“Suit yourself.” She said.
They both got to Mira’s car and Mira got in, Winnie waved at Mira and was about crossing the road to her house when she heard the honk of a car. She looked to the right and saw the same car Steve had driven yesterday to the party. She smiled and walked up to it.
Mira got into her house and noticed the difference. Something was missing, she thought. She stood at the doorway and stared at the bare walls and at the place the aquarium used to occupy, then realized that things were missing.
Daniel stepped into the sitting room with his mother who patted him at the back and whispered some words of comfort.
“What happened here? Where’s my mom’s favourite painting? The aquarium, the…” Mira started.
“We were robbed…but your brother here, took the blow for all of us.” Monica said.
“What? Robbed? How? We have security! What are you talking about?” Mira asked in fury.
“Are you deaf? Some guys came here and took some valuables! Stop asking silly questions.” Daniel fired at her.
“I don’t believe you.” Mira said. “I’m telling daddy that you either trashed our properties or sold them or whatever.”
“I’m telling daddy my own version of the story. Let’s see who he believes.” Daniel spat.
“Humph! Do you think he’ll believe you?” Mira taunted.
“The last time I checked, you were the only thief we have in this house.” Daniel said.
“The last time I checked, you’re the only one who has a father in jail.” Mira spat.
Monica and Daniel’s eyes widened as they stared at Mira, they were too stunned for words.
To be continued next week…..