Tinuke was on her way to the tap when she heard Chekwube’s call for help.
“What is wrong?” The twelve-year-old asked.
“Please, can you help me? I can’t find my wrapper.” Chekwube called out.
“Who’s in there?”
“Oh okay…I will go and get you a wrapper.” The girl said.
In no time, she had picked a wrapper off the clothing line and hurried up the bathroom. By the time Chekwube stepped out, she was already very dry.
“Thank you so much for this. I promise to return your wrapper.”
“No problem.” The girl said.
Chekwube hurried up to the room she shared with her sister and husband and as soon as she got in and closed the door, she sighed.
“What took you so long?” Ola asked in their native language.
“I was trapped in the bathroom, I couldn’t find my wrapper.” Chekwube said.
“That’s strange….are you sure you looked for it?”
“I hung it on the door and I suddenly couldn’t find it.” Chekwube said. “I’ll change into my clothes and take this wrapper back to Tinuke. She was kind enough to give it to me.
Soon, Chekwube had changed her outfit and was headed to Tinuke’s room. She knocked and handed the wrapper over but as she turned to leave, she heard Tinuke’s mother complain.
“Wetin dey do dis Mickey sef? Why she de burn cloth for back of our window?” The woman lamented.
Chekwube almost shrugged off the comment but instantly realized that her wrapper was missing and that Mickey could most definitely be behind it. She rushed to the other side of the compound and saw Mickey, poking a cloth with a stick while it burned. Chekwube could recognize her cloth anywhere and it was obviously the wrapper she’d taken to the bathroom that Mickey was burning.
“Mickey! That’s my wrapper!” She shouted.
Mickey turned to look at her then, ignored her and continued burning the cloth. Chekwube walked up to Mickey and tapped her on the arm.
“Will you stop this? This is cruel!” She shouted.
Mickey shoved her hard and she fell to the ground. Then, as though that wasn’t enough, she pounced on her and began to hit her.
Mickey’s mother rushed to the scene and pulled her daughter up.
“Mickey! Wetin dey do you?”
“Mommy…leave me…make I finish dis gial! I wan design her face.” Mickey spat.
“Mickey! Which kain pesin you be sef? Wetin she do you?” Her mother shouted.
Chekwube struggled to her feet and touched her face where she’d been punched.
“You’re insane!” Chekwube stuttered.
“Try me next time…I swear, I go burn dat una room, reach ground.” Mickey said and stormed off.
Mickey’s mother apologised profusely.
“I dey very sorry…I hope say she nor wound you?” She asked.
“She burnt my wrapper and she tried to beat me up. She punched me in the face and I’ve done nothing wrong to her.” Chekwube said getting up from the ground.
“You see ehn, my pikin get as she be so…if you want make I advise you ehn, just stay far from her wahala. Dat girl too strong…” Mickey’s mother said.
Chekwube stared at Mickey’s mother open-mouthed, she couldn’t believe what the woman was telling her. Wasn’t a mother supposed to chastise her child’s wrong? Somehow, it seemed that Mickey’s mother was justifying her daughter’s wrong and she was highly disappointed.
“I’m going inside now.” Chekwube said and left the place.
“Doh…sorry ooo you hear…abeg next time ehn…if you see Mickey from one side, just cross road dey waka…sorry ooo…” Mickey’s mother called out to her.
Chekwube entered the room and slammed the door, Ola looked up from the button she was replacing on her husband’s shirt to stare at her.
“Why did you bang the door like that?” Ola said in their native language.
“Mtcheew….” Chekwube hissed and walked to sit on the small sofa by the wall.
Ola looked at her.
“What happened to your face, it’s like it’s swollen.”
“I just got into a fight with that barbaric pig, Mickey!” Chekwube spat.
“You hardly ever get angry…what’s gotten into you?” Her sister asked.
“Look at what she did to me, all for nothing! I did nothing to her but she took my wrapper, burnt it and fought me…” Chekwube said wiping the tears from her eyes.
“Are you serious?”
“That Mickey and her family are unbelievable! Do you know that her mother didn’t even scold her? I hate that their family.”
“Are you sure you didn’t do anything to upset her?” Ola asked.
“What kind of a question is that? Not only do I have to tolerate that girl in school, she lives in the same compound with me and she’s bent on making life miserable for me.”
Her sister didn’t respond.
“That family of hers are so…so…annoying…” Chekwube said wiping tears from her eyes.
The door opened and Ola’s husband walked in, he looked tired. After greetings were exchanged, he looked at Chekwube’s face.
“What happened to you?” He asked.
“I was hit in the face by Mickey.” She said.
“What? Mickey slapped you?” Mr. Nosike said in anger as he stormed towards the door.
“Where are you going?” Ola asked in fear.
“I am going to warn her off Chekwube’s back! She should respect herself in this compound or I will deal with her.” He shouted.
Chekwube was happy, at least, someone took her side.
“Are you serious? Do you want to cause a feud between our family and theirs?” Ola asked in their native language.
“Look, that girl is so unruly and she’s not properly trained…I would like to teach her a lesson for daring to attack my sister in-law.”
“It was just a small misunderstanding between children and adults are shouldn’t meddle.” Ola said.
Chekwube stared at her sister in shock, something was wrong, she thought.
“Why are you taking sides with Mickey? I am your sister and you should defend me.” Chekwube said, sounding disappointed.
“I am not taking sides with Mickey.” Ola said.
“I really want to give her a warning.” He said.
“I will speak to her instead…” Ola said to him. “I thought you were staying late at work today.”
“No…we closed early…” He said, still with a frown on his face.
As Ola spoke to her husband, Chekwube was sure that something was not right with her sister and she didn’t like the feeling at all.
To be continued tomorrow….