“I want to get married really early, start a family…have
kids…” Steve said into Winnie’s ears as they sat at the bar sipping their
drinks and munching small chops while bobbing their heads to the music from the
DJ.
Winnie was having a glass of malt drink while Steve was
having a beer.
“How old are you again?” Winnie asked him.
Steve laughed out loud.
“I just turned twenty.”
“And you want to start a family?” Winnie asked.

“It’s not a bad thing is it? Especially when you’ve found
the one.” He said with a glint in his eye.
“Oh…really!” She said and sipped her drink again.
“Look, there’s nothing wrong marrying young…I mean,
marriage opens lots of doors.” He said.
“Suit yourself. I’m not against your ideals.” She said.
“So, you don’t want to get married early?” Steve asked with
a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
“I know that I’m too young to think of marriage, I still
have an education, a career and a lot of other stuff to do before getting
married.” She said.
“Do you know that teen moms are actually the hottest as they
grow older? That’s because their kids are all grown up and people confuse them
for siblings.”
“Where’s this conversation headed?” Winnie asked him
wondering why he was talking about marriage.
“No…I’m just thinking out loud…I mean. Marriage gives us
freedom from our parents, especially the parents that are too hard on us. When
we get married, we show them that we can take care of our lives.”
“That’s so lame. How can someone get married to get away
from their parents clutches?”
“What century do you belong to? Of course a lot of people do
that.” He said.
Winnie was already getting bored with his subject of
discussion, she looked at her wristwatch. It was some minutes past seven pm.
“Bored already? The party just started.” He said.
“Yea…I know but I have to be home soon. I don’t want my
mom looking for me.” She said.
“Do you catch my drift on the married stuff and liberation
from parents?” He said.
“I don’t know what you’re driving at but I’ll never marry at
this age. I’m not crazy!” Winnie said sounding a bit upset.
“Hey…chill…I’m not saying that you should, I’m just
saying stuff.” He said. “Come on, let’s dance…”
Winnie nodded, finished her drink and stepped out to the
dance floor.
**********
Mira had never ever done this in her entire life. She was in
her father’s room searching through the pocket of his shirt. She needed money
or she’ll starve. She had just taken some naira notes from his pocket when the
door opened and Monica walked in. She froze. She thought that her dad and
Monica were having dinner at the dining room.
“What are you doing?” Monica asked her.
“I’m in my dad’s room, what sort of a question is that?”
Mira said pushing her hands behind her.
“Let me see your hands! What’s in them?” Monica asked.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I need to see your hands now!” Monica shouted.
“Hey calm down…” Mira said, thinking of what to do.
Monica rushed up to her and dragged her hands to the front,
Mira’s fist was curled and when Monica pried them open, she saw the money.
“You’re a thief!” Monica shouted.
“No, I’m not…” Mira started with tears in her eyes.
Her father chose that moment to walk into the room and he
saw Monica and his daughter staring at each other.
“What’s going on here?” He asked.
“Your daughter is a thief! I just saw her steal this money
from your pocket.” Monica informed.
“No daddy, please hear me out…I…” Mira started.
Her father looked at her with shock and disbelief written in
his eyes, he couldn’t believe it.
“Mira? You’re a thief?” Her father echoed.
“No daddy please understand me…I have no money, I don’t
even have any money for mobile data subscription and I’m out of call credit to
even call mommy to help me with some money…I’m broke, I’m hungry…” Mira
said with tears in her eyes.
“You are a thief?” Was all her dad echoed.
“No…daddy please..this was a big mistake and it’s the
first time I’m ever doing this…” Mira cried. “I promise never to do it again.”
“You can’t let her go, you have to discipline her or she’ll
never learn her lesson!” Monica spat.
“Daddy please don’t listen to her…I didn’t want to do this
but you guys pushed me 
to…please…please…” Mira cried.
Her father drew out his belt and whipped her. Mira had never
been beaten by her dad in her life and she wailed as the belt fell on her body.
**********
“Is it time to go?” Steve asked as they walked out of the
party.
“Yea, sadly it is and…I was having fun…” Winnie said
quickly.
The guy Steve had earlier introduced to her as Daniel
hurried up to them.
“Leaving so soon?” Daniel asked.
“Yes…my girl wants to go home.” Steve said.
“Why? The party just started.” Daniel said.
“Yes but she has summer school tomorrow…”
“Really? She’s still in secondary school?” Daniel asked in
surprise.
“Yea…she is.” Steve said.
“Oh…” Was all Daniel could mutter.
“So when are you leaving the party?”
“Somewhere around midnight.”
“Wow, that’s some hard partying. Did you bring a car?”
“Sure…I have loads of those to choose from.” Daniel
boasted. “I have a rich benefactor.”
“Really? Your dad is out of prison?” Steve asked in
surprise.
Daniel’s face hardened a bit but he replied.
“Well, let’s say I have a mugu who gets me loads of things,
free of charge and pretty soon, I’ll be off to New York for Uni.” Daniel said. “But
dude, the fact that my dad is in prison is supposed to be top secret.”
“Sure it is…I mean, you told me that gist long ago and I
was just checking up…you know.”
“Well, even though he’s behind bars…I’m living the life.”
Daniel said.
“Wow, good luck on that.” Steve said.
“Well, I’ll see you around bro…” Daniel said and turned to
leave.
“Yea but first, let’s take a picture together….for social
media, I need to see the shock on our course mates faces when they see that I
met up with you.”
“You’re such a funny dude.” Daniel said.
Steve brought out his camera and handed it over to Winnie to
help take a picture of them together and Winnie did. Soon, the guys waved each
other goodbye.
Forty minutes later, Winnie and Steve were blocks away from
Winnie’s home.
“I hope you had fun.” Steve asked.
“Yea…I did, thanks but next time, tell me on time so that
I can dress appropriately for a party. Everyone there was looking spiffy and I
looked like a muffin.” Winnie complained.
Steve laughed.
“No way, you didn’t.” He said. “But seriously Winnie, I need
you to think of what I said at the party.”
“What did you say?” Winnie asked, looking confused.
“I was talking about you and I…” He said. “I want us to be
more than friends.”
“You didn’t say anything about that, you were talking about
marriage.”
“Yes, that’s the end goal…we could date for a couple of
years and get married, that’s if it’s convenient for you.” He said.
“I really have to go in now.” Winnie said.
“You haven’t given me an answer yet.” He said.
“I errr…” Winnie started, not knowing what to say.
“I’ll give you time to think about it and please don’t let
your fears over what your mother would say, get in the way.” He said.
“Goodnight Steve…thanks for the hangout.” She said and
opening the door, she jumped out of the car.
Winnie hurried to the back of the house to climb the fence
into her house and just as she had positioned herself to climb in, she realised
that she hadn’t given Steve his camera.
To be continued on Wednesday…..

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