Clara opened her eyes quickly and looked around, it was all
a dream. They were still on the road trip but no car tire had got burst and
everyone was complete. Emerald was sitting at the seat before hers and was busy
with her phone. Clara didn’t really like her family most times but they were
family to her and all she had in the world. She quickly stretched forth her
hand and ruffled Emerald’s braids.
“Ouch! That hurt!” Emerald complained, turning back to stare
at her at the back seat.
“Sorry…Em’” Clara apologized calling her the pet name they
mostly called her at home and settled back down on the car seat.

 

She looked at her phone beside her on the car seat and saw
it blink to show that the battery was about to die. She sighed, turning to see
if any of her siblings were ready for a conversation. Kendra was so engrossed
in a book while Zika was playing a puzzle game on his tablet, the car was
quiet. Clara shook her head and trying to forget the horrible dream she had
just had, she began humming a song in her head.
In two hours and fifteen minutes, they were back in Lagos
and soon, in their estate. Clara was glad to be back but then again, sad that
she had to stay at home since she failed some subjects in her WAEC examination.
She remembered the look on her father’s face when her result came out.
“Do you mean that all the school fees I have been paying
from primary school up to secondary school have been a waste?” He had barked at
her.
She had stood there, counting the fingers of her toes.
“She has her birth mother’s brains…cheap dirty brains…”
Mummy had concluded.
Clara looked up at her and bowed her head again, she hated
it when Mummy brought up the subject of her real mother.
“Can you imagine? To think that I did you a favour by
bringing you into this house and giving you a life. Is this how you repay me?”
Her father asked in bitterness.
Clara didn’t understand how she was meant to repay her dad
for the kindness of being her father so, she shrugged again.
“Kendra took your brains darling…watch and see her amazing
grades at the WAEC exams.” Mummy said triumphantly.
Clara knew her sister was such a whiz, infact no one
believed that they were sisters in school because while Kendra excelled
brilliantly in all subjects, plus she was in science class, she was the best
student in school. Clara hated her sister at that moment. They were both one
year apart in age and as such, Clara was a class ahead of her, a class that she
painstakingly tried to keep up with for fear of having to repeat and having to
join her sister’s set.
“I trust my Kendra…always surpassing expectations.” Her
father had declared. Then addressing her he said. “Do you see this result of
yours? I want it burned…and when I say burned, I mean burnt to ashes! This is
a useless result. How could you get an F9 in Economics and a pass in Commerce…I
can’t even begin to speak about mathematics, you failed it too…you are so
dumb.”
It was at the tip of her tongue to tell her father that when
she wanted to enrol in Art class, he had called it a dumb and stupid class for
brainless people. At least he saw that she got an A in Literature and a B in
English language.
Kendra had chosen that moment to appear with a book in her
hands, announcing that she had to go to the library. Her father had commented
in admiration and pride.
“Keep up the good work my angel! As soon as you clock
eighteen, I am buying you an expensive car.” He said.
Kendra had smiled and thanked her dad, then saying goodbye
to her mom, she left.
“My priceless jewel….the world will celebrate you…the
nations will bow at your presence, what a blessed child.” Her mother had
remarked.
Clara had stood there waiting to be dismissed, she had some
songs in her head and she couldn’t wait to scribble down the lyrics.
Now, as the car drove towards the gate of their six-roomed
bungalow house, Zika looked out the window and announced.
“Old Papi’s flat has been rented!” Zika said.
The siblings looked out the window to see that people were
indeed moving into the next door house of four flats and two boys quarters.
Old Papi had been a young man who used to live in one of the
flats of the house next door, he was always so sick that he hardly ever came
out. One day he had died in his house and since he lived alone, no one knew
till his neighbours decided to check up on him only to see him lying in his
flat after three days of his death. The stench was out of this world! His
family was contacted and that was how his body was taken away, people rumoured that
he took his own life as he was tired of living.
“Do you think his ghost would haunt them?” Zika asked with
eyes wide.
“Stop talking nonsense Zika!” Their mother shunned.
“Maybe the whole house would still stink so badly and no
matter how much they scrub, nothing would ever take it off.” Clara whispered in
a scary voice.
“Will you stop it Clara? Blocked brains!” Her mother
screamed at her.
Clara giggled and kept silent, their gateman hurriedly
opened the gate and as the car drove into the house, Clara glanced at the front
of Old Papi’s house to see a teenage girl dressed in a very short skirt, tube
top and sneakers, her braided hair was the colour blue and silver and the tip
of the braids almost touched her ankles.
They got into the house and they began unloading the car of
their stuff.
*******
Rose Lily had seen the car drive up into the beautiful house
beside her new home. Rich peeps she thought! Thankful that their flat was
upstairs and that it faced the bungalow house, she knew that she’ll be doing a
lot of snooping. She wished that they were moving to the lovely bungalow
instead of the odd-looking flat but then again, she shrugged, this was a better
area than where she was used to. This neighbourhood looked neat and reserved for
the very comfortable Lagosians and she was glad that her aunts could afford it,
they had told her that her dad had sent them enough money for rent and she was
so happy that the agents had helped them get this place.
She carried one of the boxes of kitchenware upstairs and
soon she was downstairs again, so, she decided to check out the neighbourhood.
She stepped outside the gate and walked slowly, taking in the environment, it
was so quiet. The bungalow gate was closed so she walked past it and strutted
about the neighbourhood silently announcing her presence. She saw people gawk
at her, take in her appearance and shake their heads, she cat-walked nonchalantly,
daring anyone to tell her that it was wrong for her to walk about the estate aimlessly.
She glared at the houses on the street, taking note of the big ones and the
very expensive looking ones, smiling and thinking to herself that she would
have such an eventful time in her new estate.
Quickly thinking up an idea, she whipped out her phone and took a selfie of herself before a big house in the estate. Posting the picture quickly on instagram, she tagged it; ‘New home! #instalove #familyhouse’
********
James stood outside the small bar looking about to be sure
that no one followed him, he had just arrived and was waiting for her to appear. His
phone rang and he looked at the ID and hissed. It was his mother.
“Hey mom…” He greeted.
“My baby…where are you?” She asked.
“Out…” He said simply.
“School starts on Monday you know…you shouldn’t be walking
about…” She said.
“I’m not far away from home…” He supplied.
“Anyway, I just wanted to know if you wanted to join Raymond
and I for a bite at the new Chicken and Waffles spot in the area.”
“No…I’ll pass…” He said, sounding bored.
“I heard that they make good chicken.” She said persuasively.
“Mom…can I have extra money?” He asked.
At that moment, the lady he was waiting for appeared from
within and looked at him disinterestedly, but when she heard money, her face
lit up in a smile.
“Money? I thought I just gave you some pocket money on
Sunday.”
“I exhausted it…you know what? Why don’t you give me the
money you would have used to get me chicken and waffles.” He said.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get you chicken and waffles and still
give you money. How much do you need?”
“One thousand naira…” He started.
She lifted her fingers indicating two and he quickly said.
“Two thousand naira…”
“Two thousand naira for what? Is there anything you are
buying that I should know about?” His mother asked.
“No…I just need to get something quickly…besides, Uncle
W ragged me of my one thousand naira…” He said.
“Wekpe? Why?” His mother asked.
“I really don’t know…so I’m short of cash…” He started.
“I really don’t have a lot on me…” His mother complained.
“Okay then…” He said in a disappointed voice.
“Don’t worry…I’ll withdraw some money and give it to
you…okay?” His mother assured.
“Thanks mom…you’re the best.” He said and hung up.
The lady stared at him and he looked at her, he was smitten.
She rolled her eyes at him and chewed her gum noisily. James had never seen her
without make-up and the one she had this morning was very loud and rough. She
had drawn two huge arcs on her eye brows, used a green eye shadow and applied a
very pink blush on both cheeks and a red glossy lipstick on her lips. She was
popularly known as Jezebel by all.
“So…is she bringing the money?” Jezebel said chewing a gum
and looking at him with lash-filled eyes.
“Errr….yes….I mean…no…I will…err…go home…and
bring…bring it…” He stammered.
She smiled at him and gave him a smattering peck on his
cheek and he blushed.
“Run along then…when she brings the money, my service will
be rendered.”
“But…can…can’t we begin? Shebi it’s just…”
“Just what? Abeg gerrarahere mehn! Bring money and we’ll
talk business and so you know…I charge one thousand naira per round.” She
said and walked away.

James was pissed, he had wished that she at least gave him a
chance till he was able to get the money needed. As he walked away from the prostitutes’
haven, he slumped his shoulders in defeat.



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