“Where am I? I thought I told you that I am alighting at
Pride Park Estate?” Kendra asked the bus conductor in frustration.
“Which one be Pride Park wetin? Abeg comot for my moto
jare…we don reach last bus stop.”
“What? You swindled me? You duped me of my hundred naira!”
Kendra screamed.

“Wetin dis one dey talk? Look me well well ooo…I go
arrange ya face now now…” The conductor threatened.
“Wetin dey do de gial, she nor wan come down?” The driver
asked from the front seat, he was already placing the bus gear in reverse.
“I nor know ooo…she enter bus with her two chewing stick
leg, now she dey yarn say she dey go Pride Park Estate.” The conductor said.
“Where you dey go?” The driver asked her.
Kendra’s eyes welled up with tears.
“Pride park estate…” She said.
“Where e dey?” He asked.
“It’s at the GRA…” She said.
“G wetin? Ahhhh…you for carry err…keke na…” The bus
driver said.
“I have never taken a public transport before…my mom
didn’t come to pick me so I thought that I could take any bus and have it stop
me at the estate gate.”
“Ha! Na only shuttle bus and keke dey near GRA, nor be dis kain bus ooo, auntie…” The driver said.
“What do I do now? I have no more money.” Kendra cried.
“Wetin you want make we do? Abeg jump down from my motor
jare…” The bus conductor said nastily.
“I for carry you go back if I dey follow dat side but as you
see me so, I dey go Oshodi…” The driver said to her. “You nor hold phone?”
The driver asked.
“I left it at home …” Kendra said.
“Oya take my phone…call ya mama or papa…tell dem say you
dey Unity bus park for opposite general hospital.” The driver said, handing her
the phone.
“Thank you so much sir…God bless you…” Kendra said in
gratitude.
The bus driver gave the phone to Kendra and she made a quick
call.
“Hello mom….” She said. “It’s Kendra.”
“Where are you? I am just leaving your school….” Her mom
said.
“I told you that you should come pick me at school early
today because we close early on the first week of resumption…”
“Oh…I am so sorry, I forgot…are you at home?”
“No…I am at unity park opposite the general hospital.”
“Huh? I don’t know what you are talking about…where are
you?” Her mother asked.
The driver took the phone from her, murmuring some
incoherent words about her exhausting his call credit.
“Madam…ya pikin enter my bus by mistake…she say she wan
go Pride estate gate and she enter de one wey dey go unity park.” The
driver said.
“What? Don’t you dare harm my daughter!” Her mother shouted
hysterically.
“See dis woman ooo…shebi if I wan injure am I for dey use
my credit call you…mtchewww….come carry am for unity bus park jare…I don
rest my case.” The bus driver said and hung up.
Kendra stared at him with fear in her eyes.
“Imagine wetin im mama dey talk! Make I nor injure her
pikin….like say all we bus drivers wey full naija na kidnappers! Nonsense! Na
rich people like dis dey make naija de worstest country in the world. Dem go
dey pose like say dem nor dey shit!” Turning to Kendra he said. “Abeg comot for
my motor jare…I wan reverse…”
Kendra alighted from the vehicle watching while the driver
and his conductor left the bus park. She looked around the park, people were
either rushing for buses or queueing for food with their plates in hand while
others sat on benches, drinking hot drinks. Kendra shuddered, she really wanted
to go home.
*******
“Do you mean they found a condom in your bag?” Raymond asked
James as soon as he got into the car with their mother.
“Shut up Raymond…” His mother said.
Raymond kept quiet and looked out the window, between the two
brothers, James was mom’s favourite while he was more of his dad’s although daddy never showed it. Raymond hated trouble and loved staying away from it while James
lived and breathes trouble.
“I’m hungry mom…” James said, reaching out to the car
stereo to turn on the music.
“What do you want to eat?” His mother asked.
“I don’t know…maybe fries and chicken…” James said.
“Okay…let’s have fries and chicken for lunch then…” His
mom said.
Raymond knew his mom had been low on cash these past few
months because she was being owed salaries at the ministry where she works.
“Do we need to spend so much money?” Raymond asked.
“Spend what? Are you the one paying for the meal?” James
asked, turning back to look at him.
“Mom hasn’t been paid in months…” Raymond said.
“So what? They’ll pay her soon enough…” James said.
“There is food at home, we don’t need to eat fries.” Raymond
said.
“Yes we do! If you don’t want to eat, you can stay in the
car.” James shouted.
“Stop it boys!” Their mom cautioned.
“But mom, you are broke…” Raymond said.
“Yes I am but fries aren’t that expensive are they?” His mom
asked.
Raymond shrugged and watched as their mother drove into the
parking lot of a fast-food. They soon alighted and walked into the fast-food place.
“What do you have? Can I get a menu or something?”
James asked the lady at the counter.
The lady brought out the menu and handed one to James and
another to Raymond.
“I want this…the whole package of French fries, burger,
chicken and drink.” James said greedily.
Raymond stared at the price of what his brother had ordered,
it totalled at two thousand one hundred naira. Their mother bit her lower lip as she
stared at the price of what her son had ordered.
“Why do you want both chicken and burger at the same time?
You can have burger or chicken but not both.” Their mother said.
“No! I want the both of them and if you can’t buy what I
want, forget it!” James said rudely.
The attendant looked at the boys and their mother in
surprise.
“What do you want Ray?” Their mom asked.
“I don’t want fries…I’ll eat at home.” Ray said.
“That’s great! I’ll eat his share…” James said.
Their mother placed the order and they waited for it to get
ready and as soon as the attendant brought the bag of food, they left the
fast food place. On their way home, as James attacked his food, their mother
announced.
“I will be travelling to see my mom for a few weeks. Uncle
Wekpe will take care of you and I’ve asked aunt Celestine to come and stay with
you guys.”
“What?” James asked in shock.
“I really need to see my mom…” Their mother started.
“Please send her my regards…” Raymond said.
“Oh shut up! Must you be the saint all the time? Mom is
going away on a trip and all you can say is that she should extend your
greetings.” James said.
As their mother drove, she drove past The Brick Foundation
International secondary school.
“I want to go to that school.” James said.
“I like the school but it’s a tad expensive….your dad
doesn’t understand that you guys need to go to expensive schools, he likes to
say he turned out good even after attending a government school.”
“Well…we are not him and honestly, I am tired of our
school!” James said.
“I’ll look into it…” His mother said.
“Mom, you said it today in front of the principal that you
are tempted to change my school…do you think my teachers won’t want to get
back at me for being the cause of the maths teacher’s resignation?”
“James, let’s take it one step at a time…” His mother
said.
“Oh crap! You like to promise and fail alot…I should learn
never to trust you.” James said.
“Okay…I’ll go and check out their school fees tomorrow and
see how much it costs.” Their mother said.
“I’m fine with my school…” Raymond said. “I’m not
interested in changing schools.”
“Your dad wants you guys to attend the same school besides I
can’t pick you up at this school and rush to pick your brother at the other
one.”
“I don’t want to change schools.” Raymond said.
“That’s not for you to decide!” James spat.
“And it’s not for you to decide either!” Raymond shouted.
“Boys! That’s enough!”
“Raymond started it first…he is very disrespectful.” James
said.
“Raymond…please show respect to your brother, he is older
than you are.” Their mother cautioned.
Raymond rolled his eyes in disgust as the car rounded up
into their neighbourhood.
*******

By the time Kendra and her mom came back home, it was
already evening. Their mother walked in through the front door and shouted.
“Who left this door open? Clara!”
“Yes mom…” Clara shouted in reply and ran out to the
sitting room.
“Who left that door open?”
“I think its Zika or Emerald, they were playing outside…”
Clara said.
“Don’t let me lose my temper with you! How dare you accuse
your younger ones of leaving the door open? Besides, aren’t you the eldest in
the house? Aren’t you supposed to check if they had locked the door?”
“I’m sorry mom…” Clara apologized, looking at Kendra who
had fallen on the chair, exhausted.
“Kendra, are you okay?” Clara asked.
“Sum this up! I took a bus today and found myself in a part
of Lagos I never knew existed.”
“Hahaha…are you for real?” Clara asked laughing.
“As in…I felt as though I was a character in the ‘Lost’
series.”
“What happened? How come the bus took you that far?”
“I don’t know…I just took the bus and found myself
there…I had actually said to the conductor that I was alighting at Pride
park.”
“What bus did you take?”
“I don’t know…I just took a bus.”
“Hahaha…JJC, don’t you know that you have to know a bus’s
destination before you enter? Thank God, you didn’t take once chance…” Clara
said.
“Oh shut up and get me something to eat.” Mommy barked at
Clara.
Clara was so used to taking the bus because during her WAEC
exams, mommy had made up excuses that she couldn’t come to pick her
up at school so, she got used to taking the bus.
“What food? Or do you want cereal?” Clara asked, sitting
down on the sofa.
“Are you mad? What do you mean by what food? Aren’t you
supposed to make lunch? What have you been doing at home all day?” Mommy asked.
“I thought that the housekeeper would resume today and cook
the food…” Clara said innocently.
What housekeeper? When I have you at home? You must be
crazy!” Mommy shouted/
“I’m sorry mommy but I didn’t cook anything…” Clara said
matter of factly.
“Are you telling me that my kids have been starving all
afternoon?” Mommy asked.
“I’m part of your kids too so…yea…we all ate cereal.”
Clara said.
“Zika! Emerald!” Mommy called.
Zika and Emerald emerged from their room and greeted their
mom.
“Get into the car, let’s go and eat lunch somewhere, you
too, Kendra.” Mommy said.
“What of me? I ate only cereal…” Clara said.
“You were at home all day and couldn’t prepare a decent
meal. I’m sorry but you can’t go out with us.” Mommy said.
Clara watched as Kendra, Zika and Emerald walked out of the
house and headed to the car, she followed them outside and kept staring as
mommy got behind the wheels and drove out of the house with her kids in tow.
Clara wiped the lone tear from her eyes.

Somewhere upstairs in the next compound, the new neighbour watched the teenage
girl cry as her mom and siblings left the house. At that point, she realized that she had
found her way in.
To be continued tomorrow….

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4 COMMENTS

  1. How can James mother not see what she's doing to her son! Jesus take the wheel in this matter.
    As for Clara's stepmom, I won't feel sorry for her when they strike her marriage

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