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“What are you doing here?” Her step-mother screamed.
Tara stared on, she had rehearsed this meeting a dozen times
and now, she knew she hadn’t wasted her time. Meeting her step-mother was worth
rehearsing for.
“Out of the way!” Barked her father who dragged in the rest
of Tara’s luggage into the house.
Her brothers and sisters stood behind their mother, staring
in fear as they couldn’t shout in joy because they didn’t want to face their
mother’s wrath.
“You can’t stay here…” her step mother barked, turning to
stare at her husband, she screamed louder. “She can’t stay here, no way!”
“Did you build this house? Whose house is this? Yours or
mine?” Tara’s father barked at his wife.
“No! She made my daughter disappear! It’s all her fault, now
she’s returning to hound us. Who knows who will disappear this time? I won’t
live under the same roof with her.” Screamed Tara’s step-mother.
“Tara go to your room and unpack.” Was her father’s stiff
command.
Tara headed to her former room with her siblings at her
heels, she smiled inwardly, she was here for a mission and not for jokes, and
it’s high time her biological mother had what rightfully belonged to her. On
the way to her room, her eyes caught the picture on the wall of herself and
Temi smiling to the camera with faces aglow, they had been barely ten years old
at the time. Averting her gaze hastily, she walked away.
****
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“Who is it?” Yemisi asked angrily.
Since the incident at Bella’s house, she hadn’t had a moment
of peace, she felt so empty and shattered inside and preferred to lock herself
in her room when she returned from school. Her brothers had noticed her foul
mood and ignored her completely, her mother spoke to her but only on very rare
occasions.
“It’s a surprise!” Said the voice at the door.
Yemisi blinked it surprise, it was Tara’s voice or was she
mistaken? She asked herself. Jumping off her bed, she went to open the door and
it was indeed Tara who stood at the door in smiles.
“What do you want?” Yemisi asked, surprising herself with
the sudden anger that engulfed her.
“What? Yemi? Are you insane? It’s me now…abi you don’t know
your sister again?” Tara teased.
“So? What are you doing here? It’s way past dinner time and
I ought to be in bed by now…”
“What’s that supposed to mean? Yemi are you playing with me?
C’mon I know you’re joking…”Tara said smiling.
“Get out! Leave this house and don’t come back!” Yemisi said
and banged the door closed.
Tara stood at the other end of the door in shock, ‘what
happened to Yemisi?’ she asked herself, shortly, Yemisi’s mother walked out of
her room.
“Good evening ma.” Tara genuflected.
“Ahh Tara…what a surprise and a very pleasant one. So you
decided to visit us abi, after you left us for your mother’s family…it’s not
fair ooo.”
Tara forced a smile and said;
“No…I didn’t forget you guys, this is my family and I can’t
run away from it.”
“That’s good to hear.” Yemisi’s mother said as she turned to
go back into her room.
“Mummy, is Yemisi fine? I mean…the kind of negativity that
came from her now…I mean…I didn’t expect that. Did something bad happen to her?”
Tara said.
“No…she’s fine, don’t mind her, you know girls of nowadays, perhaps
she was hurt because you left her alone or maybe she’s on her period and not in
a good mood…she’ll be fine. You can come tomorrow.”
“Okay ma.” Tara replied and left Yemisi’s house. Yemisi on
the other hand had been glued to her door all the while and was listening to
the conversation between her mother and Tara. When Tara had asked what was
wrong with her and her mother had answered flippantly, Yemisi felt tears trickle
down her face helplessly, she couldn’t believe that her mother had lied through
her teeth.
***
They were seated at the dinning when the knock resounded,
Tara had been munching on a piece of chicken disinterestedly as she half-listed
to her father. He looked worn and tired, the creases on his forehead made him
look almost sixty instead of forty-five. Her step mother sat at the dinning too
but was staring at her phone waiting for it to ring with news of hopefully…
Temi. The knock resounded again and the new maid who had joined their household
after Tara left ran to the door and opened it. Two uniformed men strolled in. Clinging
to their hands was a young girl who looked battered and unkempt, she looked so
much like Temi, that immediately the policemen stepped into the house, the
whole family stood up from their seats, with mouth agape. The dining faced the
front door so the policemen saw them and walked up to them. Tara’s step-mother
was the first to scream.
“Temi! Oh my God! Temi!!!” Tara’s step-mother screamed
louder.
Tara’s father stepped forward and shook the police officer’s
hands in gratitude but with a bland expression as he stared at the girl. The
girl turned to them and managed a small smile. Tara shook her head in
disbelief.
“Temi oooo” Screamed Tara’s mother again.
This time, the door was almost pushed down as some of the
family members who obviously had heard the loud shout from Tara’s house were
literally dying to know what was going on. They too were shocked when they saw
the girl.
“Temi…” Yemisi’s mother started but stopped short as she
stared closely at the girl who bore a very similar resemblance to Temi.
“Sorry she may not remember you all, she suffered a major
memory loss after she was abducted.” Supplied one of the policemen.
“This is not Temi…” Tara whispered.
“What did you say?” Asked Tara’s father who was still
staring at his supposed daughter in confusion.
“She’s not Temi…I know my sister and this is not her.” Temi
said matter-of-factly.
Tara’s step-mother hurried towards Tara and grabbed her
roughly and shook her hard.
“Witch! You can’t accept it right? She is back and you are
mad about it right?” Tara’s step-mother shouted with spittle flying out of her
mouth and falling on Tara’s face. Her nose was flared and her eyes were very
red. “You little witch, I’ll kill you today, your plans have failed miserably,
it has failed oooo….”
Tara’s father dragged her step-mother away and pushed her to
a corner where she fell in shock.
“Ahhhh…you want to kill me because of this girl! You want to
finish me because of Tara? Ahhh….” Shouted Tara’s step-mom.
“Let’s stop this drama and listen to the police’s side of
the story.” Said Yemisi’s father, turning to the policemen he said; “Good
evening sirs, thank you very much for all your hardwork, you will surely be
rewarded for this, but first could you tell us where and how you found our
daughter?”
“You gave us a picture of her right? And we have found
her…what’s the use of the story on how she was found?” One of the policemen
said.
At that moment, Granny grans walked in with Yemisi, they
both looked at the girl that bore a very close resemblance to Temi and sighed.
“I heard the police were here…is this who they found?”
Granny grans asked with deep sunken eyes, for the past week she hasn’t slept
well, because there’s been no word from Oni.
“This is Temi…yes, she may be a little bruised and dirty but
she had had a bad time away from home and family plus she lost her memory.”
Said one of Tara’s uncles.
“It is either Temi’s mother had twins at birth and one disappeared
or there’s a truth in the saying that, we all have our carbon copies in the
world because this is not Temi…lai lai.” Said Granny grans shaking her head.
“It is her! This is my daughter.” Shouted Tara’s step-mom as
she backed away from the corner and went to hug the girl tight.
“If she is not yours, then we must take her back to the
station and resume search for your lost daughter but first you must confirm
this, because a statement must be made.” Said one of the policemen.
Tara’s father sighed, he stared at the girl again and looked
away, he knew the truth but yet again he wasn’t sure if his mind was playing
games with him either. What if? He asked himself, what if she’s his daughter
and somehow due to her long absence from home, her memory had been blurred a
bit from their minds. He looked at his wife who clung desperately to the girl
and heaved a huge sigh.
“Thank you officers, she is my daughter…I will write the
statement tomorrow.” Tara’s father said.

His wife turned to look at him in surprise, then ran to hug
him tight, Tara stared at the girl and looked away catching Yemisi’s gaze.
Yemisi looked at Tara and turned away, walking out of the house.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Did Tara really return to help her mother secure a position in her father's house? That would be a really stupid move! I just hope Tara's father doesn't succumb as he might be dragged into having a polygamous home. I bet that that's not Temi either, sometimes parents just don't want to believe that their child is missing and find themselves drawn deeper into something else.

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