I came down from the car, my hands were tucked into my pocket. my aunt dragged the big bag out, and left it on the floor for me. I freed my hands and picked up the bag. She never liked me, and yes.. I never liked her either.
she was pompous and cruel, all I ever wanted was to go far away from her. Luckily, I am leaving her for a couple of months. although I never liked boarding school. but I definitely would not let this opportunity miss me, it’s better than being in same house with Aunty kiki. washing her underwears and also that of her husband, yes, you heard me.. her husband! I didn’t know when I hurriedly picked up the big bag on the floor and ..Turned to leave. She started. “Hey, I do not care about you, and don’t even care if you are happy being here or not.
when you should be home helping me with the house chores, but I have just two words for you, stay away from my daughter! you are not sisters and can never be! secondly, if you ever get expelled..don’t dream of coming back home”.I stood still listening.
I promised my self never to let her see my tears again. I held the bag closely and started walking away. “Witch!” I heard it clearly, I was used to it. she slammed the door and drove away. I felt shattered, and weak.. but I kept walking towards the big gate, on a sign board, it was written “Welcome to Aunty Pat’s girls college”
I was lucky enough to locate my hostel, i met with our head girl and she gave me a book with few pages, which contained the rules and regulations. She grinned at me.
before I forget… Seeing me first in the morning can ruin your whole day! maybe God gifted me with a little curves, but I was not far from the world ugly. sometimes, I look into the mirror and wished I was never born. But I have come to realize that I am beautiful in my own way. I was very tall, chocolate skinned and very intelligent. yes, my Aunty’s children always wondered how I help them solve their homeworks even when I haven’t seen the walls of any school for 2 years.
I collected the book and smiled, but almost immediately I regretted smiling.. “hey, what happened to your front teeth” she laughed.
“Did you use it the it to buy Akara” she asked jocking. I smiled, I loved her sense of humor.
“I went into a fight and lost it” I lied, covering my teeth shyly.
“Oh, sorry for that. I hope you are not a bully, cause fighting is highly prohibited here. anyway, am peace.” Was she trying to befriend me? at last I have gotten a friend, I felt so happy. and we were class mates.
“I am Mimi, and sorry I lied earlier. I stole a meat from my aunt’s pot, that was why I lost this teeth. I have learnt my lessons” I said…I didn’t know what came over me, I regretted revealing the truth to her. but then, she smiled and hugged me,
“we all make mistakes. It’s all in the past.” I felt like crying, she wasn’t judging. indeed I have found my best friend. Yeah! That was what I thought, till we went for class.
The class teacher asked us, the new students to introduce ourselves. while classes was ongoing, I found myself answering almost all the questions that were being asked. I felt fly, and everyone were amazed at my intelligence. I
noticed something about peace, she was wearing this frown.. I tried saying hi to her, but she snubbed me. “Maybe something is bothering..her, I will see her after class” I thought.
Our class teacher gave us some classwork. and after we submitted them, she praised me for scoring the highest point, despite being a new student. I was happy, as everyone clapped. everyone, except peace.
“Oh no, I can’t find my purse, has anyone seen my purse..” our teacher cried and we all started searching ourselves. Peace raised her hands and waved to the teacher, indicating she has something to say. “Yes peace, have you seen my purse?”
Our class teacher asked. “No ma, but I think I know someone who might know something about your missing purse” pePeace grinned, a devilish one. “Go ahead please” our class teacher shouted impatiently.
“Forgive my manners ma” peace continued, this time, she wore an innocent look and faced my direction. I was worried, why was she staring at me, soon the whole class, including our teacher, Mrs T started staring at me, as if they were waiting for me to say something.
“Mimi, maybe you know something about Mrs T’s missing purse” peace called me out.
I opened my mouth, but words couldn’t form out, what should I have said, I didn’t know tears were already rolling d I opened my mouth to speak, but I ended up stammering.
“Peace, that was rude! why will you call out a new student for theft! we’re are your manners..? you don’t go about accusing people. even if you are the head girl. That is so not right” I heard our class teacher shouting at peace, my eyes could not see clearly, because it was covered with tears.
“Am sorry ma. but, she is a thief. she confided in me.. I just thought maybe, she took the purse” peace replied, boldly.
I wished for the ground to open and swallow me.. yeah, i actually wished i never met her, I regretted talking to her at first. I felt dizzy, everything around me began to rotate.
Everything around me began to rotate, I felt my head was getting really heavy and my neck could not hold it. “Why did you say such, stop accusing Mimi of theft. Maybe someone else, but not Mimi..”our teacher said.
this time there was no seriousness in her tone and it was obvious she was already believing peace.
“Ma, I have been the head girl for about 3 months now. I don’t go about fabricating stories to bring people down. she told me that she is a thief! she said she do steal her Aunty’s meat and money, and that was why they brought her here..” peace explained
“you can ask her, except she lies together with stealing” peace said.
Now, the whole class was waiting for my explanation, I couldn’t speak, what have I gotten myself into. “Mimi dear, please tell me that what she said isn’t true” Mrs T said.
“It’s not true.. true” I stammered.”Then what happened to your lower teeth? You lost it as a result of stealing” peace shouted boldly.
I couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t even defend myself. “Mimi is that true” Mrs T asked.
“No..ye..yes..yes ma” I stammered and the whole class roared I started hearing voices… Chattering! “Thief” I heard whisperings “the new student is a thief”
I heard desk shaking, students stamping their feet, I heard echoes of “booooo” I heard laughters and some shouting ” let’s report to the headmistress”
Before Mrs T could speak,
The students had dragged me to the office of the headmistress. It was obvious that they were all going to support Peace, without hearing from me. not because she was the head girl. but because, my intelligence intimidated them all..
I stood before the headmistress, soon my aunt was called. Everything happened like a movie..I I wasn’t even given any chance to speak, all I know was that..I found myself, inside my Aunty’s car, my bags at the back seat. Tears were rolling down my cheeks, she was raining abuses on me through out the whole journey back home. although the headmistress forgaved me without even confirming if I actually stole the purse, but my aunty insisted I forget about school and return home. peace will definitely hear from me, I murmured.
Two weeks after the incident, I was back to my old routine. wake up in the morning to do all the house chores, prepare Aunty Kiki’s younger kids for school and others. According to Aunty kiki and her husband, i will never see any class room again. I accepted my fate and continued praying for a change.
On one fateful day.., during school holidays, then jenny, which is Aunty Kiki’s daughter was home. we were both 18years old, although I was older than her with few months. I was I was seated, in my pyjamas when Jenny entered the sitting room. we don’t talk, and we only mingle when her mum instructs me to do her homework. she looked worried as if she was searching for something. she went outside and came back with two girls.
yes, I never gave a damn about she and her friends,
I heard them talking, they were sitting at the other side of the sitting room, and couldn’t notice me.. one of her friend’s voice I heard Sounded really familiar…. I had to turn around to see the owner of the voice…
“PEACE” I exclaimed!!!!
I was boiling inside of me, I have always been the reserved type, but this time, I felt I had to grab the opportunity. she ruined my career and chance of seeing the other world.. what it felt like wearing your uniforms and interacting with queens English with other students.
I thought of what to do, then I noticed she had seen me already, and unlike the way she looked at me 3 weeks ago while accusing me wrongly, she looked way different. yes, she looked just as innocent as she were the during our first conversation.
Her eyes met mine, and she looked away shamefully.. I hissed. Only if she knew what I had in mind “Jenny, I don’t like this your househelp” she’s so ugly. I don’t think I am comfortable being around her”.
I heard the other girl clearly, even though she was only whispering into Jenny’s ear. “Lolo, that was mean. she is human just like you, and she’s not an househelp” I heard Peace confronting her. Wait! what? was peace on my side.. or was she trying to play cool..is she scared of me? alot went through my mind.
“Ooh, look whose the good girl here” lolo replied. they said few words that I couldn’t hear clearly, because they were all whispering from one ear to another. Where… After some minutes, the door swung open, Jenny and Lolo walked out.
“Hey” I heard. I raised my head a bit and lo ND behold..the devil! She looked quit calm, she was wearing a brown gown and sauce cap. she sat close to me, and I felt like pressing her neck till she dies. but then, she said something.. “I’m sorry”
Did I just hear that clearly? sorry for what exactly? I thought. I kept cool and quiet, waiting for her to continue.
“It is not my fault, please believe me..I will never hurt you…it was all planned, I let them use me.
“What was she saying.. I couldn’t grab the words. she tried to continue speaking, but then..I saw tears, rolling down her eyes. Peace was crying? The devil was crying? I almost burst out laughing, but then it were real tears. it were painful tears. I wanted to pet her, but then I kept quiet, looking.
“I am sorry. I tried committing suicide when you left. I just couldn’t bring myself .. seeing I ruined and tarnish your image” tears rolled down her eyes, yeah..I noticed I was also becoming weak. all my plans of struggling her to death disappeared. But I still kept quiet.
“I let dem use me,because of greed! believe me, there is alot you need to no Not just about the incident, about urself and family. please forgive me and trust me. I regretted my actions”. Sburst out crying uncontrollable. Tears flew out of my eyes, my family? what was she saying.
i looked into her eyes, I saw something different, my eyes fell on her body, her shoulders ..her hair. There was something I just couldn’t grab at the moment, I spotted a birth mark on her arm, I had same mark on my arm, same spot. she had the color of my skin, we were same height..something wasn’t adding up.
Soon we heard footsteps approaching, “they are coming. Meet me at the junction by 4pm tomorrow” she said, and ran bk to her seat.
Jenny and Lolo entered into the house, and joined Peace. She was smart enough to cheer herself up. I stood up and went inside, meditating on what Peace told me. what does she know about my family? Even if I still dislike her.. I promise to meet her the next day. which I did,
Unfortunately, she didn’t showed up. I became furious! was she taking me for a fool..I waited extra hours, yet she never came. was that a prank? Was she sick? or she was never serious.. I had alot on my mind. I just couldn’t think straight Everything, was still like a surprise to me, It was almost 2years since I last saw peace.
I later heard they relocated, and she is now in the university. I still couldn’t understand why she never showed up, I later found out that, jenny and her mom always hide a recorder in the house. it was obvious that they heard our conversations.
I knew Peace was being sincere the last day. And deep down I wished I could see her again. She would have made a lovely friend after all… meanwhile jenny was about to clock 20 soon, and you know what that means? Enough preparations was being made… I never knew my luck was near…
I started noticing something about Jenny, she looked pale, and worried. she looked different and I was sure something was bothering her. I saw her countless times hidding to take some pills. for sure, Lolo was never a good influence on her. I caught her countless times sneaking in and out of the house at night. I just could not report.
One Saturday morning, I was assigned to all the house chores as usual, after cleaning the toilet, I pushed the kid’s bathroom door, so that I could start cleaning it, lo and behold I saw Jenny holding a small bottle, about to pour the content into he Her mouth, the only thing I could think of was “Suicide!” was she trying to end her life? why would she want to do that, if there was anyone between us who should be thinking of that, it Should be me. i was frightened at the sight! she was beautiful, lived a comfortable life, she doesn’t do any chores.
she eats whatsoever she desires, she goes out to have fun, she lives like a princess,,, so why would anyone in her shoe think of ending her life? all this thoughts kept ringing in my brain, and with full speed, I dragged the bottle from her! Yes, I did..even if I never liked her, if she dies, I will be in trouble. I looked at the description on the bottle, but it wasn’t what I thought it was..What! I couldn’t say a word.. I shifted my gaze from the bottle to Jenny, and then to the bottle again. she wasn’t saying anything, and fears were written all over her face.
“Plea.. please don’t..don’t tell mummy” she stammered, shivering like a cock beaten by heavy rain! Forgive my manners, I really felt like laughing! but then, in a situation like this. I just had to keep my face straight. see who was begging..wow! I thought, so this spoilt brat could say sorry..I wanted to speak, but then we heard footsteps approaching. It was my aunty.
I frowned at Jenny and watched her go on her knees, pleading for me not to expose her. I felt.like her fate rested on my hands..”Whose in the bathroom” AuAunty Kiki asked, immediately Jenny got up and gave me a pity look. “Ma, am the one..am washing the bathroom” I answered.
“You are getting really too lazy for my liking, how many hours will it take you to clean up. all you know is eat all day. quickly to that, then, go to the kitchen and prepare breakfast” Aunty shouted.
“Yes ma” I replied and I heard her foot steps fading away.
I turned back to see jenny looking a bit relieved. “Thank you” she said and dragged the bottle from me, she tried walking out of the bathroom but I quickly locked the doo door, “not so fast. are you pregnant?” I asked her. she looked stunned! wait, does she think am dumb or couldn’t read? I frowned as she kept quiet.
“Maybe aunty would be in the right position to ask, wat you are doing with that stuff in your hand” I replied and pretended as if I was about reporting her.
“Please, don’t involve her. I know we haven’t been best of friends. Pls keep this a secret. I’m getting rid of the baby soon” she replied and gave me a hug. Yeah! Jenny gave me a hug? I have been living with them since age 5 and this is the most lengthy conversation we have ever had. “I admire You so much, Mimi..I want us to be friends” she replied.
I felt remorseful. Maybe, she wasn’t like her mum after all, maybe I shouldn’t have disliked her this much, it wasn’t her fault. I thought. “What are you going to do about it” I asked. “Don’t worry, this is not my first time” she grinned. “I just want us to be best of friends, you understand” she said and left.
What! I couldn’t believe my eyes, but I decided to mind my business. surprisingly, we became really close, and while I started feeling loved, she showed her real sef! another betrayal.just like peace.this time, I defended myself!!! Two days to her birthday party, she called me into her room and gave me some clothes. “I want you to look good for me on my birthday” she said. I felt relieved, I was already panicking, I was worried about what to wear, people of all caliber would grace the occasion. including her secondary School class mates, I also heard that my teacher, Mrs T would be present. it was as if the past was haunting me. I prayed silently, I wish I wouldn’t be present for the party. But I couldn’t escape it. The D-Day came, i woke up as early as 1am to start preparing all the dish noes, Aunty Kiki was a terrible cook, and she made sure i made everything myself..jenny was worst! she couldn’t even cook noodles.
To be continued. Do not forget to share and come back for more.