Homicide Squad
Homicide Squad
Author: Jhema


All of Grace's friends could tell she was the least enthusiastic about their graduation coming up in two months. Of course, she was glad and eager to leave high school after six years of tolerating "irritating teenagers, frustrating teachers, and a silly excuse for a principal" as she fondly puts it. Bottom line, she was angry and it didn't help to see everyone happy about it. There was nothing she could count as memorable in all her years in Ketu town. It was a boring school and a boring town and although she didn't want it to end that way she had no choice but to settle in for what fate gave her until she saw a tiny opportunity to turn it all around and she was damn well going to make work. 

"Something's got you in a good mood. It's a boy right?" June teased. 

"June, Haba even if it's a guy, it's not your business." Joana countered "Or are you jealous that you might soon be the only one among us without a boyfriend?" She added and shifted her attention to John, the captain of the football team, and her boyfriend who was in the company of his fellow teammates. Somehow he caught her staring and beamed her a smile which she returned and for a while the attention of the four friends we were drawn to masculine display at the far end of the class until Margret brought them back. 

"Eew! Okay, that is enough." She said, feeling somewhat guilty for staring so long.

"You know every time I wonder if the two of you are twin sisters?" She said addressing June and Joana "Both your obsession for boys stands as proof, always.

The two sisters chuckled. 

"And it's not about a boy, thank you. I finally found a way for us to have a memorable high school moment."

"Here we go," Margret said, folding her legs on her seat while June and Joana let out a sigh. 

"Wait guys, hear me out," she said dropping her bag on the floor and grabbing a seat beside them. "This one's not just a fantasy, and she has been with us for about two weeks now."

No response came from her friends and she realized they were confused. 

"Guys am talking about her!" She said using her head to gesture towards Veronica.

"What are you saying?" Joana queried.

In all her years in Ketu High, she had never seen a new student who was as strange as Veronica. At first, she thought it was because she looked too old to be in a secondary school which she was, but it didn't help with all the speculations that spread around the school about her. Some said she was once pregnant and after the whole ordeal, was forced by her parents to finish school, some said she was a criminal offender and her rich parents used their way to get her to this town so she could have a fresh start. Others said she was mentally ill and although Joana for one didn't approve of such theories she sensed something off about the new girl. 

"That girl is bad news." she continued "No one has ever considered making friends with her and it should stay that way."

"Joana's right Grace. I mean, you have been hearing all the rumors about her right?" Margret chipped in. 

Grace rolled her eyes in frustration.

"Why una dey talk like this! Those are just fables... And so what if she is 20 and we're all like 3 years younger? She is in the prime of her youth! Which means she has experienced things we haven't. Think about it."

Her friend's faces were long with skepticism.

"Look this is an opportunity, you can't say you don't want to have fun as bad as I do."

Grace was wrong, they didn't.

"We don't." June countered " You haven't thought this through. Even if all these things aren't true, it doesn't mean she is gonna be as fun as you put her to be. She might just be a bore or a low key psycho. You can't say."

"Well, that's because you haven't gotten to know me have you?"

*    *   *

Veronica had first told herself she was going to sit and ignore everyone as usual when she heard her classmates talking about her again. It wasn't their fault anyway. And it wasn't hers either. It was just an episode. Just one! And she had responded well to her treatments but no, her dad wanted her to go the extra mile to prove she wouldn't have another episode when she started the university so that people won't say the daughter of the rich and famous Mike Badmus was a mental case.

Her father had pulled some strings to bring her to this town, he had spent up a guardian for her and his connection with the principal made admission into the school a walk-through, no question asked even though it was at an odd time when the students were about to graduate. It was just going to be for a month. All she had to do was put her head down and mind her business. But it wasn't easy, not when everybody was going about cooking up stories about her. And now these girls were too!

And it made her mad inside, the fact that they reminded her so much of how she was a year ago. Before all this!

'Stop being pathetic! Aren't you tired of them humiliating us? At least it was better when they said it behind our backs. Now look at them, they aren't even scared to blab in our presence. Go! Show them what we're capable of!'

Veronica knew too well the voice that spoke. It was the same voice that had been tormenting her all through since her first episode and it time it spoke, it was always a struggle not to give in and let it take over but she always tried her best to and she did. 

She shrugged the thought off and wiped out the strands of hair resting on the side of her face to the back of her ear. The voice was right though, she thought, a little confrontation would help make them lay off her for a little while. Without any further thoughts, she got to her feet and walked to the corner where Grace and her friends sat. 

"Well, that's because you haven't gotten to know me, have you?" She asked, jumping in from the last statement she heard clearly.

Not noticing when Veronica got up from her seat towards them, the four girls felt mortified but Grace wasn't going to let the opportunity go to waste. 

"Veronica, hey," Grace said forcing a convincing smile "We weren't Uhm, actually gossiping about you in the actual sense..." She paused to find support in the faces of her friends but she got guilty faces and June mouthing the words 'we were'. She quickly turned back to Veronica and continued "Okay, we were. But it wasn't about another random story about you, I promise."

She paused briefly again to affirm she had the new girl's attention.

"We were talking about how we thought you're cool and how hanging out with you will be fun."

Veronica raised a brow. 


Grace's eyes were once again on her friends begging for support. The appeal was much stronger on Margret as she was the first to speak.

"Yes, we were all wondering how nice it would be... Right, Jojo?" She said and nudged her elbow at Joana who was closer to her. 

Joana gave a stubborn look at first before replying. The golden rule among them was to always be there when one of them needed help. They had all been there when her relationship with John started as a small crush, and even though Grace was the least interested, she helped. So she had to now, even though she didn't approve. 

"Yes, we were." She said in a not so convincing manner.

Grace didn't bother waiting for June's comment, she switched gears immediately. 

"So, will you be down for or do you have other plans currently? Because we can make another time..." 

She tried not to sound desperate but it didn't work.

Veronica on the inside was about to burst with amusement. It didn't go the way she expected although she didn't expect anything from this anyway. Do you have other plans currently? Did she?  The embarrassment of the whole DID issue had made her lie to her friends that she was traveling abroad for further treatment rather than the one-month precautionary test which it was. At the moment, she was bored. There was no one her age to talk to except video calling mummy and daddy at night. Also, her guardian was never around most of the time. 

But now, to her surprise, four girls were offering to be her friends, kind of. She realized they saw her as a big girl who was capable of taking their boredom away, at least the desperate one did. And just like that, she had an idea. 

"Well, I was thinking about having a party at my place this Friday." She said finally. These girls want to have fun, let's have fun. "So you guys can come over." She added.

Grace's face lit up in excitement and Veronica smiled back at her. 

"Will your friends becoming too?" June asked. 

"Yeah, sure."

'Thank God!'Grace thought. It was something Grace wondered too but June was quicker to ask. The girls were all showing how happy they were to know that they would be attending a night party for the first time in their lives until Joana remembered something.

"Wait, this Friday? Am sorry I can't." She said painfully.

"What! Why?" Grace asked with a frown. 

"I've got plans with John, it's our anniversary... Am sorry." 

"Ugh! And I know you know that the guy will have some kind of romantic stuff planned so there will be no need convincing you guys to come over." Margret said.

Joana smiled. "It's okay guys, you can go without me."

Margret tapped her on her shoulder and smiled. Nodding her head, Joana smile assuring herself and her friends it was okay. 

"Okay, it is settled then. I will see you --" She said then remembered that she didn't know their names yet. They noticed and called their names one after the other. 

"Right, I will see you guys on Friday. Ciao" She concluded and went back to her seat. 

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