I got home that evening to find my mum waiting for me on the couch. I had frozen at the glimpse of her figure that was barely revealed by the dimly lit room.
"Where have you been?" She asked coldly.
"I was with my friend's ma," I answered as I walked into view of the room and tried my best to avoid eye contact as I did.
"Since? And you took Stanley with you?" She yelled springing to her feet.
I was tired, I was frustrated and most of all I was in shock. I was used to her shouting, her usual way of dealing with her stress was transferring her aggression from work to me. But I couldn't take it now, not this night.
"And who was I supposed to keep him with? No one else was at home."
"What about Sylvester?"
Veronica had made me rehearse what I would tell my mum over and over during the ride back home. It was supposed to happen while she was relaxed and calm, the direct opposite of what was going on.
Oh well, no time like the present, I thought.
"He is gone, mother! Your boyfriend abandoned you."
My statement seemed to take her back. She was silent for a while, analyzing what I said.
"Huh? How? Why?" She asked stammering.
"I don't know? Probably because he had gotten everything he needs from you and decided you had nothing to offer him any more."
"But what? You thought he was going to stick around like the other ones?"
"No. I, He... I saw his phone charging upstairs." She said after a brief pause to gather herself together. "Why would he decide to leave without his phone?"
I was frozen in shock immediately. Out of all of Sylvester's belongings, we forgot to bury his phone.
"How am I supposed to know the logic behind his actions, am I a prophet?"
She stared at me with a searching look.
"And how are you so sure he left? Did he tell you himself or what?"
There was only one thing I had to do to avoid this, pin everything back to her, and her poor choices in partners. But first I had to lie.
"I caught him while he was... But I couldn't stop him, I could only stop him from taking Stanley with him."
I wasn't surprised by my response but it seemed she bought it. I wasn't a bad liar, I just preferred not to. I continued with my next plan.
"So don't you start transferring the aggression from your bad taste in men. I don't know my father and now Stanley is going to go through the same thing because of you. It's all on you so stop, just stops." I said finally.
Baby Stanley jerked and let out a cry at my outburst. Mummy stretched out her hands to carry him and started rocking him as soon as I did.
Mummy was like me. Keeping all the emotions she felt on the inside. Everything except the anger. But I know she was hurt.
"Am sorry ma," I said not knowing what else to say.
She gave me a glance with no expression on her face then walked towards the kitchen with Stanley.
I watched till she was out of view then decided to head up to the stairs to my room.
* * *
Nothing was ever going to be the same after that night. Not after what I did. I couldn't sleep that night and for the other nights that followed.
I saw him each time I close my eyes. The way his dead eyes stared at me. And I could still feel his blood all over me. Altogether it made my skin crawl and I badly wanted to feel something else and my friends all seemed distant.
I had called them all later that night but none of them picked. They had deserted me when I needed them but only came back at their own convenient time. I decided not to pick their calls and also told my mum to tell anyone who visited that I wasn't at home. I wasn't going to wait and beg for their sympathy. I chose to distract myself with my books, not that it worked though.
School resumed back on Monday and we all decided to pretend everything was normal. Veronica was back on her own, sitting with her books. Joana spent was either spending time with John or with Grace who looked like they were planning something. And June did her best to hide her feelings by playing around with everyone.
I was the only one left behind. I had to find or make a distraction for myself. And one had been lurking around for about two months now.
Kunle was transferred to our school around the same Veronica did. He wasn't as weird as her though. He was more jovial and playful and popular in the school. He was a bad boy and a girl chaser basically and he used his looks and his swagger to play the role well.
He started asking me out immediately he noticed me but I wasn't interested at all so I turned down his offer, multiple times. It didn't stop him though as he used every opportunity he could get to woo me.
I was sitting alone, watching him as he made his way teasing and flirting through the girls alongside Henry and Bobby, two of my other classmates who decided to become his followers to get more attention from girls when the idea came to my head.
Our principal would sometimes warn us during assemblies about boys and how they were a distraction from our main focus in life no matter how they sweet-talk things. It always seemed funny to us then but right there looking at Kunle and the world of distraction that would come with him and I thought 'Why not?'.
He somehow noticed I was staring at him and started walking towards me. I quickly sat up and pretended to be reading the book in front of me.
"Hey." He said to me.
"What do you want Kunle?" I asked with my head still buried in my book but could tell he was smiling.
"Stop acting corny, I saw you watching me back then. You were jealous, admit it."
I scoffed. Boys could be so clueless sometimes.
He gave a killer smile that could smite most if not all of the girls in my class.
"Okay look, I know you are shy. I get it... And it's alright. But..." He said sticking out a finger. "Am a patient guy, and I am ready to give you one more chance."
I gave him a confused look. If there was anything I admired about Kunle, it was his confidence. Something I couldn't find for myself.
He leaned his face closer to my side and I froze for a moment, wondering what he was up to but just as his lips were about to touch my cheek, he shifted to my ear.
I sighed relief as the tension between us dropped.
"Meet me under the stairs during our free period. The one close to the sports closet." He whispered to me.
I didn't reply and he didn't say anything else neither.
He withdrew himself backward and left to join his friends.
I gulped. What I was searching for just offered itself on a silver platter. But yet I was still afraid. What if this doesn't change anything? Will it be worth it when am all done?
I shrugged at the thought. It doesn't matter, I had to feel something else.
I adjusted myself and looked around the rest of the class to see if anyone was staring. Only Veronica was.
Our eyes stayed on each other for a moment before Veronica turned her attention back to her book.
Free period came and I hadn't had enough time to think Kunle's offer through. He had winked at me before he walked out of the class and I was still silent. Something kept telling me it was the only option I had. And Grace, my advisor was nowhere to be found.
"Hey, where's Grace?" I asked for June.
"I don't know, she probably snuck off with Joana or something." She answered quickly as she got up from her seat, clearly in a hurry to leave as well.
What the heck. If they wanted to be alone, I didn't need them either.
I got up from my seat, took a deep breath, and started walking towards the right stairwell.
* * *
On getting down the stairway, Kunle was nowhere to be found.
I decided to give this guy what he wanted and he stood me up. What a jerk.
Just as I was about turning back, I was gripped by arms from behind.
I was about to scream when I heard Kunle's voice.
"Shhhh, it's me."
He pulled me closer towards himself.
"You didn't think I'll leave you hanging, did you?" He said as he moved his hands down my arms slowly. Soon, they advance to my hips and he made a chucking sound as lips teased my ears.
Feeling his breath on my neck made me feel uncomfortable.
No way, if I was going to do this, it wasn't going to be on his terms.
I pushed his hands off and turned around.
"What?" He asked in confusion.
"Did I do something wrong or--"
"No no, it's not you," I said then fell silent for a while. "I don't just like the way it's going."
"You know we are not having sex right? I mean am down if you wanna but not in school and not without a--" He said raising his shoulders.
"No, I know..." I said interrupting him again. "It's just, I don't want to be feeling like a slut while we do it," I said finally.
"Okay, so how do you want us to do it?"
I stared at his eyes for a moment before drawing his head closer to kiss him. It caught him by surprise but he went along with it. It was so deep and sensual and it was clear that Kunle knew what he was doing. His body drew closer, making me move backward till I was leaning on the wall.
I noticed Kunle was trying to respect me by not touching my body. He would go for it and withdraw at the last minute, placing them on the wall instead.
I reached for his hands and let him lead him tracing down from my back down to my butt. He grabbed me so firmly then his lips left my mouth down to my neck.
I raised my head, giving him more room, and moaned softly.
I was finally feeling something. Feeling something other than the terror that gripped me for the past few days.
I was already getting lost in all Kunle was doing to me. But along came a nosy friend who would mess it all up.
"Margret what the fuck?!"
What do you do after buying a dead body?For me, I went back to my quiet little apartment. No parents. They died five years ago and the closest person I had as a guardian was my elder brother who was barely around due to the nature of his job. Efe, my brother was a journalist and you couldn't make it being a journalist in a small boring town like Ketu so he moved around a lot in search of bigger stories. On getting home, I quickly heated the noodles I had made earlier that morning before heading for school and headed straight for my bed. I did my best not to think about anything that happened as I ate quietly that night. We weren't caught. I'd sleep it off and by tomorrow I would be over it. Just then, my phone vibrated from a text. 'Hey, how u holding up?'It was an unknown number. I sat up, wondering who it could be. My phone beeped again. 'It's Veronica'It only increased my curiosity. 'How did you get my number?' I asked. 'I have my ways' She replied with a winking emoji.
I was pretty much pissed that night. Or maybe with filled mixed feelings. But I knew I was pissed. I was now stuck in the middle of a situation I never wanted. Veronica was bad news and I had that feeling from the beginning but I never pictured having to deal with a dead body afterward. If only Grace had listened when I told her. I was mad at her for that. Thank God we weren't caught, I thought as June and I trekked to our house that night. We knew our parents would still be at the store by that time so we weren't bothered about having to lie about anything. Thank God we weren't caught. I didn't know about my friends but I already had my life planned ahead of me. After graduation, I'd leave the town to go study Medicine at UNN and after spending seven years there, go on to further my masters and get my Ph.D. and finally become a certified medical doctor. I couldn't screw it up when I hadn't even barely begun. How the hell did we even get here? The girls had barely said anything whe
I was scared. The game came to life, Margret killed her mother's boyfriend, Grace was next and after her, I would kill my sister.I was also terrified of what would happen when Joana finds out what I did. I knew she was going to ask me what happened that night at the party immediately we got home and I couldn't help but think she would hate me forever if I did. So I decided to start avoiding her any way I could. I texted Margret and Grace that night immediately Joana confronted me in the living room begging them not to tell my sister anything yet. Margret didn't reply but I was sure to count on her.I knew I couldn't avoid her forever but I did my best to stay away from them throughout the weekend. I hung around my mum and dad mostly, knowing that she couldn't bring up the topic with them around. On Monday, I had hurriedly left the house before her even though we always walked to school together. I also couldn't bear passing through Grandpa's farm. It only brought back the images and
Love. Lies. Pretense.They never saw me coming but I was watching all along. This is just the beginning. They're all pawns in my game. It's just a matter of time. I'll show them. I'll show her.__________________Grace stood in front of Veronica's door later that afternoon contemplating whether to knock or not. On her way over she kept beating herself that everything was all her fault. If only she had stayed away from the beginning, if only had kept her stupid fantasies to herself, everything would still be normal.Her friends were no longer speaking to her. They never said any word to each other throughout the school hours till they got home and the same could be said for Veronica who had left her at the lab after she released her without saying a word.She had decided to go over to Veronica's house when she realized she was going crazy over the thought of her having to kill Raymond. Time was running out and she had to do something regardless of who was with her or not.Veronica was t
_Shut up and dance with me!_The song from the TV screamed at June who sat almost lifeless on the sofa in the living room. She couldn't bring herself to go to school the next day. She had left the house earlier that morning pretending like she was heading for school but stayed out at her late grandfather's farm then sneaked back after she was sure everyone had left. Joanna wasn't speaking to her anymore. She didn't even budge when June tried to apologize later that night, or when she tried to bring up a conversation at all. It was like she became invisible to her. Never had she felt distant from her sister like she did now. At the moment she was trying to find solace in music. It has always been an escape for her. She had learned that shortly after her grandfather's death. When she was faced with any pain or grief, she would just let herself drown in the beats and rhythm. But it wasn't working as she had thought it would. Rather than taking away her sorrows, it intensified them. The
Morning prayers was a very huge part of the Chike's household's daily routine. Coming from a strong Catholic background, June and Joana's mother Gladys never allowed anyone to leave the house without them all praying together, no matter what time it was or how late they were going to be. Every morning they gathered in the living room where she occasionally led the prayers or sometimes appoint one of the twins to. This Friday was no different with her leading the prayers and shortly after, they all went back to their various routine, the girls preparing for school and the parents preparing for another day at the pharmacy. She got into the kitchen to prepare breakfast and by the time she came out, June was helping Joana dress her hair in a ponytail, both of them already in their uniform."I see you girls have resolved whatever issue you had before," Gladys said to them with a smile."Yes mom, I couldn't stay mad at her forever," Joana said looking up to her sister, they never felt closer
"Okay, Mrs?""Mrs. Ajayi," Maryam answered the officer. He had taken her to his desk due to the gravity of her words. He wanted to question her better. He wrote down her name on a paper."Alright, I'm Officer James, you can start from the beginning." He said gesturing with his pen.Maryam took in a deep breath, both her hands on her knees to keep them from shaking. She tried to weigh the situation. Is all of this worth it? What if Margret was right? What if Sylvester left her? She slowly let the breath out through her mouth in a whistle. If she was right or wrong, it was already too late for her to turn back now."I got home last week Friday to discover that Sylvester wasn't around--""Is that the man you're talking about?" Officer James asked."Yes.""And you said he's your boyfriend and the father of your child?""Yes."Officer James gave a slight nod. He seemed to write down something on his paper with each response."Continue.""So he wasn't around and when I asked my daughter she
Abike Badmus sat at the edge of the bed as she watched her husband Mike put on his agbada. As she watched, she shook her legs in such a way that showed that something bothered her, and her husband knew that too."If you have something to say you better talk now." He said staring at his reflection from the mirror as he fitted his cap to his head."I'm just wondering about the kind of man you are. It's like after all these years I don't know who you are anymore."Mike smiled then turned to face her. He pulls back the long yard cloth to prevent them from falling off his arms before he spoke."I'll tell you what kind of man I am. I am the kind that provides the roof you're living under, the kind that provides the soft wide deluxe bed you're sitting on. The kind that provides the elegant meals you eat, the vacation and shopping trips you have with your friends to Dubai. I made all of this happen." He said with satisfaction and gestured with his arms out wide.<