I walked down the street with my lunch box around my neck. My pinafore was stained with blue ink all thanks to Mel and Josh, the evil twins in my class. They had poured it on my seat when i stood up to answer a question asked by Mrs. Wilma.
” Spell Mango Kelly” She said, pointing at it on the board.
I stared at the picture of the fruits on the white board.
” M_A_B__N” I tried.
The whole class roared into laughter. She shook her head and asked me to sit down. I sat, smack down on the blue ink Josh and Mel deposited on my seat. Mrs.Wilma, scolded them and handed the three of us a letter to give our parents at the end of class. As i walked down the street, waiting for dadddy’ s car to show up i wondered what he would say. He has warned me never to stray far from the school gate but i couldn’t wait there for the others to come out and tease me.
” Hey Kelly!”
I heard Josh called after me. I kept walking, ignoring them. I felt their hands on my shoulder and i whirled around.
” Leave me alone!” I cried, swinging my lunch box at them.
The duo laughed mockingly.
” We just wanted to know what A_P__P_L_E is” Mel said.
My face turned beet red in embarrassment. I made to keep going but they blocked my path. Laughing at the top of their lungs.
” Where is your dad? he forgot you again?” Josh teased.” poor motherless baby”.
” Awww Josh she’s not motherless. Mom said her mother is a biitch! Your mother is a s–t!” Mel corrected.
” Don’t call my mother names! She’s better than……than your own mother!” I shouted.
They both laughed.
” How could your dad keep forgetting you? Maybe he doesn’t love you! Maybe he wants to throw you away like your mother did!” Josh said.
Some of the other kids were walking towards us, i had to make my escape before they get any closer.
” Mrs. Wilma said you will be sent back to reception class! You are just as stupid and dumb like your mother!”. Mel said.” If not, why would she dump you in a basket in front of your dad’ s house?”.
” Why do you keep saying all these when you don’t even know my mother! My dad said she’s beautiful and smart just like me. And she didn’t dump me, she died and went to heaven”. I said bravely.
” That’s not what our mother says! If your mother is so smart, how come you are so dumb?”. Josh asked, sticking out his tongue.
” I am not dumb!” I said.
” Then what is B_ A_G?”. Mel asked.
” B_A_G?’ I said, trying to guess what it was and hoping my brain won’t fail me this time.
” Yes. Your dad has been begging so they won’t send you back to the baby’ s class. But Mrs. Wilma said she’s had enough! Come on! tell us!” Josh taunted.
” B_ A_G” I said, closing my eyes. ” Boat!” I guessed.
” Boat? ” They both chorused, laughing. ” Dumb! Dumb!”
” Hey! Mel and Josh! What are you doing here?” Their mother called, walking towards us. She was so light skinned and beautiful. Her face was always made up and she looked like those mega stars i see on TV when dad wasn’t around to monitor me. She walked to us, grabbed the ears of her sons twisting it. ” Haven’t i told you to always wait for me at the gate?”
” Ouch Mom! We are sorry! It’s Kelly! She was being bullied by some kids so we chased them away” They both lied.
Mrs. Alice looked up, her expression was tired and she pouted her red lips. She was daddy’ s friend and sometimes she acted so strange when he was present. She would flutter her lashes, blink furiously until i cringe inside, afraid she would hurt her eye balls. Sometimes she would lick her lips, sticking out her tongue in a weird way.
” Where are the kids? Kelly is this true?” She asked.
” Y….yes Mrs. Alice” I said, and she instantly let go of thier ears.
” Do you know them? Their names? ” she asked
” No” I replied.
” You should tell your father so he would tell the school authorities so those bullies picking on kids would be punished. Where is he?”
” He is not here yet.” I replied.
” Oh you poor child. Want me to drop you home?” She asked.
I started thinking of excuses but i saw my dad’ s car coming down the street and i sighed in relieve. He stopped the car and started towards us.
” Alice” He acknowledged tersely.
” Tosin!” She called cheerfully.” Your child is being bullied! You should do something about it! The poor child needs a mother! ” she laughed, pursing her lips” You know i won’t mind taking care of her”
My heart skipped a beat, i held my breath waiting for daddy’ s response.
” No, thank you Alice. Kelly and i are doing just fine. Come on, Kelly” He said, walking towards the car and I followed him. Mrs. Alice and her boys waved at us before walking back to the school gate where she left her car.
” How are you Kelly? How was class today?” Daddy asked.
” Fine” i muttered, looking down at my feet.
” Who are the bullies? Are they in your class?”
” Did they hit you? Is this the first time?”
” They didn’t hit me.”
” Is today the first time?” He asked again, his hand was clenched on the steering.” Why didn’t you tell me?”
” Where is my mother?” I asked.
” Kelly how many times are we going to talk about this? She’s in heaven”. He replied. ” She died while you were a baby”.
I nodded and kept quiet. When we got up, i ran upstairs and Shut myself in my room. Daddy knocked on the door and walked in. He sat down on the edge of my bed.
” Your lunch is ready. You can watch TV for few minutes before your lesson teacher gets here” he said, breaking his rule of no TV on School days.
” I am not hungry and i don’t want to watch TV”. I replied with a long face.
” Come on, Princess, if it’s about the bullies don’t worry i will take care of them. How’s your spelling now? or you want me to spell practice with you?” He asked. ” What is B_A_R_N?”
” Ben” i replied.
” No. It’s barn” he corrected, ” Come downstairs and have your lunch first. Then we can practice some more.”
I burst into tears.hugging his neck fiercely.
” Mrs. Wilma want to send me back to reception class”.
” She wouldn’t dare! She will have me to contend with.” He promised, lifting me into his arms” don’t let that trouble you.Nobody will send my baby girl back to the babies’ s class”.
All that happened just the week before. Before the wedding, i was happy Aunt Linda wanted me to be her flower girl. I was so happy in my little pink gown, a little basket of flowers in my hand. Now i am not happy because daddy is dead, Great_granny Deb who i only met once the year before entered my room, carrying a big tray of treats and goodies. She had suddenly appeared at the church when daddy was shot. She said Daddy made her promise to look after me. She took myhand and we got into her car.She placed the tray on my bed.
” Omolola” She said, ” How are you? ”
” I am fine” I said.” When can i see my granny? ” I asked. ” I want to go back home”.
” She has left the country. She said you should stay here, after all you belonged to my Sola and not her wayward son. Get up and eat”
” Daddy said sweet is bad for my teeth, Great_ granny deb. Where did my granny go? when will she be back? ”
” What does he know? Eat O jare. Your granny does not care about you. She said you should stay here. I have told the maids to bake you a cake, i have another surprise for you but that will be after you have eaten”.
” Thank you granny” I said quietly.
” Nonsense! don’t thank me! I heard you thanking the Maids last night, don’t ever thank them again. It is their job and they are being paid for it. I have instructed them not to call you by your name again, make sure you report any of them that flaunts that order ”
” What should they call me?” I asked.
” You are a royalty. You should be treated as one, you are princess Omolola Williams. They are to call you ‘ My lady’ or ‘ Princess’” She replied.
” OK granny”
” Oya eat your sweets. Your Daddy is dead, he is not coming back, your useless granny too has left the country without thinking of you. But i will take good care of you ” Great_granny deb promised, ” You will start a new school soon, but it won’t be in this country where that useless Ibo woman will get to see you when she returns.You will be sent to a boarding school oversea”.
” I don’t want to start a new school.” I said.
” Omolola, You will do as you are told. Now eat your sweets” She said, before sweeping out of the room.
I pulled the big pink teddy bear on the bed closer, buried my face into it sobbing. I wanted my daddy back and i wanted to go back home.
I have been in my room since the day daddy died and Linda was led away by the police. I knew Linda was behind his death, i thought i would be sad at the news of his death but all i felt was a strange serene happiness. He deserved to die, for all the atrocities he had committed. But i was appalled at myself, he had been so good to me even though he knew i wasn’t his child. He had stood up for me on several occasions when Linda bullied me. No, he doesn’t deserve to die like a dog, shot without mercy. For that, i couldn’t forgive myself, for feeling relief at the news of his death. I was too ashamed to come out of my room for fear that someone would see the relief written all over my face.
A part of me wished Linda hadn’t taken the law into her own hands but another selfish part reminded me that he had tried to kill me. Now that he was gone, i don’t have to look over my shoulder in fright. I wondered how Linda was coping in the cell, how Auntie Maggie was holding up, I knew she would be broken and that saddened me. Tosin had called me, he informed me of Kelly’ s abduction and he also told me that Tomi was alive and i drew my strength from that one good news.
Linda has been through a lot. She has known for years her mother’ s murderer and she did nothing about it. But when it came to the issue of my own security, she had thrown her whole life away just to secure mine. Maybe it was time to pay back the Nwosu family for all the good they have done for me over the years. Linda is the strong one but being locked in a cage with no air and light is bound to make even the strongest of men snap into two. If Linda was out, she would have a better chance to bail out whoever was locked up. She will get me out as there was no one to fight for her. I would do it for her, i decided. I knew i had made the right decision then when i felt calm afterwards. A knock sounded on my door, the door was pushed back and Tosin came in with some Newspapers in his hand.
” Hi Vick” he said.
He handed me the papers. ” The media are having a field day. They are sensationalizing everything.This one right here, called Linda the ‘ Murderer in white Silk’ ”
I stared at the picture of Linda on the front page of each of the national dallies.My heart squeezed as i handed the papers back to him.
” I can’t read them” I said.
” Yes i know. It will only upset you the more, it was Stupid of me to even show them to you” he said.” I’ m sorry”.
” No i can’t read” I stated.
His eyes widened in shock as he got what i said.
” How? You have degrees”. He said, shocked.
” Someone wrote all the exams for me. I am dyslexic ” I replied. ” But i learnt Braille and I can read the books written in braille”.
” Oh My God! Kelly!…….I think she has dyslexia too. Why did i not think of it?.” He said sadly, ” There’s no news of her yet. I sit by the telephone all day waiting for a Ransome call. My mother has taken over now, sitting by that telephone, crying her eyes out. Waiting for it to ring.”
I flung myself into his arms. ” Tosin…….Tosin……” My voice was hoarse. ” She will be returned to us safe and sound. She’s fine. Let’s hold onto that hope “.
He held me in his arms for a long time while i felt tears drop down my cheeks onto his shoulder. I held him closer, burying my nose in the crook of his neck.
” Tosin?” I murmured.
” Please make love to me” I begged, wanting to bury myself in his arms forever and drown my worries”.
” Awww Vicky. Your first time should be special, it…..it shouldn’t be like this” he said.
” Please” I cried.
His lips settled on mine, his tongue tentatively touching mine and taking control. The papers dropped onto the floor. His right hand cupped my b.rest, his thumb circling round my hard n—–e and i arched my back. Gasping into his mouth, his hot mouth clamped down, on the pebble hard n—–e, he bit, suckled and licked it through my blouse. I moaned, he gathered me into his arms and laid me on the bed, poised above me, my hands sought out his hard lean muscled body, he gasped as my roving hand found its way under his polo. He leaned down, kissing my full lips while i returned his kiss in_ between little gasps and moans.
The door was suddenly pushed open and we both gasped. The intruder was Dantata, he stood at the threshold his eyes brimming with unspoken anger and fire. Tosin stood up, i also got up hastily and ran out of the room as the two of them sized up each other. I ran out of the house, got into my car with my heart slamming against my chest. It has to be now, i had to do it before my liver fails me. I beeped on my horn, Musa opened the gate and i drove out.
Few Minutes Later……..
The D.P.O instructed his boys to bring Linda out of her cell, she looked so dirty and tired. She smiled weakly on seeing me. She threw herself into my arms, holding me tightly. I gently withdrew from her arms. My hands were trembling, my heart beat was echoing in my ears. I took a deep breathe and exhaled sharply drawing tears to my eyes.
” I killed him” I said, my gaze focused on the face of the D.P.O. ” I am my father’ s murderer”.
” Shut up! Shut up!” Linda cried, ” What are you saying?”.
” I sent an assassin after dad, i am ready to turn myself in”.
” No. I killed him” Linda screamed.” Officer take me back to my cell! I killed him!”
The D.P.O and his boys traded looks.
” Don’t listen to her! Why do you want to suffer for a crime you didn’t commit?” I said, ” Please handcuff me now”
” Take the both of them to the cell” D.P.O said.
The boys clamped a cold hard handcuff on my hands.
” Wait!” Somebody said, coming into the office with two other guys and one was in cuffs. We all whirled around and i gasped.” Shun sir!” The officer saluted.” This man has confessed to being behind the attack on Mr.Nwosu”.
” What?” Linda and i chorused.
” Incredibly ” D.P.O shouted.
” Dantata please, please don’t do this for me” I cried.” I killed him, so i should be in jail”.
” I am ready to confess sir” Dantata said, ” I killed him”.
Tosin sighed heavily.” Shut up. My father was the murderer! don’t do anything stupid just because you are crushing on Victoria. Do you think you can buy her love and affection by doing something so fool hardy?”
The D.P.O shook his head.” Take them all into a cell” he commanded. ” And get me a Paracetamol for the headache they have given me.”
To be continued..