This is a long read. The book goes by chapters and I don’t want to break them, so take your time and enjoy since the next episode is on Tuesday.
“O God!” Marvelous groaned as Oge and her four friends entered their classroom. The bell for break was rung a few minutes ago.
She quickly glanced at Oleng, who was seated at the wooden chair beside hers. The poor girl was already shaking her head sorrowfully. Ezinne was frowning at her seat.
“Oleng, Ezinne and Marvelous, come with me.” Oge announced and walked out of the class with her goons at her heels. The whole class including the boys felt sorry for the three friends as they walked quietly out of the class with Zinny sighing in anger. That was good bye to their break time.
They followed their seniors to the school farm. Last time it had been the school poultry.
“Go on your knees.” Oge told them harshly when they got there.
They quietly went on their knees on the loamy soil beside the ridges. Zinny was the last to go down.
“What did you tell Edward?” Oge demanded curtly.
The three friends exchanged looks. Oleng groaned inwardly. So Eddy had kept his promise of telling Oge off them.
“Nothing, Senior Oge.” Oleng informed her.
Oge raised her hand and it landed hard on Oleng’s cheek. Tears ran down her eyes as she held her stinging cheek.
“Who are you making eyes at?” Oge asked the frowning Zinny before giving her her own share of the hot slap.
“So you girls had the guts to report me to Eddy. You weren’t afraid. By the way, what did he tell you?” she ranted.
They cast their gaze on the ground.
“What did he tell you bitches about me?” she screamed like a banshee. Her friends held her from kicking them.
”Leave me alone,” she screamed at them. “Let me teach these bitches a lesson for telling on me.”
“You girls better tell her what Eddy told you or we’ll allow her beat you girls to death.” One of her friends advised the three friends.
“Senior Beatrice, truly we didn’t tell Senior Edward anything and he didn’t tell us anything.” Marvelous quickly supplied.
“Then why did he approach me? How did he get to know I punish you girls? Filthy liars!” Oge shrieked. “As for you Oleng or whatever you call yourself, I’ll deal with you. The few weeks I have left in this school will be very miserable for you. Because of you, Eric has been ignoring me but thank God he has finally come to his senses. If not for the school authorities, I would have marred your beautiful face for you, so that nobody will ever speak to you again especially your so-called best friend!” she hissed furiously. Oleng sniffed.
“Girls, please keep them here while I go and meet the love of my life. You know what we planned na.” Oge instructed her friends smiling.
“Remember to bring all the goodies you promised us from the canteen.” Gertrude reminded her, confirming why they were always ready to act as her slaves due to the favors they enjoyed from her because her dad was filthy rich.
She popped the top button on her white shirt. “Trust me na. I’ll be back” she declared as she walked away wriggling her buttocks.
Meanwhile, Eric was wondering what was keeping Oleng and her friends. The bell for the long break had been rung a long time ago yet they were not out and he knew there was no teacher in their class.
He had sent a junior student to go and call them but she had returned saying they were not in the class. Where could they be? Dave and Eddy had left him to go to the canteen. He had told them he would meet them there whenever the girls showed up.
He would have called her but the use of mobile phone was prohibited in the scool.
As he was there pondering, he caught sight of Oge. He stood up abruptly and wanted to escape but she had already seen him. She waved frantically.
“Hi handsome.” Oge was all smiles when she got to him.
“What are you doing here all alone?” she purred innocently.
“I’m waiting for Oleng. Have you seen her?”
“No.” she replied with a small shrug. “Come on. Let’s go to the canteen. She can meet us there.” She held his hand and tried to lead him in the direction of the canteen.
“No thanks. I’d rather wait for her here.” he coolly told her and she stopped trying to drag him. Her gaze roamed all over him as she pretended to be lost in thought.
“I know where she is but I was trying not to hurt you.” she slyly told him and sat down on the bench.
“What do you mean? Where’s she?” He was filled with curiosity as he surveyed her coolly.
She sighed and played with her tie. “I saw Uche half leading and half dragging her towards the toilet behind the school farm.”
“What?” Eric thundered. “Uche did what? I’ll kill him!”
Oge was surprised at the fury she saw in his eyes. She had never seen him like this before. Had she gone too far? She was scared but managed to placate him.
“It’s okay. I’ll show you where they are.” she informed him squarely as she got up to hold his hand. He shook her hand off and followed her.
He didn’t say a word. He followed her quietly to the place. In his musings he planned to give Uche a black eye and a bleeding nose. As for Oleng, he would think of something to do to her. Right now, he would handle Uche. In his anger, he failed to question if Oge was saying the truth. Oge left him to his musings as she quietly led the way and prayed for success in her seduction plans.
When they got to the toilets, they entered quietly.
“Uche…..Oleng!” Eric bellowed in anger.
Oge locked the main door of the toilets and walked seductively to him as he checked from one toilet to another. She caught up with him as he got to the last toilet.
“I’ve been waiting for this ever since I set my eyes on you.” she purred seductively as she pressed herself to him against the toilet door. She could afford to do that since the toilet was kept squeaky clean and disinfected.
Eric gazed at her in bewilderment. “So this was a set up.” he breathed, shaking his head in disbelief. “You lured me here for this? I should have known.” He hit his head with his hand, cursing himself for his folly.
“Eric, please. I need you. I’ve dreamt of you doing a lot of things to me. Please Eric. Nobody will find out. I assure you. We’re all alone here. No one comes here at this time of the day.” she pleaded with him, all the while quickly taking off her tie and opening her buttons.
She removed her white shirt to reveal a black lacy bra. She had generous proportions there. Eric forced himself to look at her face, not the twin temptations.
“Oge, get a grip on yourself. Look, you’re a very beautiful girl but I don’t want you. I’m not into such things.” he snapped at her, holding her by her shoulders and pushing her gently.
“Don’t worry. I’ll teach you.” she insisted as she grabbed his belt and tried loosening it. “Just a quickie, my darling. I’m burning up for you.”
“Oge!” he yelled at her. “I don’t want to have sex with you. Why don’t you ask Eddy? I’m sure he’d readily oblige a second time.” He was disgusted by her coercive methods.
Understanding dawned on her then making her look downcast. “I did it for you. He promised to get you for me if I got down with him. I didn’t know it was just a ploy to sleep with me. He lied to me. He used me.” She was almost in tears.
“It’s a pity then.” Eric shrugged nonchalantly as she righted her clothes.
“Is that why you don’t want me? Because of Edward? Do you see me as his left over?”
“No. The thing is, sex is not my priority right now. I’ve been able to hold myself since and I’m not about to smear my record when it’s just few weeks from my graduation. Besides, there is only one girl who holds my interest.” he delivered with brutal frankness.
“Oleng.” She whispered.
“Is there nothing I can do to make you like me more than her?”
He shook his head. “Absolutely nothing.”
“Okay.” she conceded with a slight shrug.
As she turned towards the door, he held her hand.
“No hard feelings, right?”
She shook her head, gave him a peck and smiled.
She unlocked the door of the toilet and walked out. She smiled as she saw Oleng and the other girls some distance away. She made a great show of buttoning her shirt and fixing her tie as Eric came out fastening the belt she had loosened belatedly realizing they had spectators. He looked up and felt his world crumbling.
Standing some distance away was Zinny, Marvy, Beatrice, Gertrude and the love of his life looking at him with so much horror on her face as if he had suddenly grown horns on his head. She looked at Oge who was fixing her tie and smiling. She did the only thing she could do at that moment– she ran.
“Oge, you’re a witch!” he exclaimed and ran after his best friend.
Oge was no longer smiling. Her friends came towards her with great eagerness. They asked what happened but she just shook her head and left them sadly.
“Oleng! Sunshine! Where are you?” Eric called as he ran. He had suddenly lost her in the bustling school. It was break time so there were a lot of students and activities going on.
He looked everywhere for her but couldn’t find her. He even went to the canteen but couldn’t find her. He couldn’t find Zinny and Marvy either.
He was so worried he didn’t pay attention to the two subjects they were taught after the break. He was eager for closing time. When the bell was rung, he was the first to leave the class. He went directly to Oleng’s class. He was surprised that she wasn’t there.
He however saw Zinny and Marvy. Marvy didn’t talk to him. She just walked past him. Zinny would have done the same but he held her hand and asked her about Oleng’s whereabouts and what was wrong. For an answer, Zinny shook his hand off hers gently and walked to where they normally sat. He followed her quietly all the while looking out for a glimpse of Oleng. Zinny waited for him to sit before talking.
“What happened between you and that witch, Oge?”
Eric recounted all that transpired between them.
“I thought as much.” Zinny admitted when he was through.
“What happened? Where were you girls and how come Oleng was there when we came out?”
Zinny in turn told him what happened. He was furious.
“You mean that witch actually punished you girls and hit you?”
“Yes, and that wasn’t the first, second or third time. It has been a constant thing. All because of you.” she remarked in an accusing manner.
“For God’s sake, why didn’t you girls tell me? Why didn’t Oleng tell me? We’re not supposed to keep things from each other. We promised each other no secrets.”
“Oleng was just trying to save her head from further punishments. Oge is the female senior prefect. She wields a lot of power. She might use other prefects to punish us.” Zinny pointed out.
“And what am I? Her house boy? Am I not also the senior prefect? I wield more power than her. I’ll deal with her. She’s going to be dethroned.” he fiercely said, got up and started to walk away.
“No, Eric. It will only worsen matters. She can still use her friends who are prefects to get to us.” she pleaded with him as he walked with determination towards the principal’s office.
“Not while I’m still senior prefect. The principal has complained about her a number of times. I’ve been defending her but now, I’ll throw her under the bus now. She was only elected because her dad is an influential person. I’m not boasting but her dad is a nobody where my dad is. So she must go. No one hurts my sunshine. Thanks Zinny for the information. I’ll see you on Monday.” he informed her as they got to the principal’s office.
He knocked politely and entered at the summons. Zinny just stared at him in admiration.
Eric threw his phone on the bed in frustration. He had been calling Oleng but she refused to answer the calls. She kept ending the call and finally switched off her phone. God! She could be stubborn sometimes.
He just wanted to explain what happened between him and Oge and to tell her that Oge would be dethroned on Monday because the principal had had enough of her also.
He wondered when his mum would leave the house so he could go over to her house. He would have loved to go there now but his mum had visitors and he wasn’t in the mood to go and greet them for him not to be embarrassed by their scrutiny and his mum’s praises of him since his mum had maintained that she must be informed about his whereabouts.
Just then his phone rang. He scrambled to go and answer thinking Oleng had changed her mind and called him, forgetting it was not the ring tone he had saved for her. He was disappointed she wasn’t the one but glad it was his elder brother, Damian.
“Hi Damian.” he cheerfully greeted.
“Hey kiddo. How you doing?”
“Cool….No, not cool. I’m actually in trouble.” he lamented.
“Talk to your big bro.”
Eric told him about the events of the day.
“Have you tried calling her?”
“Yes. She refused to answer and switched off her phone.”
“Big trouble then. Why don’t you go over to her place? Make her listen to you at all cost. She’s your best friend, so you should know how to get through to her. Try and do it fast so you don’t lose her to inane gossip from that Oge to spoil your name further in her sight.”
“Alright, Damian. Thanks. I’ll do that as soon as mum’s friends leave.”
“Oh! The so-called society ladies are there?” he chuckled.
“You talk as if your mum isn’t one of them.” Eric reminded him and they both laughed.
They talked about boy stuff and how Eric would soon join him in America to further his studies. He remembered he had not told Oleng and wondered when he would tell her he was going to leave her. It hurt him anytime he thought of leaving her but he couldn’t refuse the offer to better his life and his parents wouldn’t hear of him going to even a private university here in Nigeria what with their poor educational standard and all.
He was glad when his mum’s friends finally left. He got dressed and went to his parents’ room. He found his mother before her exotic dresser, making up. She was a stunning woman.
“Mummy, I want to go over to Oleng’s house.”
“You see her in school every day, what do you want to tell her that can’t be said over the phone? Don’t you have air time?” his beautiful mother asked, looking him in the eyes.
Eric looked down at the Persian rug. He didn’t like it when his mum tried to be difficult.
“I have credit but mummy, what I have to tell her cannot be said over the phone.” he fielded quietly
“Really?” his mum questioned smiling as she went to sit on the luxurious bed and studied him coolly. That was when he knew she was only teasing him.
“O Mummy! I offended her. I’m only going there to apologize.”
“Can’t you apologize in school?” Mrs. Sokipirim Conrad asked her son still smiling. She knew of the close relationship between her son and Oleng but didn’t mind. She and his dad had been that close also in their teenage years.
“Her anger would have escalated by Monday.”
“Wow! Why didn’t you apologize when you were in school?”
“Mummy!” Eric exclaimed in exasperation at the revised version of the Spanish inquisition.
His mum burst into laughter. “Come, my darling. I was only pulling your legs. You can go over. Just make sure you come back early.” she said and hugged her son.
“Alright.” He quickly pulled away before she started her usual kisses on his forehead. She always forgot he wasn’t her little boy anymore who had adored her kisses.
“If you see her mum say hi to her for me, will you? And tell her that when next she goes to Dubai she should get me a diamond necklace.”
Eric shook his head. “You and jewelries!”
“You can’t blame me, darling. I’ve got to look good for your father.”
Eric smiled and left. He walked quickly to Oleng’s house wondering where he would begin his explanation. It was just a stone throw from his house so he took his time walking down there, gathering his thoughts. With hands in his jean pockets, he kicked a stone till he got to the house. He knocked on the dusty brown gate and Andrew; the gateman opened it and greeted him warmly since Eric usually tipped him. Eric didn’t disappoint him by pressing some naira notes in his hand. He joyfully told him that Oleng was inside.
Eric scuffed his feet on the red and brown interlocked tiles as he made his way to the house remembering the first time he had come there ten years ago.
His family had just moved to Port Harcourt from Lagos because his dad had been transferred by the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos to the branch there. Eric and his elder brother, Damian hadn’t liked the change because all their friends were in Lagos but they didn’t have a say in the matter.
The first couple of weeks had been very boring for them except for television and video games but they soon got tired of them as well. They decided to go out for a stroll to get to know their neighborhood one afternoon. Their mum told them to be careful.
They had walked down their street admiring the beautiful houses. It was when they had gotten to the next street that Damian, fifteen years of age then had met his age mates talking in front of a house. He had gone to chat with them and Eric had had no choice but to stand beside him and listen to their conversation of movies and video games.
He had gotten bored just listening to them. Just as he had been about telling his brother that he was tired, he turned around and saw in the opposite compound a small girl riding a bicycle.
Without informing his brother, he had gone to the house. He had gone in and stared at the girl. She rode her bicycle towards him and they had stared at each. He stopped staring and introduced himself.
“Hi. My name is Eric Conrad. We just moved to the other street; Telema street. What’s your name?”
“Oleng Akpan.” she had replied quietly.
He had laughed then. “Oleng. What a funny name. What does it mean?”
“Don’t worry.” she replied.
He stopped giggling then. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to laugh at your name. It’s just that I’ve never heard that sort of name before.”
“It’s okay.” she had quietly replied again.
“So will you tell me the meaning now?”
“I told you. Don’t worry.”
“Please. I said I was sorry.”
It had been her turn to giggle then. “Oleng means don’t worry”
“Oh! Okay. I get it.” he had laughed and she had laughed too and that had been the start of a wonderful friendship.
He had been telling her about Lagos before his elder brother had come to look for him. He had introduced her to the amused Damian. They had promised each other they would be friends since he didn’t have any and neither did she.
They met again in school the following week where he had gone to start primary two, where she was already in primary one. Their friendship had blossomed and now they were in the same secondary school. A distinguished private secondary school called Marvin Bay owned by a Canadian and situated at the end of their estate in Woji. He was presently in SS3 preparing for his WAEC and NECO exams while she was in SS2.
He came back to the present with a smile.
He rang the doorbell twice before Oleng opened the door. She was surprised to see him. She should have known he wouldn’t let matters be.
“Hi. Can I come in?”
Oleng just stared at him and folded her arms across her chest. “For what?”
He was shocked but not deterred. “I came to teach you that physics you’ve been asking me to teach you.”
It was her turn to be shocked because she had only told him once that she needed help with her physics.
“Well, I’m not in the mood for receiving lessons. Well, if that is all…” She made to close the door but he placed a foot against it.
“Sunshine please. At least hear me out.”
“Ric…Eric, whatever you do with your break time and whoever you spend it with is entirely your business.” she launched back furiously at him. “Just leave me alone!” She made to close the door again when he asked, “Why didn’t you tell me Oge has been maltreating you?”
She was transfixed with surprise. “Who told you?”
“Why didn’t you tell me? I thought we promised each other that we wouldn’t have secrets. Why did you keep such a thing from me?” He was angry too.
Tears came to her eyes. “I didn’t want any trouble.”
“Trouble? Did you stop to think how I would feel if I found out? How could you? You know I can handle her.” he accused.
She felt sorry that she hadn’t told him but remembered what she had seen that day.
Her anger surged. “Oh yes! You can handle her alright. You did just that today, didn’t you?”
“It’s not what you think. Nothing happened.”
“Really?” she enquired tongue-in-cheek.
Eric proceeded to explain everything that happened still, at her doorsteps. As she wanted to reply, she heard her phone ring so she ran to go and answer the call.
Eric took it as an avenue to enter the house. He smiled when he saw Oleng was frowning when she saw him at the glass and wooden door to the living room. She didn’t know how beautiful she looked like that. She told the person to call her back later.
“I didn’t ask you to come in.” she intoned coldly when she was through with the call.
“I know but the since the door was opened, I just had to come in.” he retorted nonchalantly as he sat down on the pale cream and black leather sofa in the tastefully furnished living room. Everything there spoke of wealth; from the Persian rug to the television to the chairs and articrafts. Her mother obviously had good taste.
“Well, I want you to leave.” she fired back at him.
“Make me.” he dared.
She sat down looking at him in anger. He explained what happened again.
“Tell me you weren’t turned on when she took off her shirt.” she threw at him when he was through.
He shook his head slowly. “The issue here is that I didn’t fall for her.”
“Please!” she said in disgust with a wave of her hand and turned away from him to stare at the television.
He looked at her intently. “Frankly, there is only one girl on earth who would come on strong to me to make me fall flat.”
She slowly turned to look at him. The question was in her eyes but she didn’t dare ask.
“You.” he told her shortly. “You can come on strong to me any day any time, sunshine and I’ll fall hook, line and sinker.”
Oleng could not help looking away. She was embarrassed.
“And as for Oge, you need not worry about her anymore. She’ll be dethroned on Monday.”
“What?” She turned to look at him then.
“I reported her to the principal. There have been numerous complains about her. This was the last straw.”
“How could you? It will only worsen matters.” she lamented.
“No. She’ll only be a toothless bull dog now.”
“No! She’ll use her prefect friends against me. All of them will hate me for making the principal dethrone her.”
Eric studied her calmly before smiling.
“These are the very same prefects who have been complaining to the principal about her. They’ll be glad when she’s dethroned.”
“Really? But she’ll still have some loyal friends.”
He smiled again and she had to look away. He didn’t know he looked more handsome whenever he smiled.
“You underestimate me, sunshine. I think you sometimes forget I’m the senior prefect.”
“I’ve never forgotten. It’s the reason why I don’t like drawing attention to myself in school at all. I don’t want people to say I’m taking advantage of the fact that my best friend is the senior prefect. Now they’d go about saying such.”
“But they don’t know what happened. It was Zinny who told me about what she has been doing to you.”
“Zinny?” she asked in bewilderment.
“Yeah. When I asked of your whereabouts and when she asked what happened between Oge and I. No one knows she’s going to be dethroned on Monday except you and I.”
“Thank God. That’s a relief. I don’t want to be the talk of the whole school.”
“Neither do I but the thing is, people will still talk.”
“Well, that’s true.”
There was a moment of silence between them. Eric got up, sat on a stool beside her chair and took her hand.
“Sunshine, am I forgiven for what happened this afternoon? I swear, nothing happened between us. It was a set up but I didn’t fall. Don’t allow a nonentity come between us. Please don’t throw away our friendship of ten years.”
Oleng fixed her gaze on the hand he held while he talked. She lifted her head to look at him. “I heard her talk about the plan with her friends but didn’t know it was to try to seduce you for me to think you had sex with her. I was so angry seeing both of you coming out of the toilet, dressing up.”
“She was the one who……” he tried to explain but she placed a finger on his lips.
“Ssh… You’ve already explained yourself. I’m glad you didn’t fall.” She smiled shyly.
“Thanks. Me too.” he said smiling and pulled her to give her a hug. They hardly hugged these days so she was glad when they did and they stayed like that for long minutes until she pulled away, wondering at the sensations running all over her body. Eric felt it also and was lost for words before pulling himself together.
“So, what about the physics lesson?”
“Certainly not. I’m not in the mood. Maybe another time.” she informed him smiling.
“Alright.” he said with a slight shrug.
“I don’t know. Maybe she’s in her room.”
Tessy was her mum’s distant relative. She was twenty two years old and was studying at the Rivers State University of Technology. Her mum had brought her to live with them when Oleng was ten and to take care of her since she constantly traveled but Tessy always ignored her. Whenever she was around which was seldom, she would lock herself up in the room and behave as if Oleng didn’t exist. It hurt Oleng a lot because she had been so happy when her mum had brought the latter thinking she would no longer be lonely. She was used to her now anyway. Besides, she didn’t need her as far as she had Eric.
She was surprised to hear her mum’s car horn. She got up and went to the window to lift the linen curtain to make sure and saw their gateman running to open the gate.
“My mum is back.” she informed Eric.
Eric sighed a little. He could count the number of times he had seen Oleng’s mum. She owned chains of boutiques in some parts of Nigeria and some African countries where she sold both English wears and all kinds of materials. She also dealt in jewelries; gold, diamond, sapphire, rubies, platinum, whatever; which made her travel all over Nigeria and the world. She was rarely at home.
He never knew Oleng was neglected until he got very close to her. Her mum would travel out of the country for over two weeks and leave her alone at home assuming her distant relative, Tessy would take care of Oleng not knowing that Tessy would also travel and leave Oleng all alone. She always came back before Oleng’s mum though. Oleng not wanting her mum to send the girl packing never reported because she felt sorry for her. Tessy was from a very poor home.
Eric had visited her one day and found her crying. She said her mum didn’t love her because times without number, she had tried talking with her mum but the woman was always too busy to talk to her. He had told her that she was the one not trying her best to get close to her mum but she had replied that there was no time to get close to her because if her mum wasn’t in Kano or Kaduna today, she would be in either one African country or the other or Dubai the following day and when she was even at home, she was too tired to talk to her when she came home at night, tired from running her numerous boutiques.
Eric had tried to make his mum her mum also but she was too scared of his mum, saying she was too much of a society lady for her to get close to. Eric knew that at first sight his mum appeared that way but inwardly, she was a very sweet person.
Eric was the first person to know when she started menstruating. It had been one of those periods when both her mum and Tessy traveled. She had thought she was sick having never been told anything about adolescence and feminine changes.
She had called Eric who in turn told his mum. It was his mum who had come over to lecture her and buy her her first sanitary towel before she told her mum when she came back. Her mum hadn’t told her anything but made sure she had a regular supply of sanitary towel as she did with her clothes and money. Oleng didn’t lack anything except motherly love. She had money, clothes, and jewelries at her beck and call but a mother’s love.
That was why he was so important to her because he had always been there for her especially when she was all alone at home. He insisted she come over to his house but she always refused saying her mother wouldn’t appreciate it if she suddenly returned home to find the house empty. She hadn’t told him though when she started developing breasts but he had noticed and teased her about it then but not anymore, not now that they were both very conscious of each other.
“Welcome ma.” Oleng greeted and stood up as her mother entered the luxurious living room.
“Good afternoon ma.” Eric greeted standing also.
“Good afternoon…hmm…what’s that your name again?”
“It’s Eric ma.” he politely answered.
“Yes, Eric. How are you?”
“Fine, thank you ma.”
“How is your mum?”
“She’s fine ma. She sent her greetings and said you should get her a diamond necklace when next you go to Dubai.”
“Hmm! Soso and diamonds! I’ll get her one. Tell her I’ll bring it at the next club meeting.”
“I will ma. I was on my way out before you came in.”
“Alright dear. Extend my greetings to your mum.”
“I will ma.”
“I want to see him off.”
Eric and Oleng walked quietly from the living room.
“Your mum seems so nice that it is hard to believe she neglects you.” Eric observed when they were outside. Oleng shrugged nonchalantly for an answer.
“Well, anytime I see her, I always understand where you got your beauty from. You look very much like her.”
“You’ve told me that so many times.” she acknowledged, smiling shyly.
“Because it’s the truth.” he retorted smiling.
Oleng couldn’t deny that fact. Her mum was indeed beautiful and looked younger than her age. She was chocolate skinned like her, slim and petite also. It took her awhile to accept it but she knew she was a replica of her mother though she didn’t have that air of authority her mother had.
They got to the gate and opened it. They went outside and stared at each other.
“Let’s go out tomorrow.” Eric finally suggested. The following day was a Saturday.
“I’ll be here in the afternoon.”
She went back inside. As she was heading for her room, her mum called her. She sighed. She rarely went to her mum’s room.
“Yes ma.” she answered when she got to the room after knocking and asked to come in.
“What was he doing here?” Mrs. Linda Akpan asked as she sat on her king size bed.
Oleng looked at her toes. “He came to teach me physics.”
“Is he your physics teacher?”
Oleng was silent. She looked at her toes on her pink flip flops.
“I asked you a question, young lady.”
“Then how come he came here to teach you physics?”
“Because I asked him to.”
“Why did you do that?”
“He is very good in physics and I’m having a bit of difficulty understanding it so I asked him to help me out.”
“Why didn’t you tell me to hire a private teacher for you?”
“I haven’t seen you in three days.” she defiantly remarked.
“You haven’t seen me in three days.” her mother echoed in ringing disbelief. “Is that your excuse? Couldn’t you have waited for a time like this that I’m at home?”
Oleng was silent at that.
“Let me warn you. If you get pregnant, don’t bother coming back here. Just go to his house. After all, his parents are wealthy enough to take care of you and the baby. Just don’t come and saddle me with a bastard.”
Tears gathered in Oleng’s eyes. Was this the best way for a mother to tell her daughter about the dangers of premarital sex and the consequences of unwanted pregnancy? She vowed right there and then never to be like her.
“By the way, where’s that useless Tessy?”
“She’s in her room.” she replied in a low voice.
“Go and call the idiot for me. She’s supposed to be your chaperone not the queen of this house.”
Oleng walked dejectedly out of the room. She went to Tessy’s room. The latter was reading a magazine and listening to music from her phone. She delivered the message and walked quietly out of the room.
She went to her room, laid down on her bed and cried her eyes out. Tessy later came in anger to her room and warned her never to bring Eric to the house again before banging the door rudely after her.
Oleng only stared at her because she knew it was an empty threat. They were both never at home and expected her to die of boredom? They were joking. Eric meant more to her than both of them put together. He gave her a reason to live.
Eric came as promised the following day and of course both Tessy and her mum weren’t at home. After playing video games, they went to Mr. Biggs to get some snacks. They went back to her place, ate the snacks, watched some movies and later went out for a stroll in the evening. She was sorry to see him leave but knew they would see each other again in church the following morning.
Monday came and as Eric said, the principal announced to the whole assembly that the board of trustees had a meeting on Saturday and have decided to strip Oge of her post. There were much shouts of joy to her surprise. Oleng didn’t know people hated her like that. Her fellow prefects were the most joyous with an exception of a few who just stood looking indifferently. Eric showed indifference in his position in front of the assembly.
Oleng could not however help feeling sorry for Oge when she saw her crying. She was human after all. Another girl was named the senior prefect. The students clapped with joy because Antoinette was a very nice person. Her post was given to someone else too. Oge’s friends or better still her goons abandoned her since she didn’t have wield power anymore.
Oleng was glad that the second term ended peacefully because Oge never disturbed her again though some of Eric’s female classmates still despised her for having all his attention. She shrugged. It was their funeral.