Must Read: Dotted Lines….Episode 1


The morning breeze caressed her face and she exhaled bitterly.
How can one be in one’s home and felt like a prisoner.
“prisoner,” she muttered, “how can one feel happiest out of one’s
home?” Inibong Okoh folded her arms just beneath her bosom.
Even at 15yrs of age, she had bloomed into a beautiful young
woman but her eyes held sadness on a closer look! Akwaibom
and Edo blood flowed thru her veins.
‘You cheated, u did jur! Let’s again.’ The voice brought her back
to reality. It was actually a girl’s voice from the next compound,
they were playing the 10-10 game. A group of 4 girls about her
age were playing game. There were other children in the open
space at the back of the compound, in their own different age
groups playing their own games.


From the balcony of her home, she could see them. It was the
most populated compound in the estate. She had been back
home since 2 weeks and her mum won’t even allow her go see
her friends. She shook her head fighting back memories of
battles with her mum.
‘Ini… Iniobong!’
‘ Yes mum.’ Answering with a start, she rushed towards the
direction of the voice. ‘What’re you doing out there by this time?’
Imaobong Okoh glanced at daughter and went back to going
through the content of her bag.
She was seated in the well furnished and tastily designed sitting
room, dressed in a caftan gown and a scarf stylishly tied to
‘I’m done with my chores mum.’ she lowered her eyes.
‘I’ve a meeting for 11, take the stew out now and boil rice enough
for you and your brother. Help yourselves to dinner in case I
don’t arrive early. ‘ She was an immigration officer.
‘Ok…’Ini rubbed her forehead. She zipped her bag and looked at
her daughter. ‘what’s it?’

‘The day after tomorrow’s Nnenna’s birthday and I’ll
like to attend the celebration.
‘No party dearest.’ Her voice was calm.
‘She’s my best friend, I need to be there. All of my class mate’ll
be there.’
‘That’s how you children go to parties, rubbish yourselves and
give parents untold heartache!’
‘But mum, her dad’s a Deacon. It will be a girls party save for her
siblings and some of her counsin. Pls mum… Her parents’ll be
there too.’
‘Madam I said NO!’ She stood and picked her bag.
‘Mum, she is old enough to take care of herself. A party won’t
hurt her. Besides it’ll be a closed party not a club party.’
Indifreke, her elder brother of 4 yrs had walked in without them

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Ima looked from son to daughter and gave her a penetrating look.
‘At your age, I didn’t know the meaning of party. My greatest
luxury was watching TV only on weekends. But now…’ She gave
a short laughter.
‘That was then mum, this is now.’ His voice was firm.
‘This conspiracy between you and your sister won’t work.’

‘This is not conspiracy, I’ve been asking to go see my friends,
you won’t allow. You won’t even allow them visit. I can’t even
socialise with my mates in this environment.’ Tears formed in
eyes but her voice was clear and strong.
‘You have WAEC to face next year, better start preparing.’
‘That’s all I do in school study and I topped my class. I just want
to enjoy my holiday, pls mum…’
‘Her social life’s vital to her mental health.’ He quipped.
‘Tell me more,’ she applauded grinning. ‘ You’re learning how to
challenge the wrong person. Just try me and see, get out from
my way before I sound you silly!’
Ini stepped aside without knowing it.
As soon as the door closed, she slumped on the rug and wept.
Indi sighed and went to console her.
Ijeoma Ugorji walked into their bedroom in her night gown.
‘Nkem he is asleep.’
Her husband, Ugonna nodded and patted the space beside him
on bed.
He was in his late fifties and his wife, her late forties. She
‘You’ll be going for this educational retreat for one week, we need
to prepare Nnam for your absence and staying back at home till I
get back from work.’
‘Staying at home?’ Her alarm was obvious.

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‘You want him to toss all the gadgets in this house apart with
‘Oh Nne,’ He chuckled,’he knows better than that. We would warm
him not to.’
She laughed heartily. ‘ I won’t take chances of an electric shock
with my only son.’
‘Then me about your plan then.’
‘ I want to take permission from Mama Bisi, our neighbour
upstairs. Hopefully she agrees and Chidubem stays with her until
you are back from work each day. Before we all know it, One
week will be over.’

Her brows creased knowing her husband was thoughtful. ‘Nkem
is that not an okay plan?’
‘ I don’t want to intrude in another privacy. Besides, we don’t
really know this woman.’
‘ She has brought up grown kids and she’s a grandmother too.
Dubemu’ll be just fine with her, it’s not like he will be running
around or something.’ ‘
All right, see her then.’
She planted a kiss on his cheek. ‘I love you.’
‘Love you too dear.’ He smiled. ‘Let me check the doors.’ He
glanced at the wall clock and stood.
He was a director in a telecommunication company while his
wife was a vice principal.

‘Go to hell and burn to ashes, did you hear me?’ Morenikeji
The recipient of her insult wave a hand dismissively and relaxed
into the sofa. ‘I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed and I
‘m not ready to exercise my fist on you.’
‘Come and beat me, beat me o! She clapped her hands, ‘you
should be ashamed of yourself, your type can’t stand a man.’ she
‘ I’m not destined to end your miserable and send you to an early
grave.’ He put on the TV.
‘ It’s you and your extended family that’re miserable, Oloshi!’ She
shook boiling with anger.
Temilade Johnson closed the door gently and prayed her mum
this time don’t get beaten . She slumped on the bed and groaned,
her head hurt again. She stood to look for a sachet of
Paracetamol on her dressing table.
He stood and looked for his car keys. ‘I don’t blame you, I blame
myself for putting up with a second hand!’
‘Do I blame you Olajide Adekanbi? I blame myself for putting up
with your excesses and abandoning a man that loved me dearly.’
‘Weré, onibaje oshi!’ He stormed out of the house.
She slumped on the sofa, she had found a pack of condom in his
trouser pocket with 2 from the row missing, the fragrance of his
shirt was altered.
He had not bothered to defend himself.


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