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As the taxi approached my gate, my phone rang. It was Ruth. I answered as quickly as my fingers could move.
“have you gotten home?” She asked, without a good morning wish.
She sounded a little anxious and worried.
“just getting to my gate” i replied.
“be strong o, nor fear, they searched for you throughout the night, ” she said reassuringly
Surprisingly though, i really felt no fear. My heart was stone cold, i felt i could face anything my parents threw at me.
The taxi finally parked in front of my house. My mum was standing right outside the gate, looking anxiously at the taxi and probably wishing i was the one coming.
As soon as i alighted, she rushed towards me, while i was handing the cab driver his money.
“Ella, where did you go? Where did you sleep, we searched for you throughout the night. ” my mum queried as she grabbed hold of my hand, trying to pull me close to herself.
I felt a little embarrassed, the taxi man seemed more interested in our family affairs than his money.
Why this sudden show of affection? Were they not the ones that chased me out yesterday?, I thought to myself.
I kept my face as bold and expressionless as possible, despite my mum’s public display of affection.
My mum lead me inside the compound, and walked me into the sitting room.
As i entered, Ighalo rushed forward to embrace me.
“Jesus thank you” he whispered into my ear.
“where did you go? We couldn’t sleep ” he continued, with an expression of relief on his face.
I had not replied anyone, i kept my calm, knowing that the real question and answer session would soon commence.
My mum sat down, repeatedly doing the sign of the cross, and mumbling some unintelligible words.
She picked up her phone, and called my dad.
“she has come o” she said, and dropped the call.
I headed straight to my room, and fell on my bed. I brought out my phone again and pinged Ruth and Hannah to inform them that i was home.
Ruth replied, telling me to stick to the story, and never admit i did anything wrong the previous. That was already what i planned to do anyway.
We continued with our chat, they were both eager to hear the events of the previous night.
I shared my ordeal, or should i say escapades with him. They seemed much fascinated by the “fun” i had.
I mentioned to Hannah that Ehis and i had unprotected s-x.
“are you crazy? How could you do that, do you want to get pregnant?” She asked, with an angry smiley in front of the texts
“i didn’t even know, it just happened” i replied.
The very thought of getting pregnant fell on me like a cold shower in winter. I couldn’t imagine what my parents would do to me.
“remind me to give you something later g2g” she replied.
I had no idea what it was, but i knew Hannah was an expert in these issues. She could sneak in and out of her house to attend night parties without being caught.
My door flew open, to my greatest surprise. Ighalo entered, while i was still typing with my phone.
I thought i locked the door when i came in. He had seen my phone already, there was no use hiding it.
“Where did you sleep last night”? He asked, sitting on my bed.
“Hannah’s house” i replied.
hmmm you know, dad and mum searched the entire city for you, we even went to see your friend Ruth. This morning dad had gone to the police station to make a report, fearing that something bad might have happened to you”
I fought of the laughter that threatened to spoil my straight face. The knowledge that my parents were really worried gave me some joy.
“so whose phone is that?” Ighalo asked, pointing at the phone in my hand.
” it’s not your business” i replied.
Ighalo got up and gave me a long suspicious stare before walking out of the room. I couldn’t look straight up at him, he already knew i was lying. In fact i had become an expert at lying, almost competing with Ruth.
As Ighalo left, my mum entered, still doing the sign of the cross. This time i had tucked my phone under my pillow.
“where did you go?” She asked, without a worried expression
I repeated the same set of lies i have been telling.
“those bad friends you are keeping eh, hope they did not bring a boy to the house?”
“mum please!, don’t insult the people who took me in when you drove me away” i shouted, feigning anger.
“i wanna have my bath” I said, springing up from my bed and walking towards the bathroom.
Mum sat there, i could see the look of surprise and fear in her eyes. This was clearly beyond my fleeing from the house last night. She was clearly afraid of the person i was becoming.
The boldness, or perhaps rudeness with which i spoke surprised me too. It just didn’t sound like me anymore. I had changed, and i knew it.
I entered the bathroom, and shut the door behind me, listening to hear when my mum will leave.
As soon as i heard her footsteps walking out, i came out of the bathroom to prepare for school. I was already going to be late.
I dressed up rather slowly, looking at myself at the mirror to notice any changes. Perhaps i looked a bit bigger.
Elsewhere in the sitting room, i could hear my dad’s voice, he had returned from the police station.
He sounded rather angry. My mum was trying to pacify his anger. Suddenly, he stormed into my room, demanding to know where i slept.
I stood aloof, staring blankly ahead. I had no intention of replying him.
He motioned towards me, and lifted his hands to slap me. I made no effort to dodge or resist the sting of the slap.
Luckily, mum held his hands in the air.
“Leave her, she slept in Hannah’s house” my mum said, attempting to defend me.
“is that what she told you? This little liar. that my police friend i went to see at the station this morning told me that he saw Ella with a boy, driving around town at 4 a.m this morning. I’m very sure she slept with that boy.”
My heart skipped a beat, that police officer definitely saw me. He was speaking the truth.
“Ella is that true?” My mum asked with a resigned tone. She was almost close to tears.
“it’s a lie, i slept in Hannah’s house” i replied defensively.
“come and take us to Hannah’s house, I ll confront her mum personally” my mum said, dragging my hands towards the door.
As we walked towards the door, i remembered that Hannah’s mum wasn’t in the house when i slept. I just hoped the entire plan played out.
My parents and i got into my dad’s car and started our journey towards Hannah’s house. I was already set for school, so I’d head straight to school from there.
The atmosphere inside the vehicle was very tense. My heart pounded, i knew Hannah’s mum did not see me all through the morning.
My dad on the other hand was having a bit of a road rage, he was getting repeated insults from other drivers.
He was obviously upset, either by my disappearance last night, or by the fact that i slept with a boy.
My mum was completely different, the expression on her face was that of fear rather than anger.
She was clutching on to a rosary in her hand, and doing the sign of the cross repeatedly.
I sat quietly, feeling a little anxious and worried as we approached Hannah’s house.
My dad pulled over right outside Hannah’s compound, i stretched out to observe the compound carefully.
I noticed a car parked inside, it wasn’t there when i first came. I guessed Hannah’s mum was back.
My parents got out of the car, and we all walked into the compound, straight towards the front door.
Just as my dad was about to knock, the door swung open. It was Hannah, all dressed for school. Her mum was right behind her.
“Good morning ma, morning sir” she greeted, as soon as recognized my parents.
“morning” my mum replied rather coldly.
My dad did not respond, his expression held a lot of bitterness. He shot a cold disgusting gaze at Hannah.
Hannah’s eyes met mine, she had a blank expression on her face. She was neither terrified by my father’s cold gaze nor my mothers emotionless response.
Her mother stood aloof, appearing quite surprised and a little uncomfortable with the expression on my dad’s face.
“Mr and Mrs Imasuen, I’m sensing all is not well” Hannah’s mum said, alternating her gaze between my dad and her daughter.
“did my daughter pass the night here?” My dad questioned, in a rather harsh and authoritative tone, almost shouting.
“Mr Imaseun, please calm down, I was away on night duty I didn’t sleep here. My daughters were alone.” She replied, trying to pacify my dad.
“hannah, did Ella sleep here?” My mum cut in, trying to prevent my dad from speaking any further on the issue.
“Yes she did” Hannah replied, looking away from everyone with a little smile hanging at the edge of her lips.
The expression on my dad’s face clearly showed that he did not believe Hannah. Her mum could see that expression too.
She called out to Hannah’s elder sister, who ran out to meet us immediately.
“did this girl sleep here?” She asked, pointing at me.
Hannah’s sister nodded in affirmation. My mum heaved a sigh of relief, so did i.
Hannah’s sister’s response only seemed to infuriate my dad more.
“How could you allow another person’s child to sleep in your house, how irresponsible are you?” My dad shouted angrily, loud enough to cause discomfort.
Hannah’s mother grew angry too and replied in similar fashion.
“I just said i wasn’t at home, I’m just coming in, and how dare you call me irresponsible? You couldn’t keep your daughter in your house, and you want to blame me for your failure as a father?. There was a lot of venom in her voice.
“So you have the right to question my parenting skills? When your daughter is a LovePeddler?” My dad vented, pointing at Hannah.
“At least my daughter slept in my house while you were wondering where yours was” Hannah’s mother replied.
At this point, there was palpable tension in the air, i felt really embarrassed. Somehow i blamed myself for everything.
My dad turned towards me
“You see the insult you have brought to me you fool”? He raised his hand to strike me as usual.
I docked, hoping to escape his slap. Luckily, my mum caught his hand in the air.
“papa Osas, please we have embarrassed ourselves enough, please let us go” she said as she dragged my dad’s hand.
“Your daughter is a bad influence” my dad continued.
“once again you are blaming someone else for your parental failure” Hannah’s mother replied.
My mum dragged him away before he could spit more venom. I tagged along with my parents. They drove me off to school.
My dad kept insulting me all the way, while my mum tried to calm him down. Her sudden change of attitude surprised me.
She wasn’t attacking me, she still seemed very scared. But i couldn’t ascertain the reason for her fear. They Dropped me off at school and drove away.
As soon as the morning assembly ended Ruth, Hannah , and I had a rendezvous. We discussed everything that happened in the last twelve hours or so.
I described my entire escapade with Ehis, and they all sounded really impressed. We shouted and threw high fives in the air.
At that point, i remembered Hannah had promised to give me something today.
“so Hannah, you said you ll give me something today.” I said expectantly.
She reached into her pocket, and handed me something i never thought i would need.
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Hannah handed me a piece of paper, it had something wrapped inside it. I unwrapped it slowly, wondering what it was. I poured its content into my palm, and looked at Hannah in amazement.
“What is this?” I asked, facing Hannah with a surprise look on my face
“Its a tablet, you should know it, your mum is a nurse” Hannah replied
“So why do I need the tablet?”
“it will prevent you from getting pregnant ”
As i turned away from Hannah, the enormity of what i had done began to sink in. I could get pregnant from all the activities of the previous night. In fact my whole life could change.
I threw the tablets down my throat and swallowed It. I prayed silently that It worked.
We walked slowly into the classroom, to continue the day’s learning. I had started finding school very boring. I spent most of my time in the classroom secretly chatting with Ehis.
It seemed As though he had completely taken over my life. All that I could look forward to was sneaking out to meet him. I wondered if i was still normal.
The bell signaling the beginning of the last lecture before break rang. it was time to abscond from school again, Hannah and Ruth clutched to their school bags and headed out of the classroom.
I had made up my mind not to follow them. First, i had no idea where they were going, and I already had plans with Ehis later in the day. I felt I should let them do their own business.
Few seconds after leaving The classroom, Hannah returned and beckoned on me. I got up, and followed them to The rendezvous point, The gatehouse.
I stood aloof as Hannah and Ruth changed clothes.
“ain’t you going with us? ” Ruth asked,
“no, i have plans with Ehis later” i replied
“who is talking about Ehis ? Mrcoded and some of his friends just returned from Malaysia, they are taking us out. we ll just keep them company that’s all. ” Hannah cut in , obviously trying to persuade me
I thought about it for a while, it didn’t sound like a bad offer, but i wasn’t very comfortable with it. After the events of the other day, i had decided to be more discreet.
I had a really bad feeling about the whole trip, but i had to give in to Hannah ‘s persuation. She really wanted me to go, and i couldn’t lets her down, not after all She had done for me.
I dashed to the classroom to get my bag, my getaway clothes were in there. I returned almost immediately, holding on to my school bag. Hannah and Ruth were already fully dressed.
I quickly changed into my new attire, it was a pink top with a tight-fitting skirt that barely covered my knees. I sat down to allow ruth make me up, while Hannah went outside to receive a call.
“they are waiting outside please hurry ” Hannah announced, as she rushed inside to pick up her purse.
Ruth applied the make up hurriedly, without paying attention to details as she would usually do. We grabbed our hand bags, handed the gate man his usual fees and walked out of the school.
Just outside the school fence, a car parked beside the road. It had no plate number, it was obviously new. I had never see that brand of car before. Who ever owned this must be very rich i said to myself.
Hannah led us towards the parked car. The rear door opened as we approached. A lavishly dressed young man, probably in his mid twenties alighted and held the door open for us.
Hannah galloped towards him and threw herself at him in a hug. He held her closely to himself and kissed her lips. Ruth greeted him, and extended a hand to him. He took ruth’s hand in his and kissed the back of her palm.
I was a little disgusted by the entire public display, i merely greeted him without going close. I opened the front door and took my seat beside the driver.
Ruth and Hannah sat at the back. There were three boys seated inside the car, the driver beside me and two others behind. They all looked over dressed and irresponsible, while trying to speak in a foreign accent.
Hannah introduced the three boys. There was Mesode the driver, Aj the guy Hannah hugged and the rather quiet looking MrCoded seated alongside Aj at the back.
As we embarked on our journey i would steal occasional glances at the rear view mirror, to observe what was happening behind. Hannah and Aj were kissing lustfully, while ruth was struggling to get Mrcoded to keep his hands off her. It seemed she too was uncomfortable with the boys.
Mesode tried to engage me in small talk as he drove along. My short and pointed responses killed almost all his attempts. He would turn side ways from time to time to steal a glance at me, and lick his lips afterwards. I almost felt like a LovePeddler. The LovePeddler scenario did not feel right.
My phone beeped, it was a message from Ehis.
“baby, can i pick you up during break? Want us to hang out with some friends”
I felt a little regret as i read the message over and over again. If i hadn’t listened to Hannah , i would have had alot of time to spend with the man i love, i thought to myself.
I explained to Ehis that i was very busy in school, and could not leave. I assured him i ll meet him later that day.
Mesode pulled over in front of a hotel. We all alighted. At this point, my discomfort became obvious. I had no idea why we stopped in a hotel, but i knew it was no place for a decent girl.
I kept looking around, hoping that no one recognises me. Mesode grabbed hold of my hand, and led me into the hotel. As we walked, i took time to look closely At him.
He looked really familiar, but i couldn’t quite place the face. He had a striking resemblance with someone i had met before. But the image was blur and elusive.
Aj and Hannah approached a receptionist, while the rest of us sat on a couch in the waiting room. Few seconds later, He beckoned on us to follow him.
We took a flight of stirs, then we emerged in a hallway. It had several room on the sides. Aj opened the door to one of the rooms , and motioned us in.
It was a fairly large room, adequately furnished and tastefully decorated. A large bed occupied the middle of the room, surrounded by couches of different sizes.
I stood for a while, looking around the room. Ruth and Hannah had already taken their seats on the couch, while Aj, Mesode and mrcoded went outside to discuss.
As i noticed their absence, i moved closer to Hannah, and whispered to her in a harsh time.
“what is all this? What are we doing in a hotel room?”
“my friend stop acting like a small girl, you don’t know why we are here? ” Hannah shot back At me with the same tone.
” you know Ella is not into this kind of runs, you shouldn’t have brought her along. If i knew you were coming here , i wouldn’t have followed you” Ruth cut in, standing up and facing Hannah.
Just as Hannah was about to reply, the door flew open. And the three boys walked in. Aj beckoned on Hannah, and she got up to meet him. He placed his hand around her waist and led her outside the room.
On her way out, see turned round and blew a kiss at us. Ruth drew closer and whispered into my ear. She simply told me to relax, before walking out of the room with Mrcoded
I was suddenly alone with mesode. Cold shiver ran down my spine, i looked around, probably to find an escape route. The door wasnt locked, so i thought of dashing outside.
Mesode must have noticed my apprehension, he sat next to me on the couch, and began his smooth talking. He told me stories about his life in Malaysia, and how he and his friends had made millions.
He kept emphasising that he was in Nigeria to spend money. He sounded as if the money talk was crafted to turn me on. All the while, i kept my eyes fixed firmly on the door, hoping to dash out at the slightest opportunity.
Mesode gave me no such space. He began to run his hands slowly around my exposed tights and kissing me softly around my neck. I was nervous and uncomfortable, my heart pounded.
I felt dirty and cheap. All i wanted was to get out of the room. But my body was sending a completely different message. I could feel the wetness again.
I was already moaning slightly, and responding to his touch. His lips met mine, i wanted to resist, but my body seemed to be functioning independently.
He slid His tongue into my mouth, and i obliged. I felt his hands moving around my back underneath my clothes. It felt so wrong, but my body simply responded.
He unstrapped my bra, and it came off. He attempted to take off my clothes, when a knock on the door interrupted him. He got off me and walked towards the bed, trying to fetch something.
The knock on the door worried me, i remembered what happened to Hannah, if there was going to be someone else in this room, i can’t tell what could happen.
I looked around, this felt like the perfect moment to escape. I snatched my bra from the floor and ran towards the door, hoping to push whoever was behind it away and run to safety.
The plan was very much simple to me, until i got to the door. I turned the handle round repeatedly, but the door wouldn’t open. The person on the other side must have noticed the struggle.
He turned the handle with enough force to send the door flying. I stepped back a little to avoid being hit by the swinging door. As the door opened completely, the giant frame of a man stood at the entrance.
In my state of panic and confusion, it seemed as if the person in front of me covered the entire door. I never bordered to look up at him. I kept my face to the ground and ran towards him, hoping to push him out-of-the-way as i had planned.
He caught me by the hand, and called out my name. The sound of the voice shocked me, it was familiar. In fact i could tell who it was, without looking up.
To Be Continued…
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