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A Story written by Durodola OLAWALE YUSUPH (Durodolad9ty7@gmail.com +2348166920449, www.penprimus.com Info@penprimus.com)

The time was 1 1 am and Serena was the only one at home, a side from the kitchen maids and the gateman, As usual, she was in her room playing game on her laptop just to while away time and if possible, forget her sorrows, but its not working. She was distracted and this affected her game as she couldn’t even go pa st a level. She had tried playing about three different games and she couldn’t progress further in any. Maybe she should just invite a friend over or better still go to Stephanie r s house, spend one hour with her and be back before 2pm, but the thought of what happened the previous day is still fresh in her memory. Maybe she would have to switch off her phone Her vibrating phone caught her attention. She crawled out of bed and stretched her hand to pick it from her bedside table. “Hello girlfriend.” She sai d on answering the call “Serena, I know Dad is not home Can you come and meet us at the Agodi garden?” Stephanie asked. “Agodi garden ko, trans Amusement park ni abi Fun factory.” Serena replied. “This is not a time to jokeEverybody is here, Bimbo, Tayo , everyone in our set.” Stephanie replied. “What is going on there?” Serena asked. “Jake is returning to the states and he decided to throw a small party for us.” She replied “But why are you using a place meant for kids?” Serena asked. “Ode(fool) who tol d you Agodi garden is meant for kids? Does it look like fun factory?” Stephanie replied. “l am not coming o. I’ll call Jake and talk to him.” Serena replied. “When you are not mad. You better get into something s*xy** now or I come house to dra down to your g you.” Stephanie warned. “Try to understand. Dad would be angry if he discovered that I went out today and moreso, you didn’t tell me there would be anything like this today, at least, we were together yesterday. And you can’t expect me to just get dresse d and start coming over there. ” “l understand, maybe you’ll talk to him.” Before she could protest, Jake’s voice came blasting through the speaker. “Are you there?” He asked. “Yes I am.” She replied, but in her subconscious, she felt like she said “yes I come’ “l learnt you won’t be coming to the party I organised for you?” He asked. “For me?” She asked. “Ohi Sorry, I mean for us.” He corrected. For the first time today, Serena smiled. “l wish I could come, but my dad would be mad at me.” She replied . “Grow up girl. Your dad can not keep telling you what to do, its your life, you are eighteen. will “That’s in America J. Here in Nigeria, parents still tell their children even at twenty five what to do.” Serena replied “That’s because you allowed them to co ntrol you since you are little. Anyways, you must not miss this party. You know, I am returning to the states on Sunday and this would be the perfect time for us to talk.” That was when she knew she would miss Jake when he finally returned to school. Even though they hadn’t spend much time time together since he came, she still feel safe whenever she remembered he is still in Nigeria, and now; the thought of him leaving is just too much for her to bear. “My dad.” She said almost in a whisper. “Nothing would go wrong. You just come.” In the end, Jake couldn’t convince her to show up at the party, but within herself, she knew she would go, regardless of what would happen when she returns. She just can’t wait to see Jake and hopefúlly, they make their relations today. She sang every Withney Houston’s song as she took her bath and dressed up. After spending about five minutes in front of the gate, she called her cabman who showed up in less than ten minutes and off she left for Jake’s party clad in a length gown and a white purse. sky blue knee Thirty minutes later, the cabman pulled up in front of the renovated Agodi garden along, the Oyo state parliament road and after paying the man, she walked into the garden. “Serena Williams is here guys,” Henry, her ex boyfriend screamed But, Henry and Jake were enemies while they were in school. What is he doing here?” She asked herself. “the same thing you are doing here.” Her subconscious replied “Shut up.” She muttered as she went to greet her classmates, h er seniors and a few of her juniors in secondary school. “Where is J?” He asked Henry.” “He’s gone deeper into the forest to see the animals with Steph.” Henry, who is also Stephanie’s ex boyfriend replied. She carefully walked into the forest in search of her friend and boyfriend to be. “What’s going on here9″ She asked the moment she got to the always empty house built for the Hyena where Jake was gropping and kissing Stephanie like his life depended on it. “Its not what you think.” Stephanie said as she immediately took off. quickly rushed to her side, but Serena Oluwole Thomas was seated in his office, a picture frame in hand, clutched close to his chest with a sober look on his face. It was a picture he took with his ex wife, Anita on their wedding day, when they both were younger, naive about what marriage entails, but with the help of God, they were able to scale through the first ten years of their marriage which was when they had all their children, Davies the first born, three months after the weddi ng, Nathaniel the second child after four years and Serena, seven years after their marriage. The family has always been a happy one when they still were struggling to have the required three square meals per day, pay the rent, pay the children’s fees, pay the bills. And to the glory of God, Anita stood by her husband, assisted him with the finance, supported him, made him realise how far away he was to his creator, and shortly after Serena’s birth, their story changed. Oluwole won a multi million naira con tract with the Federal government and by the time he was done, he recorded an exhorbitant amount of profit. He established a bigger office space, made friends with the big uns in the Nigerian polity and he became the number one candidate to be considered f or a contract. As it stands now, he himself now recommend reputable companies to the ministries. All these were possible because, Anita stood by him, supported him and he made sure he rewarded her by establishing a big boutique, worth millions of naira. Bu t, she began misbehaving when she started handling her imports hereself, she sacked her agent and pluged herself deep into the business. It got to a point that in a month, hardly will she spend five days at home. She was either in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Cus tom office, Port or even the airport. Oluwole still endured, which was why he employed maids to take care of the home, but his wife took his gentility for granted and took her misbehaviours one step overboard. Which was when she began laying down rules whi house. He was son engrossed in his thoughts that he didn’t know when the door opened and his younger sister, Mrs Jane ThomasOlukolade walked in. “Ah! Jane, when did you enter?” He asked as he dropped the frame on his table Janemanaged from where she sat, see the picture and shook her head. “You are still thinking about this woman?” She asked “Which woman?” He replied “Anita of course. Isn’t it high time you forgot about her and move on?” She asked. “Is that the reas on why you are here?” He changed the topic as he pulled the laptop on the table much closer and the next minute, Davies walked into the office. “Good afternoon Aunty Jane.” He said prostrating. Before facing his father. “l got your message dad.” “Yeah. Go to the canteen downstairs and get Jane her favourite. The usual combination.” He said giving him his debit mastercard, “But, must you stress this young marp He has been in his office working. You could have sent your secretary or any of the errand boys.” “He is no king over them. He is also an employee like the ones you mentioned.” He replied And fifteen minutes later, when she had finished eating, she stated her reason for coming which as rightly guessed has to do with money. But, this time not the mone y to boost her business or pay the children’s fees, she wants to support her husband’s political ambition. And being the wonderful inlaw he was, he promised to give her the money at the end of the week “Don’t mention. You deserve more and moreso, Kolade i s my buddy, only that he does politics. And his winning the election will boost my business.” He replied when her ‘thank you’ was getting too much “Having said that, Wole, don’t you think you should consider giving love and if possible, marriage a second chance?”

To Be Continued…

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