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

Stephanie stopped for a few seconds thinking over what her friend just said. Is it in Stephanie stopped for a few seconds any way applicable to her? “Serena.” She heard and excited voice call on her which made her stop and she saw one of her seniors running towards her. appily. “Senior Labake.” Serena screamed as she hugged the girl h “What are you doing here?” Serena asked when the excitement had died down. “The same thing you came here to do.” she replied “Oh! Labake, we still dey write Jamb together? Wahala dey o. Wetin we no go see sef. ” Stephanie said from behind them. La bake turned to face her one time junior and enemy “Steph, we dey write Jamb o. But are you happy seeing me like this?” Labake asked. “Of course I am. You are being punished for the atrocities you committed as the labour prefect back then. You should get p repared because you’ll be here again next year.” Stephanie replied Serena remembered the day she attended a trial to join the school female relay team, but was dropped because she couldn’t cope. She felt like grabbing the baton and running away the moment she saw Jake approaching them, but she doesn’t want to be a coward. “Darling how was your exam?” He asked as he approached Stephanie and gave her a gentle hug, plus a peck Serena’s cheek flushed red that moment “Oh Jake, this is you. I learnt you are in A merica.” Labake said excitedly when she saw her classmate. “Of course Labs. Where else do you expect me to be? UTME centre? Hell no.” He said and tears welled up in the girl’s eyes. Serena held her hand tightly. “Jake, being in a UTME centre doesn’t change the bright future that I have and moreso, your girl is writing Jamb for the second time, so am l. I didn’t write Jamb the year we graduated, so what are you talking about?” Labake replied “But, you still remain my senior even though I am on the verge of Stephanie replied. overtaking you.” “Baby, let’s get out of here.” Jake said and dragged Steph away, but suprisinglyr Serena held her back much to Jake’s suprise. “Look here girl, Labake is fighting on her own to secure admission, she didn’t buy result, ne ither did she travel to the village all in the name of “special centre’ Just to make WAEC. And moreso, you once said, you would be studying in London once we are done with secondary school. Is this your London?” Serena asked angrily. Steph was suprised and humiliated. These are the things they shared as friends in secret And even if they are no longer in good terms, their secrets should be kept. For the first time in two years, Serena appreciated the existence of Henry(her ex boyfriend who also dated Stepha nie at a point in time) who came exactly when she stopped talking. And being a guy who jokes and make jest of people a lot. “They are on strike in London so, she decided to take Jamb in a bid to enter into the university in America where Jake is.” And ever yone reeled in laughter. A humiliated Stephanie ran out before things got worse while Jake followed behind. “Am sorry.” Serena said to Labake as they approached the parking lot beside the hall. “Its nothing.” Labake replied with a smile, even though the sa dness could clearly be seen in her eyes. “Come and meet my dad.” Serena said as she dragged her towards where her father was chatting with Stephanie’s mum and a few parents who came with their children.
Politics and that state of the nation is the fastest current and informed.” She thought After the short introduction of Labake to her father’ Serena hopped into the car and sat on the passenger seat. She brought out her almost broken phone and playing game, while she started inserted her USD card into the car’s stereo player and reduced the volume to the barest minimum. As she played with her phone, she allowed the music to flow into her head and also left a listening hear to the arguement her father was having with his new f ound friend All she understood from their talks was, ‘politics’, ‘election’, ‘President Jonathan,’ ‘PDP.’ ‘Buhari’ and ‘APC.’ She listened as old men not less than fifty years argued back and forth. Talking about their encounter with a certain politician i n 1 993 after the June 12 election. She knew her father was no good politician, but she loved how he expertly analysed the countries economy and she was proud of him. Stephanie’s mum was not left out, even though the basis of her argument was that Nigerian politicians have abandoned God in their dealings. And slowly as more candidates trooped out, the men left one after the other to drive their wards home. “Can I have your card?” She had heard the question many a times from her father. She had never seen a day that her father would return home with no new card. “My car is parked over there” One of the men replied. “My daughter will follow you to get it.” Mr Oluwole Thomas said loud enough that Serena need not to be told what was expected of her. She slowly a lighted from the car and followed the man at a distance. “How was the exam?’ The man asked when he had given her the card “Great.” She replied. “Your dad is a great person.” He heard the man say before he entered his car the first time she was sta nding very close to a Mercedez Gand for wagon. No way, this man is richer than her father. But hey! Dad doesn’t waste money on cars, she had concluded. “You look pretty.” A female voice called from the backseat of the car, but she couldn’t get to look at her prop erly before the car zoomed off, so she just waved. “Who are we waiting for?” She asked angrily as she shut the car door. “Nobody, but you.” Her father replied. “What about Steph…” Her voice trailed off when she saw her through the rear mirror seated comf ortably at the backseat with her mother. “Like you cared about my well being. You left me all to myself after the exam. Stephanie replied. “You don’t deserve my care.” Serena replied a bit angry as her father drove out of the ICT center. “We shall see.” S tephanie said jokingly, followed by a plastic laugh. The two adults in the car also joined in the laughter much to Serena’s annoyance. “Can’t you people notice the friction between us? Can’t you see that we are not cool with each other?” She asked herself angrily. Then Stephanie’s voice came again as she sang along with the song being played on the car stereo. She his angrily, thrust her hand forward and removed her memory card adapter.
Leave it. I am enjoying the songs.” Her fáther said without looking at her. She reluctantly reinserted the adapter and the song resumed. Her eyes fell on the rear mirror once again and caught Stephanie growling at her with tongue out and an expression full of mockery “So, Madam, how do you intend to get your car out of here as he drove pass Stephanie mum r ?” Her father asked calmly s car. “I’ll call a mechanic to come fix it.” she replied. “How about if I call mine to fix it? I mean, he is a specialist in your type of car. He’ll fix it within an hour and bring it home for you .” Why the sudden nice attitude? Was the question on her mind after they had dropped Stephanie and her Mum close to their house and as they head home she couldnt help but stare at her father with the side of her eyes. “Why are you staring at me?” He asked. “l am not.” She replied and quickly faced the window. “You were. You can’t help but notice how handsome your dad has become. Stop drooling, I am married’ He said playfully as he brought the car to a halt the moment the traffic light turned red “Dad! I wa sn’t drooling. I was just.. She kept quiet when she saw the mockery smile on her father’s face. There is no point arguing. “But, did he just say he is married? Married to who? Jesus? Or Mary?” She smiled and the next minute, the light turned red and her fa ther stepped on the gas. Five minutes later, her father honked outside the gate, only for the gateman to come outside to meet him. “Sirr you can’t drive in.” The man said. “Why?” “The compound is filled with cars.” He explained Then his eyes fell on the c ar which Davies drove to work in the morning? Outside the compound. “What’s going on?” He asked himself as he parked properly behind Davies car and followed Serena into the compound. The moment he entered the compound, he could guess the set of people he w ould be meeting inside his living room. His elder brother’s Mercedez benz was parked just a few steps away from the front door, a black coloured Honda CRV was parked beside the Mercedez while his younger brother Collin’s car was parked in a way, such that its side was facing the first two car’s rear. He could guess that Pa Patrick would be in the living room, the owner of the Honder CRV, he couldn’t say while he was dead sure that Collins would be in there with Jane. Afterall, they had grown up together and they move about together to an extent that, one begin to doubt if Jane was married to Collins or her husband. “I’ll enter through the kitchen.” Serena said as soon as they got to the entrance. “You won’t say hi to them?” Her father asked. She reluctantly followed her father into the living room. “Ah ah. They are here finally, husband and wife” An elderly woman said “Mama Londoner. Good afternoon ma.” Cluwole prostrated to an extent that his chest was almost touching the ground Serena was suprised to see her father respect someone that much. Even though she had never met the woman, Mama Londoner in person, but she hadspoken with her on phone and from what she gathered, the old lady was her paternal grandmother’s twin sister, which means, she was Oluwole au nty and Oluwole her nephew.

To Be Continued…

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